The appointment this morning was stressful, but because of the whole having to meet a new person and trying to understand what was going to happen next.
I’m with a Disability Employment Services provider which means they can help me in more tangible ways than the regular Job Services Australia people could – especially since I was a “level 1″ who was supposedly quite capable of doing it all myself.
So, I have a new contact there, we spent an hour going through my history and what made me flake out at my old jobs, and thinking about what sort of work I want to get into, both short term (this year) and longer term. I have to mull over whether SP is what I want to get back into or not, and related fields that might suit me better now and in the future. I totally know that I still want to work in some sort of disability related field, but what and with who is not certain. I said flat out no to hospitality, though :p If i was stress, I wanna get paid well for it!!
I no longer have to make 10 contacts a fortnight about potential jobs, nor do I have to take that list into Centrelink at their whim. I still have to go to Centrelink now and then to prove that I’m alive or something, and tick the boxes online. They put me as capable of 15 hours work a week for now.
Oh and I also get pharmaceutical allowance and a pension card with my Newstart. Rich, baby!
No front desk just a video phone to call them to let them know your here. There were three seats, so it is also the waiting room area…
Yeah, the entrance to the office was weird, impersonal, and totally crap for people with phone phobias! Fortunately that wasn’t me, but it did add to my already heightened level of anxiety and confusion when I wasn’t able to immediately be reassured that I was in the right place at the right time and I wasn’t just imagining things.
So, I think I’ve FINALLY calmed down from it, let’s see how this all goes – I go back on the 30th.
Tense therapy session on Wednesday because we ended up writing the letter for my “job Capacity Assessment” with Centrelink that I had yesterday. Yes, the assessment went well, reaffirmed my love of Occupational Therapists. and I’m going to be going to a new Job network/ Disability provider next week…. One that is all into aka specialises in people with mental health issues. I also got a rating of being capable of
only” 8-14 hours of work a week. Given I’ve not worked full-time in over three years, this is a relief to have on my record. A relief to be honest and say that I really wanna be a a speech pathologist again, but my mental health issues are holding me back.
Oh we got the coolest coffee cups from Playing the Goat across the road from Centrelink. Tawny frogmouth!!!
So, when I got home from that, I went for my first cup of tea for the year. Dilmah.
What i got for me from Daiso while shopping for Maree’s prize :)
So, after Easter, I get to go and have a “job capacity assessment”.
This will apparently tell sennalink what support I need in order to find a job. Or something.
It means to me that I get to say yes, I feel like mt mental health and subsequent incompetence are leaving me unemployed.
And that they then get to put me through “job readiness” courses and placements.
plus get to note my “black marks” against me.
and tell me I’m not bad off enough to really need help.
I DO want to work. I’d rather be able to convince someone I can do work I have experience in. Doesn’t have to be speech. There’s a whole heap of disability and youth support I have the skills to do, but not the confidence, references or the, yes again, CONFIDENCE, to get into.
So we’ll see. I’m slightly scared to ask for reports from my healthcare team, too. I know it’s for the best, but I don’t want it on paper!!!!
Mulling over a few things today, prompted a little by the welfare reform report and various opinion and news pieces generated by it, along with discussion by friends about the good and the bad of the proposals and their potential to help and hinder those needing support.
I also, just now, realised that it’s been over 3 years now since I’ve had full time work. On the back of huge issues from anxiety (and a not yet diagnosed personality disorder) I resigned from my last full time work – a twelve month contract – in February 2012.
I spent six months kinda looking for work, not sure if I was ready, and then picked up two part time gigs – a 17 hour a week contract and some casual private practice work – around September.
I juggled these, having my first hospital stays, for 12 and 18 months respectively, resigning from one due to my crazy levels of stress around it all, and then was “let go” at the end of 2013 from the other, due to erratic performance, all strongly influenced by my difficulties managing my anxiety and stress and general erratic behaviour.
I’ve been lucky enough that my ex insisted on my saving money, and having that to fall back on the first gap period, and also receiving or separation settlement at the start of my current blank period. Which also aligned with my sister’s suicide attempt, so I had bigger issues to focus on rather than my own for the start of 2014. Helping her and her kids stay healthy took to fore, and I could justify my blase attitude to reentering the workforce. It was “ok” because I was helping someone else and not just myself.
I started looking at work again mid year. Applied for some things, confident that I could talk my way into them, like I had in the last positions…. but my past failures were starting to weigh me down. Initially, it was always framed as them having someone else, who had more experience, or lived in the area already, and that was okay.
Then I started to see jobs I applied for being re-advertised, and being told that I’m just not operating at a senior enough level for their position. When they re-advertise by don’t call or email you first? That’s the worst.
So, I got on “the dole” in July. Meeting my requirements, applying for any speech or related job I could find, local or not.
Then bringing it back, realising that I probably SHOULDN’T move away from Newcastle anyway, or at least not too far. This is my home. My safe home base.
So I broadened what I was looking for, but haven’t got a foot in. I get the occasional speechie interview still, on the back of my apparent experience and well written applications. But that’s as far as it goes.
I’m still seeing a psychologist weekly, though that will end soon. I have a need to help family and others – I can’t help myself. And I doubt that I’m anywhere near capable of working full time even if I do get a gig doing something mind-numbing let alone something with responsibility like speech or as a carer. So I always wonder on why, if all I’m gonna get to is part time work, then why are my requirements for Centrelink all assuming that I’m able to job search or complete tasks and courses full time?
I’m told I will be reviewed and possibly offered more support along these lines, like access to courses for free or something. But the poor girl who has my case is stressed and overworked herself (and shares my diagnosis!) and there is so much just ticking off done. I don’t get any money in for the company being university educated I should be able to fend for myself. It’ll happen, but I’m just happy to get out of there rather than have to dredge up crappy things when I’m in a good space in order to beg for more help.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just wanted to ramble and say that it’s hard. Yes, people tell me to get a retail or hospitality job to fill in time, but they’re just as hard to break into as any industry, and I always get the thanks but no thanks, along with the assumption I’m gonna pick up and leave on them.
Oh, and I tried to get a role volunteering with at risk kids, but one of their eligibility requirements was not having been hospitalised for a mental illness in the last 3 years. They said I could get a clearance letter from a psychiatrist, but that’s all too hard right now.
here’s my cool possums. They are awesome. The live up in my roof and we give them apples each night. If we forget, they rattle the gate for attention.
Now that I can open all the pages to write a blog post about ordering Indian food online, I don’t wanna.
I’m too tired to think up something witty. No, I’m not tired. I’m drained. I feel flat, not perky or sparkly, not what I need to write a food most that is, afterall, mostly pictures, and a few captions here and there.
It’s the same on Facebook at the moment. I can share something, something political, or whatever. But I can’t craft the words for the discussion. THERE I can quip one-liners. But I don’t want them here right now, and, yes, I seem like I can ramble on the words, blurt them out on the page, but that is this. The personal ramblings that I reserve the right to do over here. By remembering to renew my domain name for its thirteenth year of service, and by knowing that my hosting allows me til the end of next month to remember to pay the bill for the upcoming year.
I reserve that right, just as you reserve the right to tune out once it’s not food porn or purple gay sparkles. Once it turns to me ramble and whether to hit publish. Once I know that too many hearts of people are hurting at the moment and I don’t know what to do with all that hurt and pain and grief and sadness without imploding myself. Without becoming another casualty of their pain.
Looking after those around me, while trying to keep moving on forwards myself. I have a good feeling on one job I applied for, but I can’t let myself get excited, because all it will do is crush me if it falls through. I have to keep trying, at least enough to get it on paper to be asked why it isn’t all working next fortnight.
Away this weekend, but I doubt it’s a real break. Too many family things to deal with for others for me to be able to relax, I need to be on guard. To look after others. To be the strong one. Because I can do that, it just takes a lot of energy. I used to always do it, but I’ve let my skills slide. Let myself be the one being looked after. I just need to have my own basket at least packed away for the weekend, so I can be alert, be in tune, be the one in control of myself and my emotions.
I’m okay. I’m keeping afloat. I’ve had my moments. I’ve run crying away from things, or retreated into a ball. I’ve allowed myself to sleep rather than think any more, I don’t want to do it all, just some, but I need to do what’s handed to me. I need to keep up with some things. I’ve failed at some, I try. I try.
Or I distract. With nail painting, with flowers, with … I don’t know.
I think about things, like on the BINGO list of things that would just fix it for me.
And it would be okay. It is okay. I AM “okay”.
I’m gonna make it through to the next round.
Here is an icecream. Mint choc chip and Macadamia, from Jim’s milk bar. Because sometimes regressing to your childhood happies can be a good thing. And sometimes it isn’t, because you either can’t make the feeling last or it comes with other feelings. Like regret, or sadness, or anxiety or fear.
I’m putting together a post for Mental Health Awareness Week next month, for Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided. Not sure what I’m going to end up with – it could be experiences of therapy, or life, of medications, or acting out and self-medicating (could be an exciting ride).
I have chunks. Chunks from different periods of time.
From High School, from the HSC, from Uni. From last weekend, from last night.
From my seventh birthday.
From less pin-pointable childhood moments. Fuzzy. Sad, fearful, confused.
Unable to label.
From starting therapies and medications.
(The horror of admitting I needed help from these, that I couldn’t just will myself out of it)
Including shame at failing at things like work, or therapy, or relationships, or loving myself.
Moments of tears and laughter. Regression. Helplessness.
Disjointed and unclear, but vivid too.
All parts of my existence. Rejecting parts and re-embracing them.
On paper. To certain songs that are my soundtrack.
can’t you do it for me, i’ll pay you well
fuck i’ll pay you anything if you could end this
can’t you just fix it for me, it’s gone berserk…
fuck i’ll give you anything if
you can make the damn thing work
can’t you just fix it for me, ill pay you well,
fuck ill pay you anything
if you can end this
hello, i love you will you tell me your name?
hello, i’m good for nothing – will you love me just the same? dresden dolls – perfect fit
I hate yelling, being yelled at, and most of all, hate seeing children told off, angrily, for just being kids. It scares me, it makes me want to, or to actually run away, escape someplace “safe”. Outta there.
“Getting in trouble” is that feeling. Where I’ve done something wrong, and am getting in trouble for it.
Maybe I phrased something the wrong way.
Maybe I forgot to do something I promised.
Maybe I looked at someone the wrong way in the presence of a lover.
I’ve done something to slight someone and they’ve picked up on it