Today I had a meeting with a Vocational Rehab Counselor to help determine if I’m eligible for help for the career path I want to pursue- that of the Certified Peer Specialist. The Counselor that did my interview has been working in Social Services for 45 years and had never heard of this position before today. He scheduled me for a psych and vocational assessment which I will have in about a week. They will help determine if I am suitable to perform that type of work.
For those that don’t know- a Certified Peer Specialist is a recovered alcholic, addict, or person with mental illness who has recovered and helps other people on their recovery path. Instead of going to college, our higher education is the catastrophic shitstorm that is often our lives. You only end up doing about 60 hours of work training for certification.
The entire time he’s going through his spheel about how I might not be suitable and how it might not work out; I’m sitting there thinking- ‘I’ve essentially already been doing this shit since I put up my web page. I answer questions, give thought out responses, try to urge people to have goals in mind for their wellness, and just try to be there for the people I cross paths with. I’ve dealt with some really difficult people in person on several occasions. I know I’m suited to this kind of work.’
And then he made the simple statement of, “And if you’re not suitable, we can probably help you find something else.”
What he does not understand is that there is no “something else” for me. I’ve had at least 25 fucking jobs in my adult life. I know the difference between a shit job and a pursuit of passion.
I sincerely hope that each person reading this post finds at least one thing in their life that they are so utterly passionate about that everything simply makes sense. I will get training and I will find a paying job in this field even if it means I have to forgo assistance from the government.
I spent a fucking lifetime trying to figure out why I had this brain, why I was so smart but never able to get anything really accomplished. Why did I survive the things I did to try and unmake myself? What good was the emotional isolation and social dysfunction? Does any of it matter? Yes. Yes it fucking does when you’re trying to hammer through the walls we nutjobs build to keep normals out. It all matters as individual blocks in a sturdy foundation of understanding and knowledge for something served up to you on a silver platter later in life.
The Counselor asked if I had considered other paths. I said “no”, because to me there are no other paths. I know exactly what I want to do and have a reasonable idea of how to accomplish it. I don’t give a fuck if I have to sit in a McDonald’s or Flying J parking lot to piggyback their free wi-fi to do marketing work on my laptop to make ends meet while I work on it. I will find a way to accomplish this goal. There has never been anything so clear to me in my life.
But I’ll go through their hoops and see what comes of it. I’m sure the psych will say the same thing he said before and what the other professionals I’ve dealt with said. “He’s very intelligent and self-aware. He seems to lack some social skills and maintains a disheveled appearance. He possesses strong analytical skills and expresses himself eloquently.” And believe me, it’s not aggrandizing. I do my best to keep my head out of my ass. Still kind of flattering to have your lawyer tell you the judge was impressed with your intelligence after your hearing though.
I feel like it would be a sin to not use this body of knowledge that life has given me.
Anyway. Just thought I would share a bit with you guys about this personal journey. Not a ton happens in my day to day on the mental illness front personally. Nowadays more of my energy goes to others that need it. And I’m not going to go around blabbing about other peoples’ business without their express permission.
I’ll probably write about the eval and meeting with the psych when that goes down next week. Just have to see how things go.
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