Things are getting better

Anyone who has been reading my posts knows that I’ve been struggling since the loss of my job and feeling depressed with nothing to do.  I managed to get this woman’s number at work and we texted a few times but soon after; she just stopped responding and I felt rejected. It has happened so many times that it was just a sad deja vu; it just reminded of all my dating failures; I just can’t connect and it hurts really bad.  A few days ago during a windy storm; the power went out in the middle of the night and the house was pitch black. I stumbled through the dark; trying to find the light ( a metaphor perhaps) and I had nothing to do but to sit in the dark. I thought about being unemployed, trying to go back to school, what to do with all this free time, why this girl I hardly knew wasn’t interested in talking to me.  I felt the need to just pray at that moment and ask God for guidance ; when I am at my lowest point I always turn to him. I know a lot of people aren’t religious and I respect other people’s beliefs but God is a big part of my life.  I don’t use religion to judge others or moralize; I use my faith in God to have compassion and love for everyone; especially those with disabilities and the downtrodden.

Anyways I decided that I couldn’t sit in the dark all night so I went to Walmart to buy some candles in the middle of the night; it was scary, the traffic lights by my streets were off; so it was really dangerous.  What’s even crazier is that the next traffic lights worked and all the business’s were lit so it seemed like our neighborhood was the only place in the area out of power.  After Walmart; I just drove around; trying to charge my phone and just thinking; it was eerie; no cars on the road and I was trying to think about the direction I was going in my life; alone; just total loneliness.   I drove almost to where my college was ( about 30 mins); sat in a parking lot and sat for a few minutes and drove back home.  I got back to my neighborhood and to my relief the power was back on; I could finally get to sleep.  I had planned to go to bed earlier but all the stress kept me up plus I cannot sleep in complete darkness or without my air cleaner.

When I got home, I wrote a poem about rejection and went to bed.  The next day I got a message from a fellow writer on Instagram; she tweeted my poem and suggested I joined Twitter. I was weary because of all the political bullshit and bullying but I found she was part of a really positive writing community and through the pain of writing ; I found a lot of support; which is what I needed. So things happen for a reason.  I can use twitter to find support, support others and promote my writing; what a blessing.  In fact all of my social media has been growing; I am getting constant supportive messages and comments and connecting with so many writers and disability advocates; it’s been amazing. So while I felt low; all that support made the difference; I realize that that girl not liking me is pretty insignificant compared to all the people I’m reaching with my writing; I don’t have to feel alone  anymore; I have thousands of people i can reach out to; that sounds amazing when I think about; surreal; it’s hard for me to wrap my head around it. I even found out about this writers group in the area through Instagram and I will try to attend this weekend; I hope to meet fellow writers and creative people.

I also got an email this week from my college; stating that since I only had a few classes to graduate that they were offering me a full scholarship; they’d pay for my class,books and any other fees. It couldn’t be real so I met up with someone today and he confirmed it; all I have to do is sign up. I am beyond excited and blessed right now; school is so important to me. God is handing me all these opportunities and I don’t know how to express my gratitude.   I just can’t wait to be able to call myself a college graduate and get a job in the disability field; it’s my passion.  So even though my job didn’t work out; it opened to the door to this great opportunity and I am going to take it.  I think God has a calling for me and this is it. Oh and speaking of that; I am going back to volunteering with the disabled ministry this week; I missed them so much and I am sure they’ll be happy to see me. I went to church on Christmas eve and one of the young adults was there; she was excited to tell me about everything I missed.  All those young adults make my day; they are all so kind and sweet and just wonderful people who I refuse to define based on their disabilities.  So yes, things are getting much better. All I had to do was ask God for help and have faith he would take care of me and he is., I thank all of you for your wonderful support. This blog is my life at this point; I cherish it and I will continue to blog and update everyone on how I am doing.

Thanks for listening,

Dave

 

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New Year goals 2019

New Year Goals

Well, a new year is upon us and it has been quite a incredible year for me; I made a lot of progress and really grew as a person. I pray that 2019 will also be a good year for me; I plan on making the year to come a very successful one; I’d like to improve myself on a mental/emotion, spiritual, social and financial/career level; all aspects of my life. I am ending the year on a somewhat sour note; being unemployed but I have perseverance and I am very driven. I am many goals for this year and I plan to achieve a lot in the coming year.

One of my goals is education; I am determined to finally get my associates degree in developmental disabilities; I want a job in the field; maybe as a job coach, a peer mentor or a motivational speaker in the future. I can sense how my writing and story has inspired others and the idea of using it to help people is something I very much like to do. I will take any opportunity to use my experience to inspire others to do their very best and not to give up; this may be one of my callings in life. I want more career aspects because like anyone else; I want to make enough money so I can be independent; I don’t live with my family by choice; I’m with them because my health issues and disabilities limits the kinds of jobs I can take; I want to push myself to do better; I think we all deserve that.

And speaking of my career; I want to continue to volunteer with the disabled ministry; I plan on spending more time with them this year; getting to know them further; and learning the skills I need to enter the human service field. It also helps me grow closer in my faith and become a more spiritual person. Through this group, I know God is working in my life. I plan on volunteering in other areas such as teaching English as a second language and other volunteer opportunities throughout the area. Now that I have all this free time; I plan to use it wisely and maybe get involved in church more as well. I think God has big plans for me in 2019 and I just have to follow his lead.

I think this will be a big year for me socially as well. I plan to continue reconnecting with friends and hopefully making new friends as well; I am trying to learning to face my fears and learn to meet new people and not avoid social situations; just to put myself out there. Something as simple as asking for a someone’s number who I’m interested in is a big step for me. Maybe dating is on the horizon for me; that is an exciting new chapter for me. That’s something that creates a lot of anxiety but I know God will guide me through whatever happens. I plan on maybe taking a trip back home to see old friends; there are so many people I want to see; just the idea of traveling is new to me but I am ready for it. I am so thankful for all the friends I have connected but am sad most of them live far away; so I have to make the effort to see them. This will be the year where I expand my social life.

I will continue to write; exploring new ideas and forms of writing; I am going to keep my blog and hopefully gain more followers and connect with more writers; I am so excited about that. With my free time; I hope to find a writers group in the area and meet fellow writers face to face; maybe get the chance to share my poetry to a live audience; I would love that. Yes writing is my saving grace and I have no idea where I’d be without it.

I figure if 2018 was such a big year; then 2019 will be even better; I just have to have faith; I need to stay positive and move forward in my life. I want to inspire and encourage others and do my part to make the world a better place. I want to be a more compassionate and forgiving person along the way; I remain in prayer and I hope for the best in the upcoming year. And I wish all of my family, friends and followers a very happy new years. May 2019 be a successful year for you; may you be blessed with all the happiness in the world

Dave

 

 

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Last day at my job

Today was the last day at my job and I’ve written a lot about it; I’ve been so depressed about it and today was no exception. At the time same it’s pretty bittersweet; I have been working for the last 2 years and I feel so tired; a part of me is looking forward to enjoying the rest; volunteering more; make it to church on Sunday and finding time to write and of course going back to school.  So I am trying to have a positive attitude about all of this and I also tell myself that this was seasonal and they let go of almost everyone; so I can’t take it personally.  It really wasn’t a bad last day;  them letting me go was not a result of an emotional breakdown or me quitting in anger ( unlike every other job in the past); it’s all circumstances beyond my control; my old store was closing and I took the job as a means of making money during holidays; knowing full well it was seasonal. I am proud of the job I did; I managed my emotions; I showed up on time everyday; didn’t complain and worked hard and a lot of my co-workers have mentioned how hard of a worker I am.  I am grateful I didn’t have to be at Sears until the very end; I am grateful to God for blessing me this short time at this new job and giving me the strength to make it through all this; it was tough.  I also felt good that a lot of people wished me luck; I got a lot of hugs and people seemed genuinely sad to see me go; they realized how much this job meant to me.

I am just struggling to figure how I am going to deal with all of my anxious thoughts and depression with so much free time; I feel rejected in a sense that I wasn’t picked to stay.  I have been irritable and I have felt rejected both by this job and by trying to contacting people I’ve known life and getting ignored responses; it hurts. So I know I am in a middle of a depressive episode and I pray God will get me through this. I hope by writing I can make sense of my feelings; so they don’t build up. So if my blogs seem erratic; just know I am struggling with these changes in my life. I have no idea what’s ahead but I do know I am ready for whatever comes ahead.

I also wanted to talk about something that I haven’t shared on my blog or any of my social media; which is amazes because I have a history of being so anxious about these things.  In fact I have managed to keep it all to myself and not ask anyone for advice; that’s a first. Anyways there was this girl at work that I met a few weeks ago; she seemed really nice and she was in college and I told her I really liked to write; I had a blog and how I loved school; she seemed real interested and whenever I was on break; she’d sit next to me ( along with a lot of other women; I don’t sit with guys lol) and she would just light up when she saw me and it was such a good feeling; she’s really cute but somehow I was confident; mostly likely because she seemed so interested in talking to me.  I thought about asking for her number but I didn’t want my anxiety to show and I could never find any moment alone with her; I couldn’t do it while other people are around; I am so self conscious about those things.  I sort of decided that I’d just leave it alone because again I have long history of being rejected ( especially asking out girls I worked with)  Once I found I was leaving this job; I realized I had nothing to lose but I tried not stress over it. If I could ask her; great; if not; then I’d be alright either way.  Anyways as I was leaving for my shift; head down; very sad about leaving; I went back in to do some shopping; I then saw the girl I liked on her own; at the front door; looking at her phone.  I decided in a split second right there that this was chance to ask for her number.  I sort of nervously told her that if she had questions about writing ( stupid I know) that she could talk to me about it.  I told her this was my last shift; she seemed happy about me asking for her number and told me to put my number on her phone and she’d text me. She then hugged me and wished me luck.  I just felt so proud of myself at that moment; that I had the confidence to ask her and I wasn’t too anxious.  I went about it the right way and I realized that maybe I lost my job but I gained a possible opportunity to get to know this girl. I just tell myself to take it very slow and give myself a chance to catch my breath from all the stress; I’ll text her soon and see what happens. When one doors closes another one opens.   I think this is a new chapter in my life; a new year and good things are truly on the horizon.  Thank you for all the support regarding the job; it really makes a difference

Thanks

Dave

 

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to write a quick Christmas message to all of my followers; your love and support on this blog has been the best gift I could have asked for this year.  There are been some tough days and sometimes the only thing that got me through them was my writing and all of the supportive comments I have gotten on this blog; I am so grateful and I hope you all a very blessed Christmas; and I share your joy if this has been a good holiday season for you but I also share your pain if the holidays have been tough because I totally understand; the Christmas season has never been easy for me.  And to me Christmas isn’t about the gifts in the way some people may think; the gifts are being with family; being blessed with wonderful friends, my writing and having faith in God; that’s what Christmas is about to me.  I try to focus on God during this time of year and I give him all the credit; without his guidance I wouldn’t have the people in my life or the ability to write or my family; so he gets all the glory. Anyways have a safe Christmas; take care of yourselves and again thank you for following me on my writing journey.

Dave

 

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A hard day at work

Lost in the abyss of exhaustion; bones ache, brain breaks, can’t keep my eyes open and the pain on my flat feet, I have no energy to do anything but to sink into oblivion in this uncomfortable chair and listen to the music to soothe my tired soul. But if you think I’m miserable; you couldn’t be more wrong.  I have enough strength to smile; knowing I completed a hard day’s work; I made a decent wage ( for the first time in my adult life) and I take pride that I was busy and productive and not thinking restless thoughts;  I had a good time and the time flew by faster than a jet airplane and I know God is smiling on me today; finally things are looking up and much like my work; he takes pride in all the good things he does for his children; all he asks is for us to trust him and keep picking up our feet.  So while I’m exhausted; it’s the kind of exhaustion I crave;  I just know I’ll sleep well tonight and hey, I earned it.

How do I reach out to them?

I went a Christmas party last night with the disabled ministry and it was so wonderful; I talked with many of the young adults and the volunteers and it was just a great time; it’s a really loving community and everyone I talked to agreed with me. At the same time social events make me extremely nervous; it was crowded and noisy and there was so many conversations going on at once; I just felt anxious at times.  So  if someone was trying to talk to me; I had to try to focus my attention on them and not on the activity of my surroundings; which is a very difficult task.  But overall I felt like I did a very good job at working on my social anxiety and putting myself out there and getting to know the people in this ministry more.

The young adults  I help out are developmentally disabled; some have autism or down syndrome; it ranges but a lot of them are very social; very extroverted; they love to talk and be around people and they are a lot of fun; they just enjoy themselves so much and are so loved by this ministry.  I am really happy to see how well they are doing in that respect. At the same time there are some young adults that are more withdrawn and less social; some barely talk and it’s hard to have a conversation with them; they are very quiet and shy; especially those with Autism.  And I can relate to that shyness since I am on the spectrum and I couldn’t help but wonder if they were uncomfortable in this setting; if they were feeling the same kind of anxiety I was feeling; getting lost in the conversation; feeling tired by all the noise; feeling left out and wishing they could be as social as some of the other young adults.

And my question to myself is how do I and we as anyone who works with the developmentally disabled; reach out to them.  A few months ago; we went on a mountain retreat and there was a young adult and she was quiet and I tried to engage her in conversation but her responses were short and abrupt but I still liked talking to her.  I noticed that she was an excellent artist; she could really draw and I was impressed. I thought she must have all these thoughts and feelings inside of her that she can’t express verbally but it comes out in art.   Another young adult is a little more social told me that she wrote and my ears perked up; I was excited about that. I told her I wrote as well and encouraged her strongly to keep writing and every time I see her; I ask her if she’s still writing and she cares around a little mini journal; I’m so proud of her.  So maybe that’s how I can personally can reach out to them.   Maybe I can bring out that creative side in those that are a little more withdrawn; it may be their only way of expressing themselves fully.   I hope someday to be able to work with these kinds of young adults full time because it is really rewarding. I told someone’s dad at the party that they help me more than I help them and he couldn’t agree more.  It’s a never ending journey but I will continue to find ways of reaching out to each young adult that I meet.  I am just so blessed beyond belief and being a part of this ministry; which is like an extended family; this has been the best Christmas gift I could have asked for.

Thanks for listening,

Dave

Job update

I have not written a full blog post in quite awhile; I have been focusing on making videos; and it seems that the more I see myself on video; the more confident I become being on camera; I am learning how to speak clearer and slower and just be calmer while I am making the video and I appreciate all the likes on comments on the videos because I am pretty self conscious and making videos for me creates anxiety; so those videos are me facing my fears. I also lost the internet for 3 days either due to the snow storm or the fact that Spectrum has terrible customer service and doesn’t care enough about their customers to promptly fix their internet; but that’s off the subject.  I didn’t have the chance to write much but my wifi is back and I wanted to update everyone on how my new job  is going. Oh yes, and having a new hectic schedule has kept me from updating my blog as much as I’d like but hey this job is more important at the end of the day.

Anyways, how is my job going.   Well it’s been a bit bumpy; like I think more new jobs are but I am improving and feeling more confident.  I work in the front end; assisting the cashiers by loading carts and putting back go backs; I also gather carts; pick up trash etc; I like my job; actually.  There are moments when I get frustrated or anxious but my stomach isn’t in knots and I don’t feel like pulling out my hair. I get along well with all of my supervisors and most of my coworkers; I try to be friendly; I say hi to everyone and smile and ask them how their day is going and a lot of people seem genuinely nice; which is something I rarely have experienced in my previous job. I also enjoy talking with the customers and most of them are also nice.  I try to work hard and at a fast pace and just be the best worker I can be.

About a week ago I was asked if I was comfortable moving to the bakery; I was a little concerned because I thought they were transferring me because I was doing a bad job at front end but then I found out another guy; who was with me in orientation was also moving there and I felt a little better about it. A lot of people told me how hard the bakery is and how tough  they are. I have worked 2 or 3 days and so far I actually prefer it. I like to be away from the crowds and being watched the whole time; it just makes me nervous; even if I’m doing good. I am in my own space and I am not bombarded by noise from people; although the machinery is really loud; we have ovens that beep really loud and huge fans that go the whole shift and a big washing machine; just a different kind of noise.  I will mostly be setting up for the next day and cleaning.  Set up is pretty simple; you take the frozen premade goods; place them on a rack and you throw it in the oven; pretty simple. After that we take the dirty pans; throw them into the washer and the rest is like washing dishes and cleaning and drying the floor.  I also degreased a huge walk in oven yesterday; which was pretty cool.  And so far I like the people in the bakery; they seem chill.  The bakery  manager seems easy going and the guy who was training me yesterday seemed nice and was patient. Although I sort of felt he was talking to me as if I was stupid but maybe I am just hyper sensitive about those things.  Today I mostly worked with this young girl and she was pretty nice too; we did some huge cookie orders. And I found the more I did the task; the more confident I became and I can work quicker. I was actually end of the break room towards the end of my shift and I was talk to one of the cashiers and told her they moved me to the bakery.  She sort of chuckled; like she knew how rough it was. But she told that moving me there was a good thing. If I show them how hard of a worker I am; they might keep me ( because I am seasonal) and that was exciting news; I am determined to the best I can because I really want this job.

The main problem I have is that I am just slower than others and learning disabled; I process things differently and it takes me longer to learn. I also get more mentally exhausted than most; due to all of the noise and activity of Costco; it is a very busy place; I have never worked in a place like this. The one thing I noticed is that is non-stop at Costco; from the moment I walk in until I punch out; I am constantly on the go; I don’t slack and I never see anyone slacking; which again is a first.  Right now I am so tired but also proud of myself; I am doing really well overall

Yesterday I had a 30 day review and they had some good things to say and noted some ways of improving.   They said that they could see that I was a really hard worker and I maintained the outside well, got along with my co-workers and customers. I come in on time and haven’t called out and I act professional; good things.  They noticed that I wasn’t moving quick enough and part of that is that I was sick for quite awhile and I am just getting over my cold but I am slower and I am going to work on just having a “sense of urgency; as they call it.  They also said I engaged in idle chit-chat; which means I have conversations just standing there; which is not something I noticed. Maybe I did that and didn’t realize it; like talking to the cashier and not engaging with the customer; which is surprising to me because  I am always chatting with customers and asking if they need help.  I had a review with two supervisors and one of them said they had no problem with me; and even though I thought that was good; I also said to myself ” does that mean other supervisors DO have a problem with me”  That old anxiety.   But they also said that everyday I was improving. At the end one of the supervisors said that there was a new store opening and there would be some vacant spots at the Costco I am; they might call me in March; which is semi optimistic; I guess. I just knew that they wouldn’t keep me at the point but you never know.

I just pray to God that whatever happens; he’ll protect me. I am fortunate that I have family and friends who are real supportive and are rooting for me; that makes a huge difference.  I am just a real determined person and I refuse to give up or let my anxiety get the best of me.   I am blessed to be at this job right now and out of Sears and getting paid so much; I have nothing but gratitude. And whatever happens happens; it’s all in God’s plan at this point. With that I bid you a good night.

Thanks for listening

Dave