Today I am going to write a little bit about my rehabilition provider Aspire. I joined Aspire about a year or so ago as I wanted some support with daily living, studying and working. I had previously been with the Commonwealth Rehabilition Service (CRS) but found that they pushed me too hard and set off my stress levels. I was without a rehab provider for a while but one day at the church office I looked up Aspire on the internet and, in a likely coincidence, they were having an information session that afternoon.
At the information session I met Travis, who is now my support worker. We discussed writing and I told him one of my long term goals was to write a novel and do some post-graduate study in creative writing. As most of you know I do have a degree majoring in English but that was mainly critical analysis of other people's work (ie essays) not my own imaginative work.
It was not long after I had started work with Travis that I was hospitalised for four months. Travis came in to see me regularly during my hospitalisation, even though he was scared of all the security. I appreciated his honesty in admitting he was scared!
Once I was well Travis introduced me to NanoWrimo, an American competition to write a novel in a month. He said he'd do it too. I didn't have a computer at the time and I nearly wore their computer out getting that novel done! But I did it! Aspire staff are now reading the novel - I hope you all like it.
This year Travis came with me to an appointment with Jan (the disability officer at the Polytechnic - formerly TAFE) and we discussed ways Jan and Travis could support me during my studies this year.
Anyway the reason I am featuring Aspire today (Ok it sometimes takes me a long time to get to the point!) is that a group of we 'mental health consumers' had to review their progress. We were mainly positive and a fair few of us commented on the support and encouragement and enhanced self esteem that has come from being involved with Aspire - not to mention friendships with other participants.
After the review we had yummy sandwiches and cakes and then we had the 'Book Club' - I reviewed Seven Ways to Change the World by Jim Wallis (see previous post for the sort of things I said).
We then read a short story by the much loved Australian author Tim Winton. The story was called 'The Defender'. I thought the story was fantastic - it used some of the techniques used in 'Whodunits' to unveil the character of Vic, and his past and his relationships. It has an ending with a twist (but I'll let you read it).
All in all I had a great day.
If you want to find out more about Aspire their website is: http://www.aspire.org.au.
God Bless you all