Update on the big move…

Well, I hope you’ve been enjoying some poetry lately as a bit of a change from news updates, art, or pontificating about mental health. 🙂 I’ve just started sleeping at the new place over the past couple of nights, and all is going well! The plumber came by and sorted out the shower, I bought a second hand washing machine on ebay and had it delivered and installed last night, the fridge and freezer are in, and I’ve gone shopping for various essentials like milk, butter, bread, hand soap, dishwashing liquid, and so on. Last night I was able to wash all my glasses, mugs, small bowls, and cutlery, I plan to work my way through every item that was in storage.

Today was a very busy day with a lot of appointments, but an exciting one! I went to see my GP about all the facial pain, and she was also concerned about the stress lots of painkillers is putting on my liver. We’re going to try a different med for a month and see if it’s able to replace or largely replace painkillers in managing the TMJ. Fingers crossed, I’ll start on it tonight. Tomorrow I go off to the dentist to check the teeth and nerves. Hopefully he wont do too much digging around. (before Bridges – Bridges is still on – I might just not talk very much)

I’ve also been to Tafe to start the enrolment process today (there’s a number of steps). I’m very excited about this! I’m also a bit anxious about how much I’m taking on and how my health will stand up. I was going to do only one Visual Arts subject as I’m also doing the Cert IV Peer Work full time this semester… but when I got in there the lady gave me the list of part time first year subjects – and there’s a lot of them! I felt embarrassed to only sign on for one, so I ended up signing up for three, one semester long (Art History), and two term long. In first term I’ll also be doing Ceramics, then in second term Sculpture.

That may have been a little bit silly. Please take note that continuing to work on your assertiveness skills is very useful at preventing this kind of situation.

I had to make a quick decision how to divide up my week, whether to pack lots of things into a couple of days and have more days at home, or whether to keep the days shorter but be out of the house more often. Hard call! I went for shorter days, so my schedule is going to look something like this:

Monday: 9.30am – 3.30pm Peer Work
Tuesday: 6.30pm – 8.30pm Art History
Wednesday: 5.30pm – 8.30pm Ceramics (Term 1); Sculpture (Term 2)
Thursday: 9.30am – 3.30pm Peer Work
Friday: 12noon – 5pm Bridges/Dissociative Initiative
Saturday: Homework/Housework/Socialising/Downtime
Sunday: ditto

I think I can do it!
There’ll also be some erratic work as a Lead Facilitator (giving talks) at Mifsa in there – but the night classes are great for keeping my days free and letting me get a sleep in which I’ll probably need! I’m also keen to schedule some specific time to keep working on the Dissociative Initiative every week.

Orientation is in a fortnight and I’m very excited about it! I also saw a disability officer this evening to update my Tafe Access Plan – this means I’m allowed extensions and given other support if my conditions flare up and I’m unwell for a little while. She was lovely and reacted well to both the physical and psychiatric issues so I’m very pleased to have her on board! I’m so excited to be doing a degree again! It’s been such a long road and a lot of failure, frustration, disappointment and discouragement along the way. A number of years ago it felt like a huge risk to put aside the degree and start really small with short WEA classes. That path has certainly paid off for me, small steps have gradually built up my strength and confidence and here I am, now tackling an undergraduate degree at last! I applied for credit transfer for the single subjects I have already completed and was told that will go through without a hitch. It’s also a very nice surprise that the subjects are much cheaper to do as part of the degree than they were for me as a single-subject enrolment. So my finances won’t be too badly stretched by the training costs. 🙂

My internet should be up and running tomorrow, and tonight I’m taking home my dog Charlie, and the sick cat Loki for the first time. Exciting times!

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