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24 September 2012

Freedom really ain't free, and that's fine by me

Last Thursday I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. She's really awesome- she's made sure I've been able to get appointments when I need them, and that I'm being kept track of.
As you might expect, we talked quite a bit about me being homeless. She recommended I talk to the Social Work office about options that might be available.

So I did. Most if the information they had, I already have- but the person I talked to promised to help any way possible. I got a call from him today about arranging a meeting to check on how I'm doing.

Hmmm.

I've more or less made peace with my situation. It is less than perfect of course, but during the day I have places I can sit and study (or just play with my computer). I can read, hack, whatever. If you've seen A Beautiful Mind, it's sort of like Nash hanging out in the library.

I've been feeling almost okay lately. Not great, but almost okay. As my psych pointed out, I'm using the coping skills I've been learning over the past few months. It is a somewhat fragile balance, though. I have a plan for my current situation, I'm executing it, it's working so far.

Knowing that I am in control if my own life is good-- my self esteem has actually gone up since I've been homeless. Even with all of shit I've been through, here I am. Working, headed back to school in spring, and learning new things until then. Sober and clean, too-- by choice.

When I talked to the social work guy, one of the things he gave me was an application for a housing program in a city that's about 45 minutes from here. I know absolutely no one there, it's way too far from school/work. PHOOEY. The VA is doing its best to try to reduce the number of homeless vets. I get that, and I appreciate it.

Right now I'm in a bad situation, yes. I do want people to check in on me to make sure I'm ok. I am not broken-- beat up a little, some bruises that still hurt, memories and demons and all that, yes. I am still in one piece though.

When social work guy called and left a message, he said something about getting things moving quickly for me. I bristled when I heard that. Too many times in my life things have happened because of someone else's idea of how things should turn out.

I'll eventually get a place in the transitional housing program I applied for. It'll take time, and it might be a bit chilly at night before too long. Some nights, and maybe some days, will suck.

Finding me a place that keeps me warm at night but removes me from being close to campus is a bad idea. I could have left here after I'd packed up my stuff, could have gone anywhere. I chose to stick it out and stay, to keep on the path no matter what.

Some of you might think I'm a bit crazy-- why won't he let people help him? I've read that families of homeless folks as the same thing, "why won't you just come in from the cold and let us help you?"

It is not that I will refuse help. Ten degrees below zero trumps pride every time. Help has to be in a form that will support what I'm trying to do with my life, not help just for the sake of helping.

Forward, not backward.


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