Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From the INSIDE - Met with Casemanager 3 Times Now

 Initial Two-hour Visit with Casemanager

It was very surface at first.  I could not go deep but as the conversation took its course, I became more comfortable and ended up telling a short version of my life story.  She listened patiently and inserted many supportive comments.  I even thought she teared up at one point.  I know I did.  My eyes were swollen and face red by the end of that initial visit.  She asked me to put my goals into words and I could not verbalize any.  I went blank and thought to myself.  I just don't have any goals.

Since I was accepted into Haven for Hope on a Friday afternoon, I did not see my casemanager until the following Friday.  She was out of the office on Monday and had her schedule full until that Friday. I was happy to have a whole week to settle in and not really think about much of anything.  I had felt so much pressure from trying to figure everything out and physically down-sizing and moving my stuff.  I thought my casemanager would put me on a schedule that would busy up my life with all kinds of stuff.
She is younger than me but I began to build confidence in her ability to work with me after the first visit.  She was calm, genuinely listened to my story and gave me as much time as I needed.  I became somewhat tired after telling it all that I just wanted to stop talking, so we did.  She began to tell me some things she heard me saying to her, and I finally felt like I had a few goals that worked for me.
  1. Meaning in Life
  2. Stability
  3. Chance to Start Over
  4. Happiness

She told me that the type of counseling they did is called person-centered which helps to develop goals and plans to work toward those goals, and to find the services and resources needed to be successful.  Initially she wants to meet with me 2 times a week.
The services and resources began with getting a TB shot and dental care. TB was negative and my blood sugar level was 107 which is good. The top figure if my blood pressure was elevated at 194/82, and my weight was much more than I want to mention here.  I've not been to the dentist yet because I had to cancel my appointment.  I need to re-schedule it.
Next services my casemanager set me up with were:
  •  ID Recovery to get a copy of my social security card
  •  Medical appointment for specific issues such as blood pressure, swelling of feet, female exam and breast exam
  • Vision exam
  • Counselor appointment
  • Possible Mental Health Psych Exam

Other Services to be used soon but not set up at this time:
  • Group work for Depression
  • Group work for Grief and Loss
  • Financial Counselor to help in applying for SSDI if applicable, or whatever is needed
  • Job Coach for resume help and assistance in applying for a job 
  • Applying for Food Stamps
  • Referrals to organizations such as Dress for Success and so forth
There is so much guidance and assistance that I have not covered it all.  Most of what I have mentioned can be done from the Transformation Center Building (TC building) right here on campus across the lawn from the cafeteria and chapel.
I was a bit taken back with all that was offered to me.  I applied on a Wednesday and my appointment and Drug/Alcohol test was on Friday.  I was sleeping in the dorm that evening, Friday, March 1, 2013.  I couldn't believe how quickly it happened for me.  Sometimes you have to be put on a waiting list.  I was fortunate and entered right in.
During the week before I met with my casemanager, I got familiar with the schedule and rules and looked around the campus.  I saw flyers for Art & Meditation to be held on Saturday in the Chapel from 1-4.  I attended that and it was pleasant enough.  The ladies from the church were very open-minded and talked about the energy field of the body and the chakras.  We discussed meditation and did it twice.  We did some fun art for expression and discussed color symbolism and other symbolism we drew in our art.  Then they provided us with several trays of home-made desserts and drinks.  It really was very special. 
I also started going on Tuesday to a lady that volunteers her time to do Health Touch here on campus.  They give her a room and she sets up her massage table.  It is very soothing and refreshing.  You can sign up for as long as 30 minutes on Tuesdays.  I attended one yoga class and it was definitely a little much for me but hopefully I will keep trying to go.  I didn't go the last two weeks.
We have chores in the dorm that rotate which I appreciate very much.  Still a maintenance man cleans our bathroom every day and he is very good at his job.  He went through Haven for Hope and the Maintenance program here.  After he graduated, Haven for Hope hired him.  So he does his work as if he is giving back and helping others.
Living and eating in such close quarters with other women, you can't help but make connections with some of the other women.  You are drawn to some and they, in turn, are drawn to you.  One of the friends I made has been here 5 months longer than me, so she gave me lots of tips.  I went with her to Dress for Success and saw how they helped her and what that program was all about.  I was very impressed.
So you can do as little as you want or be as involved as you want.  Most things such as the yoga and chapel events are optional.  It's easy to get too busy too.  I don't want to do that either. 
I have a focus to seek real transformation in my life, not just a surface thing but deep transformation in my inner life that will give me back meaning.  A real chance to start over with happiness in my life and with others that I am involved with such as my adult children and grandchildren.  I hope it really makes the difference that last a lifetime, the rest of my lifetime.  I'm counting on it, and the more I interact with what is offered at Hope for Haven, the more assurance I receive that it just may be possible for all of us that come here. 
In my second visit we set up further services and I told the casemanager about making the decision to stay at Hope for Haven and continue to go through the transformation.  I wrote about this in another story on here. (click here to go to that story)

My last visit was yesterday and it was very revealing as well.  She had a deck of Value Cards to help me focus on more specific issues at this time. 

After going through about 100 cards, I came up with my top 5:
  1. Be forgiving of others
  2. Feel like my life matters to me
  3. Follow the traditions that are important to me
  4. Have a peaceful mind
  5. Sleep well and wake refreshed
It sounds simple, like common sense should tell you these things.  I wrote everything down in a spiral notebook.  It was profound for me.

It is my very good fortune to have such a resourceful and skilled casemanager.  She has gained my trust in working with her and I like that very much!

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