Since the initial burst of euphoria over having my DSP approved on Thursday my mind has slipped into a quagmire of confusion, uncertainty and, though I’m hesitant to say it, depression.
For the first time my disability has been officially recognised. I have government certified proof that I am ‘different’; that my inability to function as a normal member of society is not because I’m a lazy, good for nothing, dole bludger but because I have a mental illness that affects my day-to-day functioning.
It’s a monumental shift in the way people will treat me, as well as how I see myself, and if I were being honest I still haven’t even begun to process it.
Since 2010 I have received my payment on a Saturday, every week (whether homeless or otherwise) has been organised around this day. From next week my payment will arrive on a Tuesday, throwing everything I’m used too out of whack and forcing me to reorganise my weekly events and routine. For some this isn’t a major issue, for me, it’s both stressful and confusing.
With the added social groups through GT House, the introduction of a disability employment service and the recent change to daylight savings, my daily routine has been completely usurped.
I haven’t been on Twitter for days as I’ve been too busy with doona purchasing and celebratory shopping sprees to dilute my life into 140 characters. Whenever I sit in front of the computer to write a blog post my brain conjures up images of women, raspberry gelato, purple underwear and women wearing purple underwear dribbling raspberry gelato onto various body parts. The housework – an activity that is as relaxing as it is therapeutic – has been thrown into disarray; this morning, during my usual Sunday morning cleaning ritual, I spent fifteen minutes staring at the kitchen tiles before leaving the dishes in the sink for another day. Even my daily website reading has fallen by the wayside, leaving me completely unaware of what is happening in the world or the weird and wonderful opinions I’ve grown to seek solace in over the years.
From past experience, I’m hoping this period of confusion and uncertainty will last only as long as it takes me to get used to my new routine, but it has left me wondering whether other people are as affected by change?
Is a shift in routine more upsetting for people who have a mental health problem?
Or is it only me?