Part of me as a person, is someone who works and earns my own money. Being on benefits for me is a failure of my ability to do this.
I am currently in a position that I am reliant on the help that they offer. I am home looking after my two children, now on my own after my relationship broke down earlier this year.
But I want to do more……
It is not that I do not love being at home, or that I don’t love my children, but I need more. I have a strong work ethic and I want to be able to support my children more and allow them to have nicer things.
My career before my sight started to deteriorate was in design, a career that yes I could have continued with with the correct support, but one that I felt that my heart had fallen out of.
I have also worked within administration and with charities that deal with sight loss. But although I ave an eye condition and I enjoy the volunteer roles that I have with Open Sight and Guide dogs, my sight is just part of me.
So time to look to the future and to see what I can do for my next career.
Last year I started this ball rolling by doing a taster course in counselling. I fell in love with it as a subject and as a possible career move. And despite my initial concerns my sight loss has no affect on me being able to support others. It just means that I need to do things in a slightly different way.
This year I have been working towards my ABC certificate in counselling. Class makes up just 4 hours with 8 hours at home, however for me this is more like 12.
Studying and all that comes with it has been a learning curve in more ways that just the subject! I have learnt a lot about how and when I can use my eye’s and sight to get the most out of them, without creating negativities for myself.
An example of this, is using the computer. As I have said before, I am a Mac user and as such, have a MacBook Pro and iPad. Both of which offer fabulous accessibility as standard. (maybe thats another blog in the making!) But when I can use my Macs is becoming limited.
If I want to be able to close my eyes and wind them down to sleep, I must not be using them after 9pm in the evening. Even with the speech software, I still try to use my remaining sight, its a natural reflex. If I have reading to do, this must be done even earlier in the evening or preferably during the day.
So, study is nothing like the all-night, stopping only to use the loo sessions that I had when at university just 10 years ago. Which is a real marker for me of the deterioration that has occurred.
So, my work is done with an hour here, an hour there and also a stopwatch. Because as with most people when I am deep into something, time can run away with me and with my eye’s I do not feel the affects immediately, but it is often a few hours after.
But this has not put me off.
Just this week, went in the application for the DipHe in Counselling. Its a whole day at Eastleigh with 2 1/2 days of home study. The ‘perk’ of this course is that I can apply for assistance in the form of a scribe for the time in college. I can also apply for a grant to help me to upgrade my Mac, to a larger screen as my existing mac is becoming a struggle. Its not going to be easy. This I am in no doubt about, but this is where I want to be.
So, as I can no longer do late night studying, I will have to give VERY early mornings a trial instead.