good day looking into other supportive living options

Hi everyone,

So today was good. Was in a good mood. Hung out chillaxing all day.

Jess and I have two supportive living facilities, in the same category as Friedman, that we could possibly move to.

Because I suck at spelling am gonna pause a moment to bring up the sites of these places. I can spell them just not the towns they’re in LOL

Ok I’m back

The first most promising place is called gateway at river city. No it’s not in river city! It’s in Peoria IL about two hours from here. I believe it just opened this year sometime so they’re brand new. In some ways it would be good going to a brand new place as everyone is all, upbeat and hey! We’re brand new yay! Kinda attitude and everything new and fresh. But then also they might not have gotten into a flow yet around what their organization is about their team not having the years of experience to feel comfortable in their skin ETC. Tried to explain this to Jess but not sure she got it. It’s Sammy’s complex intellectual/ emotional way of thinking that goes over a lot of people’s heads I guess

Here’s the site it isn’t much

As I was saying about eager to get going, Jess e-mailed them like two weeks ago and they contacted us twice since then once each week. We’re not like running out the door right at this moment obviously. This would probably be like a year or so away. But they called again yesterday so we wrote down our questions and decided to call them back. Get an intro perspective and hopefully be able to somehow visit. Not sure how we’d get there and hope that maybe they’d let us stay the night so we don’t have to get there and back in one day. But anyway called today and the intake staff were out probably for a very important conference. So will call tomorrow.

It says for both places that it’s for ages 22 to 64 with a variety of disabilities. I’m hoping they’ll accept blind people. I believe they accept psychiatric diagnosis provided it can be managed with outside services. As they’re just starting up though I’m hoping they’ll have a flexible attitude. I know someone with mental illness my age who lives in Peoria and know that if needed there are Albany licensed type places in case we needed it. And have heard they have good mental health centers

The second places is edens supportive living in Champaign which is in central IL.

Just to see what it’s about or perhaps actually wanting to move there a bunch of residents from friedman toured the edens places there’s one in Chicago one out someplace else and then this one. The one in Chicago is really bad in terms of very unfriendly staff and not really providing much in the way of help. But the residents I guess were all very friendly.

So hearing several residents saying all this about that one didn’t make me think anything about this other one. But Jess wants to look into it because it’s near where her best friend lives and when I asked Robbie he heard actual really good things about it. So I am curious.

However Central IL kinda reminds me of western MA. Like this Champaign town is like a college town like say Amherst and then you go out from there and the towns get smaller and smaller until you’re in VT. That’s kinda what the area reminds me of. Just a feeling I have. And again we would have to take all the ownership for getting our own psych services and maintaining our mental illness care on our own. I feel less confident about this in what sounds like a smaller town but we’ll just wait and see.

So yeah I’m really conflicted as I post ten million times on here. I love Albany for saving my life for continuing to support me however I am. For the residents mentally able to connect even if we’re not best friends, in spite of their symptoms and for the general acceptance even in conflict that we’re all dealing with something. Since I’ve been here three years my blindness is no longer this weird thing. You have others here with physical disabilities, on walkers canes and then there’s Kat and jo. So having extra issues isn’t a big deal to residents or most of the staff. I have good relationships with many many staff who do spoil me I admit it! With the whole breakfast upstairs thing.

At the same time I’d love to get more than $30 out of my SSI check. Though my parents give me extra money enough for what I need for basic stuff like shopping at Walmart and ordering out, I’d love to have more my check for my own use especially as stuff like having the money to go to support groups, voice lessons go out to volunteer ETC. It would be nice to be in a different community meet new and different people make new connections. Expand a little while still having the safety net I need. And the same is true for Jess

But we both go through huge back and forth feelings about whether to do this or not. Especially me. Because I’ve been there. In an SLF where by the stupid not up to date policies, psychiatric disabilities are considered in some other unsupported category than any other disability. And there don’t seem to be services in the SLF level that reflect the challenges of having both. Which looks like living in a place where both staff and residents see depression as having a bad day. Or anxiety as something you can talk yourself out of. They have no clue about it. Or about what services you need when you might need to go to the hospital need extra support med adjustments ETC. They instinctively most of the time, know that stuff here we don’t need to worry. I just know the terrible feeling of being alone with handling a huge part of my daily life and not being able to connect around it with others and therefore not be able to share my whole self. And the more I feel like that the more I work really hard to appear normal because I’m around people who are well not mentally ill. There isn’t that, being outwardly emotional quirky and even symptomatic is the norm, like it is here. And then that’s when I go towards having a breakdown. I don’t want to put myself in that position even if I were ready, it would still be a hard position to knowingly put myself in. To know that this place is supposed to care for my needs but there’s a whole huge part of me that they have no understanding of. That on some level they’re afraid of and if things get too bad, however they define that line I could be asked to leave. It’s very scary

At the moment there is no harm in talking about it. And visiting would be an adventure certainly. So that’s what I’ve been looking into. If anyone knows anything about these two places I’d appreciate hearing from you.

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