It does look to me like I had a mini maniac episode and during this time I signed up to Msc in Dementia on University of Hull. I presume you may be aware of it, if you read my blog regularly.
Let me tell you how it went, from the beginning. So at first I got that job in Fessey House, a dementia care home run by Swindon Borough Council. Residents there are so content and kind that it’s shocking. The building is heavily adjusted to their needs which keeps them as independent as possible – like for example toilet doors opening both inside and outside, great for people using walking frames. That also reduces stress in staff.
That was just too good to be true and somehow it caused me another episode. In the hospital I always tried to be confident and cheerful during my appointments; I think I tried to practice public speakimg on staff but was also happy that at least I have something positive to say.
During my last appointment with psychiatrist, where quite a few staff were present, I mentioned at the end that I was interested in psychiatry and wanted to study it when my dad was so unwell. They didn’t say much and I felt a bit silly thinking possibly it sounds like I want them to organise something for me. But then, I had 1-2-1 appointment with occupational therapist and she said that possibly I should go back to uni to study something related to psychology. Maybe not necessarily psychiatry as that would take years, but a shorter course. There must be something out there and maybe I should have a look.
Some people have that need to study all the time – she said. And I had to admit I’m possibly one of them.
Why I’m not going for it, I thought?
I pointed out that I don’t want to study autism and nothing else comes to my mind. She said there must be other courses. I said ok, I’ll go to Cambridge University to argue with professor Baron-Cohen; she said Cambridge University has fantastic support in place.
I thought, support means like bullying to me, now, after experience in Home Group. People say they’ll support you when in fact they bully you to leave.
The appointment finished and I thought let me Google some dementia courses and first one I saw was Msc on University of Hull, online. Not too expensive for Msc, I thought. On department of psychology. And that was it – I was sold.
Now, two weeks later, I’m a student.
I think I needed to become maniac to sign up because otherwise I’d never be able to go against my fears, you know? I have so many of them: I’m not good at speaking with people, but maybe I just don’t try any more? Because, you know, there’s so much emphasis on being empathetic listener in this country while I’m an intellectual listener – somehow this quality is ok in Poland, or at least that’s what I think; but not in here.
I don’t think I’m maniac any more, but I don’t want to give up.
I really liked that sentence at the end of one of the emails from uni: We would like to take this opportunity to wish you an enjoyable and successful year ahead.
It sounds so much better than ‘success in your studies’. The course takes two years so having an enjoyable year ahead sounds like I’m playing an infinite game – do you remember that concept? Just keep playing and you will get somewhere eventually.
Also I’m trying not to focus too much on getting a masters now. Instead I’m thinking about doing a project. Masters sounds a bit scary, but project – I always loved them.
I’m happy that I can embark on this opportunity, you know? Hopefully things will be ok for me.
I’m just reading Telling tales about dementia by Lucy Whitman. Speak to you later.