When I read the article ‘A Life That Works?’ in the February edition of the VIAS newsletter, it really hit a nerve with me and I decided to tell you about my thoughts and feelings.
Around a year ago, I was really down. On the face of it, I was a pretty busy guy. I am involved in lots of committees including VIAS; People First; and did training/ consultancy on an ad hoc basis for Heartfelt and SCLD. The reality was that these meetings and events only happened every couple of months so my diary didn’t have much in it other than attending college each week.

I receive support from various organisations but no-one seemed to click that what I needed in my life was routine. No-one was willing to help me structure my week so I did this myself out of desperation. I have worked hard to build this up and am now much happier with my weekly routine. I still attend college; do voluntary work; do my committee work; am the membership secretary of the Green Party and go to the football every Saturday. My life isn’t perfect but is a lot better than it was before.
My point is this, professionals expect you to be available when they want you to be but expect you to understand that their diaries have time and date restrictions. Often, without even realising it, they make you feel devalued as a person. Well here is my message to all you professionals out there

I am a person, not a case; client or service user
I am a person, not a box to be ticked
I am a person, not a problem or issue
I am a person with all the same hopes; fears and feelings as you so when you are thinking about helping me with what I need and want in my life, try to remember that it probably isn’t much different from you.
                                             Written by Idem Lewis April 2010

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