This week’s post was submitted by UCP client employee, Tim Sokol, a participant in both the Organizational Employment and Residential Services Programs. As I was planning posts for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, I happened to have a conversation with Tim about submitting a post. I asked him what “Independence” meant to him and what types of things make him feel like an independent adult. Tim felt that would be a great idea for a post.–Tammy Willet
While I myself, Timothy M. Sokol, do not of course, pretend to know about the Battle for Personal Independence as waged by any other individual, be they disabled or non disabled, my own Independence has always been, and of course, will most probably continue to be, my topmost Lifetime goal for me. In spite of growing up and into my lifetime with a permanent disability, I, Timothy M. Sokol, have always liked to maintain my own sense of inner personal strength, or Independence by simply learning to accomplish whatever task it was that was put before me, as much on my own as was possible for me. Which is what I guess the reading audience of this particular piece could say as well, defines Independence.
Throughout my life as well, sometimes School Work, has of course, presented a fairly big challenge to my Independence, school classes, chief amongst Math, for example, presented to me, the problem of how exactly to accomplish just doing Math Problems themselves. However, eventually, after using a lot of self determination, I, Timothy M. Sokol, learned to do Math Problems. However, I still to this very day, say that I am not very fond of that particular School Subject when the topic comes up in a conversation. It was also during this time as well, when I, myself, Timothy M. Sokol, learned to take both on and off, my own Winter Jacket, a valued skill to me, which I, have not lost to this very day, depending upon both the size and style of my Winter Jacket selection. During this time as well, I Timothy Sokol learned to tell the Time on a regular faced clock or watch, as well as, a Digital one.
Two of things that I liked as far as, of course, things that could of course be considered as Household Chores, when I, myself was growing up with my now Late Mother, were Cooking and Grocery Shopping, both of which to me promote my own sense of personal Independence. Helping with the Laundry, on the other hand as it turns out is that particular Household Chore, that I like the least. However, I, still do it, by either helping to fold washcloths, on occasion, or by matching or mating my own socks.
My final way of helping to promote my own somewhat newfound sense of inner personal strength and Independence is of course, to have started to have taken a five or six month series of seminars, which began back in January, and are scheduled to end in either the Month of April or May, as offered through The Arc of Greater Cleveland. During these Seminars, I, Timothy Sokol am also hopefully learning how to be a much better Self Advocate for myself.
There are just two more things that I, Timothy M. Sokol, would like to mention in closing about myself and my continuing personal Battle for Independence, the first and most important of these to me, is my overall ability to actually write about all of this. The second of which is what they call in an English Class, an old “Maxim.” This “Maxim” is more like the guiding principle by which I of course choose to have always lived my own life, that being:
That when life hands you Lemons, you learn to make Lemonade.
By Timothy M. Sokol aka Wheels Always on the Move