Often Disabled people get pushed into jobs that aren’t what they want to be doing. Although I want to be looking for jobs that focus on my interests and keep me healthy, I keep getting nudged in other directions.
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12, but there’s no reason why employers should use my condition as an excuse to stop me doing the jobs I want to do. For sure the condition gave me a few disadvantages: I used to have up to three seizures a day; I found it hard to concentrate on tasks because I had to focus on my body and the condition made me tired.
As I got older though I found ways to relax so that I could feel in control and not get overwhelmed by seizures or the expectation of having them. Things like listening to music and playing football have really helped me manage my epilepsy.
When I was young, I always wanted to be a football player or work within sports. At 16 I went to college to study anatomy and physiology. It was good because it involved something I enjoyed, which is sports. I learnt a lot and it helped me to progress in sports. I took up exercise more and started to work out while continuing to play football. I still do these things to this day.
I feel brave when I train topless on the beach and this helps me engage with people.
I am good at science and exercise and have taught myself how to evolve through the combination of studying science and the physical training I do. The work outs help me mentally too. I feel brave when I train topless on the beach and this helps me engage with people.
I trained a friend of mine after I learnt about working out and I have helped others take up exercise too. People have said say I should charge for this coaching and make it into a job. I agree. I would love to run my own sports training club one day.
When I feel anxious and stressed one of my coping techniques is to do things I enjoy. I like to travel and go to places like Bournemouth and most recently I enjoyed a trip to Newcastle. I like to just get on a train and take myself away. This has led me to think more about another career I may enjoy and that is working on trains.
What better than getting to earn money and enjoy what I do as well as travelling to the places I enjoy. I could even go to Edinburgh again. I discussed this with my job coach and they helped me to apply for a job serving passengers up and down the train on long journeys.
Those are the thing I want to do, but like I say, I’ve always been pushed into doing things I don’t want to. My first work experience placement is an example. When I was around 15 my school set me up with a temporary role at an urban sports shop that sells skateboards and things. It was pretty hard. I get very tired, fall asleep and sometimes have seizures. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I feel I am being pushed in the wrong direction. I am not following the path I want to do within sports and coaching.
When I was with the Prince’s Trust I did some gardening. It was alright but at times I found it difficult to work with some of the other people. This job did not affect my epilepsy and the staff training me were great to work with. But this wasn’t what I wanted to go on and do as a job.
At the moment I am doing a porter job at NHS Whittington hospital as part of a supported internship. This doesn’t relate to what I want to be doing. I become bored and this can lead me to feeling unfulfilled, stressed and tired. There are not many jobs to do.
At the moment I am doing a porter job at NHS Whittington hospital. This doesn’t relate to what I want to be doing.
I feel I am being pushed in the wrong direction. I am not following the path I want to do within sports and coaching. I have a huge passion for these activities and have found when I do them I am not so affected by stress and tiredness.
The Social Model says that society puts up barriers that make life harder for people with impairments. My job search has shown that this is true. I have been judged negatively for being me and assumptions have been made about what I can or should do.
At least I have learnt something from this. Now I take time to reflect on negative situations and I’ve understood how to step away from toxic people and environments.