Breaking the wall

Recently I started a new journey, the journey of dislodging the mental brick walls that are in the way of things I want to do and enjoy.

This journey has been fraught with difficulty so far, I have been on the receiving end of a phone call to setup an appointment with a counselling service. This has left me wondering:

  • Do these services actually read the notes they are given when someone states they have a particular communication need?
  • Would I have less trouble if I was a foreign language speaker and/or a British Sign Language user?

As stated in my previous post, Heading the Wall, 28% of the UK population has a form of Deafness or Hearing Loss. It baffles me that no-one has considered the needs of nearly 1/3 of the population and this is disgraceful.

I do not wish to take away from these services, the counsellors and the services provided are exceptional…..only if you can access them.

There are so many people out there who are in a much worse position where they are trapped in a vicious circle that they cannot get out of.

I am lucky, I have taken the first step and I intend to make each one count.  I am fortunate to receive the support organising my appointment from my GP surgery and my wonderful supportive wife (Cat).

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Heading the Wall

So many people take communication for granted especially businesses. Businesses over the last 20 years have become increasingly faceless and this practice is marginalising customers who prefer the human touch.

Here is an interesting fact: There are 9 million people who have some form of Deafness/Hearing Loss in the UK and of this up to 120,000 use British Sign Language. This is around 28% of the UK population!

During this time, I have found that I am unable to access services unless

  • I sought an email address which sometimes results in a “you are not supposed to email us” reply.
  • Emailing can sometimes mean that I have to wait an unacceptable amount of time.
  • if I was to use Typetalk/Next Generation Text Relay Service – we cannot speak to you through this service which is illegal.

It is proving to be increasingly difficult to deal with essential services such as Mental Health services since many of the organisations like to do a telephone appointment before giving you an appointment for counselling.

Recently I had to ask my GP surgery to phone up the Let’s Talk Counselling Service in Hull since this was the only efficient way of contacting them. After phoning up, the counselling service still asked for me to ring up and even sent me a letter stating such. This baffles me as it was stressed several times that I am Deaf so cannot use the phone and even asked for them to insert a note on my records saying that all Voice calls would be hung up.

How am I supposed to independently access such services with ease when my needs are being ignored through a mix of blatant discrimination, ignorance, penny pinching and convenience? More so, I cannot even phone up the Samaritans for support.

There are times I feel trapped in my mind with my emotions and frustrations. I often feel it is unfair to offload onto those who are closest to me and have nowhere else to go.

I am very lucky to have my wife, kids, family, friends, the NHS and my wonderful GP who are supporting me during this unexplainable weird moment in my life. Without them, I think I would be in a much worse place and I am thankful that I am not.

Spare a thought for those who are in a dark place and do not have the support network I have around me.

Wasted

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A minute spent hating someone is a minute wasted.
A minute spent hating a group of people is a minute wasted.
Why waste that time and not cherish every moment you have?

Life is too short to spend your life hating and then to look back in regret.
Why not just enjoy life and put aside your hatred?

Just remember, the hated have so much more for you to be mad about.
You can wait or just get over yourself.

Paper Chains

As soon as I turned on the TV this morning,
I saw the sad news of people killing others.

So I decided that I did not want to deal with
Paper politicians with their paper thin policies
with paper thin promises and paper thin propaganda.
I wanted to spend time with my family and friends,
Who are worth more to me.

Their promises and their opinions are not
Paper thin and are nothing short of a best seller.

If I could turn this morning’s news into something more,
I’d turn it into a paper chain of people holding hands
In unity and respect.

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Barometer Head

A week,
Music turned down,
The world turned down,
Head pounding on the side,
Every sharp noise,
Makes me cringe
As if the side of my head
Will explode.

How long will this last,
Painkillers and alcohol don’t help,
Hammer, Penknife and Jackhammer,
All counterproductive.

My operations,
Less painful,
More fun,
No regrets.

A world without
Music
is a world sad.

A world without
My family’s voices
Is a world sad.

No regrets.

Homemade Cajun and Chilli mixes

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Recipe includes the chilli powder mix which is needed.

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Homemade Chilli Powder

3 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP oregano
1/2 TSP cayenne
2 TSP coriander
1 TBSP garlic powder

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Homemade Cajun powder

1 TSP ground cumin
1 TSP coriander
1 TSP paprika
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 TSP black pepper
1/3 oregano
1 + 1/2 homemade chilli powder as shown above.

**

Store both mixes in an air tight container and they will last months 🙂