Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Mysterious, Unique and Zany life of Zoey, Part I


From a young age, Zoey always knew she was a little bit different. In preschool, she remembers doing her own thing while the other kids listened to the teacher and followed the lesson. Zoey recalled a time when she was sitting in the Little Tykes playhouse, in a world of her own, talking about a beam of light that was shining onto the floor. Zoey also had a hard time sitting still; she always had to be in motion!

Elementary school went well for Zoey. She always got good grades, and made a few close friends, one of which would become her best friend for many years to come. Zoey was teased at times for not being the quickest to "get" social nuances. While it got her down at times, she never let it influence her behavior.

In middle school, Zoey always earned good grades and was conscientious about her schoolwork. She had a few of the same close friends, with whom she enjoyed spending time with. Zoey was often teased because of her love for video games. She didn't let this get to her, though. She was very happy with who she was.

In high school, thing started to change around Zoey, leaving her confused as to why. Her friends suddenly weren't interested in the same things they had been just a couple short years ago, while she was still content playing video games, and they started to dress and act a little different. The other girls in school began to be concerned with how they looked, and talked about boys more than she felt was necessary. Zoey couldn't wrap her head around it. She began to obsessively worry about what was happening to her friends, and needed their reassurance a lot of times. Zoey decided that the way her peers were becoming didn't feel natural to her, so she wanted no part in it. As unique as she was, she was still happy, and couldn't imagine being anyone but herself.

In college, Zoey was very open to meeting people of all kinds. She met several with whom she related to, and made a few very close friends along the way. She didn't keep the same major she started with, as she decided at one point that her purpose in life was not to teach, but to help people. Not too long before graduating, Zoey would stumble upon a term called Asperger's Syndrome. She wouldn't know much more about it than that it is a form of autism. Little would she know the significance it would have in her life several years later...

Chapter I

Well, let's fast forward to today. Zoey has been out of college for (eek!) 9 years. She graduated with her Bachelor's in Social Work in 2006, and has been working with people who have developmental disabilities and mental illness for the past ten years. Zoey absolutely loves her current full-time position at a group home for mental health. She finds it very rewarding, and works with a group of people whom she thinks very highly of.

Let's get on with the story now, shall we? :)

Zoey slept soundly after a long night at work. She works the overnight shift, which entails holding down the fort and being available if the residents need to talk. There is some cleaning involved as well, which can be tiring in itself! Zoey supervises the residents, or as she calls them, her "peeps" taking their medications in the morning, and by the time they are almost finished, it is time for her to head home. Zoey had a particularly busy night, so the end of her shift couldn't come soon enough. She was so glad to hop into bed as soon as she got home.

Zoey woke up in the mid afternoon, and her first thought was "boy, am I hungry!" What to eat? She found some wheat bread and decided in toast with orange marmalade. Zoey then did as she usually does to start the day, which was lay on the couch and Facebook for a while. Zoey also checked to see if there were any updates to the latest ROM she was running on her phone. Nope, nothing yet.

Zoey still had the whole evening ahead of her to do whatever she wanted with? What to do today? She decided on stopping by her grandma's house to visit. Once there she layed on the couch next to her grandma's chair where she was sitting. Her grandma's cat, whom she called the Goober, ran to her and jumped on her lap as she always does. Zoey and her grandma decided to watch a movie, and talked for a while. They ate dinner, and then Zoey went back home to relax for a little while before another night of work.

After what seemed like the blink of an eye, Zoey found herself leaving for work. Once she arrived, she greeted a few of her peeps who were still awake. She came to the office and settled in. Throughout the night, Zoey cleaned, and there were pauses where one of her peeps, who always had an interesting story to tell, woke up for a cigarette and to chat. Tonight he talked about Poncho Villa and a few other figures from history. Zoey always enjoyed these chats, and found that she learned a lot more from him than she ever learned sitting in a classroom. As much as she enjoyed helping others, she felt it was reciprocal; they helped her just as much.

The night went by quickly, and before she knew it, it was time for Zoey to supervise medications. One by one, her peeps came to the office to take their pills. The drill usually consists of them ratting off the names of their medications, while Zoey checks the labels against the medication record to make sure they are the correct ones. Most of Zoey's peeps know their medications very well.  Once medications were done and the next shift arrived, it was time for Zoey to head home. A little more awake this morning, she Facebooked for a little while after she got home and fell asleep shortly after.

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