Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In lieu of working for money, I'm going to spend the next few months working for free. I'm going to volunteer. It gives me a chance to get out of the house and do something useful (I like to feel useful), build up my resume, and build up myself while I continue to try to become more stable. It's hard to learn to be stable when you're stressed out like crazy from trying to work. Volunteering is less pressure.

The first place I went to volunteer is with the cats at the animal shelter. My aunt goes once or twice a week. The jobs include socializing the cats (inside or outside of the cage), changing litter, and feeding them. I'm ideal for this job! The shelter is small and is run almost entirely by volunteers. There are probably 30 cats there are any given point. I'm not anxious when we go to see the cats because 1. it's cats and 2. my aunt is there. It's like double duty therapy for the cats and for myself. There are two little rooms that you can take the cats into and pet, pet, brush, play, and pet some more. Most of the cats like to come out of their cages, but some are too scared. If they're too scared, you pet the cat in the cage and give her some time to warm up. Sometimes, if you throw a towel over the cat, you can make her feel more secure and then you can take her out.

The next place I went, this morning, is a local food pantry in the basement of a church. I almost didn't go because I was so anxious about driving to a new place and having to say who I was and what I wanted to do. I really don't do well around new people. So, I got there an hour late because I was at home debating whether I should go. I didn't know exactly where the building was, and since my mom works super close to it, she drove me down and came in with me. She found the lady in charge (she just called her name in a huge voice into a room a people; something I'd never do). She said that I'm her daughter and I was there for volunteer. I'm so glad she came with me, because I don't know what I would have done on my own. That's something I really need to work on. I need to be able to go places and ask questions for myself. It just makes me so anxious that I avoid it at all costs. In fact, the entire time I was at the food pantry, I'm pretty sure I didn't talk once. I was a little overwhelmed by all the people moving in fairly tight spaces. I think I'll keep pushing myself and go back next Tuesday, though.

Finally, I start volunteering at the library on Monday. They're going to see if there's something I can do in the children's department. I'd like to put books away. I like the rules and the order involved in that. Plus, I could see all the children's books. I think that would be fun. Nice and quiet, too.

So, I've got the cats probably on weekends, the food pantry on Tuesday mornings, new therapy on Tuesday afternoons, the library on Monday and Thursday afternoons, my research study on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Sounds like a full schedule to me!


  1. That all sounds fab. I love the idea of you with 30 cats! There is a really funny youtube clip of a cat being groomed and it makes the funniest sound. It is really, really happy. It makes me think of you every time!

    Just make sure you look after yourself. Volunteering is great because you are free-er to not go in if it becomes too much. Sounds good.

  2. Sounds great! It will be interesting to see what opens up in you, and for you, in each of these areas. It takes a lot of courage to start in three new places. You are pretty amazing!

  3. wow! you are so brave to stick with the pantry thing. I'm sure every time you go it will be easier and you'll get to know more people which is good. Sounds like cat heaven to me - tempting to just go in every day!!

  4. A very full and productive schedule. Good for you.