Four years ago, I was sitting in my messy apartment, pretty much non-functional, watching the days slip by. I would go out once a week if I had a doctor’s appointment that I couldn’t avoid — otherwise I would rarely see another person.
Then I was accepted into the Supported Independent Living (SIL) Program at Mind Forward, and my life started to change — over time, dramatically. The first step was for the SIL Staff to come into my apartment to introduce themselves, and with their help that week I washed six dishes. They didn’t want to overwhelm me, so they asked me to wash two more dishes by myself later during the week.
Fast forward four years to where I am today. Those tiny baby steps I’ve taken with the SIL Program have brought me quite a distance, and I’m now setting goals for myself with their assistance. I actively attend Day Programs at Mind Forward, am socially engaging with more and more people, and I have basic routines I follow as I look after myself and my apartment.
The great thing about Mind Forward and the SIL Program, is that they never put a “cap” on our potential, but leave things wide open. They assist us during our life’s journey as we work on developing into the person we are becoming.
I started writing and illustrating children’s books a few years ago, and have become passionate about it. Before my accident and brain injury I had never done any illustrating, so this was a new skill I learned post-injury. Now twelve of my illustrated books have been published and are available on Amazon, including two illustrated comic-style books about brain injury.
Tuesday, November 26th marked another huge milestone for me. Mind Forward hosted a Book Launch Party for my very first novel!
“Antares Trap” is the sci-fi novel I started writing in the Creative Writing class at Mind Forward. Our instructor, Susan Ksiezopolski from My Words Now, spent a month in June this year going over all the basic aspects of novel-writing with us at Mind Forward. I wrote a few pages of my book during those classes, took my “homework” to do over the summer, and spent the next two months writing my novel. By October my novel (just under 300 pages) was edited and published, and it is now available for the public on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook.
It was supposed to be a simple assignment…
However, young Governor Reagan Vasilios uncovers something others want to stay hidden at all costs.
Corruption is spreading like a virus throughout the Antares system, pushing some down a slippery slope and others into a pit of annihilation. Reagan is faced with a decision:
Stand up to corruption,
or look the other way.
But his actions have dire consequences and a new dictatorship arises. War looms. Reagan is living on the edge not knowing that a deeper force is driving events.
As democracy fragments, the balance of power shifts, and freedom becomes fragile.
Unexpectedly Reagan discovers a life form different than anything he has encountered before:
Will it bring death to all in its path,
or hold the key to the future?
Tuesday was an exciting day, as the Mind Forward community helped to launch my new book. A big thank you to the staff at Mind Forward and to all those who attended, for making this such a special day for me!