Paint Buckets and Overdue Bills

Well, I haven’t blogged in an obscenely long time, but its just difficult to find the motivation to sit down and type out a bunch of coherent sentences. But now that I’m doing it again, I realise how much I’ve missed it :’)

Basically I’d like to share some of my thoughts about yesterday, when I went down to Macpherson to participate in a home refurbishment project with a whole bunch of Interactors :) Frankly, I was incredibly lazy to drag myself out of bed after a nightmare week at school, but I just knew inside me that it would be a good experience so I turned up as requested (an hour late oooooops)

Even though I was really irritated at some people throughout the day, I had a brilliant experience because of the man whose house we refurbished! We went in to meet him and a couple of his friends at first and they mollified us by telling us what an amazing thing we’re doing at such a young age and after we awkwardly laughed and tried to brush off the undeserved praise, he told us to do whatever we could and left to go downstairs. AND WE WERE FACED WITH THE DAUNTING MISSION OF FIXING HIS HOME.

It was really dirty and messy so we started off with mopping, sweeping and tidying up his papers and miscellaneous belongings. That’s when Nicole and I realised that he had a LOT of medication. It was just hundreds of the same few tablets and predictably, I got curious. A simple Google search told me that they were usually prescribed to treat schizophrenia. There were also several papers strewn about; appeals for financial assistance, unpaid bills and long term medical leave certs.

This seriously broke my heart because I can’t imagine being diagnosed with a mental disorder (least of all schizophrenia) and having to live alone in a one room flat, with no money to pay for basic needs. He literally had no staple food. All he had was a few packets of instant cereal mix, coffee powder, salt and sugar. I can’t imagine having to survive on that every single day, whilst having to worry about money and having to deal with all his symptoms ):

To make matters worse, he was only in his late 30s. It’s so sad that he is straddled with these problems so early in his life, and while his peers are at the peak of their lives, he is simply left behind having to fend for himself.

Even so, on top of all this, he was such a lovely person! He constantly referred to me as “dear”, asked us to take anything we wish out of the fridge, and even asked me if I needed him to buy me anything and that he would “try his very best to get it” for me. I was incredibly warmed by his generosity when I knew that he was struggling to pay an overdue medical bill of $60. He didn’t have enough to pay relatively small bills, but he left the radio on for us, without even thinking about the extra electricity costs that he will have to endure.

Anyway, after the cleaning, we painted his whole house and it was a pretty nice green which was a welcome break from the previous white. It was hard work and I’m still tired from it, but it was so worth it and I would do it again and again if I thought it would make his life just a little bit brighter.

He will be included in my prayers, and I really hope that one day he will be able to go against all his troubles finally move on from the state of stagnation that he is currently in. For the past couple of weeks I have been looking for motivation and inspiration and I think I found it in a small one room flat in Macpherson.


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