The Commune

Winter was always a rough time of the year for me. After December, with all of its lights, decorations and ”hygge” (coziness) ended, I would isolate myself. OPUS tried to get me out more, and I joined a walking/running group. It was extremely difficult for me to walk around the lakes in Copenhagen with people I didn’t know, but it was so important that I did it, because I had started gaining weight again. I hated gaining weight, but I didn’t have the strength to do anything to prevent it. I would slowly get bigger and more unhappy. I was so far from being the real me, and I missed me. I was no longer Rebekka, the fashion designer. Instead I was Rebekka, the mentally ill one on social security, and it tortured me.

It was 2010 now, but hardly any progress had happened in my early retirement case. I still went to meetings at the commune. It was the same story every time. You don’t look sick, or are you sure you can’t work? They didn’t understand anything. Even taking a shower and getting ready to go to the meetings seemed difficult. The anxiety and psychoses always became worse in the days leading up to a meeting. The aggravation actually started the moment I got the letter, which made me anxious of opening the letter box. I was so afraid they were going to take my social security away from me. I COULDN’T work. Why didn’t they understand that?

During spring something happened. The commune wanted to test my working skills. Therefore they sent me to a place called Plan & Action. They were going to assess me and together we were going to find the right test for me. I was excited and happy that the case was finally moving along. At the same time I was nervous about what I was going to get exposed to. My first meeting with them surpassed my expectations. They were so kind and understanding, and they promised that they would find something that would take my limitations into account. My biggest limitation was that I barely could leave my apartment. The decision was therefore made to test me in my own home. I was so relieved and grateful that they listened and understood.

It wasn’t easy for them to find an assignment for me. For a brief moment they wanted me to sew pot holders. Fine by me, but bureaucracy put a stop to that idea. Then it was decided that I should proofread. I was so happy, I knew I would be good at that. However, the company behind that assignment didn’t want me to proofread for them. They were afraid I was too unstable, being mentally ill. So disappointing, but they were probably right. Strict deadlines probably wasn’t my thing. Then there were only two options left. I either had to change the foam thingies on the headphones for an airline or fold rubber bands for exercising. They decided I should fold the rubber bands, since it was more challenging in their opinion. I was just happy to be moving on in the process, even though I didn’t quite understand what the assignment was.

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