Okay, my bad. Due to all of the depressing, suppressing, unfair stuff that has been going on in this country recently due to this mess of a government, I completely forgot to tell you all about the good news! So, here it is: about two weeks ago I woke up to a rather daunting brown envelope on my carpet underneath my letterbox. I didn't open it for a good few hours, believing it was yet another anxiety provoking, unsettling letter from the NHS demanding that I immediately pay back money for claiming prescriptions for my mental health medication even though I am currently unemployed due to my poor mental health. Evil. (I actually have an update on that situation- will upload soon.) Nah, it wasn't another one of those thank god. When I eventually opened this rough, dirty brown envelope I was actually pleasantly surprised. It was my provisional driving license! It had finally arrived! Now, for all of the people that are just joining my blog today and wondering why this is such a big deal, I will briefly explain why this has so much significance:
1. Back in August I applied to work as a befriender for an organisation that supports people with mental health issues engage in community social activities and feel less isolated. I needed ID to get past the enhanced DBS process.
2. So, I applied with all of the ID that I had at the time (birth certificate, citizen card, train pass, utility bills, tenancy agreement) but this draconian company wouldn't accept this for some bizarre reason.
3. I tried to get a passport but nobody would sign it. Over thirty people ranging from university tutors, previous support workers, GP's, bank workers, told me that they 'didn't feel comfortable' 'hadn't known me long enough', or, didn't have a UK passport either.
4. So, due to it being easier to get a UK provisional driving license due to the fact that the only thing that the 'appropriate countersignature' actually needs to have is a valid UK full driving license for more than 2 years, I applied for one of those, my employment support worker signed it for me.
5. A week later the driving license application got sent back to me due to 'missing a date out' and my countersignature didn't put his profession on. Petty, but I guess rules are rules, the process is the process. Shit is shit.
6. Three months later I have my provisional driving license sitting comfortably in my wallet, but I still need to wait for the DBS people to do their 25 million checks and wait a few months to receive the certificate, and, even then, I will then need to have an additional meeting to allow them to determine whether I can volunteer for them with the convictions that I have.
My thoughts? It shouldn't have taken three months just to get some ID. I wrote an article describing exactly how I was feeling whilst going through so much rejection, detailing every person I asked and they're obscure excuses to not signing. HERE IS THIS ARTICLE
However, despite the solid, concrete walls of bureaucracy that I am constantly up against, having this ID has really lifted my mood. I feel more of a human now. I now can carry something in my wallet that makes me feel accepted by society, a 'proper' member of society, instead of somebody who only exists on benefit statement letters. I can now easily prove that I am old enough to buy alcohol (even though I don't drink.) I can now legally start my driving lessons and drive whilst being accompanied by an adult with a full license over the age of 18. Now that I have my provisional license, getting my passport will hopefully be so much easier. (In theory, I won't hold my breath.) Applying for jobs, both voluntary and paid will now be easier. I just hope and hope that I get this job, as, like my previous articles have explained, all I want to do is inspire and help people for the rest of my life. Why should I be denied the opportunity to help myself and help others? Because of throwing a bottle of water over somebody a year and a half ago? Oh please. I know armed robbers that have had a much easier time of it. If I got rejected from this job yes my world would crash, but no I wouldn't give up. I'd keep searching, searching for someone who will see my past a few labels on a page and focus more on the here and now. The person standing in front of them, rather than the person's name on a file on a shelf somewhere.
I will keep you updated as my job application progresses.