Hello everyone. I’m new here and I just started ASL 1 in college. I’ve personally had a few Deaf friends in the past, and I hated that I couldn't have a conversation with them because I never I have learned how to sign. I took French in high school and honestly, I could’ve retaken it to fulfill my foreign language requirement since I did take two full years of it in high school. But honestly, I didn’t feel like I would ever utilize it much. My math tutor at my current college suggested I take ASL instead. Besides the fact that I think it would be awesome to communicate in every type of different community, it could be extremely useful in my career. I'm a 36-year-old mother by the name of Lauryn. I have two daughters, and we all live with my boyfriend that I've been with for past 5 years along with our rescued degus', Remy and Rebel.
I am a college sophomore at Daytona State College. I am attending DSC to get my associate of arts degree which as long as everything works out with my classes, I'll have my degree in May 2023. I'm going to University of Central Florida in the summer to pursue my bachelor's degree in social work so that I can reach my goal of becoming a substance abuse counselor. I also work at a local nonprofit recovery community organization called the Volusia Recovery Alliance. I started volunteering with them about a year ago doing local outreach events in my county. Our big thing is passing out Narcan and educating our community on how to use it in case of an emergency. Through volunteering I was asked if I would be interested in becoming a certified peer recovery specialist. The CRPS credential is for people who use their lived experience and skills learned in training to help others achieve and maintain recovery and wellness from mental health and/or substance use conditions. I am a woman in long term recovery from alcoholism and opioid use disorder along with some mental health disorders I battled for quite a while. I have 3 1/2 years of continued recovery meaning I haven't used any substances or drank any alcohol in that length of time. After volunteering for a while, the agency had a position available for a peer recovery support specialist, and they told me they wanted me to fill out the application for the job. I honestly didn't think I would actually get position, but I did. Now I get to work with my fellow peers (program participants) that are in recovery, or trying to get into recovery, by providing the person with whatever support they might need like if they are looking to go to inpatient treatment, or sober living or anything they may need to give them the support they need at that time. I facilitate recovery groups and I go to our local detox, and our women, mothers, and children in-patient rehabilitation center to assist any of them that may need help. I am so passionate about what I do, and my life literally did a complete 360 from about 6 years ago that the only explanation I have was that God removed me from that mess I was in so I that I can be of maximum service to my fellows.
I started ASL 1 about a week ago and I as I was watching all the welcome videos, I realized I really know nothing about the Deaf community. I was reading over the rules and etiquette, and I kind of wondered why the Deaf friends I did have as friends actually communicated with me. I had pretty much violated all the Deaf etiquette suggestions at one point or another. My class is a full immersion class, and my teacher is a member of the Deaf community. I'm very excited to learn all I can now. I can relate to the stigmatization that the Deaf community has faced for many generations. I have been stigmatized most of my life whether it be regarding my substance use disorder or my mental health disorders. I have been in recovery for quite some time now and I am still constantly having my past thrown in my face all the time. I hate that addiction is the one of the only diseases that people really have no empathy, or compassion towards. So being a part of the Deaf community would mean the world to me so that I can be of service to anyone who may need me.
This will be challenging for me. I love to socialize with just about anyone, but not using my voice to do that will be challenging. I also am kind of fearful that I am not doing it right so no one will want to talk to me, and whomever is going to laugh at me because I don't sign correctly. I know these are common fears for anyone going to something new. I have memorized the alphabet and numbers 1-20, and some various words/phrases. The way I look at it when in doubt I can fingerspell it out. Sorry for the huge post, I did say I like to talk, right? I feel like a new kid in a new school right now writing this post, but I know the beginning is always the hardest part. So, someone please be my ASL buddy?😂