Well, I didn't get to the gym. I dressed for the occasion after peeling myself off the bed, and that's as far as I got. Fail.
Feeling quite flat, unmotivated, numb, and yet still a bit tearful. I'm also tired, so tired.
waiting on two professionals out of three, to respond with letters of
evidence to help overturn the ESA decision made by the DWP. I spend my
life waiting... for what, I'm not always sure, but I do. Mind you, I
always expect the worse, so am trying to prepare myself for going to
tribunal to appeal. A less appealing scenario, but I guess like so many
others battling the DWP, the chances are high.
In cases like this
I do wonder why time, money, and effort is wasted to refute what
medical persons have already presented. If both doctors and professional
counsellors find a person to be too ill to work, or the process of
returning to work having a detrimental affect on that person, then why
do they clearly dispute that and mark that same person fit for work?
only does it highlight the flaws in this very crazy system, it also
spotlights the ineptness of the assessment, the assessors, and to some
extent the decision makers. True, decision makers are swayed by the
generalised, summary report – but there's no heed of the ongoing sick
note certificates from the doctors, or any recommendations by the
trained counsellors. The people who know the claimant the best.
lack of detail in the report omitted key elements of my illness, that
even though I'm 'able' on the few good days I have, it can still cause
me distress and anxiety. • The report omitted that this anxiety results
in physical symptoms which include a combination of: palpitations, chest
pains, flushes, headaches, diarrhoea, nausea. • The report omitted that
on bad days, I'm not as capable: I can't travel or go out, I
can't/won't talk to 'anyone', I can't dress, I don't wash, the last
thing I want to do is socialise, I can't cope with change, I can't keep
to a routine, I don't answer the phone. • It also omitted was the fact
that I cried through the first part of the interview, and was described
as behaving and looking normal. • The report omitted the fact that I did
need some prompting in the interview, as I didn't understand some of
the questions that I was being raced through. • The report omitted the
fact that my history does include suicidal thoughts, with an incident in
my teenage years. • The report failed to pick up on the fact that
'change' at work in April/May 2015 created stress and displacement -
triggering this depression episode, where I suffered continual emotional
breakdowns at work, lengthy periods off sick, and ultimately leaving
the full time job in April 2016 due to ill health.
• The report
has no mention or clue of how many bad days I might have in seven.
Typically to date, life permitting, I'm able to get about 3 good days in
a week, it all depends on what happens day to day. This week from and
including Monday, I've had 4 bad days so far – this includes an
emotional breakdown trying to cope with the news that I failed the ESA
assessment, resulting in thoughts of self harm, and making a call to the
Samaritans at 1.30am.
If I remember anything else the report failed to include – I shall let you know...
can only surmise that the huge lack of detail in the report is due to
the disinterested assessor failed to gather the correct, accurate, or
any real relevant information. Her main focus was on the computer
screen, rushing through the obligatory questions, not wanting
elaboration, not interacting, no interest or care for the whole picture.
rest of the week/end won't be good or bad, but spent numb, merely
hibernating in my flat, keeping myself safe from any further turmoil.
This is not only isolating, it is lonely, and generally not great for my
overall health and well being – mentally or physically. And the only
support that I'll have over the weekend is either the Samaritans, 999,
or my local A&E. I have no friends or family nearby, and my parents
fail to comprehend mental health issues. During these times I do spend a
lot of time on the computer, as this is a connection, in my control, to
the outside world.
Depression is often tied to intelligent
people, who tend to over think, which leads to worry and stress. Rinse,
repeat, slide down one level. Alongside complex mixes of genes,
background history, environment, oh so many other factors that I can't
think of right now, or am too daft to know of. What gets forgotten is
the individual personality of that person, and their level of
capabilitiness (yes, made up word) before they're taken over by this all
consuming concept of depression. While your senses and mind are
overloaded with the unruly beast, the core of you remains the same, so
even while suffering sometimes you're still able to articulate, laugh,
joke – wash, clean, travel, socialise, etc.
And the longer
you've suffered from the illness the more masterful you are in
disguising the bad, and present a picture of normality – the mask of
okayness. Its an easier route, when someone asks how you are to reply
with fine, or plodding on. Especially if you want to hang on to the few
friends you have left, after cutting yourself off during bad days. How
often are we shocked to learn that behind a tragic death of a celeb,
there lies a history of depression, tucked away in the darkness?
takes great energy, effort, and know-how to leave the place of safety,
and appear 'normal'. So often when you return home, you're exhausted. It
is a good day, to be able to muster this strength, motivation, and
capability to venture out. To be brave.
Today is not one of those days. Tomorrow may be though, as I'm running out of pizza. Please send pizza.
Sooooo, I bunked off group therapy tonight. All too new,
all new people, a journey back in the dark in an area I'm not too fussed
on, and homework I probably won't be committed to do at this time. All
too much, as I try to tackle the latest obstacle at hand, thanks to the
But luckily the one true counsellor I trust, calmed me down a
little this afternoon, and I feel a bit less extreme, Downton Abbey
drama about it. Just yet another life shite to fight through - at a time
that again I thought I was on a slow road to recovery. Obviously not.
Yet another illusion. Delusion. And I'm as emotional and low as ever.
failed to go to the gym today too. Meh. All due to last nights antics,
and explosive upset stomach, I just didn't make it. Exhausted as soon as
I got up.
I returned home to find the ESA report on my doorstep.
My initial post below "Wow. Old blogs and bigger bellies" stands. Very
generalised. I was clothed, washed, talking, travelled, I socialise
twice a month! I MUST be fit for work !!! My behaviour and face was
normal - if crying while trying to talk is normal that is. They failed
to mention that. All this stuff I can do, is on a good day, but less so
on bad days, and how many bad days do I get? At the moment the bad still
outweighs the good.
*Have I cried this afternoon = Less Amazon, a little more Avon. *Have I exercised > Nought to Olympian = No. But walked to my counselling - really hoping that counts? *Anxiety level > Nought to butt explosive = Whoosh! *Level of worry > Nought to Armageddon = Zoom zoom!! *Dark
thoughts > Nought to Da.Vader = An accidental boiling water scalding
did it for me. Honest. Attempts to descale the kettle - fail.
Tomorrow is another day. A Friday. This can only be a good thing, can't it?
I'm such a contradiction of terms, thought I'd go to the gym before seeing my counsellor today. I thought wrong. Just trying to keep it together... again.
*Have I cried today = Riverdance...
*Have I slept > Nought to insomniac = A couple of restless hours.
*Have I exercised > Nought to Olympian = No.
*Anxiety level > Nought to butt explosive = 11. Explosive.
*Level of worry > Nought to Armageddon = 111.
*Dark thoughts > Nought to Da.Vader = 1111.
DWP still see me 'fit for work', the impromptu phone call from my doctor due to my crazy 1am email, suggests otherwise. And the PIP assessment report can't be sent out, because their network is down - story of my life.
Puffball me - looks like I've gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson.
Sobbing on the phone to a stranger, as you have no one else to call. Super snot cementing in your nostrils. It's either that, or blunt scissors on the leg. Always the right leg though, don't ask me why. Mind you, why bother, I'm sure the cat would comply, via his feisty teeth. Most of my scars are gifted from him. It really has been years since I've been self motivated in such a way. Thank you, DWP, for crashing me back down to earth. And thank you, kind lady at the Samaritans, for picking up, second time around... And listening for 36 minutes to my snorting and snotting as I try to breathe between sobs. 'Mind' is closed for the night. Lucky Mind.
Found my old bloggette... what a waste of e-space eh? But interesting to read back on the few posts that are here.
new reason to start this old chestnut up - mental health. Ooo can I
tag? #MentalHealth #EndTheStigma #Depression Hmmm? No, I can't.
Pull up a chair, bring your own coffee & biccies. :P
I struggle with the system that does not give a shit about mental
health - unless of course, you want to harm yourself or harm someone
else, then they 'might' take you a bit more seriously, but no
Do I want to hurt myself? I didn't, but as events progress my thoughts do grow darker and darker toward not so nice stuffness.
that I won't go into of last year are still taking their toll, and I'm
unable to lift from its fallout. I've had one prolonged period of
counselling, as I find talk therapies much more helpful than medication,
and yes I've tried the latter. One hopes that you find a good
counsellor, who will listen, not judge, and make all the right noises in
the pauses. I thought I did, but as the period with them came to a
close, my mind did wonder. But then, that could be the beast of
Since then I've come up against continuing
battles, one of which has pushed me to restart this old bloggykins up.
To air my grievances in a safe e-place. Safe-ish.
I blubbed all
the way through my PIP (Acronym city here we come - Personal Independent
Payment) assessment, and scored nothing, in towards a serious benefit
to help those seriously disabled. No biggie, as I did not expect
anything. But to cry through the whole medical assessment and score
nothing, it really does make you wonder. I must declare that the nurse
in this assessment did come across as a real human, unlike the next one.
on the ESA assessment (Employment Support Allowance - those unable to
work at the current time), I only cried a bit, because the so-called
nurse doing the assessment wasn't interested. Got a cold, blank,
disinterested, woman, who wanted to get through the spiel as quick as
possible. Wham, bam, I know all I need to know about your long term
mental health issues, and your life problems in 30 minutes. Just like
So it comes down to: you can dress yourself, you can feed
yourself, you can clean yourself, you can travel to here, you can talk
for yourself, you can make eye contact, you can pay a bill, you can use a
phone and computer = you are fit for work. Cheers. Bye.
So each one then - hey, I did say pull up a chair, maybe a sofa would be more suitable. Sorry.
Dress myself: On good days yes. On a lot of days I don't bother,
especially if I don't need to leave the flat, and more so in Winter. The
nightdress just becomes another handy layer, as I can't afford to put
the heating on.
2. Feed myself: I eat TOO much, because it
temporarily makes me feel better. Comfort eating (mostly nawty stuff),
is the mother tucker of all big bellies. It also means I've put on all
weight I lost in my last job, adding to the misery. Booo = saddy face.
I can clean myself: It makes me feel better. Admittedly, when seriously
rock bottom, I can and sometimes do honestly forego ablutions. But
eventually the itchiness + smelliness = merely adds to the 'uggh'.
I can travel: With distress if I don't know where I'm going, I tend to
get lost, disorientated, and anxious during transit. Anxiety =
palpitations, chest pains, upset stomach (and the other end), nausea,
headaches, flushes. Plus if I didn't, worse still would happen for not
attending that mandatory assessment you've requested that I SHOULD
attend. Going out for a couple of hours is exhausting.
5. I can
talk: No shit. I'm depressed, not verbally challenged, and pretty well
educated with it. BUT on some days, I don't physically talk to anyone,
for days on end, by choice. Why bother when so many don't understand
what you're actually saying in regards to your depression, how you feel,
or merely dismiss you & your words. Plus talking is very tiring.
needed, I can often joke and utilise my sense of humour. Like a
comedian... what are the statistics on comedians, actors, other smart
peeps who suffer from depression I wonder? Covering up, masking up?
Weighing up which is easier at the time - to 'pretend' all's well, or
trying to explain to others who typically don't have a clue, how you
really feel. Hmm...
6. I can make eye contact: I'm depressed, I'm not rude, nor Autistic (I don't think I'm on the spectrum).
I can pay bills: I'm depressed, not illiterate... and I'd be very
accommodationly challenged otherwise, and I don't fancy sleeping on the
8. I can use a phone: I'm depressed not technically
challenged. Yes, I know how to use a phone, but choose not to, and cut
myself off from the world when needed - which of late has been often.
And if my phone rings with an unknown number, forget about it.
I can use a computer: Same as 8, and I come from an old skool,
creative, technological background. But often social media is the only
outside contact I might have for days with anyone else, so the computer
can be my only lifeline.
10. I socialise twice a month: Party
animal. Rwarrr. Umm yeh, but only with people I've known for years, in
familiar surroundings, in areas I know. I can count my friends who I see
on a regular basis on one hand - and they're all fully aware of my
issues. New people, and sometimes even people I do know esp groups of,
bring on the stress and anxiety.
Am I fit for work? No. Not yet. Anything that goes wrong, and I'm in pieces. I'm super emotional, and cry at any little thing.
Can I cry on demand. No. I'm not a faker.
depressed, and emotionally raw, but I'm also a pro at hiding this pain
through years of practise since a child. Currently my protective buffer
of happy thoughts has been ground to zero, so anything negative dents me
like a Bruce Lee punch.
Am I suicidal. No. Semantics. As I
wouldn't be too upset if today was my last day. I'm just not brave
enough to do anything about it, and I often wonder if there's a point to
all of this. Really, why am I bothering?
I would like to think
I've suffered enough shit for a lifetime, but I guess that's all
relative, and I know others would look at my story, and disagree. But
then I know some others would also agree - enough is enough.
And yet the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) deem me "fit for work."
To what cost to my health? Further breakdowns, pushing me to self harm, edging my thoughts to places I'd rather not go. Do they care? No.
*Have I cried today = Yes.
*Have I slept > Nought to insomniac = Fitful.
I exercised > Nought to Olympian = Yes. Level 1, minimum amount. As
second belly is conspiring with first belly, meaning third belly's