Saturday, 17 September 2016

Meh. Sigh.

Emotionally flat - sadly not physically, as I eat my own body weight in cake n chocolate. Emotional and tearful.
Wishing yous a better weekend...

That is all. As you were.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friday, I'm in love... with pizza. The lesser known Cure song.

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.

Just 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?

Not 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.

The 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...

One 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.

The 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?

It 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.

Thursday, 15 September 2016


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 DWP.

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.

Also 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?

Puff Westy

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. 

So attractive

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.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wow. Old blogs and bigger bellies

Found my old bloggette... what a waste of e-space eh? But interesting to read back on the few posts that are here.

A 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

Why 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 guarantees.

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.

Events 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 depression talking.

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.

Then 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 that.

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.

1. 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.

3. 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'.

4. 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.

When 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).

7. 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 streets.

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.

9. 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.

I'm 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.

*Have I exercised > Nought to Olympian =  Yes. Level 1, minimum amount. As second belly is conspiring with first belly, meaning third belly's imminent.

*Anxiety level > Nought to butt explosive = rumbly tummy, semi solid.

*Level of worry > Nought to Armageddon = Oh fack. Oh shit!

*Dark thoughts > Nought to Da.Vader =  Getting real gloomy.

That is all. As you were.