One Month Before Heartbreak

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

1 Month Before Heartbreak – a blogswarm to raise awareness of governments plans to reform DLA. Well more than reform, abolish and replace with something called a PiP which would have no mobility component and the same kind of discredited testing for eligibility that is used for ESA claimants. More money for Atos, less money for the sick and disabled.

 

I didn’t think that I would get involved.  Not that I didn’t want to. Just that I wasn’t sure that I had anything else left to say.

Or maybe I just didn’t have the energy left to say it.

Or maybe I thought that I somehow deserved the opprobrium of the public…

…and the Sun…

… And the Daily Mail…

…And politicians.

After all I haven’t worked for several years and I claim Income Support and DLA. Not Incapacity Benefit, but Income support on the grounds of incapacity. I was self-employed when I became ill, so with time out in education and to have children, I did not have enough contributions despite having done some kind of work or another since the age of fourteen.

Claiming Income Support makes me even less ‘deserving’ in they eyes of some.

Then there is  DLA. I am not a wheelchair user, I’m not blind or deaf, but I do have a ‘bad back’ (Spondylolytic Spondylolisthesis). Which is, of course,  a synonym for ‘benefit cheat’. I also have osteoarthritis (but as someone recently said to me ‘doesn’t everyone over 50?’) and a mood disorder which has been translated over the years by various people as ‘self indulgent’, ‘hysterical’, being ‘highly strung’, ‘making everything about me’ and of course the ever popular ‘refusing to pull myself together and think positively.’

I walk with a stick. I take pain killers.  I can’t take anti-inflamatories because of other medications I take since almost dying after routine surgery four years ago. So pain is frequently a problem. Today its been my ankles and my left little finger.  To complain of pain in ones little finger sounds so trivial, but believe me its excruciating!

For the same reasons I can’t take antidepressants and the medication I do take can make me feel sleepy and slightly … ‘not with it’.

I began this blog with such enthusiasm.  I was going to post two or three times a week, keep up to date with all the political shananigans and report them to the hundreds  of readers I would no doubt soon have collected…

Then one morning I woke up and I couldn’t find the energy to post. The effort of ‘pulling myself together’ each day left me exhausted. Anxiety, that horrible feeling in the pit of ones stomach that I hadn’t felt for a while was back with a vengeance. There were so many things to be afraid of…

Migration onto ESA, it’s going to happen to me. Even the thought of the forms and the interview and knowing just knowing that they will decide I’m a fraud. Lazy. Should be working. Had made a life style choice. Squeezes my stomach until I feel sick and makes my heart thud in my throat.  What will happen?  How will I manage? What about my Housing Benefit? What if I can’t find a job? Well, the miracle would be finding one! In a city with high unemployment 53 year old women with a history of physical and mental health issues is no exactly the top of anyones  Most Desired Employee list.

Losing my DLA. I get the lowest rate for care and mobility but it makes such a difference. It helps to pay for taxi’s when pain makes waiting at a bus stop untenable. It buys ready meals for those days when I can’t find the energy or the motivation to cook a meal. Other small things that add up to making life a little bit easier.

I am afraid.

I am tired.

But I’ve blogged my bit for the blogswarm.

 

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