Black and White image of a Shadow of Me

Me from in front of the sun

Off the bat, this is my 200th published post on IJAR. It’s taken me far to long to get this far and I should be hanging my head in shame at my total crap status as a blogger. Really I am not that worried. I have posted more posts elsewhere that if I hadn’t had other blogs would probably have ended up here anyway. You can find my other blogs, they are all well signposted. I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that I had made it to 200.

The reason for this post is kind of a follow on to my last post about being discharged from front line Mental Health services. In my last post I was very gung ho about the fact and I was all up for the fact that in a few short weeks I would be going it alone with only the back up of my GP, who I don’t have total faith in, but have very little chances of moving away from due to GP shortages in this area. Over the past week to ten days thoughts have been crossing my mind that are not exactly casting doubts on my pending discharge, but more along the lines of what happens to the rest of the things I have relied on CMHT to provide.

I have no idea if I should be contacting benefits agencies about the team discharging me. Yes it is a change in my circumstances, but I know I am still ill. I know I am doing better, but I also know that I am in no way ready to go back into a work place. There is no documentation about this. Who decides? Please if you know the best course of action from here, please let me know either in the comments or by sending me an email (you can find the email button over there —>.

My group finishes this next Monday. It’s been 20 weeks and I have found them in turns informative, frustrating and hugely humbling. I have learned so much about an illness I don’t have, but can identify with.  One thing that really did force itself home during these past 20 weeks and the emotional journey that I went on whilst being with that group of people, Labels Don’t Matter at all. All that matters is that you are comfortable in your own skin and to a certain extent, mind. One of the things I know I will most probably never achieve is total peace. I have to much twisted thinking and the voices will always be there and I have to keep developing ways to drown them out and keep my equilibrium about as even as I can. Doing this will lead me to a stronger base where I can move on and actually state with 99% certainty that I am in Recovery and I am going to be well. It’s a road that I have found and I have a pretty good map to guide me, I just don’t have a very good compass to keep me on that path yet… but I am working on it.

Until Next Time…

Hiding Away.

It has to be said that I am not a great out-doorsey kind of person. Given the choice of a nice ramble in the great wilds of Northamptonshire and sitting in a darkened room playing with the internet, I think you know where you’ll find me. I went on a school camp once and got blisters on the first two mile hike we took and spent the next three days looking after base camp and helping with the cooking for the rest of the class, I loved it.

Fast forward twenty years, to the past few weeks and I find myself STUCK inside. This is no common or garden not wanting to go out, this is a fear inducing paranoia slamming hatred of going out. I have been out maybe three times in the past 3-4 weeks. Twice to a relaxation group and once to a shop for milk… and I may be misremembering the milk trip.

I know what I am thinking sounds incredibly stupid and I have been told that what my delusions and paranoia stem from is totally unreasonable but still it’s there and as soon as the door opens I know with all my heart and all my twisted mind that I am being watched and spied on. When I wake up in the morning, someone has usually opened the blinds in the front room. Usually it’s mum waiting for her taxi to work or it’s us waiting for some shopping to be delivered. My computer sits right in place that it puts me in front of that exposed window. PEOPLE CAN NOW SEE ME! Well not if I re-close the blinds they can’t… and that’s what I do, before I even cross in front of them I close them again. It must infuriate Mum and my wife. I live like a vampire by choice the get it by default through living with me.

I have tried to explain to them what happens when I go out and how I feel and while they make the right noise and sympathise I am not sure I have done enough to make them understand what really goes on. I mentioned earlier that I had been out two or maybe three times in the past few weeks. The first time I went out was to a non existent Relaxation group. It had been cancelled but no one had thought to ring the attendees and tell them it had been cancelled. This left me outside and to my mind exposed to anyone who passed by. I was taken aback by the group being cancelled mostly and then the realisation that I was stood in the street like a shop window dummy finally hit and I became very self concious that anyone who wanted to follow me and keep track of me could now do this as I was stranded.

Let me take a moment to explain what’s actually going on in my head…

When I am out I think I know people are following me and watching me for various purposes. They are watching me to catch me out. Trying to catch me from claiming benefits, from having a diagnosis, from generally being me while outside the house. There has been a hell of a lot in the press in the UK about the Government wanting to cut the social fund bill. Cuts everywhere… the schools are being threatened the hospitals and healthcare are being threatened and as of late the Benefits system and it’s users are being targeted. Basically the government are wanting to get the money spent on Benefits down and they are going about it in many ingenious ways. The latest is getting your neighbours to spy on neighbours and report anyone who looks like a benefits cheat. Being paranoid like I am I am sure that half of my neighbours are just waiting for that cash incentive to grass me up. I have no inside knowledge that the government are going to offer “Incentives” to get people to report on people, but it’s only a matter of time.

The “sick” thing about all of this paranoia is that I know it’s totally irrational, and I know people have better things to do that watch me stand on a street corner waiting for a cab. I know that closing my blinds all day is more likely to attract more attention than not. It’s just that I can’t shake this over reaching gut feeling that something bad is about to happen to me and I don’t really want to be around when it does. I am being robbed of my life by my brain and it’s chemical imbalances. The support worker at the place where I go for my relaxation group asked if I needed an appointment to talk through anything…. I said no because it was just one more excuse NOT to go out and expose myself to the world.

I know this behaviour is totally irrational… and that’s the crazy thing… I don’t know how to change my way of thinking. When I had my first lot of anxiety sessions I had it all worked out and I did really well for a few months hell close to a year I was doing really well but now it’s all gone to shit and I am lost and stuck again.

One thing is really bugging me though…. I have no way of “safely” getting my next issue of Doctor Who Magazine from town next Thursday as Linda goes back to work next Wednesday. See…. Sad or what?

Until Next Time…

Benefits and Me

This post has been inspired by yesterdays Budget and the proposal to medically assess all existing and new DLA (Disability Living Allowance) as of 2013/14. I could go on for hours about the politics of it but as I have said before I suck at writing about Politics so I am taking a look at how the changes will affect me.

Continue reading

My Secrets Laid Bare

It’s been a funny couple of weeks. Life had been a swing and a roundabout away from being liveable. I haven’t had to many down periods but then again I haven’t had that many up periods either. Just fleeting glances at happiness, or deep looks into an abyss that has no bottom.
What makes it even stranger is that I have NOTHING whatsoever to complain about. We are doing fairly well financially at the moment I just got a new iPhone and all our bills are paid, we have plenty of food in the kitchen so why don’t I feel contented. What’s missing from my life that I can’t just be happy and get on with my life.

It’s been about 18 months since I “gave up” work. If you don’t remember I was let go from my job because they could no longer support my absences from work. It was all done quite amicably and in the best of humours, but 18 months on I seem to feel at a loss at what to do. I occasionally wish I had worked harder at keeping myself well enough to keep a hold of that job. If I could have sucked it up for half the time I caved in to my depression, I may still be employed and getting a salary that would keep me out of the Benefits system. I don’t have any objections to being on Incapacity Benefit. Of course I would rather be earning a living rather than just getting by on what the government says I need to live on, but I guess that’s not going to happen until I get my life sorted and can keep my head out of my ass for longer than a weekend.

As I mentioned in my last post. I am on Facebook, I don’t contribute to much. I just use it to keep track of what the world is doing around me. I am an observer and not a participator. I sometimes wish that I had more to say about my life in general but I am sure no one wants to hear daily updates of my life:

12:30 – Had a banana for breakfast.

12:45 – Had to eat something else as the banana wasn’t enough

14:30 – Just got back from counselling session – More depressed now than when I went.

15:40 – Had a muffin as the Something else had worn off

You know you get the drift, my life aint that interesting. (That’s probably why I get no readers here).I sometimes think I should just make shit up to put in this blog, just to keep it interesting. I should become a Walter Mitty or a Billy Liar. My fantasy life is much more interesting than reality. But I don’t want to disillusion myself that any form of my fantasy life could ever become a reality so putting it down in black and white is just tempting fate for another depressive phase. But to that end I have started writing a short story. Well it’s planned to be a short story, I am not the most succinct writer in the world and my editing skills are poor to say the least. I just start writing and let it go until I run out of things to say. See, I am giving all my secrets away. I just told you that I put no planning into writing and my only saviour is the wavy red lines under misspelt words that my word processing prog catches… me and my big mouth.

Jumping to a totally different tack now. This past Saturday saw the return of Doctor Who. The New series heralded a new Doctor and a new Companion. Matt Smith as the new Doctor is great.. mad as a box of demented frogs and his sidekick Karen Gillan as Amy Pond is just great. If you went by looks alone you could swear she had a touch of bipolar as in the series opener she was either in a Tarty Police woman’s outfit or in her nightie and dressing gown. I know it’s a generalisation but that’s how I am. I am either in my skimpiest outfit or in my Batman Pyjamas.
The new titles and opening music are going to take a couple of watches to get used to after in not really changing for the past 5 years, but all change is good. The atmosphere of the episode not being London centric and based in a little village almost harkens back to classic who stories where it was an almost nondescript location.
All In all I loved the new series and by the looks of the trailer for the rest of the series to come, it looks like we are on to a winner and the next 12 weeks will most likely be a banner period for Doctor Who as it goes from strength to strength. Saturdays are worth looking forward to again.

Well that’s about it from me… I ran out of things to say for now. So…

Until Next Time…