Well. They don’t hang about, the DWP.
No sooner had the licked gum dried on Brown Envelope No.1, than No.2 arrives with an appointment at the JobCentre to see what ‘support’ they can offer me. I suspect they do not mean finding someone to collect my prescriptions from Boots.
It’s possibly a small thing that you ‘normal’ people out there would not see as any sort of problem. However, for someone such as I, it is a ratcheting up of the pressure, a mountain like Snowdon when all you have on is a pair of carpet slippers, a dark whirlpool which threatens to drag you down into the cold, obsidian depths.
All in all, a bit of a bugger.
And, it comes with a date that is slap bang in the middle of the only holiday my wife and I shall probably have this year, a week away camping in Notts. The letter comes with dire warnings of benefit reduction if you do not attend, or do not have a valid reason not to do so. The whole thing reads like the acronym ‘VAT’. First they hit you with the exciting ‘Value’, then they ramp up the excitement by adding the word ‘Added’, before crashing you down to a sudden ‘Tax’.
The letter promises ‘support’, gives a friendly ‘first name’ contact, then hits you with the ‘musts’ and the dire penalties for non-compliance.
For anyone with mental health problems, this is mega. It knocked me sideways, looked for a moment, then kicked me in the kidneys.
I am one of the lucky ones; I have a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse, which the powers that be want to change to a ‘care coordinator’) who is, as many are, the salt of the earth, and who made contact – something I was quite unable to do – with the JobCentre and got them to change the appointment date.
These nurses, along with many psychiatrists and wonderful receptionists should be lauded from the rooftops. They toil away, with ever increasing duties, for the benefit of their patients ( I abhor the word ‘client’ or ‘service user’ – we are as ill as an arthritic, and I refuse to be called anything but patient ).
Drama that will leave me as drained as a sink after a good seeing-to by Mr.Muscle drain unblocker. Well into the evening. Then I must start again to pull it all together; a life made that much more difficult by unreasonable and anti-medical diagnosis by ordeal by the hated ATOS system.
There’s fight in me yet. Just not enough to engage in more pugilism for a number of hours.
Until the next time,
PS 356 days to go.