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That Time Again

All it takes is one snap of the letterbox, a single envelope glides onto the carpet, and there it is...that time again.

I knew what it was even before I picked it up. I could tell by the shape and size of the letter, even the amount of creasing at the corners. Another ESA form to fill in; the precursor to another WCA.

How I've gotten this far I don't know, but I really don't fancy my chances this time.

The machine never sleeps. There is no respite.

I have a month to fill it in and return it and then who knows how long before the second letter appears telling me to attend at their pleasure. Whatever the time, whatever the day or month. That's how it works. You have absolutely no say in the matter, you don't have any voice in how this process is carried out. That's the level of intrinsic distrust that operates in this society. Why should we accommodate your needs, they say, we think you're taking the piss. 

And then after that ordeal, the gnawing tension of w…
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More Support?

Perhaps my cup runneth over. Another social enterprise has appeared; they are called Team North Somerset. They have lottery funding that lasts until the end of 2019 (at which point...who knows).

I had a meeting with one of their "wellbeing and work coaches" the other day. She seemed nice, but then they all do. The person I saw years ago from Working Links was friendly at first, and then, once you're on board, they completely flip. Will that be the case? Who knows. I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not confident.

To be fair, they are not beholden (as far as I can tell) to the DWP so there can be no threats of sanctions or penalties unlike on the Work Programme or any of their vile subsidiaries. But the fundamental problems still remain: these organisations at best mean well, but they can't address the root cause of people's problems caused by structural oppression.

What I suspect is that it will be the usual mild mannered mood mus…

Support - an example

So the latest instance of support predictably didn't materialise.

One of the more pernicious aspects of the 'doctor/patient' relationship (by doctor I mean any relevant authority) is that if you don't try whatever is put in front of you, you are deemed to be feckless. This of course isn't the sole purview of the mental health 'service'.

What makes it so pernicious is that, deep down, you just know that you are wasting your time. When it comes to actions intended for mental health, it is even more counter productive.

And so it is with the last piece of advice given to me by the 'Wellness Advisor' from Positive Step (the local sole purveyor of simplistic mental health solutions - ugh, solutions, what a word). In respect of help regarding a bus pass, which I sorely need given how isolated I am, he agreed that I needed one, but refused to sign off on one. Instead I was to speak to another social enterprise knowing full well that they couldn't. Guess…

Why Anarchy Is Needed 1

Firstly, thanks to the kind peeps that responded to my last post. It's gratifying to know people are interested in what I have to say, even though there are far more informed people out there than myself. All support is muchly appreciate.

So, I came across this the other day:

A serving firefighter, London fire Brigade: On Friday I went to see my local MP, Crispin Blunt to ask why he thought it appropriate to continue to vote for a 1% pay rise for Public sector workers. He explained to me what austerity meant and why we all had to do our bit. I asked him how he was doing his bit by claiming over £20,000 a year for 5 years on a second home which proved to be his main home given his kids lived there and they went to school round the corner. How did claiming over 2k for airbricks and another few thousand for fireplace repairs was contributing to saving the country money? He seemed at a loss how to explain the 5k he claimed for DFS furniture. He sold the second house, bought a bigger hou…

Anybody Out There?

Just so I can be sure this is being read at all and decide whether it's worth continuing, please shout out in the comments. Even if you think I'm talking barmy bollocks, it'd be helpful to know if there are people reading this and not weird bots from phishing sites or Russian hackers or some weird sentient algorithm.

Apologies if you are none of those things, but I'm considering what to do with this blog.


Our Crisis

So that's it; six months of waiting for an appointment, being seen, and receiving absolutely nothing. It was summed up in a phone call. With a voice message I am discharged from the frontline mental health service that has offered nothing in all that time. They tell me they have nothing to offer. I say they haven't even tried.

I was on the verge of tears when I made contact in January. The thought of having to wait 8 weeks to be even put on the list was unbearable. Now it's July and what is there to show for it? All they have done is send me questionnaires asking me my mood and deciding their level of interaction on the basis of a number. Doesn't that just say it all? That a person's mental and emotional well being can be reduced to a number and a number is the difference between what they perceive as well or not.

This is what we have come to. Despite a list of promises as long as Jacob's ladder, there is nothing for people like me. There is no support, just an…

Stepping Off

So that's that.

After 6 months, my 'treatment' at the hands of the appalling Positive Step ends with a phone call (missed, thanks to our shitty network coverage). All I have to show for it is a message that amounts to thanks very much, goodbye.

The guy apparently had a pow wow with my GP wherein they both agreed they had nothing to offer and nowhere to offer it. Sure they can agree that it would be great if someone else could offer help - such as signing off on a bus pass - but neither of them will actually do it themselves because...reasons.

That's that. Cut loose.

I've spent more time waiting for appointments than actually in them.

Not once have I been offered any form of scheme, treatment, method or approach. Not a single thing - though I'm sure they would take great umbrage at that, because that's all these people seem to be good for. Even the talk of social phobia was scotched. This was because I was attending a very casual 7 week creative writing cour…