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Taking the Strain

This week hasn't been good. My anxiety has gone through the roof. I really don't feel up to dealing with full time paid work (part time you say? Not really enough to live on, especially figuring in bus fares). Of course I would say that; the phrase that will guarantee you not to be taken seriously.

I wen to see the doctor on Tuesday - a different one than usual as the arrangement of duty staff at my surgery is dreadful (I have tried to complain twice but get fobbed off by someone who simply doesn't understand what I'm saying). Same old story; they don't get it. I explain the consequences of being sanctioned, as a consequence of not being able to deal with this wretched system, but it just goes over their heads. It's the same old prejudice: why would you fall foul of the system? Only lazy feckers fall foul of the system - ergo it serves you right if you do. She wasn't terribly interested in what I had to say and tried to talk over me as I tried to explain that "you are not listening". It happens all the time. Then she pulls time on me "we're running into the time for the next patient", or words to that effect. I'm sure she'd say it wasn't meant to be as crass as that, but unfortunately that's how it came across. End result - no one listens. 

The only concession was I got her to write a note to take with me when I sign on tomorrow; something to mollify the impact of now doing as thorough a jobsearch this week as I fear they would like. Of course the note concedes very little and says 'he is medically fit for work' as there is no way they'd consider anything but. It's a constant struggle. 

I was told to go for CBT, again. This was all she was interested in offering me. I've been through the same course with the same people before; I'm not knocking it but it didn't work for me. CBT relies on having the awareness to step outside of yourself when you are having 'a moment' and deconstruct those thoughts. Of course that itself is the problem; if I had that awareness at those times I wouldn't really need CBT! Though if it helps others then fantastic. That was all she was interested in, other than offering me an appointment at the partner surgery (miles away) because she isn't rostered at my local, proper, surgery, like all the bloody doctors it seems - only to then check her diary and discover she's off for 3 weeks. When I point out that getting to the partner surgery isn't easy I'm regarded as lazy. I suppose refusing to traipse on foot through muddy fields and lanes in the pouring rain to a surgery other than my local one is a sign of laziness. That attitude is plain in the doctor's eyes and demonstrates their total lack of support. I asked about seeing the Community Mental Health Team again, but got nowhere. The other GP just rubbished them when I suggested it and I got nowhere then. Not really a helpful response, regardless of its veracity. I explained that too, but it makes no difference.

So I have to sign on tomorrow. I can only hope they don't piss me about as I'm really not in the mood for it. Hopefully my GP letter and the fact I have a WP appointment on the 19th will give them pause otherwise. 

I'm not really looking forward to the latter either. I rang the Salvation Army Employment Plus head office to ask just what the reason for wanting a CV and an 8 week jobsearch was for, and to explain that 8 weeks is out of the question. The person was all smiles and sunshine and contradicted the adviser I saw and will see again. All of these things are ostensibly 'to help us help you'. Of course! The CV helps their 'jobmatch team' find you the right vacancies on their own database - or something. They don't have their own database: the SA don't have special privilege with any employer to be the only outlet for their vacancies. Anything they have will be available through the usual channels anyway. Sounds like bollocks to me; they won't be keeping a copy for reasons I've explained before.

I also asked what services they offer, in regard to being told by said adviser that 'jobsearch' is the be all and end all. I was told they do offer training and help beyond that (details were not forthcoming, but then it was only a general enquiry). Their staff are, of course, called 'job life coaches', which is not very reassuring as these people are not trained in mental health support and I am extremely uncomfortable with the prospect of being compelled, under pain of sanction, to get into personal issues. The WP is most certainly not the place for such issues. I asked about whether they have training in mental health and was told they have a 'wide range of expertise'. That just confirms it. They don't


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