I've been feeling really anxious these last few weeks. My sleep is troubled; I wake up around 3-4am and can't get back to sleep for hours. When I do finally wake (around 7-8am - I've never been a late sleeper) I'm 'hanging', as the cool kids might say.
On the plus side, late night radio is actually quite interesting; the world service is more interesting than regular stuffy old Hobbiton-centric Radio 4 during the day.
I'm on edge all the time. It's not good. Unfortunately there's no help or support at all locally. Chasing up Positive Step hasn't done much good, though I did get a letter from them saying they think I have severe anxiety/depression. Whether their partners ATOS will take any notice...well that's another question entirely. Either they do or they don't.
Speaking of ATOS I've yet to hear when my appointment will be (it could well be coming through the letterbox today, tomorrow, or...). Waiting is not my strong suit, and I'm dreading having to wait for what I'm sure will be longer than necessary in their public waiting room come appointment time. It's just a constant exercise in stress.
The Work Programme has been no help as usual. I contacted my new adviser a couple of weeks back to ask if they could put something in writing regarding the WCA regarding our phone call a month earlier. During that call I was told two things (I've mentioned before): they could offer much more help if I was on ESA, and that, in her opinion, I should be on ESA. So I asked her to put that in writing. Typically this met with a small measure of resistance as they seem to be very good at revising past conversations. She did agree to do this, but what I eventually received was typically farcical: just a printout of one page from Chapter 2 of the Work Programme Provider Guidance wherein it simply says people on JSA can be mandated to apply for jobs, people on ESA can't (well sort of). Not even signed. So no help there, unsurprisingly. Just another example of the utter uselessness of this whole affair. She's supposed to call me this Thursday (Valentine's Day - lucky me eh!), do I waste my time getting antagonistic about this? I don't know if I have the energy.
There are two fundamental problems I have with the Work Programme (two of many I should point out, as it is utterly and intrinsically useless):
Firstly, as I mentioned above, they are very good at revising what they say in subsequent meetings or conversations. Not only do staff cover each others' arses and make excuses - which I can understand even if I don't agree - but they continually wrongfoot me when they pretend that what I claim they said wasn't quite what they thought they said. They do this all the time; it's like having the rug pulled and rearranged under your feet all the time. For someone with learning difficulties it's a real pain.
Secondly, they will ask you what you want: what you are interested in (writing, for example). But what happens then is that you are told to find out and do it all yourself. They pretend to take an interest, but then do absolutely nothing except criticise. You are then stymied and left to fall without a parachute - and by fall I mean head toward a 'compliance doubt'. They set you up to fail. What you expect to be on offer - what you have been told to expect - does not materialise. In fact it was never there to begin with and your expectations are questioned to the point where, again, you being to doubt yourself.
It can't be long now before this all implodes. Either that or I will.