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Showing posts from 2017

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.

Thanks

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…

Stepping Out part 8

I was supposed to have an appointment last week. The 'wellness advisor', who has yet to advise me of anything wellness-inducing, was supposed to be talking to my GP about my need for an Aspergers diagnosis, or similar. Of course that didn't happen. I rang up Positive Step and was told it was instead scheduled for tomorrow.

More gaslighting; that is not what was arranged. They will swear blind that was the original arrangement so there's no point discussing it.

That's two weeks without any contact or appointment. At this point I'm about ready to make a formal complaint - if I thought doing so would make any difference. Unfortunately there is no alternative; there are no other services. No one is listening.

In six months I have received no support, no help, nothing. This cannot go on.

Stepping Out part 7

After an unexplained two week absence my latest appointment lasted all of about five minutes. He hadn't had the opportunity to speak to my GP, not sure how or why but there you go. This is apparently going to happen next week after which, at some random time, he will contact me. This will be a waste of time since nothing will come of this. Why, because he is the person who's supposed to be helping me according to the service the GP referred me to.

An absolutely spot on example of this came when he finished by telling me he had an idea of how I could obtain a bus pass. Remember, this is something he agreed I should have access to (important point). He had discovered another patient, with similar issues, had been referred to another social enterprise called Alliance Housing. I don't know much about them, but they do much the same thing as he does and the rest of these groups.

You might think, ok fair enough; give them a call. That's fine and I did (six week waiting list …

Capitalism's Inferno

Some people might think it poor taste to 'politicise' or make political 'capital' out of a tragedy.

Those people are wrong.

They are also usually the sort that defends the system that, demonstrably, leads to the deaths of innocent working class people lashed up in firetraps such as we have seen.

Make no mistake this is political. It always was and, if things inexplicably don't change, they always will. Not since the miners strike - and perhaps not even that - will you see such a verdant example of how not only capitalism fails but communism works.

It is capitalism and nothing else that has created the conditions wherein ordinary human beings, citizens of this mean malfeasant land.

The drive for profit encourages the kind of corner cutting that leads to sub standard workmanship performed on the very homes people are forced - and make no mistake no one chooses to live in high rise deathtraps - to live in.

The capitalist class structure allows those who cut costs to j…

Stepping Out 6

Didn't post after last week, which was stupid, as now I have to remember why I wasn't impressed afterwards.

I think it was because in so many ways this kind of mental health support feels like gaslighting. Previously he had asserted strongly I have social phobia, getting me to fill in a qustionaire. Next thing he's telling me that's not the case in such a way that I feel I've had my time wasted. I don't think that I don't have a degree of it either, but because I manage to do a thing, such as go to an increasingly racist* support place (1in4, weston super mare), therefore all the inner struggle involved in achieving that counts for nothing. That isn't helpful at all.
So today's appointment isn't happening. In fact neither is next week's - they tell me this quite matter of factly. It's as if the support isn't needed, and this is just a minor inconvenience. Oh there's nothing in the diary for next week so no appointment. It's a…

Stepping Out 5

You know I find these phone consultations to be hard work. I don't know whether it's the format or the endless questionnaire that I have to fill out every week, or the constant need on their part to reassure themselves I'm not going to slash my wrists. What would they do with a patient that said they were going to: have them arrested? Sectioned? I can't imagine many people in that positoin feel compelled to be honest. That's the problem with our system: it's not there to help you, it's there to impose a particular authority upon you. You WILL be made well.

Apparently my questionnaire response was slightly more positive this week. So what? Doesn't really mean anything. Assigning numbers to questions on a piece of paper is a poor reflection of real life. It doesn't address or assist with any of the issues at hand. Of course helping with those issues, social isolation, financial insecurity, the reality I am never going to find a career, and the cost of…

Stepping Out 4

Been a little while since last we 'stepped out', but as of last week I see to have a stable service, albeit on the phone.

Over the phone is a little difficult. It makes interaction difficult. Even though social environments can be tricky for me (I tend to tire when I'm asked lots of questions, especially ones that are devoid of necessary context), the telephone is much more of an effort. I feel I have to speak even when I'd rather not because that's much more necessary. I have to acknowledge every spoken word much more. It's harder work.

That said they seem to have found someone who, despite the service's unfortunate propensity for endless endless questions and questionnaires, has a better understanding of my situation. Of course he doesn't personally have the power to solve these issues, at least he recognises that social isolation is a major problem and that without recourse to affordable (preferably free) public transport nothing he offers will be wo…

Every Day is on Shifting Sands

Just read the local rag. The headline: an ex serviceman commits suicide. He couldn't cope.

Who can live like that?

There is no security in this society. One day you can be financially secure, the next you are dependent on the generosity of aggrieved millionaires who, for long ages in this country, have cornered the seat of power. They control the education establishments that are little more than breeding pits for government. They learn the special handshakes that move them, like fat chess pieces, across the board that is our society. Guess who the pawns are.

Who can live like that?

If you are out of work every day is on shifting sands. You are running just to stand still, just to stay in place. Yours is the lot of people who would otherwise be peers and comrades were it not for artifical barriers that separate us. These are the administrators of a system they do not control that keeps them frightened. To process that they must persecute us. They must make us jump through the most …

Yet Again, There Is No Help (part infinite)

How many different ways are there to say the same thing, and make the same point?

There just isn't help.

At all.

At.

All.

After a night of no sleep, and a sweaty subconsciousness pricking and intensifying my fear of a Tory majority, I decide to make a GP appointment to get a referral to the Primary Care Liaison Service for mental health. These are supposed to be the experts, unfortunately the GP can't guarantee they will listen. The main reason for this is that Positive Step (see my Stepping Out posts) have been given monopoly over provision.

I fully expect that, as I'm not schizophrenic or psychotic, so they won't be interested.

What is most frustrating is that, the more limited the options, the more disinterested the doctor. They have less to offer and so the less they seem to care. This is a weird and disturbing corollary.

The message here is: depression (aka "low mood") is not a serious issue. The pervasive level of stress in our society has increased suc…

Oh Snap! part 1

So there's a general election.

Again.

Which means there will be a Tory government.

Again.

Let's face it, Britain is lost to the right wing screaming xenophobic aristocratic pauper hating desperadoes who use deception and mendacity to ascend to power.

There really is no choice: as much as I would like to see revolution in this society, led by the people for the people (no Chairman Mao's thank you), it isn't going to happen. We weren't going to have that happening in 2020; we certainly ain't gonna get it in six weeks.

We must therefore do whatever it takes to oust the Tories. What they have wrought in 7 years, with or without LibDem help, has proved more than enough. We cannot take anymore. There must be an end so that we can stop the bleeding.

To that end it's got to be, where possible, a Labour vote. Of course since our system is such a blighted mess that won't always be possible. It may even be necessary to return one of those vile yellow bellies. I ha…

Stepping Out part 3

You know the more this continues, the less interesting and helpful it becomes.

After last week's bus related detour and this weeks annual leave, I was contacted by Positive Step to find out that next week's appointment is also being cancelled. This because of complex internal reasons...maybe. I don't actually know because they wouldn't tell me.

I did complain and got a call back from a manager today who told me, having been appraised of the situation (itself a surprise!) that I was offered telephone appointments by my 'not-a-doctor' person. This is news to me. I decided I would pursue this path as it seems far too a herculean task to actually get to and complete these ridiculous appointments.

I suspect half the appointment will be taken up with them having to go through their assessment form with me over the phone. Since they can't give me the form and have me do this at home it is going to prove to be a complete farce. You might think they could just, I do…

The Sun Never Shines

Liverpool has the right idea...ban Scumbag reporters from football matches.

I'd go a step further and throw them off a cliff  and ban the Sun altogether. Free speech is a wonderful dream, but in our society it just doesn't work. We don't let people shout fire in a busy marketplace, etc. Why should we let millionaire news barons taint the public psyche?

And yet we do, as evidenced by the seemingly consequence-free hateful hijinks of Kelvin Mackenzie, a professional bigot and arsehole who, while lambasting the unemployed for their perceived fecklessness, accepts no responsibility for the shit he spews.

However it seems a recent 'article', vomited from his own hate glands, has landed him in 'hot water'. It won't last though, there is no way the Scum is ever going to sack him. Why would they? This is all part of the plan. These articles are not published accidentally, nor are they written so. They are all according to the vile agenda these vicious rags have…

Jobcentre Minus?

Came across this article in the Mirror, regarding plans to 'divest' or close Jobcentres.

Of the two centres near me, one is listed as planned for closure. Ironically it is the one that, thanks to the bus service previously 'divesting' its service from that route, I can't get to with any reliability (unless I want to sit on a bench for two hours either way). This doesn't really help me because it happens to be a preferable (i.e. quieter) choice; the other one is in a bigger town and is thus a lot busier.

I don't like busier anymore than I trust the ageing overweight security guards to keep me safe if it all kicks off.

When I was last there, it was to pay off a budgeting loan (they don't exist anymore) from the DWP. I had previously rung the Budgeting Loans department to ask and was told that I could attend and make a payment in person. I happened to have the means to pay it off and thought it was the best course of action (you may well ask why I'd wa…

Converations with Men in Ill Fitting Suits

So it's ridiculous enough that Bristol has a mayor (because he's a complete waste of space), but now there's to be a 'Metro Mayor'. Another pointless position to milk the gravy train, invented by god knows who. Jobs for the boys. This boy in particular is former LibDem scumbag, and Bristol MP, Stephen Williams.

Now that the Coalition has dissolved, and the Tories turned on their former lackeys, Mr Williams wants to get his snout back in the trough. He was outside College Green today with a sad little stall and a couple of students handing out equally sad leaflets. No one really wants a Metro Mayor, other than the people who want to be Metro Mayor.

I asked him some questions. I mentioned the Bedroom Tax as a hideous legacy of his party in government. He wasn't best pleased, but bizarrely tried to defend it claiming that his constituency was filled with people inadequately housed in accommodation too small for their needs. This is utterly bizarre: if people are i…

Stepping Out Part 2

This isn't going to be much of an entry. Reason being there wasn't a part 2.

Thanks to our wonderful public transport system the bus route was cancelled due to roadworks that noone bothered to make public. I only found out when I got on the bus and asked for a ticket. No notice nor sign.

So I had to cancel. Then I found out that there are also roadworks next week as well. But that's ok because the 'I'm-not-a-doctor' adviser is on annual leave, which I didn't know about until I rang to tell them I couldn't do next week either. Their communication is as poor as the bus service's ability to inform me of planned service changes.

So it will be 3 weeks until I'm seen again. By the service that's promoted as the only means for people to get help.

I don't really see this going anywhere. They still owe me two quid from the letter they wrote but didn't bother to pay postage on. That turned up with a demand from the PO for the postage. Until I …

Anxious Anarchism

Originally I called this blog 'Quacking Plums' for reasons best left unexplained. I think it had something to do with Alan Partridge, though I've long since forgotten what the connection is.

For equally oblique reasoning I'm now calling it Anxious Anarchism, since it's likely going to focus on mental health in the age of Tory slaughter (which is to say, not the slaughtering of Tories, more's the pity - don't sue me, I mean that metaphorically. Although..) under Prime Minister Razor Mayhem's reign of terrible incompetence.

By 2020, if any of us survive that long, this country will be as unrecognisable as the reason behind 'Quacking Plums'. At that point, if you see me in the psyche ward, just nod and pass the pills...

Stepping Out, Part 1

(As mental health support locally is so shit, I've had to go back on the tiny carousel of help that comprises Positive Step and nothing else. PS are a company specialising in regarding every mental health problem presented as 'low mood' and a single quick fix in the form of CBT. Let's listen in...)
So I had depression and anxiety before I went to see 'Positive Step' for the first (by which I mean second) appointment.
But now I have depression and anxiety - AND HOMEWORK!
How could this not be a 'Positive Step'!
By the way, the reason it's the second appointment is that the advisor couldn't get her train in time last time, so it had to be conducted telephonically. NOt that it seems to make any difference; this is what she calls 'guided self help' (that is, homework). It doesn't seem to make any difference whether it's done in person or not since you aren't actually given any concrete help. Plus, I seem to have filled in the same me…

Moving On

I'm posting this so those brave and kind souls who do me the honour of following me can know where I am, should they want to.

Right now I'm in counselling for depression and anxiety. I've had two appointments, and unfortunately I'm not terribly convinced. I'll stick with it, but the counsellor nearly gave up when she felt I wasn't sufficiently open. I told her I wasn't deliberately obstructive, but that vague questions such as "tell me about your childhood" are so open that I genuinely struggle with them. I mentioned to her that I have tried to get a diagnosis for aspergers, interestingly she was sympathetic and said she felt that I was indeed displaying such traits. Unfortunately that won't do any good, partly because, as with all mental health, there is no holistic connected service. If we had that, she might be able to communicate directly with the diagnostic service and add testimony.

This lack of connection is a real problem. She has no a…

The Dark Year Begins (2017, day one...actually day five)

This is the Dark Year; 2017. Last year took it's toll and started the trend, but I think the trouble we could see this year will be worse, with President Trump, the increasingly hapless (sigh) Jeremy Corbyn, the Tory onslaught continues, the rise of the right, the increasingly inflammable middle east.

That's not what I'm going to talk about.

Unfortunately this year I think my health is going to diminish.

What a massively self indulgent thing to say, you might, reasonably, be thinking. Of course; there are 7billion other people on this planet and a considerable portion of those are worse off than me.

But that's just capitalist propaganda; if we ignore our own problems then how do we come together to solve the greater problem of an oppressive system?

Who knows. All I know is that my hypoglycaemia, or whatever the fuck it is, has completely knocked me for six. My sleep is terrible, I'm riddled with constant hunger pangs, and when I miss a meal (I say when, but I do my…