The best way to describe how my life feels at the moment is overwhelming.
My health and ability to cope with things has been deteriorating slowly over time and this is nothing unusual; I go through these phases and have done throughout my life.
What is different now is that everything seems so much more intense and the standard I have to work to are much higher. I can't get away with having a bad day or even bad month as nothing slows or stops to accommodate it. I am now a mature woman and as such, people expect me to tolerate and cope with the toils of life, but in fact I still struggle as I did back in my teens, just I hide it better.
As described in other posts, I have been back to my GP as a result of sensory issues and having shutdowns at work and I was told I would be referred to a specialist and would hear within 7 days etc. That was over a month ago...
My referral has been rejected twice already due to the facilities it has been referred to not being capable of dealing with 'my type of case'. Meanwhile it has now been referred to somewhere else and I am told to give it more time and be patient. That's all well and great when you are in a fit state to deal with everything. Why is it medical experts don't seem to realise time is not on your side in these situations as you are sliding faster down a slippery slope that becomes much harder to climb back up again. Also, instead of being referred for sensory issues, I have been referred for a mental health assessment. I am confused and flabbergasted by the whole thing.
As a result I am left feeling like I am trying to drastically hold onto sand that is slowly slipping through my fingers.
There are other personal factors that have probably contributed to how I am feeling and reacting as well, but the main issue is that I am now just functioning as in getting up and going to work and that has been hit and miss on occasions. My routines that I so strongly rely on to make sure I eat and eat healthy as well as keep my house clean and tidy, I can no longer achieve or even comprehend, which is only heightening my stress levels - I must follow these routines in order to feel calm and in control. My self-care has also lapsed and everything seems a massive chore. Even my special interests just seem too much to even think about or get actively involved in. To make matters worse, my partner is also going through a bad time, so he has his own battles to fight without having to deal with mine.
I am aware I am having an intense period of emotions and that they are bad, but I cannot differentiate what they are or even as to why I am feeling them or what lead me to this point. Not seeing the wood for the trees could be a possible issue.
Either way, I now don't know what to do.
I have no one to turn to and even if I did, I don't know what I would say or do as I cannot express myself verbally in these situations.
To summarise, I am tired and I know it is only a matter of time before I roll over and give in because I can't battle on any more. This is why I get so frustrated that everything surrounding mental health is based on time and the infinite amount of it apparently.
I am normally a good problem solver, but I can't see a way out of this one and that is what troubles me the most.
Jeez, number 3 ~ suggesting you get a driving job!!! WTF!!! I totally relate Robert, I recently went to court for eviction but managed to not get evicted but trying to keep up with all the bills etc is not easy; however, so far so good.
Self employement is the way to go for me, but as you said, this takes time, and dealing with all this *** in the meantime, doesn’t make that an easy option and it’s not an immediate one.
They told me, all excited and beside themselves, that I could do work experience in the job centre!!! Again, WTF, they’re not listening to me, what part of that did they think would be helpful to me!?!?!?!?
Anyway, hang in there. Are you receiving PIP?
I had to get my head down last night and just try and rest, which has helped, but I am left with that weighing feeling over me this morning. The one where problems don't go away and sit with you.
As you have all said we have all experienced these problems at stages in our lives, which is why I find it so frustrating that there is no system in place to support us in times of need to stop us getting to crisis level.
I don't receive any benefits and never hand done. I was section at 19 where I had tried to do the right thing a year previous and got a mortgage on a house (was manipulated into this situation and strung along - that's another story!). Even when I was in hospital after a suicide attempt and was being held against my will, there was no help or support to help me at least contribute towards the mortgage and stop my house being repossessed.
All I kept being told was:
1 - You own your own home so there is no support to help pay for that
2 - You were fired from your last job as a result of being unfit for work and you are not seeking work (I was sectioned) so can't claim job seekers
3 - You are not disabled so cannot claim disability allowance
4 - Can your parents pay the bills (yes seriously!)
5 - Wait until you are in X amount of debt and then claim bankruptcy or sell your home
All of the above did not help my situation and would have just caused further problems.
As I have said in previous posts, we are all people who want to thrive in life and do our best, so why is it there are so many systems that are rigged against us or help is always too late to offer support when when we need it most? I am ranting and going off topic now, so back to the point.
I'm not sure about current benefits as I have been told I am very high functioning - so can cook, clean, go to work etc. What those who would be assessing me would not see is the level or procedures and regimes in place that I must follow to achieve these. If any of them go out of kilter, then I am a mess and struggle. So on the surface it appears I am doing just fine, but most people don't see the effort and forward planning involved in just getting by.
On my health in general, I used to exercise regularly, but haven't for months now and I am aware I have become very unfit. I become tired very easily from just walking and feel exhausted all the time. Again this comes back down to my procedures not being permitted or I cannot see them through to ensure I plan and cook my meals in a certain way to ensure I eat healthy. Being so exhausted has resulted in me doing no exercise, but I am trying to go for walks when I can and want to get back into cycling.
I am taking vitamins and should probably invest more in my personal care such as soaks in the bath etc. This is something I will have to look into.
Sometimes I wish I could literally stop the world and get off for a bit so I can just get my head together and have a rest from it all.
Writing does help as I find I can communicate better this way, but at the same time venting only achieves so much. I appreciate I need to make some changes, I'm just not sure what to do for the best at the moment. Don't know about you, but when you have to make a big decision, I have to run through all the possible scenarios and outcomes in great detail, which although very helpful at times, can be completely overwhelming in these situations.
From your other posts, you clearly have a lot going on as well.
The fact you have seeked helped is a major step, I just hope you get the help you need. If self-employed is something you would like to do, are there any part-time jobs that could provide a bit of an income whilst you get yourself established? Not sure what your skills are, but wondered if you could contribute these is a job that gives you the flexibility to develop your own business?
Back to my problems/experiences. And my advisors!
Advisor 1 is from the city council. I have to attend meetings with him to continue getting council tax benefit. He is very down to earth, gives practical advice and wants to know everything I am doing to get off benefits. He's told me off a few times. Like when I described a job interview that went wrong when they drilled me about gaps in my work history. And I admitted I was unable to work while recovering from heart failure in that particular year.
His opinion is that I must appear to be the perfect candidate, NO weaknesses,. NO illnesses, NO baggage.
Advisor 2. Is an employment specialist from a mental health charity. He's rewritten my CV, got second opinions from experts who has suggested MOOCs and eventual self employment. Since I am virtually unemployable in the conventional senses.
He however has his own problems, missing meetings, getting times and locations wrong and many short holidays. Not sure what's going in with him.
Advisor 3 is a private recruitment company expert contracted to the job centre. She tries by looking for jobs for me and going through application forms and her colleague does mock interviews.
Unfortunately she sometimes gets things wrong like double booking sessions, sending me for a driver's job (I can't drive or ride a bike. I have slight hand to eye coordination issues).
Advisor 4. Is at the job centre. She has a little autism experience, having dealt with ESA claims before her present post of Universal Credit work coach.
Then I have to deal with unexpected problems like.....
Prosecution for prescription charge fraud!
I am entitled to free prescriptions because I am on Universal Credit and below an earnings threshold. But there isn't a box to tick for universal credit on the back of the prescription. The advice I was given was to tick one of the other boxes of one of the benefits that Universal credit replaces.
But the prescription was checked and they found that I wasn't on the benefit I claimed. So pay a £150 fine plus original cost of medicine. Or it's the county court for fraud!!!!!
I ended up making several phone calls. At the job centre I asked my advisor for help in providing me evidence that I was on Universal Credit. She said it wasn't her problem. She only deals with the job search part of Universal Credit. To get proof I had to make an actual voice call to a national number. ( E-mail and internet contact was not an option) Wait on the line for 40minutes Go through all the security questions and finally they sent me proof, which I forwarded and the prosecution was dropped.
Another rant from me.
Making first appointment to see council tax related employment advisor was also a long drawn out tale. Don't want to bore people with it. But I almost had a breakdown!!!
Bloody hell! If I was as disorganised as these so called professional advisors, then I would lose my job!
It needs to be made clear that people seeking help from these individuals have normally exhausted all options and as such need structured and reliable support. It all seems a bit slap dash from what you have described.
In relation to the prescription issue, can universal credit shouldn't have put you through that, but at least you have proof now to save this issue in the future. I was once criticised by a psychiatrist for not taking my medication. I explained that I didn't think they were helping in the slightest (which I now know they weren't) and that I could see them being value for money based on the fact I was out of work, had little funds to survive on and the cost of the prescriptions would significantly reduce the money I had to use on food. I felt food was more important for my health! I couldn't get free prescriptions at the time and the psychiatrist told me to just fudge the form and say I could claim it as that's what they have done previously and they never got caught! I was also told that if I didn't take my medication, then I was seen as not cooperating with the services offered and would therefore be removed from the service as a result. I was shocked that I was being told and encouraged to do this. As a result I removed myself from the service on morale grounds.
I hope the initial stress from this incident has subsided and you are able to collect your thoughts for other matters. If the advisors are proving no help at all, is it worth letting the job centre know? They might be able to recommend a better person or company to work with.