News items from the latest 'Benefits and Work' newsletter. They may be of interest to anyone on ESA, PIP:
Benefits and Work Latest News
Thank you for trying to help me!
I feel that the coping strategies and masks I wear are actually the dead end.
I simply try to suppress myself and please others. I am exhausted.
There is no point to live like that. I am not happy. I want to be myself.
I have been sick several times. Mostly, when the manager became demanding.
I felt so good and happy finally to be alone. I even cannot describe. I almost want to cry.
The problem with me is that I am really shy and quiet. I always try to avoid conflicts. I am not forceful in my approach and in getting my needs met.
I know that my life is precious and this is not how I want to live. I am trying to find a way out of this misery I experience somehow. I just do not know how to do it.
My life is not about the money. I just want to be happy. I want to keep my budget in balance.
I am now trying to drop the masks I wear. This is difficult as I have to go against what others expect from me and say ''No''. I am unhappy that I have to say No but at the same time I am happy that I do not have to do something I do not want to do.
You are brave. I wish I would be that brave. I feel that I am slowly going in that direction. It just takes time.
It does sound like you are unwell at the minute. As well as contacting NAS I also suggest you speak to your GP about your difficulties to see what support you can access, such as a fit note.
I spent two years in an awful work situation that made me really ill. I am now out of that now and have a supportive manager, which has made the world of difference. Have you thought about changing employment to something that's more suited to your needs? For example, I can't work with a demanding manager and need one who is happy for me to work independently.
I am trying to find something else. I also want to work independently and from home. But job interviews are really horrible experiences for me. I am extremely anxious. The best I can do - Yes and No answers. I cannot explain anything and say something meaningful. Just say words and I think they do not sound like normal sentences to other people.
I am now in an open plan office which is a nightmare. There is even radio.
Oh California, you are every bit as brave as me, I promise you, and I’m every bit as shy as you. I’m not deliberately forceful in my approach and I avoid conflicts at all costs and I can’t even say no, I’m only just learning which feels weird, scary, empowering and many other feelings but I’m slowly finally learning to say no. Just like you, I love being by myself so much I do cry. I feel the injustices of this world intensely but in true aspified fashion, I speak my mind which apparently, gets you what you want. I didn’t even realise I was so forceful, I’ve only started to realise this since diagnosis. Even on here, other people’s comments, to what I write, makes me wonder if people think I’m saying something like I’m right and everyone else is wrong. I have no idea how they could come to that conclusion but since my diagnosis, I have noticed that lots of people say weird things to me and I’m starting to realise that I sound confident when I talk which some how makes people hear what you’re saying differently or something but I’m never trying to tell people what to think or say that I’m right and they’re wrong. What I’m trying to say, is that I absolutely promise you I am no braver than you. This world is a complete mine field to me, I barely understand anything but since I got my diagnosis, I’m growing in confidence and it’s the burnout that has enabled me to do that. By being on benefits, which I am so humbly grateful for, I have had the time and space to be alone, time to rest, and I realise I don’t want much out of life at all. Over the last 12 months, even if I had desperately wanted to do something I couldn’t, I was too exhausted to even get out of bed. Which has been a god send as it has slowed me right down and it’s helping to see myself in a whole new light. We’re not shy or any of those things we think we are. Sure we can be shy some times but so can everybody. For us, it’s more that’s its simply we’re more sensitive to the world so it’s actually uncomfortable for us to be around people for too long. You will find your way California. You’re doing exactly what I did. I realised something had to change, I didn’t know what or how do go about it and the alone time, which I was forced into through a major burnout/breakdown/breakthrough gave me what I needed which was just that, time and space. Now my whole life plans have changed. I’m going to do a masters degree in autism and I’m going to work diligently to do what I can to help spread awareness of autism and to do what ever I can to make the lives of autistic people better. I used to hate the fact that I could talk but my friend made me realise it’s a gift and if I use it wisely, I can use it to help me and others. I’m just the same as you California. You’re going in the right direction my friend and never be afraid to ask for help or get what you want and need. My desire for the next 12 months or so is to get more rest, build up a lovely daily routine that is sustainable for me and slowly but surely ease my way back into work. I will still work as a metaphysician but now I will concentrate my attention on working with autistic people and their families. Of course I will still work with nt’s if that’s who I attract to me but my focus is shifting. Take that time and allow all that beauty and incredibleness that is within you, that is you, to come out of you. And you know, the most ordinary and simple lives, no matter how humble and meagre, are the most beautiful when people are simply quietly and contentedly doing what they love, living life on their terms and their values which never involve finances and stuff. I highly value the simple things in life, like a drop of dew on a single blade of grass in the early morning light, I value people and lives and I don’t place any more value on money than I do anything else in life. People, kindness, love, understanding, all the good and free things in life are what I truly value from the bottom of my heart and life has never failed to provide for me so that is my currency in life and it never fails me. Be true to yourself and keep on doing what you’re doing my friend. It is a journey and does take time, it can’t be rushed, you will come into your own at the right time for you. Just please don’t struggle by yourself, you don’t have to, we’re here for you. I’m almost back on my feet and I’ll come and see you if needs be, you don’t have to struggle alone, in fact we need to share our struggles and our strengths with each other because that’s how we get stronger. When we are united, we gain strength, when we are separated, we lose it. You’re never alone and every one of us here needs you, we need each other. Thank you for sharing with us how it is for you right now, that’s braver than anything I’ve said or done. I look forward to the day you see that in yourself.