As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a lot. Splurging all over the screen. Why? Mania. I don’t have Manic Depression but sometimes things happen and everything speeds up and whirls and bang: splurging and purging and rushing and palpations and fear. That is what’s happening. Monday’s Medical Double Whammy, the stress of filling in my ESA1 form and getting it ready for posting, a ‘talk’ with my Dad that put my heart rate up yet made it sink, a social event that was far away and caused more more than a little lamentation and great sadness… all under the pall of Menstruation. An emotional snowball.
During the above I have been suicidal and have visualised really hurting myself. I am having the occasional moment of ‘Phew, calm, normality will return’, but ‘I’ve only got to survive until my Dad dies and then I can take my life’* has become the New Normal.
The chat with my Dad was about money. Since I was found ‘Fit For Work’ last May, he has been supporting me financially. Since before Christmas he has been ‘encouraging’** me to re-apply for ESA. I have been working on this since then, constantly. I have written to my MP, I have written to many charities looking for an Advocate to help me and I have been trying to get a diagnosis for whatever is going on in my left ear that makes me dizzy, deaf and confused. It’s taken a long time to get anywhere. I really have been trying. I began writing this because I wanted to record my efforts. I have an Advocate, I’m near my ear diagnosis. But along the way my Mental Health has suffered. My Dad asked me if we could back-date the ESA claim to last year. My negative elicited a slightly aggressive response and the phrase ‘So I’m just going to have to write all this money off?’ (all the help he has given me, his Wonky, pain addled child). When was I going to get some money coming in? (ESA or another benefit), What happens if I don’t get the ESA?. I told him. If the ESA1 is ok I should have something coming in soon. If after that I undertake the ESA50 (? Medical Questionnaire) and WCA*** and I don’t get the ESA, I will apply again, with a different illness: I explained that I have been keeping conditions secret in order to use them in the future. If my recently acquired deafness and my long established Scoliosis, Chronic Spinal and Neck Pain, NEADs, EDS, Chronic Anaemia, Clinical Depression and Anxiety don’t persuade the DWP, I shall use my Secret Sauce of medical problems that I’ve not yet seen the GP about.
That is my life: not seeing doctors because I need to hold things back in case. A savings account of body parts that don’t function.
My Dad encounter was depressing, I won’t lie: I felt low directly afterward because it was a mixture of health talk, money talk and plain emotion. I don’t find it easy talking to my Dad. Mum was always our conduit. And her absence makes the emotion worse. Feeling like a burden – something to be written off as a loss, made me feel a little less. I faded for a moment. My Dad has frequently reminded me that it was he who wanted me and had to persuade my Mum to have me. I only remembered that today – 3 days after our talk.
The Social Event caused me a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar anxiety. Familiar: I have to get somewhere via Tube on time. I have a map. But how long will it take? Will I be able to do the walk bit at the end? The chap at the station tells me to change but can I risk the stairs to gain 5 minutes, when the stairs might mean I can’t walk at the other end? Will I get a seat on the Tube? Will the seats at the venue be comfortable – will I be able to stretch my legs and back and do all the things I need to do to be in less pain?**** Will people be repulsed by me and my disgusting Acne? Do I have enough pain relief meds and Beta Blockers and Diazepam with me? Will I be able to afford a drink at the venue? The Unfamiliar: too personal to say, but it’s ‘Romantic’ in nature. So it’s been written about by many people before – it is not unique to me. I believe we are unique in our pains and failures – just as ‘happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in it’s own way’ (good old Tolstoy – Anna Karenina).
All of the above has lead me to a blurty writing spiral, and a suicidal spiral. I am having to work very hard to keep bobbing up to the surface and to keep my mind occupied. The writing is helping (good for me, bad for you) but I may have to go to my GP on Tuesday and have them raise the dose of my Citalopram. I’ve been on a higher dose before – I did not like it. I have been on an even lower dose than currently, but Mum being ill raised it. 2 years ago putting my meds up might have made me feel bad. Now, I feel nothing, which is why they have to go up. Feeling nothing – not even the vibrations from your fear – is a bad sign.
*I promised my Mum I would not kill myself. I have now promised her (mentally) that I shall not kill me until my Dad dies.
**Nagging, he really has been nagging. I don’t respond well – it makes me anxious and then I get ill and can’t do what he wants me to do and the cycle continues.
*** Work Capability Assessment: they are notorious, they are the medical means test once administered by ATOS and now MAXIMUS. I’ll write more about them later.
*** *Stretches and physio, take pills throughout the film I’m watching without disturbing people… etc. etc.