How (Not) to Claim Benefit

I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know, right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy I’m just a little impaired
I know, right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be

Unwell, Matchbox 20

1) Make a claim

On 7th June this year, I phoned the new claims line, and made a claim for ESA in Youth. I asked the lady at the other end of the line if there was anywhere to note that I wanted to apply under the youth rules, and she told me that it should be picked up from the information I’d given.

2) Submit evidence

On the 9th of June, I received a copy of the information I’d given over the phone, and with it a request for me to submit “evidence to support my claim”- a sicknote “from the 8th day of this claim” and “proof of education and training”. It told me that I had “until 07 July 2010 to contact us with all of the information and evidence documents requested in this letter”. I duly arranged a GP appointment, visited my old uni to collect proof from them, and posted off all the requested documents on the 14th June 2010.

3) Be immediately turned down

Before I’d had time to collect anything that they’d asked for, I received a letter dated 8th June – the day after I’d made my claim. It told me, in bald sentences, that “we cannot pay you ESA from 7th June 2010”, because “you have not paid, or been credited with, enough NI contributions”. The letter made no reference to the previously stated deadline for submission of evidence, nor to the youth rules. So much for their magical system… Continue Reading »



It’s half past 3 in the morning, and I should be in bed, should have been hours ago…

should have

should have

I do this to myself, night after night, sitting immobile as the clock ticks on and the thoughts get darker. Not even the urge to go to the toilet gets me off this chair. I just sit here, rocking now from the pain in my bladder and the pain in my head. Sharp thoughts, slicing through my feelings like a knife doesn’t slice through my skin.

Leaving me with just a mild graze on my arm and an even bigger feeling of incompetence.

I shouldn’t put pressure on myself, shouldn’t use these should words… but if I don’t put pressure on myself, then these long dark nights turn into cold dawns, with me still sat here.

To be fair, I was asked if I wanted one last med review appointment made before I was discharged this week – but psychiatrists are poop, and the medication won’t help, so I said no. I’m not ill, the venlefaxine is warding off the depression, I just need to get myself sorted out.

Which is also why I shouldn’t quote this, no matter how appropriate the lyrics feel.

All day,
Staring at the ceiling making friends with shadows on my wall

All night,
I’m hearing voices telling me that I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good for something

Hold on
I’m feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown
I don’t know why

Unwell, Matchbox Twenty

The time it took to write this post? One hour. It is now half past 4 in the morning, and still counting.

Long Time No Post

I’m feeling a bit at sea. Every day I get through has another one after it. I can feel myself falling deeper into depressive behaviour, but when I try and pull myself out, I can’t manage to make myself cope better.

I have a discharge meeting with my care-co and my worker from the YP-place this week, hopefully I’ll be able to sound positive at it, I don’t like talking about how down I feel in case it seems like a reaction to having to be discharged.

On that subject – I have to be discharged because I’m not the CMHT’s typical sort of client, and it was only ever going to be short term work for three months (this said six months ago… so I’ve had my fair share and then some). Psychiatrist has already discharged me, so I’ll be free of specialist MH services soon. I have been referred to see a psychologist though, for real this time (long story, might try and post it properly).

However, care-co has apparently encouraged YP worker to rerefer me if the risk to myself (haha) increases, which is a bit of a change from my old psych’s viewpoint of needing a Severe and Enduring mental illness before referring.

Dithering over whether to obey the thoughts again or not – the last time seems to be healing with no scar. Hoping that if I do, it might stop everything breaking down around me. I’m a bit scared, I’d prefer to have enough faith to stand firm against the onslaught, but when I tried talking about it, things got worse – and big words like “delusional thoughts” got waved around, which didn’t help. Even reading back what I’ve written makes it sound overly dramatic.

I’ll finish off with a quote I overheard in the (very studenty) supermarket…

I asked my mother to buy me a laptop when she came down last weekend, but she bought me teabags instead

It Turns Out That…

… stress brings confusing events, confusing thoughts.

I watched a very interesting program on 4oD – it’s viewable on Youtube from within the UK.

It followed two children with OCD through a course of therapy with a child psychologist (who was incidentally, quite cute). One of the children experienced his OCD as a little man in his head, called Idiota, who told him to do things, and one of his fears was that if he went near knives Idiota would make him stab himself in the head.

I noted that when this was shown, the psychologist reassured the parents that people develop those sorts of fears around things that they feel repulsed by, and therefore he was very unlikely to act on any of his fears.

If that’s true… then why do I still have the marks on my arm from the last time the thoughts were this strong? 😕

Midsomer Murders on the TV in a waiting room.


I passed.

Every season returns in turn


Early sunset.


Bad memories.


Wish I could run away.