Thursday, 3 September 2009

Benefit Busters

I've been watching the series of programmes on Channel 4 recently called "Benefit Busters" and tonight's, the 2nd so far, is based on sickness & disability. Seeing those interviews and assessments just raises my paranoia (which is already raised in all areas eg. being followed, people talking etc. for some reason) that someone is going to come knocking and tell me i'm a fraud and a fake.

I worry people will think,

"She's gained weight, she looks fine, she's even smiling sometimes. There's nothing wrong with her"

I made the effort to get a job (even when i was too unwell to be working and should probably have been hospitalised instead!), surely that shows i'm trying, but even though i've gained the weight i currently have less energy than i did when i was at my lowest weight. Well, maybe its not quite like that but i currently still need an afternoon nap every couple of days, which puts a bit of a barrier to my plans some days.

This is coming out all wrong. What i think i'm trying to say right now is that i'm scared. I don't want things to change right now. This is the most stable i've been, whilst not being a skeleton, since - well since i was first diagnosed with depression aged 14. My fear is that someone looking at me will say i can manage the part time (up to 16 hours), so why don't i try and go full time, that i don't deserve benefits because i can work. Then what? So i try full time work, what if i fall apart? i don't want to lose this job. It means the world to me, its been the best thing that has happened to me for such a long time. I'm terrified that i'll fall apart, end up in hospital (sectioned because thats the only way i'm ever going back to that place, i will never go of my own free will, not even to visit) which would probably mean i would never go back to working where i am now, or even get in touch with my wonderful caring boss ever again.

When things go wrong and i feel i've let people down, i don't feel i can go back and face them again. I've never been back to my school after leaving mid way through the first year of 6th form (although that might be about to change due to meeting someone at work who has just finished 6th form at the same school), i've never been back to the hospital ward that i worked on but had to leave after the car accident (not that they would have let me back to work anyway) and if i see anyone in the street from the past i generally put my head down and walk in the other direction. I don't want this to happen to my current work place. Its not that they don't know about my issues, but they don't know the half of my past and the things i've done. Actually sitting here thinking about it, i'd kind of forgotten about the fact that they don't know the whole me and for the first time i think i've managed to live my life and forget about hiding my past from those around me. Although now i feel like i need to confess to my boss and feel like i'm lying to him.

Perhaps thinking too much at 10pm isn't a good idea.

Hot chocolate and bed (and a couple of sedatives to shut my over working brain down).

2 people had something to say about this:

Katie said...

I saw your comment on one of my friends blogs and I just wanted to say hi :) I'm also in my 20s, living in the south of the UK and recovering from anorexia/self harm/depression. I really know what you mean about benefits, I am always paranoid that someone is going to think that I'm all better now I'm a healthy weight and decide that I should be able to cope with more than I can. I have received benefits 'just' for depression before while still at a normal weight though, so I don't think anyone would do that to you.
I hope you are having a nice Friday :)

Susie said...

Hi Katie,

i have stumbled across your blog previously. thank you for your comment. i think when i initially claimed i hadn't been formally diagnosed with an ED & i actually recall falling apart when the assessor asked to weigh me. So back then it was just for depression i was claiming as i hadn't really admitted to scale of the ED. But those thoughts of paranoia also apply to the fact of anti depressants and the benefits i'm getting from them.

Have a nice weekend.


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