Universal Credit and PIP Are Shit, Tories Are Awful and I Can’t Do Anything Anymore.

I’ve really not been well this week. Well, more not well than my usual. My brain feels like it’s on fire, and I can’t make sense from any of my scrambled thoughts. I don’t know if this makes much sense, but I hope it does.

I Can’t Do Anything. No, Really.

It is a narrative that has been a thread throughout my 25 years on this godforsaken planet. I brew good intentions to do things due to a moment of rapid-fire in my belly (not diarrhoea, desire for change okay whatever) that soon descends into a miserable failure and chewed down fingernails.

I sit every day intending to write, and often find myself in the rabbit hole of YouTube drama videos or watching Football compilations; neither of which I’m particularly fond of. However, I hate myself enough to persevere with those endeavours only to punish myself more it would seem.

But alas, I have failed to write on this blog. And I guess this got me thinking about the ‘can’t’ I live with. Ultimately, when life has dealt me a card that I physically and mentally cannot cope with, the most difficult part has been informing those around me that I’m soz, not well still.

And people don’t like people who say they can’t do things, especially if there is no physical evidence of this. Or rather, I’ve got enough scars on my body that allude to the idea I can’t cope – but this in itself is something that has been so deeply stigmatised by people who have little or no desire to educate themselves on mental health.

When I say I can’t do things, I can’t. It’s not an enjoyable process for anybody struggling to ponder why everybody else appears to of been innately suited to this world, and you feel like a slab of shit in the corner stinking up the place and ruining everybody’s fun.

The thing is with living with mental illness, is the sufferer has the front row seat to their own demise. I’m cognitively aware of what is happening around me. I can see the tedium linger in the eyes of people I love. I am acutely aware of what I should be doing.

I am paralysed by the perceptions of me that family, friends, doctors and teachers have shared. I’ve been told many times that I’m simply ‘not the type’ to be mentally ill. I don’t suit their narrative, thus I am clearly capable and I’m just being difficult.

My day is waking up, normally mid panic attack, and spending my whole day unravelling the mess that is my brain. Some days I can’t even get out of bed because I’m laden with palpitations. I’m exhausted all the fucking time. If I have to speak to another human being, I spend days after where I can barely string a sentence together without stuttering or getting lost. My stomach is always in mild pain. My poor posture had left me with pretty miserable back pain. I can’t cry in front of people or show any real emotion besides a protective veil of rage.

And Jesus Christ, I doubt I’ll ever trust a human being properly. I’ve been protecting myself from this cumbersome misery as much as I can since I was 6-years-old. I received the message loud and clear that people don’t want you to be honest if you’re suffering, they just want you to be easy.

You know, sometimes I read what I write and just revel in what a miserable piece of shit I sound like. But, to be fair, it’s probably a pretty accurate portrayal.

Tories Have Ruined People’s Lives and Hate Those Who Require Benefits, Pass It On.

The irony is, the tedium Tories and the like show towards the mentally ill doesn’t have to be through overt comments. It’s a tale as old as time, the working class look left and right for somebody to blame whilst an arsehole in a suit rests their loafers on their backs.

So the criticism and misunderstanding I’ve experienced from people who equally have nothing to rub together I rarely take personally. Or rather, I don’t curse the sky when they do. I’ll go and cry in a bathroom or something.

So, this British government on mental health and disability. Fruitful, eh? Whilst Priti Patel spends upwards of £70k in her local nail salon and Boris Johnson has spent thousands of pounds to blend his posh sofa into his posh wallpaper so No.10 looks like the joke it actually is, what is happening to the benefits system?

The rejuvenated Universal Credit is a pile of shit.

It has about as much respect for Mental Illness as Joe Rogan does for the majority of the medical field. Thousands of families in the UK have just lost £100 a month to make ends meet, meanwhile as those utilising food banks have gone up. Or, are they all just some lazy caricature that idiots have derived from dubious tabloids and pompous bobbleheads on morning television?

Universal Credit’s role is to get people into work within a year. It is in the government’s eyes, it appears this is the most fruitful thing an individual can do.

It doesn’t matter if their billionaire bosses leave them having to piss into bottles on production lines in fear of risking their jobs whilst their cockwomble of a boss pisses off to space in his Gucci loafers. Nor if they are in the fit state to work for said cockwomble without their physical nor mental health reaching a place of no return. Nope. Just push up those government employment numbers and STFU baby.

It appears Tories have never, nor will ever, learn from the highest suicide rates this country has ever seen in the 80s.

If you want people to get back to work, how about actually funding the resources people need to get better properly? How about working to genuinely reduce the waiting lists (as much as a year) for those waiting for their 6 sessions of CBT and a pat on the back. How about creating a mental health service that provides nuisance and genuine help for those who are not going to have their chronic mental health issues fixed with breathing exercises?

When my doctor, after nearly two decades, realised I still live the life of a ghost haunting a terraced house and isn’t that pleased about it; she finally referred me to a psychologist. When I got my medical records for my PIP application, I saw that when I was 10 years old, she had written that she suspected I had ASD Or BPD. But alas, did nothing about it and this wasn’t even communicated to my parent.

People roll their eyes at self-diagnosis, however, I’m sure anybody who has gone into their GP with anything more complex with a cold has literally witnessed their GP google their damn symptoms. I can WikiHow at home, thanks.

How about looking at the glaring problems that exist and making actual change for people. And, I don’t know, stop outsourcing the work to your posh mate’s companies?

Essentially this government is more concerned with looking as if it is doing, rather than actually helping. Jesus, Mary and Joseph my angry forehead vein is popping out further than it should.

Essentially, Tories need to pick a fucking lane. You either give people the support they need and fix the damn resources they’ve fucked up to get back to work and have a manageable life. Or they acknowledge their complete failure in providing these resources for people, whose problems have only fermented in the years they’ve not accessed treatment, and support them financially.

I’m not even going to get started on the morons who genuinely believe the benefits system is what is responsible for taxes. What a lovely and conveniently lie that’s been fed to people.

PIP Is A Load Of Shit, Deliberately.

PIP fails to really achieve anything, at all. Looking into PIP was a horror of a read, where physically disabled people read their assessments and witnessed grown-ass people right ‘walked in confidently’ when the assessed had lost limbs and couldn’t get about with the resources provided by PIP. Resources of which were taken away from them after this assessment.

So, as an applicant of PIP, I expect I will have to go for an assessment. So, what will the assessor be looking for where the problem is my brain? It’s practically invisible, besides an anxiety rash that brews on my neck, the occasional lip quiver and inability to sustain eye contact.

 Do I have to bring in pictures of the scars and wounds from my inability to cope? Do I have to bring in a video of me having nightmares and waking up with my fists clenched in the foetal position? Do I have to bring in past friendships and family members who can detail how my inability to leave my bedroom without vicious panic attacks has incinerated those relationships? Video footage of me getting overwhelmed with my Mum talking about simple things, and in a depression-low me punching myself in the face in front of her?

I spent my childhood attempting to communicate substantial pain I didn’t understand, to people who didn’t want to hear it. I’ve been practising my dudes, essentially. I am an expert in the lived experience of living with a slightly annoying brain that wants to set fire to itself

PIP is designed to take out applicants who need help. In fact, so much so that I have been told that I will inevitably be declined help. But, lucky for me, if I go through the appeal system (also made to be incredibly difficult) then there is over 90% chance I will be accepted…. Bizarre that innit.

The small lens of which Tories provide in understanding mental illness kills people. Pure and simple (gonna be there).

Family Can Be Turds, Pass It On.

Look, I’ve had to face the fact that caring about me is probably kind of miserable. Sometimes I work through the almost-shitting myself on public transport and palpitations and can make it to a friend. Sometimes I even enjoy myself, even though even smiling has been used against me as a bizarre ‘gotcha’ moment from friends and family before. As if somebody with depression smiles, it’s proof that they aren’t suffering as much as they say.

That’s some infallible logic right there if I’ve ever seen it.

The truth is, that most of the misery that’s been derived by having a slightly different brain (see I can be nice to myself Mum), has been mainly through other people’s treatment of me. I think when your disability (for want of a better word) isn’t visible, then people project whatever the fuck they want onto you. Not that I believe this doesn’t have to those whose disabilities are even visible.

Ignorance and audacity really are plentiful in society. And more apparent, that’s to social media where we all learnt our Aunts and Uncles are actual POS who hate everybody….. just me? 

I guess, if anybody is reading this damn mess, I just want to say that I’m sorry and that as tempting as it is to go well, if I could just be normal as opposed to looking at your situation with kindness for yourself, follow the kindness. Think how you hopefully feel when you hear of somebody else’s struggle and follow suit.

Even now, I don’t think anybody could hate me more than I hate myself. I’m 25 years old, and I don’t believe there is anybody more tedious, hideous and vapid than myself. It took me years just to accept that despite being ‘difficult’ for those around me, I was allowed to grieve. I was allowed to feel sad. I was allowed to smile, even. These are things I still struggle with because grown adults chose to lambast a child having panic attacks and self-harming as calculated, as opposed to needing help.

I was lucky to have a ‘spell’ of attempting university. It ended up horrifically, and I completed my course long-distance after getting to the point I was doing shots before going to Sainsbury’s at 11am because I found talking to people so anxiety-inducing. I told you, I am a HOOT.

But just being around other young people, who were working out their own shit really illuminated to me that I was not of some entitled generation – but rather a generation of which many are collateral damage of their parent’s unaddressed issues. I was around a lot of people who struggled in different ways to me, but had a similar experience in how these problems were dealt with; and alas, you leave a child to sit with their own agony in solitary, and that child probably isn’t going to be void of struggles growing up.

In recent years, I’ve decided to stop seeing my family altogether. Helped by a particularly miserable Christmas when and my bisexual best friend had to sit in front of my family whilst they went on a tirade about how the LGBTQ+ community shouldn’t be teachers. She works at one of the leading Sixth Forms in the country in the admissions department. 

Also, if I wanted a stark reminder of what a piece of shit I am, I would just go through my Twitter timeline. 

Save me some travel expenses, you know.

Dear Society, Stop Being A Dickhead. With Peace and Love.

My life is about damage limitations, which isn’t exactly a hearty message that holds up earnest narratives. However, it’s the truth. I am managing a constant mess of noise in my head, that more often than not leaves me feeling defeated and alone. But alas, thanks to the internet, I’m brutally aware that I’m not alone in this. If you feel this way, you aren’t either.

I mean, take this blog post for example.

I wanted to write about what ‘can’t’ means to those with mental health issues. Which clearly hasn’t happened.

I am tumble-dried threads that have all been tangled together, and I can’t tell my ups from my downs right now. I know at some point I will for a brief moment of clarity, but until then this is what I’m working with.

I don’t feel safe around people, in all truth. If not because of being judged for something that causes me such misery, but because I don’t want to be the source of others misery. I see people only in those brief moments where I can lie. Where I can make jokes, and not want to cry when somebody looks me in the eyes. I want to be able to actually speak sense and listen when my friends need somebody to talk to in person.

Essentially, I want to be the opposite of what people have been to me.

And look, I know how this must-read to people who don’t have these problems. I understand how it can seem petulant and ‘gimme gimme gimme I need I need I need’ (get the reference, please).

 But, fucking hell, if we had an adequate system to help people and didn’t just lambast invisible illnesses with projections that suit ourselves, imagine how freeing that could be to those suffering? And ultimately, why do we live in a society that feels like it just wants to make people’s lives, which are already difficult, harder?

Much love,

The girl whose brain feels about a useful as dried up gorilla glue x

The Intro: Mental Health, Class + WTF is This

So, where to begin.

Who tf are you?

I guess I’ll start with the basics. I’m Kim. I’m 25 years old and live in the south of England. I guess I’m at a loss for how to describe myself at the moment. The idea I have of myself changes day-to-day. Most days all I can think about is the things I don’t like about myself, which makes it difficult to pluck out any defining characteristics that define me. So, I guess I’ll say this, I’m a very appropriate person to be writing about mental health? We’ll try that, and I guess the rest will come with time.

I guess a brief snippet into my soul via labels would be I’m an agoraphobic, who deals with an almost constant state of depression. I seldom leave my bedroom, never mind the house.

I’m very fun if you enjoy watching grown women have panic attacks about pretty much nothing.

What tf is this?

So, what is Debbie Downer? I decided to start this blog after my fifth rage this week. For reference, it’s Tuesday. I’ve been living with mental health issues my whole life. At 6-years-old my Mum took me to my GP as she had found out I’d been hurting myself. One of the first things somebody ever said to me regarding the issue of mental health, is that it was perfectly ‘normal’ for ‘intelligent’ and ‘sensitive’ young girls to cut themselves.

And there began my very difficult and exhausting relationship with mental health.

I guess I didn’t dive too much into it for the first post, but needless to say that I find that narrative around mental health being somehow acceptable in today’s world to be bizarre. So much so, for years I’ve tried to write about it. Naturally, I’ve found it pretty difficult to write about something akin to being thrashed about in a riptide. However, this is my attempt at doing so.

Basically, I’m bonkers and I can’t remember the last time I went a full day without having a panic attack. Hi.

What tf do you want?

I mean, apart from some clarity and maybe some rum, I don’t know.

I’d like there to be more honest discussions about the state of the NHS in dealing with mental health issues. I’d like people to start honestly putting the issue of poverty and class at the heart of these discussions – because whilst mental health doesn’t discriminate at who it affects, the access to effective and high-quality care in treating it does.

I believe prejudice around working-class people is sewn into the very fibre of the UK; and in a time where more families are being forced to use food banks, I find the narrative around mental health in mainstream media shockingly vapid and ignore real systemic problems that kill people.

So, am I going to solve this by having a bitch on the internet? No. I don’t even know if I possess the skills to even maintain this blog as my brain is a cesspit.

However, I hope somebody reads this and somehow feels less alone in whatever they’re feeling; regardless of if that’s rage, loneliness that never shakes, a fear that never stops growing or a belief that nothing is going to get better.

It will, and you are very much not alone. You are very much worthy of help, kindness, and all things magical.

What tf are you going to post?

I mean, right now my thoughts resemble a really, really shit Jackson Pollock. Nothing makes sense, so providing a definitive answer on the answer feels next to impossible.

However, I will be posting about… you guessed it… mental health. Things that are happening in the UK regarding it, whether cultural or Tories being Tories. I imagine a love of film will seep in somewhere.

Who knows? I’m sure it will be equally horrifying and messy, regardless of what it is.

And naturally, I think it’s going to be pretty clear soon why I have hailed this blog Debbie Downer.