God I hate January. Especially January in northern England. In past years I’ve escaped to sunnier climes, but state benefits don’t stretch to a week drinking Ouzo and flirting with Greek waiters, so coffee from a spotty youth in my local Mcdonalds will have to do. It’s been a strange start to the new year. I’ve been out and about a lot more than usual, due entirely to a mania induced shopping habit, and a refusal to miss even the slightest bargain. This week saw the final closure of Woolworths stores in the UK. A very sad time for the 30,000 staff who will start 2009 signing on at their local job centre. For me it was an opportunity to buy a lot of tat at 90% off. I now have enough lightbulbs to see me into the next century (5p each), which means I can’t OD for a while as I’d hate to waste them. Shopping in my three nearest woolies this week felt uncomfortably like grave robbing. With the news today that M&S are to close some of their stores too, I wonder what my high street will look like this time next year. Probably like that episode of the Simpsons where every store was a Starbucks. Hey ho, at least I’ll have somewhere to get my coffee. How this government still intends to get all us workshy off incapacity benefit and into jobs is beyond me. Would you hire a mad person if there were ten norms applying at the same time as her?
Speaking of benefits, it appears that the numpties at the DWP were wrong to send me the IB50 form. As a recipient of high rate care on DLA I am apparantly exempt from the PCA (personal capability assessment). Unfortunately the computer at my local job centre doesn’t know that I’m on DLA , so I have to wait for that computer to speak to another one and then someone will phone me to say I don’t need to fill in the form. They were meant to call me yesterday. Of course that didn’t happen. I hate answering my mobile if I can’t see who is ringing me, but not answering it could result in my benefits being suspended. Added to that is the dilemma that if I do answer it, some bright spark at the DLA office may see it as proof that I am not as mad as I used to be, and stop my benefits anyway. It’s a no win situation really, especially as the office I need to speak to doesn’t appear to have a phone, so I can’t ring them at a time that suits me. They really do make it easy for us don’t they?
Another phone call I need to make this week is to my pdoc. I believe I have an appointment with her at the end of Jan but can’t remember when. The appointment was made in October, so it’s not surprising that I’ve forgotten. Again, my turning up is probably a test of how capable I am lol. (I’m slightly paranoid this week in case you haven’t guessed). I’m just going there to have a chat about the meds, in particular how I’m getting on with the Quetiapine. Well the answer to that is not too bad. For the most part it has removed my angry moods and voices. However it only seems to work on a normal stress free day. If anything unusual occurs my anxiety levels spike again. I only need to look at the arrival of the IB50 form for that, as it brought back a lot of self harm urges and strangely, an urge to shave my head! However, I didn’t cut. Perhaps without the quetiapine I would have done. I’m also still waking up in a panic each day. I feel jittery until I take my first pill. It makes me feel like an addict and I hate being reliant on medication. Personally, I feel that it is the thought of hurting my dad which helps me behave at the moment. I’m not suicidal at the moment but I have to admit that dad has become my reason to continue. Without that link I think all my impulses would have free reign and that’s scary.
I’m not sure that I am always honest on this blog. I was extremely chuffed to receive an award from that crazy lot over at mental nurse for best personality disorder blog. They mentioned my irreverent attitude. I’ve always used humour when talking about my mental health. Nothing bores me more than those people who are forever complaining about how bad their life is, how few friends they have, what a bad person they are etc. I have all the same thoughts as them. I know how much it hurts to be us. But I have a huge brick wall behind which I store all my emotions and it’s only when I’m at my worst that I let anyone look over it. I find other people’s emotions overwhelming. Boredom isn’t the right word really. The negativity scares me because it’s too close to home and I can’t cope with it. To be honest, I’ve been struggling this week. A mixture of high and low moods, several days without sleep, a need to get out of the house for hours each day, rather than be on my own. I’ve even lost my appetite, which is normally a sure sign that I’m close to breakdown. But this time I think I’m going to be ok. The meds are definately taking the edge off it. I just wish I could cope without them.
A quick update on Dad. He’s due to have a scan next week, after which he will see the consultant about whether or not he should have chemo. To look at him, you would think he was completely healthy. We went for a walk together and I was puffing away behind him, struggling to keep up. He has some problems with back pain, which may not be a good sign, but he’s determined to be positive. On the downside, he has bought the ugliest hat in ugly hat making history, in anticipation of losing his hair. Fingers crossed that he won’t need chemo, in which case his wife can burn it.
Hugs and best wishes to all my fellow bpd’ers. Here’s to the coming of spring. xx