ESA, WRAG And The DWP’s Cunning Plans

Most of the search terms that bring people to this blog are based on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and people wondering what to expect once they are given the benefit (ESA) and sent to the work program.

As I am unable to write about me at the moment I thought it would be a good opportunity to enlighten people to the idea behind this program and the genius that is Iain Duncan Smith’s plans for the long term unemployed, especially those of us on sickness benefits.

It is really quite simplistic and can best be explained in the following 7 words

IF THEY CAN FUCK YOU, THEY WILL

Sadly that is the stark reality, if by some miracle you make it through the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and are placed into the work program you will made to feel like such scum that eventually you will do something that results in the DWP/ Job Centre sanctioning you and losing your benefits.

The providers of the work program take nothing into account when it comes to your mental health, your needs and requirements. When I attended Seetec I offered them advise on how to help people with anxiety, they were having group meetings with 20+ people and one lady there had a panic attack. I spoke to the manager of the centre and suggested to them that they have one of the empty rooms in the building available as a place for people to go if things were getting too much for them. I may as well have asked them to wipe my arse with bread and make a sandwich out of it based on the reaction, and subsequent lack of anything being done.

What they will do is make you attend workshops whereby the best option they can suggest is to become self employed, nearly every session I attended they tried to force me onto this workshop. I sat in on one to listen to the wonderful success stories they could provide us with, the tales of how many people they have got back into employment….. forgive me while I go and repair my sarcasm detector which just exploded…

The biggest success story that they could tell us about was a couple they got off of benefits who now did Car Boot Sales for a living… oh yes that weekend tradition of selling off crap for pittance.. which of course can only be done during the summer months assuming that it has not been pissing down with rain the night before…..

If you are given any appointments to attend work program providers, do not expect any help if you are unable to make it. They will simply mark you down as not attending and will inform the job centre where you will most likely be sanctioned, and not even notified about the sanction until after your money has been stopped.

Attend everything they ask, grin and bare it because the big plan of the DWP and IDS is to make you come off benefits by hook or by crook. If you simple say “fuck it” and give up the benefits all that matters to them is that in the media they can proudly state that x amount of people are not claiming benefits anymore.

We are not people with feelings, illnesses, ailments we are simply scroungers to be put through as many hoops as possible, and sadly too many of us cannot cope with this treatment and lives are lost – which again results in propaganda statements about people coming off benefits.

The media are hardly going to say “55000 people are no longer claiming benefits, because they have taken their lives due to the DWP/IDS killing machine”

The worse thing about all of this is that it will only get worse, zero hour contracts will become the norm and the MP’s will continue to get pay rises…. and a change of government will make little difference. The next stage is that we are expected to spend 37.5 hours a week looking for jobs, if we cant get a decent paying full time job they will expect us to take multiple part time jobs to make up the difference, and we will be forced to sign up to a website that is full of fake jobs and scams….

Naturally as we are British and have a stiff upper lip we will continue to hold our ankles and take it…

 

#mentalhealthselfie

Proof that I do smile now and again! seeing as there is a big no make up selfie campaign doing the rounds on twitter and facebook to raise awareness of cancer here is my own version for mental health

mentalhealthselfie

ignore the chins – operation fat bastard is underway although the score so far is treadmill 1 – moose 0

and no make up in sight…..

A Friends Role is..

How do you define a friend? what role should a friend play in helping you with a mental health illness?

Are you like me and have high expectations of people because you act in a certain way and believe that you should be treated the way you treat others?

I ask because I am starting to wonder what exactly some of my “friends” bring to the table these days.

I like to think I am supportive, and can be called upon to pick up the pieces for a friend in need.

I seem to have lots of toxic friendships, people who seem to think letting me down is okay but worse of all is the people who seem to be able to dish out verbal lashings in the name of “caring”

Sorry but I call bullshit on this! and I am fucking sick and tired of being called stupid, among other things, because I want to try something else to get better.

Firstly if you did care like you proclaim you would already know I have self esteem issues and really do not take kindly to being called names

Secondly telling me I cant do something is akin to waving a red flag at a bull

and more importantly

if you are a friend you would fucking support me not wait for the time to say “I told you so”

I seem to have too many friends who only need me when it suits them but now I am thinking and seeing a lot more clearly and toxicity has no place in my life at the moment.

So put simply, the days of me chasing after friends and being the only person who actually makes any effort to communicate are in the past.

If you think something I am doing is stupid support me anyway because I can guarantee you that there are stupid things you have done during our friendship that I have been there and picked you up afterwards!

The sad things about this rant is that it is not aimed at a single person but quite a few

So my message is as follows

Support me or fuck off!

and now i wait for the people who assume this is aimed at them to go on the defensive… funny how guilt makes people react isn’t it……

Quick Update

I am still here, still struggling to write and still dealing with more shit than I can currently handle – as always most of it self inflicted but moose is still fighting and just about clinging on.

Things have been improving in terms of how I am viewing myself, I am starting to get my confidence back again, helped by actually having a sex life again! yep moose has found his game again and rutting season is in full flow…

Hard enough (pun intended) to believe that one person finds me attractive but even better is when its a few people

BUT even better than having a few admirers is when they actually come over and visit! So besides being worn out by “moose meating” (I LOVE this phrase, thanks Mary for coining it) and an attack of the deadly man flu I do feel fairly positive again.

So much so that I am actually driving myself mad by a lack of activity! I have no plans currently, all the things I wanted to do have had to be held back until September/October time in terms of courses. Financially I am fucked and cant afford to implement any of my other goals until I get rid of this huge debt I am paying off – for someone who has such bad credit how the hell these companies keep giving me loans I do not know! but 3 out of 5 are paid off and slowly but surely I am getting the others down… I would say I am currently on the bread line but I cant afford bread… Money and Moose is not a good mix at the moment but I am proud that I have managed to clear nearly £800 of debt since the turn of the year although the struggle feels never ending!

I have had some amazing moments of clarity the last few days and can start to see a bright future, once I get this fucking debt cleared! I am very grateful to a few people who I wont name who have kindly donated via this blog to help me out – you have no idea how much this has meant to me. The friendships I have made since I started writing have been wonderful and I am honoured to have you in my life as friends and “mooseketeers”

My down moments are actually horrendous at present BUT with each one comes a new strength and peace of mind as I can process all the issues that are holding me back. Stepping back and being able to look at things as an outsider is a real positive and one that came from this blog.

At some stage who knows I may even take the advice I hand out to people and use it for myself! but I am taking Janes advice and working on a list of things I want to do and although I am two months behind schedule this year I am already doing things this year that I havent done for a long long time.

I want to get more involved with charities this year and get myself back out there again, these four walls in my home are starting to depress the hell out of me, once this poxy weather improves I intend to make the most of the sunshine again. I have places I want to visit, friends far away that I want to annoy in person and dare I say it…find a new Miss Moose.

Today is the first day in a long time that I have felt able to actually sit here and write a post,  this is a good sign because I have missed blogging! It has helped me so much, made me grow as a person and I want thedepressedmoose to be more famoose than ever! I am starting to realise that the only person who is hurt by my hiding away is me!

The penny is dropping again that I DO have a lot to offer and now I want to strike while the iron is hot.

It also helped seeing my face on Mind’s facebook page! who doesnt love a bit of fame now and again!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

 

what has also been fun is people actually interacting with me via my facebook page! I need to pay more attention to it and get people talking- after all its how I have turned many of you from readers to friends! drop by the page, like it and say hi! find it here

so much for a quick update! but was good to feel the writing bug come back again!

so tell me, how are you REALLY doing?

Rant of All Rants…

I don’t write as much as I would like these days, the crippling self esteem issues make me feel like I have nothing much of interest to say at the moment particularly as the days seem to be exactly the same.

That being said I was visited by a very close friend who came over from Ireland just to give me a kick up the arse, which was much needed and it has given me the strength back to voice a few things that are bugging me!

Hold on to your horses folks and you may need to cover your eyes as this is going to get a bit sweary.

I am sick to the back teeth of people being snide, abusive and down right wanky towards me!

So here is a list of things that I am not…

Firstly as much as I would like to, I am not well enough to work! so you sending me messages telling me how you have to go TO WORK etc etc do not help me feel any better about myself. If I could go out to work and not spend the whole day worrying about where the toilet is, how my anxiety will cope with change do you not think I would be doing that?

I am not a cunt! I do not treat you like one so dont treat me like one in return! Whilst I spend time taking your mental health into account please remember that I have my own illness to combat.

I am not here to boost egos, confidence or just be used when you need someone to talk to. I see the pattern whereby when I need someone to talk to the invisible cloak comes out and I have to deal with things myself. It’s great to talk to someone as well as offer someone an ear but it has to be equal!

If you dont like something I say, tweet or post just fucking delete me, unfollow me whatever but do not message me moaning about it because I am not here to please everybody. I tolerate a lot of shit because I have worked damn hard to have some sort of reputation via this blog but no more will I be told what I can and cannot say! Kindly fuck off and take your opinions with you.

Because I didnt make plans to go to the other end of the country and fuck you it doesnt mean that you can appear every now and again with snide comments designed to belittle me and drag me down.

I am soft and weak when it comes to certain people but this is not an open invitation to use me when it suits you, I am not a door mat and despite first impressions I can do without you in my life. Step up or fuck off!

And the biggest thing that pisses me off is the amount of people that expect me to contact them first – no more me just giving if you cannot be bothered to send me a message, pick up the phone etc then time to say farewell.

I have depression, I suffer a lot with self esteem but with the help of Mary, Gary, Cougar, Sarah, Maria, Amy, Cindy, Caro and Juliana in particular I can see now how I am letting others destroy me because I do not stand up for myself enough.

When I am bad it would be nice if someone reached out to me, alas if I dont contact 90% of the people I know I hear fuck all from them.

Naturally people will automatically assume that they are being targeted by this post, but that is a sign that they have something to feel guilty about – as far as I am concerned keep that opinion to yourself because I am not interested in anyone bringing me down anymore.

And if you dont like it…. you know what to do!

Moose Attacked By Cougar

Breaking news!!

Last night saw a lone moose attacked by a cougar in a shocking turn of events,

Trying as hard as he could to defend himself (yeah right!) and fight the cougar off (pppfffttt!) he eventually gave in to nature and was eaten alive – which he thoroughly enjoyed..

So nice to feel attractive and wanted again, even better to go to sleep with someone wrapped around you and wake up the next morning still with them.

Even better knowing moose meat can be put back on the menu for the ladies out there, and nice that the strings that were holding me back were cut to shreds at long last..

 

 

Internal Fighting, What Will Win?

It is kind of like the battle between good and the dark side, being pulled one side one day and to the other side the next!

It is draining me emotionally and mentally to the point where if I could switch off I would happily just walk away and not look back.

Heart vs head

Is there anything harder to try to separate? even more so when your mental health suffers as a result.

Where either consequence results in suffering.

It has been 7 months since Sheryl left and I still miss her terribly, the past few weeks has been hell because I have been dreaming about her almost nightly, same message albeit different scenarios. Bare in mind that over the last few years it is rare that I remember my dreams, yet each morning I wake up feeling like the dreams were real. This makes me feel disappointed, which sets me off on a down spiral again.

Then of course is the feeling that I should just forget about the whole fucking thing and move on with life, which is a lot easier said than done. Part of me feels the time is right to wash my hands of the whole sorry situation now, obviously as she wont talk to me, let alone see me it is what she wants me to do…. so why cant I?

There is something that still holds me back from making that last step but what is it?

Stubbornness? Love? Fear of what’s next?

Have not got a clue to be honest, dont know what to do next

What I do know is that the sooner this infighting stops the sooner I can concentrate on actually getting my life in some sort of order because right now this is taking up all my time, effort and energy just staying above water…

That being said, if all else fails….. some of you lovely readers must have a few single friends to send my way :D

 

Things I have learnt recently

As I have been reflecting and taking time out I have also been learning some things about me that I thought I would share with you.

1) when the cats wont smell your feet it is time to change your socks – fairly self explanatory I think…

2) loud farts are funny – unless you are wearing your ipod and think its silent until you see the look of horror on the faces of the other people in the lift.

3) the washing up will not do itself no matter how many times you wiggle your nose, blink your eyes or sing to it.

4) same goes for the hoovering, laundry and general housework.

5) talking to an attractive lady on the bus AFTER you have just come out the dentist with half a numb mouth is more likely to get you arrested than a date..in my defence I did not realise I had a wonky smile and was dribbling…

6) if people are easily offended by the real you, then you are doing just fine..

7) masturbating with tennis elbow will not cure the condition but make it worse..(erm so a friend told me)

8) hiding all the mess from your front room in the bedroom does not make it go away, it just makes it harder to find your bed!

9) I am not a centipede and do not need 7 pairs of trainers and 3 pairs of shoes.

10) opening the door to a very good looking woman, in your boxers shorts with your cock pointing between the buttons only has success  in 1970′s porn and not 2014…

11) laughter can make you feel so much better about things

12) I dont need 100s of friends when I have a few amazing ones

13) hiding things in the back of your mind only means when someone brings up the subject it all comes flooding back :-(

14) my cats like to run around like lunatics when I am most tired…

15) my cats seem to think I need a bodyguard whenever I am sitting on the toilet as they have to surround me…

16) the dentist is not as scary as I thought!

17) online dating is not for me!

18) I can be by myself and survive, not crash, not do anything silly and be happy

20) I missed 19 and you didnt notice….

so what have you learnt recently?

500…

followed-blog-500-1x

 

500 followers of this blog is quite an achievement and I am extremely proud that so many of you want to read my moaning, depressing stories :D

I hope (okay I KNOW), that I have helped some people with my experiences and I am so grateful to all the new friends that have come into my life as a result of this blog. People from all over the world, even some in my home town of London have become firm friends and without this blog I would never have met them.

So thank you for putting up with me, supporting me and reading my story without judging me. There has only been one person who has “trolled” me in the whole period of this blog so I know I am fortunate to have so many good visitors to this site. Keep the comments coming I enjoy reading them, and wish I got more to be honest.

It is heartwarming to be at the end of such support and long may it continue. The more people (especially men) we can get talking about depression the less stigma we will face and we can continue to educate the ignorant…

Thank you!