It’s ok to ask for help

I had been crying for two/three days. With thoughts wildly varying from taking over the world to curling up into a ball and dying. Sometimes I was ok. And then suddenly I wasn’t. In-between the crying I was getting those headaches you get and then once I was feeling better it would start all over again.

I ended up calling my GP surgery and arranging a call back. My thoughts were getting darker and darker. The bright colours that make up how I see the world were getting darker and greyer. Comments online that usually just glide off were like tipped arrow hitting with deadly precision.

And I was becoming ugly and twisted like the world was around me.  I couldn’t feel anything positive, couldn’t laugh and couldn’t breathe properly.

Even my own thoughts and worries became weaponised against me with only the odd moments of sardonic wit whispering “You don’t get to be happy”.

It’s stress. I know it is stress. I love my home. I’ve loved it for 12yrs since the moment I moved in. And being ignored by the Council and people I believed in; MPs, MSPs, Councillors that I wasted time campaigning for…believed in – it’s just too much.

I could cope with pain. Chronic pain. And poverty. And being alone. And illness. But it turns out that my home…I don’t want to lose it. And I can’t stop it.  I don’t have any power.

I called Breathing Space and they talked it through.  Just verbalising it helped calm me down a little bit.

The Crisis Team are sending someone out.

I’m writing this all down. I don’t know if I’ll post it online or not but I want people to know that it’s ok to need help and ask for help.

http://breathingspace.scot/  – 0800 83 85 87

Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am
Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am

The Samaritans is also available pretty much 24hr and although I didn’t call them, perhaps the information might help someone else. –

116 123 (UK)

116 123 (ROI)

 

And I called the NHS Crisis Team in my area.

I think pain was also a massive factor. I’ve had a few good months this year and have struggled this week in particular. I suspect I’m adapting to the new painkillers that were doing so well and it’s hard losing the independence and hope that was building. I was genuinely thinking that if my pain was managed then I could start to build a life again.

 

My biggest problem with the homelessness thing is the lack of power and support out there. Everyone; Homeless Team, Council, Politicians have used the words ‘probably’, ‘maybe’ and ‘possibly’. No one has actually offered wording or sentences that actually offer any tangible value.  And I know this is to cover people’s backs. I understand that. But what type do we live in when the best we can give to a chronically ill person who is going to end up on the streets is a ‘maybe’.

 

It all feels down to luck and in case anybody hasn’t noticed – I’ve not had a glimmer of luck in three years.   Everything I worked for, the degrees I put myself through, the decade I worked at the jobs I loved and the people I cared about were gone faster than you can say the word ‘illness’.

 

It’s a very lonely life. I’m useless at most social media things but Twitter allows for 140 character bursts which I why I like it. I probably don’t have the energy beyond 140 characters.

 

It’s a lovely community online. Yes, I’ve had Trolls and yes there are always going to be people that enjoy the misery of others but mostly I’ve had a good experience. I’ve met people I wouldn’t have met any other way and done things that I could only ever dream about – paintings, doing cute drawings and creating unicorns (the latter is a surprisingly divisive thing).

 

Don’t get me wrong – I’ll never understand people who come onto my account just to criticise the cheerfulness or a rainbow. I’ve never sought out someone just to let them know how shit they are.  I think they must be even more miserable than me to do so.

 

But most of all I really want folk to know that it’s ok to need help. I tend to ask when it’s far too late or not at all. This is the first time in my history that I’ve asked for help before the ship sailed.  And it was ok. Nothing has actually tangibly changed in my circumstances– except that people know I need help and it’s out there.

 

Don’t get me wrong – we could have all done without a Twitter-meltdown. But people were kind and wanted to help and wanted to speak because, and I say this despite still feeling darker, people are mostly good.

 

You are not alone. Even when it feels that way.

 

http://breathingspace.scot/  – 0800 83 85 87

Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2am
Weekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am

 

Samaritans (24 hour)

116 123 (UK)

116 123 (ROI)

Continue Reading

I don’t understand

I don’t understand why the Council won’t help me. For Short Assured Tenancy’s (which I have & an AT5) the procedure is a Section 33. This is outlined on Shelter’s website and, indeed, across all sites that deal with homeless. However North Ayrshire Council refuses to accept my Section 33.

 

Policy is clear as setup in Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended

 

“The duties include a statutory responsibility to anyone threatened with or experiencing homelessness. By law, local authorities must offer a minimum of temporary accommodation, advice and assistance to all homeless households and those at risk of homelessness.”

 

Due to illness I am categorised as being c) a person who is vulnerable as a result of (v) (vi)

 

1

Amendment of section 25 of the 1987 Act

(2)

In subsection (1)—

(a) for paragraph (c) substitute—

“(c) a person who is vulnerable as a result of—

(i)

old age;

(ii) mental illness;

(iii) personality disorder;

(iv) learning disability;

(v) physical disability;

(vi) chronic ill health;

(vii) having suffered a miscarriage or undergone an abortion;

(viii) having been discharged from a hospital, a prison or any part of the

regular armed forces of the Crown; or

(ix) other special reason;”,

Continue Reading

bureaucracy

So where am I on the Homelessness issue.

Well I wrote to my Councillor Ruth Maguire and MP Patricia Gibson. Both were really polite. Ruth came out to visit. The Council still refuses to do anything. They keep sending out the same letter

I managed to get a Section 33 and the original AT5 from the landlord but the Council still refused to acknowledge my upcoming homelessness. I begged my landlord for more time which I got up until the 1/6/16.

North Ayrshire Council, Homelessness Team and the Charity CHAP (based in Ardrossan) would not tell myself or the landlord what the correct paperwork is because apparently that ‘promotes homelessness’. Shelter was beyond useless. My local CAB has a waiting list to see an advisor that runs into mid July (well after I would be evicted).

People on Twitter have been mixed. On one hand I have really supportive people and on the other folk trying to persuade to stay in the Private Rent market (that I cannot afford now letalone in the future).

I was not surviving well in any case. I can no longer afford heating. I have already sold my jewellery, my tv, any collectables I had, my PlayStation…there’s nothing left to make up rent with in the private market.  Except the PC itself and without any connection to the outside world I would be truly shitted.

People suggested I see what benefits I’m entitled to but please allow me to tell you a secret – the reason people who are sick live in Absolute Poverty is because those benefits barely cover gas (let alone electricity). Housing Benefit – does not cover an entire private rent. And DLA makes it vaguely possible to get to Hospitals, GP appointments and afford special dietary requirements. It does not pay for anything beyond that. DLA is also completely unstable as an income due to the Government constantly changing the rules. PIP is coming and it terrifies me.

Being disabled I need a house that can modified (Private Landlord’s do not like it when you drill holes into their walls for safety rails). My condition is degenerative (the real irony is that i only need a house for a couple of years because that’s how long they reckon I have if my neuropathy and immune system keeps going the direction they are going).

I feel like an idiot for supporting the SNP as well. Their Councillors, MPs are just watching this happen. I’ve wasted the last few years of my life fighting in the wrong team. Not that I’m sure who the right team is. I had no idea there was so little support for Homelessness. I knew that there was little support for disabled people but I had no idea how hard they have made it to declare homelessness.

There must be other people like me:- About to become/or are Homeless but Invisible to the Government and the Public.

I’m starting to have really dark thoughts along the lines of suicide. There’s no place in the world for me and I have no value to society. And I’m looking around, after realising how much I’ve lost, wondering why do I keep fighting. I’m not wanted or needed in this world and my illness makes it hard to have any meaningful contribution.

Fear is becoming my companion. All I’m after is some security. What I am being offered is Rent Deposit Schemes for Homes I can’t afford and are in the middle of nowhere (away from the support I do have – friends, GP, Consultant etc.). People don’t seem to realise – if I move too far away I could lose my GP surgery once I’m out width my area. And that is the ONLY thing I cannot afford to lose.

I always thought my immune system would take me out but now I think it is this situation that will.  My health has deteriorated so damn quickly since this started. Pains out of control. My hands are even shaking as I type.

Continue Reading