It was bank holiday Sunday yesterday and I got out of my home to go out for the short walk I’m meant to do daily to maintain my fitness – this is a form of Graded Exercise Therapy and yes, it’s something I’ve been advised to do by the NHS CFSME clinic.
The sense of exhaustion that I call “walking headless” came over me quite quickly so I stopped at a cafe for a rest on the way back home. It’s not a long distance, it’s only about a 15 minute walk so that gives you some idea of how tired I was feeling yesterday with payback from seeing CB.
I texted my friend who lives locally, the one who pops round to see me – the only friend who pops round to see me aside aside from my silver surfer Dad – and before I knew it he joined me there too.
5 minutes and a half of fizzy water soon became 1/2 an hour. While I was waiting I picked up the chunky Sunday newspaper – The Observer. No-one else had opened it and I was really looking for the Sunday Supp. I don’t buy newspapers because they are a waste of money when you are on a welfare budget, so reading the colour supp filled with recipes and fashion is a 15 minute treat.
To get to it I had to open the front page and there it was! As if The Observer had read my most private thoughts and fears, a full page article about Ian Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms that ran all the way down the front page and continued on page 9.
And I read it. This is a brave thing to do. I’m still avoiding watching the news. I end up shouting things at it like: “stop reporting the spin!” and “where’s the investigative journalism, huh??”
I found out a few things. I found out that this Wednesday is D Day – the day that the reforms are announced in parliament. It was a very clear article and it said that the problem is that without the Lib Dems also in government Ian Duncan Smith didn’t expect that he’d have to push through 12 billion welfare cuts – but that he’s prepared to still do it.
So now I’m thinking ahead to Wednesday and, as there hasn’t been any information from government about where and how they are going to make these cuts, people like me across the country are left totally in the dark about what their lives will be like as a result of these reforms.
I think part of me is still numb from the shock of the election result. For anyone reading this still wondering why I’m writing this diary, it’s because we live in a society where once a party is in a majority government, they can push through any agenda despite how unpopular that is.
We need proportional representation in this country. We need to make sure everyone’s voices are heard in government in a far more balanced way.
I find it very difficult to believe that anyone thinks it’s a good idea to pay back government debt by taking away the support mechanism for those most vulnerable in our society.
I didn’t chose to be disabled. I can’t chose how my illness affects me and I can’t chose the fact that there is no effective treatment pathway that will get me back towards work.
I really feel like I’m being punished on all sides. By the NHS for their out of date NICE guidelines for CFSME, by the ME charities who haven’t acted on change for treatment for those with ME, by the Department For Work And Pensions by their method of assessing fitness for work and appeal system, by my council for not having built ONE council home since the late 1980s because they chose to invest in retail regeneration instead, by my landlord who is not regulated and expects me to live in a sub standard home and by the government who is encroaching on the financial support I need to survive.
Since I’ve been ill I’ve had to fight, fight and fight for survival at a time when I should have people offering support to take me towards wellness or “as well as I can be.”
Anyone who voted for this party to have a majority government: it could happen to you too, then where will you be?
Expect far more from me after Wednesday.
© Lindy 2015