Getting glowful again

I used to own the Sonic boom analogue clock and I absolutely loved it, because I could switch off the back-lit display and not see it clock in the dark. But now, it’s getting glowful again. My analogue clock failed to wake me up. The clock ticks, but after a couple of goes, it’s clear the clock will not go off at my chosen alarm. From giving it a go, it is clear it’s the alarm part button, or the part I turn to set my chosen time I want to get up at, as it is hit and miss when I play with it trying to get it to go off. The clock just won’t go off, so in the bin it had to go.
It’s a good job I still had my previous clock, as I need to get up early on Saturday. But it means now my nights will be glowful again, as you can tell in the photo. The clock, you can’t dim anymore than it looks already and with me having my Silent alert, (green glow in the background,) which has to be here, because while it is on the charger the vibrating pad is under my mattress, that will wake me up in event of a fire it’s now makes my dark nights, lighter. Which I hate. I doubt I will get this analogue clock one again, because I don’t want the same risk happening again. This clock has not been good long term, compared to previous couple of models that were still ok and I had passed on, when I wanted a change of clock.
When it was just my Silent alert glowing, while using my analougue clock, I got used to the dim of just that one, but the clock, it glows. But I am going to have to stick with this, because I am not buying another now for some time, or when this one is ready for the knackers yard.

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I was given false hopes

I believe when it came to applying for PIP, I was given false hopes by my Welfare Rights officer. She knew everything about me, because she had to know everything about me for the PIP form.

I got 2 points originally for my PIP application, because I wore hearing aids. I have never actually seen the points system used to for assessing PIP, but I came across it recently when looking at something not related to this. I looked elsewhere, to make sure I was looking at the right thing and I was. This is it, after looking elsewhere, making sure it was right: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf

From me coming across this, I see I should have been at least awarded another two points, which would have brought my points awarded 4. But that is where it ends for me.
If I wasn’t given false hopes, then my Welfare Rights Officer who helped me with PIP, does not know me well. Which really, she did know me, because I had to tell her everything about my deafness, depression and anxiety at that time. She helped me get DLA I had before, which was just my deafness then and she believed she could get me PIP. She kept telling me I was entitled to this and encouraged me to fight the decision when I did not get it. But as you know, I did not fight this because applying was draining enough, but on top after, I had lost two lovely people in my life and the shock of their deaths affected me greatly.

I am so glad I did not waste my time to reapply. You need at least 8 points to get something and I am no way entitled to any more than 4 points and it no way worth fighting for the two points extra I did not get when you need at least 8.

Just because I got DLA last time, does not mean I am entitled to PIP this time. PIP is totally different and it is certainly not aimed at deafness alone. You need other disabilities as well. If I hear someone else tell me I am entitled, I will fucking scream at them and show them the points system.

I recommend watching film, “I, Daniel Blake.”

I recommend anyone watching the film, “I, Daniel Blake.” The film is about 59 years old carpenter; Daniel Blake, who after suffering a heart attack has to fight the system in order to receive Employment and support Allowance. daniel Blake also befriends a single mum who is also fighting her own battles with the system. I watched this last year on 16th November 2017.
It was after watching this film, that I was able to write the following on my Facebook wall, which I made public. This film obviously stirred up something in me, to find I could write what I shared that day. I share this here on my blog, that I written that day.

“I have watched “I, Daniel Blake,” this morning. If you have not seen this film, then I totally recommend for different reasons; if you are struggling yourself, knowing you are not alone, an inspirational film, truly hitting, inspiring.”

Although the film has inspired me, for my own personal situation, I still don’t have the energy to appeal. Too may things have gone on and I have to think about my mental health. To do that, means I am not appealing PIP.

But for people who have no choice, but to appeal and face hardship because of this system being so fucked up that someone who was denied ESA because they made them fit for work, regardless that medical people have said they are not fit for work, this film shows just what goes on in our country.

Today, this still happens and I would like every Government member sit and watch this film. I would like every person who works at DWP to see this film. The Government have created this mess, the DWP are of no help. You treat us as numbers, as service users still. But we are not. We are citizens as this film explains. Yet this is still going on.

I am one less person currently that you the Government and the DWP will be happy to hear that does not have the energy to appeal. I have too much happen to me in a short space of time and that is not including applying for PIP. I was given DLA for life, but because you created PIP, (this was just to save you money in your pocket, regardless what you say,) I now not seen worthy. My deafness and the difficulties remain the same. PIP does not support the deaf as it is made out to be. People that see you to assess you and make this decision are not qualified enough in my eyes to decide how to decide whether I am entitled to PIP or not and mess with my life.

There will be many more that will face possible hardship due to this fucked up system and I could be another to the system.

The Government and DWP don’t give a shit and as much as they try to say they do, sorry I don’t believe them, because I have seen it too many times where lives have been fucked up. There are also too may people now on the streets than I have ever seen and people using food banks. Seeing all this and my personal experience is proof how they don’t care.”

#IDanielBlake #PIP #disgraceful #welfarereform #DWP #Government

PIP assessment

Yesterday’s post did not mention my PIP assessment I had, as I did not want to drag away from what I was feeling that night in the previous post. It was a long day for me yesterday, as I was up at 5.45am. I was going to get up at 6am, but when I woke up then, I thought I’d get up. I was surprised I wasn’t tired with lack of sleep, but obviously, by the end of the night, I was knackered and drained by the time of the work scenario.
I was up early, as I had to compensate setting out earlier than normal as mum was coming with me this time. So I wasn’t alone.
When we arrived in Nottingham and literally around the corner from the place of where the assessment would take hold, we had a hot drink and a little something to eat, till it was nearer to time for my appointment. I did not lose my way this time and for going the right way this time, I could see there was more options to visit till appointment time. The cafe we had chosen was Tuckers, which was opposite the Kitty Cafe. The staff were nice and welcoming and we actually went back there after my assessment for lunch, before making our way home.

As you will know, I have been worried about the PIP assessment due to not feeling that the form suits people with a hearing loss. Also from what I have read and heard from people affected directly with regards to it, in which people who are entitled, lose it. On top of that, as you know, the first time it was cancelled and I did not know until I arrived there, in which I found it was them who tried to phone me, even though my PIP form clearly stated to only use my mobile number for texting, as deaf. They also did not book my Lipspeaker. So I had every right to feel concerned about this appointment.

After signing myself in and meeting my Lipspeaker, the first call was the toilet for me, then we made our way downstairs to wait in a private waiting room outside the room where I would be assessed. While waiting for my turn to be assessed, it was a chat with my Lipspeaker to get to know one another with not meeting her before and for her to know how I would like her to help me, finding out if I knew any sign and if I wanted her to use that too.

The assessment

When it was time to go in the room, I pointed to the chair for my mum to sit at and I sat next to her, facing my Lipspeaker and the woman who was to be assessing me. After the formalities were out-of-the-way, in which I decided I wanted to see if I could lipread and hear the assessor first and if not, then I would look at my Lipspeaker, for her to repeat what she had said.
I found the assessor had a tone of voice that was right for me, but there were times after trying to lipread her for a while that I did end up using the Lipspeaker to get it repeated. When my mum spoke to add her part, I relied on the Lipspeaker to tell me what she had said every time, as she was sat a little further back from me and I can’t lipread sideways on, on top that I don’t hear my mum as well now.
Some questions were a repeat that were already on the PIP form and some were new. This gave me a chance to add, or amend anything by doing this. Every time the assessor spoke to me, she always looked at me directly so I could see her face. She never covered it and when she asked some certain questions about my hearing loss, I felt with this and making sure she always looked at me when she spoke that she had awareness. I have read how some assessors have not been helpful and done tests that were not acceptable towards deaf, but I have never received anything in the assessment room that was not acceptable. She only asked questions, nothing else.
My assessment was under an hour and although it was relaxing in the room, I wasn’t fully relaxed because of questions I would know that would possibly come, when it came to talking about my depression and anxiety. I thought more questions were going to be asked than that with regards to my depression, so just when I thought I may not hold it  together on the subject she asked me, it was on to a different topic.
I did have tears in my eyes after a particular question about how I feel and why. I don’t know if it may have been obvious to her. It’s not nice saying how you truly feel in front of your own mum, that you wish you were dead and that I have thought these thoughts, I just not acted on them. I just instead wished that when I went to bed to sleep at night, that I did not wake up the next day.

My opinions after my own PIP assessment

As I have mentioned, staff are pleasant and so is the assessor. The environment was relaxing and welcoming, even though I was not relaxed. The assessor always looked at me when she asked me questions and never ever covered here face. She even used some sign herself when she spoke, which was nice. I have the confidence that what I said, is down on those notes, but because of how I feel about the PIP application process, I still wonder whether I will get it. The waiting will be long, because of the back log, so it will be many weeks before I know anything, so until then my DLA continues, till they make their mind up at DPW.

The way I am

Anxiety has been there for most of my life because of never feeling like I fit in, or belong anywhere. This feeling, along with being made to feel different started when I was in Junior School. No one wanted me on their team, but obviously I would have to end up on someones team. Even when I shown how good I was at non-stop cricket one time, which they were stunned, it did not change their views. I still was not wanted. This carried on all through Comprehensive School, but in addition to bullying which was mostly verbal. I only experienced physical a few times to start with, which was just pushing.
Through working life, thankfully not every job I did not feel alone, or not belong. There has only been one area where I was judged before they knew me and where I work currently, there has been (or probably still is) judging when they don’t really know me, because now I don’t speak unless I really have to, due to past issues at work with bullying and other things. But this time I don’t care if they judge. It’s their problem, not mine. The few that know me, only know me because I know they won’t shove it back in my face later, otherwise I keep myself to myself, which pisses off the others, because they have nothing to gossip about.
Through the lovely people I have met along the way personally, they are in my life because they mean something to me.
New friends I made through a place I stopped volunteering at, because no opportunities happened in the months I was there, I try to meet up with them, when I can. A lovely group who I feel comfortable with and who are patient with me because of my hearing loss. But underneath, I still have a little anxiety at times, because that just seems to be me. I am also tired after and can’t wait to go home to re-charge, because of the effort it requires me to lipread. While I am there, when conversation is in full swing, unless someone near to me either side starts a conversation separately with me, then I stay quiet, because I do not know what is going on. I cannot follow group conversations at all.

I will try to travel somewhere new, but just because I do it, does not mean I am always anxiety free. Sometimes anxiety likes to pay a visit and I don’t know why I am having that moment.
If it involves more than two buses to somewhere new and I do not know where to get off, I simply can’t do it, as anxiety-wise, it’s too much.

If I go somewhere that involves a crowd, I get anxiety because of not knowing who they are and I can feel claustrophobic, depending on the crowd and the situation. Putting myself in the same situation, does not make it go away. It never gets any easier.

People have said to me that I look confident, when I have said underneath I don’t feel confident, or have anxiety.

If I am with someone I know, but someone comes up to us because they know the person I am with, I will stand back and let them talk. I tend to find I am quiet because I don’t know them, because I worry about possible communication difficulties I may have. This is just the way I am.

If a random person came up to me in the street, anxiety will be there, because again, I will worry about the communication difficulties I could have, because of communication difficulties I know I have.

You will not find me in a swimming pool, because to do so, I would need to remove my hearing aids. I will not be around people without my hearing aids, because of communication difficulties I would have and my anxiety would be high.

I could easily isolate myself if I allowed, so I don’t have to worry about communication difficulties.
To be ME and remove my hearing aids.
It’s so easy being on my own, to be me and just relax.
To be me without the worry of the communication difficulties, or the worry of being judged before you they fully know me.
To be anxiety-free.

How lovely it would be, to be without anxiety, as it would make my life so much easier. The same if I wasn’t deaf. But that’s the way I am.

For the record, I hate my anxiety and my hearing loss. But I know they will never go away, as much as I want them to.

Why I am back early from my blogging break

I have enjoyed my blogging break, but I have also partly missed it. While way, I have had a lot of ‘me time,’ just doing what I want to do, on my own. I have also enjoyed spending time with a couple of family members on days I have seen them.

I have some stressful times as you know, and while I have been away from blogging I have had some ups and downs. But most of these have been ups, as I shared in my first post back from my blogging break.
I have dealt with these ups and downs in ways that are suitable for me, to get it out of my system, which two of them being doodles and sharpie drawings.

I came back earlier to blogging than planned because I wanted a distraction from earlier that day. For two hours, I had to talk a lot about negative stuff with someone from Welfare Rights who was helping me with my PIP application. Like many others who are or were on DLA originally, regardless if you had it for life, we all have to go onto PIP. But if you want it, you have to apply for it. Luckily the person who is helping me with my PIP is the same person who helped me with my DLA. But regardless I am having help with filling it in, it does not make the process any easier.
Talking about all the negativity of your disability, so it is filled in properly on the form to get across to them looking at it on how your disability affects you is hard work. I cried at one point while talking about the negative effects of my hearing loss, saying how easier just being on my own can be, so I can just be me and take my hearing aids out.  Comparing to before when I applied for DLA and now for the PIP, there is a lot more down on paper. I was there for two hours. To say the PIP form is thinner than the DLA form I remember, there is still a lot of writing had to go into it.

Originally my DLA was just for my hearing loss, (although other things were mentioned, but not important then.) Now I have to talk about my depression and anxiety.

Although I left the place where I met up with Welfare Rights person better than during my session, I did start to feel tearful again while eating lunch in town. A place where I was going to have originally lunch in was very busy, so I went to another cafe very near by. I felt a little edgy where I choose to sit, with the cafe being in the centre of the shopping centre and choosing to sit on a seat around the edge. I should have really sat somewhere more in the middle, then I may have felt less edgy.
Before going home, I thought I’d pop into HMV and buy a couple of CD’s to hopefully cheer me up a bit. I bought Ed Sheeran, ‘Divide’ and Anastacia, ‘Ultimate Collection.’
It took towards the evening though, when I was working with my colleague, before my mood picked up much better.

Book review: ‘A Student’s Guide to the Deaf Experience,’ by Michelle Jay.

For those that have known me for some time, either personally, or through my previous blog, you will know I had a good experience of participating in this book. This is the only thing, deaf-related personally to me, that I will share here on, ‘My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.’
      This book review I originally shared on my previous blog, which has been edited slightly to reflect the time of how long ago I did this.
Front cover of A Student's Guide to the Deaf Experience

“A Student’s Guide to the Deaf Experience,” by Michelle Jay, is a mixture of  stories from deaf and hard of hearing people.

      This book is also something that I also took part in myself, after being asked by Michelle if I would like to take part. I share my story in this book on page 111, called ‘The Highs and Lows.’ This was just over 3 years ago, but it doesn’t feel it and it was a positive experience I am proud of.
      It was also nice to see when reading this book, of finding out that some of my friends submitted their stories. As well as reading other familiar, or new blogger’s too. I had no idea my best friend Sarah, from Speak Up Librarian had taken part, till this book was published. So it was nice seeing and reading her story in there too.
This book was created to equip ASL students, but this book is a great read for anyone.
      My Mum has read this book and bought another for her Sister. She has also shown my story to her friends, as any proud Mum would. Some of them who know me well, did not realise to the extent how my hearing loss affected me, till they read my story.

This book is a great deaf awareness book for all and is available at Amazon.co.uk.