Started Writing: 18.27

This week I briefly had some sympathy for Boris Johnson. He had Coronavirus. He could have died. He is human.

Then I learnt that the face of harsh policies that disproportionately affect disabled people, is remembered by journalist/ex-Tory MP Paul Goodman as “regard(ing) being ill as a form of moral weakness”.

It’s something I already knew, in a way.

I knew it when I had a breakdown, which made me utterly incapable of communicating for three weeks, but still couldn’t get an appointment to see a psychiatrist.

I knew it when I had to fall back on my parents (a privilege), and saw a psychiatrist privately, only for the diagnosis that psychiatrist made, and their recommended treatment, to be completely ignored by services- because they did not have the money to pursue that treatment.

I knew this when opposition government ministers talked endlessly about cuts to social services and care packages, but only mentioned the elderly, and never the disabled people who depend on these services for their entire lives.

I knew when my Personal Independence Payment got cut, yet again. I knew it when I was apparently found capable of doing things that I haven’t been able to do for ten years. This happened despite the fact that I was only given a chance to fill in a much depleted form, informing the DWP of “any changes” to my health, and only reported negative changes (see above paragraph about when my brain became so overloaded I couldn’t speak in legible sentences).

I knew this when I asked for help and was told that I was too dependent on being helped. Before I was helped.

I knew this when shit began to hit the fan over widespread abuse and neglect in psychiatric hospitals, often by over-worked, underpaid and under-trained staff; only for the news to describe the abuse, and thinking to myself “I thought that was just what psych hospitals were like”.

I knew this when we were told to talk about mental health, but only to each other, to stop the stigma, professionals always a waiting list away.

I knew this when the Access to Work fund was cut, preventing swathes of working disabled people from working, and simultaneously government officials said that their policies were putting more disabled people to work.

I knew this. I knew this. I knew this. I knew this.

And yet I was surprised.


Finished Writing: 18.54



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