Woah. Its been a long time since I last blogged and that’s for a number of reasons so I thought I’d give you an update…
In April I got the dreaded letter saying that my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) was stopping and I had to apply for PIP (Personal Independent Payments). For anyone who isn’t aware, this letter fills any person with dread. It means that first of all the stable income you get to use to pay for extra costs as a disabled person is no longer there (mainly for me it pays for transport to literally get out of the house). But it also means that you have to fill out a VERY long form filling out what you can’t do.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that this is the opposite of who I am. So when I got the forms, my heart sunk. It makes you go to that place you push your brain not to go. This blog is the place I share positivity and the goals I’ve acheived so to have to write several essays about what I can’t do was something I didn’t want to do. I chose to fill this form in one whole day. It made my arm ache but I thought it’s better to get it out of the way in one day rather than feeling like this for an hour at a time everyday until I finished it. Fortunately I was able to physically do this at the time.
Even though I had filled the form out extensively I was still asked to go to a face to face assessment a month later, to ‘prove’ I am disabled. After seeing the stories in the media, I was dreading it. I think overall I was lucky – albeit it wasn’t the most friendly appointment and the questions I was asked was embarrassing to answer to a stranger I had never met and only knew their first name but I know that’s just the way the system is at the moment.
So that’s been on my mind for the last month, and even though it shouldn’t I’ve felt weird about blogging. Knowing that online I portray what I CAN do and what I love to do. I would worry that the big dogs would be reading this and thinking, ‘she can’t be THAT bad’ (note: I don’t see disability as bad at all). I am still (proudly) disabled, need help every day from PAs/friends and family – but I focus on what I enjoy and funny stories to tell, not what I can’t do. Unfortunately we live in a world that’s very black and white – where disabled people are scrutinised whatever they do in life. My friend Abbi explains this very well in her blog for Scope.
I’ve received my results and this part of my life is done (for now until 2024 when I have to apply again ‘in case things change’- lol) but that’s where I’ve been. And now I’m through the other side – I’ve decided I’m not going to stop shouting about what I CAN do, because ey someone’s got to do it. Anyway, let the normal blogging resume – I’ve got some exciting things to share in the next month!
Have you been through this process? Although I’ve not gone into detail in this post – feel free to get in touch with me if you’re going through this now!