Well as I relaxed on a quiet beach yesterday, I thought about stuff. Wondering about turning up at St. Peter’s Gate and requesting a room that reflected the peace and tranquility of yesterday. Blue skies, sea, the odd chirping of our feathered friends, the light ruffling of the sea breeze. Added to that a room where there’s an endless supply of fruit cider and cricket on the TV. That is heaven for me.
I was startled back into life when I opened my front door at 9 pm yesterday. A letter on the doormat that spells fear and foreboding.
Let me explain. 18 months ago I applied for something called PIP (Personal Independence Payment). It’s a welfare benefit that’s paid monthly to help with paying off bills and to help live an independent existence, you would think.
I’ve been receiving this monthly benefit for nearly 20 months or so, without problems. I was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in January 2017, so this is a lifelong condition, right? Been with me since birth and with me until I shuffle off the mortal coil.
Two months ago, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) wrote to me to request I fill in a form detailing what’s going on at the moment. I also sent them all sorts of reports from doctors, psychologists and the like. I thought that would be the end of the matter. But no, in a week’s time, the DWP would like to see me.
So the anxiety has returned to a degree, I’m now panicking that this could be bad news. I’m also wondering what they know about Autism. I’m also wondering how I’m going to be next Thursday.
So from peace and serenity to a build of anxiety and panic in the lead up to a week’s time. It may well be nothing to worry about. They may well accept that I have this lifelong condition (a disability too, I may add) and everyday living isn’t too straightforward. But me being me, it’s the what if scenario and over thinking about the worst. I have a twinge of anxiety today but a week’s time? I may well be a gibbering wreck if this gets to me.
But I mustn’t let it. I’ve battled the DWP before, with help from others and been successful. So I can draw some comfort from that. I haven’t got any better in the last few years. My anxiety does control certain aspects of my existence. I hope I can put that across next week without losing my temper or equilibrium.
Who says that life is straightforward? Try being me. It rarely is.