Comment is Free: Benefits helped me turn my life around

Hello chaps!  Crossposting this here.

At the recently rather badly organised protests against welfare and public services cuts, I ranted for a good…oh, three hours on the subject of what benefits can actually be good for.  The endless parroting of, “Sickness benefits?  Bloody scroungers…dodgy backs, a bit, “depressed” eh?” was either going to land me on an assault charge, or, more constructively, give me a kick up the arse to write publicly about why that’s rather often bullshit.

Anyway, I wrote to Comment is Free.  Here’s the link!

And here’s a sneaky, tarty little excerpt:

This week, people across the country protested against the cuts in welfare spending. Without a mobilising force such as the NUS behind them, it remains to be seen if they will dent the public consciousness as much as the student protests have done.

Much has been made of the benefits-dependency culture allegedly rampant in Britain; the image of those on benefits is one of people greedily pocketing cash then resigning themselves to lives beneath the duvet. But time on benefits does not have to be time in limbo; it can be a time of growth and recovery.


Sorry I’ve been abandoning blogging at the main site.  The rather dull reason is a total lack of sleep and a total avalache of school work.

7 Responses

  1. Hello Seaneen, You have generated a considerable amount of comments on your very well written Guardian article ,keep well. David

  2. keep on keeping on!

  3. If all the tax avoiders in the government and their so called “advisors” paid their taxes we wouldn’t be in this deficit

  4. Hm.

    You were told you had bipolar.
    You were ill.
    You were told it wasn’t bipolar, it was a PD.
    Now you’re better (or you’ve decided you’re better)?

    • This is the last time I am going to respond to you, and the only reason I am doing so is in case other people have similar questions. If I had realised earlier that you were the person who made that incredibly personal, nasty and uncalled for remark about Rob (on the post that spoke about abortion), I would never have answered you in the first place.

      The bipolar/PD thing- either or does not particularly matter- was something I clarified in a recent post, having read my medical records. The most recent correspondence is bipolar disorder with underlying personality disorder, from August. Either I misunderstood in the first place or the stopping of medication clarified the diagnosis. The first is what I have always been treated for, the second is in question as I don’t have any symptoms of a PD and haven’t done for about two years. The first is also in question, to me anyway. The second is useful as far as therapy is concerned but I’m not pursuing it as I neither want it, nor need it (and since you’re into your what-the-official-thinks-thing, the latter is also their opinion).

      I’m not sure why you’re so against the idea of my feeling better and doing- god forbid!- a three hour a week access course that might lead to being a nurse in four years time, by which point I will be thirty. I do feel better, I have learned to manage myself quite well and I’m quite vigilant for the most part in doing so. I control my moods by being careful with sleep and if things get out of hand either way, medication to stabilise. I have done this with the help and blessing of the people who I see, who also understand and have observed that the side effects have hit me very badly in the past and just taking the whole lot of them means I am more likely to take nothing at all because I can’t function on them. It is a pretty standard way that someone can manage their mood disorder. Sleep especially is very well documented in being the key to controlling it. Y’know, this being the aim of the game since the beginning, as it is with lots of people who have mood disorders, to not need to take huge levels of incredibly heavy drugs just to get through the days. To learn how to manage and be aware of the, “Break glass in case of emergency” medications to help when I don’t.

      I’m also not the only one who thinks I am better- I have one more doctor’s appointment in February and then I will be discharged from mental health services. Indeed, pursuing education and being careful with sleep are two things I was advised and encouraged to do, by them.

      I have no idea why this seems to be insulting to you, nor why you feel the need to stick the boot in repeatedly.

      And that’s your lot, enjoy.

      • well said Seaneen, sad that it had to said but the there are a few distressed people out there, people who seem to relish any opportunity to be ignorantly un-nice 😦

  5. hello,this is the first time i have read anything you have are amazingly strong.your description is vivid to me and so so well written.have you ever thought of wring a book?sos its not an offer just an idea.have you tried open university?take care stay strong,b positive and it may bring some positivity back to you.hope your move went well.x

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