I guess I’m only human, but I was really hoping I wouldn’t find the Disability Living Allowance form too difficult to complete (all 38 pages of it!). It’s not that it’s difficult to come up with answers, just that it brings back loads of old traumas, embarrassments, worries etc. I feel like I’m trying to convince the most skeptical, disbelieving person in the world that yes I really do have Bipolar Disorder! It’s a feeling of having to defend my case, while facing up to a scary prosecutor. Having to defend yourself with all the worst experiences of your life is gut-wrenching. It makes me feel weak and pathetic, like an inferior member of the human race.
So many uncomfortable thoughts surface:
– Am I exaggerating my case? Would my doctor disagree with this? The doctors and psychiatrists don’t even KNOW what I’m like on my worst days. They only see me for a few minutes, a few times a year. They might dispute what I’ve written.
– Or am I holding back too much and not showing them how bad things can really be for me?
– If I have to go for a medical- what if I go on a good day when I’m well? Will I get refused benefit?
– Lots of people with Bipolar Disorder can work, so why can’t you?
– Lots of people with Bipolar Disorder are way worse off than you, what makes you think you deserve benefits? They’re the ones who really need it.
Eurgh!! This form is virtually begging my inner bully to come out and play!
I don’t want to think about my very worst days where I’ve wanted to self-harm, end my life, had melt downs and panic attacks in the middle of the supermarket, raged at strangers, been sacked. All these things, I need to remind myself, do not define me but are part of Bipolar Disorder. I am not like this when well, not at all.
I definitely need a good dose of cheering up now, so will be trying to remember the things I’m grateful for for the rest of the day. 🙂 Errrrrr- NOT having to fill in forms!
Helpful Disability Living Allowance for Bipolar Disorder Links (UK residents):
Some very helpful comments on this blog: Mutual Madness