16th April 2016

In January I lost my job, the managers cited ‘concern for my health’ but their attitude said they didn’t want someone with mental health conditions working for them. It’s not the first time I’ve dealt with that attitude and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Officially, employers aren’t allowed to discriminate on the grounds of mental health conditions, but if you have a zero-hours contract all they have to do is say they don’t need you any more.

As it was, I got called in to a sham of a meeting. A new colleague had expressed ‘concerns’ because I was talking openly about my condition. I was making conversation: if you ask me how I am you’ll get the honest answer not the polite, socially acceptable answer. Anyway, the centre manager had already decided she didn’t want me there any more and refused to even listen to my suggestions.

That was in January. Up until then I’d been picking up a bit and the extra income (a whole £90 a month!) helped somewhat. Since then I’ve been in a bit of a bad situation mentally; tired constantly, low mood, always on the edge of tears, constantly stressed and expecting disaster, anxious, bad tempered and emotional. Basically, I was vile to be around and horrible to everyone, except for very rare moments of civility or happiness.

That all changed last Saturday; I woke up feeling better, so much better I was surprised that instead of feeling numb and exhausted I actually had some energy. I didn’t hate the entire world or feel like I was constantly defending myself from some unknown attack. I’m struggling financially now because of losing my job but I’ve come through the worst part – dealing with my rebellious body and brain – so I can concentrate on looking for another part time job. It’s difficult to find a job that’s only a few hours a week and doesn’t involve me getting overly stimulated, because hiding under the table scares people. I’m going to have to try to get some freelance writing work. I keep emailing queries to magazines and papers but nobody is interested.

I’ve got plenty of books to review, several novels for a change, and I’m trying to reach out to publishers directly, although that hasn’t had much response yet.

I’ve made some progress on my second novel this week, after three months of barely looking at it and only writing a few words now and then. Hopefully, it’ll be finished by September and then I can start on the third novel. I want to get all the first drafts written before I go back and edit the whole story. The second novel, so far, isn’t as long as the first but it only covers a year, where the first covers nine years. The third novel will probably also only cover a year, but I’m not sure yet, depends on how long I decide to make the civil war.

Have a good weekend, my plans include reading, writing and crocheting. I had hoped to join some local Green Party people leafleting for the May local elections, but I only made it as far as the door of the place they were meeting before my anxiety kicked in. I loitered outside for five minutes then walked home. I’m pleased I made it that far. Another time, maybe?



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