Tailspin 

Sometimes, I know that my mood and anxiety are worse. Like it is just now and has been in recent weeks.

I’ve struggled since having to attend the PIP interview in February and the first PIP decision in March. I think the pressure of that has told on me. 

It’s been a background worry and just a constant thing on my mind.

The ‘lost’ PIP2 form last year, The waiting for the first decision, the waiting for reconsideration and the realisation my only hope was the Tribunal.

Feeling a bit more hopeless each time I was rejected and feeling frustrated and lost and not listened to.

The lead up to the Tribunal meant about 80-100 pages were posted to me. 

Initially, that was quite intimidating and a set back in terms of seeing so much paper. 

Basically, I had an early night after seeing it in envelope. It looked overwhelming.

Leafing through it later, I realised it contained my PIP1, PIP2 forms, paperwork on the lost PIP2 and that most of the other content was actually from me. 

There were copies of their decision letters and the only insight to their decision basis was the written account of the interview I had with the Healthcare Professional.

The decisions are short and to the point though, but hard to understand the perspective, anything I said wasn’t enough or commented on negatively.

Seeing the medical report properly made a real difference and became very clear that my impression of it and their impression of that interview were very, very different. 

I go on Wednesday to the tribunal. 

I started in May 2016, thinking maybe a little help. I had read comments saying don’t be put off applying. 

I particularly thought of the Survival pamphlet by the late Marc Segar – ‘try not to see it as cheating. If you have had a hard enough life then perhaps you deserve this.’

I had read into PIP, I was at a stage after diagnoses where I thought I understood condition and how it affected me (a year and a bit after diagnosis)
My mindset is now that if I lose, I lose. 

I’ll have to adjust to being ‘slightly’ disabled or not the same as the autistic people I’ve met in person. It may mean I don’t return to groups.

Everyone else in my social group doesn’t work, so it very weird.

I truthfully haven’t thought that I’ll ‘win’ or get PIP.

I’m at the stage of thinking, that it’s more about the principal of the thing. 

I’ve asked for help, described my life a bit and been truthful. Did all I can in terms of using my written skills. I guess I can only attend, see/hear what’s said and try to note as much as I can.

It’s been a journey. 

I’ve learned a great deal about trying to do things on my own and being unsupported, but it’s been stressful, horrible and has had me beat a few times. 

I’m maybe being downright stubborn, I’m maybe seeing the thing too literally, but some help maybe would have been nice.

I said to myself I couldn’t sit through it with a stranger. I didn’t want someone else there at the medical interview. I guess I thought that was too much in communicating and arranging.

If it’s a no from PIP, then I need to find out what actual support is available in my situation. 

I dread talking so maybe I do a script and type it out, maybe I begin thinking about how to go out and do things or be around people. 

That’s scaring me a lot and would be a huge jump from where I am and where I’ve been.

I know the adjustments I need, sound, light, rebound time. I still crash. Lose verbal skills, shut down and need to process how I am over things. 

But, for now I can just hope a little amongst the worry and stress and catastrophe thinking. 

(I’m out and finished and have no idea how it went. it was all a bit scary and got really thrown by my bag being searched before going to waiting room.)

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