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Wise words about mental illness and Benefits

T

telemetry9

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I received this poem today from someone who is a very inspiring person and a mother. She is a real fighter and campaigns in her own small way against the changes so many of us are worried about in Incapacity Benefit despite living with mental illness. I just thought it was a moving piece of work that so many of us could relate to.

incapacity claimant to a benefit decision maker:

I am a number on your list
To you, on paper I exist
As a statistic
Part of rule making arithmetic
Just another one On the Sick.
To me, you are behind the paperwork
That calls me unworthy
Disregards my hurt,
Trivialises my suffering
By asking me to fill it in again,
listing what I can do
Listing what I cant do,
And if the claim is approved or not
The choice is down to you.
The rules say the words the system must speak
Are if you are ill or sick and weak
It must add up to benefit cheat.
But if thats not the case they'll say,
We will treat you as guilty anyway
And put you through hell
For being unwell
For the benefits you seek
All for a small sum of money each week.
It makes no difference to you that I've seen fear
And pain and wished time and again
That my life would end
Because there was no end
To no rest and no air
Mental illness is unfair,
It colours my life over with black
Clouds my rainbows with panic attacks
and just when I need some breathing space,
Your benefit rules crush me into place
And demand I fill in forms
Demand I come to see you
Even though you know its something I cant do,
You ring me up and make me ill
You choose your day and do it at will,
Till I dont know what to do
And youre doing this because you choose.
The hate campaigns make people feel
that its a crime to be unwell -
Well, I didnt choose to be mentally ill.
But I can choose to speak out against your rules
Against your hard system and be the tool
Of commonsense and clearest thought -
Yes its not true, all youve been taught
being ill doesnt make you mad
I'm someone whose had
A lot of bad experience but wisdom also too -
I treat illness with compassion -
Something you should do!
See the world through my eyes
Then please god you'll realise
Its no great honour to bully the weak
People need to be heard and speak
And get themelves across
Instead of feeling lost.
I may just be a statistic to you
But Im a human, flesh and blood
And Im a mother, too.
I dont want this world screwed up
When my child is grown up.
So stop screwing me up
Im not just a name on a list!
And while Im saying this
Remember I claim because I need to
Don't trivialise the suffering Ive been through
And the suffering I still go through
Illness picks at random -
Some day it might be you.

by No More Harrassment

www.youtube.com/nomoreharrassment

I'm told by the writer that she would be happy for this to be shared were others might think it is relevant or appropriate.

all the best
robert.
 
R

Roxy

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What a fantastic, heartfelt and honest poem, this woman's words will strike a chord with many. Like she says, there may come a day when the 'decision maker' needs a helping hand and we can only hope that they are treated in the same manner that they deal with us, you 'reap what you sow'.

I'll definitely forward this to those who are in a similar situation to ourselves, I'm sure it'll be much appreciated.
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Excellent poem . All of it true & heartfelt.

Thx for sharing this with us.
 
T

telemetry9

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I know your comments will mean a lot to the writer. I just think it is so heartfelt and moving and really draws the humanity into this ill reported and ill perceived subject matter. A lot of people seem to think it is ok (socially acceptable) to be cold and heartless and judgmental towards people who have to claim for Incapacity Benefit. It isn't acceptable and how could it ever be? By spreading lies and misinformation so that the public hate and judge us all as cheaters and scammers. It's very difficult to find balanced and fair reporting on this subject as everyone (including supposedly good journalists) have had their minds made up for them. How did that happen?
 
raccoon

raccoon

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That's so full of insight, and so moving, there must be so many of us that identify totally with this lady.
 
Colin76

Colin76

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What a fantastic poem, just goes to show how people with a mental illness are percieved. I have to go for another health examination ( or should i say ordered to attend by the dwp )to see if i am genuine or fit to return to work.

Some days i feel like a social outcast just because i claim IB
 
honeyquince

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Good luck with that Colin! I hope it goes well for you.
 
raspberry

raspberry

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hello everyone. ive had depression for about 6 months only been diagnosed for about 6 weeks. about half an hour ago i felt completely isolated and in just desolate and giving up hope.
i just want to tell everyone that i am so pleased you are all here and that i am not alone in how i feel you have made me feel human and in company in a world that seems to just think im crazy when im really not! so thank you so much.
 
Libra1

Libra1

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Hi rasbberry and :welcome: to MHF we are here 24/7 :)

You will find everyone friendly and supportive, so dip in and out and post more when you feel ready:)
 
raspberry

raspberry

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thank you so much libra1 i will do, this has totally saved my friday night knowing there are people out there.x
 
Fedup

Fedup

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hello everyone. ive had depression for about 6 months only been diagnosed for about 6 weeks. about half an hour ago i felt completely isolated and in just desolate and giving up hope.
i just want to tell everyone that i am so pleased you are all here and that i am not alone in how i feel you have made me feel human and in company in a world that seems to just think im crazy when im really not! so thank you so much.
Hello and :welcome: raspberry to MHF :)
How you feeling now ?
 
ellamental

ellamental

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lovely poem that made me cry but then everything has today

Thank you for the poem Telemetry9 and yes yes yes..get it completely and relate to almost every word. Some days it feels like we need to justify, explain and apologise and as she said...its not a choice to have mental health problems! Who would chose this.

Welcome to you rasberry. :welcome:

I am in a bit of a cry-all-day-and-lets-not-talk-about-it mood, just totally fed up, feel fat and ugly, friendless and so very stupid but somewhere deep down I am trying to remind myself that this is not the case and I just have to wait till my head is a bit less wobbly and more positive again. The phone remains on answerphone and the world can fuck right fucking off.
:mad:
I just want to go to sleep and stay asleep. I guess everyone gets that on here and we are all still here. I have done everything right and it still wont go away. I have to be jolly and happy at work tomorrow. :cry: Maybe we can read and try and understand but after a while just going with it and waiting for it to pass is the only way :rolleyes:
 
ellamental

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we are all wobbly in the head here but not social outcasts

Colin
you are not a social outcast...you are doing something to help yourself and claimng this in order to give yourself time to get better, good luck with your meeting and take good care, don't hurry back to work if you are not ready
:grouphug:
 
raspberry

raspberry

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hello thank you for the welcome messages.
i feel a bit better today actually. friday and saturday were a bit of a nightmare to say the least. and i havent cried today so a personal vistory there.

i told my mum today, finally. about the d-word (i call it the d-word cos sometimes i feel like i dont want to fully admit it). she was actually ok about it.

mother is all about the motivational phrases and she used pretty much all of them when i told her, although one stuck in my mind and has helped me through today.

as mama raspberry says;
fear knocked on the door. courage answered. there was nobody there.

i think thats a good one for the mornings especially.

ellamental i know what you mean exactly. i was basically a hermit for most of last week. i think alot of people dont understand one of the greatest stuggles of the d-word is pretending to others that youre ok. for example going to work, seeing friends, going to the shops takes up so much energy to keep up a mask and not burst out crying or having a breakdown in the cheese isle at morrisons which i have actually done. crying over cheddar cheese was not my finest hour. anyway, yes, putting on our mask takes up so much effort that by the end of the day i , or we are mentally and physically exhausted.
 
ellamental

ellamental

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crying in shops

to my favourite fruit(y)
from one hermit to another..you are not alone...in good company here! Its funny you saying about the cheese (why the cheese?) because a few years ago I stood frozen and crying in tescos looking at the Marmite..a little girl I loved died very suddenly and she loved cheese and marmite sandwiches..the bigger picture ...all the bad stuff is revisted on bad days but it is tiny things that trigger the crying and often not what you expect. At the moment it is hard to see a future and yet not that long ago that was the dream that kept me positive. It is all very confusing. I cried in a jeans shop last week but sunglasses are helpful for this and the music that made me cry:cry:..if its changed quick enough to something less sad can lift my mood quite a bit.

Well done talking to your Mum about it all and that she was quite helpful. Mostly pretending is ok but sometimes I find myself saying ...when asked "how are you"..things like "I would just like to shoot myself in the head." I have lots of empathy one day and can be totally thoughtless the next. I dont pretend to my Mum but she does think I do not habr bipolar II because she knows someone with that and they are terrible! She doesn't like the sound of that label so we wont have that one thanks very much! I dont see enough of her but she is a wrap me up in blankets and make me soup mum so the best really and am very grateful for that relationship. When I saw the psych we went through family and their mental health and it is surprising how many of my lot are eccentric at best!:mad:

Anyway...banging on again but good to talk to you, goodnight raspberry ...hope you sleep well :sleep:
 
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