Thursday, 18 March 2010

Killing time

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I am not working. After graduating from University this was originally not for want of trying. Then due to endless rejections and growing debt I became depressed and then found I couldn't work. The growing anxiety made attending interviews almost impossible. At this time I met the man who, in my early posts you will remember, was the reason for this blog's origin and title. As a result of becoming involved with him I ended up in a women's refuge. My depression at this time, as you might expect, became more acute. Then my home was repossessed and I lost a huge amount of money. I am now in a tiny one bedroom flat which I rent. I like my little flat but it isn't mine and I will probably never own a property again.

I would dearly like to believe that I will one day get a job that I enjoy and that will earn enough money that I can really enjoy the lovely things in life again. Things like holidays, the theatre, visiting people and places and buying lovely clothes and treating my sons and my friends.

Now this post might seem like a self pitying ramble, we all know people who are much much worse off than I am. I have my health, my children, friends, a roof over my head, I am surrounded by lovely countryside, I live in a pretty town. All of these things are great and I know I am lucky in many respects.

But the continual penny pinching, the always counting the days to my next benefit payment, the constant decisions as to whether I can have a bottle of wine or some decent food or neither is very wearing on my well being as well as my self esteem. I do a couple of afternoons as a volunteer for Age Concern and this helps me feel in a sense that I am working for my supper. But I no longer feel part of ordinary society. I can't afford a contract telephone and anyway because of the repossession and past debts wouldn't get a contract anyway. So I have a pay as you go mobile which is expensive and at times inconvenient for those who wish to contact me. All of these things serve to make a person feel isolated from the rest of society. I am in an awkward place to get tv channels so I can only get two channels clearly.

I am writing this blog because there must be thousands of people like me, or worse off. I AM lucky because of friends and family. Some people don't have these. I don't have a partner which can be pretty lonely at times, in fact I don't think I have much to bring to the table, but I don't live in a high rise flat where I am scared to step outside my door. There are many bad things said about those of us who are on benefits, But it is no great shakes believe me. My sense of purpose, focus, or even my sense of who I am has disappeared. I no longer have many choices and with that comes a sense of hopelessness.

I am having some cognitive behavioural therapy in the hope that I can get over my anxiety and go through an interview. I am on anti depressants and they help me to keep on an even keel. But at 55 my chances of getting a decent job are not that likely.

Things happen to people in life, and my friends would tell you I have managed pretty well considering, so for those people who believe that the unemployed are scroungers and are better off than those that are working long hours for a low pay, I would say, you just try it.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Love is in the air.

A while ago I lived in a big detached house with a half an acre garden, which was full of wild life. Common visitors were squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes and badgers. Birds of many varieties I fed regularly. On moving to my tiny flat on the second floor in the middle of a town, there has been very little wild life to see. There are of course gulls and crows and the odd little sparrow and last summer swifts regaled me with their intricate areal displays. But I am rather delighted to say that a pair of ring necked doves have taken up residence under the base of the fire escape just outside my kitchen window. I have been intrigued over the last week or so as to what they were up to, flying in and out of what seemed to be a very small gap and then at the weekend they were arriving with twigs in their beaks and appear to be building a nest. They are a sweet little couple who bill and coo in the, ever so slightly warmer, approaching spring air.

I believe these doves mate for life and this makes the story even more romantic. I will keep you posted over the next month or so as to the progress of this, quite handsomely dressed, obviously happy, pair of newly weds.