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News and Current Affairs. / Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 30 Jul 2021 11:10PM »
It's simple.

Keep increasing the retirement age whilst privatising the NHS and cutting disability support, thus reducing life expectancy, and the pension budget drops.

You could say ah, but they rely on their pensioner voter base, but I'm not convinced that the sort of pensioners that fall into categories like sick, disabled, fragile, deprived etc. are most likely to vote for them.  Some would, but others would have been round enough to work out who's cutting their money.

I get very frightened and just cling onto the thought that even if the Tories destroy the whole of the welfare state, communities can fight to help one another. 

Also there are the likes of me that would volunteer a lot more if we weren't terrified someone somewhere would suspect there'd been a 'change of circumstances' and re-assess me, even though the only change would be that I'd found a way to use what mental and physical resources I do have.  If I'd nothing to lose, I'd do what I could, even if in due course I crumbled.  At the moment, I do very little.  I used to do loads of volunteering before I chickened out.  If social security was as flexible as when I was a youngster, I'd be less twitchy and I bet loads of people would be like me.  Do what you can, when you can, without fear.

I wish I didn't have so many malicious thoughts, though, wishing cabinet members would get nasty long covid and find out what chronic sickness and disability are really like.
News and Current Affairs. / Re: Merge PIP and UC? Aargh!
« Last post by KizzyKazaer on 30 Jul 2021 09:22PM »
Joining the shocked brigade.... was about to reply to Fiz, "but what about Pension Credit?", still under the impression that anyone aged 60 and over would qualify.  Ha bloody ha ha.  Checked the pension age calculator and.... also not eligible for State Pension or Pension Credit until age 67.  So, considered to be 'working age' (a group the Government really seems to have it in for) for another 12 years.

What an absolute crock of >expletive deleted<.
That is a wonderful video.  I shall be sharing it with a couple of others.  I've only been to zoom meetings with one group of people, once a week, with a few gaps, between autumn last year and spring this year.  It was obvious some people were more zoomified than others.

There's another ending I find difficult - emails.

I can cope with letters.  I was brought up with Dear Sir, yours faithfully; Dear Mr Bloggs, your sincerely; Dear Dad, love.

Now I've got to work out whether to say kind regards, regards, best wishes, best, best regards, love, much love...   or just my name with or without kisses. And how many kisses is ok? 

Ok, so maybe finishing a phone call isn't so hard after all!
Zoom meetings are the worst, there's a chunk of reality in this sketch
Health and Disability / Re: Care needs assessment
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 30 Jul 2021 02:15PM »

But what a horrible time you've had of it.  I know that typically social services departments are overstretched and underfunded, but that doesn't make it ok to put you through what you've been through.
What I struggle with in relation to ending calls, be it personal calls or calls to the Sams or calls to call centres, isn't what I'll call the preparatory winding up, but who says the final word(s).

I've had a long term problem with this.

I had a manager who got angry with me more than once.  She'd tell me to do something and I'd summarise what I was going to do before walking away (i.e. moving on, not storming off).  E.g. "Ok.  I'll tell the team we'll be holding the meeting on Tuesday, I'll arrange cover for the phones, and I'll make sure the documents are with the print room and ready in time."  She suddenly snapped one day and finally I realised what she was upset by.  She asked "Why do you always have to have the last word?"  I realised I was doing my army thing.  Superior + junior, final words are variants on "I'll get onto it right away, sir."  Not 'having the last word' but 'acknowledging the command'.

But there's that bit ending a call after one of you has said you're going to and you've agreed you're going to end the call. Who says the final goodbye?  I don't feel confident about it and have to keep telling myself that the majority of people, unlike that manager, don't care who says the final "Thanks for being there."  or "Talk again soon." or whatever.

As I type that, I realise the version I find easiest is when you're with a group of people and you leave.  "Bye!" you shout.  "Bye!" they chorus back.
Talk / Re: Stupid, stupid, short term memory.
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 30 Jul 2021 01:53PM »
I generally avoid the Mail these days but saw reference to the article elsewhere and was more interested in the comments than the article, although I read the article.

I was very touched by the outpouring of support for Biles and hostility towards Morgan.  There were lots of comments accusing him of hypocrisy and criticising him for being horrid towards people with mental problems.  Given that it's the Mail, I was surprised but pleased by how many readers made a point that Morgan seems to take particular delight in picking on women of colour with mental problems.

I wish the Mail, which amended Morgan's article after the first flood of complaints, had changed the title of a previous article by a different opinion-writer describing Boris Johnson as schizophrenic, and using it as an insult.  But then they follow the tabloid tradition of using terms like psychotic, manic, schizo etc. to mean 'dangerous and likely to kill someone', so I suppose using schizophrenic just in its literal meaning of split mind is tame by comparison.  (And, I believe, socially acceptable in some non-British anglophone cultures.)

I'm very encouraged by reading more and more where people are taking exception to 'mental' and similar words and concepts being used as insults.  I'm very hopeful that the pandemic will have made a difference to that because of the number of people who never thought of themselves as 'mental' who've now experienced mental distress of one sort or another (though hopefully mostly not too seriously or at the very least not long term).

I map that onto my hopefulness in relation to a range of conditions characterised by links with the immune system and inflammation.  If long covid can remain something that's not stigmatised, there's hope that a less-stigmatising attitude can then spill over into other conditions currently often disparaged or written off as malingering, such as ME/CFS, fibromyalgia etc.
Talk / Re: Stupid, stupid, short term memory.
« Last post by Fiz on 30 Jul 2021 01:32PM »
Thankfully not reading tabloids I have bypassed all the nastiness and had read a short article on the BBC news website saying she'd withdrawn to protect her mental health and she thanked everyone for their support. 

It's no surprise to hear about Piers Morgan, I refuse to listen to or read anything the vile man says. 

I've not heard of the twisties but can certainly see how that can happen and how it could devastate a career such as gymnastics.
Talk / Re: Stupid, stupid, short term memory.
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 30 Jul 2021 12:12PM »
Some people can't cope with the notion that other people's minds might do that sort of thing, might suddenly not function or not function properly.  

There's something I want to let off steam about and I'm going to use this as my excuse.  It's nastiness towards the olympic gymnast Simone Biles for getting the 'twisties'. 

For those that don't know, she's on the American olympic team and has withdrawn. Various parts of the media are publishing stories emphasising that it's for 'mental' reasons, and the Mail published nasty vitriol by Piers Morgan, in which he characterised her as cowardly and running away (paraphrase not his precise words), which they had to go back and edit after there was an outpouring of comments referring to his behaving like that storming off the television set, so that in the revised article he said he shouldn't have done that.

But the reason she pulled out, which the Mail only mentioned in a less prominent article and many, when I last looked, haven't, is that she was getting the 'twisties'.  It's a nasty condition that people like gymnasts and swimmers get.  It's where you learn to do something and your body sort of learns to do it without your doing conscious thought beyond knowing your next move is a double flip or something, but if you get the 'twisties', your mind suddenly intervenes and your body gets tangled up.  A gymnast can get very nastily injured.

Well, we don't call it twisties in everyday life, although personally I'm getting fed up with told I'm 'overthinking', so it's clear that we do have a notion that there are lots of things you should just do automatically and that thinking can mess them up. 

Ironically, in my case, it's taken me until the last three years or so to realise consciously that for me a lot of the 'overthinking' I do is usefully compensatory, and these days often say to people that accuse me of overthinking that it's a technique I'm using to overcome thinking that doesn't work.  I say to think of it like limping - you can see it as a failure to walk properly or you can see it as your other leg working harder than usual to compensate for the one that doesn't.  But that's not twisties and our everyday language and culture doesn't distinguish, so for want of understanding, it's easy to be scathing of both.

I know on a very much lower level than Biles and her fellow fantastic gymnasts what harm the twisties can do in the context of martial arts, I just difn't have a word for it except something like not doing something instinctively or automatically.  I can remember decades ago being thrown with a technique I didn't know, and making the mistake of trying to think what to do instead of letting my body work it out.  I remember the thundering of running feet as I hit the mat awkwardly and my fellow black belts raced towards me and pinned me down so they could check my neck.  There was nothing broken, although I'd torn a ligament down the side of my neck, making my arm a bit difficult to use properly for a couple of months or so.  Imagine I'd been Biles doing one of those amazing flips - paralysed or dead?

I'm 'mental', a 'loony' etc.  I know that mental stuff isn't to be ashamed of, and I also know it makes sense to look below the surface of generalisations.  I really, really hope that what's happened to Biles, and the way her fellow gymnasts etc. are speaking out will introduce the word and concept twisties to our language, helping us.

Whether we'll ever get to the point at which we can recognise how utterly amazing it is that normally our brains do do what they're meant to, I don't know.  Perhaps not, because I don't think people in power want to recognise that their brains could suddenly do that. 

Cummings could have simply 'flipped' going on his famous trip, just suddenly running for it, maybe a fugue state, maybe something else.  But the last thing he'd ever have done would be to say so.  Better to be thought a liar or cheat or similar than 'mental'.
Talk / Re: Stupid, stupid, short term memory.
« Last post by Fiz on 30 Jul 2021 11:00AM »
I've experienced fugues when in crisis. Twice I have found myself on a notorious bridge known for suicide jumpers with no memory of how I got there. I had no money on me or means of paying for a train fare. I can only assume that on both occasions that I walked and considering it is 5 miles away and the pain that should have caused me amazes me. Unfortunately the walk home was memorable as was the pain. I kind of guess I know why when in crisis when I often dissociate that the fugues led me to the bridge because that bridge has many times been on my mind. I've also dissociated a whole two week hospital stay. The only reason that I know I went to an out of area mental health unit is I have the MHA paperwork, I can't remember being assessed, traveling there, being there or what the hospital was like or the transfer to my local unit after two weeks. I came out of that dissociation while I was in my local unit having been transferred back there.
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