Hey everyone! Wow, it has been absolutely ages since I sat down to write out a blog post, and for that I am really sorry guys! Since the last time I blogged, life has thrown so much at me; it has been such a stressful start to 2017. My mental health has been at the worst it has for quite some time and it hit me so hard. I tried everything to pull myself out of depression's clutches, to try and dig deep to find the motivation to blog but no matter how much I tried, I didn't possess the energy, concentration or 'zest' to do much of anything, let alone blog. Just when I seemed to be heading down the right path towards recovery for my anixety, shit started happening all at once. My loved ones were going through tough times which were really hard to watch, my fibromyalgia decided to give me hell and cause some of the most intense pelvis pain that I've had, and my depression apparently wanted in on the action so upped its game to make me feel even worst. I hope that I'm not sounding like I'm being too dramatic, but honestly it's been such a crappy last two months for me.
As if all of that wasn't hard enough to deal with, my finances then suffered too. Many of you will know that I've not been able to work since I graduated from university, because of the state of my mental health (read more about it here), and that I receive the Employment and Support Allowance benefit to help me out whilst I can't work. At the moment, the government has been cutting so many people's benefits; I'm sure you've all heard some of the shocking stories in the News surrounding cases of people in need having their benefits stopped because they have been deemed 'fit for work' when clearly going to work would have a massive impact on their physical and emotional well-being. It's ridiculous!
So, back in January, I went to my first ever ESA re-assessment appointment after being granted the benefit a year or so previously, with my mental health being still in the same way as it had been then (if not worse in areas). The only difference was that I had started therapy with a new mental health service and am now taking anti-depressants, however the health care professional who intereviewed me decided that I am 'fit for work' in her opinion and so all of my benefit was stopped. I had to go through a process of requesting her decision be reconsidered, even providing a letter from my GP saying that I'm not mentally 'well enough' to work, and a month later they've wrote back to me stating that they are not willing to change the decision. I now have to go through a potentially lengthly appeal process :(
It is so emotionally-draining having to prove to peoplle that you are unable to work, especially with the way mental illness is still overlooked and undermined by the government. When this situation with ESA started, I was working with my therapist to make my first steps towards my anxiety recovery to help me try and gain some of my independence back, something I have been working so hard towards for the last year to be suddently faced with the stress of this just when things were looking up.
My depression has really suffered as a consequence of their decision to decide that I'm okay to work when I can't even leave my house alone, talk on the phone (even to my family and close friends) and so many other things that would be required of me if I was to go to work. One thing that has been so hard to endure is the constant reminder of what I cannot do. It's honestly made me feel so sad because I've been thinking more about the fact that I'm not able to do so many things I wish I could, and it's easy to feel trapped at home when you don't go out as much as you'd like to. On top of all this, my laptop (which has been playing up since I finished uni) has broken even more so that makes blogging even harder to get done. Ugh.
Last week, I had my last therapy appointment and I now have to find a way to power through all of the stress as best I can to work on my recovery. The first step is getting my life back on track and picking up on all of my hobbies that I enjoyed so much, so... here I am :) My blog means so much to me and I feel terrible that I've neglected it these last two months. Thankyou so much to all of my fellow blogger friends for still being there; I really appreciate you all still tagging me on twitter Friday Follow posts and interacting with me on my other social media. I'm back now and I have lots of post ideas for April. I have so many of your blog posts to catch up on reading so expect some comment spams from me soon, haha.
I just wanted to include a reminder to everyone but also to myself... It's okay to take a break. It's okay to put yourself and your needs first, and to take time to rest and recover from wahtever is going on in your lives. Don't beat yourelf up for having to focus on your self care. You deserve a break, you deserve time to recuperate. You are trying your best, and your health and well-being should take priority. People will understand ♥
So here's why I haven't been around for so long but I promise that Raiin Monkey will be back to normal from now on. I hope you're all doing well; I can't wait to read your blogs and find out what you've all been up to. Sorry again for disappearing for so long!
Thankyou for reading!
I was also curious, what does everyone personally get out of blogging?
What do you enjoy most about it? Let me know in the comments :)
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