The Making of Comparisons

What if I say said to you, that you don’t need to work and can live on a government pension with your housing paid for a year or two? To a lot of people that would sound like a dream and many would take it up. Most people may feel they have a lot to fall back on if it didn’t work out and probably would have a backup plan after 2 years.

If I was to add more negatives to the deal more people would reject it. If you were told the pension was called a benefit for Autism and Schizoaffective Disorder but you could lie – It may not be too bad for some people. If you were stigmatised by the people who do know such as your GP, mental health services, hospitals, pharmacists, the council and more you may be less keen. I guess if you were a skilled liar it may not be too bad but the problem is liars often get found it. The longer you lie the harder it gets.

If you had no family or friends, lets say they abandoned you for stigma or you just don’t operate in their social bubble anymore then it could be a potential deal breaker. As you wouldn’t work, your social life would be affected severely. You will likely feel loneliness and some people disrespect you for not working. Maybe they would respect you if you had retired early but if your getting a benefit then you could be considered unworthy.

The deal breaker finally comes for many when they are told they would need a depot injection every 4 weeks and to take oral medication. The symptoms of Autism and Schitzoaffective Disorder thrown in would start to verge on mental torture.

If going outside feels like a noisy environment you would want to stay at home more. If you couldn’t identify social cues or facial expressions that well and then people didn’t want to know someone on benefits then the feeling of helplessness and isolation creeps in. What if social attitudes and your confusion around people made you overwhelmed and agitated? Would you know how to soothe yourself? Maybe instead you would become excluded.

What if some days you had a mood where you felt unstoppable? Sounds pretty good doesn’t? but then had days where you wanted to kill yourself and felt this was truly the end of your life? You would probably reach for that medication. But what if you had voices telling you to kill yourself now and to bin that medication? What if you started to realise your entire life was a conspiracy and you have been set up? You spot all the patterns and it all makes sense.

Eventually the police get you into hospital and the doctors get you back on your medication with lots of sleep. You start to feel stable again but feel ever so tired. Everything feels like an effort. You experience unkindness or perhaps even abuse from some staff on the ward but your too tired to fight back. You suffer with just the dirty clothes on your back and no toiletries for days. At least your meals are prepared for you.

Once you get home you have to find purpose in your life again and repair the damage from the last delusion. Maybe your phone is lost and the police have broken down your front door. The lethargy from the medication makes this a struggle. The excess weight gain from the medication has made you unfit. There is some inner restlessness from the medication as well but that doesn’t matter does it? You don’t have to work.

A large envelope arrives from the government. You are now at the beginning of 3 to 6 month process to justify why you benefits should be extended. If they all stop then its all down to you to resolve your situation. If it continues then I guess you may have more of the same above. Lets hope the landlord doesn’t decide to evict you in the meantime.

I have experienced all of the above. I was sharing a story of my life there. I don’t doubt it’s very hard for people with mortgages, careers and families to get by nowadays. I don’t believe its an easy task. I know I couldn’t do it. Though please don’t make comparisons that people like me have an easy life.

I have learnt to depend on the Bible to sustain me. I try to make comparisons with characters in the Bible and seek inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I am not a bad person. I am just like you trying to get by.

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22