Since losing my job in May last year I have been a number in the welfare system.
Initially I just couldn’t bare the thought of working, my confidence in my ability to do anything had been shattered. I felt totally worthless, completely helpless and to be honest, lost.
My depression and anxiety took a firm hold of me and controlled every aspect of my life. Because it got so bad, my work coach at the Jobcentre one day just looked at me and said ‘ No more, you are in no fit state to be even contemplating getting a job’ She suggested coming off JSA and going onto ESA – Employment Support Allowance. This gives you the same amount of benefit but you are effectively, ‘not fit for work’ so don’t have to look for employment or even attend the Jobcentre whilst claiming it.
I had to be signed off by the doctor and produce my sick note every month.
Looking back now, I’m not sure if this was the right thing to do. I withdrew more from everything…those 6 months I was on it are somewhat of a blur to be honest. I can’t tell you what I did or where I went, maybe that was the medication I was on, but still a huge chunk of the past 16 months is missing.
Anyway, pulled myself out of that pit somehow, and decided I needed to start living my life again, so came off the ESA and went back onto Jobseekers…where I still am.
I still suffer with anxiety and depression and some days are worse than others, but I am no longer being controlled by it…it will not define who I am.
So, once I get my arse up to Scotland, a job hunting I will go, and I’m gonna catch a big one, I’m not scared.