Sunday, 9 March 2014

Miracles...

Almost six months ago I finished this post with the words "Waiting for a miracle... "

Well guess what! Nothing that could be strictly defined as miraculous happened...

... but other things did. Things that seemed like miracles because of their unexpected and apparently unlikely nature. Everyday miracles, perhaps.

The first thing was that I was facing a ludicrous shortfall between my rent and how much Housing Benefit I'm entitled to. This left me with about £26 a week to live on (inlcuding the 20% council tax I must pay which is around £3 a week). Obviously this was an untenable situation. Well... after speaking with my landlord, he put the rent down! (Miraculous!) There was still a shortfall, but £28 a week instead of £45. (Seems less miraculous now...)

Shortly after this, I found out that my Discretionary Housing Payment application had been successful. This meant no Housing Benefit shortfall at all, for the time being. I also passed my ESA (sickness benefit) assessment, which means even when the DHP runs out, I will still be able to scrape together enough to pay my rent. I passed the assessment without having a face-to-face interview, based on the information they'd sought from my GP. Anyone who's been subject to the ESA assessment process, designed to deny people the benefit, and outsourced to known disability deniers Atos Healthcare, will understand why this is miraculous – both seeking information from my GP and actually taking any notice of it!

And then... there was one more thing.

But first, a thought... The above events were, to me, little miracles that made my life easier at the point where it really mattered. By that, I mean I didn't know how to go on in the circumstances I found myself in. Having access to financial support when I really needed it, being able to keep a stable home, having the time to get better and return to work at a mangeable pace meant I could carry on. It meant there was a way forward, instead of a downward spiral. And it was an everyday miracle, an ordinary miracle, if you like, that made all the difference. The wonderful thing about this kind of 'miracle' is that we can make them happen.

It could be you who needs a miracle one day.

* * *

... And finally...

... I met someone. We shall call him 'Mr. Blokey'. Yes, a man! But hold the fanfare a moment, because we split up over a month ago. However... I am including Mr. Blokey on the general tally of miracles for two reasons.

The first is that he appeared as if from nowhere. I wasn't looking for a relationship; I'd suspended that whole area of my life until further notice. If you'd asked me if there was anyone on the horizon I'd have said no – I wasn't even thinking about it. At the same time I'd been seeing Mr Blokey around socially a lot more (having originally met him a couple of years previously) and always really enjoyed his company and loved seeing him... And then I'd go home and forget all about him until next time. The nice thing about this was that there was no build-up to the relationship in my head, no flirting or anything contrived... just me being me and someone liking that enough to suggest spending more time together. He also knew about my mentalness (from the grapevine, oh joy) and it didn't deter him; he just wanted to understand. He also doesn't view me as 'mental' and if I refer to myself as such, actually reminds me I'm just a person with experiences.

He too, is a person with experiences and sadly, what we shall call a collision of 'issues' means after a mainly lovely four months it ended....

... Leading to miraculous point number two... We are still friends. This might not seem a big deal to a lot of people, but it is to me. It means we have actually talked about why we split up, so it's not just horrible and frightening but something to learn from. Also, he talks to me about stuff. It seems Mr. Blokey is having a sort of life epiphany, in various ways, and this is lovely to see. And it is lovely to still be in each other's lives. I blatently haven't 'got over' him, but then it seems he feels the same way, from things he's said. Not that either of us want to get back together (oh ok, I do in future... some dim distant future!) but it's nice being around him and being me on my terms, knowing what would need to be different for it to ever work between us.

Not that it will.

Lather, rinse repeat..!

Hmm. Miracles...

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