Saturday 28 January 2012

An Open Letter to me

Hi Ceri

You're feeling a bit crap aren't you? *nods* Do be careful hun, you have just cried all over the keyboard. You don't want to end up shorting it out, it wont work then. *shakes head*

Right, Ceri, oh womble of quite a lot of brain really for you have a degree and your own thoughts and stuff. You can be simple minded at times *drinks wine and sniffs* you are scared, far too scared of people. *nods*

You are really scared of telling people what you want and need aren't you? *nods as tears fall* Because whenever you have in the past you have been called unreasonable, or are thought of, and told you are being a bad person. *snivels and blows nose*

I know honey that the people you are used to having in life are those that actually couldn't give two craps but that make you feel as if it's all you deserve, but you are worth more than that. *pouts and looks disbelieving, and whimpers as more tears fall* 

You are allowed, and SHOULD be able to say what you want and need sometimes. People who can't give you what you need in life, people who don't think you should be able to express what you feel, they're not worth it. It's not worth spending all your energy on the people who make you feel inadequate.

You are worth more, you are nice, and a human being, and fallible, and funny, and silly, and your nose is pretty, even it it is a little red and snot filled right now.
*nods, wipes the tears from her nose and finishes her glass of wine*

And then the lovely nurturing Ceri and the not so happy Ceri watched some TV on the laptop, coz they needed to unwind and reintegrate. - also, massive thanks to @miss_sobriety who chatted to me partway through this and cheered me up to the point where I could actually see the screen again.
If I/we could actually behave towards ourselves in the same way we talk to others then we'd all be fine actually wouldn't we?!

Upset Ceri pipes up and says she must listen to this first!  *watches*  Right.... time to find comedy!

Thursday 26 January 2012

I am bloody good enough, and OW!

I write this, through tears, my back screaming because though recently it has been wanting to do things that are impossible with the human spine I am currently only able to be somewhere between approx a 60- 140 degree angle. I have a thumping headache, my head is swimming, I can't even have the TV sound on because the volume is hurting too much. I am finding it a job to swallow and I have stigmata pain in both my hands. Also, for every 5 seconds or so I am getting about 4-5 twinges in my muscles/nerves.

I am scared. I am back on my crutch nearly full time when I leave the house and I am exhausted all the time, not including the level of exhausted I am when I've been out. I am now on quite a few meds and still feeling crap, I know this is only a wobble brought on by some kind of virus but it freaks me out, I want to do so many things.
Then I go online, the only place I feel I have any impact, the only place I can be equal and "normal" I come into contact with the Telegraph and The Sun (c/o political scrapbook) stories, they scare the hell out of me, they make me want to curl up and die.

They make me feel as if everything I am trying my absolute best to do is never enough, my working relentlessly while being unfit for work at finishing my OU degree, my volunteering to try to gain experience and strength etc. is all for nothing. As if nothing I will ever do will be enough in the eyes of the world at large.

I get it you know? I know; I know that some of you view me as a piece of dirt, as a scrounger. However I know better, I know that I am a human being, I know I desperately want to get better, but MS is progressive. I want to get the strength I had prior to my recent attack back but that may never happen. It has taken me years to accept this is how my life is and I still don't entirely, it doesn't really help when the rest of the world fails to accept it too.
I still feel "maybe if you just tried harder", I still feel like I should try, relentlessly for approval but I'll never get it. Maybe I should just accept that some people will always view me as workshy and a scrounger.

However, I look at this from outside and you know what I see? I see someone who has been abused, I see someone who feels as if this is what they deserve and the part of me that has studied health and diversity and social policy and a wee bit of psychology looks at the little scared me and despairs.

This is a ridiculous state of affairs! It's holocaust memorial day, a reminder of what hate of what you do not understand or tolerate can lead to, a reminder of what hateful governments can do to their own people. More than 70 years later can we still be doing this to people, segmenting into those that are deserving and "moral" and those who deficient in some way? Now people must fight to be seen as rightfully disabled, as ill enough, and morally upright citizens, and enough for "the tax payer", that we must strive so hard for recognition or are scrounging and therefore a cancer on society.

There is, after all, a thing called "National Insurance" (also, more than 70 years old, as is the NHS) people forget, that this pays for the welfare state, we pay for it, we all pay for it. we all are one, we are one people, yet somehow the government is instilling hate in the hearts of the paranoid. We are all being "taken for a ride" by these "scroungers".

You know what? Fuck it, I have rights in this country, that's why I love Britain, rights that my grandparents fought for, rights that every citizen is rightfully entitled to, and this does not have to do with justifying my right to have a meagre struggle of a bloody existence, it has to do with compassion, with understanding, with healing the sick, with supporting the poor, with legislating the private sector so that people do not have to live in squalid conditions, or are not left disabled by faulty bloody breast implants, or left without income, so that nobody should die in poverty.

It's the country I always thought I lived in, it's the country I fight to live in every, single day. Where ignorance isn't fought with ignorance, where distrust isn't fought with more distrust, and where people who already have a pretty bloody crappy lot in life are allowed to have a bit of actual dignity, not having to join the very real analogue of a workhouse just to eat, where people are provided with the help they need to go to the bloody toilet, or wash their bits!

If you do not want to live in this country, please tell me why the hell not, tell me, why, living with daily pain striving to get through (not even starting on the mental health issues), struggling to eventually get out of the benefit hole I am in of sickness and social immobility is not bloody good enough for you, do that or kindly bugger off.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Virus fairy and feeling Ugh!

I Had a visit from the virus fairy this weekend. I've been rather burning the candle from both ends lately, been not having hardly any down time and not much sleep.
Although I'm ok with it to a point, eventually my body cracks, I just don't have the ability to keep going like I used to pre the attack of this summer.
So I spent Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday Morning in bed, had loads of sleep, even though it still doesn't feel like anywhere near enough.
Eventually forced myself into getting up, got dressed, felt exhausted.
I really need to sort the flat out, get rid of all the crap.
Thing is, even just getting up, getting dressed, washing a few plates etc. and sitting around all day feels like too much at the moment; and I fall even more behind on the housework, even less chance of getting all the other jobs I need to do done.
I really need to sort all my stuff out, chuck away a load of stuff, thing is, it's getting started, and continuing... lets be honest, it's the whole darn thing. I have no energy anymore.

So yeah, in an attempt to make myself feel a little bit useful today I made a new avatar for twitter.

That concludes the interestingness of my day, well it probably doesn't, I've just hit brain fog territory and I can't think anymore.

Sunday 15 January 2012

Save my hair!

Look, I am terrible at explaining the actual issues in text form so thought I'd just show you!

Tell me what the hell to do! I currently use Rehab shampoo and Retread conditioner from Lush, but although this is lovely and makes my hair amazingly soft and shiny it doesn't actually sort out the underlying issue... I use frizz ease currently too... it helps it retain some moisture but not much.
HELP! Save my hair!

Ceri xx

Mushroom Soup - (Update - Stroganoff type thing!)

Made mushroom soup, was great... thought I'd tell you how before everyone starts asking!

1 onion
150-200g pack of mushrooms
10 odd drops of worcester sauce
3 sloshes of soysauce
some butter/margarine to sweat the onions in
4 heaped teaspoons of creme fresh
1-2 pt of stock depending on thickness desired
approx 3 tablespoons plain flour
a shake or 2 of mixed herbs

Cut up onion and sweat in marg in saucepan till cooked. cut up mushrooms and add them to saucepan, add stock, worcester sauce, soysauce, flour stir and simmer for 20 odd mins. Put on low if not already, add creme fresh, melt in, whizz with hand blender, add salt and pepper to taste.


Oh, also, would have added garlic but I ran out!

Also... as an update...
I had bought loads of reduced mushrooms, so popped a load of stuff in my 2 slow cookers.

this was almost exactly the same as above except I used 300g of mushrooms approx in each slow cooker, and used beef stock as I had nowt else... I also left out the creme fresh until the end (which hasn't happened yet, but I didn't want it to curdle overnight).
To one I added one pack of diced beef to one of the slow cookers, that had been browned in the frying pan... this is going to be strogonoffy tomorrow! YUM!

Saturday 14 January 2012

Friends are the Familly you choose for yourself.

Why is it that Nothing within my life feels fixed? I feel broken, inside, like I am fractured into pieces. I have literally nowhere in the world I feel safe anymore. I always feel as if I am about to have a rug pulled from under me and then people will either all laugh at me or pull me apart to tell me how wretched I am.

I am paranoid, I have always tended towards paranoia, but now, recently I am full on paranoid, when I feel bad I find it hard to express now, I think that everyone is just waiting to trip me up so they can stab me in the back, as if everyone will hate me when they find out who I really am, as if I'm actually entirely alone in the world and it's entirely devoid of any hope and empty.

However, I know this is untrue, I know I'm paranoid and depressed, I know I can feel better, but then something happens, it doesn't have to be much, it doesn't have to even make sense, and I freeze, I fall apart and I lose myself again.

I know that not all of my friends will abandon me and attack me and try to destroy me but sometimes I can't be sensible, sometimes I can't believe it. I know the old adage that friends are the family that you choose yourself, but I expect both to stick with me... Family I would define to be the people I can bicker with but still we come together and love and support.

I thought I had that in my friends but due to various circumstances I now find that very hard to accept, I feel that any time I stand up, any time I don't lay down and be exactly what everyone else wants me to be I might have somebody switch on me and I will not only lose the people I care about but be suddenly in a world where everything is trying to attack me.

I can't trust people, I can't trust anymore and it breaks my heart. It's wrong and weird that someone who used to find it very easy to confide feelings in others now finds it easier to post her feelings on her blog than talk to her friends. It's almost safer, even though it's not, I can't be rejected in the same way.

It makes me very angry and sad on my own behalf.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

A system as broken as my heart

I write this on the eve of the vote on welfare reform in the lords, I have not spent ages thinking this through or researching this so you will need to take this as it comes, I just needed to write about how upset I am.

Yesterday the first (afaik) report of its kind was published, the first report entirely researched, written, funded and distributed in by a grassroots movement of vulnerable people. The most vulnerable in society, the hardest hit, we fight not only for us; we fight for the one of the noblest of causes, we fight for social security, we fight for those who cannot stand (metaphorically) against their oppressors, against their accusers and against their government.

We published a report exposing how the government has systematically deceived the public about the consultation behind this welfare reform bill, not just mislead, but lied. They have had the inaccuracies pointed out, again and again, by people not just within the left wing on centrist media but from within their parties and from the daily mail.

This to me shows that they are actually intentionally trying to get it past the public and MPs, and that; and here's the scary bit, they know they can get away with it.
And who can blame them? Where was any reporting of this on the BBC news channel? On the BBC website? On Sky news? On Channel 4 news? Nowhere!
In fact it seemed possible at one point that channel 4 news might report it, however they seem to have completely misunderstood what the report was about. In the ruckus that ensued from that twitter message from Jon Snow as people were upset/confused/explaining what the content of the report actually was/asking questions it became too much for him and appeard to switch off from the discussion.

Just as every other form of televisual media has, we don't exist, we can just go away, if they ignore us we will scream and cry and plead with them and they think they will break us, they think they can get away with deciding what is newsworthy. A dog who "can act", and a kleptomaniac chef eclipse the publication of a report that exposes the lies that will be used to try to destroy us.

I am incensed that this has been brushed under the rug, truly I am filled with rage that something that is so obviously newsworthy has been ignored by people who say they have read it.
I say to you that you have not read it, you cannot have done if you can completely miss the entire point of it.

The system is broken, the opposition oppose nothing, the Liberal Democrats work to see us with neither liberty nor democracy, whether by design or inaction. The media are all corrupt. And tonight my heart is truly broken, the principles of social security are that we are protected by our society, we can truly no longer say that.

I really, implore you, all of you to support this cause, to try and get it out there, to show what has happened here, we try so hard every day, and because of how ill this has made them one of the main contributors has had to go to hospital, I am screaming from within that this simply isn't possible in the world I thought we lived in.
However, maybe I am actually just starting to wake up and see the world as it truly is.

"Big Society", Meager Governance and Reasonable Reform

Words, words, words, both wonderful and terrifying; I have wanted to desperately be able to write something about the BRILLIANT #spartacusreport, otherwise known as the Responsible Reform Report available at Sue Marsh's blog or also Here if the above doesn't work. It's truly something I feel passionately about, the fact that the government have not only failed to listen to us all but that they have flat out lied, saying that we have been consulted when they have ignored us, as shown in this radio interview with Sue Marsh and Maria Miller (the laughably titled "Minister for Disabled People").

Whenever we ask questions we are pointed to press releases and facts that have been shown time and time again to be false, when we try to stand up and be counted we are countered with vitriol and accusations that most are scrounging at virtually every turn, when in actual fact the figures show that the amount of fraud is tiny (a,b). We have encountered the change in language and approach by the "centrist" media who do not seem to actually represent us at all, encouraging anger towards those least able to stand up for themselves.

Through all of this many of us have felt attacked and like giving up, but some of the brilliant and tenacious among us like Sue and Kaliya saw that they needed to stand up and be heard, even in the face of considerable personal cost. Somehow they got a team together, and managed to fight the lies that people were properly consulted in this reform process. They managed to get people to rally around, write, research and produce the entire report and then fund the campaign and distribution of this report.

This is all very lovely and wonderful but it shouldn't have to be done, we should be properly consulted, our fears and questions should be properly answered and any changes necessary should be made BEFORE the introduction of these changes. Over the last year we have seen wonderful displays of communities rallying around and changing things because of the inadequacy of the system to deal with this stuff (e.g. the cleanup operation around the riots, this, and many more grassroot movements). Be under no illusion, it's great that people pull together but this is not what we should expect in a civilised society, we shouldn't have to fund our own reports into DWP lies, we shouldn't have to run our own libraries because public spending has been reduced to such a level where the system ceases to run in a reasonable manner. It is disgusting that we live in a (G8) country where people have to choose between food and fuel, commit suicide rather than face the stress and humiliation of benefit reassessment and or turn to prostitution to pay for their own education.

The idea that in some way this can be spun into a good thing literally sickens me, as does the DWP Press Office response which seemed to be just bombarding the #spartacusreport hashtag on twitter with more links to the same thing, they really cannot bear to enter into debates and instead just toe the line repeating the same thing over and over until we go away.
We were trending for almost the whole day, the print media including the Guardian and the Mail (YES the MAIL), with Boris Johnson (see mail article) opposing as well as a whole host of celebs on twitter retweeting yesterday
We will not go away, we will not be silenced, because we are right, because we know it and because we can't tolerate this, not just for ourselves but also on your behalf, even if you have not had to claim in the past, you may be in need in the future and should have something to support you through it!

Friday 6 January 2012

What is it that Grown up Wombles do?

I am aware that I'm 28 which for most people comes across as probably mostly "grown up" but screw it, I only just got my degree and getting to a point where I feel like I know what I want to/can do with my life.

I would actually love to teach, well, that said there are a great many things I want to do with my life but one of these many things is indeed, to teach.
Also, teaching is a good jumping off point for lots of the stuff I would love to do too, so let's do that!

For those that are interested/know that pre-August I wished to be a nurse, know that my MS attack in late July/August brought things into focus a bit more for me and brought me a bit back down to earth.

What I want to do is help people, and overall I feel that teaching is actually quite good way of doing that. So yes, I am applying to do a PGCE at Leeds Met (when I get my Personal Statement done - probably early Feb after my Dad giving me a hand), My favoured course is Health and Social Care. If I don't get into that, then I'm also applying for Citizenship and if all else fails my third preference is for Further Education (which it now seems that you can get loans for - as you don't get fees paid for PGCE's any more).

All of this of course would mean moving or some such, my Dad already lives up in Leeds so it'd be ideal for doing the whole grown up thing without being entirely without support. Thing is, I have an assured tenancy, it's secure. I am in a council flat and there's not much that can get me out of it. I need to find out where I stand with moving, whether it's possible to get a transfer, whether I'd need to get an exchange, whether I could even keep my flat in Cambridge and just pop down again at weekends, holidays etc. etc.

Also, I have been out of work, for many years, I'm frankly concerned about whether I'll be able to cope with a full time job, thing is, for everything I'm doing to try to get myself out of the hole I'm in, to try to get myself off of benefits... the more peril I actually stand in!

I am very concerned that I will end up being found "Fit to work" over the next few months (by Atos) and will be thrust into something like workfare so that I will not be fit enough to actually go to college by next September! I am frankly terrified by the prospect of the future, anything I might do, any movement at all could get me into deep water with the powers that be.

What I would love to happen is for tomorrow everything to be sorted, to be volunteering with the charity I help out at, to do this Further Education course in Preparing to Teach Adults for the next term. To have a place at Uni, to not have to choose between the prospect of a brighter future and somewhere to love (a real worry re housing and moving etc.), to know whether there will even be a place for vocational GCSE's in the future. Whether my health will even allow me to actually DO any of this at all!

All rather up in the air at the moment as you can see, so if I'm a bit all over the place at the moment please excuse me, I'm just busy trying to work out what the HELL I'M DOING!

Monday 2 January 2012

People, Patterns and Minbari

Ok, I am aware not everyone has seen Babylon5 but they have this thing, this high opinion of themselves.
Minbari to not lie.
According to themselves they do not lie.... This is except of course for when they do, which as it turns out, quite bloody often!
Minbari do not kill Minbari.
Except of course when they DO!
Etc. etc. etc. The list of things that Minbari do/do not do is virtually endless when you include the various casts etc.
Humans are the same, people do not hurt other people, except for when we do, we do not lie, except for when we do,  we do not kill, except for when we do.
People, as with Minbari;  tend to keep themselves to these binary systems, myself included; i for example don't lie except for when i do,  i don't judge except for when i do, i'm logical except for when i'm not, again and again this could continue forever.
As human beings there is a tendency to see pattern within disorder, i'm sure Gandhi must have upset more than a few people in his time and i'm pretty sure Hitler must have been nice to some people sometimes too.
The fact that these things do not match our image of them is because we see the pattern and we judge.
If i can see this though, why do i still insist that i can know, that is truly know people. I see parts of people, we all do, we see patterns, often only the patterns we choose to show to the world.
Right now i am a pretty sad and lonely pattern, except for when i'm fine, except for when i'm not. I'm a lot of other things too as i'm sure you know but i can't see that.
Today i am SadCeri and SadCeri doesn't know how to be HappyCeri.
This is why i am trying and failing to sleep, I am a pattern, I am everything and I am nothing, and I am getting up coz I can't sleep!

Sunday 1 January 2012

2011 And being a positivity shark!

Ok, I seriously can't be bothered one bit by doing some blah about looking back at 2011, it was a bit shit if I'm honest, let's just say I have learned some important lessons about myself and all that stuff we should say, actually I have learned MAJOR lessons this year...
Not least of which is that I write stuff and people seem to read it, I have no idea why this is but I want to thank you, and if there's something you would like to see more of then please do say and I'll get on it or ignore you, definitely something!
I haven't done what I wanted to with the year because of a HUGE number of things, people, health - both physical and mental... it all went a bit shit really in places, best to just move forward, like a "positivity shark"!
But yeah, other than this I thought I'd give you my top 5 blog posts of 2011, these are the most popular posts.

What is twitter to me? - A post about twitter and how I use it.
Bus Stop Biggots - A post about how I hate opinionated idiots
Lie of Capitalism - A silly drawing about how I want to buy all the things but how this is bad!
The Past - A bit of an emo-post, about me, my feelings, my thoughts and basically my past.
Handmade Chocolatey Goodness! (Fixed) - A post about my AWESOME chocolates I made for Xmas!

Anyways, lots of positive things to look forward to, thank you ALL for helping SO much this year, I have really needed my friends around me, and those that have stuck by me have shown my what true friends are, I feel able to be me, truly in a way I didn't feel this time last year. Thank you for helping me and supporting my fight, through a hedge, kicking and screaming to go "Oh, Right then, ok" (although occasionally I still go "ARRGGGHHH! Love me!" but then, who doesn't?).
To learn how strong you are you must get to your lowest points. I now know a tad of who and what I am, and I have my friends, both IRL but ESPECIALLY online to thank.
I honestly couldn't have done all this without you.

All my love and best wishes for the next solar cycle my lovely peoples!