I haven’t blogged much recently. To be honest, things have felt too hard and there is only so much misery I can pour out here without people worrying about me and then I worry about people worrying and then, oh you know the rest.
J’s student loan continues to be elusive. A glimpse into the labyrinthine world of loan administration makes me wonder how much it costs to save money. A small amendment sent in will take a month to process. I call up to check on progress and find overnight the application has been placed on hold because it was not signed. I know it was. A check reveals indeed it was. Time to remove it from hold? 10 days. Errors are made in seconds, solutions take forever.
L continues to seem happy but doesn’t eat enough. Her interpretation of our last therapy session is that she has to take more control. She makes 2500 calorie meal plans. My attempts to explain these aren’t enough are futile. I am too tired to argue. She is in love with The Boyfriend and still chats away on Twitter and Instagram about recovery and meal plans. But recovery will be when her Instagram lens widens to a bigger picture of life, not measured in plates, but in good times and fun. Although one photo, hopefully attached here is an exception
As ever I am tired and tired of being tired. I need to do more to catch up and seem able to do less. Yesterday I attend a Fairness Commission meeting, set up to consider how inequality impacts on the people of a city and how that can be addressed. I am really interested in this work and was delighted to be asked to be a Commissioner, but often feel frazzled on arrival and impatient at lengthy discussion. We discuss the outcomes of a Listening campaign, designed to encourage people to tell us what is fair or unfair. This covers health inequalities, the cost of living, education and housing and we consider how much we can effect change. One commissioner states that the problem is apathy in communities and how if people had a little bit more get up and go, they could solve most of themselves.
Patiently, but firmly one of our expert witnesses explains to him and others the huge emotional effort in managing a life of poverty, where finding the energy to subsist in an environment of despair is a daily marathon. That poor education, diet and housing collude to throw endless barriers and hurdles to step over and navigate and that people often simply lack the mental bandwidth to leap up and change their communities for the better, especially when any attempts to do so involve battles with bureaucracy and cynicism. This is such a striking phrase and I think of my daily call to Student Finance, the deep breaths required to select each option, give my date of birth and password, just to get one person the chance to borrow some money. Similar to the tearful calls to health and social services to beg them to speak to each other about J’s autism or the warrior mentality to secure treatment for L, which turned out to be available and good. When your child is ill, when you are depressed and anxious, our mental bandwidth compresses at a time it needs to expand. Our instincts are to tortilla wrap ourselves and our loved ones in blankets but our situation requires us to reach out, to persist, to demand and to face resistance and failure down until we win. No wonder so many of us give up.