'As long as you've tried your best, that's all anyone can ask of you'
- and I have, but I hate feeling, that the next four weeks, and then the next five years, are (to a degree) out of our hands, - and in the hands of people who might have little idea of what's happening to disabled people.
The anxiety is beginning to get to me, again and there are knots in my stomach.
I wish I could make people (who don't want to), see that we're dying in our thousands, and we'll go on dying, if things don't change.
I'll go on having to talk people out of suicide, ringing the police, and just hoping against hope, that they get there in time.
I'll go on writing about what I'm scared of, in the hope that someone might take notice, when they didn't before, - but what if they don't?!
What if everything we've seen happen, and tried our best to raise awareness of, means nothing?!
How are we supposed to do this, (at this level), for another five years?! I dread it, but I'll do it, if I've got to.
Campaigning, before this government, was so different.
It was making sure that we had access and support, and pushing for a more equal place in society, and helping to spread positivity about disabled people.
We didn't know when we were well off!
I would give anything to have the days when writing an email, letter, or making a phone call, was enough to get things moving.
Now it's about saving lives, unfair sanctions, foodbanks, and desperation of people who have been left with next to nothing, and barely got the energy to fight back!
It's about sharing information, and then doubting it, thinking 'wait a minute, - is that right'? 'Have they changed it behind our backs'?! What the hell are they going to do to us, next?!
If you'd told me when I started 'campaigning' (as a little eight year old), that nearly twenty six years later, disabled people would be in a worse situation, than we were, I wouldn't have believed you.
I know I've said it over and over, but with the election four weeks away, (at the time of writing), it needs to be said again...and again.
Disabled people are frightened, actually, maybe terrified, is a better word. Terrified of losing vital benefits, support, independence, dignity, and self -respect. I actually have nightmares about having to face the 'Work Compatibility Assessment. I wake up sweating, and tense.
As a person with Cerebral Palsy, (I cannot walk, or stand unaided), anything that makes body tense, will add to my pain, and that's exactly what the nightmares, and anxiety do.
We shouldn't be living like this. Scared in our own homes - having nightmares, and jumping at the sound of the letter box, in case it's an ATOS/Maximus appointment, where we have to go and justify our right to basics, and seemingly, a right to a life.
All we want, all I want, is a chance to live my life the best way I can, despite its limitations, constant pain and tiredness. I want to feel secure again, and sleep soundly. I want to feel valued in society, and not like I am an unworthy burden.
It has hurt me badly (and made my depression worse) to be labelled a 'Scrounger', and vilified in the eyes of society, by government, and the media.
I am a person. WE are people! We have thoughts, ideas, and feelings, just like everyone else! We are not just numbers on a page, and our lives are hard enough already! I am not a 'scrounger'. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister! I am Helen!
Independence and dignity are precious things. They become even more precious, when you are disabled or ill, because you have so little of it!
With a further twelve billion pounds of social security cuts planned, if the government wins the election, all of those things we hold so dear, (and that the able-bodied seem to take for granted), will further disappear, for us.
The anxiety and fear, we already feel about having to face the (unfair and discriminatory) 'Work Compatibility Assessment', is being further added to, by not knowing where the axe will fall, if this government get re-elected.
I want this to stop, more than anything else in the world. I don't want to feel frightened any more.
You have the chance (in May) to vote this government out.
Please, for the sake of every disabled person that has died, and for every one of us that are suffering please, take it, because we can't take another five years, of pain.