What follows is based on my lived experience and observations about people who live with mental ill health. I cannot speak authoritatively about all mental ill health, nor the extent to which my experience speaks for others, but I think it is worth the effort to share my experience and observations at this time under the extreme circumstances in which we are now ‘forced’ to live.
Firstly, my experience of living with a depressive illness has an effect which has remained constant throughout my life that of desiring to know and understand what is true. I am sure this is, at least in part, living with an enemy within which distorts my efforts to engage with the world. What this means is that I cannot bear deception, in myself or others, this has been a source of distress throughout my life and it is something that I know is shared by others, that of having a laser beam sensitivity for bullshit. What I and many others call having a highly sensitive ‘shit detector’.
I believe it is something innate and is observable in very young children, who pick up on insincerity, unfairness and injustice even if they might misinterpret its intent. They may feel it is aimed specifically at them when it is really just the other person’s problem, that’s the natural egocentricity of children at work. It is only as we grow older we (should) realise that the universe doesn’t really revolve around us and people have motives in which we are not involved, they may simply be uncomfortable in a situation and are being insincere for that reason alone. Kids, as the saying goes, are great receivers, but can be lousy interpreters, and, as a sign of the times, immaturity seems to be on the rise as grown adults lose the plot in misplaced egocentricity as attacks on vulnerable people increase, who are regarded as scroungers and frauds with not a shadow of evidence to back such a view. That’s propaganda at work, which mature reflection would quickly dispel if only people paused long enough to engage their perfectly good, but temporarily (hopefully) dormant, brains.
Living in the world today, we are all subjected to lies and deceit on an epic scale, not least from government, and it is very easy to get lost in labyrinthine mazes of deception, which is exactly what happened to me in my recent breakdown. I found myself becoming bogged down in the governments daily onslaught on our lives, forgetting the very basic principle – what else can we expect from a government of liars who have gained a legitimate position through illegitimate means? Which means we are subject to an illegitimate government and my time would be better spent exposing them, rather than reporting and sharing their appalling policies and their daily onslaught on our lives. Theresa May in PMQs yesterday, for example, trotted out the lie that the financial crisis was all Labours fault, yet again. What else do I expect from a liar? Focus on the lie and not the liar and it is easy to drown in their lies.
Jeremy Corbyn is right to focus on policies and not engage in personal attacks, but that does not mean we should focus only on government policies attacking the lives of ordinary people, we need to focus on the party that has no legitimate basis for those policies and is, through their relentless deception, an illegitimate government. To get rid of the Tory policies, we need to expose them and campaign in order to get rid of the government, the whole damned lot of them.
They are a party which is corrupt to the bone and is not acting in the interests of the nation as a whole, but entirely focused on profiteering and asset stripping at the expense of all ordinary people, even those deceived into voting for them.
My recent collapse was inevitable, deceit harms us, it is toxic to any kind of balanced life and well-adjusted living. Living with mental ill health has taught me that, but I lost sight of it, getting bogged down in their lies. I am an old hand at this, not some newby who’s wet behind the ears, and it is a sign of the extreme times we are living in that I lost the plot. It is not good enough to think I should have known better, I have never known such extreme times in all my 66 years on this dear old planet. Yes, I am, we are, better than this, but we are up against extremism of global epic proportions and I/we need to have a care for our sanity and health, especially if we are already suffering from mental ill health for whatever reason.
One of the many problems facing anyone who must engage with the DWP for any reason, is that we are engaging with a sick system. What was once a safety net for all is now a system based on targeting and penalising vulnerable people. We are right to fear it, it is a threat to our mental and physical health and we need to exercise extraordinary care in engaging with it for support which we are entitled to and contribute towards all our lives. Coping with engaging with structural lies is dangerous whether as a campaigner, a worker wanting a decent job and pay, a benefits recipient, a carer, pensioner, doctor, nurse, parent, at school, leaving school, in further education, the system is loaded against us, by design and with malicious intent.
I have lived my life with mental ill health and it has taught me a very great deal about coping with life, it was all my life experience which enabled me to do a Letter a Day to Number 10, but there is no room for complacency. We are living in extraordinary times which require extraordinary care to survive. I have nothing but admiration for my many friends and supporters who are struggling to survive, I am also extremely grateful for the love and support that has been extended to me as I have struggled along the way. This is the land of my birth and if I am being made a stranger here in such times, heaven help those who have emigrated here for many and varied reasons, against whom a campaign of hatred is being carried out by this worst of all UK governments. None of this is happening by accident, it is planned and executed by those who hold power illegitimately and who have no place in government other than through their duplicity and illicit machinations.
A government of bullshitters is a bullshit government. It’s as simple as that and nothing will be right until they are gone.
Keith Ordinary Guy. 06 November 2017