Diary entries cover a variety of topics, some of which you may find triggering. These topics include self-harm, suicide and domestic violence.
6 Mar 2023

Victoria S

Facing homelessness and no set date which means I can't even plan. Adult social services rendered me for housing support services, they're going to help me find and maintain a tenancy. Agencies see my mental health diagnosis and think I'm high risk or need high intensity support and I really don't. My CPN has my back but I hate that others control my life, where I live, when I can live independently or not, it's unfair and really drags one down. Mental health services are so poorly funded and so poorly understood that service users in high need are left without and those who function well but need occasion support, such as myself, are vilified.

But my PIP got me membership to local leisure centre so now, so long as I can afford bus fare, I can go swimming whenever I want and have started some low intensity fitness classes. Went to first one today, I was so nervous, had a panic attack, but everyone was so friendly and kind I stuck it out. People seem to understand mental health far better than professionals do. It's weird.

I meant to answer last week's big question, how do I find joy with limit income. I've extremely lucky, like super lucky. Because I have social services I'm able to access discounts not available to everyone, so I can go to the threatre occasionally (our towns local threatre is heavily subsidised and offered additional discounts for vulnerable families which opens so many wonderful experiences), our local leasure center is also heavily subsidised, meaning my PIP now covers a membership for swimming and fitness classes, including dancing and other low intensity activities. Which I access when I can afford the buses, the £2 bus cap has helped alot this year. I'm also lucky that our town has various free or low cost charity arts n crafts groups, lots of churches put on free events and the council put on almost monthly (or weekly in the warmer months) events for the community (definitely happy with how my council taxes are being used here) more directly taylored support, such as mind, is harder to access but so much around town that I don't feel like I'm lacking. Our town was built on Victorian Quaker values and it shows, the parks are gorgeous and the town is thriving even with businesses struggling. It helps alot to feel like you live in a thriving area even if it's got struggles, but it's a comfort that every struggling area within this council has its own community centre that gets not enough but better than you'd expect for the hardships funding for its community. These things bring me joy, taking part in the community, trying new things, seeing things from other cultural perspectives. like our town not only accepts LGBT families but celebrates them, minorities are rarer, it's a very white area, however the council still do events for different cultures, it's a lot of fun living here. and I'm extremely fortunate .Plus all the resources I need are here, mental health services are the best in this country, social services are easier to access and get at sign posting. but my favourite thing that brings me so much joy and costs nothing, the free courses on offer for adults in the town, when I am finally well enough to work again I'll already have a folder full of certificates to help give me an edge while also socialising and learning more about myself and my skills. so my town and what the council here do with the taxes bring me joy while I may struggle, it helps to know there is help somewhere in town if I need it.


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Use Victoria S's words in your own research or editorial
Changing Realities (2023), Victoria S. https://changingrealities.org/e/kojQn (06 Mar 2023)
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