And what a year it’s been!
In January, I got That Letter. It’s clear that this had a profound impact on me, but reading back my emotions go from disbelief to anger to a resigned sadness that affected everything else. However, January also showed me that there are still Incredibly Decent People in the world, when I got an email from Wonderful Legal Secretary, offering to ask her boss for advice for me. He ended up representing me pro bono, and the rest his history.
February, I had some kind of bug, and although I didn’t talk about it much, my GP was inclined to think it was a gallbladder infection because I was puking the most massive amounts of bile EVER.
In March, I started CBT. I remember that first appointment with J, telling him that I didn’t think this was a good time because my mind was all over the place regarding my appeal. He advised me to “see how it goes” and I did. Progress has been slow, but it’s still been progress.
By May, however, most of my focus was on Incapacity Benefit. At the time, there was a lot in the media about proposed changes to IB, and what I learned about how IB assessments are done left me both relieved that it wasn’t just me, yet horrified at how many people had been treated so badly by the system – at a time in their lives when they needed support and guidance. I know of at least one person who didn’t appeal against his IB decision because of the amount of stress and negative impact it would have on his health.
In June, it was all over. WLS contacted me to let me know that I’d won my appeal, and that my money would be backdated. There are still no words to describe how much I appreciate her help and support during that time.
The summer seemed to be mostly about getting rid of my anger over the whole appeal thing, and getting back to normal so I could continue with CBT and concentrate on that. By September, I was embarking on a new stage of my CBT journey – practical exercises. From that first attempt, I felt like I was finally moving forward – six whole years since Panic Attack Disorder started.
In October, I had my five minutes of fame when my blog was mentioned in The Guardian, and I indulged in a knitting frenzy for National Knitting Week. The Teddy Bear’s Picnic raised money for a local hospice, and thanks to the lovely B, I made the biggest leap so far with my therapy by going with her.
November and December were all about trying not to get depressed thanks to the dark days of winter. However, I had the most colourful yarn ever and have knit a pair of socks with it. (Incidentally, Opal have re-released this yarn as “rainbow“)
I’m glad I wrote this. I thought a review was a bit passé, but it’s shown me that 2006 wasn’t the washout I’d thought. All I could think about was the first six months being a Complete Waste thanks to that IB decision, but I guess that makes my progress even more impressive.
Stand back, 2007, I’m comin’ at ya…
And what a year it’s been!