I have now been signed off work for 11 months. For 9 of those months I was receiving Employment Support Allowance. However at the end of July I received a letter stating I had to attend a “fitness for work” assessment. I could probably write an entire blog post about how terrible ATOS and their health assessments are, but suffice to say ATOS found me fit for work. However my doctor disagreed with their assessment and continued to sign me off.
It now came to the point where the only thing I could do was appeal the decision and this is what I have been working on for the past 2 months. After requesting the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider the decision I was still found fit for work. At this point my only option is to go to a Tribunal . However I have my own mental health to look after.
I think its safe to say that I have spent most of the last month worrying about this appeal and it got to the point that I was making myself ill worrying about it. According to Google the success rate of going to Tribunal is 40% and I know that continuing the appeal would be best. However all the stress and anxiety makes my CFS worse and I would rather be happy and healthy than have to continue worrying about this.
WORKING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS
After some discussions with my doctor I also decided to resign from work simply because I know I won’t be able to return in the foreseeable future. My work have been extremely kind in keeping me on for the last 11 months and were totally okay with me staying but it came to a point where I had to decide what I should do as I have no idea when I would be able to return. At this point my current aim is simply being well enough to attend college next September.
Its probably a terrible time but here I am, unemployed and I couldn’t be happier about it. But what am I going to do now? I’ve decided I am going to spend more time working on this blog. I’m going to try and treat it more like a part time job than just a hobby. To be perfectly honest I’m only doing this because if I don’t have a project to work on I would spend all my time watching Grey’s Anatomy. I’m going to try and post twice a week here and hopefully start making youtube videos again. But don’t quote me on that. It totally depends on how I’m feeling.
I am extremely fortunate in that I live with my parents and therefore have very little bills to pay each month. But I still need a way to pay for this blog. Some people may not be happy with this but I have decided to look into becoming a book depository affiliate. I also know that a number of people on my Tiny Watercolours post asked if I sold my artwork anywhere so I am going to look into setting up an Etsy shop.
I just want to thank everyone again for your support over the last year. I’ve said this before but it really has been a crazy year. We are also nearly at 2000 followers which is amazing considering I started out 2014 with only 100 followers. So thanks again.