Oh the election!! Did you get sick of it? I actually ran into some Labour people outside my flat on the day and joked that I predicted a hung parliament and what happens? Hung parliament!! But what does it mean for autism? What can politicians do for us. I think the biggest things are social care, benefits, adult services and mental health provision. We must fight against cuts in all these areas. I think voting Labour was a vote to safeguard and improve some of these things whilst what we now have leaves us in a precarious position. I had the social worker round the other day and we are all desperately trying to hang onto the 16 hours care a week I get and desperately need to be able to manage. As for mental health services – well what can I say? Where are the community nurses, where are the hospital beds, where is the therapy, the OTs etc. etc? The only service I see working is the Clozapine clinic which runs pretty efficiently on a Tuesday morning. But it does get you thinking of the future. What are my options to get out of this world where I’m at the mercy of people who have no clue what I go through on a daily/weekly/forever basis. The whole thought scares me. I think maybe getting in touch with your MP might be a good idea. Invite them to your groups, say what we want, see what they can do, make them aware. I have actually met our Cambridge MP and would love to sit down in a group with other autistic people and him and talk about the issues to say what’s important for us.
I am facing a huge challenge over the next couple of weeks because my parents are going away. Fortunately I do have some extra banked hours which I can use and I know that everyone will be helping me. But it still feels like Mount Everest without oxygen. I have strategies to help me to cope. Having carers every day, listening to music, watching television, the odd round of golf, knowing I can phone people and planning a treat to congratulate myself. And I tell my carers that sometimes I won’t feel that I can go out at all and they say it’s fine just to sit and watch TV or a film. I find it very reassuring that they understand and think that’s OK. And I may be getting a bit better at rationalising – like, is this bad thing going to happen to me, don’t panic, let it flow and see what the consequences are. But that needs a lot of practice. And I have a folder with everything in it like telephone numbers, websites, Mum and Dad’s itinerary so I know where they are. And I put out a pile of DVDs I enjoy. It’s really helpful to have everything at hand because when I’m stressed and panicking I can’t think straight or remember where to find things or what helps me to calm down.
Anyway, I’ll tell you how it’s gone when Mum and Dad get back. I keep telling myself that three weeks today everything will be back to normal.