It used to be that I was part of a team of people with chronic illness who researched and wrote about the government’s actions on social security cuts. Okay, so no-one listened; the government didn’t care, and Labour was – is – terrified of being seen to care. But we tried. We did our best. We did what we could.
That group doesn’t exist anymore. We all drifted off into other things. Some of us got paid work. Some of us didn’t. Some of us live alone; some of us live with family.
I live alone, and I’ve just lost my dog. I don’t have any projects on, and I feel lost. It doesn’t matter now what time I go to bed or when I get up. It doesn’t matter whether I get dressed or if I wash my hair. It doesn’t matter if I don’t go out of my house and don’t do anything.
It’s not that there’s nothing I could do. I could do all sorts of small projects. I could do more gardening. I could make crafts. I could play musical instruments. I could read and learn and write.
The issue is the lack of control; the futility; the pointlessness. What I want to do is to live in a world where everyone thrives. Or at least in a country where everyone thrives. Hobbies are nice ways to relax. But the country and the world that I live in is in a mess, and half the people who care about this care in the wrong way and support things that make it worse. I can’t just do ‘nice things’ that I enjoy when there is not only so much suffering but so much wrong-thinking about how to address that suffering.
I guess I’m talking myself back into caring. I can’t not care. I have to go to bed at sensible hours so that I can get up at a sensible time and try to do something, anything, that addresses the ongoing ignorance and suffering.
But I’m tired. Living alone, not having a project that I’m working on with other people, I feel lost. I feel alone. I’m not alone – other people care and are working on these issues – but I want a leader. I want a direction to follow. And I want companions. I want a reason beyond my own impetus to get me up in the morning. To make me want to get up in the morning.
I’m tired, I'm worn down, and I miss my dog.