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Friday night
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So I'm gathering evidence for the benefits interview on Sunday. I've phoned the dreaded AT0S to confirm that it really is on a bloody Sunday, ffs, and it is. But it's not good. I have to try to detach from it, and imagine it's about someone else, because it's all about the worst of times. Not the absolute rock bottom, but the common, here we are again, bad days.

[I just accidentally deleted a good paragraph here. Boo]

And I'm advised to go against my instincts for this. I am advised not to gather all my wits about me and give it my best shot, but to do the version of me that is dirty, incoherent and tearful, by people who see that version more often than not, but fucking hell, it all makes me feel like a cunt. I have kept my side of the social contract - or at least I did until my mid-fifties - I worked, I paid my tax and national insurance on the understanding that if I was unable to work for whatever reason, I would be supported and now they're making me jump through hoops. I go to psychiatric day centres - do they think I do this for a laugh, or just to con the benefit system? Why is a letter from the professionals involved in my care not enough and now it's some clerk with a first aid certificate who has the final say?

I am grateful for: being old not young in this desperate world; my Friday art group - man I love that so much; walking through the rose garden in the park, breathing in the scented air, lovely; panna cotta; novels

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