My Disability Living Allowance (DLA) appeal is next week.
In an organisational sense, I'm well prepared for it. Steve has managed to get a day off work in order to take me to and from the building where the appeal is being held. A person from the local Welfare Rights Advice Service is going to be there to represent me. The evidence I submitted is pretty substantial. I've reserved an accessible parking space at the venue, I've even decided roughly what I'm going to wear.
In a more personal sense, I'm not doing so badly either. I mean, I know my claim is genuine. I know that everything I have said on my forms is accurate. The absolute worst possible case scenario is that they turn me down and I have to continue living on exactly the same amount of money I am living on at the moment. Okay, it's not ideal, as it means I'm dependent on Steve's goodwill to continue to make up the shortfall between my wages and "survival" due to my disability-related expenses (which is what DLA is meant to cover and is why it is not means-tested), but at least I'm not currently likely to end up in a situation where I can't afford to eat because of benefit difficulties. This DLA appeal is not the end of the world.
But then there's the wibble. You know. The bit in each and every one of us that nags away at confidence, that says your date will be put off by that horrendous spot on your nose, or that reminds you in the night of that stupid thing you said at the interview...
The wibble, for me, is bypassing everything I academically know and understand about models of disability, everything I believe about how I am a useful member of society, doing a job, paying tax, helping and supporting my friends and loved ones and generally being just fine as a person. To prepare for the appeal I have to spend a lot of time concentrating on all the things I can't do, and this feeds the wibble.
The Wibble says to me,
"You're useless, you can't even walk around the block or work full-time or manage this or that or the other on your own.
If you win, well done! You've proved that you're useless! What a thing to prove! Wow, I bet you're proud.
But if you lose, you're still useless, in fact you're so useless, you've failed to prove you're useless! And you're going to have to carry on struggling without financial support to cover the additional expenses caused by your inability to do things..."
Yeah, I know, emo crap, call the waaaahmbulance, etc. I'm just stressed out to hell and can't wait for this to just be over, one way or the other.