As it happened, the ‘dreaded PIP brown envelope’ never arrived.
It was white, innocuous, mixed in with pizza and conservatory leaflets, but I immediately knew what it was.
The DWP has invited itself to my house in less than two weeks, despite me not requesting a home visit. How … lovely.
At the appointed hour, they will assess whether I do indeed have an incurable, degenerative illness. With this hour-long meeting, they will decide my future – should I be allowed to continue to live and work in genteel poverty or should I be rendered unable to pay my bills and therefore become homeless?
I knew an assessment was coming, I just wasn’t prepared for it to be at home.
My house is my sanctuary and comfort, from everything. Every single item I have here is precious and the last thing I want is some hawk-eyed official casting their penetrating gaze over … my life?
To be honest, it will feel like an utter invasion. The last person I had here in a professional capacity was my lovely MS nurse, back in 2012, and I welcomed her in with open arms. An as-yet unnamed official (they discard such niceties when you’re ‘claiming benefits’), will be uncomfortable and invasive to say the least.
And that’s what it feels like – an intrusion into my personal space. Is there anywhere they won’t go? I have described, in excruciatingly personal detail, every area of my life. Things I wouldn’t tell my closest friends. Things I can barely come to terms with myself. Every tiny little detail of every single thing I cannot do. Or do, without wanting to.
Back in 2011, I could not know that embarking upon the MS diagnosis-journey would mean baring my soul, my brain and to top it all, my entire life. And that’s without the relapses, the gruelling treatment, its side-effects and the ongoing symptoms and medication.
Yet I have no choice. My quiet, unassuming, boring life could be ended in an instant.
And I quite like my unassuming, boring life.