I went to the Swanston CAB Christmas lunch, and think, I can’t go back there. I like the people, but not the situation. Beyond March, they only have £50,000 of funding in place: unless there is more that means seven jobs lost. Of course, that is always the situation in December, it just feels worse each year.
I have not been since 12 November. I just, well, don’t go. This week I did not go out at all Monday to Thursday, read a bit, blogged a bit, meditated a bit- kneeling in the ritual space rather than staring into space, actually, kneel down and start crying- over my cold, settling deeper into depression. I love the people. Well, they are voluntary workers: they want to give back to the world, and are also loving, creative, witty, erudite souls. And I hate the kind of advice I give: I hate the increasing meanness of our benefits system, and the closing off of possible challenges to its decisions. Someone raised the subject of benefits and I started moaning, and I realised how much I loathe it. They loathe it too.
It is not only the uncertainty over funding, but the merger: we do not know about the reduction of service apart from that there will be one. And there is uncertainty about the audit, too: I get the impression that they do not really know what would make a good file record, and that is more important than a good service. Well, appearance is more important than reality, as you know.
OK. I have worked in CABs since 1993, this is what I know, and I can make that decision. I don’t want to go there again- I really do not have to, I just have to work out what might be better and get to go there. Age UK and the Royal British Legion also do welfare work, but charitable donations are down, and they are unlikely to be recruiting. What else may I do?
I am back to 1998, believing “Life’s a bitch, and then you die”. I don’t know what I might do. At the lunch, asked “How are you?” I even felt the need to justify myself, I am not there because I am depressed, and saying that upset me.
I do not need to justify myself in the eyes of any projection I might make on anyone- impossible, anyway- or indeed to any real person. I do need to support myself.