Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Signing off Benefits

Hi Everyone

Well, I said I'd do it - and I have!  Phoned the DSS first thing this morning to sign off benefits...and the lines were all busy.  Anticlimax, or what?  Will try again later, as the disembodied voice on the phone advised.  I was busy searching the DirectGov site at the same time as holding on the phone, and found some useful info on there.  So it was not time wasted.

So.  Now I am a professional writer, as my friend assured me on the phone last night.  She phoned late, and was really excited for me - I had texted earlier in the day to tell her that my book was free to download on Kindle.  She assumed that I had just published, and that I would still be buzzing with the excitement, and I felt a bit embarrassed to admit that I had published six months ago.  I had not told her, although I had tried to, because she was poorly when I contacted her, and I didn't want to cause her any stress.  This is my friend who is in the book (under a pseudonym, Rose) the psychiatrist who has children the same age as mine, and who has suffered mental health problems herself.

She was just so nice on the phone, and so supportive.  She said she had spent the day texting as many of her friends as possible, most of who are doctors and psychiatrists, and they had all promised to download, read and review the book.  I was so touched by her kindness.  And I must admit, I felt a bit guilty for my recent anti-psychiatry stance - although I stand by my views.  I think the vast majority of doctors do want to help - why else would they have chosen that particular career?  But I also think that it is time for a total reassessment, by the whole profession, of what exactly mental illness is and how best to treat it.  It is a huge topic, as my friend said when I tried to open the subject on the phone last night.  Maybe this is a book that we could collaborate on - recovery and treatment.  I will put it to her when we finally manage to meet up - she moved to a different area and we have not been in touch all that often in recent years.

I really was so moved by her support and encouragement, and sheer excitement - and by the fact that she kept repeating that I am now a professional writer!

Anyway, I am going to do some writing now, on this, the first day that all the children are back at school after the holidays.  They all went off happily, which was lovely, but I will also be pleased to have them all back at the end of the day, sharing their news and views as usual. 

Have a good day, everyone.  Oh, and by the way we 'sold' over 350 free books yesterday, which is more than the last free book day, which is great. 

Louise x