Tomorrow my tenancy starts in my new home, but I won’t be moving in immediately. I still need to decorate and I’m going to see if I can get some volunteers for that, but I’ve never decorated and have no idea about things like how many pots of paint I am going to need. I have been awarded 45 points by the council to buy decorating stuff with, but their colours are very limited and a bit boring (I love the way the WordPress site puts a squiggly red line under ‘colours’ spelt the English way! It doesn’t like ‘spelt’ either!)
The idea is that I should erect a shed in the garden to store the stuff that won’t fit inside my bungalow. It would be a metal shed, which is both cheaper and more secure than wooden, apparently, but it will still be very expensive and security will be a constant worry. I had wasps in my kitchen last week, they were coming down the boiler flue, and the man who came round to sort them out commented that the back was open to intruders, being on the corner with nothing beside. I’ve been in that situation before, before the new houses were built next door to me in London, and I was burgled several times. It’s not a nice feeling. I woke up one morning to find someone in my bedroom. But he broke in through the front door.
I’m looking forward to moving in now, but the shortage of money makes it a time of great anxiety for me. If it weren’t for the fact that I need to buy a shed I would be OK, but I’m just short of what it is estimated I will need for that. At the moment I am waiting for the outcome of a budgeting loan application, and I expect that to take another 3 weeks to come through. In the meantime I have a discharge meeting on Tuesday, and I’m hoping they will give me longer than just two weeks to move in.
I’ve called this post ‘Beginnings and Endings’. Obviously it will be a new beginning in the bungalow, and an end to nearly two years and five months in hospital, and an end on three years homeless, but that wasn’t what I had in mind when I named my post.
By endings I was thinking about the end of life. I’m 53, which isn’t old, but it is still the wrong side of half way through my life. I’ve been thinking I don’t want to grow old alone. I have no partner, I have no children. My mother has arthritis and uses a wheelchair. Apart from her shopper and her cleaner I am the only person she sees, every two weeks, which is how she wants it. I’ve been thinking about suicide as an alternative to getting very old and dragging myself around lonely and in pain. Lately I’ve been thinking about Dignitas. I’ve been thinking about them because I wouldn’t know how to commit suicide myself, I wouldn’t have the tablets and I can’t see me hanging myself, I don’t think I’d do a good job of ending my life. I’ve also thought how unnatural it seems to me that an organisation like Dignitas exists to help people to die. I don’t know if they exist for anything else.
I’m a bit confused. I’ve been seeing old people out and about and they seem OK, talking to each other on the bus. Many of them seem mobile enough. But I feel a general despair because I don’t think I have any friends and I don’t think that, at my age, I can make the kind of friends who would be able to stand in for lifetime friends, of which I have none. I think my last years will be very, very lonely. I don’t have much hope at the moment about anything. I think boredom is going to be a longstanding problem for me, and I can’t see the point of hanging around for that. I also don’t fancy the idea of a care home, which might be a necessity later on. Ever since the mental health services got involved in my life I have felt insecure and that I have no reliable freedom, I don’t want to end my days in care. I don’t want to drag my way through the last years of my life subject to situations I don’t want to be in.
I’m not planning to do anything at the moment. I was thinking maybe some time in my 60s. I’m not sure if I could if it actually came down to it, but I’m not so afraid of the idea of ending my life as I once was. I am afraid of the possibility of vandalism and intrusion in my new home and whatever future home I establish, thinking of Bulgaria. I don’t want to live out my life subject to those things, I don’t want to be in fear of things being spoilt all the time, and mental health teams and police refusing to take it seriously. Saying I’m having auditory hallucinations rather than acknowledge something real and not OK is being done to me.