Victoria B on 25 March 2021

I've been in and out of tears all week. Hungry yet scared to eat. Tired but can't sleep. Stressed and unable to relax. I keep dreaming, nightmares, about zombies. Which I know is rooted in my fears of being turned into a mindless being, devoid of feelings and fixated on impossible to satiate hungers. I skip more meals than I eat for fear of not having enough for the kids next month. It's worse this week cos I nearly had my benefits stopped and that's put this fear of "will I actually get paid, what if they don't pay me" into hyperdrive. Scared I won't get paid, so scared to eat in case we don't get paid and have no food for kids. It's a vicious cycle and it's so unfair. Feeling dizzy and nauseous from not eating enough also makes one cranky, less energy, harder to cope with mental health symptoms. I know logically I have to force myself to eat through this fear, remind myself that my kids won't go hungry and that if I don't get paid I still have places for food, we'd not starve. Logically I know this. But that's the problem with food insecurity, with financial insecurity, with life insecurity. Logic has no weight when compared to fear. Just that little tiny fear of "what if they don't pay me? What if I didn't do enough to make them willing to pay me? Did I send enough applications, did I spend enough hours job searching, did I do enough for them, that faceless emotionless system, for them to give me the money to house and fed my family for the next few weeks?" Every month, month after month after month. One year in Universal Credit for me now. I miss income support. I miss that steady and safe income that I could depend on and spend my time enjoying my kids rather then stressing over every penny. I miss being the mum I used to be, that present not wasting hours searching for and applying to jobs just to show I'm applying knowing full well none of them will get back to me. I miss being happy each day instead of stressed and anxious every day. I hate universal credit.

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