June 19, 2006


I just went to Winz and they cut my benefit by $20/week. Then I went to the dentist and got a quote for $1000 worth of emergency dental work. Apparently the non-emergency stuff will be more, but can wait until next year. It's never a good sign when the dentist takes just a look at your teeth, no instruments or anything, and says "you've got a couple of very large holes there..."

It's my own fault, that's what 13 years of an eating disorder will do for your teeth. There is no enamel at all on the inside of my jaw. And the restorations my last dentist did a year or so ago are chipping away as the teeth break.

It hasn't been a very good couple of weeks, really. I'm in quite a lot of pain at the moment and finding things a bit of a stuggle mentally as well - I've put on more weight and it's freaking me out quite a lot. On top of that I've just had so many bills - dog registration, car registration, wofs, doctors, debts... god. And I still owe telecom over $100 and have no idea how I'm going to find the money to pay that off.

Hopefully it will calm down in the next few weeks. I'm really annoyed about losing that $20 though. It doesn't sound like much but believe me, it is. That's petrol for the week, or half a dr's bill.

It's so frustrating not being able to work. You know, if I were pissing around on the dole, that's one thing - I might even enjoy it! But being on a long-term sickness/disability benefit is just so frustrating - there is never any money for anything other than necessary things. I want to work - goddam it! - and every time I have a good week or ten days I think, hey, I could get a job... and then I have a couple of seizures, or the pain gets too intense, or a migraine or whatever happens and I spend three or four days in bed. If I add it up, probably about 13-15 days in each month I would be in bed or severely limited. And that's just too much to expect of any employer to handle.

Practically, that means I can't work a normal job. And that means that my income is limited to only what Winz give me, and that means that there is never anything extra. Like, T's birthday is coming up and she's going out to dinner. To save up $20 or $30 is going to take weeks, and even then, it's money coming from something else. I wish (although I totally see why they don't) that there was some kind of 'entertainment allowance' of $10 or $15 a month for people on long-term benefits. I've only been to the movies once in the last 3 years, and they were free tickets I won off the radio!

Gah. Sorry, I don't mean to complain. I've got things much much better than many others. I just got to keep that in mind. I need to tattoo "Count Your Blessings" on my hand or something...

Posted by phreq at June 19, 2006 12:37 PM | TrackBack

Gah, I know what that's like living on SFA. I wasn't very good at it and got myself into a fair bit of debt.

As far as entertainment goes, you do need it. Some ideas:
- Offer to review gigs for local gig guide publications or newspaper. they might not arrange you free tickets to things straight away but once you've sent a review or two in and they've printed them they should be happy to. You're not even expected to write a review each time.
- Some of the gig guides (eg, the package) and local rags offer distributors a pair of free movie tickets in exchange for dropping thier publication around cafes and venues. It only takes about an hour.
- Go into contemporary art galleries wearing your snazziest clothes and ask to be on their mailing list for openings. There's usually free wine and nibbles and interesting people.
- Volunteer for Front-of-house at your local fringe or rep theatre. You get to see the shows for free.
- Do you have any mates who work at movie theatres? They can usually bring friends to test screenings for free. Although test screenings are usually done after midnight - ideal time for someone who hasn't got a 9-5 job!

Posted by: suraya at June 26, 2006 12:13 PM
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