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How do you answer - What have you been up to lately? I always dread this question from family.

EarlysoundEarlysound Member Posts: 37 Connected
edited December 2018 in Disabled people

I've got mental health issues, and therefore unable to work and currently living on Personal Independence Payments and Universal Credit. One thing I have noticed is that I end up not meeting up with a lot of my extended family at family gatherings as I dread the question - "What have you been up to?"

I always feel like they're more asking - "How have you been spending my taxes?". I never know how to respond, mostly because my daily routine is pretty mundane and I do the same sort of thing on a daily basis which to an extent I am quite happy with and some areas I'd like to get out and do more within the community.

Where as most people respond with things related to their work and relationships, I currently have neither and so I feel I struggle a lot with this question and so therefore avoid situations in which it would be asked. Especially, when it's family who probably have no idea that I am disabled (a term I also dread using - because I am disabled due to mental health issues, and nothing physical so I feel like I am an impostor) and it's trying to explain that I am currently undergoing therapy and under the care of the community mental health team.

So, how do you respond to this question and do you have any similar struggles or scenarios? 


  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    You could mention your latest outpatient appointments as these are an important part of your life.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Earlysound Thank you for sharing.  I think a lot of this is the acceptance of being who you are.

    The main reason I dislike Christmas and so many family gatherings is that the constant point scoring and the spiteful attitudes. All about money, prestige and putting you down.  

    Especially other family associations my Uncles and Aunts family delight in tormenting each other with bold rash statements.

    Put to anything you wish to.

    Make a list on a piece of paper. On side the good qualities, skills, talents you have. No matter how they seem bold or maybe small.  Be honest with your self.

    Then the other side the ones that you would like to have..  This is something to aim at to seek and look at. Maybe not now but future.  No rush.

    Also think of the positive and the things you wish to attain. No matter how small or daft or silly they may be. Keep a diary plan some things for you.

    That is what life is. You have to be proud of your own achievements and whatever you have done and are going to.

    I say this all the time to myself . Life is a journey if we throw rocks or stones in the way. We can go around them or over.

    Sorry you have mental health issues. I do myself. Anxiety and depression.

    Done a lot of counselling. So I know that maybe helping you. To come to terms with anything.

    Mental health is a learning, education.  Being aware of yourself. You need and want from any service or support they offer you.

    Over a thirty year plus period still learning. I often self refer to mental health charities they often help. With coping methods and strategies . Have some times have to . If I feel the need illness needs addressing.

    Done a lot of courses and aspects of mental health .Lifestyle courses something to look at.  A range of themes, subjects on diet, fitness, medication. Also aspects like meditation, relaxation therapies etc.

    Got new understanding of my self.  Hope that helps you..

    Please contact me anytime if you need to ask or help with anything.  Need to talk or chat.

    I am one of the team of community champions who guide inform. Help new members with anything we can advise on.

    Please take care.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • crackercracker Member Posts: 324 Pioneering
    I know what you mean. I am always embarrassed when people are atalking about their work and families, vacations and social activities. 

    What am Ito say? I am going to many medical appointments, struggling with a disability, in pain, talking a lt of medication?

    I try to avoid answering by asking them " What have you been up to?" 
    :I find people are usually[ happy to talk about themselves. I try to skirt their questikons and just leave.

    Makes me sad that I have an existence, not a life.
  • crackercracker Member Posts: 324 Pioneering
    I also will say "I have had some health problems and have been dealing with them". 

    If they inquire as to the nature of the problems, I simply say 
    I would rather not talk about it.
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