"Do you struggle with loneliness?"

Living in a rural area is difficult. Especially when I've connected with so many wonderful people all over the world. Here's the thing about being on benefits; you're only allowed to leave the country once a year, and even then you have to remain within the UK. Now, I know lots of awesome people within the UK who I want to visit and hug and spend time with...but I also know people in America, Australia, New Zealand. I want to hug all of them too.

Here's the other thing about being on benefits; you get £100 every fortnight. If you go into overdraft on your bank account, it becomes very difficult to get out of it. So even if it was permissible to visit friends in far-off places, it's still not possible because flights cost money.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't crying while writing this post. I am, because there's not a single part of me that doesn't want to travel and socialise with all of these fantastic people, to go out and have dinner and drinks with them, to hug them. I'm hyper aware of the fact that I'm considered unfit for work right now, and that my bank account is ridiculously overdrawn, and that even if I was fit for work, there are few employers who accept people with blue hair, very few qualifications, a history of mental illness, and deep-seated political beliefs. I'm also very aware that it's unlikely I'll be able to make a living off my work in mental health, and that even if I do it's going to take a very long time.

I enjoy the rare occasion where I get to go out, relax and have fun with other people. I wish that it happened more often. The last time I laughed until it hurt and had copious amounts of fun was nearly a year ago, at Belfast Pride.

So, in short...yes, I get lonely. Very lonely. I'm not ashamed of it, but I do regret it, and long for the freedom to address it.