And from the whole of the Broken of Britain team I can say we are. Fine I mean. Ok so one of us has just got out of hospital from yet another infection, one of us has a 'wonky' heart, one of us has just moved and is suffering the increased health consequences, one of us has been diagnosed with dehydration, malnutrition and exhaustion, and another has a chest infection. But we're spoonies so we're all fine.
To us 'fine' can mean not knowing what day it is, what our own names are or where we are. It means the people who love us standing over us with fear and worry etched on their faces, begging us to slow down, to see a doctor. It means those who care saying with broken resignation in their voices " but it shouldn't be like this, this is Britain". It means sitting back and watching us deteriorate until we have no strength left to argue otherwise, overruling and sending for the doctor. But still we'll tell you that we're fine if you ask.We'll probably even claim we're fit for work when we're like this, to us it's just a natural consequence of the risks we all knew we were taking with our health by campaigning but felt we have no other option but to continue anyway.
To help you understand our 'fine' it might help to explain that not all of the 5 of us will live to see the end of this fight. Our conditions vary, but we are united in our shared understanding that this battle is bigger than each of us, more important than our individual lives, that it is literally a war we will wage with our dying breaths to protect those who we know will come after us, those we wish a better future for.
But it is a war with huge, terrible costs associated. Not bullets and bombs but no less lethal all the same. We step back and regroup because we have no choice, our bodies are weakened by the ferocity of attack against us. When ordered to rest we fret and worry about those with no-one to care for them, to fight for them and through our delirium insist on trying before falling back in a grudging, tactical retreat.
The energy to fight will always be found - it's taken 3 days to write this much. To try to explain to you that this is the reality of 'fit for work'; that no matter what we do, what efforts we go to, we fight this because it is wrong. It is wrong to traumatise sick, disabled and dying people already living difficult enough lives for being unable to manage their bodies or minds well enough to sustain work.
But please don't believe that we are 'fit for work' or even that it's true when we insist to you