In recent times Central Government have been banging on about being overweight - that we should have our five a day, eat less sugar and salt, drink less alcohol and exercise more in order to have a healthy life. We have it on good authority that where you live and the conditions you live in can also have a detrimental effect on your long term health and well being as you will see.
I'm truly sorry, but people need vices, chocolate and so on to have something to look forward to. We suspect many have given up on your preaching, thinking 'Why bother?' They say we'll live longer - not if you're living where we do - in an unsafe, inapppropiate, unsuitable type of accommodation with no way out for many and not enough of anything for anyone else. We'll be living longer to die in a hot block.
Living in a block of flats like this one can teach you much about corrupted human nature and warped values and should come with a health warning or a guidance rating, as living in one can grind you down. Your health can take one hell of a beating on many levels which we will be covering here. We’re sorry if this sounds somewhat melodramatic, but trust me, what we say is with good reason and some would call what were doing 'thinking outside the box'.
Lets take a look at mental health first. It's hidden for the most part, but can have an effect on your general health. The day to day pressures and stresses of commercial living, maybe too close to your nehigbour, can and often does cause undue stress, anxiety and depression, insomnia and paranoia. The seemingly endless problems all coming to a head, maybe even casuing nervous breakdowns in some cases.
The victims of what we are covering in this article can become isolated, becoming withdrawn, often loosing self-confidence, weaked spirituality by their ordeal. A growing number of vulnerable and disabled residents are loosing faith in the system and trust in those who live around them. Residents seeing no way out will consider, attempt and sometimes achieve what some call the coward's way out - suicide.
For so many residents getting out of one of these places is almost impossible. So seeing no escape they will look for a means of escape turning to the use of drugs such as cannabis, alcohol or may even use solvent abuse. This can lead to addiction and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychosis type illnesses. Their problem won't just affect them either. More on this in a while.
Putting up with the endless earbashings and the rest which reads like a shopping list: I've been assaulted and insulted on a few occasions. We kid you not, like everything else we’ve gone through here, totally unprovoked and unnecessary. It looks to us very much like something which goes hand in hand with the lawless, unruly, uncontrolled generally unacceptable and unpoliceable behaviour youll find in a block like this. TV dramas and the media so often pick up on this, but forget the real victims.
'Dangerous' and I have seen all sorts in our 20 year stretch. The most frightening and life threatening was a fire at the TCP’s flat started deliberately by a jealous boyfriend whilst she was on holiday. Three of us were trapped - all blind with other health problems, needing to be got out. Nelson (my artificial eye) went from 0 to 200 degrees in three seconds. Yes, I really thought I was going to meet my Maker that night. I think we all did.
We always wondered how we’d get out in the event of a fire here or anywhere. It’s the second time I've asked the question. The first time I was in yet another block of flats. Again, a fire was started deliberately. That time I was lucky! An arial platform got us out. I'm scared of heights, but had no time to be then. The strange things that go on in flats!
The second time I was not so lucky. The damage had been done in those three seconds - damage that i'll be paying for for the rest of my life. Nelson through no fault of his own scorched and burnt his home - my eye socket leaving me with pain, discomfort, blisters and a bloody painful discharge for several months and hyper-sensitivity. Things must have been bad. I couldn’t go outside the door for months owing to the risk of infection. Eventually I could, but I was setting off store security systems, as something had been exposed by the fire.
Nobody was bothered by what had gone on. Some held the attitude, "It happened - get over it!" Well, I ask those people what gives you the right to say that? Do you live in a hostile environment? Do you have a disability or any exposed prosthetic components? Do you know the risks and long term damage prospects? if your answer is yes to any of this, maybe you do, but we suspect your answer is more likely to be no - then simply you don’t.
This is is from us for now, so we'll be back next time with another installment.