What follows, being a timeline of my life from birth to present, is a post I have been writing for nearly a year. Every time I’ve sat down to finish it I’ve found myself triggered by the memories of various events and incidents I’ve experienced, triggering which led to me being able to complete only a few sentences at a time before retreating to the safety of ‘distraction’.
As I embark on pulling my block back to basics, I felt now was the opportune time to finish this timeline so it could be used as a source of inspiration for future posts, as well as a reference point for myself (and others) to see how incidents are connected and the chain of events that led to my eventual social isolation and mental ill-health.
This, is my journey through life (with plenty of catastrophes along the way!)
My journey through life (with plenty of catastrophes!)
~Sometime in late February 1978~
After a romantic candlelit dinner and several glasses of wine, Addy’s parents head to the bedroom…I won’t give any further details, save for saying on this night that glint in his parent’s slightly tipsy eyes became the embryo who became the baby who became the horny teenager who became the passionate man who sits here today!
~28 November 1978~
Addy bursts out of his mother’s womb screaming into the well-lit maternity unit, as a kindly nurse smacks his posterior he tries to get his bearings in this strange new world devoid of comfort, warmth and embryonic fluid. Little did he know what this crazy planet had in store for him…
When I was a baby…
- June 1980 [?]
◊ After my father had gone to work, my mother goes into diabetic shock and falls unconscious, leaving my brother (2) and I (16 months) worried and confused. Although I remember nothing of the day, Lake family history tells of my brother feeding me tea bag sandwiches as it was the only food he could reach. When my father came home around 6pm he found my brother and I cuddled up against our unconscious mother with sugar liberally sprinkled everywhere, as my brother had tried to feed it to my mother to wake her up. The only clue as to when my mother had fallen unconscious was when we told my dad we’d missed Playschool – a kids TV show that was on around 9am.
When I was a child…
- 1982 [?]
◊ We move from Leeds (where I was born) to Treharris, South Wales; which is like Leeds, only with spontaneously forming male voice choirs.
◊ My first actual memory: walking from my house to the library, all on my awesome lonesome! :p
◊ We move from Treharris to Portlethen; which is like Treharris only with less male voice choirs and a faint odor of fish.
◊ I play the lead role of Hansel in a school production of Hansel and Gretel. How is this relevant? Well, I spent the entire second act locked in a cage…and there’s surely a metaphor/portent for mental illness in that somewhere! :p
◊ I have to start wearing glasses and braces (retainer for all you Americans) – cue the commencement of my school-era bullying that lasts until 1997.
◊ I develop my first childhood crush on a girl named Hannah. I can’t recall whether this crush developed before, after or during the time we wrestled in a big pile of wet mud whilst pretending to be wolves! ;)
◊ I attend an after school football group (soccer) in the hope of making new friends, partake in an activity I enjoy and lose some weight. The coach tells me I am too fat and not skilled enough to take part. Cue onset of self-esteem and body image issues. Cue even more school yard bullying over my worthlessness as a human being.
◊ My crush moves to Ayr; which is like Portlethen, only on the other side of Scotland and without a big pile of mud.
◊ My love affair with Doctor Who begins.
◊ I smoke my first cigarette whilst on a sleepover at a friend’s house. His mother isn’t happy.
◊ My sister begins showing symptoms of OCD and anorexia nervosa following a school play in which she had to wear a leotard.
◊ My crush returns from Ayr looking hotter than ever! Definite sparkage between us! :p
◊ I visit Loch Ness for the first time.
◊ I exchange my first ‘kiss’ (aka…a bashful peck of the lips) with my crush.
◊ I start hearing “the demons”. (Note: I have yet to explain my ‘demons’ as I’m letting people get used to Meadhbh and co. first!)
◊ We move from Portlethen to Caldicot; which is like Portlethen, but several hundred miles south and devoid of my friends.
◊ My sister’s mental health continues to deteriorate. She begins believing I am contagious and I cannot speak to her, be in the same room as her or look at her. This, obviously, has a dramatic effect on my self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence. But, as I would later be told by a psychiatrist, this is completely my fault as I should have understood the complexities of anorexia nervosa when I was twelve!
When I was a teenager…
◊ I set fire to my lounge room for reasons too bizarre to go into (but – just so you know – it has nothing to do with latent psychopathic tendencies or the onset of sociopathic behavior!)
◊ My sister receives a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and OCD from Great Ormond Street hospital and is admitted into a local psychiatric unit.
◊ After admitting I have a crush on a girl at school the information is leaked to all and sundry and much humiliation occurs as she is the hottest girl in school whilst I am the fattest, the most pointless and (allegedly) the most contagious!
◊ I begin self-harming.
◊ I ask my parents to take me to see my sister (as I miss her and am worried about her). They do…but it doesn’t go well. Cue more self-esteem and loneliness.
◊ My mother’s depression worsens into agoraphobia and she can’t leave the house.
◊ Around this time, Meadhbh begins talking to me.
◊ I write my first novel (which I called Lifetime, the love-child of The Goonies, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, Neighbours and various coming-of-age tales!)
◊ Sometime this year, courtesy of some time-travel shenanigans, I receive a letter from my older self! :p
◊ I write about suicide for the first time in my journal whilst my self-harm worsens.
◊ It was this year (according to psychologists in hindsight) that my ‘shyness’ developed into social anxiety as I pull away from almost everyone.
◊ I begin smoking cigarettes on rare occasions of extreme stress.
◊ I also start skipping school and after a period of illness refuse to return, but eventually do.
◊ It was around this time, Meadhbh began coming to school with me so she could offer some “support and protection”.
◊ My sister leaves the psychiatric unit and goes to live with my Aunt and Uncle as she can’t deal with living in the family home, shortly after she attempts suicide.
◊ My mother also attempts suicide and spends some time in a psychiatric unit.
◊ Meanwhile, I am studying for and taking my GCSE examinations; I don’t do very well as my anxiety makes exam situations almost impossible to cope with.
◊ My social anxiety prevents me from taking the subjects I want to study for A-Level and I spend the rest of my life regretting it!
◊ I begin drinking alcohol regularly; including, on one occasion, hiding vodka in a Sprite bottle during a school excursion to Exeter University.
◊ I wonder why other schools offer trips to the Alps, beachside resorts or the Cadbury Chocolate Factory whilst all I get is Exeter-bloody-University!
◊ I achieve awesome results on my A-Level coursework but completely balls up the exams as (like with GCSEs) I can’t remember squat whilst stressed and anxious in exam situations. Thus, I fail all but two of my A-Levels.
◊ The years of self-harm, stress, social anxiety and bullying put me off pursuing a University Education.
◊ Later that month I bottle out of asking the hottest girl in school to dance at the prom, despite the fact she spent most of the evening sitting right beside me looking far too beautiful for words to describe.
◊ Two weeks after Princess Diana dies I write a flurry of “schizophrenic” letters to people I barely know, post them and board a train to Scotland after leaving a note to my parents that I would be ‘in touch’. My destination is Loch Ness (see, there was a reason it was mentioned). I then spend several days roaming around Scotland talking to whoever will listen to me (including someone who became known as The Funky Canadian), drinking crazy amounts of alcohol, visiting Glenfinnan for the first time and smoking the odd cigarette. I also sleep rough for the first time. I return home in the middle of the night as if nothing had happened; my parents are not too happy!
◊ I begin my first full-time job: working for Blockbuster Video.
◊ Absolutely nothing of note happens throughout this entire year other than the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, often regarded as the greatest video game of all time by people who have never played The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening! :p
When I was a twenty-something in Caldicot…
◊ After spending several hours dancing (and gyrating) with a beautiful co-worker, she invites me back to her place but – courtesy of my social anxiety – I panic and make my excuses. I never see her again.
◊ I begin an online (somewhat complicated) non-sexual relationship that dramatically improves my self-confidence and self-belief.
◊ I quit working for Blockbuster Video and head to Scotland on a backpacking adventure – only this time I tell my parents where I’m going. My reason for leaving is to force myself into challenging my social anxiety and self-confidence, knowing that if I don’t succeed I’ll probably kill myself; I tell everyone it’s because I want to see Scotland.
When I was a backpacker…
- 1999 (cont.)
◊ After spending an evening with a cute Scottish girl in Portree, I panic when she invites me to her room. I leave Portree early the next morning so I don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of seeing her again.
◊ After beginning to long-term at a backpacker hostel in Inverness I try to stop self-harming. To do this I make the (terrible) decision to begin smoking on a permanent basis.
◊ In December I slip back into a depressive episode and run away from the hostel (and the friends I’d made) and begin thinking of suicide. I am gone for several days and upon returning, one of the friends I’d made threatens to ‘beat my ass’ if I do something to make her worry like that again. This threat, for the first time ever, makes me feel like I have a friend who cares about me.
◊ I begin smoking marijuana.
◊ After leaving the hostel I visit the Outer Hebrides with friends, it is here that I come up with the idea for The Ghosts That Haunt Me (whilst walking around Stornoway) and visit Berneray for the first time.
◊ On a trip back to Caldicot I nearly tell one of my new-found friends all my secrets whilst sharing a spliff. I don’t, but it’s the first time I’ve ever considered sharing anything personal with anyone.
◊ I am accepted into a college Course in Inverness.
◊ I travel to Canada, where I spend three months falling in love with this great country.
◊ I fall head over heels for a woman I meet in a backpacker hostel and decide the time has come to man up and tell one of my numerous ‘crushes’ how I feel. This is a decision Rachel agrees with and informs me of this by slapping me across the face when I refuse to share personal information with her. This slap begins a short-lived, but beautiful, friendship.
◊ I spend six straight days on a train travelling from Moncton, New Brunswick to Vancouver, British Columbia in order to tell the woman I have a crush on how I feel. On the fifth day I discover she has a boyfriend, my moral and ethical code kicks in, and I don’t tell her. We do however share several wonderful days together before I bid her adieu forever.
When I was a twenty-something in Inverness…
- 2000 (cont.)
◊ I return to the UK and begin studying at Inverness College.
◊ I discover Rachel has killed herself. I begin self-harming again and refuse to leave my bed for days.
◊ I travel to Glenfinnan in order to kill myself; I convince myself not to as I don’t want to die a virgin.
◊ I begin to question how I’ve managed to keep my self-harm and mental health secret after a vicious bout of self-harm that leaves me unable to sit, stand or lean for several days.
◊ Sometime around here, Jessica begins talking to me.
◊ I am accepted into a Uni course.
◊ I travel to Berneray for a quiet, reflective New Year. Instead:
29th – I meet Louise.
30th – I have my first kiss since 1990 – only this one is much less peck and far more tongue! :p
31st – I lose my virginity (although technically this was the early hours of the 1st January 2001!)
1st – I continue losing my virginity many, many, many (many, many) times! :p
2nd – Louise returns to Inverness to move in with me. She also meets my parents.
◊ I tell Louise my deepest, most closely guarded secret.
◊ I slip into a deep depression and Louise encourages me to see a Doctor. I talk about my mental health with someone for the first time (ever!) and he diagnoses depression and social anxiety.
◊ I begin taking Prozac.
◊ I defer the University offer.
◊ Around this time, Meadhbh stops talking to me.
◊ I begin working for a backpacker hostel organisation.
◊ Louise decides my deepest, most closely guarded secret makes me ‘evil’ and decides I need to be ‘cured’. This doesn’t help my mental state and I self-harm for the first time in over a year.
◊ Louise and I leave Inverness, I feel like I am losing my home; which technically, I was!
◊ Louise leaves for Europe leaving me living in my teenage bedroom. Within weeks my self-confidence has collapsed to levels pre-backpacking (1999) and I begin self-harming as my depression and anxiety worsens.
◊ Louise returns (early) from Europe but doesn’t really say why. She spends a couple of weeks in the UK and then leaves for Australia.
◊ I make the startlingly stupid decision to turn down the deferred uni course nd travel to Australia; officially the worst mistake of my entire life!
◊ I arrive in Melbourne, Australia on the 29 October to begin my new life.
When I was a twenty-something in Australia…
◊ I am granted temporary residence and commence working full-time for the Australian branch of the backpacker hostel organisation I’d worked for in Inverness.
◊ Shortly after, I become the co-manager.
◊ Despite many attempts, I cannot break through the Australian ‘cliques’ to make any friends, prompting feelings of isolation and loneliness.
◊ Sometime this year, Shay begins talking to me.
◊ Louise asks me if I’d marry her. We set a date for 14 November 2004 (when my parents are in Australia) and begin planning the event.
◊ I meet Grace for the first time.
◊ Louise decides that she cannot get married until same-sex couples are allowed the same privilege and calls the wedding off. I am left monumentally confused and rejected, as surely there are better ways we could protest this issue than just not getting married (e.g. both of us wearing a dress for the ceremony!)
◊ My parents visit Melbourne for the first time; they later describe me as being ‘happier than they’d seen me in years’.
◊ Despite many attempts, I cannot break through the Australian ‘cliques’ to make any friends; my feeling of isolation and loneliness continues to grow.
◊ I self-harm for the first time since arriving in Australia (the infamous ‘box of matches’ incident!)
◊ I become the sole manager of the backpacker hostel.
◊ I meet Kathy for the first time.
◊ I begin slipping back into depression. By the end of the year I am in a full flung severe episode.
◊ Louise casually informs me she began having an affair before I arrived in Australia and kept seeing him after I arrived. It puts my decision to come to Australia in doubt. Two days later I begin to crack up. I want to smash things at work and very nearly self-harm in front of staff and guests. I spend the evening drinking and self-harm for the first time since December 2004.
◊ My depressive episode becomes unbearable and I begin formulating a suicide plan.
◊ I instigate my suicide plan and quit my job. I travel to Port Fairy to commit suicide but I once again convince myself not to go through with it. It is a decision I would grow to deeply regret.
◊ For the first time since being in Australia I believe I have finally beaten the Australian ‘clique’ system and made some friends. I would later realise I was wrong.
◊ I consider talking to Grace about my recent suicide attempt and history of mental health problems. Believing it will destroy my newly made friendships, I don’t.
◊ Three weeks after the aborted suicide plan, Kathy informs me matter-of-factly that ‘if things get any worse’ I can go to the top of Melbourne Central (a multi-storey shopping mall) and jump. Much later I would question why a friend would say such a thing to someone who was so obviously suffering from depression? Even later than that, I would look back on this moment as a signal of what was to come.
◊ Louise and I begin counseling to help save our relationship but, a few months later, we officially break-up.
◊ The day I move out of our ‘home’ and into a boarding house, I begin self-harming regularly since 2002.
◊ Kathy and I officially commence our relationship. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the abuse had already begun.
◊ Kathy is diagnosed with Glandular Fever.
◊ I begin suffering from Glandular Fever shortly after.
◊ I am accepted into a college course and begin finalizing my five-year plan (incorporating a uni course, multiple social groups and other activities to enable me to become the person I believed I could become.)
◊ Kathy begins telling me my friends do not consider me a friend and don’t want me talking to them anymore. I begin talking to them less and less as a result.
The year my life ended (January – July)…
◊ Kathy’s abuse reaches vicious new depths that makes me hate/question every aspect of my self, life and personality. This feeds into my Glandular Fever and renders me almost unable to function but the fear of her abusive tantrums forces me to repeatedly dance, horse ride and go out to the pub on all night benders. I begin to physically pass-out and, on one occasion, spend the night in hospital.
◊ I am forced to tell Kathy my deepest, most closely guarded secret following her decision to publicly humiliate me into doing so. The revelation doesn’t go down well and she reiterates Louise’s belief that I am “evil”, adding that I am both “disgusting” and “repulsive” and wouldn’t think this way if I’d been “beaten regularly as a child!”
◊ I return to college.
◊ Two weeks later, in the space of nine days, whilst suffering from glandular fever: I am diagnosed with a serious physical illness, Kathy dumps me by text message and vanishes for fifteen days without conversation or warning (I am later told this is to “punish me”); I lose my college course, all forms of income, the entire of my five-year plan for the future and the majority of my social network as a result.
◊ Cue: BREAKDOWN.
◊ Everything goes haywire: Kathy’s abuse spirals out of control (verging on stalking) leaving me socially isolated and suicidal, I am self-harming on a daily basis, I am drinking alcohol on a daily basis, I have no absolutely no cohesive rational thought.
◊ I begin selling everything I own in order to: (a) cover rent, food, medical expenses and alcohol and (b) because I believe I will be dead soon.
◊ Meadhbh returns; only now she is an evil, vicious, heartless little bitch who encourages my self-harm and suicidal ideation.
◊ The victim blame mentality (courtesy of my friends and housemates) begins and continues through the year.
◊ I complete (a completely manic, confused and insane) first draft of The Ghosts that Haunt Me.
◊ After months of constant abuse and victim-blaming, I finally stop believing in myself and form the belief that I am the most worthless, pointless, selfish, unintelligent, uncaring, unpassionate, unlovable, repulsive, grotesque, evil human being to have ever existed in the history of humanity. (Note: as of 23 March 2013, I have yet to shake this belief!)
◊ I attempt suicide on 7 May 2007. Eleven days later, Kathy once again tells me I should kill myself, only this time more directly and matter-of-factly than she had in 2006. Twenty four hours later, after demanding I take her out for dinner to make up for how “I’ve been treating her“, Kathy tells me I’m basically an orphan that no-one will ever love or care about. She suggests I go and live in a cave in Scotland for the rest of my deservedly lonely life.
◊ I am forced to leave my home in order to escape the continuing abuse (i.e. I become homeless by the definition of the term!)
◊ I become manic and begin rampaging around Adelaide believing I’m an Immortal God.
◊ I meet Sammi for the first time; she doesn’t think I’m an Immortal God, just a rather cute (slightly sexy, definitely kinky) guy.
◊ As I begin to ‘come down’ from my mania, several things happen:
Sunday – My sister (in the UK) attempts suicide and ends up in hospital.
Monday – Kathy begins sending me abusive emails that continue through the week.
Thursday – A nasty bout of self-harm causes me to visit the hospital.
Friday – My sister’s condition worsens.
Saturday – I am assaulted and raped.
Sunday – Kathy sends me two incredibly long abusive emails forcing me to sever contact with everyone I know in order to stop the abuse once and for all. I am completely alone and friendless (again!)
Monday – I sleep rough for the first time since 1997 in a park in North Adelaide.
The year my life ended (August – December)…
- 2007 (cont.)
◊ I return to Melbourne to get treatment for the physical illness I was diagnosed with earlier in the year.
◊ Vanessa begins talking to me.
◊ Two weeks after recovering from her suicide attempt my sister travels to Australia and begins living with me.
◊ I see an RSC stage production of King Lear starring Ian McKellen. This has no relevance to anything but was a highlight of (and one of the few ‘great’ moments of 2007!)
◊ Two weeks after arriving in Australia my sister leaves for the US after her plan to see me become her support worker doesn’t eventuate.
◊ I collapse into severe depression, agorophobia and develop a daily routine of self-harm and self-destructive behavior.
◊ I begin to suffer from delusions, nightmares, flashbacks, daymares and insomnia.
◊ 11 October 2007: After writing a suicide note I walk fifty kilometres from the Melbourne CBD to the Dandenong rainforest where I try to hang myself. Whilst this is happening I am reported and investigated as a missing person before eventually being found by the police. I am taken to the hospital in the back of a police divvy van where, after being seen by someone for 19 minutes, I am told that I will be fine and discharged at approximately 2am with three antidepressants. It takes me nearly two hours to stumble back to my flat where I spend the entire weekend on the couch.
◊ Audrey begins talking to me.
◊ I write My War against Mental Illness.
◊ I start writing a blog called All that I am, all that I ever was: My Journey with Depression.
◊ I become homeless (again) and begin sleeping on the streets of Melbourne.
◊ I am diagnosed Bipolar Type I for the first time.
◊ After a nasty period of self-harm I go to the hospital and request hospitalization; my request is denied, but I am promised the CAT team will visit me by 9am the following morning. The CAT team do not show and I don’t hear from them for over 48 hours, when I am told I will need to visit the Mental Health team on my own. The mental health team do nothing during or after my session with them.
◊ Sammi contacts me via Facebook and we begin a cyber-friendship.
◊ I put in my first DSP application.
◊ My application for citizenship in Australia is rejected and I discover I have to leave Australia. Once again, I am reminded how much of a worthless failure I am.
◊ The year from hell finally draws to a close with a night of vicious self-harm.
When I was homeless (by the definition of the word)…
◊ Shortly after New Year, following a nasty period of self-harm, I visit the MH team where I beg them to hospitalize me as I am fearful I am about to attempt suicide again. Despite the tears, despite the recent cuts and burns on my arms and legs, despite the homelessness, despite everything, they tell me they “cannot hospitalize me as I am not a danger to other people” and send me back out on the streets.
◊ Less than twenty-four hours later I post a suicide note on my blog titled …all that I will ever be and attempt suicide.
◊ I have to leave Australia. I return to the UK a broken shadow of my former self.
◊ After several appointments with a Mental Health service and a psychiatric hospital I am (re)diagnosed Bipolar Type 1 with PTSD and begin taking medication.
◊ I return to Scotland for the first time since 2002.
◊ With encouragement from Sammi, I try to reconnect with some of my old friends in Australia. I succeed in reconnecting with Grace.
◊ Following months of online friendship, Sammi and I finally match our calendars and we meet up in Glasgow where I help her experience a life-long dream.
◊ My brother marries; in order to combat my anxiety he and his wife allow me to attend the wedding wearing a kilt. I look like world-conquering sex on a stick! :p
◊ I become hypomanic and find a way to return to Australia.
◊ I return to Australia where I begin moseying around Melbourne like a (semi) Immortal God.
◊ My father suffers a TIA.
◊ I attempt suicide and spend the night in hospital.
◊ I begin working for the same backpacker hostel organisation I have spent my life working for. The same organisation that once upon a time, contributed to my suicidal ideation. Later, I realise how completely insane this idea was.
◊ The memories of my assault and rape that I’d tried to bury resurface with abandon and I lose even more of my mind.
◊ I fail to be there for Grace when she needs me and our friendship ends. Cue a lifetime of self-hate, regret and guilt.
◊ I meet and enter into a relationship with Diane.
◊ My hypomanic mood ends and I am left to assess the damaging situation I have found myself in.
◊ My medication is tripled following my recent episode and the damage it’s caused.
◊ Shortly before Christmas 2008, Sammi dies by ecstasy overdose. No-one knows whether it was accidental or intentional. I prefer to think accidental.
◊ I have sex for the last time. (26 January 2009)
◊ I receive my last kiss. (4 February 2009)
◊ In the space of twenty-four hours: I am fired from my job over something I didn’t do, my father’s health worsens and I am forced to return to the UK.
◊ I am alone again for the umpteenth time in my life, finally understanding that I don’t deserve to have friends, relationships, support or happiness like other people do.
◊ I return to Scotland where I find accommodation in a boarding house and begin trying to find work.
◊ Sammi’s sister pays me a visit and I accept then mourn my friend’s death for the first time.
◊ I complete the final draft of The Ghosts that Haunt Me and begin sending it to publishers. One is interested, but the GFC sabotages this opportunity.
◊ My writing is published for the first (a short story in a national magazine) and second (an opinion piece in a local newspaper) times.
◊ Stephanie contacts me via my blog and I become worried she’s suicidal. After a short friendship she takes her own life, further proving my failures and deserving isolation. By complete coincidence, Stephanie kills herself on the 7 May 2007 (see 2007 above!).
◊ Alone, lost and exhausted, I attempt suicide.
◊ This suicide attempt finds me integrating into the mental health system where I begin having daily psychological appointments. After questioning my diagnosis, they convince me my future is not in Scotland, but in Australia.
◊ As a result, I return to Australia.
◊ I receive my last hug. (5 June 2009)
◊ I begin sleeping on the street on a full-time basis (7 August 2009)
When I was homeless (by most people’s interpretation of the word)…
- 2009 (cont.)
◊ I fall into a deep (deep) depression and begin to self-harm daily, disassociate and have wild delusions. My voices relish this and talk to me 24/7.
◊ I begin doing something I’m not proud of as I had no other option when it came to making money. This sends my PTSD spiralling out of control.
◊ In fact, everything gets worse and I begin blacking out and losing large chunks of time.
◊ I write several blog posts I have no memory of writing that end my blogging journey.
◊ A homeless person talks me out of suicide.
◊ I find my first crisis accommodation, but this lasts only a month or so.
◊ After a few months back on the streets I find another boarding house, but leave after being physically assaulted.
◊ A couple of months later, I find myself in another boarding house, but leave after being brutally physically assaulted.
◊ I attempt suicide in a park in Melbourne.
◊ I black out several months of my life and when I come around, leave Melbourne for Sydney.
◊ I return to Melbourne a week later and slip into a deep depression that sees my agorophobia return with a vengeance.
◊ I attempt suicide, but once again prove I’m a failure as I can’t even end my own life successfully.
◊ By now, my life has become 100% about survival; where to sleep, what to eat, how to be safe.
◊ Self-harm, depression, dissociation, loneliness, isolation, PTSD nightmares, mood swings, psychosis and delusion have become my day-to-day life. I begin sleeping in random places all over Melbourne and its suburbs. I continue blacking out, losing time and return to my ‘not proud of’ activities.
◊ After another nasty assault in another boarding house I leave Melbourne.
◊ Following a lengthy period of lost time I phone Lifeline, but they are of little help, so I attempt suicide.
◊ I end up in a psychiatrist’s office who informs me that “I have no mental health problems whatsoever.”
◊ Three weeks later, I end up in a different psychiatrist’s office who (re)diagnoses me Bipolar Type 1, PTSD and Social Anxiety Disorder; he medicates accordingly.
◊ Six weeks later, I end up in a different psychiatrists office who tells me I am “play acting mental illness in order to escape homelessness”, that “there is nothing wrong with me” and that I “require no medication or support” because “there are people out there with ‘real’ problems”.
◊ Within a week I am a gambling alcoholic.
◊ Within two weeks I attempt suicide…again!
◊ Somehow (I’m still not 100% sure how) I have an application for private rental approved and move into my first ‘home’ since mid-2007.
When I was (ex)homeless…
- 2012 (cont.)
◊ In order to combat increasing dissociation, isolation and a return to depressed suicidal thoughts, I revamp All that I am, All that I ever was and begin blogging again.
◊ This lasts two months before I slip into a deep depression and cease blogging.
◊ After becoming hypomanic (again) I blog like an insane crazy person almost every minute of the day.
◊ I have my (umpteenth) DSP application (finally) approved.
◊ I am accepted into a local organisation that offers social groups and support services. I commence attending some of the groups, which is the first social interaction I’ve had since early 2009. At the same time, I begin going to munches organised through a social network I use.
◊ In mid-December I slip into the worst depressive episode I’ve experienced since 2007.
◊ Although it has been on my mind throughout, 2012 becomes the first year since 2005 that I haven’t attempted suicide.
◊ My depressive episode continues and I look into breaking my vow to return to MH services following that cock of a psychiatrist in 2011. I don’t.
◊ I begin thinking (and declare on the blog) that if I can’t get things to change by the end of 2013 I will probably kill myself as I just can’t do it anymore.
◊ I begin working through the Maastricht Interview with my support worker and, in so doing, talk about my voices for the first time ever, with anyone.
◊ I begin attending a Hearing Voices Support Group.
◊ My voices react badly to both of these things.
◊ I realise I am emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted and have no idea what to do about it any more.
~ The future ~
Seriously, who the frack knows what’s going to happen to me next?
Hopefully something blissful and exceedingly happy because I’ve had enough pain and torment to last several lifetimes!
~ Bolded items indicate monumental moments in the development of my mental health problems ~
~ To celebrate Schadenfreude, incidents that have already had prior posts written about them have been linked to ~
~ Any future edits (as/when memories come back to me) will be written in CAPITOLS and noted ~