All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

There has to be more to life than this…

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As January trundles toward its inevitable conclusion, I continue to slip further into the abyss. My days have taken on a heart-crushing routine of monotonous tedium (wake up-housework-kill time-cry-go to bed) whilst my nights have – once again – become feeding grounds for heart-stopping nightmares and the ghosts of lives long past.

In fact, more and more over the last few days my mind has become drawn to a piece of research that was conducted by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre last year. Their national survey found that almost 20 percent of young men thought that life was not worth living; which, even though I’m no longer the youthful Adonis I once was, is something I can completely relate to.

For nearly seven years, ever since I became homeless, my life has been about one thing; survival, and even though I’ve been housed for nearly two years, this continues to be the only thing that defines my existence. I survived Christmas. I survived my various anniversaries. I survived a particularly difficult weekend. I survived the trip to the overcrowded supermarket. In fact, my life seems to have become a series of ordeals for me to struggle through, rather than a cascade of experiences for me to relish.

Despite my best laid plans, the only thing I can foresee in my future is more of the same; more survival, more monotony, more misery.  

Perhaps I’m just in a dark place at the moment. Perhaps it’s all just a byproduct of my current bipolar induced malaise. Perhaps in a few weeks I’ll have lifted myself from the darkness and once again see something about ‘life’ that makes it worth living. But right now, I see nothing but sadness and melancholy in my future.

For weeks now I’ve been acutely aware of my continued isolation. I miss having people to talk to, to bounce ideas off, to seek inspiration and joy from. I miss larking around in parks on warm summer’s days and curling up in front of a movie with a shared bowl of popcorn.

Even though its therapeutic effects are often downplayed, especially when it comes to mental health, I miss the intimacy of being with someone. I miss caressing my hands over backs, breasts and buttocks. I miss long, tender kisses and even longer, sometimes athletic, intercourse.

Life is nothing but bitter emptiness when you are by yourself. Humans are, by nature, social creatures. We don’t just crave the company and closeness of others; we need it to sustain ourselves.

I’ve also noticed a growing sense of homesickness creeping into my ‘life’ over the last several weeks. At first I thought it was merely a side-effect of the Christmas period; the annual yearning for cold winter days, fresh snowfalls and that glorious, endless night. But it’s more than that. I’m not just craving the winter, but the cultural, geographical and social aspects of my once home-country.

I miss meandering around London, losing myself to the many backstreets and galleries of the city before catching a West End play to while away the evening. I miss chilling with my family; challenging ourselves with a television quiz show as we sip on cups of tea and nibble on Digestive biscuits. I miss the British Press, television stations and music industry. Hell, I’m even missing Bill Oddie and Paul Schofield!

Although I love this sun-burnt country, I can’t shake the fact that it feels like something is missing. Not a place or a person but a part of me that I can’t define. This is home, but at the same time, it’s not home.

I don’t know.

With everything that’s going on at the moment. With all the flashbacks, internet chaos, homesickness, nightmares and the always present, always destructive loneliness, it’s no wonder I’m feeling crap at the moment. But like I said before, perhaps it is something that will correct itself in time, perhaps it is just a product of the endless mood cycles that bipolar throws at me.  

Either way, I’m sorry I haven’t been around much and I’m sorry this is yet another self-obsessed whinge.

Hopefully normal service will resume shortly…for I really don’t like feeling the way I do at the moment.   

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8 thoughts on “There has to be more to life than this…

  1. Crushing. I actually do understand so many aspects of this post. the needing other people just to continue living. Being social creatures. Missing the touch of another human being. Missing home, yet not quite knowing exactly where that is. this has been my season as well. I’ve started volunteering places, because I can’t land a job. It gets you out and around other people. It occupies that place in your head where anxiety lurks, and helps quiet the storm. – I really do understand the feeling of everything being more a survival situation than a journey through life. With nothing on the horizon but the same. I truly empathize. I hope things start to turn around.

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  2. Dark days here as well. Don’t be sorry for the whinging. There are people who want to hear it. My ‘family’ live suburbs away yet they choose to turn their backs instead of support me. Loneliness and dark places loom. But I have hope. Hang in there. You are worth it.

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    • Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to know that people will accept my whinging as I often feel bad for posting such despondant posts. It’s great that you have hope, for I know how tough life can be without it. Hopefully you don’t stray too far into the dark places, because you’re worth it too! :)

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  3. i believe some people are always have been alone and are lonely your lucky in this world to be part of something that’s consumes you one track something to live for at least for a long while but has domino said we all fall . sorry watched this film and it just fits in with me at the moment . I hate reading all the stuff about how I made it how I got better although it helps some I believe some of us never get better and why should it not be said too many people are ill poor and lost and all of theses issues need to be looked at more whos going to do this in this world such a lonely world. stay calm go with it and lots and lots of cuddles.xxx

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  4. I feel you. You aren’t alone. Hope it passes.

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  5. My impulse is to say “Get pissed off!” But of course that’s a simplistic thing to say. I have a friend — a professional counsellor — who believes ‘Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy’ is the best tool for depression(so I googled it). I believe increasingly that the new learning on brain plasticity will help, and fits with my own experience of what I call “practising elation”, but that’s too hard to explain in writing. If you’re able to see this documentary: http://ww3.tvo.org/video/199383/seeing-believing I felt it strengthened my own longtime feeling that if I could “practise” a positive feeling enough, that would change my brain to the point where I could easily access that positive feeling, and break the ‘brain habit’ of depression (which is such a complex combination of things!) After all kinds of different therapies that tended not to work for long, something like this ‘practising’ seems to have worked.
    You will succeed eventually, because you keep trying and searching and trying some more, and there’s so much new stuff coming on board (which I believe would have happened sooner if the mental health field had not been dominated by pharmaceutical marketing for so long! But that’s another rant :-)
    I hope you have a good week.

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    • Unfortunately I’m not able to view the video due to rights restrictions and my ‘geographic location’. I’ve been practising mindfulness techniques since last year after undertaking a support group structured around Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Although I’m far from mastering the techniques, it has helped me control my symptoms to some degree. In fact, mindfulness has become one of the major therapeutic practises within my toolbox! :)

      I hope you have a great week too! :)

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