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…

Every now and then I fall apart

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Meadhbh is making me listen to Bonnie Tyler. She loves Bonnie Tyler. She’s obsessed with Bonnie Tyler. Sometimes I wish she was as obsessed with Runrig, or Serena Ryder, at least that way I’d be able to listen to her favourite music without wanting to gouge out my eardrums, but she’s not. It’s not that I hate Bonnie Tyler. I don’t. It’s just there’s only so much of the Welsh songstress I can take. And the same song. On repeat. For sixty minutes. That’s pushing it. But at least when Bonnie Tyler is playing her attention is on the music, and not her futile war with Vanessa, which continues to rage; much to my chagrin.

Their incessant war of words kept me awake for hours last night. They got into a debate about who was better; Nick Cave or Bernadette Peters. Vanessa is a staunch defender of Bernadette Peters. She loves her in the way that Meadhbh loves Bonnie Tyler. Not a bad word can be said about her. And Meadhbh seized the opportunity to say several bad words about her. So for hours I had Vanessa bitching at Meadhbh for insulting her heroine; whilst Meadhbh bitched at Vanessa, who was taking every chance to insult Meadhbh’s hero, Nick Cave. The stupid thing is Meadhbh likes Bernadette Peters, and Vanessa likes Nick Cave; they were just pitching for a fight, so went for it no matter what. And I was the one to suffer. As always.

When I finally managed to get to sleep I had the weirdest dream. It involved me, a bottle of squeezy cheese and a herd of goats. The goats had decided to rebel against their owner, me, because I’d tried to feed them own-brand squeezy cheese instead of the name-brand stuff they usually received. So they surrounded the house in which I lived and refused to let me leave until I had given them the brand of squeezy cheese that they liked. The only problem was, and what they wouldn’t understand, is that I didn’t have the brand they liked. And because they wouldn’t let me leave I couldn’t visit the supermarket in order to get the brand they liked. So we were locked in a stalemate. A catch-22. And the goats refused to back down. Fortunately I woke up before they could inflict any real damage on my person, but it left me somewhat shaken, and with an unnatural craving for squeezy cheese.

I’m not sure what the dream was trying to tell me. Perhaps it was just my unconscious mind recalling the incident in Canada when a playful goat mistook me for a rock and leapt gleefully onto my back, much to the amusement of my companion. Perhaps it was just my unconscious mind informing me to buy name-brand squeezy cheese. Not that I ever buy squeezy cheese. I’m not even sure you can get it in Australia. But all these questions, and many more besides, played through my mind as I began my usual morning routine of talk radio, internet and time killing.

After Tuesday’s productive decisions, I was heartened to find several people had clicked ‘like’ on my blog’s newly established Facebook page (you can too, by going here!) and decided to continue the productivity by brainstorming some blog post ideas. Although I haven’t gotten around to writing any of them yet (there’s only so much productivity you can squeeze into three hours) it was nice to spend the morning stringing words together rather than just staring idly at Buzzfeed or the abomination that is

But this was the only change to my otherwise stringent routine today. Once midday rolled around I was back in the shower, preparing for my walk down to High Street for some library time, grocery shopping, DVD renting and my weekly appointment with my support worker. It was a fairly low-key appointment today, just casual chit-chat about my life and numerous activities, all of which I have reported over the last few days.

Once the appointment was done, it was back home to watch a movie (the delightful comedy What We Did On Our Holiday, starring the equally delightful David Tennant) and get things ready for dinner (tonight we have jacket potatoes, as it’s been far too long since I last ate my favourite foodstuff). But it was here that the day took a dark turn. I was half expecting it, after the fitful sleep I had received courtesy of the Bernadette Peters/Nick Cave-a-thon, but when the PTSD suddenly crept up and screamed bloody murder into my face, it was a little surprising. I haven’t been able to identify what caused it. Perhaps something Vanessa said. Perhaps tiredness. Perhaps it was nothing. But I suddenly became overwhelmed with memories of my abusive relationship; so much so that I ended up in a screaming match with the ghost of my abuser, no doubt startling my neighbours, as I shouted, shrieked and screamed at thin air; desperate for answers as to why she did what she did. Why she chose me to be her victim. Why she decided to intentionally destroy my life. It was a brutal, sudden and quite shocking turn of events for an otherwise middling day. But isn’t that always the way with PTSD. One minute you’re happily watching a bright and breezy comedy film, the next, you’re locked in a dispute with thin air as memories hurtle back to haunt your every waking minute. It’s one of the reasons I hate the condition so much. The suddenness of it all. The speed in which days – and emotions – can change. The episode only lasted an hour or so before I was able, with the help of Meadhbh, to get things back into some semblance of normality. But it was enough to exhaust me. It was enough to dampen my day. It was enough to unnerve me for the rest of the evening. But who knows, perhaps my comfort food will soothe me enough to calm me before bedtime, otherwise it could be another sleepless night.

So now I sit here, listening to Bonnie-Bloody-Tyler for the umpteenth time. Meadhbh refusing to let me listen to anything else. Adamant in her belief that it is the greatest music to listen to when coming out of a state of trauma. In my opinion it isn’t. In my opinion I need Serena Ryder, or Runrig, or some soothing lament of violin-origin. But she’s a stubborn woman, Meadhbh, and there’s no point in arguing with her.

Tomorrow should be an interesting one. After mentioning it on my blog the other day, I’ve organised a date with Audrey. She’s apparently been feeling a little neglected of late, so I thought some one-on-one time would be good for us. She hasn’t decided what she wants to do yet (although from past experience it will either be Lego Batman or artistic related) but I’ll be sure to let you all know how it went. It’s been a while since I last had a date with one of my people, I’m actually kinda looking forward to it!

Until then, I hope your day is a good one! :)


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