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…


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Embracing my inner penguin on the day everything changed!

Yesterday, I embraced my inner dancing penguin in the middle of an internet cafe.

Why?

Well, a few days ago I asked my parents if I could borrow $20 for my social gathering yesterday evening. Granted, this makes me sound like a teenager, but given I rarely asked to borrow money to go out with friends at that age (the perils of not really having any) I guess I was making up for lost time.

Anyway, they transferred some money into my bank account and yesterday afternoon I went to collect it in anticipation of my evening and, upon seeing my balance was $200 had a small heart attack. Knowing my parents couldn’t possibly afford to send so much over I initially thought it was either:

a) A cock-up with the international transfer.

b) A cock-up with my Centrelink payment.

or

c) A cock-up with the bank.

Having heard of numerous incidents where the bank randomly transferred money into someone’s account, wait for them to use it and then whack them with a thievery charge, I immediately entered the bank to enquire why my account had so much money in it.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: There’s $200 in my account.
Her: Congratulations.
Me: You don’t understand, there’s $200 more than there should be in my account. I have no money so why do I have $200?
Her: (looking at me oddly) Let me check that for you.
Me: Thank you.
Her: [tap tap tapping on the keyboard] Ok. You received an international transfer of $30 and the rest is a payment from Centrelink.
Me: But I get paid on a Saturday.
Her: It says here that the transfer is for your Pension Payment.
Me: Pension payment?
Her: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Pension payment?
Her: Yes, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me: Pension payment? No, no. Sorry. Thank you kindly.

And I walked away muttering pension payment? until I reached the internet cafe, logged onto Centrelink, and realised they had granted my disability pension without actually informing me in advance that they’d approved my disability pension or be paying me back pay yesterday.

Sneaky bastards!

So, to add balance to the exceedingly depressing bullet pointing my day post I wrote a couple of weeks ago and because I am fecking exhausted and don’t have the power to form beautifully written paragraphs of text, here is me bullet pointing the events since embracing my inner penguin and doing a happy dance upon realising my disability pension has been approved.

  • I walked from the internet cafe to the hairdressers and sat outside smoking a cigarette.
  • I walked around the block four or five times before plucking up the courage to walk into the salon.
  • Upon seeing the divine beauty of the woman with the scissors I immediately faked a telephone call and left.
  • I then walked around the block ten more times before walking back into the hairdressing salon.
  • Upon having an empty store the woman grabbed me before I had the chance to fake another call and dragged me into the chair.
  • She then promptly fainted upon learning I hadn’t had a haircut in over two and a half years.
  • After reviving her with smelling salts (that I keep in case of emergency) I braved the chair for twenty minutes.
  • Her accent was a mix of Spanish and Australian. An odd, yet utterly beguiling combination that made the experience rather pleasurable.
  • With my hair looking magnificent I left with a renewed spring in my step, fully aware that this particular hairdresser is the incentive I need to get regular (at least once a fortnight) haircuts.
  • I then went to the shops and purchased: a not quite brand spanking new pair of jeans (yay, no more hole the size of a fist in my crotch!), some brand spanking new underwear (yay, for my sexy ass looking even sexier!), a 50% off yet still brand spanking new pair of shoes (yay, no more fixing with superglue and cardboard!) and a brand spanking new razor (yay, no more disposables tearing my face to shreds!)
  • Following this rather altruistic shopping spree I perused the op shops, had a shot of whisky in the pub (in preparation for the evening ahead) and then returned home.
  • Anxiety attack #1 was followed with me showering, shaving, making myself look and smell utterly edible and then commencing the 6km walk to where I was due to meet for the social gathering.
  • Anxiety attack #2 was followed by my phoning my parents to give them the first piece of good news in a long, long time.
  • Anxiety attack $3 was followed by me narrowly avoiding (with a rather stupendous forward roll) a swooping magpie.
  • Anxiety attack #4 was followed by me sitting on a bench near the river smoking three cigarettes as I realised in a few minutes I would be walking into a pub for my first social gathering in nearly four years.
  • Or I could just walk home.
  • After scolding myself for even thinking such a thought I took a deep breath and entered the pub…
  • …[which I will tell you all about tomorrow when I’m in a far more capable of writing mood]…
  • …[suffice to say I didn’t die, pass out, have the building implode on me or be tortured by sadists]…
  • …in fact by the time I returned home I was in a rather good little mood and promptly fell asleep dreaming of Spanish/Australian hairdresser woman and how frigging awesome and courageous I am!
  • I woke up at 5am after a PTSD nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep.
  • After waking I headed out and logged online to make sure no-one was worrying about me too much.
  • I re-posted the Thursday Thirteen post I’d written (that, for some reason or another failed to schedule properly) before reading a few comments from yesterday that urged me, should I receive back pay, to treat myself.
  • Given my happy dance of the day before the staff didn’t seem too fussed with me saying “Very well, good sir, I shall!” in a verbal response to the comment.
  • Cue “Addy’s Fuck Yeah I’m On the Disability Pension and Goddamn Treating Myself After Five Years of Fucked Up Pain Shopping Trip!” (or the unpronounceable AFYIOTDPAGTMAFYOFUPSS for short)
  • Purchase #1: Two not quite brand spanking new pillows for $4 (!)
  • Purchase #2: A BSN doona for $10 (my first doona since early 2009)
  • Purchase #3: A NQBSN doona cover and pillow case set (red with purple elephants!)
  • Purchase #4: A DNBSN glass bottle for .80c (so I can keep tap water cool)
  • Purchase #5: A DNBSN mug for .20c (bit chipped, but a cool red/purple pattern)
  • Purchase #6: Two NQBSN shirts and two NQBSN T-shirts (red, red, ochre and brown)
  • Purchase #7: A foot long roast chicken sub on Italian herbs and cheese bread with lettuce, cucumber, pineapple, carrot, capsicum, salt and pepper, bbq sauce and a white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie as a treat. (Delicious!)
  • Purchase #8: A brand spanking new copy of Dollhouse Season 1, which has only just been released in Australia. (yes, I live in poverty, but if you have a problem with me buying a new DVD I refer you to what this shopping spree is in aid of!)
  • Purchase #9: Shampoo, shower gel, shaving foam, toothpaste, mouthwash and a brand spanking new toothbrush! (just, yay!)
  • Then I came home.
  • And chastised myself for being so frivolous and purchasing so many un-necessary items.
  • Then chastised myself for chastising myself because, Dollhouse aside, I needed every single thing I purchased!
  • So now, after the week I’ve had (three social events, DSP approval, multiple anxiety attacks and more emotions than you could shake a stick insect at) I’m exhausted, spent, out-of-it, confused, sleepy, anxious – yet strangely, unfamiliarly, relaxed.

Apologies for being absent from the ‘net over the last few days. I shall be blog reading, commenting, comment replying, writing, tweeting and lots of other random things tomorrow (once I’ve slept and taken in all that has happened!)

Until then, hope you are all well and doing lots of wonderful fun things :)


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7 Wants…

A while ago I had a conversation about what I’d do if I had the Disability Support Pension approved.

After a few moments of thought I informed him I’d pay some rent, sort out some overdue bills, stock up food cupboards and buy some new clothes. They were quite surprised I didn’t say games console, Blu-Ray player, iPhone or blow the whole lot on a DVD collection.

Sensing my unease, they informed me that a moment of altruism after all I’ve been through is something no-one would blame me for (middle class web commentators aside, of course!) but after all I’ve experienced, I’m not sure I can be altruistic any more.

1. A bookshelf

My book collection isn’t spectacular. I have a few, picked up from charity shops and library sales, but it lacks the diversity and brilliance of my collection from years ago. The books I have are currently propped up on the kitchen counter gathering breadcrumbs, rogue cooking debris and make me feel like I live in a warehouse.

Hence my desire for a bookshelf :)

2. A haircut

I haven’t been able to afford a haircut since May 2010. There are no words to capture the mess that is my hair at the moment. So if I get the DSP approved and I can overcome my anxiety of hairdressers I will be getting it cut almost immediately!

3. A Digital SLR

Is this being too altruistic? It’s certainly more expensive than a bookshelf and it’s not exactly an essential item like a haircut.

Or is it? Back in the days that I owned a camera I would often venture out on all day photo-shoots when consumed with anxiety or stress. Just walking around the suburbs, towns or glens snapping off photograph after photograph filled my heart with joy and relaxed my soul.

It’s not just a hobby or aspiring profession for me; it’s therapy.

4. A new wardrobe

As I’ve previously written I can buy new clothes once a year. If I don’t get the DSP my next clothes shopping trip will be in January. To say I’m tired of wearing the same grotty, fast disintegrating clothes I’ve been wearing for the last ten months would be an understatement!

How am I supposed to feel good about myself when I don’t feel good about what I’m wearing?

5. A holiday

Massively altruistic. But I could really, really do with a couple of weeks kicking back and thinking only of relaxation and adventure.

6. Friend(s)

Do I even need to say this? I love all my blogging friends (hugs to you all) but it would so wonderful to have a friend in real life :)

but most of all

7. To meet my nephew (and forthcoming niece)

My nephew is now two years old and I have yet to meet him. My niece will be born early next year.

Perhaps I could combine items 5 and 6 and take a jaunt to see them both at the same time…yeah, right!But it’s nice to dream :)