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…


Days 12 & 13: Diagnostic criteria (and all that jazz!)


Bipolar | Unknown Artist (found on Google Images)

For the last few days – ever since Friday’s anniversary of 2007’s major suicide attempt – I have been feeling very flat and out of sorts. Focusing has been incredibly difficult and feeling anything other than ‘over it’ has been just as difficult to attain.

In fact, meh seems to have been my mood of choice today, with barely a millisecond spent outside of this most horrible and despicable of emotions. However, I’m fighting the urge to curl up in a ball and cry so as to answer a couple of the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge, which has been getting away from me of late.

The prompts I’m answering in this post are days 12 and 13, which ask:

  • Day 12: What do you think about your diagnosis in general? 
  • Day 13: If you know the criteria of your illness(es) which ones do you think you meet?

The Diagnostic Criteria for Bipolar (Type I)

Diagnostic criteria for Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Unspecified

A. Criteria, except for duration, are currently (or most recently) met for a Manic, a Hypomanic, a Mixed, or a Major Depressive Episode.

B. There has previously been at least one Manic Episode or Mixed Episode.

C. The mood symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D. The mood episodes in Criteria A and B are not better accounted for by Schizoaffective Disorder and are not superimposed on Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform Disorder, Delusional Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

E. The mood symptoms in Criteria A and B are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

There are several different variations of the diagnostic criteria for Bipolar Affective Disorder, which depend on whether the most recent mood has been manic, hypomanic, depressed, etc, but I have chosen to reproduce the criteria for ‘most recent episode unspecified’ as it was ultimately the one that was used to diagnose me.

My original diagnosis occurred in late 2007, several months after a manic episode, shortly after a depressive episode and in the midst of a hypomanic episode – this meant that A and B were covered. Given I was homeless and socially isolated at the time, criteria C was covered, especially considering I was barely functioning on a day-to-day basis whilst E –given my relative dislike of prohibited substances and alcohol – was easily checked.

The only item that was really debated at the time (and for years afterwards) was D, as I also showed signs and symptoms for a variety of other illnesses, including Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Today, my most common symptoms are depressive and hypomanic periods. In fact, to my knowledge (and I’m pretty sure I’d be aware after if not during the fact) I haven’t experienced full on mania since 2008, although given the months of lost time in 2010, there is a debate amongst my support workers that I was manic during this time.

How do I feel about my diagnosis?

My major issue has been the constant ‘tweaking’ of my diagnosis, and with it, the support I received. Over the years I have been un-diagnosed, mis-diagnosed and re-diagnosed so many times that I’m surprised I’m still alive.

From the immediate cessation of my medication (lithium, which I’d been taking for a few months), being told I wasn’t bipolar but unspecified personality disorder (after just seven minutes in the psychiatrists company) to being told that there was nothing wrong with me mere hours after a suicide attempt.

All treatment like this did was further alienate me not only from society but the mental health system and myself. It made it impossible for me to trust psychiatrists and receive the treatment I knew I needed to manage my condition. In fact, it has been nearly two years since I allowed myself to be part of the mental health system, purely as a result of the shocking treatment I’ve received from psychiatrists over the years.

Since excluding myself in this manner, I have found peace with the Bipolar diagnosis. I am properly medicated (despite my dislike of medication) and have numerous coping strategies in place for the occasional violent mood swing that occurs.

Whether as a result of removing myself from the psychiatric profession or just something that has happened organically, I realise now that I’m more than my label. I know that it makes me unique, because no-one’s mental illness presents in exactly the same fashion, and that this label will never be all that I am.

I am so much more.

Wow, dragging that post out of me was hard work! Hopefully this mood will not last much longer…but until then, I’m gonna go curl up in that ball I mentioned! Have a wonderful day/night everyone! :)


Sunday Stealing: Sell your bad memories here

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes.

Today we ripped off a blogger named Memphis Steve from the blog Steve’s Nude Memphis Blog. He does not say where he got it from, but judging by his profile picture, we don’t want to know!

Should you fancy it, you can read the first part of this meme here.

bad memories

Have any memories that you’d like to forget?

Ummm…where do I start?

  • Thirteen odd years of school bullying…
  • Multiple suicide attempts…
  • An emotionally abusive relationship that crippled my life…
  • Being assaulted and raped…
  • The loss of everything in my life multiple times over…
  • More physical assaults…
  • Half a decade of homelessness…
  • The two hours I spent watching Catwoman

For the last twenty odd years my life has been a cavalcade of painful incidents I’d like to banish from my mind Eternal Sunshine style…or would I?

No matter how painful those memories (Catwoman especially) they have all taught me more about the world and what I’m capable of than any number of university lectures could ever have done.

Is there someone you really like to hang out with and just talk about stuff?


I used to really love hanging out with Grace, she was always a wonderful person to just talk to; full of life, knowledge and a wicked sense of humor. Then there’s Annie and the wonderful time we had chilling out and fooling around in Canada. Sammi goes without saying, we could always find random and (occasionally kinky) ways to pass the time :p

In fact, there are plenty of people from my past I loved hanging out with and talking about stuff.


Which kinda makes my present all the more lonely. There’s something a little sad about answering with Meadhbh and Audrey, given they’re hallucinations and all, but that’s all I really have in the real-world present. There are some wonderful people I enjoy emailing, but my current exhaustion and unfocused mentality is making that exceedingly difficult.


Who the hell knows? Hopefully there will be someone other than my voices! ;)

Have you ever been called prince or princess?

I’ve been called Princess a few times by some random morons who thought it was a creative and inspired form of insult. The only person  I can recall ever calling me Prince was Sammi, who referred to me as her ‘Prince’ over a breakfast of MacDonald’s muffins and hash browns in Glasgow.

Do you think teenagers are weird?

Yes. But then, so are babies, twenty-somethings, hundred-somethings and every one in between.

Being weird is good, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! :p

How fast does your mood change?

My mood swings are legendary…which kinda goes without saying given I suffer from bipolar!

My melancholic mood today could well be a magnificent mood tomorrow. It’s exhausting! ;/

How are you feeling?

Shitty, crappy, blargh, want to curl up in a dank, dingy cave! :/

What? Why ask unless you want me to tell you the truth? Why should people have to pretend to be okay just to make others feel better?

Do you want someone to call you right now?

The only person who could possibly call me right now would be a salesperson. So no.

Someone else, maybe, but because I’m not feeling all that hot today it would probably go unanswered as I tend to withdraw from the world when I feel like this.

What do you always take with you?

My backpack…always, without fail, I feel naked without it (I think homelessness contributed to this need to have it with me 100% of the time!)

In fact, the owners of one of my most frequented shops have taken to calling me “Backpack Andrew” :p

Is your bed comfortable?

Nope…there are several broken springs that poke into my groin when I’m trying to sleep. However, it’s a lot more comfortable than trying to sleep in a park, so I’m not complaining! :p

Would you say you’re an understanding person?


Are you generally a happy person?

What exactly is a happy person? Happiness is a state of mind, not a personality. You can be happy one minute and miserable the next, it’s constantly fluctuating and evolving. No-one can be a happy person because no-one can be happy all the time. Anyone who is should not (under any circumstances) be trusted because they’re lying to themselves and thus would have no problem in lying to you.

Who’s in your Facebook profile picture with you?

I don’t have a Facebook profile, but when I did, no-one was in my profile picture with me…which isn’t all that surprising really! :p

Were you single on Valentines Day?

I’ve been single for the last five Valentines Days…as I’m reasonably sure I will be for every Valentines Day for the rest of my meagre life.

Ah well, guess no-one will get to experience how insanely romantic and creative I can be again. Their loss! :p

What is the last movie you watched?

Argo, during a movie centered social group on Thursday. I could barely hear the audio because it wasn’t loud enough and no-one else wanted it turned up, but on the whole I thought it was a rather great film. Not sure if it should have won Best Picture, but then I haven’t seen any of the other nominees so I can’t really comment on that.

I am planning on watching a film this afternoon as I have no energy to do anything else. Any suggestions?

Do you listen to songs when you’re done?

When I’m done with what? This question is confusing me, which isn’t a good idea when I’m feeling the way I do right now, so I refuse to answer it out of protest!

How long does it take you to fall asleep at night?

Sleep? What is this mysterious sleep you speak of?

Are you talkative?

In real life, no, I’m not talkative unless I’m drunk, (hypo)manic, in one-on-one/one-on-two company or a combination of the three.

In cyber life, I’m more talkative than in real life, but still highly reserved, anxious and guarded.

What are your St. Patty’s day plans?

Ugh. Why does everyone celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but completely forget the days of St Andrew, St George and St David?

Funnily enough, I’m not a fan, thus I will be doing nothing but my normal Sunday activities.


Did you know sea otters hold hands when they sleep to stop themselves drifting away? You do now! :)


But who can remember pain, once it’s over?

East Beach, Port Fairy

East Beach, Port Fairy © Addy

“But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see.”
  ~ Margaret Atwood ~

Seven years ago today I went to Port Fairy to end my life.
Weeks of planning culminated with me sitting on the East Beach with a knife,
my pain having grown too severe for me to deal with.

To this day I can remember with intimate clarity how much I wanted to die,
how much I craved for my insignificant ‘life’ to be over.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

As I stared out over the Southern Ocean I was reminded of all I would miss,
of the passions that burned in my soul and the desires I’d yet to achieve.

A part of me has always regretted choosing life on that lonely night,
but hidden beneath this regret is pride; of my strength, of my belief,
of my stubborn determination to not let life beat me.

Perhaps one day it will,
but not today.


Addy and the Day of Pure Evil

Something many people have problems with are anniversaries.

Not the happy, fuzzy-bunny-feeling filled anniversaries of marriages, birthdays and first sexual experiences, but the miserable, hell-would-hurt-less filled anniversaries of deaths, traumatic experiences and (I suppose in some cases) marriages, birthdays and first sexual experiences.

Amongst the plethora of ‘bad memory’ days that fill my year (e.g. the day I became homeless, the day of that psychiatrist appointment, the day my sister attempted suicide) there are four dates in particular that are excruciating for me;

  • October 11 (the anniversary of a suicide attempt, aka the day I should have died)
  • July XX (the anniversary of when I was assaulted, aka the day I wanted to die)
  • May 7 (the anniversary of another suicide attempt and the anniversary of Stephanie’s suicide, aka the day I nearly died and the day a friend did)
  • February 26 (the anniversary of the beginning of my breakdown, aka the beginning of the end).

The most astute of you, my dear readers, will have noticed that three days ago was one of these dates.

So if you’re itching to know what calamities (if any) befell me, read on! :p

very bad day

Seven out of Ten (3am-4am)

The day began as most of my days do; being woken from a fitful sleep by a vicious nightmare. On this occasion it was a recurring dream that has been haunting my sleep for several years.

In this dream I am being attacked by the man who assaulted me in Adelaide. We are in the same motel room, we are wearing the same clothes, we are basically reliving the events of that traumatic night. The only difference is Grace and Kathy are sitting on the bed watching the events unfold. Sometimes they are munching on popcorn; sometimes they are sipping glasses of champagne. Other times they are sharing a box of chocolates or recording the events on a video camera. What they always do is ‘score’ the assault upon its completion; a simple ‘out of ten’ rating of the pain inflicted on me.

The scores change from dream to dream but some things remain constant; Kathy always scores less than Grace, they always write their scores using my blood and they rarely give anything more than an eight. Even if he amputates multiple limbs or flagellates me with a strip of barbed wire, the pain he inflicts on me is never ‘good enough’ for the audience.

As per usual when this dream disturbs my sleep, I woke up startled, screaming and gasping for air.

Unlike usual, I woke up with someone else lying in my bed.

Stop peeking, pervert! (4am-5am)

Vanessa knows that this day is her day. For the last five years she has relished in it, using my ‘vulnerability’ to increase her presence both audibly and visually. When I woke up on Tuesday morning she was lying on her side staring at me.

VANESSA: That dream again?
ME: What the fuck do you want?
VANESSA: Your soul, idiot. Did you have that dream again?
ME: You know I did.
VANESSA: Tell me about it.

So I did, just to shut her up, but the problem with Vanessa is that no matter how much information you give her, it’s never enough. After nearly fifteen minutes of interrogation – erasing any hope I would get back to sleep – I began rearranging my blanket so I could make myself more comfortable.

VANESSA: What the fuck? Don’t you dare.
ME: It’s my blanket!
VANESSA: But I’m naked under here.
ME: So? I’ve seen it all before.
VANESSA: But I don’t want you seeing it now. Have some decency, dickhead!
ME: If you don’t want me seeing you naked, why are you naked?
VANESSA: Because I don’t want you seeing me naked, moron!

From there she bombarded me with questions, comments, observations, insults and hopes for the day ahead, including: “It would be beautiful if you sliced your arm open today”, “Please tell me you’re going to kill yourself today” and “But meltdown first, you know, one of those panic attacks that leaves you a cowering, dribbling fetus. Preferably in public!”

This continued until Audrey woke up and demanded I ‘get my lazy ass out of bed!’.

It was 5am – not exactly the greatest start to the day!

When distractions aren’t distracting! (5am-1pm)

In my recent post about coping skills, I mentioned that ‘distraction’ was my primary method of coping with emotional distress. Whether this is whacking on a DVD, reading my favorite websites or blogs, listening to music, playing Scrabble on the DS, completing jigsaws or just writing blog posts, sooner or later I will become engrossed in my chosen activity and forget about the chaos that drove me there.

On Tuesday, this forgetting didn’t happen. In fact, my mind was so focused on the events of 26 February 2007 that nothing I did provided any relief from the bad memories or consistent badgering from Vanessa. I wasn’t intelligent enough to read Conversation articles, I was too childish for playing on the DS, I was too old to complete jigsaws, I was too untalented and boring to blog. No matter what I tried to do, she slipped in and tore me to shreds, leaving me sitting on the carpet staring at the wall wondering whether I should drink, self-harm or commit suicide. Perhaps all three!

By mid-morning my day was already shaping up to be worse than last years…unless I took affirmative action.

VANESSA (as I grabbed my bike helmet): Where the fuck do you think you’re going?
ME: Out.
VANESSA: But it’s my day.
ME: Not anymore!

‘Distraction’ is worth 14 – or 64 if you use all seven tiles – in Scrabble (1pm-3:30pm)

For the second week in a row I was the only person at the Scrabble group I attend. Vanessa was quick to point out this was because no-one liked me and couldn’t stand being around me. I was quick to tell her to piss-off because she was seriously starting to get on my tits!

I’d originally told the organisation that runs these groups that I wouldn’t be at Scrabble, that I thought I was going to be hiding away as I usually do on these hell-would-hurt-less anniversaries. But as none of my distraction techniques had worked and my self-harm urges had increased I needed to do something to pull my mind from Vanessa and the memories.

For two hours I played Scrabble against the group leader. With Vanessa blathering in my ear it’s no surprise that I made several tactical errors early in the game, all of which amounted to me failing to reach 400 points (I ended with 387) and sending my mind into a tailspin of negative thinking about how useless I was at Scrabble (totally untrue!) Vanessa relished in this thinking and used it to fuel further abuse as I walked around town following the match.

To put the frustration (and annoyance) of this cycle of self-hate into perspective; I had won the game by over a hundred and fifty points and been able to play a seven-letter word during the match – not too shabby, all things considered!


Coopers and Comfort (3:30pm-7pm)

Within thirty minutes of leaving Scrabble, the cycle of self-criticism I’d become locked in over my failure to reach 400 points, coupled with Vanessa’s constant presence drove me to a local bar. However ashamed I am to admit breaking my three-week plus sobriety, I sat with Vanessa in the corner of the bar and drank through a couple of bottles of my favourite beer; Coopers Pale Ale.

Following this, the shame continued, as I moseyed around town purchasing things willy-nilly in a rare ‘retail therapy/comfort buying’ binge.

After sixty-two minutes I’d spent $112 and become the (not so) proud owner of:

  • A (fourth hand) Wii with seven (fourth hand) games.
  • A hairbrush.
  • Two bottles of white wine.
  • Michael Ondjatte’s XXXXX
  • A block of Rolo chocolate
  • Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (seasons one and two)
  • A bag of Kettle Honey Baked Ham potato chips (my second favorite flavor of chips)

The sheer number of carrier bags I had weighing me down, coupled with Vanessa sitting on my handlebars (what is it with hallucinations deciding to ride on my bike?), led to my cycle home becoming a carefully orchestrated balancing act!

Seriously…filthy…mind…! (7pm-9pm)

Pretty much the moment I got home I cracked open one of the bottles of wine and threw myself onto the couch to slurp it straight from the bottle. By the time I’d drunk half the bottle I’d connected up the Wii and whacked on Lego Batman (one of the seven games I’d got, the others being: Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Metroid: Other M, Link’s Crossbow Training, Mario Kart and EA’s Grand Slam Tennis).

After two levels I had to stop playing; not because I was drunk, not because I wasn’t enjoying myself, not because I felt bad about buying the Wii, but because Audrey was freaking me out with her seriously filthy mind and all the things she wanted Lego Batman to do to her!

I can’t really go into them without password protecting the post, so just think Fifty Shades of Grey meets Harry Potter meets Twin Peaks meets (JG Ballard’s) Crash meets Batman (where does he get those wonderful toys?).

Even I don’t have that dirty a mind…and that’s saying something! :P

The Book of Pure Evil (9pm-11pm)

By this point I’d finished one bottle of wine and was feeling relatively tipsy. I’d lost the ability to focus on the Wii and was being driven nuts by Vanessa’s constant bullshit; so I cooked some coconut rice with tofu and vegetables then whacked on the DVD I’d purchased.

For those of you not in the know, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is a Canadian comedy-horror TV show that centers on a disparate group of High School students who band together to take on the bloody consequences of the Book of Pure Evil.

Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer; only with a miniscule budget, more blood and a deliciously warped sense of humour!

I don’t know whether it was the strange mood I was in, the alcohol I had consumed or the junk food I was pigging out on, but after half a dozen episodes I was loving the show. Audrey and Vanessa, not so much! Where they thought the acting was “squirmily bad”, the writing “a rip-off of the far superior Buffy” and the humour “totally unfunny, much like everything Canada produces”; I thought the acting improved with each episode, the writing showed moments of inspired genius and the humor was laugh-out loud brilliant on many occasions.

VANESSA: I don’t like it when you laugh on my day.
ME: Do I look like a give a fuck?

todd and the book of pure evil

Threesome (11pm-12am)

It’s unusual for me to head to bed so early but my desire for this day to be over was overwhelming. By eleven ‘o’ clock I was lying in the middle of my bed with Vanessa to my left and Audrey to the right.

And yes, I get the symbolism behind the positioning; whenever Vanessa and Audrey are around they will adopt these positions.

AUDREY: And I could…[censored (trust me, you don’t want to know!)]…and then he would…[censored]…then around that point he’d…[censored]
ME: Wouldn’t you rather fantasize about Christian Bale?
VANESSA: Or Adam West?
ME: Can I fantasize about Anne Hathaway?
VANESSA (singing): There was a time when men were kind…
AUDREY: And when he puts that…[censored]…in my most…[censored]
VANESSA (still singing): …when their voices were soft, and their words inviting..
ME: What do I have to do to get you two to go to sleep?

Perhaps it was the emotional exhaustion, perhaps it was because sleeping with someone is nicer than sleeping alone or perhaps it was the alcohol I’d consumed, but I fell asleep soon after – despite the constant singing/babbling that was occurring around me.

Silence (3am-4am)

Following another recurring nightmare (where I painfully melt into a bubbling pool of blood) I woke up in the early hours of the morning. I didn’t notice at first, but neither Audrey nor Vanessa were present.

The silence was beautiful! :)


Many of you may look at this day as a failure. I blew my budget on un-necessary crap, broke my three-week long sobriety and spent (virtually) the entire day communicating with visual/audible hallucinations.

But I see things differently.

Direct transcript from my Mood Journal, 26 February 2012:

Had that dream again. The one where Grace and Kathy watch as the Adelaidian does whatever he wants to me. The one where they score him out of ten for pain inflicted. Tonight they were both disappointed, Grace gave him 7, Kathy only 5. They want him to work harder next time. No wonder I always wake up screaming and caked in sweat. What the fuck will the neighbours think?

Should be in a great mood today given that I’ve just moved into my own place after years of homelessness, but I’m really not. So I’m self-harming again. Not unsurprising given what today is the anniversary of. Just binged on copious amounts of junk food and alcohol. Feel fat, grotesque, worthless, disgusting and repulsive. Just want to curl up in a ball and die.

Vanessa thinks I’m a repulsive piece of shit that no-one will ever love. Nay, she knows I’m a repulsive piece of shit that no-one will ever love. She’s not wrong. What was it Kathy said? That I will always be alone. That I deserve to always be alone. They were right, all of them, every word they said. Vanessa told me to slit my wrists. Maybe I should.

Can’t focus. Can’t think. Can’t concentrate. Can’t sleep. Want to die. I have a bed. So why am I still sleeping on the floor? Oh yeah, it’s all I deserve.

Pished. Nearly over.

Over. Thank fuck.

  • Today I ate: four toblerones, one bag of jelly babies, quarterpounder w/chips, pizza, potato chips (BBQ flavour)
  • Today I drank: three bottles of white wine, one bottle of red wine, six cans of beer, two WKDs.
  • Anxiety/Panic attacks: 7am, 10:30am, 12:12pm, 4:30pm, 7:22pm.
  • Time spent outside the house: Didn’t leave the house

midnaSure, my voices had a greater presence than last year and I spent way more money…but…I had fewer panic/anxiety attacks, I was aware my coping techniques weren’t working so took alternative action, I left the house, I socialized, I cooked a healthy meal, I slept in my bed, I ‘stood up to’ Vanessa on multiple occasions and didn’t self-harm once.

Yes, I brought a Wii (so 2008!)…but, in the spirit of trying to improve my self-love…I brought a Wii! Methinks that Lego Batman, two Zelda adventures and Mario Kart may prove useful weapons in my increasing arsenal of coping strategies. Especially when all I need to do to stop Audrey criticizing and abusing is to whack on a single game and let her fantasies roam free! :p

All things considered, I’m quite proud of myself this year! :)


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Freaks and (Scrabble) Geeks


Seven by thrig, on Flickr

One of the many words I dislike being called is a ‘freak’.

It’s far from being the most disturbing word I’ve ever heard to describe me. In fact, some of the insults that have been hurled in my direction would win awards for ‘Spectacular Use of the English Language’ or ‘Greatest Use of the Cussing Thesaurus Known to Humankind’. So in comparison to the multiple f-bombs, b-bombs, s-bombs and c-bombs that have been launched at little ole me over the years, ‘freak’ is relatively nothing.

But it still gets to me. It targets my mental illness, my homelessness, my sexual proclivity, my social anxiety, my isolation and, given my abuser’s love of the word (“You’re not a freak because you’re physically repulsive, if you lost a lot of weight you’d actually be slightly attractive, it’s because you’re mentally repulsive.”) it taps directly into the trauma that I repeatedly find myself locked in.

If you come up with a beautifully constructed insult using multiple swear (and made-up) words, I’ll issue you with a sash (or a crown if I’m feeling generous) for creative abuse.

If you call me a freak, I’ll retreat into my shell and begin flagellating myself for several days.

Today marks day two of ‘The Addy’s alone because he’s an annoying, repulsive freak self-flagellation-a-thon!’.

Why? Well…

Yesterday, I attended my third Scrabble group. For those who missed my post, two weeks ago I commenced a series of social groups run through a mental-health organisation designed to break open my social isolation and perchance make a few new friends.

So far, it has been more unsettling than entertaining. Being around other people again has made me realize just how bad I’ve become in terms of talking to other people. I’m a master at talking to myself and my hallucinations, but when it comes to engaging with the outside world I’m clueless. Even the fragile social skills I used to possess have vaporized into the sands of time.

During my first Scrabble group I let other people win. I’m like that. “You’re far too kind for your own good,” Someone told me once, “you need to be crueller, more selfish. Just take what you want and to hell with everyone else.” For some this is a perfectly reasonable philosophy to live by, especially in a world becoming more and more altruistic, apathetic and narcissistic every day. However, it’s not me.

I’d rather give someone who’s hungry a Subway sandwich (as I did yesterday) rather than a self-absorbed lecture on how their hunger is their fault because of a mistake they made eight years ago.

I’d rather sacrifice my own dreams to help someone achieve one of theirs than put my happiness above those of others.

I’ve been this way for decades, so it’s unlikely I’m going to change now.

However, given that I was unable to play in my second Scrabble group (as I arrived late following a meeting with a Disability Employment Service) I had a ‘make random words from randomly chosen letters’ itch to scratch. So as I walked to the group  I told myself to just play, after all, I could do with a win.

After ten minutes of playing, one member of the group threw their tiles in the bag and refused to play, leaving half an hour later. Another member left shortly after and, even though they put in a valiant attempt (including an eight letter word on a double word tile) the leader of the group decided the game had to end early as, being 150 points ahead of everyone else, Addy was not going to be beaten.

Now, I rarely praise myself, but there are some things I’m good at: film and movie trivia, cooking omelette sandwiches, recalling Buffy the Vampire Slayer (even though I can no longer watch it I’ve seen every episode at least a dozen times, some bordering fifty), self-flagellation, the history and folklore of Scotland, Zelda games, massaging buttocks, rambling and Scrabble.

I may not consider myself worthy of entering the Scrabble championships but if I did, I’d leave dozens of contestants in my wake. In fact, I am someone you never want to play Strip Scrabble with as you’d be naked within half an hour. Whereas if you dared play Spankrabble with me, best ensure you have a cushion handy as your ass would have no chance!

After trouncing everyone yesterday afternoon they began calling me the ‘Scrabble Guru’ and the ‘Word Master’.

And then, shortly after, the ‘freak’ word was thrown into the mix.

Cue immediate connections with past insults, past abuse and my own insecurities. Connections that, within an hour, tripped me into a depressive mood that not even Tina Fey or 30 Days of Kink could rouse me from. Last night, rather than write any of my NaNoWriMo novel or the myriad of blog posts I want to write, instead of writing emails I keep putting off or reading the marvellous blogs of those I follow, I walked around the darkened streets of my town in the middle of a vicious rainstorm and then, after the rain stopped, sat soaked to the skin wondering why I just can’t be ‘normal’.

Upon returning home I put in a half-hearted effort with writing a blog post, got annoyed, saved it as a draft and went to bed where I promptly had a nightmare in which my abuser slowly peeled every millimeter of skin from my body before forcing me to walk through the streets with my innards on show for all to see and laugh at.

Thus, it’s safe to say I didn’t sleep all that well last night :p

So here I am, flagellating myself with deprecating thoughts, self-aimed insults and endless questions about my worth as a human being. If I react as I did to just one word (which was probably meant as a compliment) how will I ever make new friends? Is it even worth returning to the group if I’m going to clear the room (which may or not have been my fault) by just playing Scrabble? If I can’t allow myself to be happy doing something that always makes me happy, will I ever allow myself to be happy again?

And what the hell’s wrong with being a freak anyway? My mind is a friggin’ awesome place of random kinky bizarreness! Much more interesting than a lot of the ‘normal’ people I’m irrationally jealous of! :p

These groups were supposed to help me connect more, to make new friends, to break this lethal social isolation I’ve found myself in. But if all I do is push people away, is the heightened anxiety that I put myself through before each group worth it? Is this cycle of self-hate I’ve been in for the last twenty hours worth two-hours of indulging in one of my favourite past-times?

This exercise in social inclusion was supposed to make me feel better, not increase my belief that I’m a freak who’s unworthy of having a life.


I’m off to buy a bookshelf!

Want. Want. Want. That’s how much a scrabble geek I am! :p

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Day #4: Bullet pointing a (bad) day… [Part 2]

Previously, in Day #4: Bullet pointing a (bad) day…

Addy woke up feeling refreshed after two hours sleep, wrote a blog post for four hours, deleted it at the bequest of an auditory hallucination then began drinking a rogue bottle of wine he discovered in a cupboard following last week’s alcoholic binge to mark the anniversary of the day he should have died. Meanwhile, Elisa was revealed to have had an affair with the pool boy, who was the illegitimate son of Rodriquez, brother of Jose, who was planning to usurp Manuel, distant cousin of Elisa and the current Earl of Belgium. Whilst all this was happening, the blogosphere began asking whether Addy had finally gone completely bonkers or if he just polished off the wine he found and decided to write an ill-advised drunken blog post.

Find out in the second part of today’s exciting blog challenge adventure…

  • After posting the first part of today’s challenge I threw my jacket on and went for yet another walk.
  • I ended up in the library where I printed out a letter I need for an interview with Centrelink tomorrow before borrowing a few books; a new Christopher Brookmyre novel, a crime thriller by Scotsman Stuart MacBride and a book on poverty.
  • After leaving the library I had a small anxiety attack before browsing the DVD store and returning home.
  • Once home I had a bizarre conversation with my hallucinations whilst cooking pasta.
  • Watched Pretty Little Liars with dinner.
  • Questioned why I was watching this rather odd choice of a show with Meadhbe, Grace and Kathy. Strangely, they were enjoying it.
  • After finishing up the wine I settled into the computer to give my poverty post another go.
  • After fifteen minutes of staring at a blank screen I decided to try to write it as a stream of consciousness.
  • This didn’t work.
  • So I forced myself to write as best I could before editing it for nearly three hours.
  • After another thirty minutes of editing I hit ‘publish’ otherwise I could see myself deleting this version as well.
  • After this I quickly wrote my Teaser Tuesday post and scheduled it for tomorrow morning, as I need to be up early to walk the 10kms to a Centrelink appointment at 9am.
  • This appointment (a job capacity assessment) has been stressing me out all weekend as it will effectively decide my mental stability for the immediate future, so I’ve been trying not to think about it.
  • I then had a shower.
  • Changed into my pyjamas.
  • Played a game of Puzzletters to try to relax.
  • Then remembered I had to finish my bullet pointing a (bad) day post – which isn’t all that easy considering I’m somewhat tipsy :p
  • And even though it hasn’t happened yet, once posting this post I will probably browse the ‘net and Twitter for a short while before heading to bed with the hope I’ll get some sleep so I’m in good form for tomorrow’s early appointment.


Tomorrow: Day #5: Things you want to say to an ex…
(Hmmm, could be an interesting one!)