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…


25 Songs, 25 Days: Gathering Pieces

Day 04: A song that calms you down

Gathering Pieces | This Is Your Captain Speaking


Back in the good old days. The days when I was employed, when I had a regular income, when I had a social network of cherished individuals, when I wasn’t governed by my mental illnesses, I used to spend my days roaming the streets of Melbourne, exploring all sorts of book and music shops. I would trawl the shelves for interesting titles, fascinating blurbs and ingenious covers. Anything that attracted me to the product. Anything that inspired me. And when something spoke to my soul I would purchase it.

One such example occurred one autumn evening when I was browsing the shelves of Polyester Music on Brunswick Street. I was looking for something new, something I had never heard before, and the above album cover sparked my attention. It was simple. Delicate. Beautiful. I didn’t know what type of music it was, I had never heard the band name before or read any review of their product. So I took a chance. I strode up to the counter, handed over my hard-earned money, and carried on my way.

The next day I was rostered off from work. After my girlfriend had risen, performed her morning yoga ritual and left for work, I poured myself a bowl of Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes and settled down with my new CD. Within minutes I was left speechless. The music was instrumental; the compositions spellbinding. For one whole hour I sat on the floor of my flat, completely transfixed by the musical soundscapes that were assaulting my senses.

When the CD finished I did the only thing I could possibly do. I listened to it again. And again. I was spellbound by the intricate array of instruments and the notes they played. It was, without question, one of the finest CDs I’d ever heard.

As the months passed I returned to this CD whenever my stress levels rose as the music had a calming influence over me. I listened to it when faced with a panic attack. I listened to it on long train journeys. I listened to it as I strolled around a heaving city. And whenever I listened to it, whenever I allowed the music to steal my soul, I was left breathless.

This is Your Captain Speaking; one of the finest, if not the finest, instrumental bands of all time.


30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge: Day 22

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Self Harm Awareness Challenge asks
Where do you feel the most calm?


~ calm ~
(of a person, action, or manner)
not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other emotions.

Courtesy of PTSD and social anxiety, I live in a constant state of hyper-vigilance. Every minute of the day my mind is constantly on edge, constantly observing, constantly ensuring there are no dangers nearby. It is exhausting. It is frustrating. It is my life. Over the years I have become used to living like this. It is just what I have to do to survive. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss living a ‘normal’, non-vigilant life. I miss feeling relaxed. I miss feeling calm. I miss feeling anything other than the constant stress that I feel. So to ask me where I feel most calm is a misnomer, because I never feel calm, ever, under any circumstances. I can’t. The moment I do feel calm is the moment some demon will walk up behind me, tap me on the shoulder and shriek ‘BOO’ at the top of her voice. In order to survive I can’t allow myself to feel calm. I must be vigilant. I must be aware. It is what I have to do.