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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[NSFW] My kink and its effect on my mental health

WARNING_SPANKINGS

I’ve always been interested in the world of kink. How it relates to our personality. How it reflects on who we are. How it impacts on various aspects of our life. And how, if any, it links to the world of mental health. For someone who has battled mental illness since he was a teenager, and for someone who has struggled with his kinky self for even longer, the world of kink and how it relates to mental illness fascinates me.

In this post I ruminate on how my kinky self has impacted, or been impacted by, my various mental illnesses. From the ups and downs of bipolar through C-PTSD via social anxiety and self harm, I cast an eye over how kink has affected my life.

Given the subject matter, it should go without saying that this post is not for familial eyes. So any members of my family who just happen to stumble upon this post, please respect my need for privacy and read no further. Everyone else, feel free to join me on my journey with kink! :)

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{NSFW} 20. Confidence and Kink

This is the twentieth day of the 30 Days of Kink Challenge, as such it contains adult (and spankolicious) content.

~ Talk about something within kink/bdsm that you’re curious about/don’t understand ~

Because it is taking me so long to complete this challenge (it began in November 2012!) I have decided to freewrite the remainder of the prompts. As such, please excuse any spelling and/or grammatical mistakes that may occur for they are all part and parcel of this form of writing.

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Day 11: What is the worst thing about your mental illness?

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The last prompt in the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge asked what is the best thing in regard to your mental illness, so it stands to reason that today it asks what is the worst thing in regard to your mental illness?

Although there are many ‘worst’ things about having a mental illness – the stereotyping, the psychiatric system, the stigma, the violent mood swings, the suicidal urges – far and away top of the list would be that it stops me from ‘being me’, or rather, it stops the real world from seeing the real me.

It’s not that they just see my ‘label’; it’s that the illnesses I suffer from (especially the social anxiety) prevent me from being me when I’m around other people. It forces me into becoming an obscenely quiet (borderline mute) individual who’ll sit there like an imbecile until someone says something to him, at which point he’ll mumble something incoherently and return to his stoic stupor when the attention is (thankfully) off him.

When I’m around other people, I’m just the ‘overweight’, ‘fugly’ guy who has no friends and nothing intelligible to say.

No-one witnesses my passions, my complication, my intricacies. They don’t see the random awesomeness that lurks beneath the surface because – whether a result of illness or trauma – I’m too terrified to let anyone see the ‘real’ Addy.

Certainly, there are times throughout this blog where my real self has shone through, and even the odd occasion when I’ve been able to show this to the world, but they are in no way as frequent or noticeable as I would like.

Perhaps one day I’ll find a coping strategy that manages my negative self-view and lack of confidence, because this is far and away the worst thing in regard to my mental illness.


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Teaser Tuesday (September 24)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along with Teaser Tuesdays! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Be careful not to include spoilers!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

◊~~~◊~~~◊

The Confidence Gap
by Dr Russ Harris

The Confidence Gap

◊~~~◊~~~◊

So, what’s everyone else reading at the moment? Go on, give us a tease…


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Acting Up (Week 01: Addy vs His Triggers)

In October last year, following several years of social isolation, homelessness and severe mental health issues, I began working with a local organisation who describe themselves as being “a psychosocial rehabilitation day program who provide group and individual psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services” in order to “maximise the social and community participation of people with mental illness“.

During the first term I was with them (Oct-Dec) I kept my participation simple by attending two groups; a Scrabble group and an 8-Ball pool playing group. In the second term, I upped my quota by adding an ‘Acting’ group (to combat my social anxiety) and the Hearing Voices Support Group to the aforementioned two groups.

Today, following a brief sojourn, my third term with GT House commenced. This time around I’ve challenged myself a further by taking on a number of groups that will tackle key components of my mental health; my anxiety, my trauma and my recovery.

Given the more educational and challenging nature of the groups I’m undertaking this term (it’s a little hard to write entertaining weekly accounts of whipping people’s asses at Scrabble unless you take a more literal, fictional viewpoint!) I’ve decided to write weekly accounts of some of these groups in the hope that other people will glean knowledge and inspiration from my (occasionally embarrassing) anxiety and determination to become a better version of myself.

One of these groups is Acting Up, which is described in the program as: “an opportunity to express yourself in many different ways. From discussing favourite films and books to experiencing some new ones. Gain confidence by participating in different drama activities and acting exercises. This is a great opportunity to learn some new skills and have some fun.”

A perfect fit for someone with a passion for film, television, books, acting, creativity and a desire to gain confidence and (finally) have some fun in life again.

Will this group help reduce my anxiety? Increase my confidence? See me gain a few new friends? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! :)

fame-the-movie1

No denim jackets, afros, leg warmers or leotards were worn during this group…perhaps next week! :p

A polite request…

Under normal circumstances I am not a fan of the ‘read more’ button. Normally, I reserve its use only for posts of epic length and/or boredom inducing whiney tediousness. However, it’s use today is for neither of these reasons but for something entirely different.

I am aware that some of the staff at GT House (and Gateway) read this blog from time to time, so it is to them I politely request to read no further in this post. This is not because I’m about to insult the organisation (quite the opposite) but because it reveals something I’m not comfortable with the workers knowing at this point in time. It’s nothing bad, saucy or intimate, just something mental health related that I’m sure I’ll share somewhere down the track.

So, as you’re workers in the mental health field (ahhh, isn’t emotional blackmail fun!) I would be most grateful if you could respect my privacy on this occasion.

Thank you kindly :)

Everyone else may continue (if you wish to!) :)

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Would you mind if I pretended I was someone else, with courage in love and war.

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is:
Take a line from a song that you love or connect with.
Turn that line into the title of your post.

We spend our lives wanting to be someone else, deriding and criticising every aspect of our appearance, personality and heart.

Our bums are too big, our bodies are too fat, our nipples too inverted, our courage too slight, our bank balance too small, our toes too abnormal, our hearts too broken, our mistakes too defining, our lips too thin, our backs too hairy, our fantasies too twisted, our lives never good enough, our days spent trying to earn love, recognition, forgiveness and respect from everyone under the sun (including ourselves).

Yet through all this self-hate and self-criticism we never realise how perfect we are in our entirety.

We are unique. We are beautiful. We are amazing. Every single one of us.

So perhaps we should stop wanting, dreaming, desiring, criticising, hating and pretending to be someone else. Perhaps we should just be who we are and be happy with that person.

For there is no-one else in the world quite like us.

Weak in the Knees, officially my favourite song of all time, from my favourite artist of all time.

 


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Sunday Stealing: Self Image

This week, we conclude the epic 100 Question meme that began here and continued here and here.

84. Describe the routine of a normal day for you:

I wake up after a couple of hours sleep feeling exhausted, confused and blargh. I switch on the radio to catch up with the day’s news and current affairs and then read my daily websites to explore different stances and opinions on the day’s news and current affairs.

After this I write a few blog posts, only some of which get published, before catching up with antics on the fried gold blogs I follow. After this I usually mosey down the road to wander around doing very little before returning home to cook dinner, listen to the radio, write more blog posts before finally going to bed (usually around 2-3am.)

Following the odd random dream (usually sexually based) and nightmare (occasionally sexually based) I wake up after a couple of hours sleep feeling exhausted, confused and blargh. I switch on the radio to catch up with the news and current affairs and then read my…

85. What is your greatest strength as a person?

As I’ve said previously, I consider my greatest strength to be my ‘inner strength’; the only thing that has driven me through the years of nightmare. If it weren’t for this stubbornness I would have been dead a long, long time ago.

86. What is your greatest weakness?

My erratic moods coupled with social anxiety.

This combination affects my ability to be there for the people I care about (see: Grace in 2008, Kathy in 2007 amongst others), my ability to focus on what I want to do (see: NaNoWriMo 2012, any of my writing projects), keep me from writing emails (see the length of time it takes me to response to emails), prevents me from commenting on websites (see the 12 articles I want to comment on at the moment, but can’t) and generally impacts on every area of my life.

Although I abhor blaming my mental illness for things, especially the first item above, it would be wrong of me to say it wasn’t part of the cause. I hate it, I wish I was able to communicate normally, I’ve never come to terms with it, and only once came close to overcoming it.

87. Are you going to run for President in 2016?

Yes. But I’m not telling you what Presidency I’ll be running for :p

88. Are you generally self-contained?

The last time I checked all my organs were located within my body. So yes, I guess I am self-contained.

However, should I ever find a rogue kidney or spleen lurking under the sofa cushions, I’ll happily redact my answer.

89. Are you generally organized or messy?

Everything external (flat, computer files, objects, paperwork) are generally perfect.

Everything internal (mind, memories, emotions) are generally chaotic and messy.

90. Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at, and three things you consider yourself to be very bad at:

Three things I am good at:

1) Creating
2) Cunnilingus
3) Honesty

Also, amongst many others: writing, cooking omelette sandwiches, photography, giving massages (especially backs & buttocks) and empathy.

Three things I am bad at:

1) Talking to other people
2) Writing timely replies to emails.
3) Seeing myself as a decent human being (thanks for the long-term psychological damage, emotionally abusive ex-girlfriend!)

Also, amongst many others: [given I’m trying to think more positively about myself, I refuse to write any more things I’m bad at today!]

91. Do you like your neighbours? Do they like you?

One of my neighbours is an incredibly annoying. If he’s not playing the same Evanesence song incredibly loudly for six hours straight, he’s blasting the sounds of first-person shooter video games through my wall. If he’s not blasting the sounds of first-person video games through my wall, he’s slamming doors left, right and center. If he’s not slamming doors left, right and center he’s leaving his front door open whilst turning his TV up to maximum volume so I can hear every syllable of the show (usually reality TV) perfectly.

He’s not a bad guy, he just doesn’t seem to be able to understand the concept that sound travels.

As for whether they like me? Probably not. But I don’t spend much time communicating with them so they don’t know me very well.
(Note: this is social anxiety, not snobbishness!)

92. Are you different in public then you act among friends?

Given my lack of friends in the real world and my social isolation I’m unable to answer this question. Sorry.

93. What goal do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime?

To be a: friend, a husband(/defacto partner) and a father, concurrently.

94. Where do you see yourself in 4 years?

I’d be surprised if I wasn’t dead – but then I said the same thing four years ago (and I’m still amazed I’m still alive) – so who knows where I will be in four years. Hopefully in a relationship with an intelligent, gorgeous, inspiring, compassionate, (kinky), woman whilst earning money through writing and creating.

Probably doing exactly the same as in question 84 above.

95. If you could choose, how would you want to leave this world?

Given my current increase of suicidal thoughts as a result of the changes that have been occurring, bipolar mood swings and the continuing belief I’m not a very good human being, I don’t really want to answer this question today. Sorry.

96. If you had only one week to live, what three things would be bumped up on the bucket list?

Item 1, Item 36, Item 100.

Although in all honesty, if I had only one week to live I would dedicate that week to knocking as many items off the list as possible!

97. What is one thing about you that really stands out?

See my answer to (85) above. Also: my honesty, my creativity, my drive to succeed, my butt and my passion (which is immense!)

98. What three words best describe your personality?

Creative. Passionate. Eclectic.

Runner ups: Honest. Kinky. Friggin’ awesome.

99. What three words would others probably use to describe you?

Note: This answer was written, begrudgingly, after collating all comments received over the years from other people:

Worthless. Repulsive. Useless.

Runner ups: Evil. Better off dead. Friggin’ awesome.

100. What advice do you have to give?