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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Quietly freaking out!

A last minute emergency

Usually when I vanish from my blog it’s because some naughty little depression demon has started running riot in my mind…but not this time. The reason I’ve been absent for much of November is because I’ve been in full preparatory mode for my upcoming adventure to Melbourne. I’ve been running back and forth booking accommodation, changing accommodation, sorting out train tickets, making sure I have enough clean clothing to take with me and generally dealing with every minor (and major) emergency that could threaten the awesomeness of the trip.

All in all I haven’t done too badly.

A last-minute change to my train plans was sorted easily, whilst an unexpected hiccup with my accommodation plans was (in my mind) handled with aplomb. In fact, the only thing which has destabilized me is something that no-one could have seen coming.

Earlier today, as I nonchalantly cycled to Albury to procure some new socks, I was forced off the road and into a sign post after a car-passenger opened their door without warning. Nothing too bad, I hear you say, but when you take into account that the collision with the sign post broke my only pair of glasses (which I actually need to see with!) it becomes something a little more urgent.

Unfortunately, five different optometrists were unable to fix my glasses, so unless I can fix them with superglue this evening, vision will be something of a problem during my first holiday in over five years!

Bargaining with my little devils…

Anyway…trying to look on the positive side of things…I am not the only one getting excited (and fearful) of my forthcoming trip. Each of my people have been reacting in their own unique fashion: Meadhbh is gloriously excited by the thought of moseying around her third favourite city again; Audrey is chomping at the bit over the possibility of bumping into her real-life counterpart (which isn’t all that likely, but the possibility is still there); Vanessa is angry about the whole affair and would prefer me to stay at home rather than do something I’m actually looking forward to doing; whilst Shay – being the annoying misogynist he is – is eagerly anticipating the chance to check out a whole city worth of female talent.

However, all of them (bar Meadhbh) are not looking forward to the World Hearing Voices Congress that I will be attending for three days next week. Much like the Hearing Voices Support Group I go to, they would much rather me forget about this element of the holiday and focus on other (more fun for them) things instead.

So, in an attempt to deal with this potentially damaging problem, I’ve struck a bargain with them. We’ve decided that if they behave themselves during the congress, they can each choose one thing for us to do during our time in Melbourne. In spite of many noisy conversations over the last few days they’ve each agreed to behave themselves if they can do the following:

  • Meadhbh has decided she wants to go to the zoo to check out all the cute and fluffy animals.
  • Audrey wants to spend time admiring the art at the National Gallery of Victoria.
  • Vanessa wants to go and see the musical King Kong.
  • Whilst Shay wants to go to a nightclub (!)

I have made it abundantly clear to both Vanessa and Shay that their chosen activities may not be possible due to monetary funds and/or severe anxiety so their choices may change over the coming days, but whatever happens they have each agreed to write a blog post about their ‘treat’ as/when it occurs.

Quietly freaking out!

I’m actually quite proud of myself for striking this bargain and easing their criticism of my attending the congress as it gives me a little more peace and quiet to deal with my own issues over going.

My fears are four fold:

1. I’ve never been to a mental health related conference so I really have no idea what to expect,
2. Over 700 people are registered to attend (and I don’t deal well with large volumes of people)
3. Because Gateway have paid for me to attend I feel obligated to see as many of the talks and/or demonstrations as possible, even if I have been triggered and/or just need a breather to calm down.
and
4. I’m still unsure how I will actually go being back in Melbourne (and all the memories it will entail)

Only time will tell how things pan out with the congress, but right now, I am quietly freaking out about the whole thing.

But aside from these (to be expected) anxieties over the congress and being back in Melbourne after all that happened there, I am looking forward to my holiday. I’m looking forward to meandering around the shops, cycling along the beach front, reading books under a gum tree, enjoying an eclectic choice of foodstuffs and doing as much as possible to chill out and relax.

And I’m soooooooo looking forward to watching the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who…so hopefully by then I will have found a fix for my glasses emergency, otherwise I won’t be able to actually see it!