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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Alastair’s Photo Fiction: I wonder what I should be like then?

Many years and lifetimes ago I was a prolific and once-published writer of fiction. Today, I am but a man who struggles to remember what it was like to write and create, let alone allow himself the pleasure of doing so.

Recently, the quite magnificent Alastair of Alastair’s Blog began a new blogging project in which every week he publishes one of his own photographs as a prompt for short fiction. In the hope it will cause my dormant writing desires to resurface, I have decided to play along.

I wonder what I should be like then?
~ by Addy ~

Any glass of mysterious translucent liquid that came with its own neatly hand-written card instructing ‘drink me’ should be approached with caution. Or at least that’s what Alice had taught him when he was younger.

When he had decided on this course of action, he had not expected to remember the smell of his mother’s eucalypt hand lotion as they turned the pages of his favourite book.

When he’d exchanged his hard-earned money, he’d not expected to remember the passionate night of life making that followed his girlfriend putting on an Alice costume.

When he’d signed the contract admonishing the company of any possible side-effects, he had not expected to remember his daughter’s giggles as he shared with her his Wonderland for the first, and only, time.

As his trembling fingers curled around the glass every mistake, regret, cock-up and calamity flashed before his eyes. Drink me…the card accompanying the glass said…and you will forget everything.

As the glass touched his lips, all he could see were her wide green eyes, glistening from hours of laughter and smiles. A tear trickled down his cheek.

“But if I forget you,” he whispered, “I wonder what I should be like then?”

[Word Count: 200]


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World Suicide Prevention Day: Breaking the silence

In 2000, I discovered that a wonderful human being I’d spent time with in Canada had taken her own life. Even now, twelve years later, I still think of the hole that Rachel left in my heart.

In 2009, I befriended a beautiful soul who had contacted me through this blog. She was searching for hope, someone to help her fight the demons inside her as all her friends had fled. Unfortunately, her pain overwhelmed her and she committed suicide. I’ve never forgiven myself for Stephanie’s death.

In 2010, a homeless man I had acquainted myself with decided to end his isolated, unloved life. He never revealed his hopelessness to me or anyone as he believed no-one cared. He was wrong.

In 2011, an acquaintance in a boarding house I was living in ended his life during a drug induced episode.

Suicide has touched my life far too much. Two members of my family have attempted suicide on multiple occasions, on at least two of these it was only good-timing that enabled them to get the medical intervention needed to save their lives. Close friends have attempted suicide; all good, beautiful, talented people who felt they could no longer deal with this crazy little thing called life.

The first time I considered suicide was during my teenage years. The first time I actively acted on these thoughts was in 2000, a few depression filled months after learning of Rachel’s death. In 2006, my desire to end my meager existence overwhelmed all rational thought. In 2007, I took both an overdose and, a few months later, tried to hang myself following months of loss, pain and abuse.

Since then I have done what I could to seek help before these desires overwhelm me, but that hasn’t prevented at least one attempt a year for the last half a decade; the most recent of these being at the end of last year. All attempts to gain support have failed, leaving me fighting these feelings alone.

Something no-one should ever have to do.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Today is the day I can’t stop thinking of Rachel, Stephanie, Gareth and Malcolm; of the losses that could’ve been and the surprise that I am still here to write these words. There hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t mourned the un-necessary loss of these radiant souls. Not a week where I don’t feel the river of tears that coursed my cheeks or the sticky wet blood that stained my arm.

Our society has a tendency to bury suicide with codes and cleverly worded articles. To a degree I understand this need for caution; this need to protect those most vulnerable. But fostering such a shameful silence only encourages people who need help the most to remain silent themselves.

Not once, before any of my attempts did I turn to family or friends first, terrified of the judgmental shame I had convinced myself would follow.

Every day in Australia six people lose their life by suicide. Every year, over 2000 lives are needlessly lost, leaving behind millions of family, friends and loved ones who will never be able to heal their broken hearts.

Forever left wondering what could have been had they known of the pain their loved one was in.

If they had just asked “Hey, are you okay?”

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Today is the day my heart goes out to all who have lost people to suicide. The day where I beg of you to think of those you love and show them you care. To raise awareness of suicide and convince the world it needs to be talked about.

Today is the day I urge you to end the insidious silence surrounding the most preventable cause of death.

My articles:

In memory of Stephanie: Her Grace, My Guilt
In memory of Rachel: Because you never know if today will be your last

World Suicide Prevention Day (conversingwithnovels.wordpress.com)
Suicide prevention a responsibility of all of us (napavalleyregister.com)
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY – Sept 10th (thedepressedmoose.com)
The Funeral – world suicide prevention day (thedepressedmoose.com)
Creative not destructive – Suicide Prevention Day (radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com)
World Suicide Prevention Day (gempayten.wordpress.com)
A deadly silence that has to end (theage.com.au)

In memory of
Rachel, Stephanie, Gareth and Malcolm

You will never be forgotten