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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Nine places I’d like to go in 2014

One of the hardest things about living in poverty is how hard it is to actually go anywhere. Most of the time I’m thinking exclusively about food and survival, not where my annual vacation is going to be. But after last year’s Melbourne trip, I realise the power that having something to look forward to can provide. As such, I haven’t simply chosen destinations that I know I’ll never get to, but rather a mix of the highly unlikely and absolutely doable.

I may as well kick off this list with the places that, if money were no obstacle, I wouldn’t hesitate to visit over the next twelve months, beginning with Canada. Ever since visiting this wide, luscious land in 2000 I’ve wanted to return. I’ve wanted to hike the great lakes and forests of Jasper, meander the endless streets of Toronto and visit, for the first time, the provinces of the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland. But as such a trip would be a mammoth (and expensive) undertaking, I can’t see it happening unless I happen to win the lottery. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop dreaming! :)

Up there with Canada as dream destinations would be a return to my home away from home, Inverness, and a couple of weeks in the European city of Greece, not because I want to help them fiscally but because in October they are hosting the World Hearing Voices Congress, which I would rather like to attend.

But like I said, in order to succeed in some of these destinations, I’ve had to think a little closer to home, with the obvious starting points being Woolshed Falls and Tasmania, the latter of which I’ve wanted to visit since before I arrived in this sunburnt land.

Two more places I’d like to visit over the next twelve months are rather non-specific, as many destinations all over the world would suit my purposes. Following last year’s regret of not visiting the ocean when I was in Melbourne, I am more resolved than ever to paddle in the cool sea this year. I’d also very much like to attend a pub trivia night so will need to manufacture a trivia team to compete at any of the plentiful local venues who offer such entertaining evenings! :)

And lastly, I have chosen a place that is far more spiritual than geographical, for I would very much like to pay a visit to the state of complete relaxation; where none of life’s stressors, worries and frustrations are invited.

Complete Relaxation

~◊~

Previous installments of the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge:

| Day One | Day Two | Day Three |
| Day Four | Day Five | Day Six |
| Day Seven | Day Eight |

~◊~

Other wonderful bloggers participating in the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge:

| Marci, Mental Health and More | Many of Us |
| Looking for Lucy |

If I’ve missed you from the above list, please let me know in the comments field below and I’ll add you as soon as humanly possibly so everyone can read your magnificent responses! :)


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Working with Voices: Dreams

Previously, in my series completing the Working with Voices: Victim to Victor workbook…
~ Introduction
~

stars

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
~ Louisa May Alcott ~

My life goals…

“Close your eyes and think about what you want to achieve by working though this workbook. Spend at least thirty minutes simply thinking about where you want to be in your life.”

Several weeks ago, during the second week of my Hearing Voices Support Group, we completed this very same exercise. During that group we had considerably less than thirty minutes to think about where we would like to be in life, but I wrote the following dreams:

◊ To feel more connected to myself both physically and mentally
◊ To no longer be afraid of being homeless again
◊ To be able to talk to people without intense anxiety (making me look like a twat!)
◊ To acknowledge my achievements instead of constantly berating them
◊ To feel happiness again
◊ To see my writing published again
◊ Increase my confidence
◊ To no longer be isolated and alone
◊ To have a better relationship with my voices
◊ To love and be loved in return (cheers, Moulin Rouge!)
◊ To believe in myself
◊ To have a pet turtle (whom I shall name Magnus)
◊ To have a family
◊ To no longer be traumatized by abuse
◊ To be able to share my thoughts without fear of judgment, ridicule and humiliation

Now that I have had more time to contemplate, I would like to add the following to that list:

◊ To better manage my insomnia and sleeping patterns
◊ To build a stronger and more varied set of coping skills
◊ To become a functioning and contributing member of society
◊ To find a head space where I am not controlled by fear, negative thought or anxiety

If, in the future, I think of any further dreams I will add them to the above list alongside a notation of when it was added.

My goals for 2013…

“Then ask what would be realistic to achieve in one years’ time.”

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post in which I shared thirteen of my goals for 2013. As it fits neatly into this section of the workbook I have rewritten the thirteen goals, along with any updates of my progress (if there has been any).

1. Cross item one from the 101 things I want to do before I die list
Having narrowly missed out on this a few weeks ago (cheers poverty and anxiety!) this may (and I stress MAY) happen on July 13th…if all goes to plan! :p
2. Return to the Kings Domain so I can scream ‘Fuck you homelessness, I beat your ass!”
As item (1) involves travelling to Melbourne, this may (and I stress MAY) happen on July 14th…if all goes to plan! :p
3. Continue going to the Hearing Voices Support Group on a weekly basis
So far I’ve missed only one group this year and am actually looking forward (!) to attending on Friday after the break for Easter last week! :)
4. Keep working toward obtaining ongoing mental health support
I still haven’t found the courage to see a psychiatrist but I haven’t ruled it out, yet. I will also be doing more therapy focussed groups next term.
5. Start writing my novel(s) again
6. Smile more
7. Stop procrastinating about writing and sending emails
8. Expand my social networking presence
9. Go on a holiday
10. Make at least one new friend (in real-life)
11. See at least 6 films in the cinema
Still only seen the one. So now I have to see five films in eight months. Not looking good! :/
12. Write at least one blog post in every month of the year
January…check, February…check, March…check, April…check! Yep, all going well so far!
13. To stop being so hard on myself all the time and begin believing how seriously freaking awesome I am!
No change yet.

And as I am no longer constrained by the limitations of a Thursday Thirteen post, I would like to add:

14. To exchange a ‘hug’
Because it’s been far (FAR) too long since I was last hugged!

hugs

As it’s been so long since I hugged anyone I realised some research was necessary if I stand any chance of achieving this goal. I’m not sure if I’m capable of a “flying hug” just yet…perhaps that will be something to work toward in 2014! :p

~ Next ~
Nightmares


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Dear Older Me,

Today’s prompt from the WordPress Daily Post blog is: write a letter to yourself in 20 years.

Dear Older Me,

You are probably dead.

Here’s hoping it was quick, painless and didn’t win a Darwin award.

Love and Hugs,

Younger You xx

PS: If you’re not dead:

◊ Give your wife a kiss and a bum squeeze from me. Don’t look at me like that! I’m you remember, only more Hobo-Chic than Silver Fox. There’s not a chance in hell you made it to fifty-three trapped in the same isolation you used to be in. You know as well as I that would have killed you long ago :) Besides, I know how hard you worked to get where you are because I’m the one doing all the hard work – and there’s no chance someone as awesome as us could work so hard and not get a payoff from it!

◊ Are you still writing All that I am, all that I ever was. Please tell me we’re at least in contention for longest running blog in the history of the world? You know that would be freakin’ awesome!

◊ I’m hoping that you told our family tales of yesteryear when you took them on a tour of Scotland. If you didn’t, why not? Seriously. Do you not remember how happy you were back them; gazing out over the loch hunting for Nessie (your kids will love that), hiking through Glen Nevis, taking boat trips to the Isle of Rum, skinny dipping in Loch Shiel? Okay, perhaps save that last one for your wife only, don’t want to scar the children for life! Hell, you better have fulfilled your fantasy of skinny dipping with someone in Loch Shiel…if not, the two of you should go back there this instant and get all nekkid! :p

◊ If I were to time-travel to a bookstore twenty years from now, will I be able to find a copy of The Ghosts That Haunt Me? Because if I do time-travel and I don’t find a copy with our name on it…you and I are going to have a serious conversation, young-at-heart man!

◊ If you haven’t already, you need to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the past against those you love. They wouldn’t want you holding onto that guilt forever. Well, not all of them, anyway.

◊ Are your kids close to P&K’s kids? I’m seriously hoping that they are. If not, get to it!

◊ Please, please, for the love of all those mystical things in the shadows, tell me you never became homeless again? If you did, then we’re really gonna have that serious conversation!

◊ If you haven’t crossed at least 50% from your bucket list you’re going to have to promise me you’ll dedicate the next twelve months of your life to succeeding in that goal.

◊ If you haven’t crossed off item one – WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!? DO IT NOW!

◊ And c’mon, am I not allowed to fantasize about giving future Mrs. Addy (or did you take her name…I bet you did, didn’t you?) a wee squeeze on her beautiful posterior? She probably secretly loves it. No way someone would have married you if they didn’t like the occasional surreptitious bum squeeze when you give them a passionate kiss :p

PPS: Rejoice! You finally wrote a PS longer than the body of the letter!

PPPS: In all seriousness, I hope that when you read this letter you will look back on the last twenty years of your life and be kind to yourself. Remember, but don’t dwell, on all the dark places you visited. Remember all those times when you wanted to give up, when you lived completely alone, when you had to fight the daily ‘getting out of bed’ battle, when your home was a park in Inner Melbourne.

And as you remember all those times, look around you; at your wife, at your children, at your home, at all the wonderful things in your life, and just let yourself have one moment, just one moment when (out of earshot of the kids) you stand up and proclaim “I fucking did it!”

Because you really are awesome, Mr. Used to be Addy til you took your wife’s name!

But hey, you don’t need me telling you that. You’ve known it all along.

You just didn’t believe it until now. :)