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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World Hearing Voices Day: A few of Audrey’s favourite things…

To celebrate World Hearing Voice’s Day, I asked each of my voices whether or not they’d like to write a post themed around ‘a few of my favourite things’. I didn’t stipulate how they should interpret this as I wanted the post to be in their own voice.

I’m aware that allowing my people to write their own posts will be confronting to many, but World Hearing Voices Day is about celebrating hearing voices as part of the diversity of human experience, and including my people is how I’ve chosen to start some conversations today, so feel free to ask myself (or Audrey) any questions in the comments field below.

Note: The reason this post is a couple of days late of World Hearing Voice’s Day is because, after writing it, Audrey was not entirely happy with how it turned out so requested it not be published. Since then, she has been feeling guilty that she is the only one of my primary voices who didn’t share something so asked for it to be published regardless.

A few of my favourite things…in Lego!

by Audrey

veryhungrycaterpillar

As you can probably tell from this post, one of my favourite things is Lego. So much so that I tried to theme this post around this most wonderful of creations.

As for some of my other favourite things, first and foremost there is Lego Batman, which regular readers of this blog are already aware of.

My second greatest passion after this most swoon-worthy of superheroes is books; reading them, holding them, smelling them, doing everything I possibly can to them. And not those annoying eBooks, but proper made from paper, sweat and tears books!

I’ll be honest, the picture I chose to illustrate this particular passion isn’t quite what I’d wanted. Although I have nothing against this children’s book, my love lies elsewhere, namely in the realms of historical and contemporary literature, but this was the only example of a book constructed out of Lego that I could find, so bear in mind that it is illustrative of my love of books rather than very hungry caterpillars!

For the record, in case anyone is interested, some of my favourite books are: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Broom of the System, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Tree of Man, David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet and Dante‘s Inferno (which is illustrated in the slide show at the bottom of this post).

Moving away from books and Lego Batman (just so you’re aware, a book about Lego Batman would be the kissquite possibly the most magnificent thing in creation!) my heart lies in art.

I cherish the work of the Renaissance and Impressionist painters but care not a jot for what many people call ‘contemporary art’. I also have an appreciation for Aboriginal art, including painting and sand-painting images in this style myself.

In fact, adorning a wall in Andrew’s lounge room is a mighty platypus that I painted a few short months ago.

The remainder of my favourite things are quite common and altogether rather tame compared to my companion’s posts. However much I appreciate the female form, I wouldn’t dream of posting such images as Shay did and however much I enjoy berating Andrew from time to time, I wouldn’t upset him by rubbing it in the faces of those he writes for. No, if you set aside art, books, and Lego Batman, my soul sings whenever I am outdoors; walking along the banks of a river, watching birds swoop through the sky or simply basking in the sunshine in the middle of a flower covered meadow.

Alas, there are few meadows nearby, so I’ve had to make do with regular trips to a public park that has a quite inspiring lake, populated by some quite evil little ducks. Birds that definitely make the list of my favourite things!

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Thirteen guilty pleasures…

guiltypleasures

A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The “guilt” involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes.

Tremors (and Tremors 2: Aftershocks)

tremors

Pop quiz…spot the “Jurassic Park” star! :p

What do Twelve Angry Men, Zodiac, My Neighbour Totoro, Roman Holiday, Bandslam, Sleepy Hollow, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Batman Forever have in common?

I don’t expect you to know the answer – if you did, you’d be quite amazing – as there’s no actor, director or theme that connects them all. What they all share is that they’re all movies I can watch and then immediately re-watch without ever getting bored.

However, more than any of the eight movies on that list, I can watch the first two Tremors movies repeatedly without ever growing tired of their gleeful kitschness. In fact, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen these two movies in my life! If you’re not familiar with them, get ye to the corner, for they are two of the greatest comedy-horrors ever made!

Cheese and Chips

chips and cheese

Trust me, this combo is worth the risk of heart attack!

In fish ‘n’ chip shops all over Scotland you can purchase a portion of chips drowning in artery choking grated cheese.

In Australia, you can’t.

Bastards!

Highlander: THE SERIES

Highlander

I don’t like shouty-caps very much, but it is essential you realise that my guilty pleasure is the TELEVISION SERIES of Highlander not the dodgy movie franchise!

Highlander: The Series is the only television series I have watched from the very first screening of episode one to the very first screening of the final episode without missing a single episode throughout those six years. When I was in Vancouver I spent several days roaming the streets of the city touring various locations used in the series (in fact, I had a small squee moment travelling from the airport to the hostel hours after I’d arrived when I recognised one of the bridges!).

I love everything about this show! From Adrian Paul, Jim Byrnes and Peter Wingfield to the fact they actually shot on location in Glenfinnan.

I miss this show more than any other and lament that it’s not available on DVD in Australia!

Vacuuming

vacuuming

Why would you vacuum whilst wearing high heels? Why!?

Some people hate doing it. I’m definitely not one of them! :p

Mission Impossible 2

Mission Impossible 2

Starring Dougray “I turned down the role of Wolverine for this” Scott

I saw this for the first time at a cinema in Vancouver. I then watched it a second time at a cinema in Toronto and a third time at a cinema in Montreal.

One of the worst movies ever made…but Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott, Woo’s OTT direction and Hans Zimmer‘s blistering score makes it the guiltiest of my guilty pleasures!

Lego [insert franchise title here] video games

lego supergirl

Lego Supergirl’s not a patch on Lego Catwoman! :p

It’s not just because I develop weird unrequited crushes on female characters (Lego Catwoman…swoon!) that I love these games so much. For years they’ve been a source of relaxation and distraction from the nightmare that is my life.

When I was going through a very bad period (early 2008) it was Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the DS that kept me relatively sane and distracted me from the chaos running rampant in my mind. Later that year, when my hypomania ended in Alice Springs and I realised the problems I’d created for myself, it was Lego Batman that pulled my mind from the darkness.

Even last Christmas I was able to alleviate my depression a little by venturing into Lego Middle Earth.

There’s just something about running around building random Lego objects and collecting studs (oh, those little tinkling sound effects) that puts a smile on my face! :)

Note: I have played every Lego game to 100% completion apart from Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Years 5-7 because the franchise is a trigger for me! :/

Jeffster

jeffster

Without them, your kids will grow up listening to Snow Patrol and Coldplay.

If you don’t know who Jeffster are then you obviously don’t watch Chuck.

If you don’t watch Chuck…you really, really, should!

Britney Spears

britney

If only Mumford and Sons had been around when I went to Canada, then people might think I was hip (tragically so!)

It’s disconcerting how many of my guilty pleasures remind me of Canada, so much so that I think it’s worthwhile pointing out I didn’t plan this to happen! :p

When I arrived in Canada Oops I did it again and Stronger were on constant rotation. This prompted me to purchase the album on cassette (remember those?) from a music store in Victoria, British Columbia. Ever since, both of these songs have remind me of this wonderful period of my life – to the point Britney Spears and her music will always hold a special place in my heart.

Due South

due south

I’ve always wanted to wear a Mountie costume. Just saying! ;)

All hail the Canadians, for this is one of the greatest television series of all time! I loved it throughout season one; I adored it throughout season two; and I cherished it throughout the much maligned season three. The soundtrack (the combination of Jay Semko’s sublime score and contemporary Canadian songs) is magnificent, the performances from Paul Gross, David Marciano and Callum Keith Rennie are divine and the writing, especially from Oscar-winning Paul Haggis is tremendous.

Like Highlander: The Series I have not seen this show for a long time, but unlike that other guilty pleasure, this is available in Australia; I just can’t afford it! :(

Top Gear Challenges & Road Trips

top gear

I don’t drive, I’ve never held a license and I don’t have an interest in automobiles.

However, I love the challenges and road trips that Clarkson, Hammond and May embark on from time to time. In fact, when I get seriously depressed and need some mindless entertainment, I’ll often turn to these specials to find the distraction I need.

My personal favourites are: the Polar Special, the aqua cars, the Vietnam special and the South America special (my absolute favorite!)

Dungarees

dungarees

Dungarees…the sexiest form of denim, bar none!

Within twenty-four hours of being in Canada I began (in the back of my journal) something I called the Canadian Dungarees Count (CDC). This oddity was an ongoing count of the number of women I saw wearing dungarees throughout this great land. By the time I boarded a plane at Montreal to travel back to London, this count had reached triple figures!

Mmmmm, gotta love Canada! :p

Naughty Fiction

naughty fiction

Life Lesson #23: If you’RE (as in the contraction of ‘you ARE’) going to write on the internet – check yoUR (as in belonging to you) grammar before publishing! Grrrr!

I have been reading (and writing) naughty fiction since I was in my mid-teens. Not only is it so much more entertaining than watching pornography, it’s so very much more arousing because you have to use the body’s largest erogenous zone; the mind.

Over the years I’ve had many stories published in far-flung corners of the internet that would make most people (amongst other things) blush several shades of crimson.

Perhaps I should start collecting them together somewhere on this blog (password protected, of course!) ;)

Rolos

rolos

I haven’t had a Rolo for years…I want one now! :p

No matter how much I adore these bites of chocolate and caramel goodness…I will always give my last one to someone I care about! :p

Over to you…what are your guilty pleasures?


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Day 01: Thirteen weird things I do when I’m alone

For the last several weeks I’ve been lost in a nasty depressive episode that is/has been incredibly difficult to navigate. Although I’m fighting hard to push past this episode I’ve yet to see any real improvement in my mood. Things haven’t gotten any worse but they’re also not getting any better.

However much I want to write blogs, emails and undertake activities as I was last year, my brain is not functioning as well as it was as a result of the illness I suffer from. I begin writing something and within seconds lose my train of thought, sometimes for hours/days at a time (e.g. this post has taken 6 days to write!). Even though I know this isn’t my fault – for this illness isn’t my fault – I still seem to spend an inordinate amount of time apologising for how I feel; and I’m tired of it.

The simple fact is I’m not in a great place. I know I haven’t been blogging much. I know I haven’t been responding to comments and emails. I know I’m doing all I can to fight through this and get myself into a functioning head space again. A fight I will keep undertaking until I succeed or drop dead from sheer exhaustion. As people (psychologists, family, counsellors, random strangers) keep telling me I shouldn’t be apologising for I feel, I’ve decided the time as come to listen to them.

As I wrote once before on this blog: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” And trust me, this isn’t even me at my worst! :p

In an effort to start writing more regularly and pull myself out of this funk I have decided to undertake a 30 day blog challenge I found online. It’s worked in the past, so hopefully it will work again now.

Enjoy :)

Day One: Weird things you do when you’re alone

seuss

1. Pretend I’m The Doctor/Jack Bauer/Chuck/Walter Bishop/Insert (awesome) character here…

Who hasn’t done this when they’re alone? Granted, Walter Bishop is an odd choice, but we all have film and television characters we wish we could be. Sometimes (not all the time) when I’m watching the aforementioned television shows I will act-along with my best impersonation. My Chuck is bad. My Jack Bauer – given over ten years of practice – is pretty awesome. Everybody now…dammit!

2. Have tea-parties with hallucinations

I’ve written about this in the past. Granted I have no memory of the evening itself, but you have to admit, it’s a pretty fraking weird thing to do!

3. Shower whilst wearing shorts and a t-shirt

This is something else I have written about in the past. In case you missed it, I don’t shower whilst clothed purely out of choice, but as a result of the annoying and frustrating body image issues I’ve developed over the years courtesy of mental health, anxiety and abuse trauma.

4. Draw random pictures on my arms/legs in a red pen

This is something I started doing a few years ago in an effort to control my self-harm. Rather than taking to myself with a knife, I would draw lines on my body where normally I would cut. In time, these lines became patterns and then a little after that, intricate drawings. Although it doesn’t always work, it is still a primary weapon in my arsenal of self-harm distractions.

insteadofcutting

5. Air-Conduct

Some people air-guitar, some air-keyboard. Others spend their free time playing the air-drums or indulging in the delights of the air-cello. Me? I air-conduct film scores. Got a problem with that?

6. Cut sandwiches into random shapes

Some may consider this childish. Others may consider it the product of an insane mind. Me? I consider carving sandwiches into random shapes somewhat creative, albeit oddly so. I’m not just talking dinosaurs or farm animals. I’m talking sandwiches that look like the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a Canadian Maple Leaf, a hairbrush (with grated cheese for the ‘bristles’) or Federation Square.

I call it sandwich art.

7. Write naughty stories

Is this weird? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But this is something I’ve been doing since a teenager. If I’m bored, blocked (creatively) or just a little horny I take pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and knock out a naughty piece of fiction inspired by my kinky fantasies.

naughtystories

8. Write quizzes

I have been known, whilst bored, to write trivia quizzes. These quizzes then sit on my hard-drive/note-book for the rest of eternity never seeing the light of day (I currently have 194 of them!)

Sometimes they are themed around a particular topic, other times general knowledge or current affairs related. I’m not sure why I do this – although my long-held dream of becoming a trivia quiz host would probably have something to do with it.

9. Read aloud to myself

I have been known to read aloud to myself. I don’t know why I do this, for it’s much more ‘normal’ to read a book in one’s head or read aloud to someone else. Although there are occasions when I’m reading to my hallucinations (when they request it), most of the time I’m just reading aloud to myself.

10. Brainstorm possibilities for new LEGO games

Most gamers will be aware of the series of LEGO games that are available across multiple platforms. So far we’ve enjoyed LEGO Lord of the Rings, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Given my fetish for these games, sometimes I day-dream a wish list for future installments.

Surely LEGO Chronicles of Narnia and LEGO Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be available one day, for they would be beyond awesome! :p

But how about LEGO 24, LEGO Dexter, LEGO Goonies, LEGO Aliens/Predator, LEGO Fringe or LEGO The Walking Dead?

Or perhaps rather than drawing from film, Travellers Tales could draw their inspiration from literature and present us with LEGO Bronte (incorporating Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), LEGO Austen (perhaps to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice?) or – for the more adult/kinkier minded gamer – LEGO Fifty Shades of Grey?

But I will say one thing. If they don’t release a LEGO Doctor Who to coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary this year, they are missing a Fried Gold opportunity!

legobuffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer…as realised in Lego! How awesome is Lego Anya?

11. Whittle

I haven’t done this for a very long time but I used to spend a lot of alone time whittling. It was soothing, creative, relaxing and somewhat meditative. Granted, sometimes my horses looked more like otters and my otters more like artichokes, but there’s something altogether wonderful about taking a piece of wood and turning it into something else.

12. Cover myself in squeezy-cheese

Okay, so I only did this once (when I was drunk and wanted to know what it felt like) but twelve items in and I’m running out of ideas that won’t make me look completely and utterly insane.

13. This one is password protected as it’s a mite personal :p

Like I said, I’m running out of ‘mainstream’ ideas but this ‘non-mainstream’ one is perfectly valid. It’s also incredibly personal so needs to be password protected :p

Note: for anyone wondering why masturbation isn’t on this list, which is quite often an activity people enjoy when they’re alone…there is nothing weird about masturbation! It is a perfectly natural act that should be celebrated, embraced and enjoyed by all. After all, if we don’t know how to turn ourselves on, how can we expect other people to do it?

Tomorrow: How have I changed in the past two years?