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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6 Things I can’t live without…

Whilst glancing at the published posts title a moment ago I realised that this is in fact my

but unlike my 100th blog post celebration there will be no such extravagant self-love here. I have after all cheated (a little) by importing several dozen posts from the early days of my blogging adventure, which have thrown the stats off a little :p

So I’ll put the cake away for later and instead focus my efforts on today’s daily challenge, which is six things I can’t live without.

For someone who’s life is a series of carefully manufactured protective measures this question is actually quite simple for me to answer. Balancing precariously over the abyss of self-harm and suicide on an almost daily basis I’d be long gone if it weren’t for several things I turn to when I slip into these darker emotional states.

1. My strength

I’m not talking about my physical strength here, but my emotional strength. Sure, there are many people out there who would question this. How can someone with emotional strength suffer a breakdown, from anxiety and panic attacks, from PTSD fuelled nightmares? Hell, how can someone with emotional strength attempt to kill themselves on a yearly basis or self-harm?

The reason I have such an insane pride of my emotional strength is because of all this. As I wrote recently:

But you know what?

I’m still fucking standing!

After years of misery, isolation, judgment, abuse, discrimination, homelessness and pain so intense I’d never wish it on my worst enemy…I’m still standing here, I’m still breathing and I’m still laughing!
from “Stop the abuse: why I left Twitter and why I’m returning

No-one, no matter what they do or say, will ever be able to make me doubt my strength. Ever.

Without it, I would have been dead years ago!

2. Cold Showers

This has nothing to do with the fact I haven’t got laid in years. Many years ago, when I first began trying to control my self-harm, I read that having a cold shower could distract you from committing an act of self-injury. So I tried it, and it was bloody cold, and it worked.

Although it’s not something I do on a daily basis I still, from time to time, force myself under a jet of cold water when the urge becomes too strong and nothing else works. For anyone battling with self-harm, it may be worth giving it a try one day.

Anything is better than self-harming, believe me :)

3. Red Felt Pens

This is something I only really started doing after I became homeless. I’d read in the past how it could help control self-harm urges but always talked myself out of giving it a try.

One particularly dark night in 2011; with no access to a cold shower, a friend to talk to, a TV to watch, music to listen to or any of my other fail safes, I walked to a Safeway supermarket and purchased a red pen. Retreating to my park in the northern suburbs of Melbourne I whipped my shirt off and began writing on my arm.

I wrote I fucking hate you followed by piss off c**t and a myriad of other self-hate syllables directed at both myself and my inner demons.

But after a while, after I’d vented all the swear words I could think of, I drew a picture of a sheep. And then a pig. And a worm. And then an owl staring at the worm as if thinking mmmmm, lunch. After half an hour I had the cast of Animal Farm drawn on my arm – and I was laughing!

A few days later I found myself doing it again, this time drawing a panorama of Scotland. The next night, a really bad portrait of The Doctor. The next night, a completely random abstract pattern of lines, dots and swirls that stretched across both arms, chest and belly.

I had become obsessed with drawing better and better images on my body, things I would be proud to display; something I’ve never felt about my scars.

4. My computer

Most people take certain things for granted: iPod/MP3, smart phone, computer, roof over your head, daily food stuffs, clean underwear and friends. The last five years of my life I haven’t had any of these things on an ongoing basis. Aside from friends, the one that I missed the most was my computer.

I missed having the ability to write (my mind works too fast for pens sometimes), to browse news sites, random beautiful blogs and porn sites (don’t…give a homeless guy a break!) I missed having a means to communicate with the outside world and make me feel like I had something in my life.

When my counselor offered me a brand spanking new fourth hand computer shortly after I moved into my unit I did a happy dance outside the local Safeway supermarket. Literally! Sure, it took me several weeks to get a working operating system and I still rely on internet cafes and libraries for internet, but the computer allows me to do all that I listed as well as watch DVDs, occasionally listen to music and give me an outlet for my creativity.

I know what I’m like when I don’t have a computer, and it ain’t pretty. It has definitely saved my life.

5. Socks

I’ll be honest. I have a sock fetish.

Ever since my homelessness ended I budget to buy seven new pairs of socks a week. A waste of money, definitely, but when you’ve worn the same pair of socks for three months straight (2010) you begin to develop a complex about dirty socks.

Yep, it’s a hangover of anxiety and PTSD from my time on the street, but I get seriously bad if I don’t have a new pair to wear each day!

6. My mind

However much I despise the mental illness, I could not live without my mind.

My imagination is something I have cherished and adored since I was a child, my ability to emphasise with other people, the memories of better times and beautiful people who provide a source of solace, happiness and hope, my creativity can keep me occupied for days (or is that hypomania or other such bipolar related shenanigans) whilst my endless need to keep myself stimulated is both a curse and blessing.

Directly linked to my strength, I would be nothing without my mind.

TO WRITE LOVE HER ARMS 2009

TO WRITE LOVE HER ARMS 2009 by jcasianman, on Flickr

Tomorrow: 5 Photos of me when I was little


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Fifty Shades of Addy: The evolution of a spanking fetish…

UPDATE: 11 July 2015

When I first wrote this post on 2 October 2012 I had no option but to password protect it. Family members read my blog, friends read my blog, and I was ashamed – no, terrified – of such people finding out the intricacies of my internal psyche. Three years later and I am not so ashamed. I have grown and evolved as a person. Although I don’t want my family to read this post (and they won’t if I ask them nicely!) I am no longer scared of how other people may perceive it. That is why I have decided to lift the password protection. If people know my deepest, darkest secret, so what? It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is nothing I should hate myself because of. As Samantha used to say, it is simply one small thread in the multicoloured tapestry that is me.

So strap yourselves in for a journey through the kinkier recesses of my mind. A journey fraught with self-doubt, self-hatred and immense, unwavering passion. A journey that will, undoubtedly, warm the very cockles of your heart posterior.

Note: Meadhbh has convinced me to lift the password protection on this (epic) post with one proviso: family members are politely asked to read no further. Thank you! :)

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10 People I can’t live without…

Given I have lived with only family interaction for so many years, I have absolutely no idea how I am going to answer this question. Do I take a dip into my past and write about the 10 People I couldn’t live without in 2006? Or do I just skip this question as it’s just going to trigger my loneliness and send me spiralling into a flaming pit of perpetual pain for an indefinite period of time?

But if I were to do that I would be failing in this challenge, and that would trigger all sorts of even more unbearable pain, so…

…I will tell you the ten people who have left a gaping hole in my heart, the ones I miss each and every day, the ones I’d have been able to keep as friends if it weren’t for my insanity and selfishness.

I once described Annie as being the first person in my life that I had an instantaneous connection with. Normally, upon meeting someone new, especially someone as ravishingly beautiful, my anxiety would rocket into the stratosphere and I’d be rendered either mute or able to communicate only in monosyllabic grunts and humphs.

Not so with Annie.

We first met at a backpacker hostel in Canada and talking with her was easy. I’m not sure if it was the alcohol or the fact I was feeling overwhelmingly confident because of the travelling, but gone were the grunts and in were the comprehensible questions and sentences. After that first night we made arrangements to visit the hot springs the following night, but she became trapped up a mountain so we altered our plans for the third night, only the car ran out of gas so we had to cancel once again. By now we were spending most of the day together – hiking the wilderness, boating, consuming subways – and on the fourth day we finally got to the hot springs.

After farewelling her I continued my travels but the thought of our time together lingered, and after completing my west to east coast travels, turned around to spend some more time with her. For a little over a week I crashed at her place. We watched random movies, went on tourist trips, hiked up a mountain and camped together. She probably knew I had a massive crush on her – and if she didn’t, she certainly does now – as I’ve been fairly vocal over the years on this blog about the amount of time I’ve spent scolding myself for not sharing my feelings with her all those years ago. But, as I’ve said before, her boyfriend interfered with my annoying ethical code.

I’ve long believed that if we’d lived in the same country I could have had a wonderful friendship with Annie, perhaps this is just looking back with rose-tinted glasses on one of the people who made my Canadian odyssey so special, but whenever I think of her, I think of how happy I was and how, for the first time, I communicated with someone without being held back by my anxiety.

My biggest memories of Annie: she was the first woman I ever applied sunscreen to, her minor panic attack when she realised we may run out of gas in the middle of bear territory, hugging her goodbye, when I used my rancid socks as a fire starter whilst camping, the fact that she made me laugh more than anyone I’d met up to that point and she was responsible for my first taste of cherry. In terms of the fruit! The fruit people!

It should go without saying that I miss both Rachel and Stephanie. Over the years that I’ve been writing this blog I have spoken of them both regularly. Rachel, whom I met in Canada, took her life in Autumn 2000 leaving me reeling with answers that I will never know the answers to.

My biggest memories of Rachel: endless drinking in Halifax, drunken karaoke of Northwest Passage, a public Shakespeare rendition and the fact she physically slapped the anxiety out of me.

Stephanie, meanwhile, took her life in Spring 2009 after we connected online via my blog. Both women are people I sincerely believe I could have remained friends with – Stephanie, especially, as we shared a similar history and odd sense of humor – but alas it was not to be. As I have said before, I blame myself for both deaths, and no matter what that guilt will never leave me.

My biggest memories of Steph: long email & MSN chats and hope.

 Both Timothy and Lisbeth are people I didn’t know all that well, so perhaps the ‘left a whole in my heart’ tag is a little over the top, but both are perfect examples of how my anxiety affected my ability to make friends.  Timothy and I went to the same school and shared a few classes but didn’t really spend much time together until we ended up working together after school finished.

My biggest memories of Timothy: driving to work, and sharing the shock of Stanley Kubrick’s death.

Lisbeth, on the other hand, I worked with at a hostel much later in life and she had an innate ability to make me laugh. Very intelligent, she had  fantastic personality and was always someone I’d wished I’d been able to get to know outside of work.

My biggest memories of Lisbeth: a brilliant shift we worked together in 2006 with lots of laughs and pointless fun.

Louise is another name that would be familiar to readers of this blog. She holds the honor of being my first relationship and a woman whom I sacrificed pretty much everything in my life to be with. Unfortunately, the relationship did not last, but I have long hoped that her life became something wonderful for after spending so many years living with, it’s hard to want for anything else.

My biggest memories of Louise: too many to list here!

Deborah, meanwhile, was my first real friend. We met in a backpacker hostel in Scotland where we were both long-terming over the winter. A source of great knowledge and compassion, Deb and I slowly developed a friendship that carried on via letters for years. I haven’t heard from her in years, and probably never will again, but I’ve always cherished our friendship.

My biggest memories of Deborah: seeing her again in Canada, lighting a fire for her at 4am, endless late night conversations, wondering if she saw the porn on my computer when she walked in unannounced one evening.

Sammi was the last friend I made in the non cyber-world. I’ve written of the night we met (and my shame over how) in the past but have yet to truly explain the gift she brought to my life. Although we only knew each other for a short period of time, face-to-face even briefer, she taught me that the most important thing in life is to accept who you are and not be afraid of whatever that may be.

My biggest memories of Sammi: the night we spent together in Adelaide and the time we had in Glasgow.

Russell, on the other hand, taught me many things as he was one of my teachers – one of the best I ever had! Often maligned within our school as an easy grade he was a delightfully eccentric man who I often wish I could catch up for a beer to thank him for the support he gave me in my early years of writing and for the bullying I received.

My biggest memories of Russell: the conversations we had over the various scripts and stories I would write.

It’s hard for me talk about Grace; on the one hand she is a source of great admiration, respect and inspiration, on the other, she is a trigger that has the power to shut me offline for days.

I first met her in 2004 when she worked for me for a brief period before she became a full-time colleague in 2005, and then friend the following year. I’ve never forgotten that, until Sammi, she was the only person who seemed to accept me for who I was rather than the myriad of labels that had been applied to me. After my breakdown in 2007 she was the only person to offer me support, rather than the endless stream of criticism and ‘advice’ on how to ‘cheer up’ that everyone else was giving me.

Unfortunately, to my shame, I failed to reciprocate this support in 2008 and I deservedly lost her friendship and sentenced myself to the lifetime of guilt that I have mentioned previously.

She has the honor of being the smartest human being I’ve ever met and to say I miss her would be an understatement. Like everyone on this list, she deserves all the happiness her heart desires.

My biggest memories of Grace: a drunken duet at my leaving BBQ, numerous lunches around Melbourne, numerous heart-to-heart conversations, the fact that she metaphorically slapped the anxiety out of me and my failures.

It should go without saying that my old friends were not Alyson Hannigan, Serena Ryder, Amber Tamblyn, Jenna Louise Coleman, Zachary Levi or the numerous other celebrities I’ve used to illustrate this post. I chose these images for, whether it be physical or personality, these celebrities always remind me of those people who helped shape me into the man I am today. People I miss, admire, respect and feel privileged to have known.

Tomorrow: 9 Movies I love


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Exercises to build self-esteem: #3. Personal positive experiences

Send you negative thoughts to the naughty corner!

So far this week we have looked at what self-esteem is; the value we place on ourselves and how we see ourselves in general, what low self-esteem is; when we as individuals hold deep-seated negative beliefs about ourselves, and how we can work toward improving these beliefs through altering our perceptions of who we are.

First, by focussing on the things that bring us pleasure (rather than pain) and secondly, on how it isn’t narcissistic to love our individual gifts and talents.

Today, we look at our experiences.

As many people who suffer from low-esteem may relate to, I spend a lot of time living in the negative space of my life. All day, every day, I am constantly reminding myself of all the things I have done wrong; of when I let my friends down, of when I failed to get a publishing deal for my book, of what I did to deserve being abused, of my time living on the streets, of every minor mistake and error I’ve ever committed. Rarely, do I look at the positive experiences I’ve had.

But to increase self-esteem we have to look at these experiences, for endlessly replaying the negative is merely feeding the vicious cycle of self-hatred that is fuelling our low levels of self-esteem. By focussing on the positive times we reprogram our brain to think of these first, relegating the negative into the annals of history to be forgotten.

One way to do this is, when you catch yourself dwelling on a negative, twist it around. For example, using the five examples above:

i) Instead of thinking of when I let my friends down I should think of the far more examples of when I was there for them however I could be.
ii) Instead of thinking of when I failed to get a publishing deal for my book I should think of when I had my short story published or that I had the courage to submit the book to publishers in the first place!
iii) Instead of thinking of what I did to deserve being abused I should be thinking fuck you, I didn’t do bloody anything to deserve such vicious treatment!
iv) Instead of thinking of my time living on the streets I should be thinking of all the things this period taught me about life. And that I survived.
v) Instead of thinking of every minor mistake and error I’ve ever committed I should be thinking of every major moment of brilliance I’ve ever performed!

The only problem is that not only is this very difficult to do, quite often we lacking in self-esteem don’t think about the positive things we’ve done in our lives.

Which is why our exercise today is all about that; our personal positive experiences.

Personal positive experiences…

1. Take out a clean sheet of paper and a pen of your choice.

2. Divide the paper into eight sections: Courage, Kindness, Selflessness, Love, Sacrifice, Wisdom, Happiness, Determination.

3. Under each section write about positive personal experiences that come under that category.

4. You don’t have to limit yourself to one example for each, the more you can think of the better!

5. Keep the paper somewhere handy so that (a) you can read it frequently and (b) you can add to it whenever you fancy.

 

Courage is the anwser

Courage is the answer (Photo credit: SIDΔ)

 

My Personal Experiences…

As with the other exercises this week, I lead by example.

NB: These are just the ones that came to mind, there’s probably more buried deep within me somewhere…I hope!

Courage

In 2012, after an eighteen month absence, I began blogging and tweeting to try to reconnect with the world.

In 2010, I happened upon a man who was assaulting his girlfriend. He claimed she ‘deserved’ to be punched and as a man I should understand that. I didn’t, because as a man, I fervently believe no-onedeserves to be punched in the face by their loved one. Rather than walking on by I stood up for what I believed in and ended up having the shit beaten out of me whilst thinking at least he’s not beating her.

In 2009, I became homeless. If you don’t think this requires courage, I suggest you head out and live on the streets for a week and then get back to me.

In 2009, I sent short stories and novel manuscripts to publishers. Given I am someone who constantly fears people reading his work this was a huge and courageous step for me. Although the novel went nowhere, I did have a short story published, which I’ve always been proud of.

In 2007, I began a blog that opened my entire life up for the world to see.

In 2007, on 11 October I chose life.

In 2007, despite Glandular Fever, anxiety and pre-existing mental health problems, I made a concerted effort to re-enter tertiary education. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2002, I boarded a plane bound for Australia.

In 1999, I had the courage to follow my heart and begin backpacking.

In 198?, I stood up to schoolyard bullies who were mercilessly picking on my sister.

And it should go without saying…from now, until the day I die, I will be living with bipolar; that requires courage!

Kindness

In 2011, despite homelessness, I felt compelled to donate to the appeals raising money for victims of the Queensland and Victorian floods.

In 2010, I gave a person new to the streets my blanket, some food and the last of my money as they had nothing. The next day I took them to organisations that would help them access housing and services.

In 2009, I tried to help Stephanie through her depression and suicidal thoughts.

In 2006, I spent nearly fifteen hours making a playlist for my friend’s 21st as no-one else was willing to do it. No music, no party!

And when I had friends I always tried to remember their birthdays and get them a present (however small it may have been!)

Selflessness

In 2010, I turned down accommodation so another homeless person (who appeared worse than I) would have somewhere indoors.

In 2008, I turned down the chance to experience something I’d always wanted to experience as I knew it would impact negatively on a friend.

In 2007, I cancelled an important hospital appointment I’d waited months for because my friend needed emotional support. It was three more months of worry before I was able to get another one, but I’ve never regretted it as my friend was upset.

In 2006, I phoned in sick/opted out of four shifts at work so I could be there for my glandular fever suffering girlfriend. (Note: at the time I was on an extremely low-income and needed all the money I could get, but her health and wellbeing were more important to me.)

In 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, I put my own Christmas wishes aside to try to give my backpacking clients the best day possible.

Love

In 2008, I always tried to be there for my girlfriend during her depressive episodes, regardless of my work commitments, regardless of how triggered I became and the subsequent fallout to my mental health as I knew how much worse it would be if she was on her own.

In 2007, I spent eight hours cooking and preparing a three course candlelit meal for my girlfriend before paying my housemates to bugger off for the evening so my girlfriend and I could have some alone time. (Note: she phoned ten minutes before she’d agreed to come over and told me if we didn’t go to the restaurant she wanted to go to she wouldn’t see me that night.)

In 2006/07, I wrote a personalised interactive novella to give my girlfriend as a birthday present (Note: she broke up with me suddenly before I had the chance to give it to her)

In 2006, I organised a surprise day of fun for a friend who was going through a bad-time; we began with the circus, then went ice-skating, a picnic in the park, swimming/sauna/spa/water slides, a theatre trip and then a late dinner in Lygon Street. It cost me a small fortune, but the smile on her face was worth it.

In 2004, I imported an engagement ring from Scotland because I wanted my fiance to have a ring that was unique, special and meaningful.

In 2002, I emigrated to Australia.

In 2002, I lived in my childhood bedroom whilst my girlfriend traveled Europe and returned to Australia eighteen months before her visa for the UK was up, even though it killed me to do so, it was the only way I was able to afford to save for Australia.

In 2001, even though I’d known her for only five days, I let my girlfriend move in with me as she had nowhere else to go.

And I always tried to be there for my partners and friends whenever they had a problem.

Sacrifice

In 2005, I cancelled two adult education courses I wanted to undertake as they clashed with my employment commitments.

In 2002, I sacrificed my family, friends and country of birth to emigrate to Australia without knowing if I would ever see them again.

In 2001/02, I turned down a university course so I could move to Australia to be with the woman I loved.

Wisdom

In 2011 and 2010, I did whatever I could to impart advice to fellow homeless people who were new to the street (e.g. where they could go to get help, how best to keep warm, best places for food etc.)

In 2009, I wrote a newspaper opinion piece containing several pearls of wisdom I’d picked up over the years.

In 2007, I started writing a blog that I hoped would help share the lessons I’d learned with the rest of the world.

Happiness

In 2010, I cuddled a wombat, and thus fulfilled a life long dream!

In 2007, after a lifetime of hard work to get myself into that position, I returned to college.

In 2004, my girlfriend and I were going to get married. (Note: she called the wedding off as she didn’t want to get married until same-sex marriage was legalised. I still think it had more to do with not loving me/not wanting to commit, but what do I know?)

In 2001, I was living in the best flat I’ve ever had.

In 2000, I spent three months traveling Canada.

In 1999 ann 2000, I spent six months traveling in Scotland.

Determination

Umm, really? Refusing to give up…even after giving up! Constantly trying to work toward a better me. Endlessly fighting mental illness with little to non-existent support. Giving stigma the spanking it deserves, regardless of the damage it does to my life. Three years living on the streets. Writing this blog on/off for five years. Challenging myself and the way I think. Never giving up on my dreams. Pushing myself each and every day to get out of bed and keep on going in the hope that someday, preferably before I’m too old to enjoy it, I no longer have to prove how fucking awesome I am to the world, or myself – we’ll all just believe it and eat chocolate cake instead!

Note: At the end of yesterday’s post I indicated that today we would be getting an article about emotional abuse and the effect it had on my self-esteem. After last night’s bout of insomnia and the stream of consciousness that erupted from it, I decided to change tact for today’s self-esteem post. So apologies for anyone who was looking forward to emotional abuse discussion, it will probably be here tomorrow :)


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12 Facts about me…

You’d think this would be an easy post to write. Of all the topics I’ve covered – mental health, gender discrimination, abuse, rape, homelessness, sadomasochism, current affairs, isolation – you’d have thought writing twelve measly facts about me would be a piece of the proverbial urine.

However, given I only recently wrote 100 facts about me, trying to come up with twelve new ones is much harder than I’d thought. I do after all live alone, have no friends, no life and in the five years I’ve been writing about my pointless* existence have pretty much covered everything.

So…for the fourteenth attempt today…let’s see if I can come up with twelve new interesting facts:

01. I was the editor of my school’s newspaper.
02. I once saved a baby possum from being attacked by an angry crow.
03. On one occasion I predicted my girlfriend would get her period because of how she tasted. She thought I was insane as her period wasn’t due for weeks and hated admitting I was right the following morning.
04. I’ve never understood why Australians have never embraced Prawn Cocktail crisps.
05. At various points in my life I’ve been told I look like John Lennon, Jesus, Kevin Rudd and Kurt Cobain.
06. I have suffered black outs since July 2007; the longest being several weeks, the last earlier this year.
07. Currently, I can only focus on any one thing for a maximum of one minute before the voices begin. Given I’ve been trying to write this post for seventy-two minutes, things are getting a bit noisy!
08. It is becoming harder and harder to control my triggers. Even the smallest things are setting me off nowadays!
09. I physically, mentally and emotionally cannot remember what it is like to be hugged.
10. I don’t know how much longer I can take being alone. Four and a half years is long enough, isn’t it?
11. When I look at old photos of myself I immediately start crying because I can’t imagine ever being that happy again.
12. I love honeydew melons.

*: as you can see, my self-esteem posts are working a treat! It may not look like it, but I really am trying :)

December 4/31 Wire

No reason for this, just a Zemanta suggested photo that I thought rather nice :)

Tomorrow: 11 Things in my room


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No home, no life, no love, no stranger singing in your name.

This post was originally written for my blog The Secret Diary of a Homeless Romantic  as my journal entry for 16 September 2010. At the time I was rough sleeping in Melbourne and trying to hold onto what little shred of sanity I had left in spite of discrimination and the ever-present loneliness.

I’ve chosen this post as my voice from the past this Monday for two reasons. One, because it’s an entry I’ve always been quite happy with (a rarity for my writing) and two, the Time to Change research mentioned in the post is a disturbing reminder of the stigma attached to those with mental health problems and deserves to be remembered.

Note: This post was imported from the now-deceased aforementioned blog so all images, links and comments remain as a record of that moment in time and place.

Blanket soldier

Not me. Just a look-a-like.

My day began at about 5am when I dragged myself from the concrete,  cleaned my blankets and secreted them away into their usual hiding place.

The bathroom called before my basic morning yoga routine (I stress basic) produced all sorts of odd looks. Seriously, a homeless man performing yoga in the park – I should charge!  I had my shower, argued with myself and then found a two dollar coin nestled on the grey asphalt.

Woohoo!

It’s not often I find money that’s gold in colour. Usually it’s silver, and the smallest denomination at that, but this find meant I could purchase some foodstuffs for breakfast. Aware a restaurant chain is currently offering $2 bacon and egg sandwiches before 11am I strolled into town in the hope I would be settled in front of ABC News 24 (at Federation Square) without a growling belly this morning.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. As soon as I entered I was asked to leave, apparently this particular chain doesn’t serve the homeless.

When the library opened I was able to Tweet and Facebook my frustration:

This am was refused $2 brekky & told to leave shop. I’ll quote: “You know yr homeless. We don’t want troublemakers like you in here,” Nice!

and fortunately was not alone in being pissed off! The greatest response came from Facebook, where I was told that:

You seem too intelligent to be a bum. Things happen tho. Your thoughts and writing are cool & you take awesome photos. :)

I’m fully aware the person who wrote it didn’t mean anything other than being nice, so I’m not angry with them in any way – but it does come across as a little, umm, yeah. What does intelligence have to do with homelessness?

Also, I don’t mind the term hobo (reminds me of the show The Littlest Hobo, yay!) but I HATE the word bum.

Bums are for sitting on, kissing, squeezing and spanking.

Do you see anyone sitting on, kissing, squeezing or spanking me? Sadly, no. Thus, I am not a bum. When someone does start doing these things I will happily refer to myself as a bum ;p Until then you may refer to me as either homeless, hobo, awesome, spankable or all of the above.

Anyway, as it turned out today seemed to be the day for discrimination as I also discovered that most people would rather date someone they weren’t attracted to than someone with a mental illness!

More people in England would turn down a date with someone who had a mental illness (57%) if they were single and looking for love online than someone they found unattractive (44%) or someone without the same interests (43%), a new survey as part of the Time to Change campaign addressing mental health prejudice has found.

Also, people with a mental health problem are more likely to be turned down for a second date if they reveal they have a mental illness (44%) than those who disclose they have been in prison (42%), have a physical health problem (19%) or are unemployed (18%).

So basically, I was refused food from a company whose sole purpose is to sell food to hungry people and then moments later found out it’s unlikely I’ll ever be in a relationship again. Cracking start to the day! As I continued reading the article I also discovered it’s unlikely I’ll ever get accommodation:

The survey also looked at flatsharing and revealed 60% of us would not want to rent a room to someone with a mental health problem, more than three times as many as who would say no to someone with a physical health problem (18%).

This is far more annoying than the comment posted to my Facebook account or being discriminated against by the restaurant chain.

I’m not trying to be arrogant when I say this, but I believe I’m a good guy. I’m caring, compassionate, generous and passionate. Granted I’m not a comedian (unless you appreciate extremely dry usually need carrots to see through it dark comedy) but I do have a very twisted, generous and imaginative mind. I’m also very much a downer than a downee, which should surely make up for some of the points lost on the mental illness, or am I clutching at straws there?

Yet purely because I suffer from mental health problems it’s unlikely anyone of the opposite sex would give me the time of day let alone prove this to them. In other words, in order to stand a chance of having an honest and loving relationship I would need to lie from the very start; bit of a contradiction, no?

Argh!

So I spent the rest of the day listening to the same Foo Fighters album on repeat. I’d never heard a Foo Fighters album before but a Twitter-Friend recommended them and I’ve become addicted.

Especially this track:

Which just makes me think of two words: road trip!

She’s driving, I’m in the passenger seat. She’s in jeans and a tee, I’m in board shorts. I’m feeding her gummi-bears (or grapes, depending on her taste preference), she’s telling me they’re all hers and I’m not allowed any. The music’s blaring, the sun’s blazing, the road’s endless and we don’t care. It’s all just too damn fun :D

Sure it’s a dream, but given I learned today I’ll never have a relationship and won’t be allowed to eat in one of my favourite restaurant chains until I get a home from one of the 40% who won’t discriminate against me, am I not allowed to dream from time to time?

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