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…


I couldn’t help but think of Jon Favreau

I went to bed at 12:30am this morning, watched the latest episode of Merlin and then nodded off to sleep. Not because the episode was boring – although not vintage Merlin it had some beautiful scenes, the closing shot especially – but because I was exhausted and was desperately in need of a good night’s sleep.

So imagine my frustration when, at 2am I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Unlike usual this had nothing to do with PTSD fueled nightmares, hallucinogenic conversations or sexy dreaming but everything to do with a crippling toothache I’ve developed over the last few days. By 3am this morning the pain was so intense I seriously considered walking to the ER to get them to yank my tooth out with a pair of pliers (or whatever torture instrument they would prefer!)

However, given I didn’t want to bother anyone, I endured the pain until 9am when I roamed down the road and, for the first time in years, visited the dentist.

Note: For non-regular readers of my blog, I suffer from social anxiety disorder. Part of my social anxiety is a fear of important people, such as police, academics, psychiatrists, librarians, David Tennant and DENTISTS.

So by the time I arrived at the surgery I was wrestling with the intense physical pain I was in and the intense anxiety that had built-in my system. But however masochistic I am, I couldn’t take that pain anymore so entered, paid an extortionate sum of money and entered the dentists surgery. My knees were shaking, my palms were sweaty, there were tears in my eyes and I thought I was going to drop dead from a heart attack; by the time I removed my jacket and collapsed onto the chair every limb was shaking uncontrollably as I awaited the dreaded man in a white coat to walk into the room.

The moment he did, I couldn’t help but think of Jon Favreau.

Note: Not because he resembled the acclaimed actor/director, but because Jon Favreau once played a psychotic dentist in an episode of ace television show Monk; a show that anyone with an interest in mental health should watch purely because of the genius of Tony Shaloub

As the anxiety coursed through my body I tentatively opened my mouth, held my breath as he began poking around and sincerely expected him to do something to ease me of this damned pain. Instead, he told me to close my mouth, replaced his instruments and wrote a prescription for some antibiotics. Apparently, there’s nothing he can do to fix the tooth until the swelling has been reduced and he’s examined an X-Ray of my mouth.

So, after toing and froing between the hospital (to get the X-Rays) and the chemist (to get the antibiotics) whilst in immense pain (I’m not exaggerating!) I made a new appointment so I can get my tooth fixed.

This appointment is next Monday; so I now have seven days to anticipate my next appointment, all of which will no doubt be spent in constant agony. And as most people know, expectation and anticipation usually end up being ten times worse than the event itself.

So, in order to try to control the pain I have dosed up on painkillers which are making me feel incredibly strange and light-headed. Especially given I had a mere 30 minutes or so sleep last night! However, I’m still tempted to rip my own tooth out with a pair of pliers. Or tie it to a slamming door. Or do something to end this bloody horrible throbbing pain!

But on the plus side, at least I faced up to my fear of dentists.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do the same next week :)

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The only thing we have to fear is…everything!

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

This is absolute bollocks!

Tomorrow, as I mentioned on Monday, I will be attending my first social gathering in almost four years. I’ve had maybe half a dozen conversations with people other than MH and homeless workers in that entire time and I have no idea who the people I’m meeting are other than the brief messages we’ve exchanged on a random social networking site I can’t name over fear of being laughed at.

With every minute that passes, I can feel my anxiety increasing in strength and severity, overpowering every waking thought with its deafening voice. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? Really?

In the last three days my mind has come up with plenty of things to be afraid of about tomorrow night:

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be a motley band of serial killers who have lured me into their trap for an evening of torture, cannibalism and death.

• Spiders. There are always spiders looking for a cute man to snack on somewhere!

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be members of the Alan Jones Appreciation Society.

• One of the strangers I’m meeting could turn out to be Alan Jones. Shudder.

• What if the strangers I’m meeting don’t like my clothes and insult them all evening?

• Given I’ve never been to the pub before I could spend the entire evening sitting in the wrong venue.

• What if one of the strangers I’m meeting brings a puppy? Hmmm, what do I do then?

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be all part of an elaborate practical joke orchestrated by my abuser with the goal to humiliate me in public and destroy me once and for all!

• Given I’ve never been to the pub before I could get spectacularly lost and die of dehydration.

• This will be my first time in a pub by myself, with no-one I know, since the night I was raped. Oh joy.

• Maybe the strangers I’m meeting will take a dislike to my weight and call me Mr. Fatty McFatty Fat Fat all evening.

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be Elvis Presley impersonators.

• One of the strangers I’m meeting could turn out to be Elvis Presley. Shudder.

• Public panic attack. Is there anything scarier than those three words?

• Rogue panthers. They apparently live in the Australian bush somewhere.

• My trousers could fall down without warning forcing me to accidentally flash the entire bar.

• What if I can’t think of anything to say and sit there all evening like a mute donkey?

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be part of a cult looking for someone to sacrifice to appease their deity.

• What if the pub has decided to screen Watership Down on repeat all evening?

• Given I’ve never been to the pub before it could be built on an ancient burial ground and suddenly implode with me trapped inside for all eternity.

• Meteors. You never know when a rogue meteor will target you from outer space.

• What if the pub turns out to be not a pub at all, but the Black Lodge?

• The strangers I am meeting could turn out to be fans of Fifty Shade of Grey.

• One of the strangers I am meeting could turn out to be E.L James. Shudder.

• What if all of the above turns out to be true? Hmmm, what do I do then?

Although come to think of it, if all of the above does turn out to be true – what a spectacular blog post that will make come Friday morning! But yes, if you can’t tell, I’m fucking petrified about tomorrow night!

But if we don’t challenge ourselves to become the person we want to be…what’s the point in living?

The chances are it will be a rather fun and wonderful evening and all this worrying is just a monumental waste of time and energy!

(But I still think Roosevelt was talking out of his arse!)