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…


Nauseousness, camping and paranoia…oh my!

I have been feeling absolutely shocking this weekend. Constantly nauseous, hot/cold flushes, aching limbs and smelling strange odours that I cannot place. I’ve also been feeling obscenely paranoid, from firmly believing that I was being followed/about to be arrested by police officers, to thinking my house is on the verge of being invaded by a swarm of marauding maggots. I can’t relax. I can’t settle. I can’t concentrate and no matter how much I want to, can’t sleep.

Normally I would be grotesquely – verging on mental breakdown – worried over such an array of physical and mental symptoms, but as it stands my worry has been displaced by the weekly sessions I’ve had with my GP over the last few weeks; who informs me that all of the above is to be expected, given the recent change I’ve undergone in my medication.

In the first major change of my medication since my initial diagnoses in 2007/08, I have dropped from taking 12.5mg of olanzapine to only 2.5mg daily, replacing this most hated of drugs with 200mg solian daily. I have also changed antidepressants, from citalopram to fluoxetine. I’m told that this change will have a positive effect on my mental state, once the drugs start to have an effect in 3-4 weeks time, but until then have to ‘ride out’ the side-effects of stopping the drugs I’m used to and moving onto the new ones.

Normally, in the face of such crippling side-effects, I would stock up on DVDs from the library and hide away from the world until I start to feel vaguely normal. But alas, I cannot, for tomorrow I embark on a five-day long camping excursion that’s been organised by the mental health organisation I frequent. So instead of a week of chilling at home trying to convince myself I’m not dying (I suffer occasional bouts of hypochondria) I will be indulging in a week of badminton, boating, drawing, more boating, trivia nights and yet more boating. All whilst sleeping in a tent. All whilst feeling like I’m about to throw up.

If I wasn’t feeling so horribly unwell, I would be looking forward to the camp. I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy some of the activities we’ll be doing. I enjoy being in a tent. But not when I feel sick. And not when my meds are going through such a period of upheaval.

All I can hope is that the symptoms I’ve been feeling this weekend will mysteriously vanish by the time I get up tomorrow morning, because I’m seriously starting to think that it’s not side effects from meds at all. I’m starting to think that I’m coming down with a virus. And who likes camping when they’re full on, properly unwell?

However the week goes I will be sure to update you all upon my return (no internet access in the bush, I’m afraid).

Hope everyone is having a better (more healthy) weekend than I! And that everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them! :)

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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!)