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…


Sunday Stealing: I want you to be free from me

Okay, so I was somewhat slack last week. I had a lazy weekend curled up on the couch and didn’t get around to indulging in my regular Sunday Stealing. But today is a new week, and I have a bit more energy, so settle back and enjoy another jaunt through the magnificent world of Sunday Stealing! :)

Are your nails painted a dark or light color?

I’ve never been one to paint my nails. Sure, some men feel the need to decorate, but I don’t. So at this precise moment in time my nails are normal, fleshy coloured.

Have you ever order pizza online?

I have. When I feel like treating myself I order Dominoes online. They’re not the best tasting pizzas in the world, but their online ordering system is simple and easy to use. Plus, they offer a tracking service so you can see how far along the production line your pizza is. Which is kinda cool! :)

What color was the last candle you lit?

Red. The best colour of candle. For that matter, the best colour of anything!

Is there something written on your shirt right now?

Nope, I’m just wearing a plain green T-Shirt. No writing, no picture, no adornments of any kind.

Is there a bookshelf in your room?

I have bookshelves all over my unit. I love books. They make me feel safe and secure.

Do you own a treadmill?

No. I’m too far under the poverty line for such a luxury.

Have you ever signed up for a gym membership?

I have. And like most people I’m active at the gym for the first couple of months and then never visit it again.

Is there a garbage can in your room? What color is it?

No. I’m too far under the poverty line for such a luxury. I just have a plastic bag hanging off a cupboard handle.

Have you ever read in the bathtub?

Unfortunately, I currently don’t have a bathtub, so there is no reading in the bath for me. But when I did used to live somewhere with one, I would frequently read in the tub. In fact, there’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a steaming hot tub of water whilst reading your favourite book.

Have you ever had to wear a hairnet?

No. Like treadmills and garbage cans, I’m too far under the poverty line for such a luxury! :)

Do you know how many pages the last book you read had?

The last book I read was The Dead Beat by Doug Johnstone. A gripping, page turner of a thriller that had 250 action packed pages.

What day of the week does the laundry usually get done?

Sunday. Easily the best day of the week to do laundry. Unless it’s raining, in which case, any day will do really!

Do you use the Facebook chat often?

I never use Facebook chat. My social anxiety precludes the use of any real-time communication software. I’m much more at ease liking and commenting as I can take hours thinking of the right words to express my point of view. Something you can’t really do in chat.

Do you have any baby pictures of yourself on your computer?

I do. And to prove it, here’s baby Addy:


Baby Addy | Leeds (1978)

Do you eat onion rings?

No. I don’t eat onions of any kind. Disgusting, horrible things that they are.

What flavor of tea did you last have?

Peppermint; my favourite flavour of tea.

Do you own a bathrobe?

Yep, you guessed it. I’m too far under the poverty line for such a luxurious item!

Did you/will you have coffee or some other form of caffeine today?

I abhor coffee. I hate the smell, I hate the taste, I hate everything about it. My only caffeine comes from the copious amounts of coca-cola that I drink. And yes, I have had some today, as I do most days.

Do you have a mailbox or do you collect your mail from the post office?

I have a mailbox! But only because there was one already in place when I moved in. If I’d had to buy my own, I wouldn’t, as – that’s right – I’m too far below the poverty line to afford such a luxury.

What was the last animal you saw, and was it a pet?

The last animal I saw was a bird, nonchalantly sitting on my back fence. The last flightless animal I saw was a koala at Melbourne Zoo in 2013. Neither were pets.


Koala | Melbourne Zoo (2013)

What was the last documentary you watched focusing on?

The last documentary I watched was West Of Memphis, which focused on the trials and tribulations of the West Memphis Three.

Is there anything you need to remember to do before the day ends?

Eat dinner. My depression has been pretty bad today, so if I don’t remind myself to do it, I’ll go hungry.

Is your car messy, or do you like to keep it clean?

I don’t own a car. Surprisingly, as I can’t even afford a garbage can, I’m too far under the poverty line to afford such a luxury! ;)

Are you the type to wake up before the sun has even risen?

I used to be. I used to be a very early riser. But these days, courtesy of the psychiatric medication I take, I’m rarely, if ever, up before the sun.

Do you get uncomfortable when people stare at you?

Yes. What gives them the right to stare at me. It’s not as if I’m good-looking or sexy. If they’re staring, it must be because they think I’m a hideous oaf.

Have you ever been admitted to the hospital for a long period of time?

The longest I’ve ever been in hospital was in January/February of this year, when I was forced into a two and a half week stay due to pancreatitis. One of the most boring and uninspired two and a half weeks of my life!


Hearing Voices Q&A: What do you want to know?


A few days ago I had a conversation with someone about my hearing voices. The person I was speaking to is not a voice hearer, and they were explaining their difficulty in understanding this aspect of my mental health. It got me thinking that there are probably many people around the world who have trouble understanding the voice hearing experience. It is, after all, not something many people can get their head around.

Over the years I have tried to explain, to the best of my ability, my own experiences with hearing voices, for example:

But I probably haven’t covered all of the questions that you may have about this aspect of my mental health. Which is why I’ve decided to open it up to you. In this brand spanking new blog series, I’m giving you the opportunity to ask any question you may have in regards to voice hearing and my experience of it. Perhaps you want to know how I handle multiple voices talking to me twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps you’ve been burning to ask when all this started in my life, but were too afraid to do so. Whatever question you may have, I will answer it as honestly and openly as I can.

But this Q&A isn’t just for me. My voices have also agreed to answer any questions you may have of them. So if you’re keen to find out what gets Meadhbh all excited, or what books are Audrey’s favourite, now’s your chance. All you have to do is ask, and they will answer, as honestly as they can.

In order to make it user-friendly I’ve decided to offer several ways that you can ask questions:

If you’re happy for your question to be viewed publicly, you can;

But if you’d rather the question be kept private, you can;

Just remember to direct your question to who you’d like to answer it. Either myself, Addy, or my voices, Meadhbh, Audrey, Vanessa or Shay. This will prevent any confusion and/or avoid everyone offering their opinion when it isn’t wanted.

We’re happy to answer any question you may have, and look forward to opening up a conversation about the voice hearing experience.

So, let’s get the questions rolling! :)



Sunday Stealing: Shout Out The Answer

Another Sunday, another installment of Sunday Stealing. This week’s meme was politely stolen from My Random Randomness. Enjoy! :)


Garibaldi, in British Columbia, Canada

Do you shout out the answers at the TV while watching quiz shows?

I don’t so much shout the answers out, I just mutter them under my breath.

Do you get over-involved with TV or movie plots at times?

Frequently. I love television shows with a fiery, intense passion. I love the (at times) over complicated character arcs and deftly plotted story developments. To be honest, if you don’t get involved with the plots, there’s no point watching the show. Getting involved is what it’s all about.

What’s the highest hill or mountain you’ve ever climbed?

Garibaldi, in British Columbia, Canada. I hiked it with my friend Annie one balmy summer’s day in 2000. We were going to swim in the lake at the top but decided that it was far too cold for a playful dip. We were having such a good day we didn’t want hypothermia to spoil our fun.

Do you have a piggy bank?

I don’t, but Meadhbh does. She has a Disney Fairies piggy bank that she uses to save up cash to spend on fun and frivolity. It’s got about $10 in coins in at the moment, only $10 shy of her goal of $20 for the Tinkerbell and the Neverbeast DVD.

What’s the fastest you’ve ever traveled in a car?

I have absolutely no idea.

Could you ever hand milk a cow?

If my life and/or the lives of others depended on it, I’m sure I could.

Which was your favorite science? Biology, Physics or Chemistry?

I hated all science subjects at school, although if I was forced to choose, it would probably be chemistry. I loved playing with all the test tubes and bunsen burners.

Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)

Nope. No-one’s ever loved me enough to organise one. :(

Have you ever worn clothing with the labels/tags still attached?

Nope. Can’t say that I have.

Have you ever slipped on a banana skin?

Nope. Surprisingly, the last time I checked, I didn’t live in a slapstick comedy.

Are you scared of the dark?

Nope. I love the dark. It makes me feel wonderful.

Do you have a lawyer?

Nope. I live and abide by the laws of the land so have never needed the services of a lawyer.

If you had a paid year off, what would you want to do?

I would travel the world. I have pretty itchy feet at the moment and would love to revisit Canada, before traveling the length and breadth of the Americas, Europe and Asia. Unfortunately I live in abject poverty, so can’t afford to quell my traveling urges right now. But a paid year off…I’d be gone in a heartbeat! :)

How long did you last phone call last?

I can’t remember the last time I spoke to someone on the phone, but it was probably my parents, and would have been 40mins or so in duration.

Have you ever helped someone across the road?

Yes. Many times. You have to help people whenever possible. It’s the decent thing to do.

Have you ever been wolf whistled in public?

No. And if I was ever wolf whistled, the perpetrator better be ready to receive a flying bitch slap.


Sunday Stealing: I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly

Well, I’ve been incapacitated over the last couple of days with some sort of stomach bug/virus/assault on my immune system, but I’m not going to let that interfere with my participation of Sunday Stealing. So I’ve doped up on drugs (all legal, over the counter ones) in preparation for this week’s meme, which was kindly swiped from Gabs survey. So settle back and join me on another random adventure! :)


(2) I do love Scottish terriers, because they’re cute and from Scotland!

1. Have you ever had a pen pal?

Not really. After I moved from Scotland to Wales as a child, I kept in contact with some of my friends, but the communication was sparse and only lasted a few months. It is, after all, incredibly difficult maintaining a relationship over several hundred miles, especially at such a young age. Although it probably doesn’t count as a ‘pen pal’, the long distance relationship I maintained with Louise, whilst she was in Australia and I the UK, involved dozens of letters, care packages and surprise phone calls in order to keep our relationship afloat.

2. What’s your favorite breed of dog?

To be honest I’m more of a cat person, but I do love Scottish terriers, because they’re cute and from Scotland! :)

3. Can money buy happiness?

No. There is no amount of money on the planet, not even a quadrillion billion dollars, that can buy someone happiness. It only buys the illusion of happiness.

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down?

Sometimes. I’m more of a TV/Film person when I’m down. There’s something soothing curling up on the couch to watch my favourite show/movie that never fails to cheer me up. Which is why, over the last few days of my illness, I’ve spent my time blanketed up on the sofa working my way through seasons of Doctor Who.

5.What is one thing you spend way too much money on?

Coca-Cola; my most frustrating and unquenchable of vices.

Although, it should be noted, that up to a couple of weeks ago my answer to this question would have been tobacco. But since giving up I have spent only $14.10 on this product. Something I am eternally happy (and deeply proud) of! :)


(5) Coca-Cola; my most frustrating and unquenchable of vices.

6.Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?

No. I’m sick with some annoying bug, which is increasing my depression, and causing untold damage to my anxiety. Throw in the constant battle I have with PTSD and related trauma issues…and I’m really not okay. In fact, it’s been several years since I would have answered ‘yes’ to this question.

7.What was the last thing you spent money on?

Panadol. I’ve just got back from a short walk to the local pharmacy to stock up on this delightful painkiller. It’s not something I wanted to do. I was quite happy curled up on the couch. But I was in pain, and had used the last of my Panadol last night, so I was forced to acquire new stock.

8.Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color?

Yes. A dark blonde/hazel coloured concoction. The last time my hair wasn’t its natural colour was in mid-2007, after I dyed it a tragic shade of red whilst lost to the pain and trauma of mental breakdown. To this day I’ve never been able to explain why I chose such a shocking colour to dye my hair, but dye it I did, and looked like a massive tool for a couple of months. Just the ramifications of a mental breakdown, I guess.

9.Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?

No-one. I haven’t sent a text message in months. One of the downsides of living a socially isolated, lonely life! :(

10.Were you in a good mood last night?

No. I was sick and feeling nauseous much of the evening. One of the downsides of a viral infection! :(


(10) No. I was sick and feeling nauseous much of the evening. One of the downsides of a viral infection!

11.Do you have a reason to smile right now?

Not really. As I have explained, I’m not in the best of physical health right now, and few people smile their way through an illness. It’s zapped me of all energy and left me pretty deflated. I’m hoping it’s not going to last for much longer as, after my pancreatitis and cyst earlier this year, I’m pretty over being ill this year. I could do with a few months feeling relatively ‘normal’.

12. How often do you hold back what you want to say?

Always. It’s one of the perils of social anxiety. Rarely do I speak what’s on my mind, rarely do I say what I really want to say. I’m too scared of upsetting people, of creating an (avoidable) confrontational situation, to do such a proactive thing. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t the case, sometimes I wish I could unleash what I really thought, but I can’t see that happening any time in the near future.

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place?

Up until this year, I did, but I lost hope for a better future sometime around my hospital stay in January/February. I now no longer believe that things will get better. I firmly believe that my life will be this miserable, lonely, socially ostracized nightmare for the rest of time. It’s frustrating, but until I can rediscover my hope, it’s how things have to be.

14.Are you currently looking forward to anything?

The only thing on the horizon that I’m looking forward to is a holiday to Melbourne. It’s not confirmed as yet, but I’m hoping to go the week of 21st August as there’s a gathering I’ve been invited to which would be a wonderful challenge for my anxiety. The rest of the week would be spent re-exploring my old home, visiting galleries and museums and generally enjoying a break from my humdrum, monotonous life. It’s what I need at the moment after such a rough, hope-lost year! :)

15.Do you have any TV shows on DVD?

Yes. To name a few: Eureka (all seasons), Nikita (all seasons), Supernatural (seasons 1-9), Doctor Who (series 1,2,3,4,5,6), Game of Thrones (seasons 1 thru 4), 24 (all seasons), True Blood (all seasons), Twin Peaks (seasons 1 and 2), Parks and Recreation (seasons 1,2,3,4,5,6) and Stargate Universe (seasons 1 and 2). I am a huge lover of the medium of television and have been most of my life. In fact, when they started released TV shows on DVD, my life was made infinitely better. So thank you to all manufacturers of such DVDs; you have made me a blissfully happy man! :)


(15) Thank you to all manufacturers of [TV Show] DVDs; you have made me a blissfully happy man!

And that’s it for another week. I hope everyone is feeling both physically and mentally better than I am at the moment. We’ll be back to do the whole Sunday Stealing thing at the same time next week! Until then, wishing you all a happy, joyous Sunday! :)


The Sunshine Blogger Award


It’s been a while since my blog was nominated for an award, so I can only thank Brighton Bipolar from the bottom of my heart for bestowing upon me the Sunshine Blogger Award. It is heartening to know that my words are read and enjoyed by people other than me. Inspiring and entertaining others is, after all, why I dedicate my time to write about such complicated and necessary topics.

The rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award are simple:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award, and write them 11 new questions

My questions from Brighton Bipolar:

1. What’s your most treasured possession?

My external hard drive. It contains a plethora of music, photographs and personal information. I would be devastated to lose it.

2. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I would be a wombat. Because wombats are cool! They’re cute, they’re furry and they’re built like little tanks, able to bound through any obstacle in their path.

3. What was the last book you read?

Smokeheads by Doug Johnstone. An addictive ride through the Highlands of Scotland featuring psychotic cops, illegal whisky distilling and love.

4. When was the last time you cried, and why?

I cried last Saturday. I became overwhelmed with nostalgia and melancholy and couldn’t resist a cleansing weeping.

5. If you wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

All that I am, All that I ever was. I know it’s the title of my blog, but it would also be the title of my autobiography, as it suits what I would write about.

6. If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?

Invisibility; it would be interesting to roam around, casually helping people without them knowing I was there.

7. What’s your favourite ice-cream flavour?

Mint. I love mint flavoured ice cream with a fiery, intense passion.

8. Do you remember your dreams, and if so, are they in black and white or colour?

I don’t always remember my dreams, but when I do, they are in absolute rainbow tinted technicolour.

9. What would you say is your best quality?

My determination to be there for people when I’m needed. I have failed in this endeavor in the past, but we all make mistakes.

10. If it were possible to live for hundreds of years, would you and why?

No. Life is complicated, painful and altogether depressing. Why would you want to extend the agony?

11. Are you good at keeping secrets?

Yes. When I know something that other people want kept secret, I will take that information to the grave.

The eleven blogs I nominate are:

  1. Panic Disordered
  2. Blahpolar Diaries
  3. Borderline Functional
  4. Many of Us
  5. Marci, Mental Health and More
  6. Strong Enough to Break
  7. Rose with Thorns
  8. Dearest Someone…
  9. Summer Solstice Musings
  10. Resurfacing and Rewriting
  11. Heather’s Helpers


And the eleven questions for my nominated blogs:

1. If you could have a pet dragon, what would you name him/her?
2. What is you favourite book of all time?
3. If a movie was made about your life, who would play your love interest?
4. What country would you most like to visit? And why?
5. What are three things that fill you with happiness?
6. What is something that no-one else knows about you?
7. How do you think mental health services could be improved in your country?
8. Chocolate or Ice-cream?
9. What is one of your favourite quotes?
10. What is your happiest memory?
11. Why do you blog?


Sunday Stealing: Let’s Not Be Difficult

It’s Sunday, so once again it’s time to exercise our brain muscle with a series of lighthearted questions. Sunday Stealing originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. And this weeks meme was kindly stolen from surveysurveysurvey. Enjoy! :)


(1) Horror movies (which are the equivalent of comedies to me)

1. Do you like your movies and books to be more lighthearted or serious?

This entirely depends on what mood I’m in. If I’m in a seriously depressed, melancholic funk, I prefer lighthearted comedies or horror movies (which are the equivalent of comedies to me). But if I’m in a manic, hypomanic or just feeling damn good episode, I love watching more serious, thought-provoking movies.

2. What’s more important, first impressions or lasting impact?

Lasting impact is infinitely more important than a first impression. People who draw their opinion of someone from a first impression are missing out. What if a person is having a bad day when you first meet them, and that impression means you never see that person again. You’re missing out on a potentially magnificent friendship because you assumed something that may not be correct. Better to go with lasting impact, it’s a lot kinder.

3. Order these areas of psychological health from what you need the least improvement into what you need the most improvement in: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual.

i. Social; I am the most unsocial human being the world has ever produced. I have no friends in real life. I have no acquaintances in real life. Everyone I communicate with exists on the internet. And just so that you know, my loneliness isn’t by choice, I love friends, I’m a better person when I have people around me. It’s just I suffer from a condition known as social anxiety, which prevents me from making connections and instigating/continuing conversation. It’s hard, and it’s painful and it’s everyday. And you never get used to it. Ever.
ii. Emotional; With the plethora of mental illnesses that I suffer from, my emotional well-being could certainly do with a good massage.
iii. Intellectual; I keep my brain pretty engaged through reading articles, reading books and doing brain exercises. But I could do more.
iv. Environmental; I hate the town I live in with a fiery, intense passion. I want to move, it would help my emotional well-being if I did, but alas, because I live in poverty, it just isn’t financially viable for me to move at the moment!
v. Physical; I go to the gym two, three times a week. I walk every day. I do yoga a couple of times a week. It’s not bad, but it could be better.
vi. Spiritual; I’m not a religious man, so I’m not too fussed about this particular part of my emotional well-being. I believe in faeries, though, does that count as being spiritual?

4. Do you react appropriately to things and control your feelings?

Most of the time I react appropriately to things. But there are always going to be times when there’s an overreaction or loss of control. That’s just part and parcel of living with severe mental illness. It’s frustrating, but something I’ve just had to get used to.

5. Do you have stable relationships?

I don’t have any relationships, stable or otherwise. Which is pretty sad, when you think about it.


(5) I don’t have any relationships, stable or otherwise.

6. Do you need to be in a relationship to feel good about yourself?

No. When I’m in a relationship I find I have an increased level of confidence and self-esteem, but I don’t draw my energy from the other person. I’ve learnt over the years that you must have a good perception of who you are otherwise every relationship you attempt will fail. If you can’t feel good by yourself, how can you expect someone else to make you feel good?

7. Which is the clearest and most concise, your thoughts, your speech or your writing? Which is the least clear and concise?

My writing is the most clear and concise because I can spend time thinking about it, writing it and editing it to convey exactly what I wish. My speech is the least clear, because it is governed by my social anxiety, which makes it difficult for me to think on the move or react swiftly to speech cues, facial movement or body language.

8. Are you always trying to learn new things?

Yes. Life would be pretty boring if we didn’t keep trying to educate ourselves.

9. Do you feel at peace?

Certainly not. Another disadvantage of suffering from severe mental illnesses.

10. Do you have strong morals and ethics that you believe in and adhere to?

Yes. I’ve found that fewer people are living to an ethical moral code these days. They just do whatever they want, whenever they want, and to hell with other people. The only thing that matters to most are themselves, and I abhor such an arrogant, self-centered view on life. So whenever possible I adhere to my strict moral and ethical code. Putting other people first; it’s just who I’ve chosen to be.


(10) Fewer people are living to an ethical moral code these days

11. Do you think of the needs of all humanity or just the needs of yourself and those you know?

As I just said, I abhor people who put themselves first. Other people, creatures or the environment are far more important than your own self-absorbed life, and if more people thought the way I do, this world would be a far friendlier, more pleasurable place to live.

12. Do you recycle?

I do. Every week.

13. Are you active in your community?

No. My social anxiety prevents my involvement in community or social based activities. It’s frustrating, as I would love to be more active in the community, as it might mean I would make new friends and acquaintances, but I have to protect myself first. And if that means avoiding social interaction, so be it.

14. Are you sensitive to the needs of others?

Yes. I’d like to think that I am.

15. Do you dress up to go out?

I rarely, if ever, go out. But if I did I would dress for the occasion. So if that meant a suit and tie, I would don a suit and tie. And look jolly spiffing in it if I may say so.


 (16) Sexism

16. What could make you lose respect for someone?

Arrogance. Abuse. Defending an abusive person. Selfishness. Murder. Rape. Torture. Not accepting of sexual proclivities. Sexism. Homophobic. Doesn’t like jam. You know, all the important things.

17. If you won $1,000 every week until you die, would you still go to work?

Work isn’t just about making money. Work is something we do to feel alive, to feel connected to the world, to feel important. Without it we are essentially nothing. And I should know, as I haven’t worked in over six years! I would love to work, regardless of how much money I’m being given each week.

18. What trend has been getting on your nerves lately?

Selfies. Especially selfies being taken at the location of a tragedy, like those people who flocked to the beach in Tunisia, or think it’s acceptable to take a picture of yourself at the scene of a car crash. Have some bloody respect for your fellow humanity, you self-centered, narcissistic assholes!

19. Do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?

No. I am atrocious at forgiving myself. Mainly because very few people have ever forgiven my mistakes, so I don’t know what it feels like to be forgiven. My mind has decided it needs to hold myself accountable for everything I have ever done wrong. It’s painful. It’s exhausting. It’s who I am. Just the other day someone asked me to forgive myself, and no matter how much I want to, I can’t. I did the wrong thing. It should never be forgiven.

20. Is ignorance really bliss?

No. Bliss is lying naked in bed, smothering your partners genitalia with honey before licking it off with all your might! :p


(20) Bliss is lying naked in bed, smothering your partners genitalia with honey before licking it off with all your might!

21. What can be described as ‘even better than the real thing’?

My homemade toasted cheese sandwiches. Coca-Cola (which I have an unfortunate addiction to!) Chocolate HobNobs. And spanking.

22. What’s in your wallet right now?

Some receipts. Some coupons. A photo of my niece and nephew. A few moths. And, alas, no money.

23. Do you write letters that you never send?

All the bloody time. (Note: you can check some of them out here!)

24. Do you ever get the feeling people are laughing at you?

All the time. It’s part and parcel of my social anxiety. I’m forever adamant that I’m being judged, laughed at or people are planning my ritual public humiliation. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, but it’s something I’ve learned to live with over the years.

25. Who’s the one person you’d like to drop a house on?

Kim-effing-Kardashian! She annoys the living crap out of me! And if Tony Abbott should happen to be standing next to her, so be it!