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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Bear with me…

Koala Bear (Melbourne Zoo)

Koala Bear (Melbourne Zoo) | © Addy

Since returning from Melbourne two days ago I’ve been feeling very much like the Koala Bear in the above photograph. My energy (and motivational) levels have been exceedingly low, to the point I’ve been unable to do anything other than sporadically fall asleep at random opportunities. I firmly believe the cause of this is simply because I’ve been running around the city of Melbourne for eight days, trying to squeeze every activity I could into this time frame (even if this meant coming at the cost of a good night’s sleep!)

Aside from the three-day World Hearing Voices Congress (which was exhausting enough in its own right), I explored the zoo with Meadhbh, extensively toured both art galleries with Audrey, attended a midnight opening for the release of the new Zelda game, cycled along the Yarra River several times, meandered around the exhibitions at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, enjoyed some window shopping around the CBD, attended Sexpo with Shay, watched The Day of the Doctor four times  (including the early morning worldwide simulcast), and had approximately eight panic attacks a day courtesy of how hectic Melbourne has become over the last few years.

Of course, I will be writing more extensively about my adventures in Melbourne over the coming days, but for now I’m going to find a Eucalypt tree so I can practice my Koala impression a little more! :)

Hope everyone’s week has been a wonderful one! :)


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Curious Incidents of the Somnambulist in the Night-Time

urlThe last time I had a decent night’s sleep would have been in February 2007; pre-breakdown. Since then, my night-times have been spent either lost to the demonic dreams of PTSD or lost to the half-awake, half-asleep nightmare of insomnia. This distinct lack of sleep has led to reduced physical capabilities, reduced mental capabilities and forced me to resemble an extra from The Walking Dead.

Recently, I underwent a med-review with my GP, part of the aim being to increase my sleep. In addition to anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics, I’m also taking Oxazepam and Phenergan and have reduced my caffeine and nicotine consumption in the hours leading up to my sleepy-time.

For weeks, this strict regime of medication, vice-abstinence and hope did nothing to affect my sleep. However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed my usual couple of hours had extended to twice that, but since then it’s been stuck at four hours a night. Not as much as I’d like, but still better than the demonic dreams or half-awake nightmares of the last several years.

What I have noticed since the hours crept up to four are curious incidents of somnambulism – aka sleepwalking. For example:

(i) One night, I went to sleep in bed and woke up sleeping on the floor of the lounge room, clutching an orange as if my very life depended on it.

(ii) One night I went to sleep wearing my funky owl pyjamas and woke up stark naked, discovering my pyjamas neatly folded in a pile, dead center on my kitchen floor.

Now, to my knowledge, neither my parents nor any of my girlfriends ever reported me doing weird things in the middle of the night, so I’m a little befuddled as to why I’ve suddenly started doing such random things.

The only answer I’ve been able to come up with is that the medication I’m now taking (a heady cocktail of Citalopram, Olanzapine, Sodium Valproate, Oxazepam, Phenergan and Vitamin B/D supplements) is the cause behind these odd occurrences.

So I’m curious if anyone taking these (or similar) psychiatric medication has experienced sudden (and uncharacteristic) bouts of somnambulism?

Because if it’s not the meds, it means my PTSD fueled dreams have entered a whole new world of weird!