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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(The 21 Challenge) Day 06. My fear of the cinema

From June 1 to 21, I have challenged myself to do one new thing every day that scares me to help raise support for at risk homeless youth.

You can support me here…go on, it will make you feel all gooey inside.

Ever since I was a young bairn I have loved going to the cinema. Some of my clearest childhood memories involve visiting this heavenly place; The Bear in a cinema in Richmond with my mother and siblings, Oliver and Co. in a cinema in Aberdeen with family and friends, pretending to walk the invisible bridge and drinking from the correct grail after viewing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade whilst on holiday in Jersey.

As I grew into an adult the cinema became a place to lose myself from the turmoil of my hidden self-harm and depression. Sometimes I would watch three or four films in a day or the same film multiple times over several months (my record is Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo and Juliet; 16 times).

I can clearly remember queuing for nearly two hours with my brother so we could score the best seats for Jurassic Park and I can recall instantly the first film I watched with my respective partners; Meet the Parents, Kenny and Australia respectively, as well as the first film I saw in every city/country I visited, for example; High Fidelity (Vancouver/Canada), Blurred (Melbourne/Australia), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Adelaide), Star Trek (Sydney) and The Dark Knight (Alice Springs).

But over the last few years the cinema has become a place of fear and pain.In the last twelve months I have seen only two films in the cinema – Super 8 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (shudder) – despite dozens appearing that I wanted to watch.

Where once the cinema was a place of solace and relaxation, it has become a place of anxiety, stress and panic; something to fear rather than love.

So, given my current challenge to do something new each day that scares me, I had hoped to include the cinema on one of the twenty-one days. Does it count as something new? Yes – I haven’t been to the cinema in 2012, so that’s new, also,  I hadn’t seen the film I wanted to watch, so that’s new as well. Okay? :p

There are three primary reasons why going to the cinema scares me so much:

  • I have tremendous difficulty dealing with anything involving social interaction. Going to the cinema requires me to be out in public, talk to ticket staff, ushers, possibly fellow movie goers; all of which is hard because of my social anxiety.
  • I live 10kms from the nearest cinema, and my anxiety over buses means I have to walk – and walking for long distances tends to set my hallucinations running wild, which leads to chaos, frustration and migraines.
  • Ever since I had a panic attack whilst watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon I’ve been perpetually afraid another cinema trip would result in the same,

But today  I gathered my jacket and headed off. Throughout the ten kilometre walk I did descend into intense conversation with my hallucinations that resulted in a splitting headache and me sitting on the side of the path for several hours to compose myself. It would have been simple to turn around and head back to the safety of my house but I forged on.

I arrived at the cinema a good hour and a half early so I purchased my ticket and went for a sit down outside. In chosing my session time I deliberately opted for one that I thought would be quiet so I wasn’t surrounded by too many people, thus making things easier on my anxiety. Fortunately, this foreplanning paid off when I entered the cinema to find only a few people in the audience.

Stealing a breath I settled into my seat and waited for the movie to begin. A movie I’ve wanted to see for months.

The Avengers

Cobie Smulders

As I meandered the ten kilometres home I ruminated over the movie I had just watched and came to the same conclusion I reached after watching Toy Story 3 last year. It was a good movie, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would.

It was nearly a year after release that I watched that Pixar gem and after so many reviews proclaiming it to be the greatest animated film ever (it isn’t) and that it makes grown men weep (it didn’t) I came away wondering if I would have enjoyed it more had I watched it before the reviews and hype tainted my expectations and built it into something it could never live up to.

After so many positive reviews, after so many people proclaiming it to be the greatest superhero movie ever, after over a decade of loving Joss Whedon…I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with The Avengers.

The first hour was disjointed, poorly written and un-engaging. Far too many times I found my mind wandering – should I watch The IT Crowd or Black Books this evening, am I missing any good articles being published, what can I blog about tomorrow – as the surprisingly lacklustre dialogue failed to engage me. As far as I’m concerned there’s a problem when you can anticipate the punch-lines and conversational responses within a movie; especially a Joss Whedon movie.

And if I were being completely honest, the appalling introduction of Thor saw me consider walking out. Now, I wasn’t expecting some grandiose shot or superb sequence, but this blink and you’ll miss it reveal atop the plane was poor at best.

Granted, the following fight sequence served as a redemption for this, but even this sequence felt as if it had been hammered in to appease fans hoping for a Thor/Iron Man/Captain America smack-down.

Only when Loki boarded the SHIELD craft did things perk up for me…

Seven Things I loved about The Avengers:

  1. Cobie Smulders
    I’ve had a crush on this actress since she guest starred in an episode of Smallville many years ago. She is my favourite cast member of How I Met Your Mother and I think she is utterly wonderful, talented and gorgeous. She had a much larger role than I thought she would and looked spectacular in her costume. Still wish she’d been cast as Wonder Woman though.
  2. Mark Ruffalo
    I hated Bana’s interpretation of this character. I actually rather enjoyed the Norton movie, mostly because I adore Tim Roth. But Mark Ruffalo, an actor I’ve loved since his appearance in classic Canadian television series Due South, was outstanding. Out of all of the Avengers he was by far the most enjoyable and his take on Banner/Hulk was pitch perfect in every way. A highlight of the movie.
  3. Robert Downy Jr
    One of only three people I could watch read the phone book and come away satisfied.
  4. The single take
    OH-MY-GOD! One of my favourite things in the world are single take shots in movies and television. Given Whedon has several brilliant single takes to his name I had hoped he would slide a few into this film, and when this sequence appeared during the climactic finale, seamlessly following each of the Avengers in their independent battles I was squeeing intensely and hopping up and down on my chair. Worth the price of admission alone.
  5. Scarlett Johansson
    I won’t hesitate in saying she’s one of my favourite actresses and she was magnificent from the word go in. In fact her introduction – and subsequent sequence with Banner – were the highlights of the lacklustre first hour. And yes, I’m male, so it didn’t escape me how divine she looked in each and every frame.
  6. Hulk punching Thor
    If you’ve seen it, you know which moment I’m talking about. If you haven’t, watch the film for this moment of genius alone.
  7. Hulk body-slamming Loki
    See above.

Anyone who (like me) finds the repeated appearance of this pose when it comes to female (but rarely male) stars somewhat sexist and annoying should have a wee gander at the end of this post for something rather amusing.

Seven Things I didn’t love about The Avengers:

  1. The middling first hour
    I went into this in my preamble.
  2. Captain America
    Note, not Chris Evans. I enjoyed Captain America far more than I thought I would, perhaps because it was partly filmed in Caerwent near where I used to live and the inclusion of Hayley Atwell, but of all the superheroes I find Captain America the least inspiring. In fact, Bananaman is more interesting than this guy.
  3. The plot was kinda ‘meh’
    In all honesty I wasn’t expecting King Lear or Hamlet, but given Whedon has frequently balanced multiple characters with insightful and complex plots, I was a trifle disappointed with a storyline that seemed more focussed on one-liners than anything else.
  4. Loki
    Absolutely superb, multi-layered and brilliant in Thor. One note, slightly annoying and pathos free here.
  5. Thor
    I think Hemsworth does an excellent job in portraying Thor but, as with Captain America, I’m just not all that interested in Thor as a character.
  6. Hawkeye
    I don’t get the chance to read comic books as I would like to so I don’t know too much about this character other than his appearance in Thor. His lack of a proper introduction made it impossible for me to relate in any way to the character and I came away thinking Renner, a superb actor, had been criminally wasted, especially in the first hour of the film.
  7. The aliens reminded me of Transformers
    Given I had a panic attack during Transformers: Dark of the Moon, this is not a good thing.

With the cold night gripping at my bones and the darkness around me reflecting my loneliness, I was happy I had watched the movie; it was far better than Green Lantern and Iron Man 2 although not as magnificent as The Dark Knight or Spider-Man 2.

As I said before, the hype is what killed this film for me, with several of the better lines being spoiled by errant reviewers and fans. If I were being honest I could probably come up with many more things I loved about this movie, but the same could also be said for things I didn’t, so I shall just leave things as they are.

Is it worth watching? Of course it is. Once you get past the lacklustre first hour it becomes a highly entertaining movie that is certainly one of the better comic book adaptations out there. Just not the best.

Mostly I’m just proud of myself for accomplishing something and fighting past my fear. It may not seem much to other people, but as I fight to rebuild my life from the binds anxiety and trauma have on me, a small thing like this can feel very, very big indeed.

Avengers Booty Ass-emble by *kevinbolk on deviantART

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A Bad Day of Panic, Anxiety and Triggers (including ‘The 21 Challenge, Day 3’)

Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda

Today has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, so apologies in advance for the disconnected nature of this post.

My day didn’t start badly at all, in fact, I awoke quite jovial following an unusually pleasant dream that involved talking lizards, Stephanie Bendixsen, a giant Goomba, a couple of beautifully choreographed sword fights, Princess Zelda and a bunch of grapes.

Then, as is my usual ritual on a Sunday, walked to the local garage to collect a copy of the Sunday Age. The weather was pleasant – not too hot, not too cold – and I returned to browse the newspaper whilst nibbling on berry flavoured toast and sipping green tea.

It was around about the fourth mouthful that things began to go downhill as I read:

“The definition of domestic violence has been expanded to include emotional manipulation, withholding money and harming the family pet under controversial changes to family law.

The changes, which become law this week, for the first time broaden the definition of violence beyond physical abuse to other damaging actions to which a child may be exposed, including:

– Stalking
– Repeated derogatory taunts
– Intentionally damaging or destroying property
– Preventing someone from having contact with family and friends

Woman’s groups say the changes tip the balance of family law back towards putting the safety of children first, while men’s rights group say tehy will rob children of time with both parents.”
(from The Sunday Age, June 3 2012)

For it was around this time that I began to get an itch at the bottom of my stomach. As I continued to read, this itch spread, invading my spleen, kidney and lungs. The moment it reached my heart – around about the time I read “…a message to all involved in the ‘many violent family situations in Australia and who remain invisible to the legal system’ that violence has no place in society” – I was choking on my berry jam as I began to hyperventilate.

Within seconds my green tea had been inadvertently knocked to the carpet (yay, stain!) and I was struggling to breathe. Having experienced many panic attacks in my life I knew the signs were not an allergic reaction; but a triggered reaction.

My panic attack stemmed from the mention of emotional abuse. This is all that was required to send my mind hurtling back into the pain and desolation I experienced throughout that period five years ago.

Gone were the heady memories of Hex, Zelda and I duelling a giant Goomba.

In were every attack, insult and narcissistic action that I suffered through five years ago.

All because of one article in a newspaper that described changes to Australian law that I whole heartedly agree with. For years I have campaigned for greater rights and treatment in every sense to those who are the victims of emotional abuse, and these legal changes are an absolute step in the right direction. Whether they will be in any way successful and not just a token gesture remains to be seen. I mean, how can someone be prosecuted for emotional abuse when few ever bear witness to this abhorrent treatment? No-one believes what happened to me, so why should people believe someone else claiming emotional abuse?

Once the panic attack faded I gathered a pen and a piece of paper and lay on my floor to write. I had planned on writing the latest installment of ‘reflections on being homeless’ but drifting back into the territory would have been dangerous after that reaction. Instead, I wrote a list of things that trigger me (whether big or small), a list I shall share with you now:

Note: this list is in no particular order and whilst the bigger things are SHOUTED, the huge things are shouted REALLY LOUDLY!

  • BRUNSWICK STREET
    This is a street near where I used to live when the abuse was occuring. My favourite street in Melbourne, no less.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Once my favourite television show of all time, now, something I cannot watch at all.
  • Any situation where I encounter the name (first or last) of the person whom abused me
    I was recently browsing the library and saw a book written by an author who shared the first name of my abuser. Being an uncommon yet beautiful name it is not one I come across all that often, but in this and every instance, it has negative consequences.
  • LYGON STREET
    Another street close to where I used to live when the abuse was occurring.
  • Bernadette Peters
    I wrote about her here.
  • ADELAIDE
    I didn’t state this was merely triggers of the emotional abuse.
  • Toasted cheese sandwiches
    One of my all-time favourite snacks. I used to make them for my abuser and received several criticisms for my efforts. Also, one night, I was attacked for one hour for eating a toasted cheese sandwich without her.
  • DOING ANYTHING FOR MYSELF
  • Harry Potter
    She was a big Harry Potter fan. I’m not. So not an easy trigger to avoid.
  • AMERICAN PIE
    I received nine hours of criticism for going out for dinner with my parents instead of staying at home and watching this movie on the television. I love this series and doubt I will ever be able to watch the recent Reunion installment as a result of this.
  • Forgetting someone’s birthday/Birthday Parties in general.
    I received over half an hour of abuse for not wishing a friend a happy birthday. On another occasion I was told I had destroyed someone’s life for not going to their birthday party.
  • Badgers
    Difficult to explain, but badgers remind me of her.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY
    After making her a handmade calendar of my own photographs as a New Year present I was told in no uncertain terms my photography was “boring”, “uninspired”, “pointless”, “a waste of time”, “garbage”, and that she didn’t understand “why I bothered to continue taking photographs”. On several other occasions my efforts to extend myself in this arena were criticised and attacked. Whenever I have taken photographs since I have become so paranoid about what I’m shooting I usually end up focussing only on this criticism rather than the subject I am photographing. It should be noted this boring, uninspired, pointless, hand-made piece of garbage remained on her wall for at least four months after the sexual side of the relationship ended.
  • TALKING TO PEOPLE
    “Your voice is so boring and monotonous it inflicts pain on everyone you talk to. You should kill yourself,” As I’ve said previously, I’m not a sadist, nor do I wish to inflict pain on anyone. This criticism is hard for my social anxiety to get past in any way, shape or form
  • The Queen Victoria Market
    A location for many incidents of abuse.

…and once I reached this point I stopped writing for one reason; I was triggering myself! Merely writing these words were enough to send me boomeranging back into the realm of panic attack.

As I sat on my back steps smoking a cigarette I realised – not for the first time – just how well and truly fucked up I am. How could one relationship cause so much psychological damage? How could I be so weak to allow the damage to occur? These events happened five years ago; why are they still destroying me now?

Quickly gathering my stuff I headed out for a walk. I needed to turn to the internet to take my mind off the groundswell of negative memories that were flooding my mind and with the library closed I figured a few dollars at an internet cafe would be money well spent.

It was and it wasn’t.

On the positive, as I read a few blogs and websites I got the answer to my how could I be so weak question: because I am “naive, vulnerable and easy to manipulate”. In other words, I was right, I was abused because I was/am weak and therefore deserving of it.

On the negative, yay, I’m weak, naive, vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Awesome!

On the positive, I figured out what I could do for today’s 21 Day Challenge.

On the negative, I was stupid enough to think my idea for today’s 21 Day Challenge was a good idea!


The 21 Challenge, Day 3: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)From internet days of old I am the official Keeper of Willow’s giggle and tongue slip and of the creepily easy familiarity with which Willow handles the torture instruments.

This geeky admission is how ginormous a fan of Buffy I used to be!

I wasn’t one of those hipsters that tagged on in season 5 onwards just as it was becoming popular in the mainstream. Nosiree, I was a fan back when people used to cack themselves laughing at the mere mention of the show’s title. I was a fan from the very beginning!

Despite not having seen the show for half a decade I can still recall every episode title in sequence, recant dozens of monologues and air-conduct the score like a pro. I was uber-fan.

And this passion was taken away from me by one woman.

So after vacating the internet cafe I rented season 3 (my favourite season) from the local video store (not a great move considering how broke I am) and walked home locked in full stressed out “conversing with hallucinations” anxious mode.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch the whole season, so I selected a few episodes at random, namely the ones I used to adore: Lover’s Walk, The Wish, Doppelgangland and Graduation Day.

I managed to get through Lover’s Walk without incident, mainly because I used to do a cracking impersonation of James Marsters’ monologue:

You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. You’ll be
in love ‘til it kills you both. You’ll fight, and you’ll shag, and
you’ll hate each other ‘til it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be
friends. Love isn’t brains, children. It’s blood. Blood
screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at
least I’m man enough to admit it.”

But The Wish was fraught with triggers as my mind reeled in the ‘what if’ scenarios of an alternate world where I hadn’t met my abuser. Not even Beck’s beautiful scoring of the final fight scene was enough to prevent this panic overtaking me.

This panic remained throughout Doppelgangland (“Can you believe the Watcher’s Council let this guy go?”) and peaked half way through Graduation Day where I had to stop watching as a full-blown panic attack raged once more.

The DVD set isn’t due back until next weekend so I may give it another go later in the week when I’m less ‘wound up’, but from the strength of today’s reaction, it does appear my ability to watch this show has been stolen from me. Although I am proud I was able to return to the town of Sunnydale, however brief the visit turned out to be.


Sitting alone in my flat afterwards I couldn’t help but despair at how difficult and frustrating my life has become. The array of things I must avoid in order to save myself the pain of panic, anxiety and depression. The dearth of anything that resembles pleasure and enjoyment. The sheer amount of hard work I must put in to achieve even the most pointless of tasks, let alone the larger dreams I hold within me.

On days like today I wonder what the point of working so hard really is. Five years of nothing but pain because I was too weak, naive and vulnerable to realise I was being used and abused by the woman I loved.

Thinking back on this weekend it is one I would rather forget.

I just hope that the changes Australia has made to its domestic violence laws will help others from suffering the losses that I have. No-one should live as I do. Not a soul amongst us deserves isolated loneliness because of the actions of an abuser so insecure they need to attack others to feel better about themselves.

Earlier in this haphazard, convoluted, unfocused post I questioned whether these changes were merely a token gesture. I sincerely hope that they are not, and over time, prove an excellent addition to combatting the grotesque pandemic that is domestic violence. But I fear, in much the same way as mental health stigma, that little will change until the general public and society at large stops advocating the abusive behaviour of others.

We shall just have to live in hope.


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(The 21 Challenge) Day 1: I Hate Running

For the next twenty-one days I have challenged myself to do one new thing every day that scares me to help raise support for at risk homeless youth.

You can support me here…go on, it will make you feel all gooey inside. 

Today’s new thing: running.

Now, this may not seem like much to most of you, but the thought of slipping on a pair of runners and jogging through the streets of my home town scares me to the point I’d rather come face to face with my very own Saw puzzle than be seen exercising in public.

Why? Well, I’m glad you asked, for I have prepared a nifty list to explain:

Ten reasons why running scares me…

  1. Because – alas – I do not look like the gentleman to your right. I have quite severe body image issues – thanks mainstream media and the ludicrous expectations of some females – so being seen doing anything even remotely energetic fills me with the sort of anxiety that leads toward crippling, foaming at the mouth panic attacks.
    Besides, given my rather atrocious luck, if I were to run through a river I wouldn’t look as ruggedly sexy as this man does. I would either end up falling headfirst into the freezing water due to my lacklustre co-ordination and/or be eaten by a rogue crocodile.
  2. Because I have the lung capacity of a newt.
  3. because of my British heritage I have never quite adjusted to the Australian heat and thus, even on a rather mild 2 degree morning, will break a sweat by even opening the front door.
  4. Because said sweat messes up my (albeit) too long but alarmingly luscious hair.
  5. Because I don’t know this area very well and get lost a little too easily.
  6. Because I cannot exercise without music. This doesn’t sound like too much of an issue until you take into account I sound far more Bill Shatner than Gotye – and there are laws out there governing disturbance of the peace.
  7. Because I run like a girl. By that I mean I’m much faster than most men, my hips wiggle in a hypnotically attractive fashion, I should probably invest in a sports bra and workmen turn their heads and grunt disgustingly sexist remarks about what they’d like to do to my posterior.
  8. Because when I run I look like a constipated otter trying to move on only two legs.
  9. Because it reminds me of the time at school when I threw my all into winning the 200m sprint during a gym class. Surrounded by fit attractive boys and with gorgeous hot girls watching I ran…and ran…and ran…and ran…until I crossed the finishing line and promptly vomited behind a bush. It’s annoying I always remember this over the fact that I won.
  10. Because in addition to suffering from body image issues I suffer from social anxiety and despise to the point of soul crushing fear being seen in public. There’s a reason I liken myself to the majestic Tiger Quoll.

So when I rose at this morning at 4am, I was, to say the least, a trifle anxious. My reasoning for such an early start was simple: most people are far too sane to be roaming the near freezing streets at such an ungodly hour so I would have them to myself.

Slipping on a ‘No Fear’ T-shirt (purely for ironic purposes) and my AFLesque tight shorts I did a few warm ups as I checked the music on my MP3 player and ran my pre-planned route through my head: a few side-streets would take me to a park, from there I’d head to Lawrence Street, down Lawrence Street, up the train line, Thomas Mitchell Drive, then circle back home where I could die a rasping, suffocating death.

Easy.

What could possibly go wrong?

Ten reasons why running still scares me…

  1. Because I was reminded when I reached the end of the drive how out of shape all this mental health/homeless malarkey has made me. Note:it is approximately ten feet to the end of my drive.
  2. Because I have the co-ordination of a drunk giraffe trying to walk on black ice. Approximately five minutes after leaving the house I successfully managed to fall over a rogue tree root and sent myself hurtling into a storm drain.
  3. Because even at such an ungodly hour there are still people roaming the streets. Not good for the socially anxious, especially when they catch you in your rendition of power ballad classic Holding Out For a Hero.
  4. Because (a) I’ve had dog phobia since I was chased up a climbing frame by a rottweiler (read: corgi) when I was five, (b) I am not yet faster than a dog and (c) their tongues are sloppy!
  5. Because even though running is (apparently) good for your bowel movements, these can occur at inopportune moments. Especially when there are no bathrooms near where you live and you suffer from IBS. Thank God for trees is all I say!
  6. Because as I veered onto Thomas Mitchell Drive, covered in dog drool, I failed to navigate the railway crossing properly, caught my foot on the track and ended up arse over foot.
  7. Because I’m a stubborn fool who doesn’t know when to quit. With a massive gash on my leg dribbling blood onto the sidewalk, I recklessly ignoring the pronounced limp that made me look like I was auditioning for The Usual Suspects and kept running.
  8. Because I’m a masochist. After running straight past the end of my road following a surprising surge of adrenalin and/or endorphins I refused to turn back. Instead, I went up the hill, turned left, got profoundly lost, and ended up adding at least 2 kilometres to my run.
  9. Because I’d forgotten what running can do your nipples.
  10. Because I have the memory of an amnesia affected goldfish and forgot to buy milk; cue dry muesli as my ‘reward’ upon (finally) returning home from this monumental achievement.

So, to summarise; I fell over, was heckled, mauled by a sloppy dog, injured my leg, got profoundly lost, chafed my nipples atrociously and ate dried muesli for breakfast.

Could have been worse!

Now, only twenty more days to go in this 21 Challenge; how can I injure myself tomorrow?


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014. Do one thing every day that scares you…

In 2010 I was going to undertake The 21 Challenge but my homelessness and mental health got the better of me and I was unable to follow through with my plans.

However, being slightly more grounded this year, I want to do something to help those who are going through the same pain and isolation that I did.

For those who aren’t familiar with The 21 Challenge it is an initiative run by Open Family Australia to help homeless youth in Australia.

From June 1st to 21st you challenge yourself, or your friends, to do, or not do, something to fundraise for the various services this organisation operate to help the 32,000 at risk homeless youth in Australia.

When trying to decide what to do I considered the suggestions listed on their website, including:

  • Give up smoking for twenty-one days.
    Declined given that it would, based on my current stress and anxiety levels, lead to some form of breakdown and/or death. And this would possibly be bad.
  • Go on a date everyday for twenty-one days.
    Reluctantly declined given the complete lack of interest from the opposite sex. Funny how no-one wants to date an ex-homeless romantic. Ah well, their loss!
  • Write a novel or short story.
    Declined given I’m doing this anyway, so it would (sort of) be cheating.
  • Go twenty-one days without chocolate.
    I can’t even remember the last time I ate chocolate. Maybe eat chocolate every day for 21 days…nah, too fattening.

But none of them clicked with me.

Yes, giving up soft drink would probably be good for me whilst dress in flannel pyjamas 24/7 sounds far too comfortable. The other problem was (like giving up cigarettes) I needed to find something I could do that took into account my stress, anxiety and mental health concerns.

The last thing I need at the moment is to feel like a failure, hence why I needed to come up with something that (a) I thought I could comfortably manage (b) challenged me in some way and (c) would be helpful to my ongoing recovery.

Eventually, after much pondering and nicotine, I had a brain wave.

What if I took the old saying “do something new every day that scares you” and run with it. This way, on days I was able to leave the house I could do things out there, whilst on days I had to remain indoors, I could do something in there.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Every day, from June 1st to June 21st, I will do something I have never ever done before, something that scares me, something that sends chills down my spine at the very thought of it. And each day I will report upon this ‘thing’ in a blog post of questionable quality so everyone can keep up to date with what I’m doing and laugh at my occasional insanity.

Sometimes I believe we think a little too grandiose when it comes to this. How many of you had images of skydiving, running with the bulls and wrestling a hippopotamus when you read that quote?

Just so you all know now, I will not (unless the opportunity presents itself) be doing any of this.

What I will be doing is challenging my inner self to overcome some of my personal fears and foibles. To achieve some of the dreams I held onto whilst homeless and challenge myself to become someone again.

I know from first hand experience the pain homeless people go through. When I first became homeless I was terrified but, over time, I found the strength to fight and overcome this phase of my life. It’s now time to help others who are experiencing what I once did.

People who are just as scared, just as alone, just as lost as I once was.

If I believe in anything in life it is that we are all here to fight for a better future. Not just for ourselves, but for those who are not as privileged, ‘lucky’ or fortunate. There are too many homeless people in Australia, and it’s time we did something about it.

Given my isolated state I may not be able to fundraise much, but I at least want to try. If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so here via my 21 Challenge Profile Page here or by clicking on the 21 Day Challenge image in the sidebar.

And from June 1st, I will be posting daily updates on this blog under the tag ‘The 21 Challenge’