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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16 Things I do when I’m alone…

First things first, should I avoid any mention of the obvious? Third things second, given I spend my days alone I do everything alone, so this post shouldn’t be all that difficult to write. Second things last, to narrow the topic down I will describe sixteen things I’ve done today.

1. Slept for eight hours!

Given I’d had about six hours in the last thirteen days, waking up after eight solid hours of sleep was as close to bliss as I’ll ever get.

2. Cleaned the oven

Contrary to popular mainstream media fed opinion I’m a kick ass house cleaner. Possibly latent OCD, possibly latent feminine chromosomes, I clean the house most days and the oven at least once a week. It’s satisfying, therapeutic and slightly disturbing.

3. Got lost in Officeworks

I thought the spiral bound notebooks were opposite the highlighter pens. The next thing I know I’m in printer cartridge territory. Ten minutes later, after a meander through Mousedom and the Kingdom of Ikearipoff I found the highlighters, only the spiral bound notebooks were nowhere to be found. Looking like a rabbit uncertain of where he’d left his lettuce, a female shop assistant approached asking if she could help so I fell back on my standard no thanks, I’m just browsing and then spent another five minutes looking at keyboards whilst I tried to get my bearings.

4. Had a panic attack in the Officeworks car park

I don’t deal well with crowds. I’d thought Officeworks would have been a little quiet given the weather today…but no! It was overcrowded with stationary fetishists like me; cue a quick escape and a little cowering in the corner of a car park until I was stable enough to retreat home.

5. Toe-tapped to Cloud Cult

6. Wrote a blog post

Granted I wrote my Saturday 9 post…and the one you’re reading…but the one I refer to here is one you will see later in the week.

7. Thought about Vanessa Hudgens

I blamethank the Saturday 9 for this. There I was, nonchalantly completely some random questions when TMZ gets mentioned and my head is suddenly full of random paparazzi photographs of Ms Hudgens in a bikini.

Could I get rid of them? Hell no. Cue…

8. *censored*

I’m a passionate and creative man who’s tired of being alone so whatever happiness I can squeeze from life I shall not apologise for :p

9. Browsed the internet

Choice picks:

This photograph from Broken Light: A Photography Collective
This humourous column from The Age: Let me tell ya ’bout the birds and the bees, and a thing called SEX!
This photograph from thoughts of a lunatic
This blog: Struggling with BPD
This photograph from Joy and Woe

10. Ate Vegemite on toast

There is only one thing better than starting your day with Vegemite on toast. And that thing isn’t Marmite on toast.

11. Had a good cry

Under normal circumstances I don’t cry any more, but after two weeks of mood swings, bottled up stress, massive triggers and memory overload on top of the constant loneliness and longing for company, it doesn’t surprise that around 3pm a simple coincidence caused me to just collapse and have a good weep.

Masculine, nope. Therapeutic, yep.

12. Cleaned the bathroom

Like I said…housework = therapy, relaxation, satisfaction. After the cry I needed to take my mind off the emotion. Cue Toilet Duck!

13. Sung Backwards Walk by Frightened Rabbit (as if no-one could hear me!)

14. Wrote an email

Which I shall never send.

I quite often do this for a number of reasons: therapy, release, fill my time, boredom. Mostly it’s because I have something I want to say.

15. Realised I have the perfect photo for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge but can’t post it so became really annoyed!

As soon as I saw the theme was ‘solitary’ a photo I took years ago popped into mind. It’s long been one of my favourite photographs and even though it hurts to look at it, I still cherish it to this day. I even titled it “solitude” long before I saw this week’s challenge topic.

FYI: The reason I can’t post is because it’s of someone from my past and I don’t want to use a photo of them without their knowledge.

16. Imparted the following words of wisdom to my wonderful readers:

Tomorrow: 15 Things I like to do…



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Saturday 9: Papa was a rolling stone

Saturday 9 is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Crazy Sam Winters (she added the crazy, not me!).

Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.

1. What’s the best memory that you have of your dad, while growing up?

A few months ago, in honour of my father’s 60th birthday I began writing a blog called The Voice of Our Song that saw me record memories of my life and the lessons my parent’s taught me. Although I haven’t written a new post for a while now, I will be returning to it soon.

One of the posts I wrote recounted a practical joke my dad played on me when I was ten:

The place, Portlethen.

The year, 1989.

Being the astute boy that I was, by 10am on this Sunday morning I had completed all my weekend homework assignments, deep cleaned my bedroom, mopped the bathroom and kitchen, weeded the vegetable patch and vacuumed the cat.

Now, after a calming bath, I was changing for my next array of chores. Slipping my bathrobe off I deodorized, talced and set about dressing in my usual attire; khaki pants, aged shirt, leather jacket and fedora – what can I say, I was going through an Indiana Jones phase, what ten-year old boy doesn’t?

As I stood in my birthday suit about there was a sudden, deafening, high-pitched beep. I recognized it immediately from the moment, two months earlier, when I had set fire to the couch.

“Four!” I yelped, before correcting myself. “Five!” And with scant regard to the birthday suit I was wearing I bolted out my door screaming the far more apt “FIRE!”

Pounding on my brother’s door to ensure he escaped un-singhed I checked the upstairs rooms before legging down the stairs and rolling 80s action movie style into the downstairs corridor. Suspecting the fire was coming from the kitchen I made sure the downstairs rooms were clear before bolting outside to the prearranged evacuation point.

Skidding onto the damp grass I soon realized no-one else had gathered to watch our house go down in flames so I leaped to the logical conclusion they were inside; possibly unconscious and suffocating.

Breaking into the garage I collected the fire extinguisher and ran indoors, firing a cloud of fire destroying propellant before me.

As the haze cleared all that was revealed were my brother and sister smiling inanely in the kitchen doorway whilst my father perched on a step-ladder beneath the smoke detector he had set off, laughing so hard he threatened to tip himself off the rungs. My mother meanwhile, was upstairs, refusing to partake in such a cruel and humiliating practical joke.

Placing the fire extinguisher gently onto the floor I collected myself and, without a word, marched my nudity back to my room.

from Four…Five…Fire!

2. How boring do you think your life is?

Sure, things get chaotic courtesy of my MH issues, but in the grand scheme of things my life is pretty boring at the moment. I’m working hard to turn things around so I’m more who I used to be, but these things take time, especially with the social anxiety and isolation it causes. I’m getting there though, maybe when I hit 90 my life will be ludicrously exciting!

3. Can you do any accents? If not, do you know someone who is good at it?

I can kind of do Canadian, eh (courtesy of rewatching Strange Brew) and I can kindof do Irish (though I end up sounding like Tom Cruise from Far and Away!) What I can do is an excellent impersonation of Eddie Izzard impersonating James Mason – although if I try to do either of them individually they are awful!

4. What technology did you at first fear that you now could not live without?

Twitter; I first looked into it in 2007 and thought it was totally pointless in every way, shape and form. Now, I need it to survive.

Mobile phones; I’ve always had issues with mobile phones as I deplore the whole ‘need to be contactable 24/7 world’ we’ve created – unfortunately, being homeless, a mobile phone is a necessity.

Calculators; although I always preferred the abacus myself

5. Do you, or have you ever, thought you have a book in you?

I have 21 books in me. They’re lumped under the slightly dodgy umbrella term The Inverness Chronicles and so far only one of them has been written in its entirety – but all the synopses are there, the plots, characters, arcs, everything is there, I just can’t write them at the moment because of my lack of focus. Arg! It annoys me so much that I can’t get myself into the head space I need to be in to write again.

I also wrote two novels during my teenage years (age 14 and 16), a novella as a personalised birthday present for a girlfriend (she dumped me before I had the chance to give it to her) and a plethora of short stories (some published) and random oddities.

Writing has been in my blood since I was but a wee child stealing pens from school because mine had run out. I’m just don’t feel like I’m very good at it.

6. How does the weather effect where you live?

Weather never seems to effect where I live. I’ve lived in the middle of a desert (hot), the northern region of Scotland (cold) and Melbourne; which, contrary to what the locals will say, has never seen four seasons in one day. As long as I like the town/city/village/hamlet I’m happy.

7. Are you more interested in you favorite artist’s next work, or the TMZ side of it all?

Always their next work. The celebrity obsession culture is something I’ve never really understood and tend to stay away from. Even occasionally glancing at paparazzi shots of Vanessa Hudgens frolicking in a bikini makes me feel uneasy as it’s tantamount to stalking.

Most of the artists I tend to love don’t make much of an impact on the TMZ scene anyway – for some inexplicable reason people seem to be more interested in the Kardashians or Selena Gomez than they are Charles de Lint and David Fincher.

8. Have you ever felt “battled-scarred” by a relationship or relationships in general? If yes, do tell.

Given I was in an emotionally abusive relationship my very real battle-scars are there for all to see. In terms of physical battle-scars, I do have a small scar on my arm from a rather ‘passionate’ night of naughtiness involving playful wrestling, a couple of toys and raspberry sauce.

9. Do you tend to root for the bad guy?

I root for the guy (or gal) who is neither hero or villain but somewhere in that delicious area of grey between the two.

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Always celebrate the small victories

Take it from someone who knows, depression sucks! When those feelings of worthlessness and despair overwhelm you even the things you love most fail to bring any pleasure. In these times, it’s important to celebrate the small victories rather than wallow in the large failures.

This weekend – courtesy of chance and hard bloody work – I experienced the most relaxing and happy two days in living memory.

Eight small victories I celebrated this weekend (in no particular order)

1. Whip-Lash

Whilst perusing a charity shop on Saturday morning I performed a double-take so great I’m still suffering from whiplash. Normally, a double-take of this magnitude is reserved for Vanessa Hudgens or Audrey Hepburn, not a DVD gathering dust in a charity shop. But when the title in question was Lost in Time such an action was warranted.

For those not familiar with this title, let me explain. Lost in Time is a DVD released by the BBC under their Doctor Who range. Back in the 1960s and 70s the BBC, in all their astute wisdom, decided to destroy hundreds of episodes of Doctor Who. In the days before video and DVD they believed they wouldn’t be needed anymore so chucked them in a fiery inferno! Fortunately, this practice was stopped but not before the loss of dozens of classic moments in television history!

Lost in Time is a three disc DVD that collects eighteen of the episodes that exist from these lost stories, as well as a plethora of commentaries, documentaries and exciting special features.

And I found it in a charity shop – unscratched – for $1!

2. I Still Hate Running

Following my rather chaotic previous attempt at running I had vowed to never do it again. But, like Sean Connery discovered, never say never again. For this Saturday, fuelled by insomnia, I slipped on my short shorts and went for a mad dash around the backstreets and abandoned railways in a valiant attempt to get my arse back in shape.

Fortunately, there was no blood lost this time, so…small victory!

3. Sucker Punch

I’ve wanted to see this film for years, and this weekend, I watched it. It has Vanessa Hudgens in it. Cue happy face :)

4. Coconut Rice

Given I rarely have any money I eat a lot of rice. Usually it’s just a big plate of rice. If I’m lucky, I may be able to scrape together a few vegetables. If I’m really lucky, I get to have tofu. This weekend I found a pack of organic tofu in the discount section of my supermarket. This, combined with a tin of coconut milk from the food back, meant I could create a delicious coconut rice with tofu and stir-fried vegetable dish for my dinner.

Certainly beat the bowl of gravy I had on Wednesday last week!

5. Well somebody’s never been to Scotland!

Oh Steven Moffat, how dare you write a line that makes me smile whenever I think of it! How am I supposed to wallow if I have a magic sentence that immediately puts a smile on my face?

For those who don’t know, this was a beautifully timed, magnificently delivered line in the series 7 premiere of Doctor Who – further cementing my opinion that Karen Gillan is one of the best actresses currently working today.

6. Raspberry Blancmange

On Saturday, I wrote a short story called Raspberry Blancmange. The first fiction I’ve written for a very long time. Perhaps, once I’ve edited it, I’ll post it for all to read.

7. Socializing

Not only have I resumed Tweeting, as promised, I have also restarted using a social network that I hope will get me talking to other people again.

8. Spanking my anxiety

Following my abandoned series on anxiety last week I made it clear I freak out about leaving comments on websites. On the rare occasions that I do leave a comment it’s usually several days later when I’m reasonably sure no-one will read it.

On Sunday, I wrote and posted a comment on the day an article was published. For about three and a half minutes I rode an ‘anxiety, get ye to the corner’ high before beginning to freak out over what I’d done.

But for those three and a half minutes, the world was my mini-giraffe!

Today’s 365 Day Challenge prompt was : what did you do this weekend?

I’ve just told you what I did, but what about you? What small victories did you celebrate this weekend?