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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Daily Prompt: Slash and Burn

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is:

Write 500 words on any topic you like. Now remove 250 of them without changing the essence of your post.

~ I will never forget her ~

cats2

This is the original 500 word post I wrote with the changes blocked out…

One of the most special friendships I’ve had in my life was with Samantha.

We met in Adelaide, and didn’t exactly share the most ‘socially acceptable’ first meeting. For when I spontaneously smacked her ass as a ‘greeting’, I’d expected a swift slap across my face or a knee to the bollocks!

You see, what happened that night was a rare moment of serendipity.

So when she contacted me months later via Facebook, it wasn’t long before we became firm friends.

Our shared secret forced us to trust each other implicitly from the get go. One of the reasons I believe our friendship was so close, so quickly.

Over the months we shared our darkest desires and laughed ourselves silly over our life experiences.

By the time I’d returned to Scotland we were ready to meet. With nerves increasing one balmy night in Glasgow, we acted out her deepest fantasy.

Afterwards, we lay on the bed bathing in a shared moment of bliss that neither of us would forget for the rest of our lives.

Shortly before Christmas 2008, Samantha passed away following a drug overdose; and to this day, we don’t know whether this was an accidental or deliberate overdose.

Although we only knew each other for a year, Samantha was one of my closest friends; someone who never judged or criticized me. Someone who accepted me no questions asked.

That is why my friendship with Samantha was so special.

And that is why I will never forget her.

However interesting writing this post was, upon reading the final 250 word version I realise something quite important has been rendered absent from the heavy editing of the post; me.

Although the essence of the post is the same (i.e. how my friendship with Sammi was one of the most important of my life) the editing has removed all essence of ‘me’.

So although I succeeded in the challenge, I realise more than ever how important it is to stay true to your unique writing voice.

Further Reading:


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Daily Prompt: Morton’s Fork

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is:

If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?

To blog or not to blog

Given I’ve been thinking recently of ending the blog, this isn’t a difficult choice at all; I would read other blogs and not write my own.

Being someone who often questions why he continues to write a blog, I’d much rather throw myself into the worlds of others than continue sharing my own. This way, I could keep up to date with news, current affairs, opinions, the occasional naughty photograph and the lives of others without having to worry about creating interesting post ideas, the continual embarrassment of sharing my existence so publicly and whether or not anyone is enjoying what I’ve written.

Granted, for a long time this blog has been my only therapy. It has been there when no-one else was, helped me through difficult and painful experiences and provided solace when all felt lost. But if I didn’t write this blog I could still achieve this release through journals without having to bother anyone with my meandering, soul-searching ramblings.

There is also Twitter, which although far from a safe place, could offer the chance to micro-blog my pain and continue my quest to raise awareness of the things society prefers not to talk about.

So all up, this choice is simple, but the choice over whether I should end the blog in reality is a lot more complicated.

Until I’ve decided, I’ll just continue with the best of both worlds.

 


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (II)

I don’t usually submit two entries into the challenge, but whilst perusing my media files this morning I came across a photograph I took several years ago that I had thought lost to the sands of time (and homelessness).

Whilst visiting Phillip Island in 2004 with my parent’s and girlfriend I had grown bored of standard landscape shots and decided to experiment with a new take on the spectacular coastline of this most beautiful of islands.

sunglassess

“A person who only sees with his eyes and not his heart misses the details of beauty.”
~ Evie Lynn Fritz ~

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
(charlieray45.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
(myoutdoorexplorations.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
(catnipoflife.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
(mytropicalhome.wordpress.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections
(scsurfbutler.com)
Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections
(journeyaroundtheglobe.com)

 


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I appear to be suffering from Blonguoritis

Today’s WordPress Daily prompt is:
Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

[blong-ger] noun;
Origin: derived from ‘languor’

1. a lack of energy or vitality when it comes to creating and writing blog posts
2. a lack of spirit or interest when it comes to the past time of blogging
3. a state of listlessness; sluggishness in relation to updating one’s personal web log

~ see also ~

[bi-blong-ger] noun;

1. a state of blonguor specifically arising from the mood swings associated with bipolar affective disorder; e.g. their depressive episode has resulted in biblonguor

~ both can lead to ~

[blong-ger-ahy-tis] noun;

Pathology: a prolonged period of writer’s block and lack of energy that affects the ability to create, write sentences, or voice opinion. Normally accompanied with a sensation that the brain no longer functions, a heightened confusion of the blogging platform’s intricate dashboard and a sense of paranoia that one’s blog isn’t good enough, normally leading to long periods of inactivity, curling up under the duvet and overconsumption of ‘Pineapple and Tahitian Lime’ Gelati.

Cure: there is no known cure for Blonguoritis. However, treatment options include:

1. Getting a friend to slap you in the face (or body part of choice)
2. Listening to 1980s power ballads (such as The Final Countdown or Eye of the Tiger)
3. Sexual intercourse
4. Writing prompts (such as the WordPress Daily Prompt, Plinky or a Blog Challenge)
4. All of the above, simultaneously.


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Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits…ahhh, no!

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is:
Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.

ME: No.

WORDPRESS MODERATOR: Excuse me?

ME: I said no.

WPMOD: Did you just say no?

ME: I did. No, no and thrice times no.

WPMOD: I would think very carefully about what you’re saying if I were you young man.

ME: I always think carefully about what I’m saying. Every time I write a blog post I think carefully about what I write. Can I use a better word here? A more entendre laden word there? Is there a better pop culture reference I can slot in? Or a more oblique reference that only those who really know me will raise a sly smile over. So when I say no. I really, one hundred percent, mean no.

WPMOD: You do realise if you don’t answer this question, I’ll have to send you to the Principal’s office.

ME: For starters, I’ll have the vegetable spring rolls. For seconds, you’ve just illustrated my point. For thirds, go ahead, ain’t nothing she – or he, given I’m not one for gender bias – can do to make me change my mind.

WPMOD: Addy, your task was simple, you are supposed to write a glowing puff piece about the amazing merits of something that repulses you. So unless you have a reasonable excuse…

ME: …I’m assuming a dog ate my computer is not a reasonable excuse…

WPMOD: …no, it most definitely is not. So unless you have a reasonab…

ME: …what about a dragon?

WPMOD: What?

ME: What if a dragon ate my computer? Or a wombat? Or a feral gerbil?

WPMOD: There’s no such thing as a feral gerbil.

ME: You obviously never met the gerbils we had as pets. They attacked my brother in the middle of the night, you know.

WPMOD: Now you’re just being silly. Until you’ve written your assignment based on today’s topic, you are not leaving that chair.

ME: What if I need to pee?

WPMOD: Then you hold it in.

ME: What if a friend pops around for an uninvited visit?

WPMOD: You’re socially isolated, Addy, there will be no unscheduled visits as you don’t have anyone who will visit you.

ME: How could you possibly know that?

WPMOD: We’re WordPress, Addy. We know everything.

ME: Then you do realise what I’m thinking right now.

WPMOD: Yes. An Orwellian reference? Really? You have nothing better than that.

ME: Anything to keep me from writing today’s assignment.

WPMOD: Why do you always have to make everything so difficult. All you need to do is think about lungbutter, or canine excrement, or octopi…didn’t you say recently you hated Octopi? Why not write an amusing post sarcastically pointing out the merits of eating Octopus?

ME: Well. One, I don’t want to. Two, that would be a stupid post for a blog written by a kinky (ex) homeless romantic with mental health problems. Three, I don’t want to. Four, who the frack wants to read a post sarcastically pointing out the merits of eating Octopus? Five, I don’t want to. And six, well I can’t think of one right now but I tend to write lists in sixes, as you should well know.

WPMOD: Yes. We’re aware of your proclivities.

ME: So why don’t we just agree to disagree on this one, you can totter off and freshly press something and I can make a sandwich.

WPMOD: You are the one who set yourself the challenge of answering our prompts. As such you entered into a contract with WordPress and will be subject to recrimination should you fail.

ME: Firstly, I am not contractually obligated to you for anything. Secondly, punish me, see if I care. I’d happily get sent to the principals office. Then, I could stand in front of him and declare I was standing up to my principal for not answering the daily prompt. Granted, it would work better if WordPress could arrange for the deputy to be in the office as well, as then I would be standing up to my principals. Geddit?

WPMOD: Unfortunately, I do.

ME: Meh, it’s late, and I’ve had a long day. You do realise your prompt is keeping me from writing a post I want to write entitled The Pleasures of a Painful Posterior (and other alliterations), don’t you? Which isn’t password protected, by the way, it’s about bicycles.

WPMOD: Well, if you answered the question you could write that absurdly titled post, couldn’t you?

ME: How many times do I have to say it? I. Am. Not. Answering. Your. Prompt. So ground me, spank me, give me lines, arrest me. Do whatever you want for there is nothing that will make me write what you want me to.

WPMOD: I may do all of those things, young man, should you continue to show such obstinace.

ME: Fine. Whatcha gonna do first?

WPMOD: This isn’t supposed to be complicated, Addy. This prompt is supposed to produce fun little posts that make people giggle and laugh…

ME: …exactly!

WPMOD: You don’t want to make people giggle and laugh?

ME: You want to know what repulses me? Sure, I don’t like eating Octopus…or olives, or veal. I don’t like Jeggings, for starters, I look terrible in them, for seconds, why do they even exist? Nor do I like The Frog Song, or reality television, being alone, academic wank, spiders, Alan Jones or, as you so eloquently put it, canine excrement. But I don’t find any of those repulsive. What I do find repulsive is hypocrisy. Arrogance. I find someone who decides that a homeless person is a worthless piece of canine excrement without talking to him – or her, given I’m not one for gender bias – to find out the what, why and wherefores of how he – or she – got there, to be repulsive. I find discrimination, whether it’s against race, gender, skin colour, religion, political opinion, Bond preference, class or health to be beyond repulsive. And don’t, ever, get me started on abuse, abuse sympathising or victim blame mentality.

They are the things I find repulsive, and given you know ‘everything’, as you so kindly pointed out, do you honestly think I’m the sort of person to sacrifice my moral standing to write a puff piece in favour of any of those things? On Addy’s blog today there’s a post talking about how everyone should discriminate against the mentalyl ill because, hey, stigmatizing a health condition is fun! See that woman in the pub, yeah, the one flashing the base of her butt because her shorts are on the tiny side, you should go over to her and pinch her ass. You should fondle her, degrade her, objectify her and generally do whatever you want to her because she’s a woman, and she was put on this planet to be your plaything. Obama was re-elected? W.T.F? What the frack is a black man doing in the white house? In fact, why are black people even allowed to walk freely in society? Same goes for gay people, and overweight people, those lazy bastards.

As for people who have been the victims of abuse? They absolutely deserved everything that happened to them. Of course it’s their fault. Don’t they realise that the abuse happened because they invited it with their clothes, their actions, that they dared to be born with a vagina – or a penis, as I certainly don’t have gender bias when it comes to abuse – and why stop there? Why not launch into a wee diatribe about how the abuse was a good thing, that their nightly nightmares merely make them stronger, that their ongoing pain is simply punishment for being a bad person who deserves to kill themselves.

Oh, but all sarcastically, of course. Just to give people a wee giggle.

WPMOD: I think you’re taking this a wee bit too seriously.

ME: I probably am. But, like the word hate, repulse is a strong word for me. I use it only to describe the things I am vehemently opposed to. And they are all things I would never – even if you grounded me for a decade, beat my ass raw, made me write a billion gazillion lines or put me in prison for the rest of my natural life – never, write anything positive about in any way, shape or form. Even sarcastically. Because all someone would need to do is highlight, CTRL+C, CTRL+V, delete the ‘this is all sarcastic’ line and they turn me into someone I would never be.

WPMOD: Who would do something like that?

ME: Who would tell someone who’d had a breakdown to kill themselves because their voice was so boring and monotonous it inflicted pain on everyone they talked to? Who would tell someone they deserved the months of emotional abuse they’d received that had destroyed their life? Who would tell someone that the rape they experienced sounded like a bit of fun? The world is full of shitty people, doing and saying shitty things, in order to get whatever they want in life and to hell with everyone else.

Personally, I want to focus on the awesome people. Sure, I want my blog to be entertaining, but I also want to make people think, to challenge them and their perceptions. And writing a puff piece about lungbutter is only going to make people think I’ve lost my mind, and I’m a hard enough person to like as it is.

WPMOD: You do tend to ramble on a bit.

ME: Yes, yes I do.

WPMOD: You have no idea how to end this post, do you?

ME: No, no I don’t.

WPMOD: Well, to help you out, I will let you off this once. But any further refusal to answer the prompts will result in immediate punishment. And you know what that means, don’t you?

ME: A password protected post?

WPMOD: Exactly. And we don’t want that now, do we Addy.

ME: I dunno. Sounds kinda fun if you ask me.

WPMOD (Shaking head): Good night, Addy.

ME: Goodnight, WordPress. Until tomorrow.


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Six things I’ve done that I would recommend you never (ever) do

Yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt was:
Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.
(What? I’m running late. Sue me :p)

1. Opt for love over a university course…

Once upon a time I was accepted into a highly regarded university photography course. If I’d taken the course I’d most likely be a world-famous photographer by now, spending my day’s shooting inspiring landscapes and releasing erotic/fetish folios under a pseudonym.

Instead, after chosing love, I’m an (ex) homeless socially-isolated mentally-ill man after the person I emigrated for had a relationship with another man, lied to me for years and never once understood how her actions made me feel in light of the sacrifices I’d made for her.

Yep, don’t even think about it. Choose education.

2. Turn down the chance of realising one of your dreams…

In 1999, my anxiety seized control of my mind and body and pulled me away from realising a life-long dream. To this day, no matter how hard I’ve tried this dream has remained unfulfilled. I hope it won’t stay that way forever…

3. Watch Catwoman

I watched it once…and then wanted to gouge my eyes out with a spoon!

If you really need a Catwoman fix, I recommend Batman Returns or a session playing Lego Batman :)

4. Let a friend down…

I’ve done it. And I lost their friendship forever.

If you value your friendships always be there for those you love, otherwise your regret will eat away at you from the inside like a vicious parasite and leave you an empty, hollow, husk of the person you once were.

5. Attempt suicide…

Overdoses…hanging…wristcutting…jumping…drowning…been there, done that, got the scars to prove it. However bad you feel, however lost you find yourself, however confused you become, however much pain you’re feeling, it will get better.

So if you feel suicidal, seek help. Talk to your friends, call a helpline, tell someone…anyone!

The alternative is not worth thinking about.

6. Streak down a major shopping mall in order to win a kinky bet…

…actually, no. I would whole-heartedly recommend you do this whenever the situation presents itself :p

W00T! Lego Batman!

W00T! Lego Batman! (Photo credit: Carol Browne)


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…and everything in between

Today’s WordPress Daily prompt is:
Take a subject you’re familiar with and imagine it as three photos in a sequence. Tackle the subject by describing those three shots.

Photograph #1:

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a poster for the latest Bond movie.

Standing dead centre in the frame, atop a familiar planet earth, is a man wearing a suave black tuxedo. He is the very definition of sexy; the sort of male you’d create if – in a random genetic experiment – you were to blend the DNA of Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling and Ian Somerhalder.

On his left arm is a woman with shoulder length brunette hair. She wears a scintillating scarlet dress that clings to her curvaceous figure as if it were a second skin. Her hand has slipped under his shirt to caress his muscular chest whilst he takes a firm hold of her hip. Hanging onto the man’s right leg is a second woman, a blonde in a purple cocktail dress that reveals acres of bare flesh. She is draped at his feet, her head bowed out of apparent submission to this God like man.

However, on closer inspection other elements begin to become clear.

The man is not standing on any old globe; he is standing on a photo montage made to represent the planet Earth. There are contracts for business deals, hundreds of receipts for lavish altruistic purchases, reams of telephone bills totalling thousands of dollars, several novels he’s written and millions of scribbled ideas, grand schemes and elaborate plans for world domination.

There are heavy bags under the man’s eyes from weeks without sleep, the odd bruise partly hidden by his shirt and a whisky bottle secreted in the pocket of his tuxedo jacket. In his right hand he holds a mobile phone, partly obscured by the blonde woman’s head, but the message on the screen is visible: 78 missed calls. As this message becomes clear, so does something else. The blonde woman is not bowing in submission, but out of pain; her face streaked with tears.

A caption at the bottom of the image reads: Manic…

Photograph #2:

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a black and white artistic photograph of a bed. The sort of image you’d get if were you to cross Ansel Adams with Tracey Enim.

There are no pillows in sight, just the crumpled heap of a black and white patterned duvet haphazardly thrown across a dishevelled mattress. Scattered around the sides of the bed are half filled bottles of an unidentified liquid, crumbled tissues, discarded clothing, books and empty cans of beer. On a bedside table sits a half drunk glass of water, a few unused condoms, a mobile phone and an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts.

However, on closer inspection other elements begin to become clear.

On the screen of the mobile phone is a message informing 0 missed calls. Lost amidst the sea of junk around the bed is a knife, in close proximity several scrunched up tissues splattered with a dark substance that could only be blood. There are also letters, thrown aside and unfinished, that speak of not being able to do this anymore, no longing wanting to be a burden and I’m sorry. Another note, written in more feminine handwriting, sits on the bedside table with the ashtray as a paperweight. It reads: Can’t do this anymore. Call me when you’re better.

Poking out the end of the bed, barely noticeable, is a human foot; the only visible limb of the person hidden beneath the duvet.

A caption at the bottom of the image reads: …depression…

Photograph #3:

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a piece of photojournalism capturing day-to-day office life.

A man sits at a desk in a pristine office environment, behind him a cityscape of high rises, cathedral spires, scattered trees and a winding river. He is typing at a computer, a phone nestled at his ear and a mug of coffee steaming nearby. Walking into frame is his colleague, she wears a stylish skirt suit and is smiling at the man as she passes.

However, on closer inspection other elements begin to become clear.

The man bears a striking resemblance to the person in the first image; in fact, if he wasn’t overweight, wearing glasses or dressed in a cheap brown suit you’d swear it was the same man. The woman is also eerily similar to the scarlet dress wearing femme-fatale that was hanging of his arm in the first panel. Her smile, which at first glance appears warm and inviting, hides a hint of derision and disgust, as if she is smiling out of forced politeness rather than any degree of friendship.

There is a bandage hidden under his white shirt, a memo on his desk RSVPing to a social function and an award hanging on the wall behind him indicating employee of the month. Attached to the monitor of his computer is a post-it note written in the same hand-writing as the note hidden under the ashtray of the second image. It reads: Have a beautiful day, beautiful boy :) PS…antenatal scan, tomorrow, 10am. Don’t forget! Love you xx

A caption at the bottom of the image reads:  …and everything in between.