2016 In Review

Most people looking back on 2016 only seems to have negative things to say about it, but for me 2016 was a year of getting out of a bad situation and a shitty job. I changed my new address and moved into a completely new neighbourhood, which was scary and I could have starved to death had I not accepted that change and adapted to it. I may have fallen into a deep and aimless depression, in which I thought all the skills that I built up over 11 years were now gone, but I fought it and I came out even stronger on the other side. My chronic fatigue may mean I get tired over doing 2-3 basic tasks and my likelihood of being employed even in a part time 8 hour per week job is pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an employer out there who is accommodating of my issues.

Sometimes I think those who complain the most about things are people who don’t have enough to complain about. I still have the same atypical brain, the same energy limitations and I’m in the same hopeless situation but I have a loving family who I will always get to see at the end of the year. Sure, things could be better in certain parts but I have to accept it and wait for things to get better.

This year I made new friends who understand my mental health issues and give me hope in times when I feel there is none, and in turn I support and offer them hope and practical advice, because after all I can’t help being myself. I’ve connected to two people in subjects that I struggled to find anyone to connect to. I made a promise and a plan to a higher power and have followed through with it quite nicely. And most importantly, the passion of storytelling that runs through every fiber of my being is no longer just another abandoned dream because it just felt too hard to do with all my problems that stood in the way of me pursuing my dream of being a published and well known author and screenwriter.

This year I had to face some hard truths about situations that I couldn’t change, and I had to accept that and move on from them. To not get into too many details I will say it involves a serious mental illness with such strong delusions that they had to be medicated away, and even after coming off medication certain things in my life have to be viewed in another perspective and avoided altogether just because some place my mind took me 3 years ago.

Life is hard. Life can be frustrating and seems to be unfair at times, but the year is not to blame; it’s your attitude towards the world. Social media breeds a culture that encourages pessimism and petty arguments. It’s no wonder we’re always so negative when we should really be grateful for all we have. Most of us have more positive things going for us than some people in truly dire situations, and despite all they struggle with they don’t complain – they just get on with it.

I can’t close this blog without mentioning yet again that one big change for me was getting back into political activism and that wouldn’t have happened without meeting members of Socialist Equality Party, Socialist Alternative and a much delayed interest in the band Anti-Flag. The U.S Election results may have helped some but the real seeds were planted from an encounter from the leader of the SEP on Election Day. Australia has been under right-wing leadership for two years so there’s been plenty of reasons for me to get active again. It’s not just about saving the Great Barrier Reef, Same Sex Marriage or closing Nauru anymore. Or those countless petitions I’ve signed against Bayer and Monsanto.

Now I feel like 2017 will be a year of war, a class war because if forcing people on disability to work wasn’t enough they’re going to cut the pension. 2016 for me was just a shake-up. It roused me up from my leftist coma and made me aware that the government really doesn’t care about its people and complacency will just endure our suffering.

Wow. That got kind of serious. This was meant to be a feelgood post even though I don’t really feel that positive about work or about pursuing my dreams lately. Hope can come from many places though; sometimes dreaming big, sometimes anger. I know these last few paragraphs sound contradictory to my ‘just be thankful with what you got’ theme but there’s a line to it. No one should allow themselves to be treated unfairly by those who rule over them. Everyday annoyances should be easy to shake off though.

For the last couple of years this blog has mainly been about my mental health issues and sometimes video games, but as this blog is basically a database of my thoughts, especially the troubling ones, things are going to have to change as I change. I might get political from time to time. This is the new (old) me and you’re just going to have to put up with it.

With ❤ Spycraft 

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2015: The Year of Change

Usually when you hear me talk about change it’s in defiance of it but this time it’s been more about embracing it. More than that. Change has happened in my life and within me personally that I barely even knew it was happening.
First, I decided to start a photography course which I at times have doubts that I could ever finish after I start another subject but I work out ways to make it happen. I’ve learned a lot from this course and I use it my general and concert photography. General is anything from self-portraits to photos of animals to photos of children’s birthday parties. I now have the passion to take photos again. I’m not really sure where it went all those years before to be honest. I have had to overcome anxiety that kept me from going to concerts and still have to face a type of agoraphobia that developed in me after a traumatic event. That was years ago though and I now feel ready to move on.
Secondly, with my 30th birthday looming near I decided I should probably go find my some work. The government also requires it of me despite being on a disability pension. The hardest part for me would be overcoming my physical weaknesses. I have hypoglycemia and so need to eat a little every few hours. I also have chronic fatigue and can use up my energy in just a matter of hours. I’m sure there’s a nice employer out there who can work around these issues. I have a lot to offer and not even Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD or mood disorders can hold me back.
Third and last and probably most important I’ve become a committed Christian again. I don’t think Christian is the right word but I believe in God as I have from a young age and follow both early Hebrew traditions and the New Testament. I have a calling on my life that I’ve felt since a very young age but it was never revealed to me until now. I will not say too much since I don’t want to scare you away but I’m very serious and committed to what I have to do and am even creating artworks to share this message, and those artworks will be on another blog. People can mock me. People can try to convince me I’m believing in fairy tales but it won’t do them any good. I’m a rock. Agreeing with people just so they don’t feel uncomfortable around me doesn’t matter to me, the only thing that matters to me is what I can do to secure a future in the next life.
So, I’m finally getting back into my art. I’m a gifted artist (or just quick to pick it up) but have never had any formal education. So I have a lot of self-learning to do to reach these artistic goals I have set in place.
I still want to be a writer of some kind and have a story in the back of my mind. Instead of being science fiction it’s more to help autism awareness. I recently saw a BBC miniseries called The Politician’s Husband and while the depiction of a child with Asperger’s was truthful it focused too much on the negative. I believe showing the negative is important but as someone who has lived that child’s life I can tell you it does get better. In fact, things might be able to get better for an autistic child when they are still a child. It’s more about teaching them life skills without trying to make them ‘normal’ i.e allowing them to have interests and their own coping strategies most commonly referred to as ‘symptomatic behaviour.’ So, that’s the book/screenplay I wish to write.

I don’t make myself ridiculous new year’s resolutions to keep, instead I’m just going to launch straight into a healthy diet and exercise routine. I like feeling fit and it does help give me prolonged concentration and just puts me in an all round happier mood.

As it’s now the first day of 2016 I can begin seeing these goals through. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy. I’m now a photographer for CargoArt Magazine which could mean my photographs can now be printed. I’ll continue to do my photography course and just keep on taking photos in my spare time or for my band photography. I look for jobs daily now, usually anything that involves using a camera. I’ll have to start learning how to draw and paint those things I wish to create on canvases. I’m going to be reading plenty of religious books, including The Bible every Saturday in my own little live-in Church which is my bedroom and the only Church I can trust. I’m already exercising and eating healthily too.

It all seems to be working out pretty well for me – the planning stages at least. I’ll still have plenty of downtime to rest and recharge. So that’s that then. It will be a great year because everyday I will strive to get better; healthier, fitter, mindful, creative and righteous. Now I’m not trying to sound better than everyone – far from it. I mean others are allowed to sin. I have to watch everything I say, do and think very carefully. I just want to be a good person. Good in the eyes of God and mentally sound and say goodbye to physical weakness.

Shanti