Is it Better or Worse?

Disclaimer: This is not normal for me. But this is a lengthy post. And there is also some language throughout here and there. Nothing too over the top, just the actually f-bomb here and there.

So, as you all know the last 20 months, well really, the last 23 months, ever since being admitted into Mona Vale Hospital for those several months before it closed, everything for me has totally changed. It is as the image above says “everything changes”. But I am now really starting to have strong doubts about if it really is for better or worse in all aspects of my life. I know for a fact some have been fantastic, others I am not too sure on.

Right now, as at the time of actually writing this (7.20pm), I am currently awaiting the arrival of a massive food home delivery to stock up my fridge, freezer and cupboard. For me, I would say that is a good thing as I am not having to worry about where my next meal is coming from as I will have plenty here to last me for some time and may not even have to actually do a full shop next Friday, just maybe the basics, like bread and fresh milk etc.

Now, this is actually where things get tricky and most of you are not going to understand where the fuck I am coming from with this. Because you haven’t lived most of your life on the streets, nor have you gone through anywhere near what the fuck I have in my inter life, you really won’t understand it. So I will do my best to explain it the best I can and as simply as I can for everyone to understand.

When I was homeless, living on the streets, I still had my issues and went through a lot of shit. But things were a lot easier to deal with than what they actually are now and have been for some time now. Everyone thinks that now that Zac has a place to live, regular food to eat, a hot/cold shower whenever I want etc that everything is ok and I am getting along fine. Well, let’s put that bullshit to rest right now. I am not coping with everything. I am bottling a lot of things up. I am hiding a lot of things that are going on from a lot of people, including my caseworkers and counsellor. A bit pointless wouldn’t you think? They are here to help. However, these certain things I just can’t talk to them about, I can’t reach out to them about it. So again, I just bottle all this shit up inside and it is now getting to the stage where things are starting to bubble. When this usually happens I am not far from actually exploding. And I am worried. If I explode I will probably just be like, well fuck this, I can’t take it any more and just give the fuck up. What would that mean? Well to put it simply as my Doctors and Specialists have put it to me. If I end up back on the streets that would give it a couple of months and then one morning I will be found dead in a park or wherever I am sleeping the night before. Now that is also fucking scary, being told if you go back to the old life you, not might, but you will die within months. This would be because they can’t get these damn constant infections from what I was admitted into the hospital for under control and it just keeps spreading. Where if I go back to the streets than absolutely all treatment and medication stops as I wouldn’t be able to carry it all around with all my basic supplies to get through nor would I be seeing a regular Doctor or Specialist, because fuck knows where I would be at the time. What town, suburb or even state I would be in at the time.

Yes, I know, I am rambling in parts, but this is how I am and you just have to deal with that and I am not going to make any apology for it either. Now, back to what I was saying.

Let’s get the timeline down here as I do fuck it up sometimes as I am usually on my pain medication, even though most of the time when I take them all at the same time, it doesn’t make me sleep and it makes more alert, so I can actually get things done and quicker than I normally would.

It was the 9th of May 2018 that I was discharged from hospital and moved straight into the temporary accommodation unit, that I am still in now (4th of January 2020). But we are waiting for me permanent unit to become available it is just being delayed due to some medical restrictions onto the type of property that I can be given. Example: I can’t be given a place on a 2nd or 3rd floor due to the issues with my leg and climbing stairs, so they literally have to have me on a ground floor unit. There are also a couple of other restrictions as well, but they are simple to overcome, not as major as having to be on the ground floor. But, there are no issues with me remaining where I am until that property does become available, which in a way is a good thing.

So, literally in 5 days time, I would have been in this unit for a total of 20 months (1 year and 8 months). Now, think back to when I was homeless, the longest period that I actually lived anywhere was only a few hours here and there. The most of those decades were in a park, on the beach, travelling on trains or buses to a new town or state, on a concrete slab at a church, this is a list that can just go on and on.

Also, in exactly 3 days time, I turn another year older. This will be the second year in a row that I literally haven’t been sleeping on the streets for my birthday. It is also the second year in a row I get to celebrate it with a few people close to me, there are others that I wish could be there, but it is a bit far to fly from the United States or the United Kingdom for a Birthday BBQ. You online friends of mine will know who I am talking about there. Turning 43. I have been on this planet for 43 years and what the fuck do I have to show for it? What have I achieved? Really, looking back over those years, there is nothing that actually fully stands out apart from several things over the last 20 months. This depresses me if I am honest.

But what I can say that I have actually achieved over these last 20 months is the following:

  • I have remained in stable accommodation this inter time no matter how much I have struggled and wanted to pack up and throw in the towel
  • I have been able to get several of my major health issues, that I still suffer, under control more than they were when I was sleeping rough
  • I have jumped through all the hoops and hurdles of a government department to be able to be offered a permanent home when a suitable one is found in the area
  • I have jumped through more hoops and hurdles of another government department to get onto the NDIS so that I can get the help and support I need in my day to day life
  • I have been able to address several issues that have haunted me for many, many years
  • I have been able to find a counsellor that I am comfortable with and can talk too as I have now seen her 11 times, with another session in 6 days time
  • I have been able to tell my life story on video that is going to be used and shared to help other people. This was a scary thing, but also something that I am very pleased that I did and I am proud of myself that I was able to get through it all considering some of the topics that were discussed
  • I have been able to start my online business and keep it running and doing what I love doing. This is doing web designing and website management. Hydra Web Services is now also starting to gain a bit of traction and requests coming in and this is because I have been determined to make it work
  • I have been able to notice that I was being used by several people in my life and I totally removed them from my life and ceased all contact – something I would have had issues doing before
  • I have been able to totally manage to make and keeping all my appt.’s – Obviously with the help of the Coimba workers to get to the appt.’s
  • I have in the last couple of weeks managed to start getting out of the unit and doing things, both through the week and on the weekend with an NDIS worker so I am not constantly locked up at home, which is the way it was before my NDIS plan and funding came through
  • I have been able to keep on top of my bills and pay them each week and do my shopping and medication runs (even though some of those are not cheap)

Actually once typing those out it turns out I have done more than I actually thought. There are a few housekeeping things that I am actually struggling with. But I was able to notice that I had a problem in certain areas and I was able to reach out and ask for help. In time hopefully, I will be able to totally manage these things myself. But these type of things take a bit to learn with help and without getting so overwhelmed trying to do it all alone. Which is what I was trying to do at first.

When I was a rough sleeper I didn’t have any of these responsibilities and really didn’t give a damn about my health as most of that stuff couldn’t be dealt with by the lifestyle that I was leading. Where now everything is different. Also, now I stress a lot about new situations that arise that would never happen when sleeping rough, you never have to worry about cleaning, paying bills, eating healthy and keeping regular contact with Doctors and Specialists. Also being able to have a fridge which was needed for several of my medications which I couldn’t take on the streets, bit hard having a fridge out there in a park to keep insulin and other medication cold.

Sometimes I really wonder if everything is worth going forward with and then I keep thinking back to what the Doctors and Specialists have said would happen, so I continue to hang in. I continue to struggle. I continue to keep certain things to myself that I don’t even tell my closest of friends.

I think I am going to end this here for now and might continue this post at a later stage. But for right now I think I have got out everything I basically wanted to say …

About The Author

Zac is from the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia. Zac runs his own online Web Design & Management business. In his spare time, he likes playing computer games, such as Need for Speed Most Wanted, Flight Simulator X, The Sims 4 and various others. Zac also enjoys spending time walking along the shoreline at the beach. Zac has a lot of health, both physical and mental which he is currently working on after a long history of abuse, hardship and decades being homeless. Zac continues to get by day by day and is moving forward with his life and is no longer letting anyone hold him back.