Turn round and face it
That first bottle of cider set me free, it was as though a button had been pressed in my heart and all the hurt, pain and worry simply blew away like a leaf in the wind. It was the solution to the turmoil that bubbled away under the surface, or so I thought.
It was a year or two after this that someone ancient ( probably about 35 years old ) told me to enjoy my teens as time will fly be with increasing speed. Being a cocky, drink fuelled teenager I inwardly laughed at this. But he was right. Little did I know that he suffered from the same disease as myself, a disease that would kill him a few years later.
As time went on I "experimented" more and more. And with each new experience my mind weakeded more and more. I was spiralling out of control and felt like the last man alive, surely the only person to have ever felt like this. So I started to run, from flat to flat, from town to city and back again, many many times. I didn't know what I was running from, only that I "knew" that the next move would free my mind and I could live like other people do. I would plot and plan where to go, where would be safe, where I would be happy. And through great determination and often great manipulation, I would get the flat that would cure me. But every time on that first night, I would lock the door and instead of finding sanctuary all I would find was an even more damaged version of myself.
By now the needle and those tiny bags of brown poison were my only friend, the only constant in a world of ever changing chaos. Countless rehabs only stemmed the flow of my madness and after yet another relapse a penny dropped somewhere deep in my mind. I couldn't outrun the pain and trauma that lay within me, the drugs stopped numbing life a long time before and there was no house, big or small that could protect me from my biggest fear. Myself.
So I decided to firmly plant my feet on the ground, turn round and face it. Because whether I liked it or not it would always be there, sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear. If I didn't deal with it then I would surely join the countless others who have died before me. Good people taken too young. And the "it" I refer to, well that's myself, warts and all.
I'm not saying facing myself and slowly dealing with my past is easy, far from it in fact. But it is the only way that I am finding the freedom that I spent 30 years desperately trying to find. Some days are amazing, better than any pill or powder whereas some days I need to hold on tight in the knowledge that the feelings will pass in their own time. Everything passes, both good and bad, but life is a gift and I thank the heavens every day that I have this gift we call life.
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