We all seem to collect or hoard rubbish in our lives, as my family and I have moved from house to house we have collected all sorts of junk, stuff that was once treasured in our lives but is now packed in a box or a bag and long forgotten. When we moved last we were lucky enough to move into this house which has a cellar, all of the stuff we had not used for some time was packed away and put in the cellar on the day we moved 3½ years ago, most of it has not seen the light of day since.
Once I had made my decision to sort my life out, to get better, there were certain parts of my life that I never wanted to see again.
In the dark days when I had nothing to do, I lived on my settee in the same clothes for days on end, in old t-shirts, tracksuit bottoms, ripped socks and underwear, I had lost all respect for myself and all desire to get up and live life, that was unless I had something to get up and get out of the house for. On those days I would probably go round the corner to the shop in the same clothes, unshaven, unwashed and with scruffy hair, I just didn’t really care anymore, I would only clean myself up if I was going out working or at karate, otherwise I was just a mess.
On the day I made the phone call to put in motion the changes in my life that I needed, the first thing I did after that phone call was to go into town, buy new underwear and shower gel, razors, de-odorant, etc, I had to start cleaning myself up, start to take a little bit of pride in myself and my appearance.
The next weekend, I took a walk into town, brought a large plastic storage box, marker pen, new pillows, pillowcases and an A4 notebook. On my return home, I took my old pillows, which to me stank of stale sweat and alcohol, I didn’t want to smell that anymore, I didn’t want to be reminded of that every time I laid my head down to sleep, I put the pillows in the bottom of the box.
Next went all my old ripped underwear and torn socks, my tracksuit went in next, I had spent days in this, I couldn’t remember the last time I had put this in for wash, because I was very rarely out of it, it too had the odour of stale sweat and alcohol, I could have washed that a million times and still worn it, but it would always remind me of the lazy, alcoholic slob that had occupied my life for so long.
On top of all that went the last bit of alcohol that I had in the house. There had been a third of a bottle of wine in the house for the last seven days, it had been put on top of the fridge before I made my phone call the Monday before and there it had stayed. I had walked by it many times during the week and on many occasions I pointed a finger at the bottle and spoke to it, I told it that it could not have me, I wasn’t going to give in, I didn’t want it anymore and I had a plan for it. The time to carry out this plan was now, I took the bottle down placed it on top of the pillows, underwear and tracksuit and closed the box. With the marker I had brought, I wrote that I didn’t need these any more, the date and the words “The Healing Had Begun”. I then took the box down into the cellar, placed it with all the other rubbish and turned the lights out. That part of my life was now consigned to the cellar with all the other unwanted rubbish from my past life that would never see the light of day again, until it was time to throw it out once and for all.
Nobody had told me to do this, nobody I know has ever done anything like this that I know of, but I had to do it. I wanted rid of the part of my life and everything that I knew that associated me with the laziness, the slob, the tramp and the alcoholic, I was saying goodbye and good riddance to the part my life that I never wanted to see again.
That night I started a journal, I back dated it to the previous Monday, from the point that I made that life changing phone call, I recorded all my feelings from that week, and from there I have written in the book every night, recording my day, my feelings, my happiness, my pain, my struggles, my victories and my life. Sometimes I read back the odd page at random, or I pick a day that was painful or glorious, sometimes I can’t believe what I have written, sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry, but these pages have inspiration for me, to take these feelings and memories, to embellish them in order to form this blog, when I flick through the odd page I remember moments and think I must write about that, to share the inner most feelings of my memories in the hope that someone who is maybe going through the same or similar struggles may find some inspiration and seek the help they need to sort their life out.
And he’ll break
Open skies to save
Those who cry out his name
The One who the wind and waves obey
Is strong enough to save you
(Strong Enough To Save by Tenth Avenue North)
If one person is saved by me writing and sharing this blog, then all the pain would have been well worth it.