From the moment I put down that blade on Sunday 18th March 2012, I knew it all had to change, I couldn’t go on the way I was heading, I had to seek out change, to find a new way through my life. I was lost in world of my own making, of my own design, a twisted world, a broken world where I believed happiness was only to be found at the Bottom Of A Bottle.
I didn’t really need that penknife, I was slowly killing myself by the madness in which I was living, I was a ticking timebomb, ready to explode at anytime!
After making that life changing phone call to Gareth the very next morning, where for the first time I admitted to anyone, even myself, that I really wasn’t doing very well, that I need help, that of course was an understatement at that point, I was a wreck of a human being, a feeble excuse for a man. As soon as I put down the phone, it finally dawned on me as I realised for the first time it was me, I had to change, I was broken, it was all wrong, it couldn’t continue this life I had become accustomed to, it wasn’t healthy in many ways, I had to end that old life and start a new one. Gareth got the full picture later that night, as I confessed, as I cried and as I broke down time after time.
I had to be the change!
I took steps that very morning to clean myself up, take some pride in my appearance and in myself. I was certainly a gigantic mess inside and equally a mess on the outside.
At that point I was so deeply immersed in the pain of rejection, my world felt as if it was over, my relationship was over all because of my actions, the actions of an alcoholic fool. I was struggling to live, struggling to live with the weight of that guilt.
But being an alcoholic is not the excuse here, I accept what I was, I’ve come to terms with that, it’s a painful truth, but one I must bare for the rest of my life. I will live always being just one decision away from a life that may just finally destroy me, one small drink may be the catalyst that restarts the destructive ride, that painful journey back down to the bottom of the hole I’ve climb out of, the counting will have ground to a halt and the fading light of that wind-up torch be extinguished forever.
But the real truth goes beyond that, I wasn’t born an alcoholic, nobody is. It’s not something you can catch, but once it’s there within you this dark disease eats its way into your soul. Yes it is a disease, but it’s a disease you get by choice. Nobody ever forced a drink into my hand and made me drink, nobody ever held a bottle to my mouth and forced a drink down my throat, no I wasn’t coerced into drinking, I took each and every drink voluntarily, well at first anyway.
As I proceeded through life I found alcohol helped mask a lot of feelings, rejection, stress, pain, loneliness, you name it alcohol numbed it for me, took me away from it, took me to a place I felt comfortable, a lonely place yes, hidden behind curtains and under a quilt, hiding from the world, not wanting anyone to see the dirty, destructive universe I was creating for myself.
If I was out with friends I encouraged them to stay with me, to have one more drink, if I could get others to drink with me, it put an acceptable face on it, just friends enjoying a drink, not just one man on a self destructive course of chaos.
But my own choice of actions lead me to live my life in Asshole Mode, that’s certainly what mode I was transmitting in, I became more withdrawn from my situation at home and left a once loving partner to deal with all the crap I was carrying with me. I wasn’t dealing with my own inadequacy, my partner was, she was the rock that was keeping our household together, she became the provider and the giver, I became a parasitic leech, sucking the life out of those around me, taking all but giving nothing, just spending those days without purpose wallowing within my own self pity, living life in the shadows, emerging only to take from those around me, not to contribute only to take.
My downfall and my ultimate rejection was all of my own making. My family were living under their own post apocalyptic nuclear dust cloud that my chemical warfare had created.
I fully deserved to be kicked out full stop, I should have been thrown out onto the street, no second changes, just get out. I don’t deserve to be standing on this foundation stone, a solid foundation and home life with my kids, a foundation stone upon which to start the process of rebuilding my shattered life.
My family and those around me shouldn’t have to change, they have put with far too much, they have adapted to every dark challenge I have thrown at them. I had to change and I have to keep changing, there is still work to be done, amendments to be made to myself and my attitude to be retuned, all of this before I can even accept myself, never mind allow anybody else to accept me.
But when our lives are overtaken by turmoil and confusion, we look around to find the root of the problem, we seek to blame everyone but ourselves, we are so blinkered by our own feelings, that we just don’t see it is us that need to change, we never comprehend that this turmoil in which we find ourselves, is totally of our own making, created through our own actions, moulded by our own decisions and reinforced by our Asshole Mode attitude.
We reap what we sow.
If we sow seeds of poisonous berries, we will harvest and then eventually digest these berries, poisoning ourselves and our thinking, thus creating the poisonous world within which we find ourselves. Only when the poison starts to infuse every blood vessel, every organ and every muscle within our body, finally leaving us with the incapacity to move, then and only then when it all seems completely lost, do we finally realise our mistakes.
But even then we can still fail to appreciate the reality of the situation, we still look to find the blame in others, we still refuse to accept all the blame, we still feel the need to apportion some of our guilt onto others, we still live in almost complete denial!
It takes a long hard look in the mirror for us to finally accept the truth, a deep soul searching before we finally realise, that it is we who are ultimately responsible for our own decisions in life, it is ourselves and only ourselves that make our own destiny and if we don’t like where it has brought us to, then there is really only one solution, we have to accept our inadequacies, confess our weaknesses, realise our failings and be comfortable with our shortcomings, we have to change our own ways.
The world does not revolve around us, we are not the centre of the universe.
We must look within and self analyse our every movement, what is it we are actually giving out, if we are living in Asshole Mode, well accept that you are reaping the poisonous fruits it brings and if you don’t like it, then change your transmission.
If I was my own best friend, would I put up with myself?
The people I love and live with have tolerated my behaviour until they could take it no longer, how could I continually expect them to keep changing so they could keep tolerating the sorry excuse for a human being that I became?
The simple answer is I can’t, I shouldn’t expect anything from them at all, I simply deserve nothing. The best thing I can do is change, change me and change my ways, I need to try to be the person they really deserve to have in their lives.
It may be too late for me to receive redemption from all those loved ones that have finally come to the end of their tether with me, all I can do now is just keep working hard on the changes I have put into place within my life, I need to keep fighting hard, I should keep recovering, keep rebuilding and stay reborn.
So what are you sowing?
If you are sowing the seeds of poisonous berries, then CHANGE!
So what are you transmitting?
If you are transmitting in Asshole Mode, then CHANGE!
Is the problem in your World you?
If it is, then CHANGE!
“So I will look no further than a mirror
That’s where the offender hides
So great is my need for a redeemer
That I cannot trust myself
No, I cannot trust my self
I dare not trust myself
So I trust in someone else”
(The Problem by Downhere)
Just stop blaming the world for your own shortcomings, get up, look in the mirror, take a good long look, you’ll find the answer to all your problems, it’s there staring straight back at you.
When I first made the decision to pray, I didn’t ask God to change everything for me, I simply prayed for the strength to make those changes myself. It’s not enough to expect God to do all the work, remember, “we are a work in progress, but we have to work to progress”.
If we want change, real change within ourselves, then we have to do it for ourselves, we can ask God for the strength, we can ask God for guidance, but we should never expect that he will do all the work for us!
I still pray everyday, I still ask for the strength and guidance to maintain my journey along this path, I give thanks and praise for all that he has done within my life. Yes, I ask for help and guidance with any issues that are troubling me, but I don’t ask him to do anything that I can do myself, just the strength to do it!