Leaving The Past Behind

Sometimes we have to put aside that which holds us down, that which keeps us trapped, that which is the destroyer of our souls.

Five years ago life was changing rapidly, I was now finding a way through that I had never dreamed off, only a week before I was torn between life and death, between holding on and simply giving up on life and everything that goes with it.

But that voice, the voice I later found to be God’s stopped me in my tracks, made me see I had some worth to someone, even if I had none to myself. From that moment chains were snapping, things were changing, a mind set for despair began to see life. That morning after I made a phone call that changed everything for good, last week I described how that single call to my Pastor tore the veil that was shrouding me, the world began to see my pain and more importantly I began to see God.

Two nights later, I prayed for the first time. It had been a long hard day at work, after a nine and half hour shift, I went straight to the architects to do what I thought would only be about an hours work, then home. But they had more work for me than I anticipated and the more I rushed, the more mistakes and the longer it took, I was getting stressed, I had not had much more than three hours sleep over the preceding two nights and I wanted to go home and have a drink, the desperation was returning. I remember thinking to myself it would be fine, on the way home pick up two bottles of wine, drink them both and relax!

After about two hours I finally left, it was gone 7.30pm, over twelve hours since I left home that morning for work, I was tired, irritable and desperate.

I went home, had something to eat, watched some TV and then decided I was bored, so time for bed.

What I didn’t realise was that was almost 11.30pm, but not only that I hadn’t had a drink, I hadn’t stopped off at the shop in the way home, I had gone straight home and what’s more, I don’t remember any of the anguish or desperation that had been there in the preceding weeks. At no point had I paced the house, scratching at the skin on my arms, whilst I tried to resist a drink, there was none of that, but a sense of peace was there.

I turned everything off, laid down, closed my eyes and prayed, I thanked God for that strength to get through without drinking and I asked for the strength to get through each day like that, then I closed my eyes and slept.

Having not really being able to sleep at anytime without a drink over the last few years, in particular the previous two nights, when I woke with my alarm, I realised I had just experienced the most peaceful sleep of my whole life, at that moment I cried as I realised God had heard and answered my prayer, He had brought a peace that is hard to describe, other that absolutely amazing.

By the time Sunday came around, I had only had six pints since the previous weekend, a fraction of what I drank on the previous Sunday and since my phone call, I had brought nothing into my house and had drunk nothing in my house either.

From the previous weekend there was about a third of a bottle of wine left, I had placed it on the top of the fridge. All week I had walked past that bottle, but eventually I began to speak out to it, I told this bottle that it couldn’t have me, it had no power over me, I had a plan for it and as Sunday came around, it was time to action that plan. It was time to say goodbye to some of my past.

I didn’t feel I was ready for Church yet, although I knew that was to be my destiny, but I knew certain things had to be dealt with before I could walk into Church. So I set off into town, I needed the largest plastic container that I could find, yet still carry home.

I brought the container home and began to fill it. Firstly I took all my bedding and put it at the bottom of the box, it all stank of the alcohol I had spilt on it over the years, I had become quite good at falling asleep with an open bottle of wine in my hand, eventually I didn’t spill much, I would wake in the morning with this open bottle, drink the rest and then go to work, that was who I had become, so the smell of sweat and alcohol mixed had to go, I had purchased new bedding, so this was to go.

On top of that I placed the clothes I had been sleeping in, just a tatty tracksuit, a couple of t-shirts and all my worn out underwear and socks, these were the clothes I would lounge about the house in and drink in, like my bedding they had that stale smell of sweat and alcohol mixed, they had to go too. On top of those I added my watch, the fabric strap had the same smell, that had to go with the rest of it.

Then with the box almost full there was one thing left to go in, the last bottle of wine that I had ever purchased, is was only a third full, but it wasn’t going to be drank, this was the plan I had for it all week, to be put in this box and put it away with the rest of my past. I placed it carefully on top of everything else and closed the box. On the box in marker pen, I wrote the date and “This Is Where The Healing Begins”. Then I took the box down into the cellar and placed it with all the other forgotten rubbish we had collected over the years.

The box remains there, five years on.

The Forgotten Box

The Forgotten Box

I honestly don’t remember what prompted me to do this, I cannot remember that actual point that I came up with the idea, it just became a plan that I thought of and put into action. In a way I had to make a symbolic gesture of packing away a part of my life that I didn’t need or want anymore, to make a positive action to say goodbye to the part of me that would lounge around the house drinking, the new me was rising and there was no space in my life anymore for this version of me,it had to be packed away.

I do recall reading a story of a girl in America who gave away a razor blade that she had used to cut herself with to the band Tenth Avenue North, one of their songs had inspired her to quit self harming, so when she met the band she made that gesture, maybe this was what inspired me, I can’t honestly remember, but I knew it was something I had to do.

Four days later, 29th March 2012, I took my last drink, the next morning I woke free, knowing I had made the choice to never drink again, I knew I had the strength now to resist and that I would never have to wake feeling fuzzy ever again, then just a few days later I would walk into the Everyday Champions Church and knew I had found my home.

God had lead me home!

BORN AGAIN by THIRD DAY ft LACEY STURM
Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be
I was lost when you found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and you sang your song over me

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
In my life

Make a promise to me now
Reassure my heart somehow
That the love that I feel is so much more real than anything
I’ve a feeling in my soul
And I pray that I’m not wrong
That the life I have now, it is only the beginning

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
For the very first time

I wasn’t looking for something that was more
Than what I had yesterday
Then you came to me and you gave to me
Life and a love that I’ve never known
That I’ve never felt before

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
In my life

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