Tag Archives: Friends

Beneath His Light – 1 John 1:7

Beneath His Light – 1 John 1:7

In the light together
We walk beneath His light
In fellowship
A kingdom as one
Our sin removed
As we see truth
Beneath the light
The chosen
The saved
All together
In fellowship
Walking beneath His light

1 John 1:7

1 John 1:7

None Of Us – 1 Peter 2:17

None Of Us – 1 Peter 2:17

None of us
Can make it alone
We all need friends
We all need a guide
So respect and love
The friends you have
And those you don’t know
Honour and love
God the Father
And then know this
Wherever you go
You never go alone

1 Peter 2:17

1 Peter 2:17

8 Years Sober

It’s hard to believe I’ve made it through to eight years sober today, usually something to celebrate, but here alone in this uncertain period of lock down it seems trivial and not really worth the celebration.

Its been a tough last nine months, I spent the second half of last year suffering with headaches, in the end the doctors put them down to tension headaches. At first they thought it was because my blood pressure had gone back up to sky high levels, despite the tablets, so with some experimentation with different tablets and numerous trips back to the doctors it came back down, but the headaches remained, thankfully they became less severe and manageable that I just got used to them.

For the last twelve weeks I’ve had a cough that just won’t go, that was before this Covid-19 virus had made the news, again despite frequent trips back to the doctors and blood tests and x-rays, they still can not diagnose it, so now I have been referred to a specialist because they down know what’s going on, when that’s going to happen given the current situation is anyone’s guess. At least for the time being at has eased, it hurts my ribs to cough now, at least I’m not almost passing out each time I cough, that was hard going for a while.

Given the symptoms of this virus and a persistent couch being one of them, I have been worried, any sign of a temperature I start to panic, but so far it’s all okay. Imagine going to the shop and not being able to stop myself coughing, I’ve definitely had some funny looks in the last few weeks. It’s a worrying time for all at the moment, although we may not like this lock down that most of us face, but it is necessary and those that make these decisions are doing what they can to save as many lives as possible.

But given all that, I’m still fighting, still sober, still thankful to our God for the grace of a second chance. I’m grateful for the people God has brought into my life to help me along the way, I couldn’t have done any of this without them.

RESCUE STORY by ZACH WILLIAMS
There I was empty-handed
Crying out from the pit of my despair
There You were in the shadows
Holding out Your hand You met me there

And now where would I be without You?
Where would I be, Jesus?

You were the voice in the desert
Calling me out in the dead of night
Fighting my battles for me
You are my rescue story
Lifted me up from the ashes
Carried my soul from death to life
Bringing me from glory to glory
You are my rescue story

You are, You are
You are my rescue story
You are, You are

You were writing the pages
Before I had a name
Before I needed grace, oh
Singing songs of redemption
‘Cause every time I ran away
You were louder than my shame

And now where would I be without You?
Where would I be, Jesus?

You were the voice in the desert
Calling me out in the dead of night
Fighting my battles for me
You are my rescue story
Lifted me up from the ashes
Carried my soul from death to life
Bringing me from glory to glory
You are my rescue story

You never gave up on me
You never gave up on me
You are my testimony, ooh…
You never gave up on me
You never gave up on me
You are my testimony, ooh…
You never gave up on me
Oh, You never gave up on me
Oh, this is my testimony

Oh, You were the voice in the desert
Calling me out in the dead of night
Fighting my battles for me
You are my rescue story
Lifted me up from the ashes
Carried my soul from death to life
Bringing me from glory to glory
‘Cause You are my rescue story

You are, You are (You are my rescue story)
Oh, You never gave up on me, never gave up on me
You are, You are
Yeah, You are my rescue story

Once A Foreigner – Deuteronomy 10:12-19

Once A Foreigner – Deuteronomy 10:12-19

There I was
Once a foreigner
To His kingdom
Yet He loved me
He welcomed me
He forgave me
And His people
They too loved me
They too welcomed me
And they too forgave me
Oh what a kingdom
Oh what a family
Oh what a mighty one
Our God truly is
To welcome the outcast
With open arms
To enter the family
And become one

Deuteronomy 10:12-19

Deuteronomy 10:12-19

Stand Firm – Philippians 4:1

Stand Firm – Philippians 4:1

And if I never meet you again
Know you’ve touched this life
In the name of the Lord made it better
Just for knowing you in this life
So this I hope of you
That you remain standing firm
In the ways of the Lord
And may influence the lives
Of many more to come

Philippians 4:1

Philippians 4:1

The Reason – Psalm 22:25

The Reason – Psalm 22:25

As they watch on
The faithful
And the unknowing
I know my reason
For being alive
For the voice behind my praise
You are the One
The only reason
The One who I praise
Before those around me

Psalm 22:25

Psalm 22:25

Broken By A Dream

Broken By A Dream

I know I have been here before, I’ve had bad dreams before, reoccurring dreams that in some way get you every time.  But this one is beyond reoccurring, it tortures in a way that messes with the mind.  I know that I am not the only who suffers from these, I have read many recovering alcoholics write or talk of the same dreams, feel the same pain, anguish and guilt.

When I dream in this way the guilt runs through me hard, when I first wake I can’t get my head around the true reality, usually within minutes I can get my head around it, not today though.

These dreams, dreams where I see myself drinking, alone or with others, but nonetheless drinking, where in the dream there is a moment of realisation and then the guilt hits, that is usually when I wake.  In waking it’s like the dream continues, it hard to tell the difference between the dream and reality.

I used to get these fairly regularly, every couple of months or so, but in the last year I have only suffered from one of these, that was some months ago, over the years they come less and less, generally easier to deal with too.

Before I have even got up and walked around my room and even the house to check that there are no empty bottles, no evidence that the dream was actually real.  Once I have satisfied myself it was all a dream the guilt and the sense of panic goes.  For a while I may feel guilty, like I’ve thrown it all away, but usually within minutes this subsides, I get my head straight and carry on to face the day.

But not today.

The early panic hit when I awoke from my dream. But this was different, I couldn’t shake the feeling that although I may not have drank last night, but that I had definitely drank at some point during the last seven and half years.  Though in my heart I know that I haven’t, that I haven’t thrown anything away, my mind kept telling me I had.

After a while it all settled down, I seemed to get my head straight and move on, as before.  Then I got up to get ready for church, I stood in the shower and all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe, I was so short of breath, my chest was pounding and everything went numb.  I have had panic attacks before, I know how they feel, but never this severe, this relentless, I stood paralyzed beneath the running water, I couldn’t move, only struggle for breath and cry.

Eventually, I got myself out of the shower, but I was shaking, I don’t know how long I was in there, must have been at least ten minutes.  But the panic attacks kept coming in waves, I would struggle for breath, cry for a while and then it cleared, only to follow the same cycle.

I forced myself out of the house and on empty legs made it to Church.  During the walk, the panic kept coming, not as severe, but bad enough.

Then once I got there, I just stood there shaking, until someone spoke to me.  From that point onwards, I couldn’t control it, I couldn’t breathe again, I broke down to my friend Richard and explained it all.  We went to one of the quiet rooms upstairs to talk about it and gradually I began to calm down and come back around.  Over the course of the morning, I spoke with Richard and few close friends, ones that know and understand my story and also know of these dreams, they all offered prayers and support.

It’s hard to explain these dreams and feelings to others that have no experience or reference point to compare.  The killer is the guilt, it makes me feel like I’ve let everyone down, like I failed myself and in turned failed my friends and the Lord Himself.

I can put my hand on my heart and swear I have not touched a drink since Thursday 29th March 2012, for two thousand, seven hundred and forty seven days, I have kept the beast at bay.

Today it did not want to stay caged anymore, if it couldn’t make me drink,
it was out to destroy my mind, my heart and my faith.

I’m working it all out, I’m gradually getting my head around it, it was after all just a dream, but I guess it has triggered something deeper inside.

I feel for too long I’ve held everything within, I know I have in my own way been struggling for at least twelve months, I’ve tried to push through on my own, without bothering anyone else, but you can only push so far alone.  Today I think was the day when it all had to come out.  A few things have been troubling me over the summer, I’ve tried to deal with them and just get on with it, but I think today it all became too much, today it hit the surface.

I have friends coming over later to chat, friends I know I can be genuine with, explain it all, they probably know my story, my fears and my struggles better than anyone else, they know of my past experience with these dreams, I know this can only be a good thing.

I haven’t written too much in the way of stories or articles in the last year or so, I have put all my hurt and struggle into my daily poems, but never fully addressed them.  In a poem I can touch on a subject without getting into explanations, maybe I hide behind them sometimes, but I write them with a truthful heart, sometimes with the pain, sometimes the hope and sometimes the fear, but I still understand I have been hiding and now is the time to stop, to be honest.

In being honest, I know I will help myself deal with this guilt and maybe help others understand that maybe they aren’t the only ones that feel this way too.

I started this blog exactly seven years ago today, maybe the time is right to get back to what I started to do when I began this blog, talk about exactly how I feel.  I’m going to continue with the daily poems, but I am also going to start writing like this again too, maybe once a week, maybe once a month, but I am definitely going to write more and deal with my feelings again.

Time to stop hiding.

THE HURT AND THE HEALER by MERCYME
Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Breathe
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say it’s over now

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here

Brick By Brick – James 5:19-20

Brick By Brick – James 5:19-20

Couldn’t make it alone
No air within these walls
I’d found my way to God
Yet needed help to taste the air
Friends He put in my path
They tore these walls down
Brick by brick
Block by block
Within this Kingdom of God
No one stands alone
They helped me see the sun rise
Put aside the error of my ways
These friends He put in my path
Now more than family
Maybe sometimes I rebuild my walls
Feel the air grow stale once again
But once more they tear them down
Brick by brick
Block by block
Until the sun rises here once more
And once again I taste the air

James 5:19-20

James 5:19-20

Change Is Coming

As the darkness of Sunday 18th March 2012 passed by, Monday morning came with a sense of hope, I knew I had something important to do, something that would change my life, the barrier now was fear and courage.

I had the day off work, there were a few things I had to do later in the day, but the most important thing, the most immediate thing, before anything else was to make a phone call to Gareth.

Everyone had left the house, Victoria had taken the kids to school and then gone straight to work, I was alone and I was shaking with fear.

I sat at the top of the stairs with my phone in my hand, the number ready to dial, now I had to fight the fear and find the courage within to call it.

I had decided the time to call would be around 9.10, time to get in the office, but not enough time to get busy with anything, that’s what I hoped anyway, now I just had to fight my shaking hands and press call.

An inner battle was raging, my soul knew it needed this phone call, if I was going to climb out of this pit I had created for myself, then this phone call was the beginning. Yet the monster of addiction that dwelt within wasn’t letting go that easily, it knew this call would change everything.

For a moment the monster was winning, I just wanted to put the phone down, turn away and carry on down this spiral.

But from somewhere I found the strength to call, I was shaking all over by now, I was so afraid of what was to come.

Gareth answered and I tried to explain who I was. I had met Gareth a number of times, only a year before we watched football together with other members of his church in my front room, but essentially he knew me as Victoria’s partner.

I tried to say hi, it’s Wayne, Victoria’s partner, I got half way through it and broke down into tears. I wasn’t that person anymore, that was over, even I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Thankfully, Gareth seemed to understand and knew who I was, he asked how I was doing, I managed to say not very well and broke down into tears again, I was really a mess and he seemed to appreciate that.

Somehow I managed to be coherent enough to arrange to meet with him later that evening, he was going to come over to see me and chat, from that moment things changed.

From there I jumped in the shower, then went into town, I hadn’t really looked after myself in a long time, I didn’t shave anymore, I didn’t do anything with my hair, my clothes were becoming rags, drenched with the smell of stale sweat and alcohol.

Now was the time to start looking after myself.

I can’t be anything to anyone, if I’m not something to myself.

That night I was so nervous, so afraid, I was still shaking. Victoria was going out, she knew about the meeting, she had checked with Gareth that I had called, she knew it was important too.

She came to me before she went out and asked a question that shocked me, it shouldn’t have done, she asked this every time she went out at night, she only asked if I needed to go to the shop before she went out, which in essence was asking if I needed to go buy alcohol, this surprised me more than anything. How could I think of drinking this night, there was no way, once more though this is how far I had fallen, this had become then norm, she knew it and had seen many times, but I hadn’t seen it.

Gareth was also bringing with him Alex, who I knew, I knew his family had suffered through alcoholism in the past, so I watched anxiously at the window for them to arrive, shaking.

Victoria asked how I was, I said I was scared, to which she asked why, I knew them both, there was no need to fear them.

But it wasn’t them, I was afraid of myself, afraid of truth of who I was would be coming out tonight, that’s what I feared, myself above all.

They arrived and at first I felt okay, Gareth stated that he hadn’t come to preach, but to talk to me to find out what I needed to turn things around, this made me feel a little more comfortable, for a while anyway.

He than asked what had been happening, that’s when it got hard. I tried to explain how things had gone over the previous two and half years, but it’s hard to speak between all the tears that were falling.

I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I did that night, I was a real mess. I could hardly get a statement out with crying at some point.

Each time I broken down I could seen the pain reflected in Gareth’s face, it was hard going for us all, but I was trying to tell the full truth, but in all honesty I didn’t know the truth myself. I tried to say how much I had been drinking, I told him what I believed was the truth, only over the coming weeks I realised it far worse than I knew.

They were with me for over an hour and half, I spent at least half of that time tears. But after that I felt a sense of peace had come over myself. I knew the start of the healing process had begun, I could feel that.

From that night I never drank in the house again, I didn’t stop drinking over night, but I started to gain control over it.

I didn’t know at the time where that strength had come from, but it started that night, it started really after I pressed the button to make that call.

TOMORROW by SIXX A.M.
Where ya gonna be tomorrow?
How ya gonna face the sorrow?
Where ya gonna be when you die?
‘Cause nothing’s gonna last forever
And things they change like the weather
They’re gone in the blink of an eye

Just look at yourself, can you see where you are?
Look at yourself, now you can’t hide the scars
Just look at yourself ’cause there’s nowhere to go
And you know

Tomorrow
You’re gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You’ll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow…
And everything you do, it’s coming back for you
You’ll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

And are you terrified by sadness
And have you given into madness
You’re running out of places to hide
‘Cause everybody’s got a reason
To justify how they’re feelin’
Maybe you should open your eyes

Just look at yourself, do you like what you see?
Look at yourself, is this how it should be?
Just look at yourself, ’cause there’s nowhere to go
And you’ll know

Tomorrow
You’re gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You’ll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow…
And everything you do, it’s coming back for you
You’ll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

Are you waiting for the reason to change?
Are you waiting for the end, has it came?
Nothing’s gonna stand in your way…

Just look at yourself, do you like what you see?
Look at yourself, is this how it should be?

Tomorrow
You’re gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You’ll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow…
And everything you do, it’s coming back for you
You’ll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

Goodbye My Friend

Last week was strange week at work, it just didn’t seem right, something was missing, someone.

Nick worked at our store for over four years, until he left last September, but still since then he comes in almost daily as a customer.

He worked in tool hire, but his counter was next to me, being of similar age and having similar likes in terms of music, sport, films etc, we got on well, even though our football teams were fierce rivals! I can have a weird sense of humour sometimes and out of nowhere find an offbeat reference to some old film, song or whatever, to something that’s been said, only Nick would laugh, no one else got it, nearly always Nick would, I did catch him out every now and again, but not very often.

Last Sunday I was on my way home from karate, when I met another old colleague. He said to me it’s bad news about Nick, to which I replied what do mean. He said that someone had sent him a text to say he’d died. I laughed it off, must be a joke, I only saw him in the shop a few days ago, must be just a mad rumour.

When I got to work Monday, I found it was true, his son had come home Friday to find him dead. The whole place was in shock, we couldn’t accept it.

Nick was a year younger than me, I used to joke to the customers that he was the older one of us, they always agreed and he would go to great lengths to prove me wrong, it was our on-running joke. Now he’s gone, I can’t help thinking that people younger than me shouldn’t be dying, that should not happen.

The other thing about it all the bothers me and my colleagues, is the relationship between Nick and his son Ollie, they were more like best mates. Nick had two sons and he lived for them both, everything he did was for his two boys, but the bond between Ollie and Nick was just so close. For Ollie, who the youngest son, to find him like that is just unimaginable.

Ollie’s a good kid, with a sensible head on his shoulders, I’m sure he’ll be fine given time. I pray for him.

Through all of this I can’t help but think, why Nick, this should have been me. Almost seven years ago, I wanted to take me own life, I almost destroyed myself drinking, it should have been me. But on that day God spoke and told me my kids needed me, so I stopped my plan and sought help. So why save me, but take Nick?

I guess in a way I’m questioning God, but deep down I know his timing is beyond our comprehension. At work, as a Christian, I can’t explain why to friends and colleagues, it simply was just his time.

As I walked to work, knowing what had happen I suddenly thought, that I hope after all our chats, he had made his peace. I have spoken honestly about my past struggles at work, spoke of my feelings, the depression, the suicide plan, the drinking, my faith, I had had conversations with Nick about these things. Then I remembered one time he said that I was the only person he had heard talk about and describe some of the feelings he had too, I hoped this was enough that he found grace.

As I walked a little further, I heard a thought in my head say, “Don’t worry, we’ve got him”. Then I had a vision of an army of angels lifting him up. It made me smile, Nick wasn’t a small guy, that was another running joke we had, his fat jokes about himself and my short jokes about me, we would get them in about ourselves before others could and then laugh at each other, never any malice, just two friends and colleagues having a bit of banter.

Nick’s brother is also a customer, I told him what I felt I had heard and seen, he laughed a little too, I said I’m not sure if it helps, but I’m sure he’s in a better place. Although he’s not a Christian, I believe he knows he’s in a better place, he said Nick was close to his Gran and he believed they were now together again.

We still don’t know exactly what took Nick, he was a big guy, but fit and strong with it, so we are still waiting to hear and have the funeral date confirmed, it sounds like most of the branch want to attend, so maybe it will have to close down for a few hours, we’ll see.

Thank you Nick for being a friend, for all the laughter and jokes we shared, as well as the deeper conversations we held.

Goodbye my friend, we’ll meet again one day, I’m sure.

SATURN by SLEEPING AT LAST
You taught me the courage of stars before you left.
How light carries on endlessly, even after death.
With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.

I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.
I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.

I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.
I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.

With shortness of breath, I’ll explain the infinite
How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.