Tag Archives: NeedToBreathe

3000 Days Sober

Well at times it’s not been an easy ride, sometimes painful both physically and mentally, then sometimes it’s been easy going and fun.

From a time when the thought of getting through a night without a drink was a testing time, when even the people around me would rather I had a drink than try to go without, to now when the thought of drinking, even in the bad times seems so far away, it’s hard to believe I am the same person, only better I hope.

I guess writing this last paragraph has made think, was I better person drinking or sober back then, because it seems I was better to be around if I was drinking.  I think I know the answer and sadly I think it was probably the former.

I guess the frustration of life that led to the drinking, then became the frustration of not having that comfort zone of where the drink would take me when I wanted to escape the frustration of life.  Just a circle of frustration, day after day.

I know I would pace around, I was restless and irritable, I would take it out on those around me, not physically, but just my attitude, I would be quick tempered and my words would be nasty or rude, especially to my young kids.  Eventually the frustration led to nervously scratching at the skin on my arms, until sometimes they would bleed, this is who I became…

A man who could not deal with the frustration of life.

Then when the world around me fell apart, that’s when He came into my life, part of me I guess was trying to find a Saviour, but I believe He had over the previous four years been setting thoughts in my mind that would lead me to Him when I needed Him the most. The music I had been listening to, the people that came into my life, they all came together when I needed help the most.

And then, when I finally found myself in a position to pray and ask for help, there it was and the feeling when I knew my prayer had been answered was so joyful it began to change everything.

Life is not easy now, I still have the chest problems that have bothered me since the beginning of the year, I’m still coughing so hard I nearly pass out. Some days it maybe only be a couple of times, others it can be a couple of times an hour. On top of that the headaches that plagued me last summer have come back too, to say I am worn out is an understatement , but life could be a lost worst, I am alive, I am still kicking and I am still sober, I will keep going.

So here’s to the nest 3000 days and wherever that leads me.

SHINE ON by NEEDTOBREATHE
Somewhere between the end
And the point where we begin
There’s a fire burning brightly
That’s found it’s way to dim
When the feeling’s gone…

Shine on Shine on
and onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

I was with you in the valley
And up upon that hill
So take just one more step in front of you
For I am with you still you still
And you’re not alone
Shine on Shine on
And onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

Can you see my hands are open I am waiting just ahead
And you think you need it all now
But you needed me instead

Shine on shine on shine on shine on won’t you won’t you shine

Shine on Shine on
And onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

Somewhere between the end and the point where we began

Verse of the Day – Psalm 12:1

Psalm 12:1

Psalm 12:1

It is so easy at times to feel like you are so alone, lost in a sea of people who cannot understand you, even those friends of faith seem so distant.

Some times I find I just sit with friends and cry, I don’t know why, when these depressive season appear it is so easy to do, I can’t explain to them, I can’t speak, just cry and they don’t pry, they simply pray and stand with me.

Never alone, never so far away, not when the Lord has brought me to such good friends.

BROTHER by NEEDTOBREATHE & GAVIN DEGRAW
Ramblers in the wilderness we can’t find what we need
We get a little restless from the searching
Get a little worn down in between
Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own schemes
Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Face down in the desert now there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were
Now my hands can’t reach that far
I ain’t made for a rivalry I could never take the world alone
I know that in my weakness I am strong, but
It’s your love that brings me home

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

And when you call and need me near
Sayin’ where’d you go?
Brother, I’m right here
And on those days when the sky begins to fall
You’re the blood of my blood
We can get through it all

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
 

Verse of the Day – Psalm 112:1

Psalm 112:1

Psalm 112:1

Some times His commands are not what we want to hear or do, it can be hard to find delight in them, but if we look back at those moments, we often see how right the Lord was, that when we carry out His commands as He wishes, there is great joy and delight to be had.

SHINE ON by NEEDTOBREATHE
Somewhere between the end
And the point where we begin
There’s a fire burning brightly
That’s found it’s way to dim
When the feeling’s gone…

Shine on Shine on
and onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

I was with you in the valley
And up upon that hill
So take just one more step in front of you
For I am with you still you still
And you’re not alone
Shine on Shine on
And onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

Can you see my hands are open I am waiting just ahead
And you think you need it all now
But you needed me instead

Shine on shine on shine on shine on won’t you won’t you shine

Shine on Shine on
And onto something new its long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on shine on
And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory
Will you remember me

Somewhere between the end and the point where we began

 

Verse of the Day – Psalm 33:22

Psalm 33:22

Psalm 33:22

I pray whatever you are facing today, that God love is with you and that you can embrace it and hold onto the hope the comes wrapped within it.

BROTHER by NEEDTOBREATHE ft. GAVIN DeGRAW
Ramblers in the wilderness we can’t find what we need
We get a little restless from the searching
Get a little worn down in between
Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own schemes
Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Face down in the desert now there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were
Now my hands can’t reach that far
I ain’t made for a rivalry I could never take the world alone
I know that in my weakness I am strong, but
It’s your love that brings me home

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

And when you call and need me near
Sayin’ where’d you go?
Brother, I’m right here
And on those days when the sky begins to fall
You’re the blood of my blood
We can get through it all

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Brother, let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother, let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

 

Verse of the Day – Hebrews 13:5-6

Hebrews 13:5-6

Hebrews 13:5-6

What I have at this moment may not seem like a lot, but I still hold on to the one who has never forsaken me, my helper, my strength, my only way through it all in this moment.

TESTIFY by NEEDTOBREATHE
Give me your heart
Give me your song
Sing it with all your might
Come to the fountain and
You can be satisfied
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify

Into the wild
Canyons of youth
Oh, there’s a world to fall into
Weightless we’ll dance
Like kids on the moon
Oh, I will give myself to you
As soon as you start to let go

Give me your heart
Give me your song
Sing it with all your might
Come to the fountain and
You can be satisfied
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify

Wave after wave
As deep calls to deep
Oh, I’ll reveal my mystery
As soon as you start to let go

Give me your heart
Give me your song
Sing it with all your might
Come to the fountain and
You can be satisfied
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify

Mist on the mountain
Rising from the ground
There’s no denying beauty makes a sound
We can’t escape it
There’s no way to doubt
Mist on the mountain
Rising all around

Give me your heart
Give me your song
Sing it with all your might
Come to the fountain and
You can be satisfied
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify
There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify

You can get lost inside
Let me hear you testify

Ups And Downs Of Working Life

I have to say the last couple of months have seen a real swing in terms of work, at the beginning of last month I was facing an investigation at work, we were caught out in a number of transactions by an individual that turned out to fraudulent, myself and a colleague, although in no way complicit, did not follow correct company protocol that could have minimized the risk of being caught out.

For a week as the investigation went on, we both could have been sacked, although our Manager was on our side and understood we were put on the spot, made a judgement call and got it wrong under pressure, he didn’t think we would get the sack, just a warning, but if he was pressured by his superiors, they could push for dismissal, as it was they pushed only for a written warning and that was what we received, we both breathed a sigh of relief.

My colleague feared the sack far more than I did, when I heard of the investigation, I was nervous about facing the interview about my part in it, but I was really not that bothered if I was to lose my job, I had prayed about it and each time I felt I was being told not to worry, whatever happens there are bigger plans for me anyway and things will be fine in the mean time.

We have been that busy over the last few months that it really is exhausting work some days, we don’t have enough staff and there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I need to do to fulfil my job, to say I have been a bit fed up with it at times is an understatement, I guess in a way I’m not that happy with the job at the moment, it’s just hard work and there doesn’t seem to be that much help for our branch from the company, due to budgets and finance etc, even though we are beating our budgets month after month.

I also find it hard in my job to feel as though I showing my Christian values.  It’s a builder’s merchants, most of our customers speak in a rough and ready fashion, with casual swearing the norm, I guess I used to swear a lot before, but since I became a Christian I try not to, but it’s hard not to when those all around are.  Even when we are busy, I sometimes think my colleagues aren’t really pulling their weight, they don’t go that extra mile, just do the minimum they have to do, I try to just get on with it and do whatever what needs to be done.

So all of this has been playing on my mind.  Until last night, it was our area’s regional roadshow, basically a meeting of all the branches in our area, to discuss how we are doing as a region and how things can be improved.

Part of the meetings there are a few awards handed out and last night I received an award from the company for all of our area, which is seventeen branches with over 180 employees, I received the most positive feedback for customer service from our customers than any other of the employees.

It could have been awkward, as most of the time the awards include a few vouchers and a bottle of something, thankfully my Manager had forewarned his Area Director that this wouldn’t be a good idea, so I just got a few more vouchers instead, which is fine by me.

I do think it a little ironic that the same company that last month could have sacked me, this month is giving me an award!

This morning as I walked to work, I was thinking about what this award really means, then I had this real sense that I was being told that this is how I stand out as a Christian in my work place, you go the bit extra for people and they recognise that and they obviously appreciate it, that’s why you got the award you did.

So even in a place where I find it hard to be the Christian I would like to be, to stand out as different to the others, in a place where I felt I wasn’t doing what I should be doing, it seems I am standing out to my customers and they obviously recognise it.

I came across this version of the song Brother by NeedToBreathe the other day, I thought the original off their last album was good, but this version with Gavin DeGraw is even better and well worth a listen.

BROTHER by NEEDTOBREATHE and GAVIN DEGRAW
Ramblers in the wilderness we can’t find what we need
Get a little restless from the searching 
Get a little worn down in between
Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own schemes
Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Face down in the desert now there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were 
Now my hands can’t reach that far
I ain’t made for a rivalry I could never take the world alone
I know that in my weakness I am strong, but
It’s your love that brings me home

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

And when you call and need me near
Sayin’ where’d you go?
Brother I’m right here
And on those days when the sky begins to fall
You’re the blood of my blood
We can get through it all

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Verse of the Day – James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4

Going through a time of test I felt my faith slip at times, but to come out the other side, I realise that actually my faith has become stronger, because it didn’t matter where I was, I was never alone.

WASTELAND by NEEDTOBREATHE
I’m the first one in line to die
When the cavalry comes
Yeah it feels like the great divide
Has already come
Yeah I’m wasting my way through days
losing youth along the way

Oh if God is on my side
Oh if God is on my side
Yeah if God is on my side
Then who can be against me

There was a greatness I thought for awhile
But somehow it changed
Some kind of blindness I used to protect me
From all of my stains
Yeah I wish this was vertigo
But it just feels like I’m falling slow

In this wasteland where I’m livin’
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it’s all that I need to get by
In this wasteland where I’m livin’
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it’s all that I need to shine

All of these people I meet
It seems like they’re fine
Yeah in some ways I hope that they’re not
And their hearts are like mine
It’s wrong when it seems like work
To belong all I feel is hurt

In this wasteland where I’m livin’
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it’s all that I need to get by
In this wasteland where I’m livin’
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it’s all that I need to shine

Oh if God is on my side
Oh if God is on my side
Yeah if God is on my side
Then who can be against me

Verse of the Day – Romans 8:35

Romans 8:35

Romans 8:35

To know that what I ever I go through or have even been through, none of this can separate me from my Saviour.

MORE HEART LESS ATTACK by NEEDTOBREATHE
Be the light in the crack
Be the one that’s been there on a camel’s back
Slow to anger quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attack

Be the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack

The more you take the less you have
Cuz it’s you in the mirror staring back
Quick to let go slow to react
Be more heart and less attack

Ever growing steadfast
And if need be the one that’s in the gap
Be the never turning back
Twice the heart any man could have

Be the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack

I stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m nearly sanctified I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m near the sanctified I’m near broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I’m down the river to where I’m going

From Vertigo To Strangelove!

Okay, so I found the funny quirks I am currently experiencing whilst walking this morning pretty amusing, but the dizziness did take a new turn this morning during our Church service, Peter Sellers/ Stanley Kubrick aficionado’s will no doubt understand my post title after I explain a little more.

Apart from the quirks that I explained in my post earlier today, I had the odd loss of balance when I got up and down from my camera platform this morning, but it all seemed okay as I got everything set up.

As my main task is to record the message in the service, everything was fine for the first 15 minutes, it was all going okay, I found my concentration to be fine and covering the speaker’s movements just fine, then after the fifteen minute mark I slowly started to lose control of my left arm, which is the one I use to control the camera movements, I was struggling to get it to respond and it seemed to feel rather dead for a while.

So I switched arms, which was a problem also.  My camera is set for me to use my left hand to control the camera and my right to focus and zoom, so the crossing my arm over my body and trying to control the camera with my right hand is something I wasn’t used to and I couldn’t adjust the camera settings whilst filming, so my right hand wasn’t as smooth as my left, even though I am naturally right handed.  I tried to switch back after a few minutes, but my left arm was a waste of time, I just couldn’t get my hand/eye coordination to work with my left hand.  The more I tried to concentrate on the movement of the speaker, the worst it got, my concentration was shot, I was struggling to focus, it was all a little weird.

As soon as the preach was finished, I got gingerly down from the platform, went to the back of the hall and sat down with my head in my hands, trying to get back into my own head.

It takes a fair amount of concentration when filming, I have to follow the speaker’s every movement and try to second guess the body language to keep the footage as smooth as possible.  I guess it was maybe pushing it a little bit too much to keep my concentration for that long, considering my current predicament.

I had a similar situation yesterday when I was doing some architectural drawings, after a few hours the mouse started doing a few funny things, I blamed the mouse, but now I actually know that it was me, just pushing it a little too far and going beyond what these symptoms make me capable of.

This morning I was close to stepping away from the camera and asking for someone to take over, I found myself praying for a sense of composure to get through to the end of the message, when I would then have chance to compose myself.  Thankfully I made it to the end and completed my task, granted I was a little shaken when I was finished and it took more than a few minutes to get a sense of feeling back to normal, which included a friend coming to sit with me and comfort me for a few minutes.

I was a little worried, as I also had a karate class to teach this afternoon, but thankfully the symptoms did not repeat themselves during the class and I managed to keep composed and teach the class, actually I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a class so much since long before I started on these antidepressants.

So okay, it wasn’t the most comfortable of moments this morning, but I can still actually see a funny side to it, even though it was a strange sensation to lose control of one’s arm!  Despite all these little idiosyncrasies I am actually in very good spirits, I’m more than glad I listened to the spirit within that pushed me to move forward and come off the meds, it may be a another week or so with these minor quirks, but I know I’m actually starting to move forward again and get back into some of the routines I put back in place when I started this journey way back in March 2012.

RISE AGAIN by NEEDTOBREATHE
I know how it started the walls that we build to separate us
Make it wider, stronger, til it’s too tall for us to touch
Heaviness is on me I don’t see how we might be whole again
We might be better off in the wake of a bitter end

Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Set my sights on where I’m going
And my goodbyes to where I’ve been
Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Singing farewell king of the broken
So long my friend

We could always count on the same things
The ups and the downs like time
We crawl through the abyss then we came through the other side
Heaviness is only temporary the daylight will soon break in
The sunlight can change a heart in the wake of a bitter end.

Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Set my sights on where I’m going
And my goodbyes to where I’ve been
Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Singing farewell king of the broken
So long my friend

I could see us moving on I can feel that coming on strong
We’ll never start all over like this and I still can’t believe it

Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Set my sights on where I’m going
And my goodbyes to where I’ve been
Oh I know I’m gonna rise again
Singing farewell king of the broken
So long my friend 

Retired!!!!

So as midnight passed last night and Friday 13th of June came to an end, so definitely did an era.

Yesterday was the my karate association’s deadline for this year’s national championships, last year I officially retired on the occasion of competing in my thirtieth Nationals and becoming England Men’s National Kata Champion for the second time.

I has planned to finish last year, hoping to go out on a high and of course I did that and they gave me a great send off on the day. Then my Chief Instructor told me it was the best he had seen me compete and maybe it wasn’t time to stop just yet.

So as the year passed and the Nationals approached, would I get that itch again?

The answer is no, I have no real motivation to compete again. In reality my appetite for karate is no way near where it used to be, I still enjoy karate, but it’s taking a far less important role in my life.

For 34 years it’s been a big part in my life, at one point I was teaching somewhere everyday of the week, for four years I travelled almost weekly down to London for squad training and travelled the World with the England squad, I’ve had some great times and amazing experiences.

But over the last few months I’ve taken a step back, let others take over a little bit, I’m still teaching and still involved, but for the first time in over 25 years, if I don’t want to go to karate, I don’t have too! For those. 25 years I have been the club, it was me doing all the teaching, if I wanted a night off, assistants would have to be arranged in advanced, it was rare that I could get home from work and decided I didn’t feel like going, I had to be there or things just ground to a halt.

Thankfully Steve who has been helping me for many years has stepped in and taking the reigns, allowing me a bit of breathing space to get my life right.

Family, Church and work, now come before karate, for many years karate came first, even before drinking, I never drank before going to karate, although afterwards I would catch up, quickly! I would say that to a certain extent karate kept me alive, it gave me a purpose when my life was collapsing around me.

Karate will always be a part of my life, I don’t intend to stop teaching, I still enjoy it and after all it has given me some great principles to live by, but for now the stress and pressure of competing is in the past, this year I’ll just go to coach my juniors and cheer on all my old England team mates.

MOVING ON by NEEDTOBREATHE
Can we put back all the pieces to the puzzles left behind?
We will soon be back together just before the stars align.
When the curtain falls for one last time and closes out the show.
Marching left, right, left, another step. Keep smiling as you go.

Movin’ on
Movin’ on

I’m sick of good intentions how they always tend to drown.
But, then, nothing seems to stay afloat living in the saddest town.
When the curtain falls for one last time and closes out the show.
Marching left, right, left, another step. Keep smiling as you go.

Movin’ on
Movin’ on
Movin’ on
Movin’

You’re out of room for marking days on the wall
The lines remind of just how long I’ve been gone
You’re holding on but now it’s time to let go.
Just let it go.

Movin’ on
Movin’ on
Movin’ on
Movin’ on

We could be the story that’ll break your heart.
We could be the victim of a fall apart.
Maybe we could last another week or so.
Movin’ on baby means you gotta let it go.