Tag Archives: The Precipice

Verse of the Day – Matthew 25:23

Matthew 25:23

Matthew 25:23

Are we good stewards with the gifts we have been given?

Sometimes I know I invest them and watch them grow and at other times I am sure I run and hide them in the dirt.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song
Sometimes, I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece, I build the cell I’m in
But, I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well, they must have been small, because I couldn’t seem to find them
So, I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well, they must have been small, because I couldn’t seem to find them
So, I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh (Sometimes I indulge my every whim)
(eh’s continue through next part)
Whatever the cost (Piece by piece)
Whether it works out or not (I build the cell I’m in)
Whatever the cost (I only stay here long)
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you I’ll follow you (Enough to write)
I’ll follow you with my heart (The saddest song)
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh
Eh-eh-eh, eh-eh-eh

Three Years Of Blogging – Where Has The Time Gone?

It seems hard to believe that it’s three years to the days since I set up this blog and posted that first post, 9.19pm, 6th October 2012, where has that time gone?

It’s safe to say I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, what it would be that I would find from it or where it would take me.  I’m not a writer, I never have been, I hated it at school, in my English classes in High School, most of my course work went unfinished and if I did finish it, it was usually the least I could do to get away with completing it, I hated writing and don’t get me started on my views of poetry back then.

It’s funny how things change you, I never believed I had a talent for writing when I started this, not that I do now to be honest, but something in that challenge I was faced with made me look inside and find something I never knew was there.

I’m not an eloquent person, I struggle to express myself at times, I am naturally quite shy and introvert, my personal feelings are mine and they stay that way.  But over the few months before I started this I had began to face those natural tendencies to keep everything hidden inside.  When I came to God earlier that year I had a choice, keep hiding and keep suffering or be open, let it out and find my healing.  I began to tell my story to people and find a way to deal with the internal pain of the situation I had found myself in.  Then when I started journaling I found another way to express myself, although only I read back my journals, they are my personal feelings, I found it a great release and a great way to become accountable to someone and something, even if at that point it was only myself.

Then I felt that challenge, that challenge from God to begin this blog, to tell my story and express myself.  It became another way to find healing and another way to make myself accountable, not only now to myself, but also to the great people who have taken the time to read, like and even comment on my writings, from people who have shared similar journeys into depression or alcoholism or others just followers of Christ who support and encourage, it’s been a great experience and I hope it continues to be that way.

My current series of posting daily poems based upon bible verses is still set to run until the end of the year.  I set out to do this at the end of last year, I choose seven verses at random every Sunday evening and as the next week passes I write and post a poem based on one verse each day.  Some days I may write two, three or sometimes four and then schedule them over the coming days, other times I write them each evening, based on my feelings that day.  Some weeks I link all seven, telling a story or they form a conversation with God through poem as the week goes on, each one different and unique, each one mine.

I love the feedback I get when I see a comment that says “I needed to read this today”, as some days I am not sure who I am writing for, I just feel compelled to write, I look at the verse and just start writing, if I have to think about what to write it feels wrong, if I write and it just flows, then it’s what I am supposed to write, I may not know why or understand where it comes from, but I know if I write that way, it’s spirit led, to get positive feedback is the icing on the cake, I just wish sometimes I had more time to respond and comment back.

The long and the short of it is, I’ll continue to write, as long as someone continues to read it.  I was planning on just keeping this poetry series until the end of the year, but I now feel I may do it all again next year, just keep picking verses and writing a poem based on them, what do you all think?

On another note, I started walking again last week, well for two days I did anyway, the first day my new trainers took the skin off my heel and then on the second day they did it again, this time turning my trainer into a bloodbath, it was a bit of a mess and still hasn’t healed properly a week later, although I did get out at the weekend.  Hopefully I’ll get out again this week, I really enjoyed walking again, there’s nobody else about at that time in the morning, great time for thinking and talking with God, my headphones in and my praise music on, I sing along out loud, there’s no one around and nobody hears me or at least I hope not!

The weather hasn’t been that great, but I did catch a few good sun rises over the last few weeks, mainly on my way to work, below I share the best of them.

Band Of Gold

Band Of Gold

Breaking

Breaking

Between Morning Clouds

Between Morning Clouds

Beyond

Beyond

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflection

Across The Morning Sky

Across The Morning Sky

Morning Highlighted

Morning Highlighted

I have a few plans for more writing over the next few months, firstly I want to bring the “My Testimony” section up to date, I covered as far as New Year 2014, so I have the last couple of years to bring it up to now, I intend to finish that and then start on a new series which chronicles my whole karate career, starting from my first class in October 1980 (thirty five years ago this month) to coming out of retirement in this year’s National Championships. It’s not your usual story of a karate instructor or as dramatic as the Karate Kid, but it been such a big part of my life, 35 of my 41 years, that it has shaped parts of my life and who I am, I’m looking forward to writing that.

But for now, I just thank you all for reading my ramblings, thank you for following, for liking and your encouraging comments, believe me, I may not respond all the time, but I read and appreciate them all, so thank you all once again.

This is the song where it all started, this is the song I was listening to when I felt that pull from God to tell my story and start this blog, this song reduced me to tears on the morning of 6th October 2012, it started this journey into the unknown and I am so glad it did.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears roll down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece I build the cell i’m in
But I only stay here long
Enough to write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wisedh was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
‘Cause I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that made your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Time For Post 300

So now I reach my 300th post and what do you talk about on your 300th post, well, as it seems so long ago I’ll talk about this Blog and that first post, “The Precipice”, even if it is just 233 days ago since the bottle was opened.

In that time I’ve made so many great friends over this Blog and hopefully I’ll make so many more.  What is amazing is that in that time and after over 1200 comments received on various posts, I have still yet to receive any feedback I would consider negative or derogatory, I have received nothing but kindness, support, inspiration and love, all of this from people I have never met and from people I probably will never meet, but I want you all to know how much your support, your comments and your likes mean to me.

This Blog has been a great source of release for me, it’s been therapy for me, to really delve into my feelings, it’s helped to find out some of the reasons why I found myself where I was, honest was what I have set out to be, to tell my story with complete honesty, I believed from the day I met with Gareth and Alex that it was the only way forward, the only way to truly deal with a problem is to admit you have it in the first place, not hide it or hide the key facts of it, I had been doing that for years, not anymore.

When I feel I can’t talk to people face to face about my feelings, I find I can write them, just let them flow through the keyboard and post on here, sometimes reluctantly, I know that I can say it with honesty without having to look anyone in the eye with embarrassment, but I receive the support and inspiration I need.

I didn’t expect that when I started this, I didn’t expect the level of support I have received, actually I’m not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I’ve found.

I set out with a lot of ideas for posts and preparation for my posts, some of those posts were within the first few weeks, although a lot of the preparation was never completed, some of that work is still going on behind the scenes.  Only a few of the post I had written in the early days haven’t been posted, they are still stuck in my drafts folder, when I returned to them sometime later I realised they were rants and put others in a bad light, when really I was the bad light in my life, no-one else, I am responsible for where I found myself and how things turned out, I made the wrong choices and I must learn to live with them, not seek to blame others.  Other ideas are still to be written, most of these are just a little about me, my work, my karate and family, background information really, I will get around to these at some point.

It was while walking that I started thinking about doing this blog, over a few weeks I had ideas for posts in my mind, then I actually started typing up a number of them, but they sat there a little longer, I just couldn’t make that step to actually starting this, I liked the idea of sharing my story and hopefully inspiring others, but was a little apprehensive about taking such a huge step about being so open.

So on the 6th October 2012 as I returned from a walk a song came on my iPod that broke me down, it was like a slap in the face.  I took a look at my journal entry for that day, I pointed out to myself that I had actually taken a walk up that hill that morning, thinking about what I could do with a blog, seemingly already celebrating what I hadn’t achieved, but the lyrics of the song said:

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

It was true, what were my accomplishments, at that point I couldn’t seem to find them either, maybe it was time to take that leap.

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Then these lyrics changed everything, on hearing this I knew it was time to stop deliberating and go for it, whatever the cost, just go for it, it was a message I couldn’t ignore.  I returned home to start creating this site, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, I wrote a post called “The Precipice” named after the song which had inspired me that morning and took that leap.  Sometimes when I listen back to this song, it still moves me to tears, a song of both beauty and power, it still provokes a reaction in me every time.

Again, I’m so glad I did, I set out to inspire and give hope to others, I hope I’ve done that over the months, but more importantly, I’ve been inspired and been given hope in my low times, thank you all.

And would I want to be to be any other blogger, as today’s Daily Prompt asks, the answer is quite simply NO!!!

So there is only one way to finish a post here on the Bottom of a Bottle, that’s with a song to inspire, a song that generally but not always compliments the post, well this time I return to the beginning and the song that inspired me, enjoy.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ‘til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece-by-piece I build the cell I’m in
But I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song 

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Review of 2012 The Bottom of a Bottle Way

Here in the good old United Kingdom, the run up to New Year is filled with TV programs reviewing the events of the last year and giving out awards, so I thought I would join in and offer my own take on the year.

So here goes, there are many categories, too many to think about to be honest so I’ll cover just a few. To be quite honest I just don’t follow the news anymore, in a year where I’ve tried to move away from depression, the news just brings me down, so I won’t be covering anything news based or especially politics.

TV PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Well I’m sorry but soaps over here are just so depressing, I don’t need that I need a laugh, also I love sports of any kind, so Benny and I love to watch A League Of Their Own, it’s more laugh than sport, but it’s our must see Friday night viewing, we love it!

Watch out for Jimmy Carr’s cap throw at the end, unbelievable.

FILM OF THE YEAR
This has to be a film I’ve been to the cinema to see, so that narrows it down to three, so it’s between Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (the kids wanted to see it, honest), Dairy of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (honest, the kids really wanted to see it) and finally The Hobbit (okay both Benny & I really wanted to see it), the first two are well actually not bad, watchable but only with the kids, so the winner is The Hobbit, it’s a great film, just a shame we have to wait so long for the next part.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
So many great albums released this year including Third Day, Fireflight, Flyleaf and many more, but my favourite would have to be The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North, this bands music has been a key part in my rebuilding process and this album became an able friend to walk with, it has some great songs with praise and worship for God and Jesus, well worth a listen.

SONG OF THE YEAR
Again so many songs have meant so much over the year, many I have found have become a favourite on constant repeat, but of all the songs throughout the year The Precipice by The Classic Crime stands out, after all without it I probably would still be thinking about starting this Blog.

MUSIC MOMENT OF THE YEAR
As much as I hate reality TV, the X Factor is about the only one I do watch, mainly for the complete spanners who turn up for the auditions with a singing voice that sounds like Pee-Wee Herman gargling with a razor blade, but they still think they are the best thing since sliced bread.  But once in a while you get someone with genuine talent, apart from this years winner James Arthur, one stand out talent was Lucy Spraggan, she made the finals but withdrew due to health issues, but at boot camp she sang a short version of her own song Tea And Toast, the full version is story telling through song at his best, take a listen, it blew me away.

SPORTS PERSON OF THE YEAR
Now in the UK we had some great performances this year with the Olympics it would be easy to pick many, including Bradley Wiggins, Olympic and Tour De France champion and the best pair of Made in England sideburns seen in many a year, obviously Andy Murray, US Open and Olympic tennis champion, okay he was Scottish when he lost at Wimbledon, but British when he finally won, Mo Farrah another stand out double gold winner, Jessica Ennis, beautiful, talented, beautiful, Olympic Heptathlon champion and oh did I mention beautiful, but my choice is one young British star where who I actually have met.

My choice though is young Sophie Wells, I met Sophie about six years ago when I was surveying her parent’s house, she was quite shy and if I remember rightly she served me and my young helper with coffee and biscuits, she did her best to hide her disability.  I got to know her mum in the process of the work we were carrying out for them, Sophie had made the junior British Equestrian team and they hoped she would make the 2012 Paralympics as part of the team.  I actually did the drawings and plans for a new Ménage for Sophie to practice on, so in some small part (okay, when I say small I mean as in a single grain of sand in the desert sized part) and the rest is history, she returned from the Paralympics with one Gold and two Silver medals.  The Post Office has painted some of our traditional red post boxes Gold in honour of many of our Gold Medal winners, Sophie has her own gold post box in Lincoln, about 15 miles away from where I live.

Sophie Wells Gold Post Box (picture credit: Wikipedia)

Sophie Wells Gold Post Box (picture credit: Wikipedia)

Also congratulations to Sophie, I understand that she has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire, in the 2013 New Year’s honours list.

EVENT OF THE YEAR
Ok, I’m going to hog one for myself here, nothing this year could compare to my Baptism, I’ve written about it and even formed about poem about it, it quite simply is unsurpassable for me this year, how can anything top being call out by God, to know that despite your own self-doubt God thinks your are ready!

FRIEND OF THE YEAR
It is not easy to try to pick out one stand out person, there have been so many that have shown me such support, James, Gareth, Alex and many others at Church, but also on here, the friends I’ve made over the last few months through this site, so quite honestly anyone who has shown me any support this year deserves their share in this.

COMPLETE AND UTTER SPANNER OF THE YEAR
Well this one’s mine again, well the old me anyway, the deadbeat loser of an alcoholic who lost his way in life, we said goodbye to him back in March when life changed and hopefully the world will never see him again.

AND FINALLY COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Tempting to take this one again myself, but I want to share it with anyone who has come out of whatever darkness, addiction, illness or anything that made life for a time seem unliveable, take a bow all of you, you are an inspiration in your own way and never forget that.

So there you have the Bottom of a Bottle 2012 review of the year, unfortunately there are no lavish statuettes or pieces of artwork to display on your site (I not that artistically inclined, sorry).

See you all in 2013, Happy New Year (again).

The Precipice

It’s been two weeks since I first got the idea to create this Blog, I wanted to express all my feelings, emotions, pain and ecstasy over the last few years, where in that time I have struggled with debt, depression, alcoholism and relationship break up all the way through to my recovery.

Six months ago I was a complete mess, drinking heavily, not eating and suicidal following the break up of a fifteen year relationship, but after finding myself once again with a penknife at my wrists and finding again that I could not go through with it, I decide that if I couldn’t end my life then I had to change it. The following day I made a phone call which would start the process of recovery, within two weeks I had stopped drinking and started attending Church, the first steps out of the darkness that was my life at the point. It’s not been any easy journey over the last few months, I hope that by expressing my feelings, that anyone who reads this, who may be experiencing similar problems, may find some inspiration to turn their life around.

Every morning my alarm goes off shortly before 5.30am, I get up throw on some clothes and walk four or five miles in an hour or so before returning home, showering and walking to work. Each morning I put on my iPod and just walk, although I have a variety of music on my iPod I listen mostly to Christian music or music that I find some inspiration in, just lately I’ve been listening to Tenth Avenue North on almost constant repeat, their songs were instrumental in my recovery process. This morning though, I put on my playlist of Christian music and walked, as I walked I thought of more ideas for articles for this Blog but I was still no closer to starting this than I was two weeks ago.

As I walked back down the biggest hill in my town the song “The Precipice by The Classic Crime” started playing, I added this song to my iPod only a few weeks ago, I’ve listened to it a few times since then, but this morning I was broken by it.

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice
(The Precipice by The Classic Crime)

As I listened to the song this morning I broke down into floods of tears, it was a good job my town is dead at 6.30am in the morning, as I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was definitely a message, what are my accomplishments in life, could I see them from the top of the hill that I had just walked up, the answer was a big fat no, but the words “Whatever the cost, Whether it works out or not, I’ll follow you with my heart”, were to me a message to do it, stop thinking about it just do it, what ever the cost, just do it.

So here it is my first Blog entry, I have already written a few articles to post over the coming weeks and have plans for others, to trace the journey from darkness to the light that now fills my life.