Of the hardest things I had to face in my life it was pain. This to me is crazy. I didn’t realize how much I numbed myself not to feel. Drug use was high on the totem pole. Drinking was an indulgence that was as second nature as breathing. I never thought of anything but the fact that I didn’t want to go through the rest of the day without a hit or a pull or a toke or a drink. This was my life every day for a solid 9 years. It was so bad that when I finally let the drugs go I had to identify what a feeling was because I had numbed them all. I did it so much that any feeling longer than 10-20 minutes was unacceptable. Anything more than that was too much for me to handle. Everything I knew those 9 years was painful. If I was feeling more than guaranteed I was a mess. I couldn’t handle anything that required me to have a feeling because it went back to pain. My mind kept bringing back the abuse, the beatings, the torture, the fear of living life and what it will bring me when I felt. Looking back I tremble at the fact that death was constantly close to me.  Without knowing I was welcoming it’s dark embrace. If you had asked me at the time of my addiction I would tell you that you don’t understand and that whatever it was you were observing about me was not truth.

I couldn’t accept a compliment. It made me feel uncomfortable and I just didn’t know what the intent behind it was at all. For a very long time I felt that I wasn’t worthy. It got to a point that even if it was a good thing I didn’t allow myself to feel. In my mind I just didn’t see what you were talking about. I didn’t put too much attention because I kept waiting for the carpet to be pulled from under my feet. Somewhere along the way someone was going to hurt me. What was I to expect when everyone I had put trust in had taken, beaten, manipulated and hurt me.  I kept thinking that behind that good was even a bigger bad.

For so many years I was told that being gay was a sin and that I am going to hell! Then the realization that on top of being dark skin and outspoken it was a guarantee that I was going to have a hard time in life just made me tired for living. Everything looked bleak. Whatever goals or dreams I had were diminished in the feelings behind what others thought. It was automatically shot down from people who made it their business to show me all the negative in everything I chose to do or say. If the truth really be told it was fear. Fear that after all was said and done I would not be respected for what I felt or stood for. Fear that when I walked away your sense of me would be tainted. Fear that no matter how or why it was just unacceptable for people.

This journey that I am on now was a long time coming. The self-discovery is cleansing. It is refreshing and absolutely palpable to me. The awareness that I was able to come into from this journey was painful, but like all real truths there is a little pain involved. It is so true when they say that there is no sense in crying over spilt milk. What could’ve happened didn’t. What should’ve happened hasn’t. There is no need to waste time on what you felt needed to happen. Just grab the moment so you can make it happen. Make it yours and own it so this way it doesn’t rely on anyone else but yourself. I really like that idea. I like that I am in a place that I dare to live. I love the sense that I can look back and say I did it and didn’t allow obstacles, opinions and fear to stop me. There is a sense of pride in understanding that I had to go through these moments to get to the next step. Once you own your part everything else makes no difference. Once you forgive yourself in all you no longer will accept things and behaviors from others no matter who they are. I have earned that family will be the first ones to knock you. Through it all you continue to move on with confidence. The road you walk on is clearer and doesn’t seem so long and twisted. Nothing hides itself. You walk with certainty. It allows you see that people are not always as they seem. You let go what needs to let go and there is no anger or revenge behind it or towards anyone. There is just you and your steps toward your goal. Growth then becomes easy and possible. You learn to be without expectations. This my people is the hardest part to put in practice when you learn these lessons.


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