When you met me back in 2008 I was really lost. I didn’t know how to live or how to think for myself, and I had a bad problem with drugs. I didn’t think I did at the time, but we all need somebody to open our eyes every once in a while.
Well, I left two years ago to try to find a better life for my family, or so I thought. But I realized that what I really needed was solitude. I had to get away from everybody and find myself. I had to break away from all the partying and the drinking. It was really hard to separate myself from everything and everybody, but I realized that I needed to. I began to travel to find new places to establish my business, but I always seemed to be late getting there — the insurance was too high, the permit was too expensive, or they didn’t allow open-air venting. Every time I got close, it was like God took it away from me and told me I wasn’t ready for it. I would get so depressed and sad because I felt like I let myself and my daughter’s mother down.
By this time, I had control of my drinking and I wasn’t dependent on it anymore. I realized that I just needed to fix myself and change they way I thought. I had to overcome my ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ (as I like to call it). I realized that I wasn’t a street kid anymore. It can be difficult to overcome the street life when the street life is all you know. You don’t see yourself and your problems. You think everything is normal and that you can still live the same lifestyle and have a good life. But I realized that I was wrong.
Not much later, my daughter was born. I was still stuck in my old ways for the first two years of her life. Her mother stuck by my side until she couldn’t deal with it anymore – for the sake of our child. I don’t blame her. I would have done the same thing. The first couple of months were really tough for me. I got worse before I got better, Some mornings after falling again, I would wake up and just cry, and ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”, until I gradually started to change. The first barrier I had to overcome was the drugs and drinking, and the second was changing the way I thought about life. I had to figure out what I needed to do for myself and for my child. It all seems like a figment of my imagination now. If I were to stand next to my old self, it would be like seeing two completely different people.
I have realized that I have been affected by my past and how others have influenced me. I was always trying to make it go away and attempting to leave from my gradually worsening lifestyle. But I needed to forgive myself first. One day I woke up and saw that I was really just a lost and confused soul. I knew then that it was time for me to grab my footing, so I went to every place I could think of to just be by myself. It was rough, but i did it. I took that journey on the mountain and faced every fear and every demon I had and I conquered them all. By this time I realized that I needed to get my relationship with my daughter back and get right with the people that cared the most about me.
So I guess this is why I’m writing you — to thank you for helping this ex street kid get food in his belly and socks on his feet, and most importantly for knowing that somebody cared about me. Thank you for being there to talk to when there was that feeling of being alone. You were always there to listen and give good advice and help when needed. Because you showed me compassion and love, I can now show it to others. I am still working on getting my life back in order, but it’s easier now because of the change that has happened in me. I have been able to come to this point in my life through God’s help, and by knowing that in my most desperate and dark places, there were people there for me who were willing to lend a hand to me to bring me UP. Now I can lend a hand to others. Thank you for being there for me.
Worlds of Color