It’s easy to believe there is a power greater than me. I’ve never saw myself as greater than anyone. From my time as a wobbly knees pre-teen with terrible social skills and a tendency to nervously rock in class, I knew I wasn’t normal. I was an alien surrounded by average everyday kids and a few exceptional ones, many of which loved to point out the few of us kids who seemed to lag behind.

School was a cruel joke played on me, my teachers were bullies as much as the kids. My heart would race everyday I went to school, all day, just in fear of someone taking a shot at me. As I got older I got bigger and stronger but the bullies got meaner and meaner. I didn’t fit in and I knew that, I would get punched, kicked, spit on, have my head put in a toilet, my bag dumped out and my lunch money stolen.

I eventually fought back but that just got me labeled a “troubled kid” so I found through experimentation that their was escapes through vices that could slightly level the playing field of social settings but also numb out my own self-hate. Every time I heard “Faggot!” or “Pussy!” before I got a shoulder or elbow to the back, I thought I could numb this out. These fucking terrible people and these terrible feelings, just put them on ice.

My art room in high school became my safety net, just an asylum from the horrid voices of the normal kids who went to prom, drove to school and planned to go to college. The letterman and the cheerleaders, the cool ones. I hid away in the art room sanctuary praying to my saints Dali, Picasso, and Basquiat. My music filling my head to drown out my bully that lived in me, the worst one of all. I just dove into art and music, while still trying to fit into a system not designed for me. I played sport, fairly well, but the team mentality was lost on me due to teammates behaving in ways I wasn’t comfortable with. I was unable to stay in the athletic world because I refused to be the athlete they wanted. Uniformity and brotherhood was the goal and was not that guy.

Kids are just cruel, even into college, and they know things, through some killer instinct, they find your weakness. I took a lot of hits for being non-sexual, not dating, and never talking about sex. I was called gay, queer and honestly I couldn’t tell you then or now what I think I am completely? I felt I was a young person who felt things but had no way of dealing with it so I got high or drink and that was it, sexuality didn’t factor in. I am a heart guy so I am attracted to hearts, not genders, I suppose that’s true today too.

I just knew I didn’t like me at all and would prefer I didn’t exist but killing myself seemed far to dramatic. I would just hope to fade away over the next several years. I even tried for a longtime to see what god could do for me in the form of Jesus, and that gave me purpose to serve others and love deeper but I couldn’t fall in love with me. I still had the same view I did as a kid, it was and still is a broken connection to self. Thing is without the internal god experience the external begins to fade so after my 20s-30s trying to connect while helping others to connect and get better, I was worse, I was even worse than before.

So long story short, I numbed myself out for decades to combat the turmoil inside and the fear of what was outside. I clung to old wooden crosses and old wooden bar stools. My veins thirsty for poison and my heart yearning for a healing, it never came. I was a falling tree and I didn’t think anyone in the forest of life would hear me. So I fell, I faced my demons, I got sober, I lost my faith, eventually my marriage and nearly my mind. My doctors tried to find my brains mechanical issues but even with proper care it still runs terribly. So now I’m clean, but not fixed, I’m a mess. My brain still wants to kill me and my heart still hurts. I still don’t like me very much but I’m a little stronger than I was three years ago when I found myself alone after 13 years with the same person. I crawling to a stumble but it’s forward at least?

So it’s easy to believe there is a power greater than me. What’s not easy is putting a name on that power, so until that day comes, it was God, it was whiskey, it was dope, and it was darkness, but now it’s nothing and somehow everything. And so, it remains, and it will remain a shapeless, formless, beautifully messy mystery.