My teenage years began with taking off my life’s stabilizer wheels far too early.

I stepped out from under the parental umbrella’s security and guidance and began making decisions for myself.

It was a painful and tortuous long-haul disaster.

I crashed a lot and got burned.

I left the shade of that umbrella in too much of a hurry.

I was not ready. I was unprepared.

Between the ages of 18 and 22, I managed the following:

  • I Moved out of the family home.
  • I gave up school early.
  • I got a job, got sacked, got a job, got sacked …
  • I bought a motorbike.
  • I lost my virginity.
  • I became a full-time dope head and nicotine addict.
  • I experimented with all other drugs.
  • I married (Hi Dommie xx), became a Dad (Hi Jimbobxx), and divorced (Good call, Dommie x).
  • I narrowly avoided death, prison, and other terrors numerous times.

I was laden with insecurities and fears and limped from pillar to post, faking it until I made it while simultaneously fucking up my life at most turns.

I channelled a destructive rage against the system, which I blamed for my miserable and wretched existence.

My teenage years were not a good time.

I hit rock bottom when Dommie made the wise decision to leave me.

Three good things then happened.

  • I began to take an honest look at myself.
  • I met God.
  • I met Carina, whom I subsequently married and, 38 years later, is still my bestest bestest one whom I love with all my heart xx (It is our wedding anniversary today!!)

I wish I were a quicker learner.

It has taken me 38 years to get here.

However, I am here now!

One hundred forty-two days ago, I stepped out from under the ‘security’ and guidance of alcohol.

The last time I was sober for 142 days was when I was 15, probably.

I am 100% sober, 100% of the time.

I am outside of the filter and influence of a drug that profoundly interfered with my emotional and mental mechanisms.

My senses are free for the first time in a long time.

It is like seeing, hearing, and feeling everything for the first time.

It is all so new!

The learning curve is enormous.

I am experiencing a teenage phase again.

Stabilizer wheels have been added this time because life is stable.

Instead of being a fledgling with broken wings, I am a 60-year-old eagle with strength.

Instead of hiding my shame, I am flaunting my weaknesses.

Instead of feeling alone, I am revelling in a plethora of support.

In the teenage and early adult years, we first begin the serious business of establishing who we are and building our lives around that understanding.

I am at that stage again. This time around, I LOVE this embryonic phase!