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December 08
12:38 2018

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

Did I mention that Deadpool is one of my favourite movies? I swear Ryan Reynolds reminds me so much of me – charismatic, funny as hell, handsome. And then today I heard this song which was in Deadpool – Ashes from Celine Dion. She has a voice straight from Heaven. Kinda like this young girl Jasmine Thompson who does this cover of REM’s Everybody Hurts. Somebody sent it to me last night and wow – powerful. But as I do so often, I digress, this time deliberately. Because I don’t want to write what I want to write. Hell, don’t try to understand that. I don’t think even I do.

I didn’t write a column last week. And not one of my seven faithful readers noticed. How messed up is that? I’m a little hurt. The truth is by Tuesday last week I had convinced myself that nothing was worth doing – not even my column which I’ve been pretty passionate about. It was one of those dark weeks. No smiles, no happiness. Just darkness. It was a real, extended one-man pity party.

See, I wanted to bring hope with this column. So people would know they aren’t alone. I saw this almost as a calling. I wanted those struggling with addiction to alcohol to realize that there are others who inhabit that particular darkness, and perhaps together we can find light. I wanted those fighting depression to know that there are others who fight as well, and to know that giving up is not an option. So I delved deep into my soul and poured out some of my own horrors. I know it may sound crazy, but I wanted to do something important with my writing, which is really the only skill I feel I possess. It is perhaps the one thing my drinking hasn’t taken away from me. Oh, and my sense of humour. Because that may have gotten a little darker but it’s there.

My sense of failure, and my disappointment in myself got the better of me along the way. Here I was, trying to help others, and I apparently couldn’t even help myself. It’s easy to spiral down from there. Because actions have real repercussions. And things you do while drunk don’t magically disappear. The hurt you cause while under the influence doesn’t vanish. There is no pixie dust that can make all the bad things go away. And it is a vicious frigging cycle for me, and I’m sure for a lot of people very much like me. We are surrounded by the negative result of our actions – whether it is the silent or not so silent condemnation from a significant other, or the hurt on the faces of our children, or bills unpaid, obligations not met…that sort of thing. And if you are like me, it wears you down. And if you have a particular weakness, like alcohol, you run for that solace to forget how much of an absolute idiot you’ve been while under the influence. It’s insane.

I know there are persons who believe that I have revealed way too much of myself in these columns. There are those who feel that I embarrass myself through my revelations, and by extension bring shame to my family. There are those who see what I write as an admission of abject weakness. And we all know men aren’t supposed to be weak. We are men, after all. The problem is that sometimes I agree with them. Because I don’t want people to look at me and see a weakling. I want men to admire me for my accomplishments and my character. I want children to see me as an example to follow. I want dogs to adore me because we all know dogs are just about perfect judges of soul-deep goodness in a person. I want women to watch me with lust in their hearts – okay I maybe got a little carried away there but you get my point. I want to be a strong person. And there is a weakness in me. And I started believing that the weakness made me a weak person.

But I’m not weak. Because even now that I’ve lost pretty much everything that means anything in my life, I continue to struggle, and I am determined to become the person I can be. I have met some incredible people along the way. People whom I have never met have reached out to me. And people who have seen me at my worst are still there. I lost some amazing people along the way, and I don’t blame them. I may end this journey pretty much alone, and I may fall some more times before it’s done. But I’ll keep going.

You know why? Because I need to prove to myself that I can. Sometimes we tell ourselves all kinds of fanciful things. I’ll do it for the wife. Or for the kids. Or for the sweetheart. Or for the dogs. Or for whoever or whatever. But the truth is that you cannot do anything for anybody until you fix what is broken inside you. I’ve been resentful when people have walked away. But in the end I realize that I have been toxic for a long time, and I have destroyed most of what I’ve touched. So I’m going to fix me.

Oh damn this started out to be such a positive column. What the hell happened? Somehow I got sidetracked just after I realized how much like me Ryan Reynolds is. It happens. We get sidetracked. But I’m not giving up.

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