As far back as I can remember I just never fit in. I was smaller than the average person, I was hyperactive and always acting out. I remember the teacher always telling me to be quiet, I have always had a loud voice, and could not keep my mouth shut. I remember the first time I was actually trembling inside with fear. I was 5 or 6 years old and my mother and I waited for a bus to carry me off to kindergarten, I was petrified of not being around my parents and family, I did not like strangers and wasn't one to make friends easily.
Somehow I made it through kindergarten and elementary school, although I was held back in 6th grade, the teacher said I was too immature, at the time I didn't see it , but I always acted out to hide my fear.
When I speak of fear I'm not talking about fear of heights, arachnophobia, or the boogie man. The kind of fear I battled was constantly worried of what others thought of me, what I have since heard said is letting people rent space in my head. I was also always afraid of failure, you know the old saying they'll all laugh at you. I lied about things I didn't know just to make myself look good. I was afraid to ask questions for the fear that people would just call me stupid.
I was not raised like this, my parents always encouraged me to keep a positive attitude. My father always praised me and was always quick to tell me how smart he thought I was, I just didn't feel smart or competent. The older I got, it seemed to get a bit easier and then came the day I found the solution. I was riding my bike by the pool and a couple of guys I knew were in the parking lot, they called me over and offered me a beer, I couldn't say no, they would call me names and laugh at me. So I accepted their offer and bragged of how I had drank before, although I hadn't! After a few beers I don't know how many, I had arrived, I was ten feet tall and bullet proof. I went home got in the shower and got sick, but couldn't wait to do it again.
I was 18 years old before I got my drivers license, didn't to too well in drivers ed. at high school, but did pass the test and get my permit, once again afraid I would fail, so I just put it off. I turned 20 years old on graduation night, yes high school graduation, as stated before I was held back in sixth grade and failed my sophomore year, my birthday is June 12, the year 1984 and graduation night fell on my birthday. I drank a few beers prior to the ceremony and wasn't feelin' any pain to say the least, as I crossed the stage I yelled out hell yea! I went to my homeroom to get my diploma, they only handed transcripts during the ceremony, my home room teacher informed me I had to get my from the principal. To make a long story short I ended up punching a brick wall and my hand swelled up like a grapefruit. I had my parents believing it was all the principals fault and they held my diploma just because I yelled, the real reason is that I had been drinking.
I could tell you all kinds of stories, I am not proud of any of the things I have done it's just the cards I was dealt. I've done a lot of stupid things thinking that I was a real man and could hold my own, in fact I was a 16 year old in a mans body searching for a way out. It's a terrible thing to live in fear and the things we do to overcome the obsession of failure and acceptance, such as alcohol abuse, eating disorders, drug abuse, self inflicting pain, and the list goes on.
I always wanted a motorcycle but was to fearful of trying to ride, besides alcohol and motorcycles do not mix, that is what i would tell people, if I didn't drink I'd probable have a bike. Just about 2 years sober I learned about acceptance and how I didn't have to like it but accept it I must. The only thing I could change was my outlook and attitude, and so my journey began.
I went to a weekend motorcycle safety/instruction class at the local community college, I learned how to ride and bought myself a 2005 Harley sportster, I have made a few mistakes riding and have dropped the bike more than once, I'll probably drop it again someday, but I don't live with the fear that I will make a mistake, i live with the fear that I won't. Not one of us is perfect, no not one, we all make mistakes and always will. The question is will you learn from your mistakes or just lie about them.
I got sober at 47 years old and started living a life of gratitude, I found a power greater than myself and no longer have to live in fear, every day is not grand, but most days I am content!
I haven't had a drink today and I'm not mad about it!