For a long time my primary purpose was: avoid personal discomfort at any cost.
The best way I found to do this, for about twenty seven years, was by filling myself with drugs and alcohol. Oh I found other ways to avoid uncomfortable feelings as well. Food was, and still is ,a good one, sex, shopping, working out, pornography, computer games. Almost anything can increase this list to become compulsive and unmanageable. But of all the behaviors and methods I've used to avoid feelings drugs and alcohol always worked best.
While under the influence I had to do something. One can't very well just get a buzz on for twenty seven years with nothing else on their plate, so I created various versions of who I thought I should be.
A serious musical performer was something I believed I should be for more than a decade. I actually did this very well and I suppose that had I been sober through those years I may have achieved an elevated level of success in that arena. The combination of unpleasant people and the discipline needed to maintain success in that industry, however, got in the way of my true love; getting fucked up.
So I left that incarnation to create the next one, which was unclear to me due to my confused mental state but lasted, nevertheless, for about fifteen years. I suppose I was a professional party boy for lack of a better title. It is during this period that the posted picture was taken. Sexy? Perhaps. But definitely not a nice guy and you may notice how there seems to be no life behind the eyes. Yes, I became the walking dead. Zombified and driven from one moment of immediate gratification to the next with no consideration of others and no thought of personal consequence. Humping my way through life like some deranged inchworm. It was fun. Then it was fun with problems. Then it was just problems.
By the grace of something greater than myself I've been delivered from that state and brought to where I am now. The road from there to here has been painful and long but I've broken free of emotional and spiritual torture. I've survived disease and overdoses, I'm recovered and I'm grateful but still nagging questions reverberate inside my head;
Is it too late to become the man I was supposed to be all along?
Certainly my life doesn't look the way I imagined it would. I catch glimpses of myself in storefront windows and I recoil with disbelief. Who is that? When did I get so old? Time passed and I must've been too high to notice. I was supposed to be settled and winding down by now but it seems I've only just recently been put in the right direction.
What I am faced with are questions of faith:
Do I believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be?
Have I been saved so that I can help others through my experience?
Is God doing for me what I cannot do for myself?
Avoiding personal discomfort is no longer important. What proves to be of significant worth is the suspension of judgement, of myself as well as others, and letting myself be guided by love.