18-08-2014: I saw Terry today, he looked awful. He appeared to be wandering around inside the selfish maze of his own head. Rest assured, Terry’s head is not a good place to be. Passing him by in the busy Southend-On-Sea High Street I could see his eyes were glazed over with an angry, vacant inward stare. He never noticed me at all. Looking at him walk by it seemed all those thoughts that filled his head made his lips move slightly. Mumbling to himself, sorting out yesterdays ills.
The Storehouse building in Southend is an intriguing place, to me anyway. After spending part of my child hood climbing on its roof I got to know the building well. A few years later at the age of 15 I attended a so called youth centre that opened and closed within perhaps a few months. I remember the grand open evening with the delivery of a wobbly pool table under the gaze of flickering light bulbs that hung loosely by the door, and it wasn’t Christmas. It seemed that someone had made an effort to add light to the place, at last! In my late teens and early twenties I attended a wedding, two birthday parties and a Buff club celebration, and then it closed again. Throughout the years that building has opened and closed more times than I care to remember. The building, I guess, is about 50 years old and looks older. I on the other hand was born a few years earlier in 1960, just a few hundred yards away from this rather shabby old building.
Having been born in the area, I have over the years become familiar with most of the church halls, community projects and landmark buildings in the area. As a local urbanite I am interested in simple, and at times pointless buildings that appear to have limited purpose. Sad hobby maybe, but most would agree nevertheless that local buildings can hold sway if they are within reach of our own culture, and this Storehouse building is part of mine. Many other buildings in the area that were once gripped by my grubby finger prints have been demolished, like the old Greyhound Track and the sweet factory that were both a favourite haunt for any youthful sprout. The building which is now the Storehouse however, of course still stands. Hardly a land mark building, but to me it has a history having climbed over it, walked around it and through it a million times and over the years prior to my urbanite view point taking over I would have, like most people, hardly given the old place a second glance. Nevertheless, my interest has been reignited, particularly over the last few years. The lights have been switched on again and someone is definitely in. The place is busy, and to begin with I was sceptical, because it has never been busy before, not for long anyway. To be sure, all previous attempts to make the building a success have failed dismally. That building had never been a success in any way shape or form so why wouldn’t I think, “here we go again”. Ask the local council for evidence and you will be shown a list dating back decades of half-hearted attempts to add life to the old place. It has always been a white elephant, or mouse perhaps, in the local area. Okay, before starting this blog I found time out to research! “the storehouse”. About ten minutes to be precise. Continue reading
Having wholeheartedly believed that knowledge would alter my addictive nature and give me a nudge in a more positive direction only shows how wrong I could be. With a disease so life threatening it seemed logical to seek professional advise and avoid any notion that some kind of spirit could help. Now that the truth has been unlocked through scripture however, my previous psycho babbling pursuits have since been recognized as life threatening experiences. All that intellectual searching was set on nothing more than a pride and fearful foundation built by my own self-will, which was placed alongside professional people that had some good yet naïve humanitarian intentions. They meant well but could not deliver nor withdraw from me the truth. Unfortunately this attitude simply highlighted my then brash, shallow and soulless character. Forgiveness, Love, being sorrowful and the need for redemption, or a redeeming nature, were never looked at as potential healing methods. I often believed, or perhaps hoped, that the professional therapists seemed so close to restoring my sanity, just one more visit and I’ll be fine was the nearest I got to any recovery at all. Nearly recovered does not wash when up against addiction.
Alcoholics, God and psychotherapy focuses on the Rambling Bricklayer’s personal journey alongside details, histories, successes and failures of how addicts search for recovery.
I am sure the psychiatrist negated a nod when I walked into her office. Immediately she began a no nonsense key holding approach to unlocking the self styled padlocked barbed wire that was wrapping me up and cutting me to pieces. The self-willed barbs were sharp, intricate and painful to say the least. I sat down sheepishly, her eye brows dipped. Oh no, I’ve already done something wrong, I thought, painfully. She studied me for a moment, weighing me up while taking notes. Her pen took brood swoops across a page with confidence like a real professional. “Don’t worry” she said “the notes are for our file only”. I clearly wasn’t fit enough in the head to read what she had written, the words were for “their file only”.