Perception can be described as a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression. I have been perceived as and have perceived myself as many things in the span of forty four years. Here I shall focus on the latter as other perceptions besides your own don’t exist.
The Stuttering Child.
Minus my dad absolving himself from my life I had a pretty solid childhood. I had all of life’s necessities and a decent group of friends. What else could a pre-teen really ask for? I did, however, develop a mean stutter within my family and in times of stress. Debilitating to say the least and it would impact my self confidence for many years to come. If I could have one thing altered about my life, this inability to communicate at such a formidable time in my life would be the winner.
Metal Head Youth/Partying Young Adult.
I swear it was within the same week where I discovered heavy metal, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and sex. Must have been slightly staggered but hey, whatever. School became the least important thing and I started a death metal band in which we drank, got high and smoked. It was like a calling I found myself in more than the actual hole I was digging. I felt cool. Driven. Dare I say happy.
Ultimately it didn’t pan out to much. Nothing I could build a career around though the drinking had it’s hooks in me. Nothing like later in my life but it called my name often enough. I ended up near homeless and without completing high school. Removing myself far from that situation was no doubt the best thing I could have done for myself. Next thing I knew I’d become a father.
When I fell into this role it was always father first, husband second. Maybe even third, after employee for all I know. All of it came naturally I suppose though life would later show me I had much to learn about being a husband. A good chunk of this time was spent up north on the reserve where I had met my wife. I ascended at the local grocery store, being gas station supervisor and managing the incoming freight as well as doing orders and staff management. Not where I saw myself but I did fit in nicely while it was happening.
Back in the city, and by city I mean the thriving metropolis of Red Deer, I began waking up. I was in love with my kids and not my wife and that was that. In reality it wasn’t quite so simple but you don’t have all day.
During this whole scenario I felt like part of a machine. This is what an adult does: graduate, have a career, get married and have kids. I wasn’t unhappy but it never felt quite right, the wife part. And when that whole debacle of the move out and court was over it was as though the sea had parted, just for me (and the 3 young ones). I felt that life held something for me and I was about to walk into its goodness.
Christian Single Father.
For the record I didn’t find God at this stage in my life. I was raised in the church and gave my little five year old heart to Jesus. I learned alot about God and the Bible as a child attending private Christian school from kindergarten through ninth grade. Then into my teens there’s wasn’t alot of room unfortunately for Christianity when I’m neck deep in addiction and chosen sin.
For the first time I had my head on straight and for the first time I was surrounded by really good hearted people amidst this church family as it were. I volunteered bi-weekly in the children’s program there and I continued working as a day home provider and was thriving. I was heartbroken in this time over who I thought was ‘the one’, the first Christian girl I ever dated and from my home town of Fort Saskatchewan. Life was overall quite good but I wanted to be closer to her so we made the move back to Fort Sask and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Mid-Thirties Confident Kristopher.
Just after losing 50 lbs we made the move to Fort Saskatchewan. My heart wasn’t really in the day home anymore but I did it for one more year. The girl I chased basically dropped off the face of the earth and I was left to my own devices to pick up the pieces. Luckily these devices were lengthy gym session and high calorie healthy eating. I packed on about 25 lbs of muscle (okay, and some fat) over the next year and maintained a very driven, healthy lifestyle.
During this time I discovered dating sites and among the many false leads I did meet quite a few women and had brief yet meaningful relationships with a handful of them. My confidence was at an all time high, we had found a great church to be a part of and my kids were attending the same Christian school I had gone to many moons before.
Several years and jobs and girlfriends later things seemed to spiral a bit financially and going back to the Red Deer area was in my best interest for several reasons. My biggest regret in this time was uprooting the kids but they are many things and resilient is one of them. We would spend a few months under my mother’s roof to regroup, during which I would meet my second wife and life would get out of control quick.
Besides the day job and obvious parenting I began to find great passion in writing and I emersed myself in the process. I wrote a TV style sitcom script then another and I dipped my toe in this medium called blogging, maybe you’ve heard of it?
The first year or so of my two point five year second marriage was alright but you know what, it really wasn’t. Hard drugs, late nights and stupid decisions seemed par for the course. For her sake I won’t say much else other than it was a super effed up time in my life where I let a lot of crazy things go down where I typically wouldn’t have. The worst part was due to her nightly drinking I too stepped onto that path and struggled with getting off for years after. This is when my weight gain began what with all the hard liquor and fast food.
One good thing about this unholy union was that she responded to an ad on my behalf to a local person looking to produce a show on public access and I landed the job to host (I don’t recall getting paid..). We did five episodes and I enjoyed every minute of it, though I still felt I was better off camera in sticking with my writing prospects.
Overweight Organic Alky.
Two years ago almost to the day I fell into a job where I’m currently at and thriving in. It’s an organic market surrounded by my healthy work family. The irony is I’m in the worst shape of my life and at possibly my lowest confidence level but I’m welcomed with open arms and I downright dig the whole picture.
I’ve been away for a little time now and will return soon. I’ll be 45 in less than three weeks and there’s no room or desire to push things off any further. I don’t want to die young. Enough is enough and I’m on a good path now. Every time my pants comes off at the end of a day I’ve lost another pound. I always tell myself “I can’t wait to get back to where I was”. What I should be focusing on it is obliterating that and being my best me yet. And that, my friends, is what I shall do. The way I perceive myself at this exact moment knows he needs help and I shan’t ignore myself any longer.