Gish's Journal

I'm 27 years old and have lived on the streets since I was 6 years old.

Three months ago I moved into Rebeccas Community 'Hospitality House.'

This website chronicles my life journey through foster care, homelessness, drug addiction, prison and my new life off drugs and off the streets.

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Fear of the Unknown (Thu 12th August 04)

We all have fears of things that we don't understand or things that are different and I am no exception to this rule. My biggest fear I think is that all the work I have done to this point will be worthless or I will be forced to do something that will totally undermine the effort that I have put into changing my life around, which at the moment is still a very real possibility.

Living on the street has taught me how to overcome a lot of very difficult and sometimes very violent problems, and dealing with these problems have given me ways of problem solving that I am finding quite hard to adapt out of, for want of a better term.

The life that I have led for the better part of my life has been all about survival and what is needed to get through each day without getting hurt or being hungry.

The problem with this I think is that because I spent so long living and breathing street life I probably became to adept at the survival part of life on the street.

I am very afraid that I will use my skills without thinking, which is often the case as they are automatic in most instances, to do something that will put me into an undesired position which could then force me to use even more of my skills to get me out of.

I know that a lot of my friends out on the street if asked would say there is nothing Gish is afraid of but the truth is I am afraid of this life I am trying to build for myself.

Everything about the world I am trying to adapt into is totally alien to me and not many of my old skills are of any real use to me in my new world, which is proving to be quite frustrating for me, I have all these really unique and powerful survival skills that are almost worthless in the normal day to day way that I now live my life.

I find myself each time I come across an obstacle looking at it through a streeties eyes and then preparing to solve it like a streetie, which is alright sometimes but a lot of times someone could get hurt which isn't alright.

The times this happens I almost feel as though I am doing something wrong but I know that I have saved myself and the person involved a lot of trouble.

I guess you could say that having to act and think so differently from what I have been used to all my life has been quite a trying and difficult part of the adaptation process for me and I fear failing because I am not sure that I could do what I have done again.

I have the greatest people supporting me and the fear of failure isn't because I will disappoint them, I want to succeed because I really don't want to go back to my old life and I think this more than any other fear has been my biggest motivating tool, it has been the thing that has pushed me from day one of my journey when I turned my back on the street and the way I used to live.

I am not afraid of life on the street, I just know there is something better out there and now that I have found a way of reaching it I want it even more then I did three months ago, and even though I know my journey is full of problems and fear I still get up in the morning ready to pursue my new life like I have nothing to lose, come to think of it I don't think I do?