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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A Choice of Life Choices

It occurred to me tonight as I was talking to my friend Hanna on the phone that I am probably the happiest I have ever been at this point in my life then I have ever been before, and it got me to thinking why, why now?

What is it about my life now that makes me feel this is the best I have ever felt. Today was nothing special and yesterday was the same and tomorrow will probably be no different either, so why is it that I can feel more complete today then I thought possible?

I have given a lot of thought lately to the choices I have made over the last couple of months and I think back on the decision making process that led to me making those choices and I feel that I have given myself a lot more ability to make a wider range of choices then I have ever experienced in my life before which leads me to believe that the more choice I have in the direction my life takes the happier I will be, and that by allowing myself more choice in the future, I will have more of a choice about what will make me happy.

I never really understood this until tonight but living on the street is a truly limited experience of what life has to offer and if more streeties were given the opportunity that has been given to me they would see that there is more to life then sleeping under a bridge or in a squat and having to deal with the problems they face every day, which is a choice most make because they have lost faith that there are other choices they can make.

If I were to ask most streeties where they saw themselves in five years time most of them would say right where they are, living on the street and I would have been no different, I would have said the same thing.

They have lost their ability to see that there are other choices out there that they can make, and there are a lot of reasons for this occurring from being drug dependent to being emotionally crippled and not being able to see through their own pain to the ignorance of some who are approached by some streeties who do want to change there life and get back there power of choice over their life, and are misunderstood or judged as not worth helping.

I feel that I have used the time I have been of the street to exercise my freedom of choice in a extremely positive way and this has led me to feeling the way I do today, for instance I gave up smoking the other day and the effect on me physically was pretty extreme, I had huge mood swings and I still am experiencing them to a degree though nowhere near to the point I was a few days ago, but the effect it has had on my view on life has been the total opposite.

I feel very pleased that I have made the choice to give up smoking and it was the same for me when I decided to stop using drugs, the immediate effect wasn't very easy to cope with but because I stuck with my choice and didn't give up, the overall benefit to my life has been very rewarding and with each problem in my life that I choose to tackle and succeed in the next choice becomes that much easier to overcome, and the range of problems that I can choose to overcome within my life has been slowly increasing in scope and the impact that they will have on my life.

There are areas of my life that I haven't yet been capable of understanding what will be required of me to first locate and define, then deal with, but I feel now that it is possible for me to at the very least entertain the idea that all the things in my life that have been crippling my ability to function in society productively are now just as simple to choose not to perpetuate as what it was to perpetuate.

There are so many choices that I have learned I can make in life and now that I know that they are there for me to make it makes me think about all the choices I missed out on and all the choices I will be able to make in the future, I know that I will make some wrong choices and I know that I will have to make some choices that I won't enjoy or that will hurt me or someone I love, but I believe that my life will be so much richer for having the chance to make those choices and live through the learning curve of having made the choices that control where I am heading in life and how I live that I wouldn't give up the chance of making those choices for all the tea in China, I think that this is what living is really supposed to be like and I believe I am only now starting to live a lifestyle of choice instead of a choice of lifestyle.



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