When I look at this photo of me it makes me smile to see how cheerful I am and how as I reach out I seem to be saying, “Hello world. Here I come! I’m ready to take on life with all its potential and promises!”
Thankfully I was completely unaware of what life was to bring. I didn’t know that at the age of 3 my mum was going to abandon me never to be seen again. Or that I would grow up with an abusive father who made my life a living hell leaving me with nightmare memories long after he died. Looking at my contented face it would be hard to guess that at 15 I would become an alcoholic to block out the pain of my childhood and that 20 years later the combination of depression and alcoholism would nearly kill me.
Then again, I could have reassured that child by telling her that after the storm came the calm. I could astound her and inspire with how I would survive and reclaim my faith and with it my life. That through sobriety I would be set free from the prison of my mind by forgiveness, honesty, serenity and joy.
How I wish I could have told that precious infant that she would find the courage to heal from rejection and would be able to love and be loved unconditionally.
Of course the awesomeness of a baby is its purity and its unblemished spirit. It can’t understand what the future could hold and doesn’t need to. But if I had the chance, I would have told myself, “No matter what happens, never stop reaching out. Grab everything wonderful the world has to offer!”