When all was dark in my more coherent moments I dreamed of a hero, someone anyone to rescue me from this prison.
The depression was one aspect my homelessness was another, each equally embarrassing, each putting you on the outside of society each not something you talked about.
Homelessness means sleeping on a park bench,covered in newspaper a bottle at your side, or begging in the street then curling up in a shop doorway, because these things happen to other people, I never thought it would happen to me.
I only slept outside once, that was enough, what really penetrated was how disconnected I felt, not only was I a non person, but had mental health issues as well and when the two collided, the explosion inside shook me to my core.
My collapse was total everything single fear I’d ever had in life came to the fore and strangely i felt as though I deserved it, the loneliness was all compassing, you see nobody wants to help those that have fallen so low, when you are on the streets your invisible, not even a number because without an address you cannot receive benefits, they send you to the soup and sandwich run which a local church provides at 8pm every night.
The shelter, well I’ve already written about that here: Closure: I Thought I Knew You for me that was not the option and I firmly believe if I had stayed there one night I would not be here now.
Initially my days were spent in the library, because it was warm and that’s where the homeless go, I’d see the daily parade come and go, those who were not in the shelter worrying about where they would spend the night, at least I had a sofa to sleep on, eating was also a major occupation, it comes to something when your sofa surfing how people will eat in front of you and not so much as offer you a morsel.
As I disappeared more into myself I couldn’t face being with the homeless or even being considered one of them to my eternal shame, as many were very nice and had similar circumstances, home repossessed etc not all were drunks drug addicts.
What really shocked me was the young people, some as young as 17 out on the streets, parents having kicked them out, or runaway’s, makes me shudder to think what some of them had to do to survive, also terrified at the same time that I might have to do the same.
In my retreat I did find a semi permanent place to stay, my mind now a complete fog, my spirit smashed into a million pieces, I needed a hero, and I found one in the shape of the man who took me in.
You have to be a special person, to have someone festering in your home, whom you asked no questions, but wiped away the tears, listened to the endless recriminations, fed me and gave me money, with no ulterior motive, he told me he felt my pain and just wanted to make sure I was in a safe environment, you know he never asked for a penny and even now I’m working will not accept anything a hero indeed.
I’m no longer homeless, that was the last challenged I had to face and of course writing about it here, I still feel a sense of unreality about the whole thing and will be a while yet before I fully come to terms with it but I’m on two roads to recovery and they’re not always easy to manage, but I want to be the hero in my own life, with help of course because without my friends the journey would be so much harder.