"Man is a universe within himself" - Bob Marley
We all have our stories. The stories that mould & shape us.
I've always believed that a past without mistakes is a life unlived.
Everything I have done to date, the awesome stuff, the selfless kind stuff, the evil & bullshit awful stuff, has made me who I am right this very second. I have regrets. But I can't change anything & those regrets can not prevent me from living the shit out of this life the best way I know how.
I am about to share something with you that could well end your love affair with me. And you know what, I completely understand. You owe me nothing. I am not sharing this with you because I am searching for an outpouring of unconditional love & support. Nor am I here for followers or mass hits on my blog. All I ask is that you read on with an open mind & an open heart.
I am also sharing this because it's my way of recognising & accepting that nothing ever really goes away.
In 2004, I managed a music store. I loved the fuck outta that job. However, while I worked 80 hours plus a week, lived in sin with a pot head manic depressive boyfriend, a step father slowly being eaten away by pancreatic cancer & everything grey & crumbling around me, I found solace in gambling (slot machines/pokies).
Most people ask me how is it possible that someone can be addicted to a machine that is pre-set to eat all your money & ruin your life, I don't have any answers for you but I know it's goddamn possible.
The chemical reaction in your brain, that release of pure ecstasy is similar to that of a crack addict taking a hit. It's bliss. It's an escape from an otherwise shit reality. My world & everything around me had lost it's sparkle & spending hours upon hours sitting in front of a pokie machine was my form of escapism.
I used to be able to waste $100 in one cigarette. It was just paper to me & had no value.
For a long time, I was in control. Atleast I told myself I was. But then it became the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning. The need to gamble consumed me. I frothed at the mouth at the thought of it. I would leave work at midday & not return until 4pm. Sometimes not at all. I spent all my money. I gambled my rent. I gambled my phone bill money. I gambled our grocery money. I sold my beautiful white Takamine guitar which was a gift from my parents just for $400 fucking dollars to jam in those stupid machines.
The people in my life that loved me could see what was happening. But they couldn't stop me, god knows they tried. I would just lie. And find some dark dingy casino room to hide in & gamble away my problems. My self destruct button had been repeatedly smashed over a 10 year period. This was my epic dying swan dance.
I started to steal from my employer to finance my habit. I was in a position of responsibility. It wasn't hard.
Over a period of 9 months I stole a large sum of money.
I couldn't stop. Stuck in a vicious cycle of stealing, gambling it all away then promising myself I would pay it back on pay day. So I turned myself into the cops. I was arrested. I pleaded guilty. I was convicted & sentenced. I didn't go to jail. I was given 150 hours community service & 1 years probation.
I went & got help. Not just for the gambling. But for all the sad hurt that I had buried down deep inside for so long for all the things I had lost. My dad. My family home life. A pregnancy. A relationship. My shattered self esteem due to years of mental & emotional abuse. My childhood. And most importantly, ME.
I fell from grace with a mighty thud. But instead of letting it beat me, I got my ass back up & I've spent the last nearly 8 years making everything I stand for count for something.
I found solace in my music. I have earned back trust & respect from my friends & family.
I can not express the huge amount of love I feel for all those people who stood by me through that time. Without them, I would never have got back on my feet.
I haven't gambled since the 24th of October 2004. The day I was arrested.
I am not going to sit here & tell you all the reasons why you should like me. It's taken me a long time to like me again. I have a good husband & family/friends that love the shit outta me. I have a good job that I'm bloody good at with bosses that respect me. I am good with money. I am responsible. I have inner strength beyond my years & pair of shoulders on me that can carry almost anything. Almost.
Yesterday, after a few phonecalls, I was informed that I have to apply to for a special visa in order for me transit through the US & stop over in LA for a night on the way to/from Cancun. Because of that shit thing I did 8 years ago. It's unlikely, but I may not be able to go away to Mexico.
On the Visa Waiver form, for which people on a New Zealand passport are eligible for, there is a question asking if I have ever been committed of a moral turpitude, drug trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping & a plethora of other fucking awful crimes. Much to my disgust I had to tick yes. Apparently 'moral turptitude' means any crime for which one has been convicted.
I sat in my office & I sobbed. Not at the prospect of not be able to go to Cancun. Or the fact I have to fly to the US Embassy in Auckland & spend a heap of money for a special interview in hopes of being granted a visa. But because it's taken me back to that time in my life where I was the worst version of myself.
When we cut ourselves deeply, the scar is for life.
This is my scar. The scar I gave myself that I wear as a reminder of the person I once was. It has healed & the skin is strong but sometimes it still hurts like a bitch.
I will be ok.
While there are people out there dealing with some major suck stuff like cancer, poverty & war, I am allowing myself a small selfish moment to reflect on how far I have come. A moment to feel sad for the old Becky & then be proud for all that I have achieved in the last 8 years.
I like the me I am now. She is a good bastard.
Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to read this. And if you are disappointed because you were hoping to see a picture of me with no clothes on, trust me I did you a favour.
Fun Becky will be back sometime over the next few days & she will announce the winner of Februarys bitchin' prize.
Peace & Love