My childhood was spent within a kind and loving family,
and I know they worked hard in trying to understand me.
You see I was a compulsive child, I was enthusiastic and mad,
though I always appreciated everything that I had.
I was unlike the other children; I was sensitive and strange, I was creative, expressive and eccentric in ways. I was top of the class with a bright future so it seemed, I had goals, I had desires, I had aspirations and dreams.
My passion for learning meant I aced all my classes,
I was that geeky little kid with the blonde hair and the glasses.
my parents were beaming and bursting with pride,
and that was around the same time I felt it stirring inside.
I became scared when my Mother closed my door every night,
I was even afraid of my thoughts – they just didn’t sit right.
I was constantly frightened when I was left on my own and
I would even cry at a sleep over so I had to go home.
It seemed an overwhelming feeling of disease had found me
and fear attacked me from the flanks and it began to surround me.
I was terrified of illness, detachment and pain,
but how could I ever fix a problem that I could not explain.
Even though I was kind, well behaved and sincere,
those traits soon collapsed under the weight of my fear.
So as the years crept by, my anxiety crept in,
and that’s a vague introduction and a good place to begin.
I became over whelmed by trepidation starting secondary school,
so I use to retreat into my music and drift away from it all,
I was conscious of my image and I was frightened of rejection,
so I’d spend hours in the mirror – never finding perfection.
I stopped wearing glasses because I thought that would help?
Maybe portray a different image so I’d think more of myself?
And then my fear of acceptance morphed in to depression,
I became rebellious, unloving and I acted out in aggression.
Gaining approval from others now became an obsession,
and I bottled up my emotions with years of discretion.
Then something in me began to drastically change,
my creativity and expression turned to violence and rage.
Fear was in control in every area of my life,
so I had to find a cure rather than resist it and fight.
I found salvation in cider. It had that a curing effect.
So the solution to my problems was to go out and wrecked.
I was drinking heavily at thirteen and I was always a mess,
alcohol gave me courage and gave me confidence I guess?
I needed toxins in my blood stream just to feel right,
so I took drugs every day and I drank every night.
Yet when the drugs wore off I was haunted by fears,
I wasn’t comfortable with myself let alone with my peers,
so to cut a long story shorter my education had failed,
and a fear driven drug addiction quickly prevailed.
It got worse and worse and worse and worse,
I was now controlled by class A’s and they had to come first.
I began lying and stealing to cover my tracks,
using drugs to cure fear but the fear kept coming back.
Round and round the wringer I went,
friendships were made with the money I spent,
True friends were replaced and family were lost,
boundaries were destroyed and lines were crossed.
It was alcohol, drugs, violence and girls,
this was my escape because I hated the world.
and as I grew older I became more and more twisted,
I use to think it would be better if I never existed.
Things finally fell apart at twenty seven years of age,
and I could no longer run from the wreckage I had made. I fell to my knees and I just wanted it over,
and a twelve step programme gave me the tools to live sober.
For the first time in my life I found myself in a place,
where I could look into a mirror and accept my own face.
I eventually understood the reasons why I did what I did,
from the crossroads of destruction to the disease as a kid.
Driving my whole life was a fear based condition,
causing my pain and insecurities to give way to addiction.
But still to this day fear knows where to find me,
as I make plans for my future I hear it walking behind me.
Copyright : Joseph Burke 2017