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Rock Bottom

Mental Health and Trauma Blog | Noisy

They say when you hit rock bottom the only way is up. When I hit rock bottom I kept digging with my bare hands until they were bleeding. But the walls caved in and suffocated me. Hindsight is always 20/20. Knowing what I know now, and with all the trauma I endured, it's clear I was destined to walk the criminal path. It's not one I consciously chose but my actions were my own. Many that read this will think to themselves why didn't you just walk away? I wanted to, many times, but it's never as simple as that. Certain details and names in this post will either be kept out or changed. Although I was surrounded by criminal behaviour from a young age, I never intended to follow the same path. I began using drugs to cope with the memories that haunted my every waking moment, and that tormented me while I slept. One of the many complications that come with drug use is the cost, they're expensive. But that wasn't the sole reason I got involved in criminal behaviour. I felt a sense of belonging, although it was a dysfunctional, volatile family, it was still a family. Considering I was surrounded by that from the beginning, I guess it felt like home to me. A familiar place where I felt comfortable. Comfortable in the chaos. It didn't take long for my drug use to escalate to drug dealing. I needed money and I needed drugs, it was a perfect car crash. It took no time at all to make a name for myself in that world. I had status, weapons, money, drugs, runners, assets, contacts. I was someone of importance and who was feared. I was known for being brutal, violent with nothing to lose. We had weapons that could kill, we had more money than we knew what to do with, we had each other's backs, how could you walk away from that? Nice cars, expensive bikes, kitted out in the best gear, who would walk away from that? I watched M get his place raided, and as a result, he was arrested. He went inside but it didn't deter me, not for a moment. That was part of the attraction. Police working hard to stop us while we tried to evade them. It was like clockwork, one of the boys went inside, and we kept our heads down and carried on with the job. You didn't stop to get upset, you didn't worry about it, you just kept on going. There were plenty on the inside that would look after your own, and operations needed to run smoothly. But I'm not writing this to reminisce of the life I enjoyed and sometimes miss. No, I'm writing this to talk about the memories that haunt me. I see so many, like me at that age, testing the waters and being dragged under by a life they think will serve them well. It won't.

Survive or die. That's the only motto we lived by, and we did, by any means necessary. I've been stabbed, I've had a loaded gun to my head as I laughed at them, calling their bluff. I've watched on as rivals cut each other over claimed territory. I've walked into a room where people have overdosed and lay lifeless. I've broken down doors to save people who were held hostage over a debt. I've had to fight for my life while being pushed through glass. I've had call after call during the early hours to inform me that someone had either been arrested or had lost their life. I've performed CPR trying to save people who didn't want to be saved. I've had thousands of pounds worth of drugs around me while I stayed up for days preparing them to be sold on. I've ran from police and been repeatedly thrown in the back of their vans. I've been in the centre of riots and watched on as police had their lives put on the line trying to maintain order. I've ran and hid from helicopters and been face to face with the terrifying jaws of police dogs. I've lost count of how many fences I've jumped and walls I've climbed. It's impressive how you're able to scale buildings when you know there's a police dog close by. Not many will admit it, but I'm humble enough to admit that you do shit yourself a little when the dog unit turns up. One day I'll tell the story of what caused me to leave that life. It's gruesome, and something I think about every day. But I am out of that life, it's been nearly three years now. It's strange how life does a full 180. Many of my close friends are police officers who I'd give my life for to keep safe. I never hated the police, and those I ran with always knew to never be violent towards them, never make a fuss, just go quietly. They were people just like us, who had families at home waiting for their safe return, they were just doing their job. I never allowed or condoned any violence towards them. Although I'm out of that life, I fight everyday not to be dragged back in. I fight every day, but it's worth it. This is the fight of my life. - Noisy.


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