• Duncan Evans

Looking Back...

Do you understand why I write this?  If not let me spell it out, I’d like you to sponsor me, to give me money which I can pass on to Brathay Trust so that they can continue their work of hope and encouragement for young people who want to see changes in their lives and probably deserve those changes too.  So please click on to my Just Giving page and stimulate those changes by donating, and it doesn’t have to be much either, only what you want or can afford.  Thank you to all those who have donated to date, we’ve just hit the £1000 mark!  In my best luvvy voice ‘Woop Woop’.

Now you’ve got past that brusque, offensive, Geldof like introduction I thought once again I would share, if that’s okay with you?  Last week I had a meeting with my counsellor/therapist, Kris Williams.  Even though I am in a better place than I perhaps have ever been I still see her as I don’t want to slip back into old behaviours or let myself (or anyone else for that matter) down again.  This week I asked a question though; what if the person I was, was in fact the person I was meant to be?  You know, devious, dishonest, selfish, drunk gambler type (how attractive was I), rather than the individual who I am striving to be proud of.  Not more of the selfless pity, you ask?  No actually, through talking to Kris I began to understand that my question although misplaced was actually relevant, I never enjoyed who I was but I enjoy incredibly who I am becoming.  No, I’m not preaching either, I hate that.  I’m telling you the facts of experience  I honestly don’t care whether you read on or not but if you do, I hope that in a way you feel more grateful for the life you have and care that little bit more to change if you feel you need or want to.

By looking back (there you go there’s the title) I’ve come to realise that the future, regardless of what is in it can be a darn sight better than the past I’m leaving behind.  Admittedly there are some anchors, a barbed comment here or there, the odd ‘here he goes again’, or the sideways eyes roll, the smirk at the edge of the lips or more obvious the incredulous ‘he’s a dreaming idiot’ eyebrow raise.  But, here’s the rub, even if I don’t set out to finish what I very much intend to achieve, at least now I am genuinely trying.

For those of you who know me, I used to be interested in history.  One of the memorable quotes in this bonce of mine is from Cicero (methinks), ‘to not know what has gone before is to remain forever a child’.  I know what’s gone before, I experienced it unfortunately, now here’s a phrase you don’t hear every day, perhaps I understand and no longer wish to remain a child.  You decide…

Did you know that last year some old school friends (we’ve known one another for over 30 years, at the time of writing this it’s Halloween and that is scary) and I went to the Oktoberfest?  Why would an alcoholic go to the Oktoberfest, you ask?  The answer was manifold, I wanted to challenge myself, I have thought of going in the past and thirdly I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need to get drunk to have a good time.  At the point I was eight months sober.  We went again last month.  My best friends, Paul and Dignity Mark, are great, they have brilliant families that they work hard for and look after, I’m proud of them.  Are you waiting for the but?  There is one.  The but is that it wasn’t the same.  The Oktoberfest was still exciting, it was still good fun to be around and with Paul and Mark but it wasn’t what we had experienced 12 months previous, it was different.  No, singing ‘Ein Prosit’ or ‘Joana, du geile sau’ (click on the link, after a few beers – so I’m told – it’s a great drinking song,



 Different but good, not better, not worse, but different.  Nothing new learnt.  But, (if you can get your head around this cause I’m struggling to explain what I mean) thinking about what was, had gone.  Yet, what now presented itself had changed.  Phew!  I’m no Will Self am I?

Repeat next year, no, not for me, although when asked I said yes.  But, as I’ve said to both of them recently, just so long as we can get together to reminisce and appreciate one another’s time and company, I’ll go wherever with them, we don’t need to look back?


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