April 5th 2006

copyright don oddy

~ bewildered in Soho ~

a good memory is one trained to forget trivia

A therapeutic experience

Its spring almost and the days are getting brighter. The air has enough warmth to keep the chill out of my bones as I make my way to Soho. Not far by bus or tube, Soho is a safe place for me. Always a safe place, where fun and partying happened through the eighties and nineties. I come to Soho not quite for the same reasons, but definitely for well being. And much of my fun times involved pubs and clubs, Soho kept me entertained with friends and mates over the years. Then, grim times turned my mood low and then Soho became a haven to get over many feelings of pain and loss. A therapeutic home for bewildering times.

My bewilderment, out of harm, and loss. The loss of love and friendship led to high tolerance to pain as self medication drew me into the dark. I found Soho held a fascination over the years as many memories of happy excursions and parties and clubbing kept me coming back. Years and years, at least two decades where happy mad times and wine and women held me to the good, and times were forever embedded in joy. With grief and sadness how we see our fairground changes as rides and games and gatherings can never keep out the memories of pain to deep they keep imagination spiralling and our outlook dark.

My Soho, where memories no longer haunt and my haunting of old favoured playgrounds gives way to the House for the Bewildered. My bewilderment and madness was complete just a few years ago, when dark depression held me fast and I self medicated myself to oblivions door. And addiction to the brink and melancholy nearly destroyed me before like a dark mist clearing, there was nothing left to fight for. That dark moment when all is gone, and nothing is left but pain. The ache to die. That's addiction complete and consumed as the dreary soul would find life snuffed out a blessed relief.

But today this day, with lighter mood I head for my house of the bewildered. Bewildered by sobriety, and making it to a recovery, from dependence on the demon drink and addiction to my nightmares. Long years it took in misery to get to that dark place, and now stepping up to see the world again, I meet in Soho soberly with fellow inmates in bewilderment.

Our path is laden with less fortunate travellers, some come and go and return to the dark days where nothing works but numbing tools. We strike a path to lighter times where day by day we hold to our recovery. Bewildered and often tortured souls, we gain our strength in fellowship, our group is there to help our cause and lift bewildering times.

Our house of the bewildered, run and staffed with professional types who help to put us back together and repair our damaged minds. We were quite mad when we made our way to helping hands, who work with care and give support as fractured lives recover. We slip and slide in early days as our drive to sober times, and some wander back and get delayed and others expire on the way.

Soho now from festivals where all was drink for me and any other substance you may choose became my haven where talking works and day to day my life takes shape for better choices I might make. And bewildered then and less so now at Soho we get clearer how to live and make sense yet again of living in the moment and not giving way to dark demons which will take us all away.

Near to two years this journey every week to undo my bewilderment with daily chores to keep my world safe and orderly. My choices better, my inner self repaired I deal with demons all the time, and so to ordinary life return. An ordinary man recovered and repaired, finds harmony much easier when I share, my strength experience and hope.

Soho, where my bewildered self returns to ordinary times not only with this therapy, but with fellowship to back my intent and keep me on a narrow wide path. A place where experiences fit with reality and not some paranoid episode which stretches imaginations grip and torments distorted sanity.

We sit and talk an hour or so, about where our lives are good, and where the sadness threatens our mood and takes us back to harms way. We learn and grow our armour back to deal with ordinary times. And on our journey we learn some more to help us on our way, from bewildering heads driven mad with drink and distorted views to normal outlooks the same as you.

And as you read these words, my place for the bewildered lets us go, with fortitude to make good the day. Some us keep on our narrow wide path and others may slip just a little on the way. We get a grip on what makes us tick, with better outlooks than most, equipped with tools to make good our repairs and keep us in recovery.

Bewildering times, where the fog will clear and sharp relief as reality bites to help us on our way. To leave with news and outlooks which embrace a sober day, with views and experience growing we keep recovery clean. No cure they say for this malady, it is one for life. Somehow I'm glad I've got it and sorted out my days.

Recovery from life, and life's terms, it seems I have some more. A better outlook now than I have for years before. It was a journey many have made, and many will face the same, its not a pleasant fair ride made as in my olden days. The ground was hard and softens now as bewildering life goes on, I forever grateful for my Soho times now and all those gone.

My inside job to darkest days and now my light times return to mend where torture took me and live more complete these days. Whether life is grim or life is good I see my days as single events and manageable. One day at a time, somehow biblical although my belief is swayed another way. One day at a time we have to make our presence felt. Its in this moment and this day we feel our true reality, better for my bewilderment, and better for my Soho days, their irony not lost in memory. Too much of any good thing will kill us, as surely as a surfeit of life's tragedy. /and learning to deal with life as best we can, with support in all our bewilderment.

Soho home for the bewildered souls I thank you along my way. A mending of my tortured mind and a head clearer every day. No one wins this adventure alone I realise more and more, we need our fellow travellers to help inform our journeys. As good as each can be we travel alone and in our fellowship and find our strength along the path, so similar and ever so different we make it to redeem our lives and help along the way.