June 7, 1999
The next two stories were written by Taylor Prince. Taylor is a 43 year-old First Nations artist who is originally from Fort St. James B.C. He is presently living in Victoria where he is attending the READ Society. His interests include carving, painting, writing and working on his own journey of change and recovery.
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I'm really impressed by everyone's honesty and courage on their journey to recovery. Lots of pain and memories, like a slide show of your own. Knowing that no one can see, and feel like anyone else, my own journey is just about the same.
For thirty seven years, I walked around blaming everyone else for my hurts and pains. Then one day, I opened my eyes for the first time, like a baby seeing daylight, I had to learn how to walk on my own. Knowing that I had to make choices on my own and deal with everything that was in my heart. I had to stop and look at the big picture. The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was death. I had to except it as part of my life. I thought of the possibilities I would run into after my own death. Then I saw myself sitting with all the great Chiefs, Abe Lincoln, J.F.K., mom, Grampa, my brothers and sisters, and all my Ancestors. Then slowly I started to let go. I saw death as a happy place now, knowing that mom, for the first time, is sharing her joy with her parents whom she didn't know all her life. I also know now that the only thing to do is apply a part of her life to mine, which is to be kind to everyone, see no color, and do your best. Life is short for me know, since my decision to do something with my past. I saw people willing to help out, not telling me what to do, a whole different prospective.
Six years ago was when I made that decision to do something with my life. I was handcuffed and in a police car, I cried, and for the first time in my life I made the best decision that I EVER MADE IN MY LIFE. I pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault. That was the Best thing that ever happened to me. I was sent to William Head Inst. which was nothing but a resting place to look at my life. At first I was like a child, lost and alone. Then slowly everything started to come together. I closed my mouth and opened my ears, and I let people in. Like an angry baby, I smashed my walls down, and I saw for the first time what a beautiful world we live in.
One day I came to a fork in the trail, it was easy for me to decide which path to choose. The path I choose was a good one, because it was well worn. The people were very friendly, and happy!. I was so amazed on how they each told their stories of struggles and accomplishments. Tears stream down the face of my soul, as I related to each and everyone. I wanted so much to protect and comfort them all. But then I quickly realized, I must deal with my own issues as they surface. I fell in love with this path. I also started to notice, how beautiful everything was; the flowers started to spring up right before my eyes. The mountains called out to me Letting me know that I can strength from them. I cried out with joy and happiness, and I started to let people in. My love for the support I was getting was overwhelming, the only way I knew how to give it back was through hugs and understanding. I love this path, and I invite anyone and everyone to join me. We don't need to be alone.