Wisdom From The Damaged

You’ve probably seen ‘em all before, the ones trapped in their own prisons,

Judged, hazed, sneered at and taunted, disqualified from counselling the masses,

By and large dubbed hypocrites, of calling the proverbial kettle, accused of throwing stones, you know all the idioms,

One can’t warn against the deed when they’re deep in it themselves, the height of hypocrisy they’re calling it, not to mention fakeness,

But it goes deeper below the surface, damn near close to the abyss,

Let’s hear from ‘em both, just might give you a new perspective.

Looking in a mirror can scarcely believe it’s the dude that came up in circumstances conducive to life away from activities no-good,

They called me the ‘Golden Child’, the apple of Mom and Pops’ eye,

Expected to carry on a legacy that would elevate their name beyond the sky,

That all changed on one fateful day, a simple encounter sealed my fate,

Crossed paths with him in college, from there became brothers from different mothers,

Became family with his crew but was on a collision course with trouble,

A good time can’t be had unless chemically-enhanced, that’s the way that they be rollin’,

Resistance was futile, the world felled by the might of one big hit,

Crossed over in the worst way, plummeted deep into the pit,

Ex-communicated by fam, friends were lost, opportunities dried, the habit came at a cost,

Initially felt abandoned but I guess it’s well-deserved, many times I’d cried wolf, further chances would’ve been absurd,

Fast-forward to the present, been evicted more times than I can count,

Grog, pills and crystal’s all that’s keeping me afloat, at least until I’m drowned,

They assume I came up Struggle Street, the reality is stranger than fiction,

A privileged kid-turned-junkie, threw it away over one bad decision,

“Don’t do what I did,” I’m telling ‘em on the daily, “take one glance if you don’t believe me,”

“Sallow features and self-hatred are where you’re headed, trust me it ain’t worth it,”

They laugh and judge and truthfully I get it, but if words can carry weight then mine must surely be gargantuan,

Nothing like experience to add credence to the warnings, for that alone they ought to take me serious,

I ain’t preaching to be uppity, to project a false sense of righteousness,

Coming from a place of atonement and regret, have to believe that there’s hope for me yet,

But it’s been many years and counting, a change of course seems unlikely.

All judgements welcomed, would rather honesty than false platitudes and pity.

They call me a slacker and a bum but trust that this puppy got dreams,

But there’s fault within the wiring though ambition’s bursting through the seams,

They ask me if I’m fine and I tell ‘em life’s good, not because it’s truth but rather so they don’t intrude,

Various demons in the way and I’m ill-equipped to fight ‘em, try as I might the war’s just never-ending,

They say to just do it, believe me I take that shit to heart,

But in the face of crucial steps all ambition gets blown apart,

Too proud to call for reinforcements, at times fear and pride merge into a toxic mix that tastes so sick but somehow I keep coming for another serve,

Some say I can do it, others say forget it, guess which of the sentiments register? Guess which goes in one ear and out the other?

So for now I’m telling ‘em to get what’s theirs, haters and doubters be damned,

Sure they raise eyebrows but if they knew they’d get moving fast,

Also to seek help when needed, they needn’t have to suffer,

To let ‘em in, the ones they trust, there’s much more strength in numbers

“Why don’t you do the same, you chump?” they’re likely saying, “who the fuck made you the boss?”

“You ain’t even doing shit, you ain’t following your own gospel, so how you sitting there crowing from atop your horse?”

“It’s ‘cuz I know how that shit feels,” I’d say to ‘em, “you really don’t want none of this,”

“I’ll get it done, just need a sec, just need to silence the noise inside my head”,

Life becomes rosy once those goals and dreams are accomplished,

Defy what’s stopping you, pay no mind to all the rubbish.

So there you have it, two different voices, their wisdom viewed with cynicism,

It’s understandable, how dare they don’t practice what it is they’re preaching,

But stop and think about it, they have a head start over many a so-called expert,

Living it counts, doesn’t it? Who better to warn the masses than ones who’d borne the brunt of it?

Why write ‘em off when instead you can sit and listen?

Might learn you something, be smarter for it, maybe get you to make changes you never knew you needed.

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