It's Darkest Before The Dawn
“Hold back the day, it’s darkest before the dawn.”
I’ve always felt like my story involves taking two steps forward and three steps back. Like I am always heading towards the Promised Land, and I am never going to get there. Because of this, getting tattoos has always been an outlet and a healing process for me. The first tattoo I got was the Chinese symbol for love. I was 16 at the time, and it was a reminder that I always wanted to have love in my life.
It was another two years before I got my next tattoos, and this time they took on a different meaning. I was 17 when the Black Saturday fires happened, and I lived right in the middle of where two fires converged. My family couldn’t get out that night; we were stuck up there. My mum, dad, brother and I tried to escape in our car, but we were trapped. We sat there on the side of the road, and we couldn’t get out. We tried to run, but we couldn’t; we watched the fire front come over the top of the car.
I was ready to face death with my eyes open. We saw a lot of things that night that were pretty hard to deal with, but I still had this sense of hope the whole time. I got the date for Black Saturday tattooed on the back of my arm after that day. The reason it is there, is because it’s behind me, but I’ll never forget it either. I have to honour what has happened, which is why I have that tattoo. I think that was a way for me to deal with it, but I still supressed a lot of emotions over it, and following that I began to spiral downhill.
Soon afterwards, I was blind sighted when I went through a relationship breakup. To deal with it, I began taking anything to ease my pain. It turned into a year where I stopped working and was always looking for my next hit. There were times when I couldn’t remember days, and it was only after a five-day bender that I woke up to what I was doing.
I walked into my room, and I couldn’t recognise the dude starring back at me. That was when I audibly heard the voice of God, and it said to me, “What are you doing?” I sobered up on the spot. That night I got rid of my paraphernalia, and I went to church the next morning.
The journey out of addiction hasn’t always been easy, but by the grace of God I am here. I got a lighthouse on my arm as a constant reminder that we are called to be the light, and that with our own struggles, we have the ability to show the light to others by saying, “Hey bro, I’ve been there before. Come with me.”
I have a chest piece with lyrics from the DevilDriver song. “Hold Back The Day.” It says, “It’s darkest before the dawn.” Those lyrics sum up so much of my life. My family has been through a lot of things, and I think I’m stronger because of it. Because when you have nothing, you really know who you are.
I remember my story through my tattoos. Each one is a reminder of the significant moments in my life and who I am becoming. I hold onto the words, “It’s darkest before the dawn,” because in my darkest hour, there was hope. There was God and He was always there. I look at that tattoo, and I remember there is a way out; there is hope in the tunnel.