Human Remains

As I walked through the city centre this morning I gingerly sidestep the discarded debris from the night before. The greasy pizza boxes frozen to the pavement and broken beer bottles glistening in the half light. Empty like the drunken revellers who had gorged upon them. Signs of lives that sparkled, then spluttered, across the Belfast horizon not ten hours ago. Grime scenes of pointless brawls and even more pointless declarations of undying love. The dying embers of the best or worst night of their lives.

The street cleaners are already hard at work, their trucks shattering the silence as they trundle by, removing all incriminating evidence that the night before ever existed. No more blemishes on the landscape. A return to the status quo, order restored. Setting the stage for the same tired melodramas to be played out later that evening; penning another tawdry chapter in the sorry storybook of their lives. New opportunities, high hopes, dazzling dreams. Waiting to be shattered.

Human remains. Washed down the drain.

The actors awake in their beds. Or possibly somebody else’s. Some recall every second of the previous night, for others it is a dim memory that evades their grasp long into the daylight hours. Some smile and others shudder as they replay the sordid scenes that unfold before their bloodshot, hungover eyes. Phones are checked, messages are cherished or hastily deleted. Some can’t wait til the next time, others swear never again. Alcohol enthrals them as it once enthralled me. But now I stand appalled. At who I once was.

Love affairs (and death affairs) blossomed here. Life long friendships were cemented or derailed. I see it all with jaded eyes as I’ve been there, done that, bought the ill fitting t-shirt. I stand on the outside now looking in. My nights of revelry are a distant memory. I avoid bars now. I recoil around the drunken revellers. I feel isolated, intimidated, afraid? I fear them but not as much as I fear myself. What I am capable of. The side of me I want to bury. I didn’t come through hell. I was hell. My victims are legion. Their lesions are my living testimony.

I had a choice. The high life or a real life. I chose the latter. I chose my wife and kids. I chose nine to five and staying alive. For one pint was never enough. I drank to get drunk. The quicker the better. Pint upon pint. Bad decision upon bad decision like stacked dominoes. I scarred the hearts of my loved ones like alcohol scars the liver of the lonely lush. It numbed me to the truth. It deafened the words of wisdom I needed to hear. Because who wants to hear when there’s another beer. She was my mistress. She was my mistake.

I turned my back on those human remains in order to remain human. I now see a life beyond the next weekend, the next party, the next crushing hangover. I run long and I think longer. I want my remains to outlive the street cleaners. I want my legacy to be generations of flesh and bone; fond memories; happy times. I want my existence to matter. No matter what. So I sacrifice to accumulate. A small price to pay given the rewards I see ahead. My faith is as blind as it is lucid.

I am a broken man, but a resurrected man. I wear my scars like battle honours. No longer reeling, rather feeling and healing. Liquid healing under a cascading waterfall of love, grace and hope. I heal so I can be real. I cling to the present like a new born child cling to it’s mothers breast. I am thirsty but not for beer. I desire to be restored by living water from fountains of knowledge and wisdom. This knowledge opens the door to worlds where dreams can become reality. Knowledge leads to truth. And truth leads to freedom.

No more human remains for me. No more. Yet I am human. And I remain.

What sights do you see when you take an early morning walk through your town or city?

What remains from your past are you struggling to scrub from your present life?

How are you dealing with healing?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

51 thoughts on “Human Remains

  1. I don’t know where to start…
    I drive to work in the morning and except cars, I don’t see much else.
    I try to heal from love scars.
    I try to make something work with someone who has more scars than me.
    At sometimes I feel like I am loosing…
    Some other times I keep fighting (with me, with him?)
    Things are easy and complex. All depends on how much one can take on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed reading this – the rhythm, the awareness – the moving back and forth in time. There is magic in words and I can feel a sense of it here. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If this is your writing and you are a new writer then my only advice is that you continue to follow the flow – go where the heart leads, explore and read lots. For me, the hardest thing in writing is holding on to what inspires you – follow your muse and everything else will come with time and reflection.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is beautifully written! I love the honesty and hope I can feel in your words. The early morning walks in my town are really soothing, I live in a small village on the country side so there’s no people, no cars, just the river, the green fields and sometimes the sunrise if I’m lucky…Healing to me is essential, it’s what I like to focus on in my life and I’m so grateful for all the many healing vibes from everywhere ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Loved the writing. Favorite line was human remains washing down the drain, which I’m sure was reference to vomit. Great metaphor. I myself stay away from alcohol, more because a medical condition. I know God calls us to remain sober so we can be vigilant. When under the influence of alcohol or any strong drug being vigilant is very difficult along with having hope. There is so much cultural irony for the reasons why alcohol is involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While the picture you painted was very colorful and graphic, it didn’t offer any hope. It merely spoke about the human condition – a condition that has existed for millennia. Most of us know what it is to be helpless and hopeless; to hold onto a dream, and live in a fantasy that tears us apart. There are so many such stories that have been written throughout time and we seem to love to read about other people’s misery and shortcomings; because we can identify… because we can relate. But relating to the problem doesn’t take any effort. it requires nothing of us. In fact, we often times take solace in knowing that we are not alone in our shortcomings and dark desires. We comfort and excuse ourselves with that fact. And should we escape from such a condition of our own volition, then we look upon those who are still caught up with disdain and pity, instead of compassion. Such a perspective isn’t truly recovery, but merely abstinence. It is like Origen emasculating himself, believing he had removed himself from his greatest bedevilment…. only to discover that the problem wasn’t in the plumbing. Rather, his bedevilment was rooted in a dark heart that was devoid of his Creator.

    Those who are caught up in the problem are not likely to discover, read, and comprehend such a well written observation of their plight. And writing such an article does nothing to change their plight or encourage anyone to reach out with compassion to help those out of the darkness they have chosen to live in. Yet, God’s Son, the promised Messiah, the Great Physician, exemplified what Our Father desires us to do for one another… and that is to treat one another with the same love and affection we have for ourselves. To do for others what we would wish they might do for us, if and when we find ourselves lost, alone, dazed and confused.

    Sharing the problem might open a few eyes to those who were not aware such existed, but sharing the solution heals and restores those who are drowning in their own sorrows. To have known the four horsemen of Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Despair, and to have been rescued by the One who has all power, should fill us with a burning desire to go back from the pit from which we were rescued, and seek to pull out as many of those who are caught in the same pit to safety… into the loving arms of man’s best friend… Christ Jesus.

    “Nothing of great and lasting value EVER comes easy. A price must be paid, a sacrifice must be made”.

    Our Savior laid down his life for us, should we not also be laying down our life as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I disagree. This post shows the past and the present – the present rid of the past (aside form the scars). It shows a recovered person, who chose to change and is glad he did. Moreover, it shows the negative view of the past, which might make someone afflicted see the light.

      There is plenty of hope on this blog site, but to make every blog full of hope and happiness would make it boring.

      You say people like posts they identify with. Sure, but my experience is that people enjoy the upbeat posts more.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A wonderfully written piece. I loved it so much. Your questions at the end always make me think. I love wandering through a deserted town. I look at all the remains and try to imagine what the night before was like, how it was alive and vibrant so many different people around.
    I have many bits of my past that i am struggling to erase from my life. I sometimes think that i will never lose them. I hold on to them for the simple reason that if i do let them go, accept that it is the past that i will end up making the same mistakes again. So in my head it is better to have them around as a constant reminder that i must not fall again.
    As for dealing with healing? Well i can honestly say i am not dealing with it very well lately in my eyes. I have fallen back into some bad habits which i cannot forgive myself for. However for some reason i feel it is better the devil you know. Recovery from my eating disorder scares the hell out of me. So i just feel lets just stay on this path instead of braving a new path…………..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read this story and I felt like I was a part of it. If a writer can draw me into their story, that is a good thing. I can only aspire to be able to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The best feeling is knowing that
    someone wants to read your work
    because they find it relatable, beautiful
    or inspirational….
    And trust me I wait for your posts impatiently….
    Love your blog…

    Stay blessed…


  9. This is amazing. Great testimony of God’s fauthfulness and resurrecting the dry bones calling them to life in abundance for Him.


      1. I understand that all too well. I write to heal…i write to give Hope to a’world who is searching.
        Your works and words show your heart and marvelous talent. God is good.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so raw, so practical and so real. This is not the typical “You can do it,” plaid motivation things that people say, simply for the sake of saying. This is the kind of motivation that says, “I’ve been there, I know how it feels and you’re going to get through this.” So warm and comforting. Thank you for this. So, so much. πŸ™‚
    Good to know you’re feeling real. It’s still difficult for many people. πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you. Yes I have been ‘there’ and I’m prepared to revisit those dark places as many times as necessary in order to draw inspiration so I can offer hope and truth to others. I really appreciate your great feedback πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You’re a great writer! Thanks for sharing! …when I walk through my town I see a war zone. Hope fighting to remain ablaze in a town that rains hopelessness. Empty and discarded buildings, once full of promise and wealth, beer bottles and needles if you know where to look. Heroin is the escape here. But the tension is mounting and the tables are starting to turn. I see people cleaning up the city, churches becoming united, and hope is starting to rest like a blanket over the city again. The hope of Jesus, who meets people where they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I work in a very poor neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Each morning I take a walk through the streets praying for the stories of those who live in the homes.

    What barriers exist in their life and not in mine? What opportunities have I had because of where I was born that someone born in this part of the city did not?

    When I consider these questions I find myself reflecting on how the edifice that breeds poverty needs to be reckoned with.


  13. What a beautiful writer you are. My husband is a little over a year clean from opiate addiction. I shared this post with him and he said that this resonated deeply with his recovery and decision to not pick up every day. I am happy you remain to share.


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