Part one of four.

The storyteller shares their experience of Multiple Disadvantage gathered by a community reporter as part of the Changing Futures Community Reporter Project.

And the first question is, what is your has been your experience of living with multiple disadvantages. Feel free to say whatever you like. Ok, um well, I've had, um it's hard for me to sum up, like, you know, and say that I've had one particular experience of living with multiple disadvantages. I've had lots of experiences, I suppose, over over several years, Um, you know, what could I say about it? I'd say the one thing I'd say Is that like, um, I'm grateful for it

Do you know, um, I say that like it was, um it was something that I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself. Do you know, like, um, to enter into the season of hardship that I did? Uh, it was like, if you'd have asked me, Is that something that I signed up for? I'd say No, thanks. You know, I I I would be I would be volunteering for that, but, um, But what I say is, I agree so much from it, you know that? Like er but like, I'm really grateful for it

Um, just, for example, like, one thing is, I always remember, like when I was in prison and stuff like that. And, um, like there are days now where I go to moments sometimes. And I go to grumble about things

And then I'd just have a little flash in my mind of like, because I hated prison me. It wasn't my spot. Do you know what I mean? Like, I was like, I'd already got to know the Lord

By then, I'd already got to know God and, um, quite tender hearted, You know what I mean? And you got to be quite tough, and they probably done better in their years before, but, uh, yeah, so, like, I really hated it. And sometimes it just flashes in my mind. Memories of praising and I think, don't even do it

Don't know. Do you know what I mean? Like, I'm so happy that, like, you know, I've got my freedom. I've got me

You know, I'm not feeling depressed. I'm not feeling like I can't get out of bed. I I've got that purpose in my life

I've got a reason to get up. You know, like the best reason that I had when I was in there, Was that like there was a you know a series of 2.5 men that was on at night or something like that

Do you know what I mean? A TV programme to watch or get up because they used to have, like, Raymond on, like some some flipping some comedies or something on Channel four in the morning. And that would be like, the highlight of the day. Do you know what I mean? And and so like, when I look back at that time, although, like, it was a difficult time and I hated it and they're grateful for it Like because, you know, it helps me to have gratitude

When you go without things, when you actually have things in your life, it helps you to put them in the right context, and it helps you to have an appreciation for it. Um, you know, there's some sometimes with my mental health, you know, um, some things which I passed through with regards to my mental health. And again, it makes me grateful that, like, do you know I don't have that at the minute

I'm not struggling in that way. Like I'm still moved with compassion for people that are like I understand. Like I probably have more patience towards people that they are going through some of that stuff then than others

Because I can emphasise when I look at them, even when people are, you know, acting out and they're being really difficult and really challenging. I can, uh I can understand, because I put my family through some of that as well. And some people that really loved and some people that I was, um that I care about a lot, and they have nothing but patience and goodness towards me and kindness

And I always thought if it wasn't for people like that, then don't know where I'd be. Do you know what I mean? And I always think, Well, I want to do that for someone as well. So if I see someone going through that, then yeah, the data, um can the addiction? I did a lot of things in my addiction that, like I sank to some depth, which I didn't think I had inside and may have shown me, like some of the own wickedness in my own heart, you know? And, um and there were some things I was really like, ashamed of, you know, um, I when I look back on that and, uh, it taught me, you know, it taught me a lot about myself

I suppose it stripped me of pride as well. Do you know what I mean? It taught me about humility in some ways, because, like, you know, I I know that I I know what I've what I've sunk to do, you know what I mean? I know like how bad I've been myself. So I could ever like judge people in that, You know, uh, I can't judge people like, because I'd be an absolute hypocrite some of the depths that I've sent to and some of the things that I've done

So it helps me in that respect. It helps me, I suppose not to be self righteous towards people And, uh, you know, condemning people, uh, and stuff because yeah. So I So these things like I say, it was challenging at the time

And there was things that I wouldn't wish on people. They're not things that I, you know, I desire for people to pass through, but I know myself. When I passed through some of this stuff, I feel like I feel like it happened for a reason

Do you know what I mean? And I feel like the biggest reason was that, like, it pushed me, you know, it it pushed me towards faith like it broke me. Um, it dropped me to my knees, but when I was on my knees, I looked up on a phone call, you know, And that was like, um, that was the radical turning point in my life where everything, like changed dramatically, you know, not even just a bit. But like, uh, the trajectory of my life just took off in a different direction than he ever could have perceived

And I've never looked back. And that path just keeps getting brighter, OK?.

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