Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Knowing me knowing you...

Despite crossing paths for over seven years, in one conversation I was struck with how little I knew Liam.

I've known Liam for many years without really knowing him. Liam is often at Faith House and is the only familiar face from days in Poplar. Liam used to come into the corps for breakfasts and particularly enjoyed being family together on Christmas Day.

It was fun to meet him at Faith House when I started helping out two years ago - a familar face, someone I knew. However despite crossing paths for over seven years, in one conversation I was struck with how little I knew Liam. Only now does he seem comfortable in telling me his unsurprising story of alcohol dependence, only now does he feel right letting me know how a visit to America and a bored evening in a hotel saw him make a wrong decision that has led to a ten battle with addiction to crack cocaine. Seven years on I hear the tragic tail of the consequence of that night of boredom.

With a Irish lilt and a whimsical smile he points to the loss of a construction business employing over 100 people, a family and life savings.

"...now all I have is in a bedsit in Whitechapel!"

I never knew...!

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