I went to my ex partners wedding last weekend. J invited me months ago and immediately I knew that I would go. It was 600 miles away, no problem, I’d drive, pick up his son on the way, it wasn’t even a consideration really, he invited me, I was totally honoured, of course I was going to go. Nevermind that I’d never met his wife to be (luckily she didn’t mind) nevermind that I hadn’t seen him for months and before that years.
J is someone who I’ve known for all of my adult life, we first met when we were in different relationships, both drug users with other drug users. We lived in the same house for a while, him with his partner, me with mine. Then our partners fell out and do we moved on, our paths crossing occasionally.
Roll forward a few years and I was in hiding from my new partner, the father of my son, I was living in a refuge and I was desperately unhappy. I was alone, and withdrawing from heroin and I needed some kind of human connection and there, when I was most desperate, I bumped into J, walking down the street. It was as if I was drowning and someone had thrown me a lifeline. I believe that he saved my life. Not in a literal, physical way, but emotionally. I had spent a considerable time in emotional hell and he appeared and he put no pressure on me and he was there when I was alone and lonely and desperate. He was exactly what I needed at that point in my life.
Life rolled on, we stayed together, we made bad choices, we took a lot of drugs but throughout this time he was the rock that I hung my life upon. He was gentle and in truth he soothed my soul. He treated and lived my son as his own. We weren’t the best parents but we tried our best in difficult circumstances.
I’m sure that during this relationship, my family thought that we were making each other worse. But what they didn’t realise is that J was the one rooting me, stopping me from going over the edge. I like to think I did they same to him. I have to admit that without his undoubtable love my son wouldn’t be the child he is now.
After few years life changed for us. J went to prison for a significant time and my life just kind of escalated off the scale of chaoticness. J tried his best from behind the prison walls to get my life back on track, he arranged for people to take me to NA meetings, he wrote to me about change about how life could be different. I never truly believed it. I ended up in prison myself. Somehow, even in there J managed to convince the authorities to let him call me. He spoke to me from his prison to mine, told me that this was an opportunity, that it was the best thing to happen. I didn’t believe a word of it.
I got out of prison and moved in with my Dad. I realised that I needed to move forward and I cut J out of my life. Looking back, I was vicious to the one person who had been there for me. At the time it was survival.
As I was getting better, J was left alone. His life continued in a spiral of drugs and crazy women. Occasionally I’d bump into him, or actively seek him out to make sure that he was alive, ok. I felt guilty that my life was getting better whilst his stayed the same.
So it was fantastic to hear that he had finally managed to extricate himself from our old lifestyle. That he had met an amazing woman and planned to marry her. And most of all that she was sure enough in their relationship to want me to join them in their celebration of their marriage. I’d have understood it if she hadn’t but it meant a lot that she did. She understood the link between us and didn’t feel threatened by it. She had no reason to, life was different now to 14 years ago.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says an invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, despite the time, the place, despite the circumstances. The thread can be tightened or tangled, but can never be broken. in life we meet up with people, they might be there for a while, they might go and sometimes they may reappear at times when they either need someone or you do. J has always been one of those people in my life. That is why I drove 600 miles to celebrate his wedding. I will always consider him one of my closest friends, I wish for him and his new wife all the joy in the world. They both deserve it.