Strong Women Who Helped Me

To continue you with our Feature Friday/Feminist Friday series we have a man who considers himself a feminist and more importantly someone who I look up to and admire.

Here is his story;

When I was younger, I didn’t really understand feminism. I always looked up to the strong women in my life, and I was obsessed with this idea of the divine feminine, the goddesses worshipped in Eastern religions. But I wouldn’t have called myself a feminist. I mistakenly thought that only women could really be feminists.

I was homeless for the majority of my twenties. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I traveled all over the country, and I wandered from place to place. Throughout this time, I felt so alone. I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t feel seen.

In early 2014, I was hit by a car when walking across the street in Philadelphia. I had developed avascular necrosis in my hips prior to the accident due to the high volume of alcohol I had consumed, and when I got hit by the car, it led me to get both of my hips replaced and my femur. At that point, in the hospital in Philadelphia, not knowing how I could possibly survive living on the streets in a wheelchair, I secretly planned to take my own life.

Before I could go through with it, my mother called me, telling me I could come live with her in Atlanta, Georgia. I was in a wheelchair for nearly two years, and she took care of me. I still struggled with drugs and alcohol, but she drove me to the methadone clinic every day, and she drove me to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day.

In 2016, I met a woman I fell head over heels in love with. Two weeks after we started dating, we moved in together. And one year after that, we got married. And though many things were perfect during this time, I still struggled with drugs and alcohol.

Now, I have been sober for nearly a year. I am walking, completely healthy. I am working. My wife and I just moved into a new and beautiful house. My life has drastically changed for the better. And when I look back to the 28-year- old version of myself, sleeping on the street, using a 2-liter bottle for a pillow, I couldn’t have possibly imagined where I would be today.

But I realize I never would have gotten to the place I am without the help of two strong women: my mother and my wife. They helped me, took care of me, supported me, believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.

Now I couldn’t dream of calling myself anything other than a feminist. I understand, now, that feminism just means equality. I think every man should proudly call himself a feminist. And when I look back at my own journey, I know that my life has not only been literally saved by strong women, but I owe much of where I am now to them. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Peter Lang is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia. Occasionally, he writes for The Recovery Village. In recovery himself, he is committed to helping others who are struggling with debilitating addictions.

You can follow Peter and his journey on Twitter.

Much Love,
Ashley

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