Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dublin, Part 1

I spent the past couple of days in Dublin with my family
It is my nephew's 14th birthday soon
So it was a treat for him
I haven't been to Dublin in a long time
I did a lot of my using there
And since I have gotten clean
I rarely venture up there
Because it has so many bad memories
Because I don't want to be reminded of that time
Because I am afraid I will be triggered
But I was with my family so I felt safe

We packed a lot in to the two days
Cinema (Planet of the apes, my nephew's choice)
But to be honest
I found being there really quite upsetting
Where as my family saw shops and buildings and architecture
I saw the homeless and junkies and vagrants
Where they saw buskers and street artists
I saw beggars
Where they saw money and wealth
I saw poverty
Where they saw palaces of interest
I saw places where I used
Where I bought drugs
And took drugs
I can't help but see Dublin through those eyes

One very upsetting incident happened when we were walking down Grafton Street
Which is one of the main shopping streets
We noticed a crowd gathered
And walked over to see what it was
A young girl had collapsed in the street
From looking at her
I guesses it was drugs
It was just so distressing to see her
And it brought back so many memories of when things like that happened to me
I was that girl
The girl who looks dishevelled
Eyes pinned
Completely oblivious to what is going on around her
Someone called for an ambulance
It came with in minutes
I hoped and prayed that she would be ok

One other upsetting thing was the amount of homeless people
They were everywhere
And me being me
And knowing what it feels like to have no where to go
And to feel invisible
I had to speak to them
Just to show them that someone cares
That they are not invisible
I spoke to 3 people
The first was a man in Temple Bar
He was writing on the ground with chalk
It read

'I was once just like you
With a home, a job and things to do
But homelessness came and took that away
Now I am on my knees asking for your help today'

I threw him some money and he asked me where he was from
I told him and asked him about himself
He told me that he sleeps in doorways
That he doesn't use the hostels because they are drug ridden
We shook hands
And I moved on
I wonder where he will sleep tonight

The second girl I spoke to was also writing on the ground
I could tell by looking at her eyes that she was on heroin
So instead of giving her money
I gave her some food
She began to cry as we spoke
It was heart breaking

The last man we spoke to was quite a character
He had a dog and a rabbit each side of him
The rabbit made headlines a few years ago
When some cruel person threw him in to the river Liffey
And his owner went in to save him
It was so curious to see the rabbit just lying by his side
I'm sure his animals bring him great comfort

I enjoyed Dublin as much as I could
But I was glad to leave
Too many memories
Too many ghosts of the past
I don't belong there any more
I've moved on
And that's ok

A good time was had by all
Here are some memories......

In my Dad's house

The house I grew up in

Hanging out with Patrick Kavanagh

And Phil Lynott

Science gallery is Trinity Colleged

Buskers in Temple Bar

The homeless man I spoke to

Ha'Penny Bridge

Part 2 to follow tomorrow


  1. You have such a good heart. It's awesome that you reached out and offered kindness to those who were hurting and alone.

    The world needs more people like you. <3


  2. I must say AA has made me see things differently. It is not clear in that area who is homeless and who is not, but I feel so much sympathy toward everyone. There are people who clearly have either mental illness or some result of drugs that come in for coffee and somewhere indoors. At first I saw crazy people, but now it's sad. I know they have nowhere else to go. I may wish they wouldn't speak (some of what they say I feel scares newcomers), but I wouldn't kick them out. I started bringing candy and keeping a candy dish. My sponsor just likes sugar, but the rest I don't judge for how much they take. I don't judge for the coffee they drink all day. I don't judge when I see them wandering the sidewalks or when they wander in mid-meeting.

    I see how they ended up there. I was always so high functioning for an alcoholic. I had insurance for my mental illness. I see how without that and a great deal of help, these people end up wandering about. They may have somewhere to sleep, but they don't have what they need. The places they may end up treated do nothing if you can't pay. That's what's so fucked up about the US and health insurance.

    I definitely lived in a more sheltered area before. This town for some reasons has all sorts, and I really see them now. I do see how I could end up that way if things had been different. I see how others ignore or judge them.

    The world is pretty screwed up, and I think the addict can see it for what it is.

  3. I hope you're alright Ruby - hope Dublin wasn't too bad. You know, you could have changed the lives of the homeless people you spoke to. Given them hope.
    You look beautiful in your photos as always!

    I'm still reading - I try to comment whenever I have time! Miss you!


  4. I am loving the new blog name Ruby.. :)

  5. I've always wanted to see Dublin. For me it would be about a beautiful city. I would probably not see homeless people or drug addicts. I don't see them here, in Sweden.. My eyes just pass over them, like they weren't there. But I know they are and I fell so helpless, because what can I do? If I give them money, will it turn into drugs or, as many in Sweden claim, go to the mafia who organize Roma from Romania to beg? I de-humanize them and walk on and swallow my bad conscience. Because it could have been me.

  6. There were quite a lot of homeless in some parts of Paris, though it was different than at home. They were in the crowded touristy areas where even if I wanted to stop, it would've been difficult due to the amount of noise and traffic. I remember this man in front of the notre dame he looked invisible in a sea of people. Often I didn't have my own money to offer, so it made me feel even worse. Regardless, I'm happy you had a good time in Dublin, my mom visited there a few years ago and said she saw all the fun touristy things, the museums, the Guinness factory. I'm going to make a past-due post about coming home from Paris.


Thank you for leaving some love x