I was just at a lecture. For 2 and a half hours. With a very charismatic, warm hearted man. Called Peter Bang.
He spent 30 years of his life abusing drugs and alcohol. Grew up in violent home. Moved out after beating up his father at age 16. Was a big shot in the local night life, selling drugs, buying sportscar, speedboat and motorbike. Went to jail. Ended up on heroin to try to escape his inner emotional turmoil. Lost all his money and became homeless. Got the right to treatment in the end, after seeing his girlfriend and closest friends die around him.
Now been clean 5 years, and he helps reach out to young drug abusers whome “the system can´t get through to.”
A very moving and incredible lifestory. But. What impressed me about him was that he said: “Strength lies in the heart. I used to think it was about muscles, being good at fighting. But I was wrong. Being vulnerable, daring to stand by myself and show openly that I am a human being who makes mistakes, and who gets hurt… that is what strength is.”
He said he speaks from the heart in his work, building trust with patience and honesty, and that he can read people, whether their words fit with their eyes. He can feel it when people lie.
He said he always used to feel wrong, like he didn´t fit in, didn´t belong. And alcohol and drugs made him lose inhibitions, not be shy, made him feel on top of the world.
“I couldn´t be inside myself”, he said. So many bad emotions, of guilt and shame. Self blame. In his childhood he was not allowed to show emotions, had to deal with them alone, in his room.
Escape. Numbness. Trying to avoid hurting. To avoid caring.
I learnt a lot today. Not least, how we need adult men to stand up and talk about what a real man is. That a real man cries, and that it is better to act from a peaceful heart than to act instantaneously on one´s thoughts and actions. That one has a choice, to remain positive, when attacked.
He has a page on Facebook where he shares his thoughts. “Manden med arret”. It´s called. I´m keeping an eye on this guy. Deeply inspiring. Very grateful.