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My name is Matty and as the profile says, I'm 29 turning 30 this year.
So basically 15 going on 50.
I've had a lot of ups and downs in my life, but despite them all I like to think that I've come away a better person. I realised I was gay around the age of 11, and fell in love with my best friend pretty well immediately. Secretly of course, I had always known I was a little different, and I was always a little in love with him, I just didn't know why and I certainly didn't know it had a name.
Luckily for me, my best friend was also figuring out at the same time that he was gay and together we began a really beautiful, if young and naive relationship. But like the saying goes, you really don't know what you've got until it's gone. He passed away in 2004 and instead of coming to terms with that loss and who I was, I wrapped myself up in a blanket of sadness, loss and rage that I even still struggle with today - thirteen years later.
Since then though, I've fought. I fought to turn my grades around from a failing 'no-hoper' type of student, to a high grade, intelligent young man who made the decision to join the Army and fight for our country. Being a military brat (raised by military parents/family), the decision made logical sense for me, but emotionally I was way out of my league. During my time in the Army though, I had an accident that left me permanently disabled and injured, which only added to my already deep seated dread and fear of life, and opening myself up to the world.
What I have begun to realise as I get older though is that even though these demons follow us, like a shadow, wherever we go - that's okay. They're part of who we are and what makes us. The hard part, the really hard part, is making that decision to control my demons and fears, instead of letting them control us. It's a process, a tough one, but a worthwhile one.