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I’ve never had a beard before. I always had some sort of a goatee, but never a full on beard. I always hit this awkward stage in growing a beard (or just being lazy and not shaving) where I would have huge patches of thin hair and it just wouldn’t look right to me so I would shave it all off.

I think it was the beginning of 2018 when the change came in my life that I decided to let it grow, regardless of what it looked like.

For years and years I struggled with drugs and alcohol (mostly alcohol), but pretty much anything that took me out of a state of dealing with the sober me. Mostly because I had no idea who that person was. I had no idea what he stood for, what he really believed in, what he was really capable of. I had somehow become ashamed of the sober side of myself, but had no idea the mess the numb and confident side of me had become.

After several hard roads and a few life sobering decisions, I had finally made it to a time, at the age of 33, where I was learning who I really was and what made me tick. As the pieces slowly came together and things started falling into place it was almost without effort that I began to change. I started looking at the world around me differently, I started figuring out what I wanted to put value on and what I didn’t, what I was going to believe in and what I wasn’t, and the effect I wanted to have on people and the effect I would allow people to have on me. The truth is, I think I just finally just grew up!

I remember looking in the mirror one day and realizing that I hadn’t shaved in a while, and thought to myself that it didn’t look that bad after all. Maybe me with a beard was the new me! The NEW me was going to look Old and Rough! But not defeated! I loved the Irony. And so I didn’t shave it, I wore it like a badge of honor, I like to think of myself like the diamond under the coal. On the outside I look a little rough, I’ve let life beat up on me a little bit more than I should, with this long beard and this grey hair and all these wrinkles on my 36 year old face, people might see me as someone who is a little rough around the edges and maybe even unapproachable. But if you gave me a chance you would see that I’m really no that bad, hopefully you would see the diamond I am talking about!

For me, the diamond, is appreciating the road the Good Lord has put me on, to learn to be humble and thankful daily. It seems to me that sometimes God uses those who have been beaten and broken and sometimes redeemed to help show the world that He’s still here. I like to think I am one of those who made it through to tell about it for Him.

So there’s this big long drawn out story that I want to tell that goes with this blog about my beard. It has to do with my 3 trips to rehab for alcohol, finding my faith, the tough life changing decisions I had to make and the people that inspired me to get where I was in this story and where I am now. But I’m just not ready.

So for now I will leave you with this. The BEARDED side of the tallbeardeddoughboy.

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