That very early age was the fork in the road for me. As time has gone by surely through my own circumstances and others influence, as well as my living environment, I got off track from time to time. I forgot who I was and eventually couldn't find my way back to my core. I got caught up in over indulging in the artificial pleasures of life, like too much alcohol and recreational drugs as a false equivalency with me being my true self. I abused those artificial remedies to the point of becoming addicted, especially to alcohol as my only way of interacting in a confident and easy going way. Instead of grounding myself in my own confidence about who I am, I cheated and grounded myself in an illusion.
And when it came time to prove the illusion I didn't have the footing and embarrassed myself instead. Luckily, I was able to withdraw from artificial enhancements and then found myself again. I know this much, I will never lose who I am again. Of course I am older and wiser and that is helpful but what is more helpful is the knowledge that I am genuine. I tried the shortcuts in life and found them incomplete. That is the wisdom part. I am happy in my own skin now and despite my many flaws and inabilities I have never felt more confident and alive.