I imagine the first time that someone walks into prison must be exactly how I felt on my first day of trading on the floor of the SFE.
The noise & the whistles were deafening. Each trading pit was full of twenty-something yuppies screaming & throwing hand signals in what at first looks like some strange kind of sign language for the clinically insane.
I was absolutely shitting myself. As I looked around the trading pit for a place to stand, I realised that it would be somewhere I was ‘allowed’ to stand. I stood there with my head spinning, calmly as I could possibly pretend to be with my heart pumping like crazy. This was a fucking human zoo and I was the new kid about to be eaten.
The only thing I really remember is thinking most of these rich kids who still wore their school ties have shoes worth more than my entire trading account. That… and also realising I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
My first trading day was budget day. The craziest, hyped up and drug fuelled human madness you would ever see. It was also the biggest day on the years financial calender. Fortunes made & lost every few seconds. A picture of such madness and seemingly confusion and chaos, I could only begin to describe it as being in the middle of the hill on Grand Final Day of a game you didn’t know.
From that day on life would change dramatically for me. Success brought on a life with no boundaries, excess & constant cashflow. It also led me into a hole so dark & deep, that I only barely climbed out.
Even today, my legs still dangle over the edge into the darkness. I am forever trying to find traction. Sometimes I do and others I fail.
I went from having everything to having nothing. Basically overnight. I lost everything I owned & also everything I didn’t. My marriage, my friends & my family all slipped away from me as I tried desperately to hold on. To what I don’t know.
But it was too dark. Instead of riding the ups and downs my type of life invariably brings along with it, life had turned into the down and lower down.
I continued to fall when there was seemingly no lower to fall. I lost my way completely and at one point, I lost my will to live. I blamed everyone I could & just wanted out. All those years of being generous and wasteful with my money wasn’t just coming back to haunt me,it was going to kill me. It nearly succeeded.
But I’m still here. These are the stories of my life. A life I lived that was insanely fun, dangerous. These are my stories of what its like living life without a safety net and what its like to fall. Broken but not dead.
These are my stories of survival.