Portraits Of Boston: Fighting The Cycle

“I’m a sober alcoholic. I started drinking when I was 14 and stopped when I was 18. I’m fighting the cycle of all the people before me in my family. There is a sentence that I think best describes my life: ‘Walking the line between faith and fear.’ It’s from a song I really like. That’s basically my life. Do I run away, or do I keep trying? Do I get out of bed, or do I let fear and anger keep me from living? I’m more afraid of living than dying. It’s just a character flaw. That’s how I’m programed. I’m scared of life. When I was 14, I tried to kill myself by overdosing on sleeping pills. I was sick for a weekend and then went back to school as if nothing happened. I’ve also hurt a lot of people.

I think I have now essentially become who I was supposed to be, or who I once was. We were all once babies. We were all pure. I have been restored to the sanity I once had and then lost. Does that make sense?”

Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.


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