I believe I was born with the disease of addiction. My earliest memories are ones of feeling not enough, not fitting in, wanting more and just being jealous of other people. I was jealous of my friends getting other friends, which later transferred into jealousy in toxic relationships.
I first drank aged 13 and from that day on my mind was controlled by getting to and looking forward to the next time I could drink or smoke weed or just cigarettes. I struggled to focus on anything and later learned that I suffered with ADHD.
I was always good at sports and my family supported me in trying to follow my dream as a professional squash player. I moved in with the England coach but was soon to be kicked out for smoking weed. I found a group of guys who were good players but knew how to party at the right times, so that’s where I went. I soon started using ‘Es’, cocaine and drinking heavily. My squash paid the price and soon after I was taken to rehab aged 23. Not what I had in my plans.
At that time, I believed you had to be older to be a real alcoholic, and my life then became a journey of drugs and numerous rehabs. My rock bottom was leaving a rehab as my depression was so bad in there, and ending up smoking crack and heroin for three days in Bournemouth. This was an attempt for an accident to happen and I hoped my life would be over. Fortunately, I woke up and realised I had to do something to change.
Since that day, 13 December 2016, I have remained clean and sober. It’s only through the programme of AA and other fellowships, and mainly a belief in a higher power, that I’ve been able to do this. I like to say it’s not me who’s done it – more that it was meant to be this way. I’d had enough punishment.
The life of having to be the funny guy or the life and soul of the party has left me. I now enjoy the beauty of life and am able to do normal things without crippling anxiety or my head over-thinking. I’m able to laugh at the negative self-talk I have and replace it with the reality. I’ve found a book called The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters has helped me in recent times.
I love yoga and that has played a major part in my recovery this time. I also like to fish and be at one with nature whenever I can. I’m following my dream to become an actor and attending classes every week.
I have my family back in my life now – only 18 months ago they had restraining orders against me. I’ve managed to settle bad feelings with exes whom I’d hurt badly. I feel totally free today, and, from a person who couldn’t leave his own sofa through fear, and numerous suicide attempts, I can honestly say I love my life today.