On that day, my mental health started a steep decline and I began drinking heavily. I was already drinking for pleasure but at that point of my life, it became my way of silencing all my demons.
I thought I was enjoying it but the more I drank, the more alcohol I needed to silence my head. This resulted in me turning to other substances too, but alcohol was always the first step.
I was literally drinking the years away. I would wake up every morning looking for a drink or something stronger to make my day go by. I finally got to the point that I would be shaking if I couldn’t get anything to help me keep my demons at bay.
At my worst, I missed out on a whole year of my life that I can’t recall in the slightest. I have read journals of my life and honestly don’t know how I didn’t kill myself as my suicidal thoughts were as high as the drink and drugs I was taking.
I had always lived by the saying 'here for a good time, not a long time' and went into my main college exams high on drugs. I have no recollection at all but by some miracle, I passed with three straight A’s! It still baffles me to this day.
It took me six long years to realise the damage I was doing to myself and on New Year's Eve 2013, I realised that my life was slipping out of my hands.
On New Year's Day, following one of the worst nights I'd ever had drinking, I looked at my loved ones faces and swore I'd never touch it again.
The first three months were the hardest. I had the shakes every day, was vomiting and was unable to eat. I took it slowly, one day at a time and put all my energy into the gym. I had some great people around me and so slowly it got easier, although I understood this was a battle I’d probably have to face for the rest of my life.
Since becoming sober, I've been diagnosed with manic depression. This gave me a lot of answers as to why my behaviour had been as bad as it was.
I have now achieved five years of sobriety and I'm in a very good place both physically and mentally. I use my experience of overcoming life’s challenges, drug abuse and mental illness to help others in similar situations via my social media and other avenues.
I am in a job that I have always wanted, helping people to get out of debt. My gym journey will be reaching an all time high soon.
I’m proud of the person I am and how I'm using my personal experiences to help others with similar issues.
It really is the greatest achievement a man can have ❤️