Mental Health Week 2021 – Tom’s Story.

Death, Skull, Dark, Composition, Bottles
Image from Pixabay.

Well done to Tom aged 30 for sharing his mental health experience with us. I’m glad to see that Tom found help, if you’re suffering, there’s so much help out there for you now. DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE! If your looking for help, message me or head over to my contact page where you will find some useful contacts to support you TODAY.

So, I would say when I was a young lad, I knew I had anxiety, I think having no father figure in my life was a struggle. I felt like my anxiety went under the radar and was pushed aside due to my young age.

School was tough too, as I moved around a lot and then in my final school, I got bullied by the older lads which only added to the anxiety and paranoia I was dealing with on a daily basis.

By the time I had left school I had moved to a new city to escape it all, but it wasn’t long before I felt lonely. Even though I felt so alone, my anxiety made me lack the confidence to even leave the house… that’s when I turned to alcohol!

Alcohol was the only way I could pucker up the courage to go out to work or just be around people in public. From the age of 17 to 23, I spent most of my time drunk, crying and considering if life was even worth living.

The alcohol would just give me a false sense of security, along with false confidence, which helped for a wee while but after a few years, it didn’t work anymore and the anxiety came back even worse, along with depression this time!

Struggling to feel happy or get through the day without an anxiety / panic attack, I started to drink more heavily and started to take cocaine, which very quickly became a weekly habit.

I temporarily felt great again another amazing vice helping me to ignore all the underlying problems, but I couldn’t live my life this way, when the drugs or the alcohol wore off, the problems were still there and just kept getting worse!

It got so bad that I had to leave my job and live at my mum’s house, it got to a point where I was too scared to leave my own room for a good 8 weeks, the anxious and depressing thoughts got way too much, so I confronted my parents and told them what I had been dealing with, how I’d been feeling and what I’d been doing to cope! Which was instantly a great help, speaking out and not feeling alone in the situation was a great relief.

I decided to seek counselling, which was a HUGE help, talking about my issues out loud really did help, after a few sessions I decided to go T Total for 5 months which was the best 5 months of my life, exercise and clean living really does massively help for the mind and body.

However, I realised that I still struggled with my mental health, the anxiety was still there – this was probably due to all the drugs and alcohol I had taken over the last 5 years, and it was making life hard, so I decided to try the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy) mental health team working with them doing online CBT therapy gave me confidence. I still talk to them now along with taking sertraline which has completely changed my life…

I feel like a normal person for the first time, my only regret is not speaking out and seeking professional help sooner, so to anyone struggling don’t be ashamed these platforms are there to help you! The alcohol and drugs just make you think they are your friend, but they are just suppressing the real problems.


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