Paul: 'I know what it's like at the bottom'
I have a long history of problems with mental health starting many years ago with the death of my mother.
I have lived on the edge and experienced problems with substance abuse, drugs and alcohol, been homeless and lived on the streets. The first time was when I absconded from home aged 15 to look for my father, who himself was an alcoholic, when he disappeared for a bit without telling anyone. I spent 6 months in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne searching for him before I found him.
I found my way through with heartache aplenty along the way and I have now been free of substance misuse for 7 years. I still on VERY rare occasions have a shandy or two but nothing any further than that.
I try to use my experiences to help others. I know what it is like to be down at the bottom and have nothing and nobody. My philosophy is that if I can help one person avoid how I felt on those lowest times it will be worthwhile.
I have been going to Kent Sheds for two years. I enjoy the company and making new friends. Although there have been ups and downs on the way, I have stayed with the group. It benefits me immensely. Without the group, I would be spending most of my time indoors. Instead I get to go out, meet great people and share ideas and information while socialising. I find myself being useful and my skills are put to the test.
I hope to improve my employability and future prospects as well as make some more friends.
|This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the Men's Health Forum under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.|