This was me before I did the Life Programme. I was born in Salford in 1974 and was brought up in a family where insecurity prevailed. My parents divorced when I was young which resulted in my sister going to live with my Mum, whilst I went and lived with Dad – to be fair, my situation wasn’t an uncommon story where I grew up.
As a kid I had an ambition to pursue acting and dance, passions that others saw as a good reason to bully me. I ended up moving schools a couple of times and developed skills in adaptive behaviour just to fit in, something I carried through well into my adult years. It won’t come as much of a surprise but like a lot of kids, after leaving school I went off the rails a bit and got caught up in the drink and drug scene. In fairness, my outlook wasn’t looking too promising, but things did change. I met a girl who later became my wife and we’ve been together ever since raising our son. I followed in my fathers footsteps and did an apprenticeship as a Plumber, and I now run my own Plumbing business.
Joining the Life Programme changed everything for me. It was the right time with the right people to face up to what my life had become. It was a hugely emotional experience for me because working with the coaches it became so clear that my past was right there, and playing such a huge part in how I was living life. The therapeutic techniques take a very direct route to getting to the nub of the problem. One of the biggest shake ups for me was around nutrition and wellbeing – eating healthily for a week made a huge difference to me, and when I got home I threw the contents of my fridge away, replaced it with healthy things, and never looked back.
I still do plumbing but have channeled energy into other things too. I took the opportunity to train as a councilor and work with kids who perhaps to some extent are a bit like how I was. They just need a mentor, someone to believe in; someone to believe in them. It looks as though I may end up realising a child hood ambition too as I’ve also connected with acting agencies and should be on a couple of TV shows this year.