My name is Thomas Delaney and I’m a former Drug Addict. Although it was drugs that almost killed me, it wasn’t the drugs that were the problem. Isn’t that an interesting paradox?
As a child, I grew up in a household that was immersed by my father’s abusive and callous ways. You see, sadly my father was and still is vastly entangled with alcoholism & gambling but more notably his demons. After years of pain and suffering my family and I managed to move away from him. My mother however sadly introduced other men into our lives which in-turn only provided the same environment, much to our detriment.
As with most Addicts, I suffered Adversity, Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences. I felt worthless, embarrassed, unloved and I deeply believed my family would have been much happier if I wasn’t a part of it.
I’ve always appeared to be an extremely confident & positive person but internally I was an absolute mess, suffering from troubled personal insecurities. Eventually, these issues played their part in seeking solace and refuge by any means necessary.
My compulsion to use drugs was a way of self-medicating; an obsession with trying to numb the pain and trauma I suffered throughout my life. I believe that subconsciously I was attempting to fill a void, although growing up despising drugs and alcohol, I rapidly saw myself turn into an addict. Using a variety of drugs such as MDMA, acid, and ecstasy. I became an expert in the use of cocaine & in particular, ketamine. Ketamine was my main drug of choice for the best part of 12 years.
In the beginning, taking drugs was exciting – I couldn’t get enough of them. Now, I don’t wish to glorify any type of negative behaviour but initially, they offered me an escape and an extremely pleasurable experience filled with euphoric emotions that I never wanted to end. Like most addicts would tell you, at first, I only took drugs socially and to a certain degree without harm or, so I thought anyway. However, like every Honeymoon period, it would soon inevitably come to an end.
I hit rock bottom when I accepted redundancy from a much-loved career in 2018. I worked as a Business Development Executive and at the time, I was what you would call a “highly functional addict”. My career was one of only a few things in my life that allowed me to hold my head up high, it gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. My career kept me focused, at least during working hours. Having a very prevalent addictive personality, I wasn’t just addicted to Ketamine – I was also completely addicted to my career. When I was losing control of my relationship with ketamine, my job gave me a sense of structure and belonging. It gave me purpose and it made me feel desired, decent and respected.
Losing my role within an organisation that I had given so much of myself to, left me feeling heartbroken, betrayed and angry. I felt like an utter failure and a complete laughingstock.
I spent the next several months of my life in unimaginable pain, suffering from constant stomach cramps and bladder issues, which I knew only too well. I was isolating myself from society, even when I was dragged into hospitals, I wouldn’t speak and I would hide my face. I moved out of my apartment and into my Mother’s house which despite my family’s help and support my addiction spiralled even further out of control. From around March to November 2018 I lost 7 stone.
I sought nothing but self-destruction and a quick and painless death wishing that the next line of Ketamine would kill me.
I could only see two ways out of this dreaded situation. The first one, taking my own life. Secondly, seeking treatment in a Rehabilitation Centre. Thankfully, I chose the latter as I made a conscious decision to work hard and seek the help I needed to recovery from my unresolved trauma.
I found a safe environment away from everything and everyone. I needed to work on my behaviours, emotional trauma & my soul. Once I set my mind to a task, nothing can stop me and off I went into rehab on 2nd November 2018.
Since leaving treatment in February 2020 I have become a public speaker sharing my story with millions upon millions of people around the globe. My story has been shared in countries such as the United States of America, Ireland, China, Canada & even as far wide as Australia.
My journey has allowed me to work with social media campaigners and countless drug-related organisations where I shared my experience with addiction. I’ve appeared on various news channels on television, in several newspapers and magazines from around the world including many podcasts and interviews.
I talk to students & young people across the UK in Schools, Colleges & Universities. Having important conversations & education on the serious dangers of Trauma, ACE’s & Addiction. I believe in Empowering the next generation with hope, knowledge and inspiration. I aim to challenge the STIGMA that surrounds Addiction & Mental Health, as this is vital if you truly want to beat addiction.
Addiction doesn’t care who and what it destroys, its only purpose is to take control. Hopefully, my story can inspire others who are struggling, if that person is you, then let me say this. It is possible to change your life… but firstly, you have to accept you have a problem. Secondly, you have to conjure every ounce of grit and determination and use it to channel a positive change in your life.
No matter what life throws at you, with self-belief & hard work you can achieve anything once you set your mind to it.
I’m eternally grateful I got access to the right type of help and I cannot thank my loved ones enough for the love and support they gave to me during the difficult times and now, thankfully the better days.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story.
Peace, love & yours truly,
Epione wants to personally thank Thomas for his dedication to this cause and his courage to share his personal story and images to reach out to all survivors and offer hope that recovery is always possible. In a trauma informed and responsive Scotland, every human being should be empowered and have the right to freely choose their recovery pathway to heal from their trauma and addiction.
If you would like to collaborate with us and share how you have overcome trauma and how you have been recovering, please get in touch with us at email@example.com – We look forward to hearing from and seeing you in 2021!