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Pandemic Stories - Tom Gosling


Tom Gosling

Pre-Lockdown

Nearly 4 years ago, I went through a full detox from alcohol and start my journey to sobriety. It took 3 years for me to gain some form of normality within my life.


Part of this progress was to come out of my long term employment ‘comfort zone’ and follow my career goals in self-employment.

Lockdown

At the start of lockdown, March 2020, I hit my second ‘all time low’.


Having recently gone self employed and companies dropping work, my income disappeared, day to day routine broken and I spiralled into depression.


I think it was the second week of ‘clap for carers’ where I joined the bulk of the nation in standing outside, clapping. I looked around at others clapping and the realisation ‘we are in this together’ set in. With a tear in my eye, I thought of all those that had suffered, were suffering and indeed all those working hard to help. This made my problems seem so much smaller and changed my mind-set breaking them down individually and resolving.


I had even started ‘to do’ list and found a great motivation in crossing bits off. This newfound motivation encouraged me to go outside and explore what my local village has to offer. The exercise soon started to make a physical difference which in turn boosted my confidence. When building up my steps in and around the village,


I noticed 2 things. Our graveyard was overgrown and the village was full of litter. Still heavily motivated by the actions of others among this pandemic, I thought it was time to take action.

Reaching out to both the church and council, I managed to set up a group of volunteers to renovate the graveyard and carry out litter picks, both with amazing results.

Due to this, in dark times, I have found light. Each negative has turned into a positive. I have met some amazing people which has created a vast support network. I am making a difference within the local community which, when at my lowest, gives me a sense of purpose.

Reflection

In reflection empathising with those less fortunate reduced my problems into a manageable state, breaking them down and resolving them gave me a sense of achievement and motivation to do more. This combined with my uplift in confidence created opportunities to engage with people in turn, increasing my social circle, more interaction and less time to ‘get in my own head’.

Whilst I take each day as it comes and manage accordingly, I am stable, proud and above all HAPPY.


Story & Photos sent by Tom Gosling

 

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