You can’t diss my ability all because of a disability man. if it has given me anything its heart and determination. I have to believe in myself because if I don’t no-one else will.
But let me take you on a little journey, you ready? Roll with me.
I’m the middle of four children my older brother was born 16 weeks premature, I was born 12 week’s premature. My brother is profound deaf he cannot speak or hear I myself have Cerebral Palsy, and a Visual imparment.
My younger sister and brother by gods grace were born without complications.
Focusing on me and my older brother our childhood was as normal as it could be. Mom sacraficed her whole life to make sure we had the best start to ours. with the help of my Aunty, Nan (Grandma) whichever term you use. Extended relatives we were both raised by some of the most loving, caring, clean hearted selfless women you could find. We grew up with a controlling, manipulative, abusive father. I’m the man I am because of the women in my life.
You have to understand the second we were both born, doctors called my mom into a waiting room and told her there was slim chance of both of us surviving. Yet here we are both 22 & 23 years old respectively that was the first instance where life tested us. And we made it.
Then as we got older the conversation of school started and that’s where it all changed for both of us. That’s when we realised we weren’t the same as everyone else.
We were both bullied, picked on and made fun of. But I hold my hands up and admit. I didn’t help myself in this situation, I grew up with a lot of anger, frustration & hate in me. I constantly felt like the world owed me everything, like it and all the people in it were against me and that attitude never rubbed well with people.
As much as it was my fault, the words, how it made me feel it hurt man. That was when I changed, I became numb to emotion, Cold hearted and aggressive all the time.
Along with being suicidal, and losing 6 of my friends at 14 I just didn’t know where I was heading.
Then mom got ill and I had to take care of both my brothers and my sister with help from my nan & aunty, bearing in mind I couldn’t even look after myself without assistance.
All these events were pivitol, they involved a lot of pain, hurt and I needed to grow up fast. But that was life testing me and I made it through.
The adult period
This period of my life was even more wild then the first. A period filled with me having to find my way as a man, taking on the responsibility of helping mom pay her debts and trying to figure out what it was I wanted from life.
I was still the pent up frustrated, screw facing moody induvidual at this point, I never really felt like I fitted into any friendship groups at school and stuff, I was looking for a void to be filled, wanting to be liked by everyone, so I tried to please everyone, obviously that didn’t work but lesson learnt loud and clear.
Towards the end of this period coming out of sixth form, transitioning into full adulthood I started to see though, I didn’t like who I was and what I was becoming, my mental health was getting worse so I had to isolate myself, cause I just wasn’t healthy to be around. In hindsight that wasn’t probably the best idea. But I made it through.
coaching came and saved the day.
People underestimate the power and impact sport can have, I took a chance this was never my career choice I just felt my purpose, presence & mission in life was bigger than just living to work. And now 4 years on i’m the happiest i’ve been doing what I love every single day and the relationships i’ve built I never thought in a million years it would be like this and i’m loving every minute.
As farytale as it all sounds it hasn’t come without a price, a lot of barriers in the form of low income and not being able to afford transport to coach, peoples proceptions of me being disabled and wanting to work in mainstream football. The undercover digs, the “go sit on the side and just watch”
The lack of support from certain family “your wasting your time, your never going to make it and your not being paid, get a proper job”
Even my own self doubt can I make it? Am I good enough, will I ever find a way past all these obstacles I face?.
I appreciate this has been a really long post, some may judge some may criticise. Whatever. At this point it doesn’t matter.
Because all that matters is I’m an emotional person, connecting with people. Taking care of the ones I hold close and inspiring people is what matters to me.
Everybody goes through things i’m not the only one but if I can get through all this? And make it out the other side then everyone else can to.
My struggle and circumstances shaped me as a person. My pain made me understand how important it is to be caring, selfless and really be there for people no matter how they deal with you.
Loss of friends made me understand not to take relationships for granted and it all taught me growth.
Life had me in a chokehold but every. Single. Time. It felt like I should tap out and give up. I got back up and kept swinging.
And i’ll keep swinging till the day I die because life happens for you not to you.
Its not about all the bumps and bruises you get, its about how you respond. Your past doesn’t define you, your decisions after it create your future.