I often describe my story as ‘The Path of Self Destruction’ which I chose to be the title of my first book (out August 2021).
I was fortunate enough to be gifted a fairly normal childhood in Manchester. My parents made the decision to become tenants of public houses so I spent a good chunk of my childhood with the family home being a pub (living quarters upstairs) followed by a housing estate, a very much working class family and working class environment.
I label my story as ‘the path of self destruction’ because that’s exactly what I did, I sabotaged myself and my life.
There was no reason for me to become a drunken, violent di**head, there were no reason why I would find myself spending time in Strangeways prison, it was all my fault, my doing and my self sabotage state which lasted a good 15 years.
I didn’t make it to the end if my final year in high school. After becoming too much of a disruption to others, the teachers collectively decided to give me the boot several months before I was due to take my exams.
At the age of 21 and after a catalogue of criminal convictions I found myself serving a short sentence in Strangeways, Manchester.
In my mid twenties I became a binge drinking, drug taking idiot! With no direction or meaning in life I spent my time drinking and sniffing myself into an angry state.
Although I was actually quite a natural when it came down to running a business, I spent more time chasing money and avoiding business responsibilities which later lead to my business being shut down in the high courts.
Unpaid bills were always a regular occurrence, my business failure, tax avoidance and financial obligation avoidance eventually piled up to an overwhelming six figure debt sum.
After being evicted from my home, I found myself homeless for 9 months.
After years of suffering with anxiety and clinical depression, In 2016, I tried to take my own life.
When I was at my lowest I remember searching for a video diary of someone who had comeback from rock bottom, I found lot’s of talk, lot’s of people stood on stage talking about how hard they had it 10,15,20 years ago…. but always from a present position of success, never someone currently rebuilding.
I made a promise to myself ‘Get your s**t together Tony and you be the person who shows the rebuild, a real, raw and honest journey’