Take your time and be kind to yourself as you learn to #BeYourself
As part of our #BeYourself campaign, we have encouraged others to share their voices. Below Thomas share his inspirational journey and his powerful words of wisdom to be kind to yourself and don't hate who you are.
Years of searching, I finally found ME
I'm Thomas. I'm 29 years old and a hairdresser from Kildare, I grew up with a chronic illness called cystic fibrosis, many may have heard of it and many may not, its a multi organ disease that affects nearly all organs in the body but my lungs were the most destroyed.
From a young age I knew I was different, I wasn't very boyish, I was very soft and sensitive as my family would say, I was sick alot of the time. Taking medications every day for hours, not exactly knowing what I was doing to be honest as I didn't understand, as time moved on into my teens I realized I didn't have an attraction to girls like my male friends did, I felt like a freak who didn't know who he was or what he wanted, I was skinny and pale and spent a lot of time in and out of hospital so needless to say I didn't get to experience the normal stuff other teens would. As you get older cystic fibrosis progresses deteriorating the lungs worse and worse eventually leading to young deaths or needing lung transplants.
I hit a bad depression at the age of 17 due to both coming to terms with my sexuality and my illness, I don't need to explain the confusion and stress that comes with being gay but I just want to give my story and views and hope it helps others have the courage to accept themselves and understand that it is normal and times have changed, it isn't as bad as you might think, during my bad spell of depression I seen psychology teams that helped me come to terms with it all but at the end of the day it was ME who needed to accept myself and become happy in my own skin, I hated myself every time I looked in the mirror, it made my skin crawl to think I fancied men. Was I ever going to have a wife or girlfriend ?? The answer is yes and no. I could have kept lying to myself and played the straight life and had girlfriends or got married while all the time being in the closet, or I could come out and accept myself and try to love myself for myself and try to love myself for who and what ever I may be, it took a lot of mind exercises and small achievable goals to get me where I am today.
Everybody's story and background is different, everyone's struggle for self acceptance is different so take your time, be kind to yourself and don't hate who you are. Today I can honestly say I am the happiest I could ever be, I'm proud of who I am, I'm proud of how far I've Come and what I've achieved, I'm full of scars but I'm proud as they show how I won my battles and I'll continue to do so until my last breath! X