Get it off your chest!

Get it off your chest!
Today is world mental health day…. 

So to speak freely is ok….

I know I should be grateful as my life is now the best…

but to be honest all I want to do is to get this off my chest…… 
I wake up to noise and busyness of my children getting dressed, my partner getting on with it I can feel her getting stressed, I have the urge to help her….but the urge remains at rest… because I fear if I get up, I may get this off my chest.

……the silence of the busyness is my signal to get up but what’s the point my spirit says “you will only fuck it up”….
 I lay there for another hour when the fear begins to rise, without me in this world might be my family’s prize…. 

I start to feel my heart gain another beat, slowly I stumble, unsteady to my feet…..

Downstairs I sit and gaze….wondering how others do with ease….that which has taken all my strength to achieve….
 getting dressed is another thing to do…that simple daily task…why couldn’t I be bothered is something you may ask….. I have no need to dress and brush my hair as normal people do….


I would love to wear the rat race suits and toe the corporate line……but I will settle for a coffee and waste the morning time…..
it’s going past midday and I fear it’s for the best…that I get this thing said to you and get it off my chest….. 

My children are my life but still it’s not enough….when you suffer from depression and you supposed to be so tough…..

my partner is the rock on which currently I stand… slipping off the edge trying to grab my hand…. 

I have never felt so helpless or been in such a desperate place but depression doesn’t show this on my strong and ag’ed face….

Depression is this thing I’ve got and I fight it every day, and pulling up my socks and chin it still won’t go away…

pick up the phone and call someone…..

Let them be their very best

But most of all allow them to get it off their chest!!

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Becoming Someone Else.

Harland And Wolff Shipyard Cranes Belfast Samson Goliath Photograph


I often use my fading memory to take me back to Belfast and remember;

My bedroom,

My football posters on the wall,

My garden with My cherry tree for a goal post,

My mum and My dad,

My brothers and My sisters,

My friends playing on My street,

in My village,

in My city,

in My country.

These are My memories before I moved into

Someone else’s house,

in Someone else’s street,

to play with Someone else’s friends,

in Someone else’s village,

in Someone else’s city,

in Someone else’s country………

and became Someone else.


Tom Fitzsimons


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Who will stand for my tribe?


Who will stand shoulder to shoulder in the battle of life despite overwhelming odds?


Who will stand with others, when under attack, from an enemy so savage that only death succeeds?


Who will share with my tribe?


Who will pass on the knowledge gained over years past?


Who will stop the pace of youth with a lift of the hand?


Who will comfort damaged hearts with experience of a damaged heart?


I will!


I ask the questions and speak the truth!


I release my pain, allow others to release theirs!


I stand by my brothers in the battle of life!


I guide the youth to an energetic future!


I share my damaged heart!


I will!



For the tribe is that of man and I am a leader in that tribe, for I am a man!


Tom Fitzsimons

Feb 2014

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Half Time

I have finally reached the half way point in my Run4Sobriety challenge. I am on day 49 of a 100 day run. 7 long weeks in which I have found out a lot about myself and those around me.

Today I did a half time analysis of the performance so far. A little like sky sports but without the bullshit. As many of you know I am rarely happy with my performance or my efforts so it come as no surprise that I am less than happy with where I currently am. I sit almost 7 days behind schedule and have a hell of a task trying to get back on track.

My initial reaction was that of a small child “I cant do this, its impossible”. I am prone to little tantrums like this. In the past this type of tantrum would have won the day and would probably have led to me hitting the bottle again. My thought process has changed however and I now try to come up with a solution rather than hiding from it.

The solution?


Quite simple really. We are already working quite hard but we are far from working smart. We need to revise the time spent on the road at the hottest time of the day, sleep, nutrition the whole thing needs an overhaul.

So that’s what we have done today. We have adapted to the change in our situation.

This is so important when it comes to dealing with addiction. We often are faced with obstacles that we find almost impossible to deal with. Sometimes we run scared and never deal with it other times we revert to what we know best, drink or drugs or both. The key to a successful transformation and long term sobriety is having the ability to adapt to any given situation. Having a willingness to take on what is in front of you without looking at whats behind you.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” C.Darwin

We can sit and bemoan our situation or we can start to adapt to our new surroundings and situation. We must accept that in sobriety change is part of the deal. This in the long-term will ensure our success and survival.

I will make it to NYC on time. Not because I’m the fastest or the strongest. I will make it to NYC on time because of my ability to adapt to change and my new found willingness to accept change.

Live the Life


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Fear of Success

I have finished my first month on the road and also my first 1000miles. Hitting these targets should really have made me feel proud and happy.

I feel neither.

This challenge is not about running for a month or running 1000miles it’s about reaching as many people as we can and changing attitudes toward addiction, oh and reaching New York City.

I cannot allow myself to lose focus.

I fear success as much as I fear failure.

I know failure. I know how to deal with it. I know how it feels. I know what it looks like. I know it is never far away.

I do not know success, how do I handle it?What does it do to you?How will I know its real?

It is very tempting to remain a failure in life and that is still, despite what others tell me, how I feel about myself. Sometimes though you have to push away from what you know best in order to experience new feelings and emotions.

Who knows what my future holds but for now I am being very cautious about allowing myself to get caught up in the big picture. I will remain focused on tomorrows 30miles.

Live the Life


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The Toughest Road in America

Picture 363

The decision to run across the loneliest road in America was made with a certain amount of arrogance. “piece of piss” “its Easy”.

When I looked at the map all I saw was what I wanted to see. I saw the Sierra Nevada just before Lake Tahoe. I saw the Great Basin which in my mind was a billiard table flat piece of land that would be a pleasure to run through. Easy miles.

I also saw the pats on the back and the smug look on my face when I would eventually say “I’ve ran the loneliest road in America.”

Well there is no smug look on my face at the moment. The look on my face is humble and almost a look of forgiveness for not showing the run enough respect.

I got the Sierra Nevada right that was a tough climb. What I didn’t get right was the billiard table flat piece of land. The Great Basin is actually the most beautifully ,tough as nails , I will bring you to your knees, lung busting, heat fuelled, beg for your life piece of land you will ever run on!!

Mountain range after mountain range with long long stretches of Highway 50 in between. Not a cloud in the sky for days 35 degree heat and lack of oxygen due to altitude.

I allowed for none of this!!

Yet I have somehow found myself in Eureka with just 75mile left to run on the loneliest road. Each day I got up and went out and battled until the mileage was done. There where no other options. (Well there was and belive me I was pretty close this week to coming home.)

When we first set out to plan our recovery from addiction we often only see what we want to see. We often forget to tell ourselves how bloody hard it’s going to be. When we then hit our first “mountain range” we start to doubt ourselves and consider quitting and turning back.  If we can get the strength to get over the first obstacle and then the second and maybe the third we have a chance of a full recovery. On the road we must always be mindful that there will always be mountains to climb. The trick is to tackle them one at a time and enjoy the flat piece of life in between.

My journey continues tomorrow when we start a two-day run to Ely which is the end of the loneliest road in America and I can honestly say I will not miss highway 50!

Live the Life


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed

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Never an option!

So how does running 3100 miles across the USA raise awareness of recovery from addiction? What is the connection?

These are questions I am often asked when talking about run4sobriety.

Arriving in San Francisco I was filled with fear and terror of what lay ahead. The last time I felt fear and terror was when I realise that I was about to sober up. The fear of the unknown is something I have talked about previously. It is all consuming and can sometimes lead to complete breakdown.

The first day of my run was very similar to my first day sober. “I can do this, its easy” “its not as hard as people make out” I sat in my hotel after my first 27miles and was full of confidence in my ability.

Very quickly that can change. Im on day 3 and to be honest the pain reflects that feeling in the first week of sobriety. Every sinew is screaming at you to stop, go home, take the easy option and quit.

That is not an option an addict can yeild to unless they want to return to their old life of misery.

I nearly yeilded today. I nearly quit.

I didnt quit.

You see i know from my own recovery that after the darkness comes the sunshine. I know that i will hurt for a few days but after a while i will start to recieve the reward for my effort. Just as I have seen the rewards for my sobriety.

If you imagine San Francisco as addiction and the road across the USA as recovery the further we travel the road the further behind we leave our past addictions and troubles.

Every Day We fight Everyday we win!

Live the Life


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