I was looking through some old photos when I came across a video of the TED talk I did in April 2019. I watched it for the first time in years and it left me feeling so emotional. I took Elfie out for a walk in the jungle at the back of my house here on Koh Lanta. I wept to myself as I recalled the loneliness, fear, and despair from those dark days. I remember the shock as I was informed that I had stage four inoperable cancer. It was terminal and I had just a matter of months to live. I can never forget the pain of the cancer and the merciless treatment. However, nothing was more shocking and more painful than when my wife taunted me about her illicit affair before abandoning me. I was all alone with my two young kids.
I recalled the last day I ever saw my mam and also baby Alfie the rescued Staffy who actually rescued me. It broke my heart when he died just over a year ago and I still grieve for him now.
Oh, I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me? Even better why don’t I kill myself? I would have topped myself but I couldn’t because my children needed me. So I fought on with a happy smile on my face as I masqueraded as a jolly joker, but deep down I hated myself. started writing a book and by March 2019 had received 1500 pre-publication copies.1000 were sold in three weeks and the other 500 a month or two later.
I had given inspirational talks at major venues all over the UK to promote my upcoming book. I would be cocky, confident, and full of myself as I played the starring role in my very own mind movie. I would have the audience laughing at my crazy jokes and tittering at my bawdy innuendos. However, deep down a was a scared little boy. I felt worthless and I didn’t like anything about myself. I would have selfies with pretty ladies with a cocksure smirk on my face but deep inside I wept tears of sorrow.
Sometimes the little boy would suddenly appear during my inspirational talks. I would be confidently telling my tale when all of a sudden I would choke up and tears would fill my eyes as I tried to describe the fears of death as I took care of my kids. Many of the audience would weep too. I always regained my composure and had the audience laughing as Psycho Syd returned with a smutty joke.
I was stunned when I was invited to give a TED talk at Newcastle College. Someone had recommended me after hearing one of my talks. I was paid for my fuel and put up in a plush hotel for the night with all my meals paid for. Plus they gave me 300 quid.
On the day of the TED talk, I met the other speakers.
They were all professional and highly qualified people. Scientists, TV celebrities, and even more were dressed to the nines. They looked ever so smart. At that point, I regretted agreeing to give this TED Talk. I was a nobody with no qualifications and looked like a scruffy homeless hobo who slept in a cardboard box each night
I sat in the audience and watched the first professionals give their talks then in a blur this clown hit the stage waiting to make a laughing stock out of himself.
The next 15 minutes passed in a haze and before I knew it I was back in my chair. Surprisingly everyone wasn’t laughing at me they were cheering and clapping. After the TED Talks finished many people bought a copy of my book and told me how much they loved my talk. The next day I was contacted by the organisers who told me I had stolen the show. My talk was the best.
I went back home to my lonely life in Blackpool, looking after my kids and doing the housework. I didn’t feel the slightest bit special.
Even now on this tropical island, I may appear a bit full-on and so sure of myself but in reality, I am still that little boy who misses his mam and his baby Alfie.
I am sure most of you hide your feelings of unworthiness, self-loathing, and loneliness behind a big cocky grin just like me.
And don’t worry I am not looking for sympathy or playing the victim. Shit happens to each and every one of us. I just got a bit emotional visiting the past
I’ll be as sound as a pound before too long once again bragging about my wild wild nights with hot wild wild women.
But is that really me? Or am a still the little boy sitting on his mother’s knee as she read him a fairy tale?
Anyway, here is my TED Talk. Enjoy xx
And if you would like a copy of my book then click here