This weekend is traditionally the one where the Darkness Into Light Fundraising Events take place across Ireland to raise funds for Pieta House. Sadly in the current climate these events are not able to be held but many clubs are holding #Run4Pieta events to raise funds. Last night as faith would have it a series of events occurred which involved two men, Rhys Holmes Kelly and Colm Kavanagh and our Facebook Page that put the wheels in motion for the following story which we think so many of us can take great solace from and one which may even help someone out there who might be in a bad place right now. It shows how important good people are and how a simple act of kindness one faithful night had such a positive impact on another persons life. The courage to share this story can not be overstated and we hope you are as touched by it as we were.
RHYS HOLMES KELLY – MY STORY
Growing up I was always troubled, I had many traumatizing experiences at a young age. I had severe anger problems and this led to my drinking and smoking habit. As soon as I was old enough I started drinking heavy and smoking weed and that was my favourite escape but after sometime the damage I was doing to myself and others started to haunt me.
I moved to London to start fresh but I fell for the trap once again except this time it was worse. A lot of bad things happened in London, people were even taking advantage of me and I even slept on the streets the odd few nights. My life was a mess and I felt completely out of control till I came across a guy who offered me a line of cocaine.
What I thought was fun was actually what brought me to my knees. I just couldn’t stop and sometimes I felt close to taking my own life during the comedown. I spent thousands on drink, weed and cocaine and all I was doing was filling somebody else’s pocket and driving myself to rock bottom.
That’s when it happened I finally lost the head one night after work and ended up getting arrested. All I remember was leaving the police station and stumbling up the street. When I eventually came around I made it to Kavanagh’s shop where Colm took me in and made me feel safe again. He gladly put my phone on charge and talked about how these things happen too often and that the worse thing about it is that men are too afraid to talk to each other. Colm could see i looked troubled and was worried I was going to top myself.
I really did look rough but instead of judging me he helped me charge my phone and get the right bus and also talked to me and told me things will get better and explained that it’s not the end of the world and as much as I was hurting, somewhere inside something clicked. I got my bus to Wexford where my friend who is now my girlfriend took me in and let me rest for a few days. I then slowly got back on track and I even found the willpower to get clean of everything since 11.55pm New Years Eve 2019.
I’m still going strong today even though it has been a struggle. It’s not easy going through withdrawals and trying to keep up with the pressure of work and the socializing aspect of life but by God it’s well worth it in the long run.
COLM KAVANAGH’S MESSAGE TO RHYS
Morning Rhys!! Seriously, that was wonderful to read last night…..sod the nonsense about meself…….it was your comment underneath that was pure gold! Delighted to hear you’re doing well…..and obviously have the head in a good place……very brave to post something so personal to your good self on such a public forum……..some might argue that the likes of Facebook and other social media sources are not the place for such personal ‘revelations’……others will disagree!!! In truth, it’s each to their own……and you’re obviously more than comfortable in doing so……and I’m very humbled that you’re crediting myself with putting you towards “a better light”! I could disagree with you there……..I did nothing……you’ve done it ALL yourself…..and you obviously wanted to do it…….therein lies where you should be most proud of yourself……you WANTED to get things sorted……such an important first step! And you took it………and fair play to you! Now……..memories of that morning…….yeah, you weren’t in the best of places (headwise!)……and I’m not talking about simply having a hangover……..I could tell you had the appearance of a “troubled” young lad (yiz’re all young to me!!). I recall you had just lost your job and had hit the bottle……..and were heading off to Wexford, where you were going to stay……..with a friend or a girlfriend……….I was afraid you might have done something silly once you got to Wexford, and was going to call a few people I know involved with Wexford Marine Watch………to keep an eye out for you as you got off the bus……to make sure you didn’t head for the bridge, or whatever, to do something stupid……that you wouldn’t be in a position to regret…………you’d be amazed how many poor souls get themselves into such a state and see no future……and head for places like the bridge in Wexford, to end their torment. Wexford Marine Watch is a brillliant voluntary group that patrol that bridge 365 nights per year. However, as we spoke……..even though your head was melted with the drink, and the nonsense around your life at that time……..you were speaking with a degree of clarity…….perhaps needing a little reassurance and support (from a stranger)……fellas don’t talk…….we bottle it all up……women are light years ahead of the fellas…….they’ll talk openly about any topic……..you appeared quite open to talk…….and comfortable in doing so……..so we chatted whilst we waited for that bus…..and your phone to partially charge!!!! You obviously left the shop, heading south, with some reassuring words (I won’t say advice!!!), that gave you something to cling to……..of that I’m glad and delighted…. Thing is, just when you think it can’t get any worse than it is……..when you think you’ve hit rock bottom………..you can actually sink further; particularly with a desire to get sorted……..to seek help if that is the route needed…….or you can also get up off the ground and one step at a time set in place trying to get things back heading in the right direction……..that light at the end of the tunnel being a brighter future rather than an express train comin’ straight at you!!!! As I said last night, be very proud of the choice(s) you made……YOU. Yeah, I might’ve given you a bit of a spur to not beat yourself up, and to get things headed with definition in a proper direction…….but it was YOU who did it. Cap well and truly doffed young man……your news last night made my night! Take care! 😉
As any of you who have stumbled across our Facebook Page will know for the last few weeks we have been posting tributes to the amazing people out there working hard on the frontlines. We dubbed the idea the #Covid-19AllStars and the nominations for these amazing people have been sent in to us by many friends and family who wish to give these heroes a little boost during this difficult time.
Yesterday we posted one such nomination sent in to us that was to recognise the extremely hardworking shop keeper Colm Kavanagh who runs Kavanagh’s Shop in Arklow. Colm’s nomination like so many others showed the unbelievable workload that he and many others have undertaken during this pandemic and within minutes of his #Covid-19AllStars post going live the comments and reactions flew in at a rate of knots and it was easy to see how extremely well liked Colm is by the people of Arklow and the high esteem in which they hold him. The extent of Colm’s positive impact on the people of Arklow began to materialise as we read through the tributes paid to him in the comments and then one comment absolutely stuck us to our seats.
Rhys Holmes Kelly posted a tribute to Colm for an act of such immense kindness that Colm had done for Rhys early one morning when Rhys found himself at his lowest point, an act of kindness that had a hugely positive and life changing impact on a young mans life. Make no mistake, Colm could have easily fobbed off Rhys that morning but he chose to give all he could to help a young man in distress and offered the advice and the help that offered Rhys a chance to pave the amazing path to recovery he has shared with you all above.
To post that message in the public domain took huge courage on Rhys’s behalf and the way he has transformed his life is nothing short of incredible. To say we were blown away by the story is an understatement and if ever there was a story that we can all cling to for hope and belief in the good in each and every one of us, then this is very much it. Rhys and his story is a reminder to each and every one of us who might find ourselves in a situation where we can’t see a way out that there is always a way to get back on the right path, there are amazing people like Colm to guide you and help you along the way and talking to someone is so important.
It’s Rhys’s and our hope that maybe someone out there who might be in a similar situation might read this and it might help them see there is always someone to be there to help them and there is always hope.
Here’s to Rhys and Colm, the world is a better place for having two men like them👏