Things spiralled out of control for Myles when he was 16 and was moved away from his hometown and the people he grew up with. As a result he built a reputation through violence and turned to drinking and drugs to boost confidence.
“At 17 I was spending my life on one massive bender, I abused drugs and alcohol to the point of blackout where I didn’t even remember the fights I was getting into….After leaving college, the rest of that year was pretty much spent getting convicted and going to court. I was in the papers and known for trouble everywhere, it’s no surprise people got fed up with me.”
Myles started university whilst battling anxiety and depression with substance misuse, resulting in him suffering from psychosis, having hallucinations and feeling more vulnerable than ever. He left university to join rehab and started to get more involved with his local youth group. Through this he was invited to attend UK Youth’s national conference for young people. Whilst at the conference he applied to join UK Youth’s young steering group, UK Youth Voice. Myles was welcomed into UK Youth Voice who never gave up on him and ensured he attended all meetings, even when coming straight from rehab.
“People listened to me at UK Youth Voice meetings. It was nice for people to give their time. I was living a very selfish life and even so, they supported me and they didn’t have too. I discovered an improved and more confident version of myself, without the need for drugs.”
Empowered by experience travelling the country, attending parliamentary events and representing UK Youth nationally, at 20 years old Myles is now Chair of UK Youth Voice and represents young people on UK Youth’s board of trustees. He has gone to every effort to turn his negative experiences into something positive and whilst training to become a specialist counsellor, he volunteers to support the services that helped him.