Simon Thomas shares harrowing alcohol struggle as he downed litre of vodka a day

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Simon Thomas felt "trapped" by his addiction
Simon Thomas felt "trapped" by his addiction

Simon Thomas has bravely opened about his secret struggle with alcoholism, which at one point saw him down a litre of vodka a day.

The former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter, 49, explained that he had always used alcohol as his "social mask" as he found it difficult to cope with TV fame.

However, he revealed that following the tragic death of his wife Gemma Thomas in 2017, he "broke" and his addiction took hold. After the brief moments of "numbing the pain", Simon recalled descending into a "darker, more fear filled place".

At one harrowing point, Simon said that he was "on the precipice of ending it all" as he felt "trapped" by his addiction.

Simon Thomas shares harrowing alcohol struggle as he downed litre of vodka a day rridzziquridttinvSimon Thomas has bravely opened about his secret struggle with alcoholism (Getty Images)

"As friends & family became ever more worried, I was often finding ways to hide my drinking; but of course as intoxication took hold, deception became impossible," he explained in a heartbreaking Instagram post.

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"For months on end every single night was a battle not to drink," he said. "Occasionally I would win; mostly I lost. Before I had even really realised what was happening I would think nothing of sinking a litre of Vodka in an evening, disguised in a Diet Coke can."

Simon Thomas shares harrowing alcohol struggle as he downed litre of vodka a dayHe spoke about his addiction on Instagram (Instagram/Simon Thomas)

Revealing that over the last few years, his battle with the bottle lessened in its intensity, Simon admitted that it had never really gone away.

"That voice in my head was still saying 'go on, you deserve this'," he said. "In social situations where I felt more paranoid than I had ever done before; it became an even bigger mask. It was a destructive cycle that I felt powerless to ever break.

Simon Thomas shares harrowing alcohol struggle as he downed litre of vodka a daySimon's wife Gemma died suddenly in November 2017 (Simon Thomas /Instagram)

"Nearly all of my biggest mistakes & biggest regrets in life had the same common denominator - drink. On more than one occasion it had taken me to the precipice of ending it all; & yet, despite having a beautiful wife, an amazing son & family who loved me I felt trapped. I had tried giving up before but it had always ended it failure. Why? Because in truth I was doing it for others, the worried friends & family; but not really for myself..."

Thankfully, in January 2022, Simon had a chat with his friend who had decided to lead a sober life as "enough was enough" and he was "on the verge of losing everything".

"A year on and I can honestly say it's the best decision I ever made. Instead of being burdensome, it has been wonderfully liberating," he explained.

Simon Thomas shares harrowing alcohol struggle as he downed litre of vodka a daySimon hopes that his decision to speak about his struggle with alcohol will help others (Instagram/Simon Thomas)

"I am not posting this today for likes or pats on the back; but simply to encourage others. Encourage those who are maybe struggling right now & others who have taken this step as well.

"It may not feel like it; but there is always a way out of this; but as I have finally learnt - it has to, & it can only start with you."

Simon's friends and fans flocked to the comments to flood him with support, with sports broadcaster Orla Channaoui writing: "This is so powerful Simon. You’ve done an incredible thing, both in stopping the alcohol and sharing your story. Much love to you."

While Dawn Neesom wrote: "An amazing post. Thank you for sharing."

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*If you're struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch

*Frank offers confidential advice about drugs and addiction (email [email protected], message 82111 or call 0300 123 6600) or the NHS has information about getting help.

Rose Hill

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