AT just 22 years old, Tom Glover has seen the publication of his very first collection of poems, inspired by his expereince grappling with mental heath issues.
Tom, of Old Town, who has been composing poetry since the age of 15, released Love’s Gutter at a book launch in the Bristol Old Vic on Wednesday.
The young writer was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 15 before being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and hospitalised at 17. Two years later he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Throughout the years of treatment spent attempting to navigate the fine line between ‘normality’ and psychosis, poetry became a lifeline, an outlet to express his conflicting emotions and to explore and come to terms with feelings he struggled to comprehend.
Tom, who was fully discharged from hospital three months ago, never let his condition define him or hold him back from his literary ambitions.
Having crafted more than 450 poems, he approached the Stepping Out Theatre who offered to help him get his work published. Love’s Gutter was officially released on Wednesday by Berforts Group Ltd and is now available on Amazon.
“I was sectioned and lived in hospital for about five and a half years,” he said. “My last admission helped me a lot, I had a great community psychiatric nurse who supported me.
“The first step to getting help is to talk and writing was an outlet, a way to express myself.”
Much of his poetry touches upon his battle with his illness and centres on the themes of love, loss and life.
The talented young man said he hoped his journey would encourage other patients to pursue their passion and not allow themselves to be stifled by labels.
“I always had faith in my writing and strove toward that goal and I’m proud to have had the privilege of being published.
“I don’t think my work would be as emotionally charged if I had not gone through certain events in life. They shaped me.
“If you want to excel in something then you have to go for it and get the help you need when you need it.
“I am not 100 per cent and I will never be but just because someone labels you with a mental health problem, it does not mean that you should sit back, accept it and not go for the things you want to achieve.”
Love’s Gutter by Thomas Glover, Berforts Group Ltd, £7.99, is available on Amazon.