IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE Waterford man Enda O’Doherty carried a washing machine on his back as he walked from Belfast to his home city of Waterford. Now he has written a book on that experience and much more.
I’m Fine! Thoughts on Life, Addiction, Love and Health is out on Monday and in it, Enda documents his life experiences from growing up in Co. Wicklow, his experience with alcoholism, his walk from Belfast to Waterford and his attempt to climb the 19,000 feet of Mt. Kilimanjaro, with a washing machine on his back
“My simple message with the washing machine was don’t carry something stupid around that could quite literally take your life. Share the load, ask for help.”
Enda says he has seen a difference in people asking for help compared to when he first carried that washing machine back in 2015. “A lot of guys are coming to the realisation that real strength is admitting when you need help… I would have been of the mindset of never showing weakness… but that's not the way to go.”
Enda added an extra chapter to his book at the start of the pandemic and lockdown. “A lot of people were experiencing real mental health stress for the first time… The first few days [of the pandemic] I began to lose sleep, I began to get panicky, I began to revisit how I felt when I gave up alcohol and then it dawned on me that I’d been here before, I knew what this was and I knew how to deal with it."
I’m Fine! Thoughts on Life, Addiction, Love and Health is out now and Enda hopes that it makes an impact on the lives of its readers.
“I want this book to be something that makes a difference in people’s lives… I want it to be a book that has purpose and meaning”.
I’m Fine! Thoughts on Life, Addiction, Love and Health by Enda O’Doherty with Dermot Keyes and with a foreword by Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House is out now.
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Enda O'Doherty talks to Orla on the Sunday Grill his weekend from ten.