Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Change

Think Pieces

By Connor McNamara · January 30, 2024

 Meet The Team – Connor’s Story

I grew up in Birmingham and later moved to North Wales with my family at the age of 12 and often found it hard to fit in, make friends and keep up with schoolwork due to having poor literacy and attention challenges. Due to these challenges school became tough, and I would often find myself in detention until I eventually got expelled from school for a string of behavioural issues. 

After finding a permanent place in a school, I worked hard to achieve 7 GCSEs and left school to attend college, but this jump was a challenging step in my life as yet again I would find myself falling behind on work and later started using cannabis and alcohol. During my college years I was associated with drug dealers and would often have to make drug runs to pay off debts engaging heavily in county lines and grooming.  

I left college at 18 with no qualifications and decided to turn my passion of DJing into a career, in which I excelled. However, after the passing of my father I progressed from using cannabis to harder drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, and amphetamines. I went on to DJ across the UK and did two seasons DJing abroad in some of Greece’s biggest nightclubs, which only heightened my drug use and led me to push my family away, going weeks without contact. 

Later on in life it was time for me to accept some of life’s responsibilities such as purchasing my first home and paying bills, so I acquired a job working full time as a traffic management operative. Although I was no longer DJing full time I would still find myself living the “DJ lifestyle” using excessive amounts of drugs on weekends and struggling to maintain my key responsibilities. My mental health was shattered, and my family would have to pick up the pieces until they had enough.  

In 2020 when the pandemic hit I had enough of my life, I was massively overweight, constantly depressed and my relationships with family and friends had vanished. After a failed suicidal attempt, it was time to take back control. I stopped using drugs, started exercising regularly, built back relationships and focused on personal development.  

When I took back control of my life and met my partner and her two wonderful children, I was keen to explore career options where I could fulfil my true potential. I applied for a job with Intuitive Thinking Skills in early 2022. After reading Peter Bentley’s story and doing vast amounts of research I was inspired to become a part of the team and acquired the job working with Young People across North Wales. Straight away I was inspired by my team manager George and thrived under my new role.  

In my two years with Intuitive I have covered Intuitive Recovery, Skills-Tu Life, Skills Tu-Employment and Specialist Mentoring across Wales and Shropshire. I am now busy launching the Specialist Mentoring Contract across North Wales Schools covering County Lines, Grooming, Critical Thinking, Behavioural Change and Personal Development. 

 I often used challenges and labels to hold me back however now I thrive on challenges and labels are only part of my clothing. The start of behavioural change must start with you! We can be asked, begged and pushed but only we can implement the steps in our personal development.