Feature | Gareth Bowler - Sober Y o u r d e t e r m i n at i o n can conquer your demons IT takes a lot to put the real you out there. R evealing your darkest deeds, thoughts and feelings online for the whole world to see is something else but it’s what one Whitehaven man has done. Kenny Block has shared the story of his determined recovery from drugs use, in the hope that it will inspire others to do likewise. His story is told, on the internet and in social media, in the short film Sober, shot by friend and filmmaker, Gareth Bowler. Although Kenny is the face (and abs) of the film the idea was Gareth’s who, having lost 10 stones, two years ago, wanted to focus on personal projects about people who’d undergone similar transformations. Kenny, who started using drugs when he was 14, said: “You’re looking for an identity and just want to impress and of course, you’re experimental. At first you feel like you’re in a cool little clique but In reality I was paranoid and panicky. “When I got older I got an apprenticeship and was able to get a job but at the weekend I’d get straight back on it. So I was still trapped, for years, maybe seven or eight. I hated it but… I couldn’t stop doing it.” “I suppose I was escaping normality, boredom and the unknown. Especially as a young kid I never applied myself so I was on a downward spiral. You do it to escape initially but then realise you’re not going anywhere in life so you carry on. I’d do it and it would make me feel worse right away, so 32 | The Whitehaven Guide logically I couldn’t even tell you why I was doing it.” “I realised I was doing the same thing every week; going out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday wired; not sleeping, not eating and I’ve always wanted to be into my health and fitness but I couldn’t go out training when I spent the week recovering. I was at breaking point and knew I couldn’t go on like that.” Now clean for three years, and hoping to join the Royal Marines, Kenny said: “Hopefully people can look, relate and speak more openly about it. It’s easy to tell someone what not to do but it doesn’t have results. I’d like to think that seeing positive change sush as mine is more inspirational and hits home a little harder.” Sober is Gareth’s first real film and he’s crammed an incredibly poignant message about the inspiration of change into just four minutes using simple but powerful imagery which included footage from their teenage years.