Homeless man who “lost everything” would wash in Asda toilets at “lowest point”
A man who “lost everything” during the pandemic was left to live in his car and wash in an Asda toilet at its lowest point.
Several months after the start of the pandemic, Damon Alexander Cole remained desperate after his life took a turn for the worse.
Within a week, his life descended into utter chaos and his luck saw no signs of improving.
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The 34-year-old from Hawarden, north Wales, lost his home, job and relationship just before his grandparents, who raised him, both fell ill.
Damon told North Wales Live how his grandmother, who has dementia, started having trouble recognizing him and was diagnosed with cancer.
At the time, Damon was living in his car with all of his belongings. He relied on alms from food banks and washed in Asda’s bathroom.
He described this point as the “lowest point” of his life, and after living that way for a month, he admitted to considering suicide.
But Damon gave himself an ultimatum allowing himself six months to get out of his “mess”.
He told himself that if he couldn’t change things then, he would kill himself.
Speaking to North Wales Live, he said: “It was around the same time last year that I became homeless and spent four months living in my car.
“It happened after terrible bad luck, all over the span of six days.
“I broke up with my fiance, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and had a short life expectancy … then my grandfather was rushed to hospital with water on the lungs.
“I was evicted from my house and fired because of the pandemic, I had to relocate my two dogs after five years together… I had no money, I was completely broken.
“I had hit troughs before, but never like this.
“Living in a car, going to food banks for food, washing in Asda toilets, that was my lowest point.
“My grandmother and grandfather were my only family, but my grandmother forgot who I was due to her dementia and would panic when I walked into her home.
“I had friends, but they had families of their own and didn’t want to overwhelm them, so I didn’t tell anyone.”
Damon added, “After a month I started to think about suicide.
“It’s not that I wanted to die, it’s just that I didn’t want to live, not when it was all such a fight. I had never been in a situation that I couldn’t fix.
“As you can imagine, losing everything during confinement and being completely alone, I didn’t know any other way out.
“After a few days of preparation, I decided to make a deal, I was like, ‘I’m going to end this, but only if I first put in six months of effort to try to get myself out of this mess and if in six months it is not better, I will do it and I will get out of it ”.
“Thank goodness I didn’t, I reframed the whole situation with the ‘pretend’ attitude until you get it right.”
“I decided to think of it as a long wild car camp because I knew there were a lot of other people much worse than me.
“I used McDonald’s WiFi overnight to apply for ‘home jobs’ (the irony) and hike during the day to clear my mind.”
Damon began filming his hikes with his videos, garnering interest from various media outlets, which led to major brands sponsoring his content.
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“I fell in love with the outdoors more than ever, hiking literally saved my life,” he added.
Fast forward to today, I have replenished almost all of my savings, my hiker Instagram account is very followed, now I have a very high paying job, my own place, I will be starting a photography business soon and run after my dreams.
“Life is unreal, I have never been so happy or focused, I ran away. I believe the further you descend, the higher you rise.
“Anyone who is having a hard time, please think back, reach out, I’ll be happy to listen / help, I’ve been where you are and I promise you can get a lot better.
“My DMs are open, come take a hike. Hope at least my trip even motivates a person to go out and rethink.
“You got that!”
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