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Lockdown hobby helps Maidstone man's fight against mental health.


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Nathan Presneill hit "rock bottom" with his mental health but has fought back his struggles with a new found passion for woodwork.

The landscaper from Shepway, Maidstone, openly discussed his battles with anxiety and alcohol addiction and how his lockdown hobby is helping keep his life on track.

Nathan Presneill showing his work
Nathan Presneill showing his work

Mr Presneill said: "Up until the age of 22 I had absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever. I genuinely deeply hated myself."

Lockdown was a time of difficulty for everyone and especially so for Mr Presneill, but it was during this time that he found his calling.

He said: "It gave me something to focus on instead of sitting around and having too much time and too little to do. That's when I would drink or self-harm so it gave something I could devote myself to."

Mr Presneill was also diagnosed with ADHD and autism at age nine. Woodwork became his outlet of expression and allowed himself to be comfortable in his own mind.

He said: "I'm very hypersensitive to people looking at me. I'd have my headphones in and I'd be dancing whilst working; I wouldn't care."

Nathan Presneill showing some of his work.
Nathan Presneill showing some of his work.

"All I was focused on was my work and making sure it was the best thing I could produce."

Nathan now gives his services to Idverde UK, a landscaping company, and though he takes on demand for commissioned pieces, he wishes to keep as a hobby.

He said: "I think true passions you have to be completely uninhibited. You can completely devote yourself to it and throw your passion into it without people having a say."

"I did a Liverpool sign with the Liver bird. I did it as a surprise for my neighbour's birthday. I poured days, weeks of time for £20 because I enjoy doing it."

After a lifetime of struggles Mr Presneill has a firm grasp on his life. He said: " I'm better now and stable now. I don't want to dwell on the past and let it all come back. It use to be everyday was a struggle, but I can't remember the last time I was depressed."

Mr Presneill has since reached out to others that may be suffering with mental health issues. He wishes to be a positive voice for those struggling in silence and wants show a path to those looking for help.

He said: "When it comes to mental health, if you learn something it's not a mistake. What I have done I cannot change that but I can turn it into something positive by talking about it and if they relate to it in some way then its not all for naught."

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