Paul Merson details moment he turned life around by quitting booze

Paul Merson has opened up on the moment he decided to turn his back on booze for good.

The former Arsenal and England midfielder has been candid and honest about his battles with alcohol in the past.

After struggling with issues initially as a player, during which he entered rehab twice, Merson carried on drinking after he had hung up his boots, until he was forced to seek help last year.

Now over a year sober, Merson has pinpointed the moment he knew he had to finally act to counter his demons.

"I'd had enough. I'd had enough of the live I was living," Merson told Sky Sports. "I'd been into treatment twice before. First of all The FA sent me in '93/94 and I had to go, then it was with Walsall. And it was like I was being forced to go, it wasn't me.

"January 16th, last year, I was walking home from the British Legion on a Sunday evening and it was about 11pm, and I thought, 'I've had enough of feeling like this every day of my life'.

"I don't know what it was, it just happened, and I rang up Alcholics Anonymous the next day and since then I haven't had a drink, thank God."

Merson's admission comes in Mental Health Week, which is raising awareness of the different negative struggles people can encounter on a daily basis.

It was whilst filming the first series of documentary Harry Heroes that Merson's fresh addiction problem first became public knowledge again.

On the show Merson broke down in tears as he admitted he also struggled with gambling, as well as alcoholism.

A new series of Harry Heroes is set to air on Monday, with Merson's life now in a very different position.

Reflecting on that time, he added: "It's not a way of living. Feeling like that every single day is not enjoyable.

"My life now compared to 16 months ago, it's chalk and cheese.

"I still have bad days, that's life, lockdown or no lockdown.

"The thing is I can cope with them now, I have the tools to deal with them."

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