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2 March 2020, 16:39
The former Sky Sports pundit made a brave admission while speaking to Fearne Cotton for his new podcast, Life Interrupted.
Simon Thomas was at his most vulnerable when he was targeted by twisted trolls – but he believes their hurtful words came from a place of extreme pain.
Incredibly, Simon holds no anger towards the faceless individuals who tried to heap more pain upon him during a very difficult time.
The dad-of-one tragically lost wife Gemma to blood cancer just three days after she was diagnosed in 2017.
Since then he has invited fans on his journey of healing, and how he and son Ethan, 9, have adjusted to life without her.
On the first episode of his new podcast, Life Interrupted, Simon discussed trolls and their true motives with Fearne Cotton, who has also been relentlessly harassed online.
He explained: “I kind of discovered about other people in pain lashing out out of their own pain and it not being something personal, in the months that I was pretty open and honest and raw about what it had felt like to lose Gemma very suddenly.
“For a time I was so affected by what people said, but I began to recognise this isn’t personal, it’s their own pain.”
Fearne agreed, and said that despite being one of the first celebrities to use Twitter, she has struggled with the “very nasty and very dark side” of it, and often has been left feeling “useless and worthless”.
She said: “The only way I can reframe it and deal with it is either to not look. I’ll post but not look.
“Everyone has to remember - and not only on social media, but in life – when someone is giving you s**t, it’s not about you. It’s just not. There is no exception to that.
“If you’ve said something wrong, you’ve made a mistake, you’ve said something someone didn’t believe with, your beliefs are different, you’re just doing your thing. If they feel that much of a reaction to send a nasty reaction, when it’s an attack on your an their personality then they are in pain. Or suffering, or sorrow.
“And it is so much easier to give someone else pain rather than sit with our own. It’s much easier to say ‘this person is a w***er’ and send them a note.”
Mum-of-two Fearne, who has been open about her own mental health struggles, added that she often finds herself slipping in to negative spirals of self-loathing, but has found a simple ritual every day helps combat these damaging feelings.
She said: “I’ve started doing really simple things, writing down this list of affirmations, things you find hard to believe but you know is true.
“It’s powerful. It changes how your brain works and how signals are sent in your brains. Physiologically it causes change on a cellular level. It’s a very powerful thing to do.”
In his new podcast, Life Interrupted, Simon Thomas explores human endurance through the toughest times.In a series of interviews with well-known celebrities and notable people, Simon discovers how crisis and desperation can lead to hope and inspiration for a new and happy life.