06 March 2024

Taking it step by step to reach your goal

A man standing outdoors with trees in the background. He wears a black and is smiling.
Recovery isn’t just about stopping, it’s also about what comes after stopping. 

Steven, 42, Grantham

Steven's story

Where did it all start?

“At the age of 5 my mum left me and my two brothers to be brought up by my dad with the support of my grandad. Fast forward to senior school, I got in with the wrong crowd of boys and was always getting up to mischief, causing trouble, pinching from the shops. I started drinking around this age.

“I was dead into football. I was rejected to play for a football club when I was a teenager, and I turned to drinking to forget about it. I could've tried it again, but instead, I chose to drink. Before I turned 18 I got an apprenticeship. I remember constantly thinking that the money I earned could be used as ‘beer tokens’ - I could drink as often as I wanted. 

“Around this time I also started going to the local workman's club. I would be out on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the club - drinking again. Eventually, I ended up there every day.

“I had a lot of time off work because of alcohol use. My employer had several talks with me about my drinking. I also owned my own business, but it all dwindled away because I wasn’t showing up and spending all my money on drink."

What support did you seek?

“Deep down I knew I needed help. I’d paid for rehab in the past, but I’d just discharge myself and be back onto drinking again. I needed to try something different. I thought, at my age, if I don’t stop now I’ll never stop. It’ll be a continuous cycle. This was my last chance to save myself. 

“I really wanted to do it. Just coming into WithYou every week to have a chat and do a breathalyser meant a lot to me, because I could challenge myself to get a lower reading each week. Doing the drinks diary alongside this really helped. I’ve never praised myself for anything before. But hearing that my readings were getting lower each week was like hearing ‘Steven you’re doing brilliant’. 

“A lot of the support WithYou gave me was around setting goals and slow reductions. As hard as it was, I stuck to it. They helped me understand how much to reduce safely. My Recovery Worker’s face was always over the moon when I’d give him my weekly diary and update - I was proud as punch. Coming down to WithYou each week, I could see I could get there, bit by bit.” 

What is life like now?

“I think of who I am now and how happy I am compared to before, and it spurs me on. I’m focussed on every day being a new day. I have a laugh, I talk to people. I enjoy life. I thought I had no hope, that my life was going to continue in a cycle of drink until I was dead. But I changed it around. I’m learning how to cook now, I’m making lasagne from scratch. I’m learning how to look after myself, and enjoying being social again.”

Steven, what’s your message to others who may be experiencing challenges?

“You’ve got to want to do it yourself. WithYou are there to guide you through it and help you get through it safely. You might not get there the first time, but you will get there in the end with the right help. 

“You can do it. You’ll be amazed at how much your life changes. When you drink your days fly by and you don’t remember anything. When you stop, you get to enjoy a 24 hour long day! Now I wish there were 48 hours in a day to enjoy. It’s life-changing. I found stopping difficult, but I learned that 99.9% of recovery is wanting it for yourself and keeping it up. Recovery isn’t just about stopping it’s also about what comes after stopping.”

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