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Steve's Story

Steve's Story

I’m 63 and have just celebrated 12 months sober. This is the only time I’ve been sober and living without drink since I was first taken into a pub when I was about 11 years old. This was with my dad, and it was the ‘norm’ to go into the pub after dad finished work more or less every night.

I started working when I was 15. The drinking continued every night after work, but I didn’t think it was ever problematic, I was just being sociable! I moved on to a better paid job working as a steel erector/roofer. The drinking increased with more income but again I thought I am in control.

I went into the army in 1969 and this is when the drinking became out of control. I saw things that will haunt me for the rest of my life, and I was probably suffering post traumatic shock when I returned to Cheshire although this was never recognised then.

The drinking became worse. I was married and that failed. I went back as a roofer/steel erector and it is only by the grace of God that I managed to stay alive as I was so drunk when I went to work it’s a wonder I didn’t injure myself let alone others. In the end I was told not to come to work. I was considered too risky, and this is when my life took a spiral downwards. With no income I became homeless and ended up sleeping under bridges or with anyone who would have me for a few nights.

I recognised I needed help and did attend AA but I was an angry drunk. I would swear and shout and shake my fist, and generally disrupt the meetings. I became the man no one wanted to know. I did find a flat but I used to lock myself away, drinking all day, and generally shunning the world. I used to line my bottles up, fall asleep and then drink from the moment I woke up. One day I woke up and I was shaking so much I could hardly reach my bottle. I tried to make a cup of tea but I couldn’t hold the cup. I needed help.

It was then I contacted the alcohol team and my worker came out and after checking this time I really wanted it I began a home detox. This was followed by a short spell in a rehab unit before finally moving to the Adullam project.

My life is completely different now. I am content. I have a circle of friends who I have known all my life, back in my life. I volunteer at the local church and recently cleaned the windows which haven’t been cleaned for 20 years. The sunbeams shine through them and this makes me feel good. I have a partner Sarah, we enjoy shopping and getting together with our friends. I enjoy life without alcohol and I enjoy the simple things in life.

I am soon to become a senior peer mentor at the project and I am looking forward to helping people on their recovery journey and hope I can show them that even with a lifetime of addiction it is never too late to start living again.