‘I was using alcohol as a way of coping’

One of our clients from Ilfracombe wants to share his story in the hope it will inspire others to take the first step:

I have been dependent on alcohol for a long time. I was getting Sick of drinking every day, especially with my anxiety and depression. I was using alcohol as a way of coping. But In fact, drinking alcohol was making my anxiety and depression worse, although I would not have said that at the time. I have struggled for years and have attempted to give up drinking about 6 times before, just by trying on my own. But of course, you stop for a few days and then you are back on it, I found myself back in that cycle every day. This time I wanted to make the change and to keep it for life!

I was told about OneSmallStep by a Talkworks practitioner, they said addressing my drinking is the first step to improving my mental health. When I first spoke to my OneSmallStep Health Trainer Katie, I was holding back, but as the sessions went on Katie made it easy for me to become more myself and I opened up to her with the issues that I had.

We discussed the amount I was drinking and why I was drinking, and what I could change. We took it one step at a time and day by day I moved forward. As I opened up Katie was able to reassure me and that gave me confidence to be able to achieve the goals we set. I went from four cans of lager a day down to 2. Then alcohol free!

Before having the Health Trainer from OneSmallStep, I wasn’t able to see a way out from drinking and from the anxiety and depression that I suffer with. I can now see there is a way out from this and that in turn, has taught me there is a way out of other issues. It’s just about moving forward, you can change! I’m just doing it one day at a time.

I’ve gone from drinking about 6 to 9 units of alcohol a day to being alcohol free, 30 days without a drop! This has made a huge difference to my mental health. I’m feeling back to my old self and enjoying my life. I’ve got back into an old hobby of mine too, I’ve picked up my guitar and I’m playing again.

I have broken the chain of doing the same things every day. I was feeding my depression and anxiety with alcohol but that was only making me more depressed and increasing my anxiety. Katie has given me the confidence, encouragement and advice that I need to keep moving forward. I’m enjoying feeling healthier physically and with my mental-health, I am now able to look forward to the future with a clear mind. My advice to anyone would be take it day by day and never give up trying.

I wanted to quit smoking but wasn’t sure how to go about it, I found OneSmallStep on Facebook. Having a stop smoking advisor call me each week to offer support in a really friendly and knowledge way was helpful. In the early days it acted as an extra incentive not to ‘cheat’
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