I’m a 40 something Nurse and Midwife for the past 29 years. I do not come from a family that drank and indeed, I didn’t drink at all until I was in my mid 20’s, yet here I was, at the start of May ’18 finally accepting I needed some serious professional help for what I now accept to be alcoholism.
There have been some significant life events and a progression in depressive illness over the years but not any greater or less than happens to lots of other people who do not develop alcoholism, but I did become alcoholic. I now, with the knowledge gained at Steps Together, understand that it is a progressive disease and that I needed to gain tools to manage it.
For over a decade my drinking had increased at an almost imperceptible rate and at times over the early years I had recognised it was an issue and even managed to have weeks or months where I abstained completely but did so only by sheer willpower but still had an underlying obsession and really knew I would drink again. With each restart into drinking I drank more and more. As a result, my mental health and physical health were declining. My mental health in particular. Anxiety and Panic attacks were so severe and frequent suicidal ideations that despite good psychiatric, psychological & family support, I descended into isolation and found myself drinking against my better judgement and regardless of self will I could not stop this time. Ultimately, I was drinking 6 to 10 bottles of wine in a 24-hour period for oblivion and with no real desire to live. I was completely powerless over alcohol and what it was doing to me! I really had no life. I was just existing. My family had often pleaded with me to get help, but I went from believing I could fix myself to genuinely not caring about getting help.
I will be forever grateful for whatever ‘epiphany’ I had in May that brought me to ask my sister for help and she spoke to Darren in Steps Together. From that day until my turning up at Steps Together on 18th May’18, I was met with warm understanding and support on every phone conversation and met with dignity and empathy by the staff that day. I can hardly describe how good it felt to finally feel understood and to be in the ‘right place at the right time’ (for want of a better way of describing it) The accommodation allowed privacy and comfort surrounded by someone to speak to 24/7. I was quickly inducted into a 28 day programme (with the option of extending my stay if required) aiming toward recovery. This involved group and 1:1 sessions with qualified staff and psychotherapists, tailored to my individual needs, gym sessions 3 times a week if desired, other complementary therapies, plentiful meals and transport to AA or appropriate meetings. I dreaded the idea of group sessions but in retrospect recognise how beneficial they were to sit with like minded people and realise I was not alone in my hell!
7 months later I am enjoying a very much more simple life beyond my wildest expectations. It isn’t always been easy as life goes on but I am in no doubt that I have been equipped with the tools required if I continue to consistently and rigorously follow this programme of recovery that I have been shown. I continue to feel the support of Steps together and the After Care offered including occasional pastoral phone contact from a staff member to hear how I am getting on. I am not exaggerating when I say it has been the toughest and absolute best experience of my life and has quite simply given me LIFE and a future I no longer fear.
“Steps Together in Nottingham, well what can I say, at my lowest ebb on a Sunday, one phone call and luckily enough I was in the treatment centre the following Monday afternoon. Full detox, 28 days rehab. From the first shaky week I had access to medical staff day or night (who listened and cared about you as a person first, patient second) this was important for me and allowed me to open up for the first time in 38 years. The centre has recently opened and so was still evolving but based on client feedback and best practice when I left, it was somewhere I genuinely was sad to leave, that was October 2017 and I am still sober since. I can honestly say I could speak to the owner frankly and Darren listened (not may rehabs can say this). The negatives or so I thought at the time were the gym and pool being off site and certain treatments were extra cost (although well worth the money Hannah is excellent) the off site gym and pool were actually turned into a positive as under chaperone it gave you the element of real life whilst still the safety of the centre to return to, which I found made the transition from rehab bubble to real life easier, if you want to get well in a safe environment with not just staff who turn up, but care about you this is the place for you.”
Client: Liverpool Male 38, Cocaine and Alcohol Addiction
“Time today for me to say goodbye at last.
I can’t believe 28 days can go by so fast.
On day one all I wanted was to pack up and go
But something deep inside of me said no.
Days two and five were so hard with shakes like I had never
Shivers and sweats hit me too and on top of that I could
From day six I was able to join in with the group.
This changed everything because I got involved with the banter and the talk.
From that day to this I’ve learnt so much on how to live my
life and control the addict.
Something that just a few months ago I would never have
dared to predict.
The staff and the group have helped turn my life around.
And knowing you did this for me, I hope each and everyone
of you feel proud.
So, thank you all, you helped me get through.
I just know in my heart of heart I wouldn’t have made it
“I walked in a scared, broken person and walked out confident with tools and coping mechanisms in place ready to begin a new chapter in my life. I remember through a haze arriving, terrified and scared and was met by Darren who was kind and supportive, he said these will be the best and fastest ten days of your life. I wasn’t convinced but he was right.
From the moment I arrived the wonderful staff were kind, supportive and most of all non-judgemental which was a theme that helped me through my journey. My room was more than comfortable it was “luxury” and I had only opted for the basic own room option. Deb the housekeeper kept it spotless throughout my stay and couldn’t do enough for me.
The nurses and therapists did amazing work with us both on a one to one basis and group therapy and gave us tools each day to cope. I wasn’t able to wear make up for at least five days as the tears kept pouring out of me, and that’s fine I was told as it is cleansing your soul. I also learnt about mindfulness and meditation as I was addicted to sleeping tablets, I now sleep through the night and wake with positive thoughts. I thought that baloney was for tree huggers and happy-clappy people but it worked for me.
Nobody judges you and all the amazing staff just want to help and support you. The food is all homemade, nutritious and delicious.The chefs are very friendly and accommodating. I made some wonderful friends, who I know will be lifelong friends, as we started our journey of recovery together. We shared stories, tears but most of all we laughed together and had fun. We text every day. It’s a full-on programme but if you embrace, participate and most importantly be honest you will walk out the confident person that I did.
Thank you Darren, Lisa and all the wonderful people who work at Steps Together for making my stay enjoyable and giving me the confidence to face life sober.”
Client: M G
“Coming into rehab has been the scariest and uncertain thing I have ever done. What would the place/routine be like, would I fit in, what would the other residents be like, my imagination went mad. Bank House turned out to be a very pleasant environment. I was greeted by smiley staff to show me around and talk me through an induction but just as poignant was how lovely and welcoming the other residents here were from the start, that made me feel much more at ease. The routine for groups/presentations is well structured to keep the mind active all day and spending time in the lounge with peers chatting about both issues and everyday things is therapeutic in itself. Care staff and therapists are very approachable as regards to personal issues and suggestions for group therapy etc.
Recreational activities such as walks, gym, swimming and bowling are encouraged, getting out for fresh air and exercise is always a benefit.
After 28 days in rehab I have acknowledged that I am powerless towards alcohol but I have learned tools to deal with temptations/cravings, I have worked hard to build up self-worth using other’s experiences and take in what we have discussed together and in 1-1 sessions. The rooms are always kept clean and tidy and the food is tasty and substantial. I will be leaving Bank House with a new strength and a confident attitude towards staying sober! Long may it last.
P.S oh and making snow angels and pelting snowballs is therapy”
Client: Gill G
“I really would like to thank all the great staff, Tony, Nicky, Dan and Liam have been angels and all the rest!! I never thought I would be able to achieve what I have in a month. Steps Together really has changed my life and I feel confident and optimistic about my future. I’ve left the past in the past and am looking forward to a clear and sober future.
I really do feel like I can hold my head up high and deal with whatever the future holds. So, thank you all. Will always be in my thoughts”
Client: Mike X
“firstly can I say a big thankyou to all the staff at Steps Together without your caring attitude and professionalism id still be in a bad way I’ve been on some kind of substance for over 20 years nothing i tried worked, Steps Together stripped me down got me off my addiction they built me up and showed me the way to cope in the real world without the use of drink or drugs a massive thankyou to the big boss Darren although he’s the owner he’s very hands on he DOES care about each and every person and hes a man I have great respect and trust for .
Thank you so much for giving me a chance of a new life “Client: M
“Admitted myself for a 2-week stay (Wish I was staying longer) for detox/rehab. Only leaving due to family, but ready as I have learnt so much about myself. However, I would have no qualms about coming back for further rehabilitation once finances/family sorted if I felt the need to.
All the staff seem happy to go to great lengths to ensure a safe, caring environment, showing empathy to each individual. Nothing is too much trouble. I have been treated with respect and dignity. Having spent the majority of my career striving to promote quality of care, working in a team, alone and managing teams, I found the staff here seem to work the same ethos.
I can only express my gratitude by taking on board what I have learned and felt, forward into my recovery, taking a day at a time.”
Client: J A