Stephen has learned from his relapse

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My name is Stephen and I am an alcoholic/addict. I had 3 years of sobriety but relapsed last year, which I am grateful for because learned a tough lesson that alcoholism is not a game and is a killer illness. I am now back in recovery and back on a 12 step program.

I’m 33 and from Scotland. I got sober at 28 but relapsed at 31. I started drinking at 13 and can still remember it like yesterday. Since that day, my journey started. I believe I was born an alcoholic just waiting to drink, from a shy wee timid lad at school, to someone who rebelled and lived for a Friday to get that wonderful booze in me. I lost all motivation to find work once I left school at 16 and just lived for the weekends. My first proper job was at 21 when I went to the army to just run away from my problems at home.

The army is a massive drinking culture in the UK especially Scottish people and I thought "I’m Scottish, I’m meant to drink!" In the end I failed as a soldier due to alcohol and ended up leaving the army and went to prison 4 times in 1 year for all different offenses. When I was 22, alcohol took everything from me and I couldn’t see it. I lost all my jobs and relationships. I also started taking a lot of amphetamines, cocaine and ecstacy. They were my favorite along with alcohol.

At 28, it brought me to my knees and I wanted to kill myself but my mom had always talked about a place called AA and I decided to give it a go in 2014. I got over 1000 days sober, but took my eye off the ball and lifted a drink again and ended up addicted to cocaine as well as booze. I was in a worse place than ever before and wanted to commit suicide. I couldn’t believe what had happened, all that hard work was wasted.

I believe the power of my mums prayers saved me and a miracle happened again. This time around since 22nd September 2017 I have been alcohol and drug free and have goals and dreams. I started doing barbering when I got sober last time but lost all my jobs due to not turning up. Now the passion I feel for it is immense and I do believe being a barber and God has saved my life. I learn more and more about myself each day.

What I learned the most is a bad day in recovery is not worth a drink or a line or pill. I am so grateful for the fellowship of AA and 12 step program and the people who support me and now I have recovery rockstars in my team. Also, life is getting good again!

I’m actually grateful for my relapse as it taught me a tough lesson about who I am as a person if I don’t listen to wonderful people in meetings.

Glad to be here and I’m glad to be sober!