Steven was referred to the service days after being discharged from hospital where he had been seriously ill as a consequence of many months of heavy alcohol consumption resulting in malnutrition and blackouts. As a consequence, his life had been chaotic and he was extremely vulnerable to relapse following detox during his admission. He did not have a telephone therefore initial assessment arranged by wellbeing worker at health centre drop-in.
He had survived despite having almost died following a relapse triggered by a bereavement and stated that he wished to be abstinent, remain in recovery and to work on improving his health. Steven recognised this maybe a slow process due to the severe impact of alcohol on his body which has affected his liver leaving him very weak and affecting his mobility.
Steven had maintained a strong and supportive friendship with someone also in recovery with whom he attends AA meetings and he was determined and hopeful to avoid triggers including many old friends if he was to avoid relapse which could prove fatal.
Steven’s SMART goal was to remain alcohol free, he also wished to improve his fitness levels particularly as walking is something he enjoys and is an important tool in his recovery, however, he felt frustrated that for several weeks he quickly tired and felt conscious that he walked differently due to problems with his balance and coordination, however, he agreed to persist working to slowly build up his strength and made a commitment to healthy eating as months of hardly eating at all had led to him being malnourished
Steven felt dismayed at the way he had neglected his home during his relapse and determined to make his flat habitable once more. Coaching encouraged Steven to realise just how close to death he had been and to be able to envisage a positive and happy future life without alcohol.
- Information given and signposting of Pendle Leisure Trust’s free exercise programme available at Steven’s local sports centre.
- Information given on improving diet to increase intake of vitamin C as recommended by GP
- Signposting Step Change which enabled Steven to arrange a payment plan with his energy provider
- Contacted DWP as Steven believed his benefit had stopped, and as he didn’t have a phone he wasn’t able to address this, clarified this wasn’t the case, suggested he contact his bank and he found that his card had expired but due to his illness he had mistakenly discarded much of his mail, he received a new card
- Signposted physiotherapy which Steven began to attend
- Assisted Steven to join an IT course at a local library
- Signposted volunteering which led to Steven now working at a local charity shop where he will gain experience, learn new skills and increase his opportunities for social contact.
Steven attended every meeting with LWS. He continued to build up his strength gradually through walking and then began to attend a gym which he enjoyed as it enabled him to focus on building his physical strength and gave him a sense of achievement along with structure to his daily routine.
Regular visits to his GP gave reassurance that full recovery is possible and he hopes physiotherapy will assist his coordination in walking. He continued to work hard on remaining abstinent and committed to attending daily AA meetings. He cleared and cleaned his home which was a considerable achievement after months of neglect and has begun to refurnish it and to make it a home which he can be proud of once more.
He has begun to rebuild relationships with family members and hopes the IT course will enable him to use the internet to re-establish a relationship with his son who lives in Australia. He is enjoying working in the Pendleside Hospice charity shop and the positive feedback he has received from customers who knew him prior to his recovery is building his confidence and he hopes others might be inspired by his story.
Although, he has not yet attended any of the art groups he has learned about via LWS he has returned to this activity which he enjoyed in the past and is working on a collage featuring his favourite band The Beatles.
SWEMWBS – 28 = increase 40% / Get The Most Out of Life Tool – 31 = increase 72%
Steven says, “It has really helped me a great deal working with Lancashire Wellbeing Service as it gave me something to focus on and look forward to at a time when I was just out of hospital and although I had gone through detox I could have so easily started to drink again. I’ve lost many former friends to alcohol and when you’re drinking you don’t really care if you live or die. Now I can see just what life has to offer and I’m enjoying it even though I know I can never stop working on my recovery. I hadn’t heard of the Wellbeing Service before and it’s really great that there’s something like this out there for people.”