Monday, August 12, 2019

Change it: Progress to Success - “When Did You Start to Fall Apart?”

Steph thought she was living the perfect life until she hit a bump in the road which eventually led to her losing her job, her house and most importantly her family. Nearing rock bottom, she decided it was time to take control of her own life and knock down those barriers getting in the way of her happiness...



"When did you start to fall apart?

This is what The Women's Organisation's trainer Mandy asked me during our first day of Change it: Progress to Success… and that’s when my journey back to ME began. 

I am a woman in her late forties, and I can honestly say that I thought I had it all. A nice partner, great kids, a fabulous house and a great job in the health sector, we went on holidays abroad, no money worries and our friends were fun living family people… life was good!

When you run a business, you are not immune to the government’s austerity cuts, especially with my husbands’ contracts being from Merseyside and his business went bust. He started gambling and lost all our saving and cut a long (familiar) story short, we lost everything. 

It was the most stressful time of our lives and I must admit I didn’t handle things well. It started out just a few drinks to help me sleep at night, I kept telling myself it was medicinal and I needed it with what I was going through, because I was still at work in a respected role I told myself that this made it ok. 

Within a few months I was drinking (secretly) a litre bottle of vodka a week hidden in empty bottles of water. And I thought I could handle it, until one day I was picking the kids up from school and I fell in the corridor and their teacher reported me to social services, not allowing me to take them home.

Drink is the acceptable demon we turn to in a crisis and it turned me into an alcoholic within 6 months. I lost my job, we lost our home and my marriage broke down in front of me and I am under social services for neglect, this is the mother who used to take her kids horse-riding for god sake. I moved back in with my mum, began an alcohol program and at times felt lost and broken. What had happened to my life?

Sitting in the Life Rooms I saw a poster for Change it, thinking what have I got to lose and I had only popped in to see what it had to offer… life was in the title and my life had fell apart in fact. On the first day of Change it, I know I was amongst friends… I was with women in the same boat as me.

On the first day I laughed ‘till I cried. The trainer Mandy has a way that takes the pain out of a bad situation and looks at the humour in everything. She said at the beginning of every session “Change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

It’s funny how you go through life believing one thing and suddenly you begin to challenge the very beliefs that was the glue that banded your whole existence together. I was brought up to get married, get a dab house, buy nice things and have the kids do well. I had all of that, but still I wasn’t happy. I realise now when all that fell apart, I was just left with ME and who the hell was I without all of that? Change it opened a doorway that I thought was firmly shut and that was the opportunity to be who I’m meant to be. 

The best thing from the course was learning it was ok to fall apart and putting ME together again was a choice and an opportunity for a chance to be the real you for once. It gave me the courage to challenge my beliefs to explore what really makes me happy, and since the programme I am going back to college to study art.

I have a support worker who helped me get another house, half the size of my old one and I’m so much happier. One of my barriers to changing my life was debt and I found Citizens Advice support from the programme and that has helped me so much in sorting out my money matters. 

We all have some crutch, drink, drugs, eating, shopping which can start off small and it’s so easy to let them destroy us. The strange thing is I thought it destroyed me, but Change it helped me see that it has set me free. 

I don’t drink anymore; the course has helped me see that hiding in a bottle doesn’t make the problem go away. I never knew there was so much free support available in Liverpool. If any woman is reading this and maybe feels lost or unhappy then look at me, I am proof it works. I changed my life for the better. Who would have thought I would have started to paint murals, be divorced and jobless …and be the happiest I’ve ever been? Sometimes you must fall apart …to start again

What are you waiting for?"

If you're looking to get started on building a positive future, we still have 'Change it: Progress to Success' dates available:

The Women's Organisation - 54 St James Street, L1 0AB
4 Week session starting Monday 16th September 2019 (10-3)

Belle Vale Childrens Centre - Hedgefield Rd, Liverpool L25 2RW
8 Week session starting Wednesday 25th September 2019 (12:30-2:30)

Yew Tree Childrens Centre -  Berryford Rd, Liverpool L14 4ED
8 Week session starting Thursday 26th September 2019 (12:30-2:30)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on hello@thewo.org.uk and find out how we can support you.




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