M's Story

Many thanks to M for sharing his experience of addiction to alcohol from young age, mental health difficulties, and the road to recovery through football.  This story is part of the Mind The Gap project.

Football on a field

M’s Story

Age: 31 Male

I started having depression and anxiety when I was 13 or 14. I spent some time in youth rehabilitation services.

Because of family circumstances I picked up the drink from a young age and became addicted to alcohol. It affected my mental health badly.

A doctor diagnosed my mental health issues and gave me Amitriptyline. I was offered CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) but it didn’t work for me. They jumped into my past and childhood which was traumatic like family death and stuff like that. It was too much for me to deal with. So instead, I used more alcohol as therapy.

Because of the alcohol damage on my brain, I have a kind of forgetfulness and dementia. I hardly remember the last 15 years, most of the time I was drunk. For the same reason, I don’t use emails because I forget my passwords and usernames. I am also dyslexic and have difficulty with reading.

Drinking ruined my future career wise but I am happy I finally decided to stop. Now I am in a better place. I have been receiving help from Sheffield Alcohol Services for the past 10 months. It’s been helpful to see other people and get support.

Medication for alcohol really helped me to stop drinking and also involving with Brunsmeer football team (supported by Sheffield Flourish) was really helpful for my mental health. They were there for me even during the pandemic when all other services stopped working. They regularly phoned me and asked how I was which was very helpful.

I am thinking about trying CBT again, but don’t know if it’s the only thing that can help me, maybe this time it will work if they could stop jumping into my past and childhood. I really want to move on.

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