Kevin's story

Transform showed me that I mattered, that I was important...

Before I came to Transform I was yellow with alcohol. My health had really suffered and I was totally desperate. I couldn’t see a reason to live anymore.

I couldn’t say when my problems with alcohol started. I drank with friends, I drank to socialise but I also drank to cope with stress. I started off as a happy drinker but I ended up a miserable drunk.

I experienced a great deal of loss and bereavement in my life and alcohol helped to numb the pain. I lost contact with my children after a very difficult break up. I’d always lived for my kids, I brought them up on my own for three years and I didn’t know what to do without them. Then my son died at 19 years old; I just wanted to be out of it. Alcohol became my only prop; I even needed a drink to get to work in the morning.

I started off as a happy drinker but I ended up a miserable drunk.

Once you start falling you really fall and I quickly hit rock bottom. The alcohol completely changed me. One day I totally lost the plot and smashed up my partner’s flat when I was drunk. I couldn’t believe what I’d done. I was so shocked and ashamed – I knew at that moment that I had to change.

I made the tough decision to go to detox. It was very hard, I felt vulnerable and the groups left me feeling fragile and exposed. But with time I started to feel better. I wanted to go forward but I needed help to get there, so the centre referred me to Transform’s high-support dry and drug-free shared housing. After only six months of sobriety there was no way I was ready to be on my own. I needed a safe place to kick-start my new life and Transform was definitely the best place I could be.

It was really scary at first. All the emotions I had blocked with alcohol hit me hard. It would have been so easy to have a drink and numb it all again. I was petrified to walk past a pub. But the staff and clients at Transform were there for me. Every time I wanted a drink there was someone there who could talk me through it.

I needed a safe place to kick-start my new life and Transform was definitely the best place I could be.

The staff at Transform made me feel secure for the first time. They weren’t forceful but they really looked after me. Over the years all of my self-worth had disappeared – but they showed me that I mattered, that I was important.

My keyworker has helped me to contact my children again after over 40 years. He helped me to write letters and has supported me emotionally throughout the process. My daughter and I are in touch and I am thrilled to have grandchildren that I hope to meet. I’ve recently met my son for the first time since he was three and I’m over the moon. I would never have achieved this without Transform.

I’ve recently met my son for the first time since he was three and I’m over the moon. I would never have achieved this without Transform.

I’ve moved to my own flat with Transform now and I love having my own space. All of my interests went out of the window when I was drunk. Now I am using my engineering skills to make model helicopters, rockets and anything else that moves! I feel proud of what I have achieved.

Without Transform I would have had no real home to go to and I would have ended up back on the bottle. There’s no way I would have survived without them, they have given me a reason to live again.

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