Lived Experience stories - February

This month’s Lived Experience Story comes from our co-founder Steve Girling.

I’ve been in recovery now for just over four years and it’s certainly not been a straight line. I started my recovery in Dec 2017 by receiving some great treatment from Breakeven.  I also received CBT counselling from the NHS wellbeing team.

With the support from my wife, I used the first year to try and learn as much as I possibly could! I tried GA and Reiki healing, studied coaching and mindfulness and upcycled old furniture to keep me busy!

Even with all of this, I was still struggling with a lot of pain, especially anxiety, guilt and remorse. 

I knew I was about to go prison and leave behind my wife and children.  If I’m honest, part of me wondered if they would still be there when I came out. I know I wouldn’t have blamed them after what I had put them through.

On 2 Jan 2019, at Norwich Crown Court I was sentenced to 4 years. Prison for me (despite the severe lack of rehabilitation) was a chance to learn. A chance to learn about myself, the good, the bad and the uncomfortable. In prison the only resource you have is the one you don’t want, which is TIME.

You are often left with only your thoughts, which at times is extremely tough. Especially when Proceeds Of Crime was underway and knowing that your family was a day away from being homeless.

It was a time when I found breathwork and meditating. Often laying on my bed and just focusing on my breathing, acknowledging any thoughts and feelings, and then allowing them to pass and reset myself.

On 31 Dec 2020, after serving 2 years I was released from prison and would serve the remainder of my sentence ‘on license’.  

It is great to be back with my supportive family. I am now much more present, both in myself and my family’s life. 

These are some of things that have personally helped me:

– Gratitude Journaling

– Acknowledging and Allowing Emotions

– Challenging Beliefs 

– Breathwork

– Talking

– Listening

– Yoga

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