Over the years, some of our clients have allowed us to share their stories and experiences. Some of these stories may ring a bell or inspire you to think more deeply about the effect alcohol is having on your life.
With alcohol, people often put the brakes on at the right moment, but for those who find it difficult, there's always help out there. FASS supports people in making positive changes in their lives, enabling them to put problems behind them.
These stories illustrate some of those difficult but successful journeys. We understand that everybody's life is unique and that no matter how rocky a road we travel, with a little help, we can all get there in the end.
Getting my confidence back
"Every weekend I used to wake up feeling ill and exhausted and I was starting to wonder why I was doing this to myself. One day, I had a terrible hangover yet again and was so sick and depressed that I looked online for advice about alcohol.
"I read a booklet on the FASS website that made me think about the effect alcohol was having on me, especially my mental wellbeing as I felt depressed for a few days after a drinking session.
"I also realised that I was drinking well over the limits and that the quantity of drinks made me a regular ‘binge drinker’.
"Seeing it all in black and white really hit home and I decided that day to give up drinking for a few weeks.
"It was tough to begin with when I was out with my friends and they were drinking - I felt different because I wasn’t having my usual glass of wine or having that initial relaxation that I associated with my first couple of drinks.
"However the great feeling came on a Saturday or Sunday morning when I woke up without a hangover. I was still tired of course, as I had been out ‘till 6 am, but I felt so much better! I was actually able to get stuff done at the weekend instead of lying on the couch all day feeling like death warmed up.
"After a couple of weeks of not drinking, I knew that I couldn’t go back to my old ways of binge drinking. Although I felt empowered about it, I also felt worried that people would view me as being dull or boring.
"Thankfully though, I realised that most people don’t actually notice that I’m not drinking. I also realised that the ‘friends’ who gave me hassle about it weren’t really true friends, as they had no regard for my wellbeing.
"Now I can go out at the weekends and enjoy myself without making myself ill, and it has given me confidence and made me feel more positive about my life. To anyone who is thinking about giving up drinking or cutting down, I say go for it and if you need some extra support, speak to FASS or check out the leaflets on their website."
Light at the end of the tunnel
"I missed my husband of 15 years when he was taken into a home because I was no longer able to look after him when I myself fell ill.
"I was so deeply disturbed by that event as well as my own illness that I turned to alcohol. One night I tried to commit suicide and ended up in hospital. After that I began to get help.
"My GP told me about FASS and arranged an appointment for me.
Counselling helped a great deal.
"I talked to my counsellor about a lot of things. I felt I was being listened to properly for the first time.
"I began to get the help I needed for alcohol and for the other difficulties I was experiencing due to my illness.
"I was now getting the support I needed and felt happier and confident that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
"I felt I was moving in the right direction and began to turn things around with the continued help and support of my counsellor.
"I feel so much better about myself; I really value the support FASS gave me. It gave me back my get up and go.
"I have benefitted from one-to-one counselling which I thoroughly enjoy. I really look forward to it."
How counselling helped me
"I had a stroke 10 years ago. I was struggling to regulate my alcohol consumption and my GP recommended Fife Alcohol Support Service.
"I had been to psychology sessions after my stroke, and had enjoyed talking to someone – later I realised I needed more help because I was drinking too much.
"So I was prepared to give FASS a go.
"It took me a few visits to build up trust and to get to know my counsellor. Focus, support, a bit of a lift, and someone I trusted outside the family – that’s what I got from FASS.
"It was helpful being able to talk openly about anything, in confidence. It gave me an opportunity to explore issues that were affecting me.
"Counselling helped to make me stronger, more focussed and able to try out new experiences. Even though I may not stick at everything, I know I have learned something from trying.
"In general I feel more confident, relaxed, and able to try new things. I still appreciate the support I get from counselling – I am confident I won’t slide back because of the strength I have gained from FASS."
Taking control of my drinking
"I used to think that alcohol was the answer to all my problems. I never bothered to find other ways to cope with stress in my life.
"Gradually my wine consumption rose to alarming levels and I was having more and more difficulty sleeping or coping without it.
"I only drank in the evening, but I knew my children were at risk because I was in such a state after they had gone to bed – anything could have happened.
"I realised I had to do something about it or I would lose everything.
FASS counselling really helped me to face up to my problems and take control of my drinking. I have stopped losing myself in an alcoholic haze and feel much fitter and more positive about the future."
Recovery and a new life
"I have gone through a long battle against alcoholism, which has seen me go down many different roads. I have been to numerous psychiatric wards, a residential rehabilitation centre and have received support from a variety of places.
"All of these have helped in my recovery but it was FASS - and more importantly my counsellor - who guided me back to the life I have today.
"Compared to five years ago when I was physically and mentally at my lowest point, I now have my own flat, business and my two children are a big major part of my life. It is without a doubt that self-determination and support from FASS has got me where I am now."
Help is at hand
"As soon as I contacted FASS, I received courtesy and kindness from the receptionist and she promptly sent me some helpful leaflets. I received a letter with my first appointment and what to expect from it.
"My counsellor was sympathetic, non-judgemental and she put me at ease. Most importantly she was practical and informative and gave me lots of good ideas including writing lists, tasks and getting up and doing something when I get ‘twitchy’.
"Of course I still have days when I am not so good, but I’m proud to say it is now nine weeks since I’ve had a drink. I would like to thank you for all your help. I have kept your phone number just in case – it’s good to know that support is there if I ever need it."