“I’ve also got a lot of friends who were with me during the madness and also suffered themselves. I guess by seeing me turn things around in the last few years it’s inspired some of my friends to do the same, whether that’s going sober, seeking therapy, or opening up.
"In the same way my addiction had a downward effect on people, I’m now having a positive effect on those around me, which is a nice part of my journey.”
Seeking help when you’re in a difficult place can be challenging and for Steven, facing up to what he was going through was the toughest part. He admits he spent much of his life trying to escape his issues, but is learning to sit with his feelings, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so:
“I was very impulsive with my decisions, so I would ask my younger self to sit with what I was going through and speak to people about my feelings. If it’s just me and my thoughts it can be dangerous because my head often lies to me, so by processing things and speaking to others, I get the truth. If someone’s going through addiction, depression, or other problems, talk about it, sit with it and often you will make a different decision the next day than you would have in that moment.”
Steven’s got his spark back, proud of the player he’s become and ready for the next chapter in his career. He’s found a new sense of ambition both on and off the pitch, with big plans to speak up and help others who might be struggling:
“Getting back into League football and having the opportunity to earn my way in the team was special for me. In my first game for Alanyaspor we won two-nil to Trabzonspor, which was a really good feat as they’re a tough team. Post career I would love to be involved in football as a coach or manager. I used to feel like football was responsible for my problems but as I worked through them I found my love again for football.