Recovering from alcohol addiction
I was adopted at the age of 18 months to 2 sisters. My birth Mother had desperately tried to keep me but her strict Catholic parents resisted. She moved to London and tried to raise me on her own, this, unfortunately, didn’t work out and she finally gave me up for adoption. Who I was and where my family were, played on my mind.
My childhood was mostly happy, I was very loved and well cared for, I knew we didn’t have much money, but I never went without. In my teenage years, I became withdrawn and difficult at home. I always felt that I was raised differently from my peers, no father figure, and 2 elderly mothers. I spent most of my life desperately trying to fit in.
Alcohol addiction was not an issue at home. I was raised C of E and, although my Uncles drank socially, my Aunts only ever drank tea, constantly!
My mother died suddenly when I was 16, I was just about to start College so my Uncle moved in to support me financially. After finishing my studies I immediately moved out. I found a great job in the city and had wonderful friends. It was the yuppie years and I was constantly in a wine bar (encouraged by our MD). I had wonderful years of working hard, partying, and having fun. I was always the one who stayed as long as I could and was the “life and soul of the party”. That was outwardly…inwardly, I was that shy girl still trying to fit in.
I just kept repeating “I’m fine” until I collapsed and was finally admitted into hospital and entered into recovery.
My alcohol consumption increased 6 years ago, and I soon became dependent. My life was challenging with a stressful job and difficulties in my personal life. I was incredibly anxious and depressed. I was trying to “hold it together” but eventually lost my job and my world spiraled quickly out of my control. I drank continuously every day. My friends tried to help, and I just kept repeating “I’m fine” until I collapsed and was finally admitted into hospital and entered into recovery.
I remained in the hospital for 2 months in recovery from alcohol addiction. I don’t really remember the first few weeks; I was told that I would never be able to drink again by the Doctors. I remember asking my favourite nurse ”will I be able to have a glass of prosecco at Christmas?”. No was the answer.
Within a few months, my life started to change, I was clear-headed, I was excited about every new day.
I returned home after 2 months. I can’t tell you how happy I was. I had to learn to walk again but with grit and determination, I pushed myself mentally and physically every day. Within weeks, my husband was taking me to Change, Grow, Live to help me recover mentally and to give me the tools to cope without alcohol in my life.
Within a few months, my life started to change, I was clear-headed, I was excited about every new day. I found I had so much more energy and began to value the second chance I had been given. My friends kept asking “did they give you any drugs in hospital?” “No” I replied, “I am just appreciating the sober me”.
Exercise was my new “go-to” place. On my own or with friends, I got out every day and walked and built up my strength. I started Recovery College and spent time on eye-opening courses such as “The Tree of Life” and “Every Step Counts” which I thought was about giving up drinking but was actually a “running group to promote running for mental health”. They did look at me strangely when I turned up in a poncho running on a cricket field but guess what…I got into running! I was like a sponge wanting to learn everything.
My good friend had started volunteering with Kennedy Street CiO in Brighton and asked me to “take a look at the website and see what you think”. After talking to Clare Kennedy, I wanted to sign up immediately. What an incredible inspiration they both are. Shortly after, I was on-board as part of the fundraising team and helped raise £6,300 for the charity by…wait for it….running! 3 x 5km throughout August last year! I continue to be driven by the work that they do to help people in recovery. They have been through it themselves so know first-hand what you are going through. I still continue to help with projects and have tapped into skills I didn’t know existed! My mission this year is to help others…that is my passion and where my heart lies.
Finally, if you are reading this story and think to yourself “that’s me”..please get some help. Reach out, talk, admit you need help and trust me, you will get it. I have learned a big lesson from my journey and what I take away is HOPE. It exists for everyone.
If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol addiction then please feel free to get in contact