Many thanks to another Sanctuary client for sharing her story, another truly inspirational lady.
I don’t really remember when I started to worry about my drinking but I know that there has been a nagging concern about it pushed to the back of my mind for at least the last 15 years. This usually reared its head after a big drinking episode rendering me racked with remorse and self – disgust and promising to stop drinking for good!. It never lasted very long before I was opening another bottle of wine !
I always liked drinking even as a teenager and used alcohol as a means of bolstering my fragile self -esteem! It gave me confidence which I lacked and enabled me to do and say things I would never dream of doing without it. Sadly it always resulted in me feeling even more insecure when I remembered what I had done in the cold sober morning after the night before.
About 10 years ago my marriage took a turn for the worse and I started drinking on a more regular basis to help me cope. My wine drinking increased and I got into a spiral of drinking then beating myself up , which I now realise was totally destructive to my sense of worth as a person. I tried giving up for periods of time but as soon as I started drinking again I was back where I started never being able to stop once the wine drinking started.
Three years ago my marriage ended. My husband had been seeing an old flame and I remember my first thought being that I would need wine to get me through what was to follow. I started drinking every day, at least a bottle sometimes more. Sitting alone sobbing with my old friend wine! I told myself that the wine would help me cope with the pain I felt and often woke up on the sofa with a glass of wine beside me. Soon my weight started to move upwards. I hated myself even more and drank more to dull the pain.
I felt trapped and didn’t like either option that I considered. A life without wine would be a miserable existence for me and one with it didn’t seem much better. I started to become worried about my health and there seemed to be a lot of background noise about alcohol and cancer in women. I was very worried but paralysed by a fear of a life without the lovely wine!
In October I read an article about middle age women drinking and it resonated with me. I went onto the website and there was a link to Sarah’s webpage. I opened it and panicked. I didn’t want to admit I had a drinking problem but knew I had. Anyway, after watching my best friend die in December 2104 I decided to take action and called Sarah. It is the best thing I have ever done. I have not touched a drop of alcohol since January and truly feel at peace with myself.
Her help and guidance has enabled me to realise that a great life can be had that doesn’t involve excessive drinking or any drinking at all for that matter. I would never have believed this without her help. As the days and weeks have passed I have regained my self- confidence and sense of humour. Friends have noticed and asked me what has changed. I have been truthful with everyone and most friends have been totally supportive.
My beautiful daughter has told me that she was very worried about my drinking and as a result of this our relationship has returned to how it used to be. This in itself is fantastic. I am calm and can’t stop smiling. I feel like I have a lovely secret that I want to share with everyone and I am looking forward to a life without wine with confidence and excitement.
I used to believe that I was only able to cope with my marriage by drinking. I now know that I would never have allowed myself to be treated so badly if I hadn’t been drinking so much. I like myself and am happy about who I am and excited about the future.
Thanks Sarah, you have helped me save my life and I will be eternally grateful.