Margaret’s Story

Margaret’s story was featured in another Mail article in June, along with why for all of my women who tried Alcoholics Anonymous, it just didn’t work. Needless to say the only negative feedback I received from the article was from AA! We live in a modern world, and each of us is entitled to an opinion, mine is based on evidence, and the sooner that we see a change of attitude towards treatment and care with this rampant misuse of alcohol, mainly because intervening is so difficult with the stigma that surrounds asking for help, the better.

I hear daily from women who have sought help, 33% of my clients have been from the health care sector this year, no one is immune from drinking too much, only to find that the care is not only inappropriate but simply not there. I do not have any concrete figures on how much has been spent on smoking cessation clinics, where there is zero stigma attached, but I imagine that the cost has run into millions, and yet there not even a seed of hope among professionals that something similar could be set out for people who drink too much. Why? I have never heard of anyone being killed by another after smoking 20 cigarettes, but plenty who have harmed themselves and others with a bottle of booze or ten on board.

There are more and more women becoming concerned about their nightly tipple of half a bottle or more, as a lady named Jane, discussed today on Womans Hour. She was quite clear of her concern, and yet the interviewer asked the question about her particular wine habit, ‘Would you not feel that giving up alcohol is like losing a treasured time?’ It is that kind of language that will always put booze in a place of goodness rather than badness.

All I can hope for is that the women who come to see me, pull together and pioneer a new chapter with attitudes towards alcohol, and the approach those who are behind keeping it a taboo subject.

This is Margaret’s Story which shows whatever age you are, there is always time to change.

Lynne’s Story


I have for whatever reason but primarily my extrovert personality and the usual life events and circumstances – divorced,  lonely,  untimely death of 2 siblings, money concerns, living in London,  coupled with an international successful demanding career, which I love binge drunk and at times been out of control.

In September 2014 with the help of the Harrogate Sanctuary I stopped my 35 year plus drink habit.

I acknowledge that I also had over the years had a hell of a lot of fun with alcohol but those days had gone. It was becoming a serious problem to me and I had been having a lot of internal battles with myself to try and control my intake.

Naturally all these attempts like yo yo dieting failed and I wanted so badly to be in great shape mentally and physically in the years ahead. I had escaped many potential dangerous incidents by the skin of my teeth over the years and my mental health required a major overhaul.

Being a realist and never in denial about my unhealthy habit I sought independently and privately help and personal change through Sarah only confiding in a couple of long term supportive friends

I am grateful I was so lucky to have found the Sanctuary to help me before outside forces gave me no choice but to seek help and that help may not have been appropriate for me

AA even though it is great for millions of people would not have been for me as I consider it an out dated model of treating alcohol problems The labelling- I am an alcoholic, the religious element – even though this is denied and a lifelong commitment to reliving your past in a public arena would have been enough to drive me to drink!!! Sarah’s approach is so subtle and she shows great empathy in a lovely discreet environment, that, along with knowing that even from a distance she is not only supporting me, but offering expert advice, via technology is just stellar.

During the first few weeks of her treatment my feelings were very raw but the magical way that I never craved alcohol amazed me and continues to do so a year later.Things in my life that concern me are now dealt with a much calmer approach and the  night terrors caused by alcohol induced insomnia have gone.

I don’t want to sound arrogant but people including my children and their friends keep saying how well I look and my ex-husband wondered whether I had had any work done!!! (Cheeky so and so)What an added bonus!! My joy at being free of such a destructive way of life I am sure will never leave me along with my eternal gratitude towards Sarah.