Maggie’s Blog



Until I had undergone therapy with The Sanctuary, Sarah, I really had never been able to talk freely about why I drank so much alcohol, generally wine, and more importantly why it concerned me. Most of my friends seemed to drink at the same levels as me, a bottle of wine a night each was not uncommon for us, and often at the weekends more. Every time I tried to start a conversation about it being too much, there was so much banter and excuses, stellar ones in most cases for doing it, that after the first couple glasses all of the fear and worry that preceded opening yet another bottle diminished, until the next day. Days are busy, and being a full time professional, wife and mother, I didn’t have much time to focus on the ongoing damage, it just got side-lined. The only time that I did allow myself to think it through was usually the middle of the night, waking up from a Pinot slumber and questioning again and again that this wasn’t what I really wanted to be doing at all.

I spent over six months deciding to seek help, so it was a big deal when that day arrived. The first part of this enlightening process was that I was never made to feel judged or put into a category, just treated with a unique view of me, bespoke, zero blanket advice from Sarah, not timed or scripted, free flowing and insightful. In fact it wasn’t like therapy at all, it was thrilling to feel for once, that I really could call the shots and control what had become almost part of my CV, Maggie, Ph.D Physics, Company Director, Employer of 145 people, HDBWT, standing for, Hours Defined By Wine Time.

So what happened, how did it work? It worked because I trusted the treatment, it made sense, there were no hidden notes or patronising questions, and that awful nodding, I have no idea why so many counsellors do that, just a straight forward clean line and plan of play, without the hidden agenda of being made to feel as if I was weak minded or weak willed. Think it was Rosanne Barr who said ‘No one gives you power, you just take it’, and not a truer word could be spoken with alcohol and my relationship up until meeting Sarah. I was never powerless, just flummoxed that there wasn’t a simple solution to this habit. I found it, and it was my solution, not a book, exercise or pathway, just the way I wanted it to be, and it’s worked. Could I explain it to others, probably not, I am not like everyone else, but I am just very glad that I plucked up the courage to do this.

I don’t feel like a new woman, I was there all the time, just got bogged down in a very devious and pretty nasty habit, and if more women could see that this is an illusion for many of us, a relationship of what ifs and maybes, that can never sustain joy and honesty. I do hope to campaign for more information on bottles of alcohol, a list of all the ingredients would be a very good start!! Few of them are pretty and glamorous!

Thank you doesn’t really say it, but actions from me will speak louder now.