Mary’s Blog

Alcohol had always been my friend. Ever since the age of 15 when I discovered it was there in good times and bad.

In latter years, I associated it with relaxation, enjoying myself with friends, there at the end of the working day.

It became a problem when I was made redundant during the time of my menopause.  I had been confident I would sail through the time of the menopause and just “get on with it”. No. I had an horrendous time made worse by the redundancy and lack of self-esteem.  I turned to alcohol more and more to cope. This, of course, exacerbated the problem but it became the only way for me to manage my feelings.

I tried various methods of help, mostly to appease my husband who was increasingly concerned about my over use of alcohol and the resultant bizarre behaviour.  None of the methods I tried (only drinking at weekends, one glass per evening, not drinking in the day, counselling, AA) worked for me.

The rows with my husband increased.  Nights spent in the spare room became more common. It became a pattern.  He forgave me, we settled down for a while, the drinking increased again, so did the rows.

After one particularly awful row, and the real threat of the marriage breaking down, I decided that something had to be done.

I had seen an article about Harrogate Sanctuary some time before.  Convinced I would be able to get myself back on the straight and narrow by myself, I ignored it.  However, that morning I remembered it and decided now was the time.

When I met Sarah I immediately felt at ease.  Her warm, down to earth approach, without judgement felt exactly what I needed.  I felt I had indeed arrived at a sanctuary.

I took the six-week program and of course, it wasn’t easy but with Sarah there 16/7 it gave me the confidence to keep going.  She reassured me when I felt I was failing, didn’t judge when there was a slip up, and remained steadfast in her support.

Sarah has a wealth of knowledge and experience that helped me through the course.

I can’t thank Sarah enough for her unfailing support.  She has helped me to turn my life around.



Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.