I loved the buzz I got from alcohol the first time I tasted it age 15. By 16 I would sometimes pop to the local shop and buy a bottle of Pomagne, which I would down immediately. This escalated to drinking heavily every night in pubs and getting myself in some tremendously traumatic situations, still only aged 16/17.
However for the next 30 plus years alcohol was not a problem for me. Don’t get me wrong I have never been able to have just 1 drink, but I drank infrequently. I might have a bottle of Vodka New Years Eve and no more alcohol until Summer. I felt sorry for people who needed a regular drink to escape reality.
Approximately 8 years ago work became stressful and I started to have a bottle of White Wine on a Friday night. I enjoyed it and gradually it became Friday and Saturday night, then Sunday too. About 3.5 years ago my drinking escalated to nightly. At the start of the Pandemic I swapped White Wine for Red, ideally 14.5% volume.
I tried challenges and coaches to help me stop drinking but nothing worked. I had a couple of 10 day spells without Alcohol and one 22 day spell but I would always tell myself just 1 (bottle) would not hurt, I deserved it – and off I would go again.
By the time I heard about Harrogate Sanctuary I had drunk virtually every night for the past 15 months. Over recent months alcohol had dominated my thoughts, it felt like I could only get through the day by looking forward to drinking at night. I had developed reverse tolerance which meant I got more drunk with the same amount of alcohol which I saw as a sign that my liver wasn’t coping. I was convinced I was killing myself and felt deeply ashamed. I was so tired and depressed and I knew I just had to stop drinking but that I needed additional help to do this.
I reached out to Sarah and found her to be responsive, down to earth, relateable and immensely knowledgeable about Alcohol and it’s effects. She was non-judgemental and immediately seemed to understand me and what I needed. Although Sarah offers a CBT approach she was Human and real.
After meeting Sarah for an initial informal Consultation over Zoom I knew I was going to stop drinking. 5 days later I stopped and I haven’t drunk since. The support, understanding and motivation Sarah provided me with over the next 6 weeks, via Zoom and e mail was invaluable – I could not have done it without her.
I feel so much happier, I don’t feel ashamed anymore, I’m living life again. I have learnt stopping drinking is just the start, rebuilding your life is what takes you forward. Sarah helped me with both these things and if you want to stop drinking and rebuild your life I would highly recommend you get in touch with her via Harrogate Sanctuary, as she made the world of difference for me.