Mission Accomplished

I am Rosemary, now a whole, healthy and honest woman. It has taken me over 30 years to be able to say that. There were some good times, and I shall treasure those, but from my late thirties to my now organised and safe fifties, there have been some very dark and frightening times. Wine most certainly was the biggest driver of the majority of them, or at least the way I handled situations, but becoming dependent on it, was an outcome of so much more. Over those years, I did try to stop, initially by going down the obvious routes, then there was advent of online resources, think I joined virtually every website that offered help for women especially to quit booze, but I could never get committed to these, call it sceptism or perhaps age, I liked to see my mentors, or at least have some one to one contact. Eventually I found Harrogate Sanctuary. It took me a great deal of time to pick up the phone, and gather some advice. Along with many others, I had read Sarah’s book, and her journey to being engulfed by alcohol, resonated with me so much. But seeing was believing, she is exactly what it says on the tin. There is no flannel, or claims that once you stop drinking life becomes a bowl of cherries. She tackles the background to the heavy drinking, is never on the clock, and of course her Six Week Programme is unique. From being thoroughly disappointed with various paid services, I joined five in total before HS, all who were completely scripted offering blanket coverage except for changing the name, often trying to get you to sign up to various websites, buy merchandise from linked websites, at last I had found the real deal. Now I am well, I was never told I couldn’t drink, but Sarah was like a brain cleaner, she helped me put my chaotic thinking into order. She gave me tools to cope properly without seeing alcohol as the answer. The Six Week Programme was intense, but in a good way, and I feel that it was my decision to stop, for now, as Sarah says, never say never, it has given me such control and acceptance. If you are looking to make changes, face the fear, you will not be disappointed, Sarah’s method is original, not frills or promises, and would recommend it, and shall be doing, without a moments hesitation.

Menopause & Alcohol

At the Sanctuary we keep many stats referencing our clients. Interestingly or alarmingly, the average age is 47.5 years. The majority of these women are either peri menopausal or are in the midst of this chapter.

All tell me that to cope their drinking has ramped up. There has been a lot of publicity on the subject of menopause recently, women being told that they should fight tooth and nail to get the right medication, and lobbying going to make leave from work obligatory for women who suffer so much.

I have not read or seen discussion or articles on the effects of alcohol in quantity during this change in women’s lives. But there is a huge impact our evidence proves this. Once drinking has stopped, so too do the unmanageable symptoms in general, as do the bouts of depression and anxiety.

There is so much judgement still of women of a ‘certain age’, responsible, possibly mothers using wine to block out many dark times in their lives, which is undoubtedly why all the publicity about this never touches on this correlation. I am the very last person to lay blame, know only too well what a grip this can have of us, but seriously how many times do we have to sweep the consequences of misuse under the carpet with so many serious health conditions before we can start to be completely honest and not stigmatised?

Any kind of prescriptive medication is almost  useless when you are self-medicating often lying to our GPs about intake of alcohol, and the upshot is usually a road to more and more pills and potions often recommended. Zillions of Google searches to find out what has worked for others whilst sipping or glugging on another white wine.

We all listen and praise the celebrities that have come out of the wine cellar and yet in 2023, 10 years since I wrote the bestselling Sober Revolution, my clients are still  very much a prisoner to it, feeling and rightly because of hypocrisy and bigotry they will potentially lose everything. Just saying no has never worked for this legal drug which is everywhere.