Alcohol Can Be Terminal

Women and wine time sounds so last year, doesn’t it? Dated and almost twee.

It’s nearly ten years since The Sober Revolution was published, and the near smugness of the way things were then with secret drinking and slogans like W.I.N.O.S Women in Need of Sanity, made women and wine normal and completely acceptable. Times have changed, there is more openness and less stigma, I hope in some part due to books like mine and Lucy Rocca’s, and others that followed. However, during and after the pandemic data shows alcohol related deaths rose. The quippish wine time slogans became very unfunny because the real reason for drinking too much was to try and self-medicate our depression and anxiety, the vicious circle trapped us with that misguided belief. People we drinking to cope, there was no chance of being social with it. Many became very lonely and bored, the one constant with alcohol bought in copious amounts online, is that it is everywhere and available, never lets someone down who is dependent on it.  Supermarkets and couriers did a roaring trade.

Drinking misuse is terminal. Alcoholism is a one-way ticket to certain death, directly or indirectly, via heart and liver disease, obesity, malnutrition, brain damage, a plethora of organ failures and cancer. There virtually no part of us that the toxicity does not makes its mark.

I know all about rock bottom, hit it so heavily, it is no exaggeration that was almost miraculous that I survived. There was no one event which horrified me so much that I had to stop, not obliterated after a good night out and ambulanced to A & E. I was subversive and hidden but had a series of dangerous levels of destruction. I was determined with my screwed mental health to end the nightmare of having to drink to function. I didn’t want to function, I wanted to blank everything out, and death was the ultimate answer to that. Absolute intent.  I didn’t have enough energy to jump off a bridge, but I knew alcohol would kill me if I tried hard enough whilst I languished on the sofa, floor, bed if I could get upstairs or in a bath. Whatever I made public in my book, was only a peephole to what happened to me with the insidious drug that is marketed so very well.

Anyway, it didn’t. I am one of the miniscule numbers who do survive such abuse without any serious permanent damage.

We are living longer, but not living well. Most of us take no notice of slight changes with ageing, until bits of us stop working. When we drink, we use avoidance tactics with the GP, the gateway to referral, and at my age the incidence of underlying health issues, prescription drugs, disabling conditions are common, let alone the mental health problems this crisis riddled world is leading us into. More than ever, we need to be sharp and aware.

Every cigarette packet has the warning that smoking can kill you. Alcohol now surpasses tobacco. Whether you are choosing this as an end destination like I was or pretending it’s fun and makes you well, you, take a moment to remember it’s not a substance you would give to a child, or a dog for that matter. Try to aim for a life that has quality, promise and hope.

You are stronger than you think.

It’s a Family Affair

 

I am sometimes asked with the burgeoning work load we have at the Sanctuary, why there is not more testimonials and upbeat posts about being sober.

The Sanctuary operates in a very different way than those early years of only delivering a short limited Six Week Programme. I cater for other members of the client’s circle, family for the most part, but also close friends who have wanted to help but didn’t know how. Not drinking when you have been almost defined by wine time is key of course, but going forward from that, and learning to live without any kind of substance to numb and dumb out thoughts and feelings is vital too. I have many clients who stay with me for months, years too, and they gain so much from their families being involved. Importantly the families are incredibly relieved to be so open and honest with me about how they feel and to be understood, the frustration, anger, helplessness, inadequacy is searingly painful, and there are very few places where they can express themselves without consequences for either them or the person who is in the grip of this addiction, or perpetual desire to push their limits to the max.

Alcohol fractures and disables any kind of stability, trust, and meaningful memories. It has often been described as a thief, a substance that steals time and health, but completely pillages any kind of structure or happiness within the family unit. There are dozens of agencies, online forums that cater for the individual who is seduced by alcohol and cracking the code of not first buying it, and staying dry, but the services for families and partners is miniscule.

I stay discreet, tailored and very low profile. My clients prefer this, and the outcome from this is that rather than having a scatter gun approach, our very comprehensive programmes are recommended through the network, or tribe as I call them of people who I have helped. My clients see my ongoing therapy as an investment, no, we are not cheap, but we are very, very effective, treating the minds of those effected with a gentle touch and a great compassion and care.

So, I don’t need to advertise or bleat about the successes, some clients from all over the world do occasionally want to show their gratitude, for the sole reason of letting others know how this unique approach may suit others.

 

 

 

THE SOBER EVOLUTION BOOK 2023

It is ten years since I co-wrote The Sober Revolution, a decade of extraordinary events for myself, Harrogate Sanctuary and the big wide world in general.

In 2013 there was such excitement when I was offered a publishing deal for an idea that my co-author, Lucy Rocca and I had struck upon. We were both very familiar with stories about stopping drinking, but the real era of ‘quit lit’ hadn’t really taken off. We wrote the book insanely quickly and had outstanding reviews and publicity.

Since then, my practice has grown exponentially, now a global enterprise, and a very long way from the very local clientele that I had started with way back in 2009. Along with the Sober Revolution, I also gave my permission to our publisher to release a version of my Six Week Programme which was in it’s infancy. It was not meant as a copy, as each programme I provide is tailored to individual clients, but it did offer a helpful method of stopping drinking using tips and journaling daily. 

During the last ten years has seen massive changes. Many books have been written about how to stop drinking, forums and groups have sprung up all over the internet and social media, leading to a real acceptance of being a non-drinker. Especially amongst the younger generation where sober has become the new black.

Stopping drinking, or even harm reduction is wonderful, but there is so much more involved in being truly free from dependence. AA use the expression ‘Dry Drunk’. I certainly was in the category for many years, sober but extremely discontented, which often can lead to unhappy relationships and a poor quality of life. On top of that, whatever your drug of choice was, it still remains a constant in terms of thinking about using it again.

Following the unprecedented COVID epidemic and lockdowns, studies have shown that for many our personalities have changed too. We all need to give and receive much more tenderness, kindness and empathy.

My methods have evolved and become far more flexible and inclusive. It is no longer a question of stopping the habit of imbibing but relearning how to live well and with purpose. To achieve this can take much longer than six weeks, and not just the individual but their families and loved ones as well. 

My new will book explain my professional and personal journey over the last ten years and those of some of my clients who explain how being sober has affected their relationships, friendships, working lives and their own struggles to face the world without any kind of prop.

The chapters will show all the flaws and struggles we have experienced, rather than the pink cloud of euphoria that I sat on all those years ago, giddy with the thought that not picking up was the biggest hurdle, and that would be enough. Often faking a great mood to make it. Since then, battling through empty nesting, losing my husband to a heart attack, and so much more, life has given me many tools to offer clients in times of deep sadness and joy.

Watch the space, and I look forward to welcoming you to The Sober Evolution! 

Assumptions

Others look at us. Not in a judgemental way for the most part, but they assume from our outward appearance who we are, the lifestyles we lead, our self-esteem, confidence levels whether we have got it together.

When I drank, I used to make a huge effort with the way I looked, which was seriously difficult, as most mornings I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. In fact, I spent about 2 years in my late thirties arranging my face to the side, so that my eyes did not stare back at me and show what was really going on. I not only avoided my gaze but everyone else’s. I believed if I made eye contact that they would see the state of my mind, and damaged, toxic soul.

I was a charade. Always glamorous, striding out after 11am at least, as if I was in full control of life. No one except my late husband, ever saw the haggard, hungover, sick woman that would stagger around the kitchen in the early hours looking for the dregs of a bottle, my then thin lifeless hair straggled around my face, the bloodshot eyes lighting up if I found some at the bottom of the bin, then I could crash onto the sofa, bashing my legs as I negotiated the route on tables and the bloody log basket, tripping over one of the dogs, with a fag often lit at the wrong end, that would invariably burn the carpet. I was I thought, clever at rearranging the furniture to hide the holes.

Even when I stopped drinking and was a dry drunk, resentful, bloshy because of the unfairness that I couldn’t be a ‘normal’ drinker, pretending that I didn’t have a problem with anyone else drinking, I still over did it with the look of a typical yummy mummy, the smile hiding the truth.

I assumed that I pulled it off. Perhaps for the most part I did, but deep down I could never show vulnerability or being sick. Thank God since then times have moved on, and coming out as alcoholic or dependent does not send people running for the hills. Still not as acceptable as other conditions or lifestyle choices, but better.

Getting comfortable with the real you who, in my case, was under the influence for over 25 years, is a long sometimes joyous, but very often raw and overwhelming.  I like so many of my clients, experienced trauma as a child, the death of my twin, and up until I was in my 40s did I truly grieve for that loss.

When I drank I wanted everyone to like me. Now I accept that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t try or worse as I know I was, desperate to please. Take me or leave me.

I am in my sixth decade, contented, intuitive, resourceful, and extremely relaxed with how I present myself, whether dressed up or not. Alcohol turns us into parodies of ourselves, harsh but true, and in this world of chaos and uncertainty, being sure of yourself is a huge gift. I have stopped assuming and comparing, I live in my own vintage skin and am happy enough with me. Save a lot of stress and need to escape.

Caroline’s Testimonial

I had been a wine drinker since my early twenties, a story that has been told a zillion times before, my parents motto was always work hard play hard, I did.

The dynamics changed when I started having commitments and responsibilities. Again, not an uncommon story. Marriage, children, mortgage, juggling all for quite some time well, with the input of a bottle of wine a day, quipping as so many of my friends did that it was part of the five a day.

By the time I reached 45, the amounts had doubled. I was forgetful, grumpy, fat and not delivering my full attention to either my family or my work. I climbed the greasy pole but was losing it in a very patchy way. Some days I would perform well, usually at the end of the week, I realised, we lie to everyone else, but we are terrified internally with our behaviour, that those days were a build up to the bingeing that I had started at the weekends.

Then what I dreaded would happen, did. I was caught drink driving on the school run, 8.15am. Everything went pear shaped. My partner stood by me, my children were so embarrassed they barely spoke to me, my employer told me to get help, with the inference, or else.

I went to rehab. It worked in terms of me stopping drinking. When I came out, shaky, fearful, the reality of restarting life was overwhelming. I had been cocooned, now everywhere I looked there was alcohol, and I truly had to white knuckle every single second of the day. I started back at work, paranoid and unable to concentrate fully as I believed that everyone was talking about my fall from grace.

My partner was worried, he watched me like a hawk. The whole atmosphere around me was like living on a knife edge. On June 17th this year I bought a bottle of wine and drank it in the garage at home. Weeping self-pitying with a smattering of defiance I wobbled into the kitchen and realised that I firstly hated the taste, and secondly knew I needed more than being dried out.

Enter Harrogate Sanctuary. Sarah had done some work with my company a few years ago, my arrogance about being able to handle my drinking had stopped me joining the group who had found it very helpful.

When I called, I was not that up my own arse woman I was then. After a brief call, we organised a meeting. That hour was a revelation. Sarah works her programme in a completely different way to what I had experienced in the rehab. The shortest way of describing it is she gets to the root of the problem and doesn’t mess about with peripheries. Very direct, extremely insightful, and so supportive and a real stickler with routines that the programme shows work for women like me. She covers so much more than as she puts it the faulty on/off button, and the result is I spent 10 weeks in her care, am continuing with single sessions weekly as I go forward as a non-drinker, a woman who knows herself, who isn’t frightened of being curious or asking for space and help with a plethora of problems I once thought I could handle alone. My expectations have changed. Sarah makes sure that you keep those low, for most of my life I had set a very high bar, and it was bloody exhausting. She shows you how to accept your flaws, embrace them, and make them work for you as we are unique. Because my fall from grace was so public, local paper, the parents who saw me being breathalysed around the corner from the school gates, even if I wanted to, which I don’t, I can’t hide. That has allowed me to be honest and authentic.

I am healthy, losing the wine belly, and importantly I like myself a lot. I am open about my troubles with misuse, I have never once been castigated for it. I made a HUGE mistake, but I am paying my dues, and grateful that Sarah was there, and still is there for me and many other people and families like mine.

C O’s Testimonial

I was an occasional social drinker with a propensity to binge drink, from my late teens to my mid-40s. I could stop drinking after the second glass of wine but if I chose to have a 3rd glass, there was no off switch. In my md 40s, my drinking behaviour changed. I began to drink regularly at home to wind down from a demanding job involving frequent domestic and international travel. I didn’t drink every night, and when I did drink, it was the exception rather than the rule to drink a full bottle. But I was diagnosed 5 years ago with a medical condition which puts me at higher risk of liver damage if I drink more than a few glasses of wine a week.

I first contacted the Harrogate Sanctuary 5 years ago, but Sarah was booked up and I didn’t want to go on a waiting list. I also wasn’t sure that my drinking was bad enough to warrant the cost of the programme. I tried to stop drinking without help and did manage a couple of lengthy periods of sobriety. They didn’t last and while I did reduce my drinking, it was still too much and I was concerned about why I drank. I didn’t like needing to drink and lying about my drinking and arguing with my husband about it.

More recently, my work stress was exacerbated by Covid lockdowns and concerns for our kids who were working on the frontline. I ended up seeing a psychologist earlier this year who said I had anxiety. I was able to use self-help strategies most of the time to manage situations where previously I would have needed to drink but I was still finding that when things got really bad, those strategies went out the window and I’d go into panic mode and need a drink.

I’m now in my late 50s and I knew that if I didn’t stop drinking, I would be seriously compromising my health.  I felt I’d done as much as I could to deal with this on my own and needed professional help. My psychologist was puritanical about drinking and I couldn’t be honest with her or my GP. None of the local online sobriety groups (I live in New Zealand) resonated with me in the way that Sarah’s blogs and testimonials had. I wasn’t at rock bottom, I had a happy marriage, great job, loving family, supportive friends, so AA didn’t resonate.

I contacted Sarah again.  Her programme was once again booked up but I signed up anyway and in the 6 weeks before the programme started, Sarah had me keep a weekly journal which she responded to, and we had a zoom meeting in the middle of the waiting period, so that there was continuity from when I first contacted her to when the programme started. That support enabled me to remain sober during the waiting period. This felt like a genuine investment in MYSELF, a complete overhaul, which was going to be and is, life enhancing.

Then I started the 6 week programme of daily journals and weekly zoom meetings. It was fantastic. Sarah’s no-nonsense approach worked for me. Unlike the psychologist, who told me she was puritanical about drinking, Sarah wasn’t judgemental, and she was the only person I was ever honest with about my drinking. She gave me tools to change behaviours that didn’t work and was insightful, supportive, and empathetic.

 I have now been sober for 14 weeks. My anxiety has improved dramatically, I sleep well, exercise regularly, am more present for family, friends, and non-work activities. I don’t miss drinking. I don’t even think about it. I feel much happier and content with my lot and no longer feel as though I’m chasing my tail. I realised that my job was no longer bringing me any joy and I was just putting up with the ever increasing stress and workload because the status of that role was important to me. I resigned without having lined anything else up and within a week had secured a less demanding and more highly paid role. I am also actively pursuing other interests to meet needs that I previously tried to meet through my work.

I was confident the programme would work for me because it had worked for lots of women whose experiences of drinking, and drivers for drinking, sounded similar to mine. I was particularly inspired by the women who said the stuff they were drinking to hide from or cope with didn’t magically go away when they got sober, but they were much better able to deal with it sober. That’s certainly been my experience. I feel more empowered and confident to tackle the hard stuff and I’m much more aware and appreciative of everything good in my life. I am so grateful to Sarah.

Relationships. I’m Out The Other Side of Multiple Dependence.

In 2016 I lost my Husband to heart failure. We had been together for 32 years. He loved me and I him, even through my drinking career, he always had my back. Grief lasted a long time, and I kept asking my departed husband for answers, those of us who have lost a partner either through death or divorce, will know what I mean. With practicalities, DIY, concerns about my business, cars, tradespeople, banks, the list went on and on. It is only in the last 12 months I have stopped – completely. The process of grief is long and finding your feet incredibly difficult.

I have realised that what had happened during our relationship is that I had become, dependent, to the point of co dependency. This year I have started to trust my own judgement, learned how to put shelves up, and much more, believe in my own decisions. Since starting the Couples programme, There is no doubt my situation is not unusual, there are many similarities to mine. I am not suggesting that Michael was manipulative, but I was very easily led by him, just as I was with alcohol. My personality had become one of pleasing, caring about what he would want and others, losing my creative side, which is vivid, probably eccentric, but it’s me.

1991 was the start of it. We lost our forever home in the recession of that time, it was more than a house, it was a lifestyle and I was confident, bold and made it everything that I wanted it to be. To lose it was an awful blow to Michael although he wouldn’t show it, for me the insecurity was unbearable, and I became doubtful of everything I thought and couldn’t imagine making a decision alone ever again. My drinking ramped up, adding to the anxiety and low self esteem. By 1995 I had stopped, but was not whole again by any stretch of the imagination.

We rented. Michael always said there was no point nesting in rented property. I went along with him. Any spare money it seemed was spent on his work, his cars, and rightly our sons education. In truth, I wanted to spend on comfy sofas, curtains, decorating, dogs and chickens. I settled for second best. Before I started The Sanctuary studying for my qualifications, I worked all sorts of part time jobs whilst Michael worked away. He was a gypsy really, I should have recognised that, I am a homing pigeon.

I internalised criticism, became defensive, and because of the lifestyle lost assumed that none of my old friends would want to socialise with me. Michael said we had to start again, when actually I should have strived for more independence and control over financial affairs, kept my friends close, and where I saw my life going, rather than everyone else’s.

For the last 5 years of Michaels life I was ostensibly his carer. I had started the Sanctuary, was supporting the family and still not brave enough or I thought, clever enough, to juggle mainstream stuff. I also thought Michael would feel even more useless not having anything to do, I wanted him to keep telling me that everything would be okay, I was doing a good job, HE had to confirm that I was a useful engine.

As of now, I stand alone. I am not looking for a prop, human or otherwise. If I’m not praised every day I don’t care. Alcohol stripped me of my true personality, it made me frightened to be brave and make my own decisions. My marriage might have been long, and this is very hard to admit, for the most part if I had been in the driving seat more often, it could have been much happier, and way more balanced as a partnership. I take the responsibility for that, my drinking most definitely paved the way.

My couples programme does not just come from studying, it comes from experience.

Stop Counting Start Living

The Sanctuary Six Week Programme which I founded nearly ten years ago is unique in many ways. One of these is that after the programme is completed, counting days is not part of living a life without alcohol. If you constantly add up days of sobriety, plainly that shows that you are still thinking about the old bad habit. Most mainstream services and organisations encourage people who were dependent on something to keep counting.

Why?

Once you have stopped drinking or using other drugs, I believe we should start to fill the void it left by replacing it with many new healthy habits, reconnecting with the authentic person you were before this dreadful cycle of not only self harm but the ripple effect it has of harming others. It no longer defines us, we don’t need to keep making reference to it, the constant reminder of the past.

Clients take up new interests, become involved often in quite radical exercise regimes because the flip side of our determination to drink, is that we have an amazing ability to use it for gain and good. We also make new friends, form new relationships with those who were never affected by this illness. Reinvention and a feeling of being liberated is the message.

Of course there is much reflection on how much time we wasted, but in many ways addiction, if you recover, can be a gift. It has shown us how dark and frightening life can be by using, when we stop and the switch is flipped then the effort to be the best we can be is even more exhilarating! We have more time, money and  energy to have a positive life without having to revisit the past on a daily basis.

I have no idea how many days I have been sober, but in my sixth decade am way too busy with life in the present to dwell on life in the past, and making the most of every moment.

Pat’s Testimonial

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.

 

Alcoholism – Are We All in This Together?

Alcoholism is a huge spectrum. Those of us who became late stage, needing a drink to function in the day, are regarded as the true alcoholic. Not a badge to wear with honour perhaps but trust me to drag yourself out of that place is beyond remarkable, and stay here, in the moment, not thinking about drinking, and opening up to so many opportunities that are available to us as extremely resourceful, resilient, and brave people. So, if necessary, I will use that label.

Then there are the regular drinkers, some have an ingrained habit, drinking daily, often habitually at that ridiculous quippish ‘wine time’ or worse ‘me time’, or on some evenings the full-on bingers who often go out with the intention of getting drunk. The big difference between these three categories, us alkies are up for telling our tale, in venues, on social media because very often we have lost everything, and prior to beating it, had zero reason for facing reality. We though, have had a fresh start.

The regulars are a completely different story. They are terrified of being labelled alcoholic, having in their eyes, everything to lose. Family, friends, jobs, respectability, status. No one suspects when someone is living in a lovely house, driving a posh car and shopping at Waitrose that there is a chance of alcoholism. But it IS! This group represents many of my clients. Average age, 47.5 years, professional, well presented and still highly functioning not dragging themselves, yet, through the day with a quick snifter, but most definitely craving the first one at 6 o’clock. Average intake, two bottles of wine a day, 140 units a week.

The Bingers, party animals, are open about getting wrecked on a Saturday night, having a hair of the dog on Sunday. It’s also a Badge of Honour. Keeping up, out drinking, out dancing, living it large. They can drink at least 70 units in one session.

The point I am trying to make is that unless we all come out of the closet with our drinking, there is never going to be any change made with the way this is presented to us on TV, in the shops or online within the workplace with friends and foes.  If we were all in it together, we would be able to state our condition publicly without any consequences just as every other condition, mental illness sexual preference, physical disability, shape, or size because it would mean that we would all get the better of Big Alcohol and governments, who control us with this crap.

When brave women like Dame Deborah told her story about bowel cancer, it opened up a tsunami of others to discuss this once stigmatised embarrassing problem and she propelled people to let all that ‘what will people think’ stuff go, and saved so many lives. There is so much power in numbers.

What is the worst that can happen if you tell? Do you really think that the hypocrites who may indicate that they will report you, and yes I have heard this first hand from clients whose doctors have suggested this, and when they do it is outright hypocrisy, 37% of my clients on average annually are from the medical profession. Similarly with employers, many have plenty of skeletons in their cupboard. It is so unfair, that no matter what your condition these days, you are given a pat on the back for being honest, this is the only bloody taboo that is left, and it is KILLING US! With alcoholism we DO NOT CHOOSE TO DRINK, we are ill and need it to function albeit in a fog.

We are supposed to accept all sorts these days in the workplace and society at large, so why can’t people who hold their hands up and say they have this illness be treated with the same compassion?

I had cancer at one of the worst times in my life, my husband had been diagnosed almost simultaneously with heart failure, but I stayed clean and shall probably be in remission for the rest of my days, but if I contracted the big C again, and died, would anyone ever say I deserved it, no surprise etc? Course they wouldn’t.

Can those of us who have managed to overcome this see that by staying quiet and good about it will only keep exacerbating the problem, as we can see following the pandemic, deaths from alcohol misuse are on the up, we need a massive bomb to go off with this otherwise there will never be an end to it.

If we are all in it together it’s about time we told our stories, not anonymously but in the open, and be extremely proud if we have recovered or if we just want some appropriate care for the third biggest killer in the western world.