I’m the later side of 40; I’m a mother; a grandmother and had a good career in the NHS.
I’m also in recovery from an alcohol addiction. I know what people think – ‘addiction is your own stupid fault’, and maybe to some degree it is.
That doesn’t make it any the less real for me or stop it being an issue for significant amounts of people across the UK.
Over the next few months I’m going to tell you a bit about me and my addiction: the highs and the lows (literally) and how I’m trying to put my life back together now that I’m in recovery.
I hope you don’t mind that I’ve decided not to give my name but unfortunately there is still a bit of a stigmaattached to alcoholism. The anonymity isn’t about protecting me, but protecting my children and grandchildren.
So where did it all begin. Well, I’ve always been a drinker, not vast amounts but enjoyed the odd glass or two.
It became a real problem a couple of years ago when I’d just lost my father and split from my partner of 12 years.
My ex was a very controlling man and over the years I had suffered quite serious physical, mental and emotional abuse.
It took its toll and the death of my father gave me the final push to leave the relationship.
My ex pretty much controlled everything I did and would very rarely allow me to drink alcohol. It’s quite ironic then that my way of affirming my new found independence was to develop a problem with alcohol. I had enrolled in college and with my confidence at an all-time low, I started drinking to overcome the fear of meeting new people.
Soon I was drinking 10 pints in the pub and necking a bottle of vodka when I got home.
I started falling behind on my college work and failed the course. I tried hiding the problem from everyone but eventually my daughter gave me an ultimatum – sober up or I wouldn’t get to see the grandchildren!
The next instalment will appear in the Star in a month.
Today a 40-something Sheffielder begins the story of her recovery from alcohol addiction. The writer is a volunteer at Sheffield Alcohol Support Service - www.sheffieldalcoholsupportservice.org.uk