Today’s Star columnist: A Sheffield grandmother

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Booze battled back but I won

“So on the surface things were looking up without the drink. My daughter was really proud of me for packing in alcohol, I was seeing my grandchildren again and I was back at college doing a psychology course. To the outside, I was cured!

But here’s the thing; I was lonely and increasingly isolating myself. I had always been the life and soul of the party, with a big social life. All my friends were drinkers. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore and was scared that if I went out socially I would be back on the bottle. My evenings were spent lying in my room, looking at the ceiling, with all these emotions going round in my head. The old feelings I had been masking through the booze started to flood back. My head was telling me to just go to the pub and make it all better. But my heart knew that I’d be back to square one and had so much to lose. My old social circle was on hand to try and get me to drink, but I managed to stay strong and didn’t let the temptation take hold.

In my 30’s I had been diagnosed with bio-polar and it was at this point that I thought it would be a brilliant idea to stop taking my medication. I know this sounds like a ridiculous idea, but at the time it made sense as I felt out of control and was just sick of continuously taking tablets. If I was going to be free of everything mind altering then that included my antidepressants, right? Surpise, surpise, this didn’t go as planned and after all I had worked for, I realised I wasn’t even coping when I saw the grandchildren. I was pretty suicidal at this point and was really, really down. I hadn’t got sober to be this miserable! It got so bad that I ended up having a stint in hospital for about 6 weeks.

It wasn’t all bad. Through all this I still managed to keep going to college which had become my life saver. It kept me intellectually stimulated and didn’t allow me to focus on all the negatives. I met some like-minded people in hospital and my relationship with my daughter was steadily increasing. I had a long word with myself and came out of hospital with a determined attitude. I was on new medication and ready to see where life took me next.”

The writer is a volunteer at Sheffield Alcohol Support Service Sheffield Alcohol Support Service The next instalment will appear in the Star in a months’ time.