(..and not ashamed!)
alcohol was a big part of my life from as early as i can remember, with both my parents being alcoholics.
i was given wine so i’d be quiet and or sleep from 5/6 years old, and i’m not talking about occasionally.. i’m talking about multiple times a week.
my dad sank bottles of cheap whiskey on
a daily basis, and was a physical abusive, meanwhile my mum plowed through boxes of tesco wine, sat in bed demanding i refill go up and downstairs refilling her class for her every 20 minutes or so. she was cruel, emotionally abusive, and treated me like i was created to be her personal waitress.
by the time i was 10/11 i was drinking cans of woodpecker cider every night, and going through a crate a week minimum. as the years went by, and i struggled with life more than ever, i drank more and more, and not only was it enabled by them buying crates for me every shopping trip, but it was encouraged every evening.
i was sad? i drank more. i was tired? i drank more. i was angry? i drank more. life hurt? i drank more.
as much as i’ve spent my whole lifetime trying to be nothing like parents, when you’ve grown up being shown and told that alcohol is how you deal with life issues, it’s very hard to find other coping mechanisms.
so i drank, and i drank like my life depended on it.
i remember being 18 and drinking so much in a couple of hours that i was poorly for over a week. you’d think it would stop me, but i believed it was genuinely the only way to cope with life.
throughout my twenties i binge drank, abused alcohol, drank to breaking point, and made myself very mentally and physically ill in the process.
in november 2012, i was in los angeles. after a heart to heart with my friend christina, i went back to my hotel and spent the entire evening and night considering what i was doing to my life with alcohol, and mused over the idea of sobriety. i didn’t feel ready to commit, but the conversation had stuck with me.
i returned home to the UK later that month, and when i woke up on that first morning back, i knew that sobriety was the only way to better my relationship with myself and the way i cope with life itself.
i made it 200 days sober.
i thought i was “better” and started drinking again, but having never had a healthy relationship with alcohol, a cocktail turned to bottles of wine, bottles of cider, and not being able to be without it.
between 2013 – 2016 i tried numerous times to get sober, but i struggled to fight of my demons, and kept falling back into my addiction.
when tamsyn died suddenly in 2016 it was a sobering experience, but i cared so little about anything, that i sunk back deep into alcohol for familiarity and “comfort”.
i lost myself in it for so long, i lost myself in the grief and cared for nothing else.
but at midnight on january 17th 2018, i had my last drink, and this time i was decided to make my sobriety stick.
you see, january 17th is tamsyn’s birthday, and celebrating her birthday for the second time without her, was a reality check.
she didn’t get the chance to continue her life, yet here i was with a chance to live the best life i could, and i was washing it all down the drain with alcohol..
i realised in that moment, that i had a chance to make something of my life, and not just drink it all away.
the journey these last 23 months, hasn’t been easy. it hasn’t been easy at all.
at 6 months sober i was struggling to stay sober, i was so close to toppling off the recovery train.
i was going out with a friend for some food, when i saw and email off of russell brand. yes, russell brand.
i’m not going to lie, i bawled.
we have a mutual friend, who had put him in touch with me, and i’m still speechless that she connected us – because she knew i was struggling.
we emailed back and forth and made plans.
less than 24hrs later i was waiting in a car park for him, so he could take me to a meeting.
that afternoon was super overwhelming, but it was a day that i will never forget, and a day that changed my mindset towards to my sobriety massively.
i’m so grateful to russell for the time he gave me that day, and the time he’s given me since, i truly don’t believe i would have been able to stay sober at that time if it wasn’t for the wisdom he brought to me.
i’ve carried parts of that day and that wisdom with me every day since.
sobriety is a daily decision for me. it’s an active choice i have to make, every. single. day. and will probably have to continue to make, every. single. day. of. my. life.
i have come so far in the last 23 months, and i am so proud of myself for that.
since i started sharing snippets of my sobriety story on instagram this week in relation to my post series on sobriety over the holidays, that i’ve realised how many people i know are struggling with alcoholism too.
i hope that in sharing my story, this will reach someone who is in the shoes i was in 2 years ago, and i can show them that there is life and freedom in sobriety.
over the next 6 weeks i will be sharing a number of blogs, as well as stories and grid posts on instagram relating to sobriety over the festive period, as well as dry january – so please keep your eyes open for that!
so here is to 701 days sober,
and here is to make it to 2 years very shortly.
here is to freedom,
and here is to reclaiming life.
love and light,