On 24th May 2015 I was ready to end everything. I was at the end of a long non-stop downward spiral with booze and men and hit my rock bottom, HARD!! I spent the evening screaming at my parents that they didn’t understand and ran from them straight to the tube where I was going to throw myself in front of a train. Thank God my Puppa is still super active and runs every morning because he chased me down that bloody street and got to me just as I was about to go in to the tube station. When we went home I was about to go to plan B which was overdosing, but my Mumma stopped me this time by taking my face in her hands and making me promise I wouldn’t do it. You can’t break a promise to your parents. If she hadn’t made me promise, I wouldn’t be writing this. I ended up crying myself to sleep and on 25th May 2015 I went to my therapist, threw my hands up and told him to TELL me what to do, not suggest, because I wasn’t prepared to live any longer like I was and had no idea how to get out of it apart from through taking my life. On 25th May 2015 I started on the road to sobriety and I haven’t looked back.
I’m not exactly sure when I had my first drink but it obviously left an impression on me. I remember when I was about 10 and there was some sort of drama going on and I turned to my Mumma and I think one of her friends and said ‘Oh someone get me a gin and tonic and a fag!’ they thought it was sweet and funny, I was being deadly serious.
From about 13/14 onwards I was getting drunk every weekend with friends at school, because we were really cool and rebellious. I was 14 when the depression hit me really hard and that’s when I started drinking to forget. Sometimes I could drink to have fun with my friends but most of the time it was to forget the pain I was in, to become a different person and be the person everyone wanted me to be. I was great fun when I was drunk, I got naked and streaked through parks, I danced like a maniac (sadly that hasn’t changed..!) I could chat up any guy I wanted and had them in the palm of my hand etc etc. However, the hangovers the next day were agony. I swear I used to get them worse than anyone else. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t eat (unless it was a pot noodle or dominoes pizza), but then again as an addict, you always will be worse off than anyone else, because the world revolves around you and everyone else is less than you. I was always SO jealous of everyone who had black outs and couldn’t remember the night before, I ALWAYS remembered what I did and would cringe so bad, I still do cringe at it all!!
By 16 I was sleeping with a bottle of vodka under my pillow at school. In break times I would take my cup of tea up to my room, pour a load of vodka in it then go and speak with my housemistress like nothing had happened. I was a very convincing ‘sober’ too, I could talk sense when I needed to, I could walk in a straight line when I needed to and I could work if I had work to do. I remember laughing at one of my housemistresses in my last year of school when I came back from the pub after only having about a bottle of wine and being only slightly tipsy and being told I was’ too drunk’… I did my best to not turn around and say ‘Love, if you think this is me drunk then bless you!’ After leaving school I worked in a restaurant where the bar staff would pour ‘accidental pints’ so I would be drinking through most of service and then in the pub afterwards. The weekends that summer were carnage, I used to park my car at the bottom of the field at my house in Cornwall as it was being rented out and I was living in a caravan. On Friday nights we used to hit the pub HEAVY and I would end up taking myself off back to my car, throw up in the bonfire next to it, pass out in my car and wake up in someone’s house after they’ve found me and carried me back to warmth and a bed.
Towards the end of 2014 I was drinking heavily most nights and lived next door to a great pub. I would go in almost every night and they’d know exactly which red wine I was having and pretty much have it waiting on the bar for me. I ended up seriously in debt too as I was spending all the money I was earning on drink and having to borrow money from my boyfriend at the time to pay my rent. I realised then that things weren’t going well at all and my depression was at it’s worst it’s ever been and was drinking to forget, to numb and to sleep. I had to have my drink every night after work to ‘relax’ and would make up any excuse to drink. At the beginning of 2015 I decided I needed to stop drinking, mainly because I was going on medication for my depression and it wouldn’t work properly if I drank too much. So I started limiting my drinking and took up the mentality of ‘not allowed to drink’ which obviously sent my inner rebel wild and I ended up relapsing a few times. It was only when I hit my rock bottom weekend at the end of May 2015 that I had to change my mentality to ‘I choose not to drink’ or ‘I don’t want a drink’.
It took me a few attempts at going to AA to finally admit that I was an alcoholic and that I needed help. But I stuck with it and have learnt so much from it in the last year. I have so many people to thank, and they all know who they are but I especially want to thank Jake who sat on the phone to me for 40 minutes whilst I was in a messed up drunken stupor lost somewhere in Soho during my rock bottom and for taking me to my first meetings and for still supporting me today; Matilda for finding me in an alcove in Soho that same night and just being there and talking to me when I was scared and alone; Robert, for telling me what to do and not letting me give up; and Louisa, for kicking me up the arse when I’m playing with fire!! I owe so much to everyone who has been by my side through everything and kept me believing in myself, especially my family who have had to learn a ridiculous amount this last year just to understand me a bit more. I love you all so much and God willing, can’t wait to celebrate many more years sobriety.