I thought that by drinking Chablis and trendy Gin I was a sophisticated drinker, not a problem drinker, drunk, alcoholic (loud klaxon), delusional or what! Can you imagine the shock when realisation hit that the price tag or quality or alcohol is irrelevant.

I’ve stolen the title ‘Sophisticated Pisshead’ from my rehab days where I met two of my greatest recovery chums and we gave each other nicknames. One was Sophisticated Pisshead, the other Tree Frog (no idea why), and mine Cupcake because I love cake and I am as small as a cupcake, (along with the nickname Tiny Tears during therapy sessions!).

Jokes aside there was nothing sophisticated about my drinking problem, especially when I wasn’t adverse to the odd swig from the bottle of cooking sherry. Utter insanity is what it was, which is why I found myself a resident of an acute psychiatric hospital. Without this though, I’m certain that my road of destruction would had led me to either imprisonment, death or both.

It is where I was diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety; where, after years and years of struggling, I received the understanding, help, care and support I desperately needed to rebuild my life and to give me the tools to try to repair the damage I had caused at home and to my family.

It is where I was helped to believe in myself, build my self esteem and confidence.  I went in feeling a worthless human being who wanted to die.  I came out wanting to live, and for the first time in decades actually liking myself – and I love that.

I am living testimony to the fact that there is life after booze; and a bloody good one if you are willing to work at it. Work that is required daily, some days more than others, but it is worth it. Every day is a good day if you are sober because things are always far far worse when drink is involved.

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