Sarah's Story - the journey to recovery from alcoholism
Photo: Women Together volunteer Sarah Page and leader Jenny Frost get a tour of a room at the Talitha Koum rehabilitation centre site in Witnesham from Project Director Ken Donaldson.
Sarah Page (pictured above and right) bravely tells the story of how she overcame her alcohol addiction and how she was led to work for Ipswich based charity Talitha Koum where she now helps other women
Sarah Page describes the gradual daily spiral into alcohol dependancy in an excert from her compelling story, to be serialised in her inspiring personal blog starting this Monday:
"The illness of alcoholism is progressive. It stealthily creeps up – lurking in the wings to get you. It is cunning, baffling and powerful. Oh so very powerful. Like every other alcoholic – I would always have a reason for drinking. It had been a good day, a bad day, I'd been bullied at work, won a contract, lost a contract. Whatever the 'reason' – I would drink myself to oblivion – to blackout – most evenings – and get up and go to work again the next day."
Sarah, who now helps lead a Women's recovery group in the local charity Talitha Koum (TK) says one of the effects of domestic violence means certain types of addiction are more prevalent among women, who can be drawn into addiction because of changes in their home life, particularly among middle class families, giving rise to what she calls “net-curtain drinkers”.
“It’s two years since I was freed from addiction and it’s the main reason why I am involved in this charity,” she said.
“In that time I’ve met people from all walks of life.
“From my perspective, I was a professional woman in a successful job, but then children left home, my lifestyle changed and I was attending lots of corporate functions and social events.
“The illness crept up on me; I had been dependent for some time but I was in denial for a number of years.
“It was not until I reached rock bottom that I realised I had to do something about it.”
Around a third of the women attending Women Together groups have had issues with domestic violence and nearly half have reported additional mental health issues.
The idea behind Talitha Koum (TK), is to help women in the Ipswich area struggling with addiction. With help from the Ipswich Star’s Somebody’s Daughter campaign, the charity was formed and set to work helping women trapped in the same cycle of addiction that had forced those women onto the streets and ultimately into their killer’s path.
Today, as the 10-year anniversary of the Ipswich murders approaches, TK is making a final fundraising push to secure the completion of the rehabilitation centre that was always its foremost ambition.
Unlike other addiction organisations, TK, which takes its name from an Aramaic bible quote, translated as “little girl, get up”, works only with women.
It says this is important to create an environment in which its clients can be relaxed and forthcoming when discussing their problems.
Project director Ken Donaldson (pictured above right) said: “What we want to do is create a different legacy out of the Ipswich murders. One that says this is what happened 10 years ago but look; we as a community have been able to achieve something that’s very positive.
“If we can counteract some of the negativity of that time and make a difference to women’s lives, often helping women like the five who died, who had drug and alcohol addictions, then that’s a really positive step.”
Sarah's Story will be serialed and reprinted by kind permission from Monday in Sarah's personal blog - click here
If you want to talk to someone about this article or the issues it raises please contact Talitha Koum (details below).
If you need more information on the charity, giving or the Women Together program please do contact the TK office:.email email@example.com or telephone 01473 857432 or visit their website at www.talithakoum.org.uk