Sarah's Story Part 3 - Hitting Rock bottom!
"At what point did my social drinking tip over into dependent, alcoholic drinking? When did it go so horribly wrong? I really don't know." ... Sarah Page bravely tells how she overcame her alcohol addiction... Sarah works for Ipswich based charity, Talitha Koum where she now helps other women
Just over two years ago she was moving rapidly down a path of self-destruction and almost certain death
I blamed life's events as an excuse for picking up a drink – and like everyone, I've had some difficult times, both in my professional and family life – not least being the tragic loss of my sister Caroline and more recently Brian's mother.
Brian's mother sadly had dementia, and shortly after I retired I helped Brian find Mum residential care when it became apparent that we couldn't look after her at home any more.
So the first couple of years of my retirement were spent visiting Brian's Mum in the care home. Despite her increasing dementia and her inability to communicate, I formed a very special bond with her.
I remember on one visit I took her red dancing shoes in with me. She didn't say anything, but there was just a glimmer of light in her eyes that day. When we lost her at the end of July 2013 I felt her loss more keenly than I had felt anything for a very long while.
Although Brian's Mum was brought up in the Baptist faith, in the 40 years that knew her, I had never known her to go to chapel. When she died, we didn't have anyone in particular who we wanted to take her funeral service.
The funeral parlour said they would find us a Minister, and that was when Brian and I first met David Steere.
David introduced himself to us as a retired Baptist Minister. Although it was only 2:00 in the afternoon, I had already consumed a significant amount of alcohol that day. But, despite my alcoholic fog, I sensed that God had sent David to us, and that somehow meeting him would play a part in our lives – but at that stage I didn't know how.
I think losing Mum released something in me – and I grieved not just for Mum but also, finally, for my sister Caroline who I'd lost 6 years earlier.
After Mum's funeral I continued to drink to blackout daily, using the drink to blot out the hurt, resentment and anger I felt. I was angry at everyone and everything: angry at the world; angry about being bullied; angry at Caroline for leaving us; angry at God ….... and most of all – angry at myself.
What was I searching for in the bottom of that bottle...? What was I hoping to find? What was I running away from?
I didn't like what I saw in the mirror – I didn't like myself or what I had become – but I just couldn't see a way out of the mess I was in. All I could think about was my next drink – thoughts that dominated my every waking moment.
I couldn't imagine an hour, let alone a day, without a drink. I was completely obsessed with alcohol. I could think of nothing but my next drink – and my body craved the alcohol. I couldn't even look after our young grandchildren without a drink.
I planned every day around what I had got to do before I could drink – and it didn't matter whether that first drink was at lunchtime, 5pm or 8pm, once I had had that first drink – the outcome was inevitable.
The scheming, the planning, the hiding, the lying, the deceit. What had I become? My life had become just me – me and my bottle. I had totally lost any identity I had ever had.
Then came my absolute rock bottom at the end of November 2013. My realisation that I couldn't go on like this. I was facing certain death if I carried on drinking. All my empty promises to give up... but I just couldn't.
I got down on my knees and prayed to the God I had turned my back on. I acknowledged that I was no longer in control of the alcohol – the alcohol was totally in control of me. My life had become totally unmanageable. I was powerless over alcohol – completely broken ....... and I cried out for help....
...To be continued next week
Sarah Page works for Ipswich based charity, Talitha Koum (TK) working with others to help women caught in addiction
Sarah's Story is being serialed and reprinted by kind permission every Monday in as her personal blog
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01473 857432 or visit their website at www.talithakoum.org.uk