I was a working alcoholic

THREE women revealed about their former lives living as functional alcoholics, and how no one expected anything when they struggled.

Mom Suzi MacDonald, teenager Molly Foges, and urban worker Mel Curtis talk about the misconceptions of alcoholism in the UK, and how this is a particularly sensitive issue for women.

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Suzi MacDonald was anxious for her life
Molly was an alcoholic teenager

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Molly was an alcoholic teenager

Speaking of their individual experiences, the three women open in a documentary for BBC stories about how they didn’t realize how bad their addictions were because they weren’t obvious to the outside world.

“When people say, the word alcoholic, they immediately have a vision of an old man sitting over a park with a paper bag with a tin can in it,” said mother-in-law Suzi.

“I did drink a lot socially. It would take away all my anxiety and I could talk to people more,” she added.

However, Suzi knew she had a problem when she would be popping around to the shops for wine the morning after night out while her friends nursed her hangovers.

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“I used to look at both my kids and think ‘you have to do this for them now.’ I just couldn’t control myself, “said the mother in tears.

Suzi added, “I was a mom with two wonderful kids, and they weren’t enough for me to stop.”

The stepmother tells how she would start drinking vodka as soon as she woke up, and sneaked a little further after breakfast of her young children in front of the school.

Mom said “I’ll wake up in the morning, swing some vodka, just to get up. Go downstairs, make breakfast ‘oh just let me have another drink’.”

Adding: “Get ready to get out of the house, defiantly need more.”

Eytan Alexander, the founder of UK Addiction Treatment, said the alcohol culture in the UK is hard to notice when someone has a problem.

“In the UK we have a drinking culture. It’s normalized in general, so it’s hard to tell who has a problem and who doesn’t,” Eythan said.

He added: “Alcoholism destroys families and relationships. It is the process of having to hide your problems away from your loved ones, your families. Where this is such a painful place to be, you may feel that you cannot continue to live.”

Teenager Molly said that when she started drinking at a young age, she was amazed at how good alcohol felt for her.

I used to look at both my kids and thought ‘you have to do this for them now.’ I just couldn’t control myself ‘

Suzi MacDonald

“A lot of my friends back then were able to drink several drinks and stop and go to bed. I never wanted the party to end,” Molly said.

Adding: “I felt so good when I drank, and I would have this intense craving for more.”

Molly had reached the point where alcohol had an overwhelming hold over her, and she would constantly try to make sure she would get more when she weakened.

“When I got to the point where I would run out, I started to panic, and thought ‘exactly where will I get more?’

Molly said she hit bottom one New Year’s Eve and she didn’t feel the desire to continue living.

“I was walking down the cliff and I really didn’t want to be alive anymore. I just looked at the sea and thought, this is my life, I’m miserable, I’m losing people around me,” she said. .

“When I got to the point where I would run out, I started to panic, and thought ‘exactly where will I get more?’

Molly Foges

“That was several months before I became sober,” Molly added.

Urban worker Mel worked in an environment where there was a very large drinking culture, and she felt that drinking enabled her to be more confident and resigned.

“The whole drinking culture was not only accepted but expected. I’ve always gotten really good jobs. Most alcoholics are very charming people,” Mel said.

Adding: “I would choose alcohol over someone I loved. Alcohol and drugs were more important to me than my marriage.”

Mel didn’t see her “party girl” ways as a problem at first, as she has a good career, however, she knew she had a problem when she started experiencing great efforts to hide her daytime drinking at work.

“I would start work, and I knew that at 10 o’clock there was a shop around the corner that opened, that sold alcohol. So quite often I put a meeting in my diary that would give me a reason to be out. The office while half an hour, ”said Mel.

The 17 signs that you are a functioning alcoholic

Martin Preston of Delamere Rehabilitation Clinic

  1. Frequent drunkenness and smell of alcohol
  2. Loss of control over alcohol use
  3. Hiding alcohol in strange places like their garage, at the office, in bushes or in their car
  4. Drink between work hours or appointments, or drink only enough to keep their alcohol levels filled if they are dependent on alcohol.
  5. Frequent binge drinking after daily responsibilities is taken care of
  6. Justifying their drinking as a way to break free after work, a busy day with the kids or as a reward
  7. Becoming angry, anxious, anxious and unable to sleep if they are unable to drink
  8. Drinking regularly in the morning before spending your day, or at odd hours of the day such as lunch to avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  9. Always drinking at social events and ‘preloading’ before attending a social event
  10. Avoiding social events or activities that do not involve alcohol
  11. Alcohol has become a problem at home, where they either drink excessively alone at home or disappear into a bar or pub immediately after work for hours.
  12. Becoming defensive or inflexible when challenged about their drinking
  13. Denying that they are alcoholics, reasoning that they continue to keep work or lead the children to school on time.
  14. Alternating alcohol and prescription pills so they can work
  15. They may become fickle, spontaneous, angry, or completely change their character while drunk
  16. Hard to remember events that happened while very drunk – experiencing alcohol blackout
  17. Taking a risk, they may well drive to work or drive children to school while still over the limit of the night before or from a morning drink.

These are the common signs seen in people who have a functional alcohol disorder:

Adding: “There was a handicapped toilet and I had my supply kit in a small hiding place there. There was a bottle of vodka, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and perfume all there.”

Mel hit bottom when she lost her job due to alcohol and had to move out of the apartment she loved. It was then that while back living at her mom’s house, Mel tried to take her own life.

“I just wanted to get rid of myself so I didn’t have to go through that shame, to tell people what the problem really is,” she said.

Mel added, “I took a lot of tablets. My friend came to my room and found me unconscious on my bed. The only thing I remember is that I heard my mom screaming.”

Molly and Mel later went to receive therapy and a private clinic. Suzi went to alcoholics anonymously.

I just wanted to get rid of it so I didn’t have to go through that shame, to tell people what the problem really was. “

Mel Curtis

“I had no idea that this year, which I thought was the worst year, would be the best year,” Molly said.

Suzi said, “As I feared, to break that relationship, it became a matter of life and death.”

Mel said, “I just remember waking up, and I was during this weekend flex. It was like a spark was lit inside me, and I realized I wanted to live. I wanted to live free from these chains that had. shook me. “

Eytan Alexander said help is available, and no one should ever feel alone when suffering from addiction.

“It’s about getting out of isolation for the first time and being in a community where you can express what’s really going on for yourself, and deal with those problems,” Eytan said.

He added: “For the alcoholic returning to society, it’s a huge problem because it’s so normalized and legal.”

Mel's alcoholism led her to attempt suicide

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Mel’s alcoholism led her to attempt suicide

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