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Overcoming Alcoholism is Possible with the Right Help


There are many reasons people drink alcohol; some drink because they enjoy the taste and do so in moderation, while others drink alcohol to help them cope with the pain and stress of their everyday lives. Drinking to cope with life can be dangerous and could eventually lead to alcoholism. The more a person drinks, the more tolerant he or she will become to the effects of the alcohol and hence be at risk of developing a physical dependence. Once this happens, it can be extremely difficult to quit, even if the affected person wanted to. This is what happened to Margaret McQuade, who drank to cope with an abusive relationship.

Masking the Pain

Margaret is one of many individuals who will turn to alcohol in a bid to block out the pain of everyday life. She admits that her abusive relationship coupled with a difficult childhood led her to turn to alcohol, which almost wrecked her life. She said, “I suffered mental health problems and anxiety, I developed pancreatitis, and had my gallbladder removed. I’m sure it’s had lasting effects on my health, but I tend not to dwell on it.”

Childhood Troubles

Margaret’s childhood was difficult, and she said that alcohol was a significant factor. She said her stepfather drank heavily and he would often come home drunk, which would lead to problems in the home. She said, “He was unemployed, and every time he would come in you could smell it off him, and there would be arguments. My mother and stepdad had a volatile relationship. I lived in fear of what was going to happen next and was frightened about coming home. It affected me as a child and also my schooling.”

She went on to explain, “I had my first taste of alcohol when I was only about five years old. I remember I had a toothache and my stepdad rubbed whisky on it. It was a horrible taste – but he’d give me more and more to dull the pain.”

Lasting Effects

Like many children who grow up in a home where alcoholism is a factor, the effects on Margaret were lasting. After leaving home, she struggled with several difficult relationships and, by the age of eighteen, was already a mum. She acknowledges that she had difficulties trying to raise her son and daughter and a bad relationship left her turning to alcohol. She said, “I’d wait for him returning from the pub, and I’d worry about any violence that was going to happen. The anxiety and fear was pretty immense.”

Despite finally managing to get out of this relationship, she continued to rely on alcohol. She said, “When I was working as a job coach helping people with disabilities, I’d go to the pub on the weekend and drink my wages and then go home and worry about how I was going to survive the following week, and how I was going to look after the kids and make sure there was food in the house.”

She added, “At first I was mainly drinking in the evenings when the kids were in bed – but eventually I was drinking in the day as well. I was drinking as a coping mechanism. I was drinking two three-litre bottles of cider and a bottle of vodka in a day. I tried to take my own life a couple of times. I had such low self-worth and was struggling with everyday life. I would always be in the house drinking. And then I’d wake up ill and vomiting. I really loved my children, but when I look back, they were neglected. The hangovers were terrible. I’d feel so guilty.”

Reaching Out for Help

It took Margaret a while to feel strong enough to reach out for help. She confesses that she was not ready for support for a long time, but was finally referred to charity Addaction Scotland by her local community addiction team.

She says that it took time for her to find the strength to give up alcohol completely, but she has now managed to turn her life around. Margaret said, “It was terrifying. As I became sober, I was having to cope with the reality of how to deal with life. It was also the practicalities of how to manage bills and take control instead of letting things go.”

She is now helping others to overcome their alcoholism, saying, “I’m a stronger person now. The past is in the past. I’m proof there is a way out. There are more than a million dependent drinkers just now in the UK, and I guess some of them won’t know there are services available.”

Beating Alcoholism

Margaret received help from a charity and managed to get her life back on track, and you can too. Here at Addiction.org.uk, we work hard to help those affected by illnesses such as alcoholism and addiction. We work with various charities around the UK as well as the NHS and private clinics. This allows us to always find the right treatment provider for our clients.

If you would like to put alcoholism behind you once and for all, give us a call today for more information on how we can help.

Source: ‘I drank six litres of cider and a bottle of vodka everyday’: Mum opens up about devastating battle with booze (Daily Record)

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