Susan’s Abbeycare Experience

Not just a social drinker

Susan had always been a social drinker, but in a three-year period she found her drinking out of control and her life crumbling around her. She thought all avenues to get help were exhausted but managed to come to Abbeycare for a month-long stay. Susan tells us what happened and how she is now. Susan said: “Being a housewife and mum of three, I organise my family’s lives including running the house and keeping everyone fed, clean and directed. The family relied on me – perhaps too much – to keep them all right.

Drinking on the job

I also worked part-time as a photographer and shot weddings at weekends. I loved my life but I was getting more and more stressed and I just didn’t know why. Being a housewife is hard work.” “I started drinking more in the evenings to unwind and before I knew it, I could drink a whole bottle of red wine in about an hour. Then I would open another bottle and before long I was drinking two bottles a night. My energy went. I really couldn’t be bothered doing anything. I started telling the kids off more. I argued with my husband about trivialities. My job interfered with my drinking, so I gradually gave it up.

Living a stressful life

I had sunk into a life of stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue and, eventually, getting the kids up for school seemed like a mountain to climb. I started suffering panic attacks and my anxiety levels were through the roof. It was unbearable.” “For so long I had thought to myself ‘is this as good as it gets?’ I had resigned myself to drinking this much everyday for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t pleasant and all I did was worry about getting enough booze each day to get through that day.”

Getting help

Susan went through the normal channels of getting help for her alcohol: her GP; then local addiction team. But the process was taking too long and the level of help wasn’t there. She said: “Before I reached Abbeycare, I had been to my doctor on too many occasions to remember. I found him helpful and he had given me a few prescriptions for Diazepam (Valium) as a replacement for alcohol to help stop drinking. He also gave me sleeping tablets to help at night when I found it difficult to sleep. He also referred me to the local addictions team for help which horrified me – I wasn’t an alcoholic surely? I was stressed not addicted, wasn’t I?” “The addictions team were helpful and understanding and I received some one hour counseling sessions every fortnight from them but it was no good. I thought, if it was that simple, my life wouldn’t have been falling apart. As an intelligent woman, I knew I needed some more help but getting it was problematic.

Finding Abbeycare

My friend saw Abbeycare on the Internet and I gave them a call. Just making the call and booking-in took a weight off my mind. I’m so glad I did – life’s wonderful now.” “My experience at Abbeycare was the turning point of my life. I learned so much about my feelings and emotions – in particular, I was often misunderstanding my feelings and acting out on the wrong ones. I also learned numerous methods to control my anxieties and panic attacks. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) controls my anxiety and is simply amazing.

Learning to be happy

I learned how to be happy and that by blaming everyone else for my stress and drinking, I was actually surrendering my own freedom to choose how I live my life. I understand that now.” “My stay at Abbeycare hasn’t just sobered me up – it has transformed my life to one bursting with happiness, positivity and purpose. Going to Abbeycare has been the best decision I have or will ever make. And all I had to do was call them and they took care of everything for me. Most of the staff are recovering alcoholics, so they understood what I was going through and gave me all the help I needed. I’m back working – in fact, I’ve started a photographic studio – and life’s great. The kids have their mum back and my husband and I are the happiest we’ve been in years. In fact, I’ve never been happier.” “I’m really looking forward to enjoying this Christmas without alcohol.”

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