• "I live in Cardiff, it's the capital city of Wales, how can it be there's no support for me?"

Storyteller shares her experience of alcohol addiction and the lack of support services available to her and how she feels failed by the medical sector.

so I don't really know, Um, how much to say, Um, and what to say. Really. But, um, basically, um oh, I started drinking quite young. So, um, was kind of, like in the park fuck in the cider and didn't really think of it like everyone did

Everyone did that at the time. Um, And then as I got older, I sort of drank more and more. Um, I didn't really think I had a problem

I mean, everyone used to just say, Oh, you know, you just you just like to have a drink. Um, but then it got worse and worse. Um, so then probably when I was about it was probably about 10 or so years ago

Um, I thought this is ridiculous. Now, um, So I would have been 28. Um, actually, probably before that, Um, I did try and seek support

Um, I went to the doctor's. I told them I was drinking way too much. Um, I heard about anti, and I asked if they could put me on that, and they said no

Um, they said it wasn't to do with the alcohol. It was my mental health because I've always suffered with mental health. So, um, I was, um, referred to mental health services

Um, which didn't help. To be honest, I had four sessions of, um uh, C BT train. Uh, the training or, um uh, cognitive behavioural therapy, which again didn't really work because I was still drinking

Um, so I mean, this went on for for years. Um, I did actually give up alcohol for 14 months, and I just really wanted to prove that I could do it for a year. Um, but around that time I was so unhappy, I was so boring as well

I was just like, you know, everyone said how boring it was. And I really didn't like myself, and I just I continued not to drink because I was like, No, I'm really determined. I'm going to give up for a year

And I ended up giving it up for 14 months, and I started drinking again because I was with someone who was like, you know, I was just drinking partner, and he was like, Oh, I miss you as my drinking partner And I want you to have a drink. And it's my birthday. And blah, blah, blah I had a drink, and I was like, Right, You're not going to go back into like your your usual routine

You're gonna be a social drink. A social drinker. Yeah, that didn't work

So, um, I literally I went I went worse, actually, and I was drinking every single day, and I think I drank every single day for probably about eight years. I mean, I wasn't drunk all the time, but I had a drink. Um, and yeah, it just got worse and worse and worse and again, I went to try and get support

And again the doctor wouldn't let. Wouldn't give me support. They just said it was my mental health

And it just yeah, just kind of, like, went on from there then, um, so I It was only since, uh, last September that I've been in recovery. Um, and I was literally at the last straw. Really? It was kind of like, this is it

Now you've got to give up. And for months and months before that, I did try and get support. I found so many different helplines

Um and they just said, You know, we can't support you. There's nothing available in the area. And I was like, I live in Cardiff

It's not, you know, it's It's the capital city of Wales. You know, it's like, how How can it be, like, no support for me? Um, so this is just the Yeah, Just went on and on and on. And it was only because I'd had literally I was been binge drinking by this point

Um, every day, off every annual leave. I was just drunk. I was drinking in work

It was just awful. Um, I was on my last warning from work. Um, people could start smelling alcohol on me, and yeah, it was just really bad

I was at my absolute lowest last year, and I just thought that's enough. Um, so I had, like, a four day binge drink. That's all

Bingeing session. All I did was drink, sleep, drink what? Pass out, Uh, ordering alcohol at three. In the morning from deliveroo

It was just a nightmare. And, um, after the four days, I was like, Right, this is this. I'm done

So I just gave up and I went called Turkey, which I knew you wouldn't, you know, wasn't supposed to really do um, but I didn't realise how bad it would have been. Um, I was ill for over a week. Um, how I managed to get up and go to work

I have no idea. And yeah, um, I was at work, and I found the doctors again and again. They said they couldn't help me, and I was really, really, like, really bad

The worst I've ever been. Um, didn't have any of my tablets left. My, um So I phoned the doctors, and the receptionist said, Oh, we can't help you

There's no one available. The doctor is really busy. And I was just like, you know, it was it was really bad

I was literally I didn't think I was going to survive the night. Um, but I did. Thankfully, thanks

Thanks to my friends. Um, but yeah, I was I. I was like, a zombie for days after that

Um, and it's only because I happened to stumble across footsteps of recovery, who happened to be going into merge, um, into like and they kept their lines open just in case of any referrals. And I'm so glad they did, because as soon as I contacted them um, the guy was, like, you know, explaining about and everything. Um, I had a really good meeting with one of the ladies at one of the peer workers

Um, she told her everything, Um, told her that I can't go turkey. And she did give me a, um She had asked if my doctor has given me any, like, thine, and I was like, No, they didn't give me anything. Um, so, yeah, she just couldn't believe, like, you know, how I've been, um, treated

But thankfully, she she was like, Oh, we'll do everything we can to help you. And actually, that was the first time I really thought Oh, my God, I'm getting help. Finally

Um, I really wish I'd met her or met services 10 years prior, because, yeah, it it would have saved a lot of heartache and a lot of money. Um and yeah. So, as soon as I was in contact with, I knew about, um, recovery Camry

Um, and CAU I've had counselling. I've only just finished my counselling. Um, even when I had a lapse in January, um turned into a relapse

Um, I was on the phone to, um recovery. company. And they were, like, really supportive

And, to be honest, that that's the first time that I really thought Oh, my God. You know, Yeah, You've got an alcohol problem, And, um, but you're finally getting help, so yeah. Um, so, yeah

For years I tried to get support. None of my family knew about it. Um, I hid it from everyone

I was literally I didn't even know functioning alcoholic was Well, it was a thing existed, Um, until I was one. Until I am one. So yeah, that's pretty much it

Really. I mean, so glad of, uh, so glad of I'll be internally grateful for, um um the guy at footsteps of recovery. Um, because, yeah, if if he hadn't answered the phone when he did, I To be honest, I don't think I'd be here now, and, um, that might sound a bit dramatic, but actually, um, the way I was feeling that day, Yeah, it was just really bad

Um, so yeah, that's that's pretty much me. Really? Um yeah. How did it make you feel when you tried to access all this support and you had nothing? Nothing

Um, I felt like I wasn't worth helping. I felt like a failure. I felt worthless

Um, I do feel that the medical sector failed me. I do feel like I've They've failed me. And I thought that might sound a bit like, Oh, my God, No, but dramatic

Um, but I do feel like I've been failed, and I would never want anyone to go through what I went through. Which is why I wanted to become a peer worker because, like, recovery company and that, and were the first people who ever helped me And yeah, I would never want anyone to feel the way I felt. So yeah

Um, yeah, I Yeah, I just want I just want to do good and turn my my negative story into a positive and, um, hopefully help people that you know really do need it..

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