Abi Feltham, 35, from Richmond, started drinking cider in the park with her friends when she was a teenager to cope with the loss of her father, who died when she was three years old. He started using it at the age of 14 alcohol every person Things got worse when he started a 10-year journey with a backpack on his shoulder.
Working in bars helped hide his habit – Abi would drink as soon as he woke up until, in his words, he “shut up at night”. At worst, he drank two 700 ml bottles of whiskey and beer a day.
Both said: “I was drinking a lot. In my worst moments, I would drink a couple of bottles of hard liquor a day. I was drinking from the time I woke up until I passed out at night.
I have always struggled with mental health issues. I have experienced many traumas since I was little. I suffered a lot of loss and drinking was the only way I could cope with it.
When I was a child I was really angry and hateful, I always felt I didn’t fit in. I felt like I couldn’t fit in unless I drank. It made me feel normal. In the beginning, it was always done with friends.”
She added: “When I grew up and moved to London, I realized I could drink on my own whenever I wanted. I was at parties all the time – going out with friends or strangers.”
Both left the United Kingdom (UK) backpacking at the age of 23 and began living paycheck to paycheck. He said: “I was just interested alcohol consumption. I did it for 10 years. I worked in bars where I was encouraged to drink in some cases.
I met my now ex-boyfriend while traveling in Southeast Asia and I thought my depression was cured – I fell in love.”
Both gave up life on the road and moved to New York, then after breaking up with her boyfriend, flew to Canada, hung out with the wrong company and started smoking cocaine. She lost her job as a waitress due to excessive drinking and then drug use.
After the Covid pandemic hit and all her drinking buddies lost their jobs, Abi returned from Canada to the UK to live with her parents in Berkshire.
After returning to his childhood bedroom, he drank at first, but then, three weeks after returning home, he had a life-changing moment.
He threw the six empty bottles of wine and beer that were hidden by the bed into the box, he remembered doing the same thing when he was 16 years old. That 2020 on the day of April, he immediately gave up alcohol. He stopped getting high without professional help and hasn’t had a drop since.
Now, after hitting rock bottom, Abi has a steady job, a relationship and a house in London where she works as a social media manager.
Abi went on to tell her story of achievement and moving to the UK: “Everyone else lost their jobs too so I came back to the UK under the guise of Covid. I went back to live with my mum and kept drinking.
I started drinking regularly and when I stopped I realized I was hiding bottles by my bed. I did that when I was a kid to hide my drinking from my mother.”
He continued: “One day I was collecting the bottles and I was sitting on the bed, I dropped the bag. It hit me right away. I felt like a mirror stood in front of my face. Now I live a stable, peaceful life that I love.”
But achieving this change was not easy. According to the addiction treatment center in the UK, a sudden lack of alcohol in the body can cause detoxification symptoms that can range from mild to severe, which poses a serious health risk.
Both said: “Physically it was very difficult – it was very poor at first. For a while I was numb, tired. I felt like I had run a marathon; the last 10 years of my life have been so crowded and traumatic .
And I really wanted to make amends. Every day I felt stronger and saw things getting better. Now I live a really stable, calm life. I have a boyfriend and we have been together for a year.
We have a really healthy relationship, which is the most normal thing – everything in my life is so calm. I also started to take a lot of care about my mental health. I go to therapy twice a week.”
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