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Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

First of all apologises for my absence for the last few weeks. Life has been full of customers who have battled long and hard with the demon drink.

Time is such a fundemental thing that we all take for granted. I just wanted to talk about how much time I and many others wasted on drinking.

And not just the act of drinking. The planning and thinking that goes into it is so time consuming. Even moderate drinkers or ‘normal’ drinkers spend quite a lot of time planning. Do they drive, how many units can they have if they are thinking about driving. What sort of wine to take to the ‘do’? What time to start drinking? Whether they should have the odd glass at lunchtime.


With late stage alcoholics then drink becomes all consuming.


The moment you wake, perhaps with the hangover from hell, although that becomes the norm, so it’s just thoughts of how to feel better. The only way to feel better is of course for an alcoholic is not to tough it out for few days alcohol free, but to get a drink as soon as possible. The first sip begins to do the trick. Of course it is all downhill from there, if possible maintaining the fuzzy feeling, if not just drinking and passing out again. Time has no meaning except that it is always time to drink.

Not only the drinking but dreaming up new stories to cover the tracks. Choosing different shops and supermarkets as the paranoia drives us to believe that each purchase of our drug of choice is being logged by the check out staff. Making sure that empties are taken to other places rather than left in bulk in the bins. The whole process is time consuming and oh so tiring. Then the time spent in remorse, arguing, guilt tripping and apologising.

One of the most alarming parts of being sober in the first few weeks is the time that you have on your hands. If it’s not filled with other things, this time can be the most dangerous and threatening of all.  Another scary time of temptation.

But this time can be filled in so many rewarding and positive ways. Most people who drink say they never have time to do any voluntary work or classes. They actually do, but their routines revolve around wine o’clock. When you are in recovery one the most helpful things to do both for you and others is to try and spread a bit of joy somewhere, whether it’s just talking to people in hospices, or doing some fundraising for a good cause. My group are all about giving back, because we are so grateful to have a second chance at living in a liberated way.

Time is one of our most precious possessions, wasting it seems such a pity, especially with booze.




I am Sarah Turner in my 50's married with two sons. I live in between two pretty villages, just outside of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. My vocation and passion has been to help Women and their families beat alcohol dependence and misuse for many years, and are not able to access appropriate care. Harrogate Sanctuary was born through my fight to find empathetic treatment when I desperately needed it, and failing abysmally. Although I am fully qualified on paper as an Addictions Counsellor and Congnitive Behavioural Therapist, I much prefer to use my own experience as a drunk up until my late thirties, to empathize and understand the problems that Women of today face with the effects and consequences of drinking too much. I adore my family, both human and animal, have three beloved chickens, . My garden never ceases to amaze, and now my boys are grown, I have rather taken to plants to vent my nurturing side. In addition to my own services to my clients, I campaign relentlessly to raise awareness of this hidden epidemic, that still remains such a taboo subject. In the 21st century, it's time for change. To this end I have also co-authored The Sober Revolution, Women calling Time on Wine O'clock, with my friend and ally Lucy Rocca, founder of

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