Truth and Honesty

23 Apr 2012

Psychodynamic Counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This is an off piste post, but I just had to share from reading another blog, the contents of which touched me enormously along with my take on the acceptance of drinking to excess.

I am never surprised at the lengths that drinkers will go to in their deception, I remember mine vividly. It is a part of the illness, which it probably why so many creative and brilliantly eloquent people take the drinking route. There are times when I stumble for words and descriptions, that I have to say came to me in vat loads when I was drinking.

I listen to women who even to me their friend and non judgemental one at that, who will sneak in the odd porky even though as intelligent people, they know that I see straight through it.

Outside of my sanctuary I also know that they are covering up the chaos behind the mask they wear. The mere suggestion of coming clean in real life appalls them.

I have spent many years trying to de-stigmatize this disease, and like many before me fail and still am failing. At best, by the medical profession and more general powers that be, I am patronized. At worst made to feel a bit of a prat, an uneducated one at that.

Reading many a blog and article on alcohol addiction, one shone out to me last week, Alcoholic Daze. A lady who through no choice enabled her late stage alcoholic husband basically kill himself. Not because she hated him, she loved him, but what choice or support did she have? The final curtain was horrendous for her and her daughter, and of course she was left to pick up the pieces on her own.

When I listen and attempt to intervene with my ladies, I would not ever try to clobber them with this sort of end in the early recovery process, but truly wish that they could experience some of that reality in a government warning sort of way. The cigarette packets are covered with diseased lungs and graphic warnings, more suggestions this week to not only hide the weed behind cupboard doors but actually take branding off the packets altogether, graphic to non graphic magically. How about the government put a swollen diseased body on a bottle of Merlot, with the skin split and oozing because the body has packed up, liver, kidneys et al? Or maybe change the advertising from dine in for two at Marks and Spencer to Die in for Two? Nah, it wouldn’t work would it.

The reason it wouldn’t work is because in middle England we are not like that. We don’t drink that hazardously….yet. When the end stage comes friends have disappeared, the medical profession have given up and so have the nearest and dearest.

If for once some of us who are straightforward and honest and actually do have some answers should be heard. That can only happen if those who have seen the light come out into the real world, rather than hiding either in cyber space on chats and forums being incredibly open about their drinking habits, or from secret meetings in chapels and village halls. What on earth have they got to loose? Far less I think than what they might loose without open support that is ongoing and not for just when the first taste of sobriety is found. Life long recovery is hard, but made so because of the secrets and lies, and to no lesser extent by the scornful way recovering alcoholics are often treated.

I know of many women who whilst drinking too much, have gone to their GP for depression, caused by the drink, sleeping problems, caused again by the chilled white, who are never asked how much they drink, are asked how much they smoke, and without any question are prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, more often than not on repeat prescription.

This is an epidemic of gargantuan proportions, a bomb exploding in slow motion, and just because of attitudes, people like me are helpless to intervene on a larger scale.

Perhaps if someone like Mary Portas with her fashionable culture status could miraculously come aboard my boat in a choppy sea, we may see a change. Everyone listens to a Guru, and I have yet to achieve those dizzy heights!

If you are listening Mary, would love your feedback on how to convince Dave that the time has come to stop selling this legalised drug with so many misleading fantasies. Trying to put a positive spin on cirrhosis would be challenge!




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