No matter how I tried, I couldn’t shake off the feelings of being defective, unlovable and not good enough. Alcohol was my easy way out… it helped to numb the pain for short periods of time.

Very soon I was drinking way more than the recommended two standard drinks a day. It was affecting not just my health but my relationships too.

I knew my drinking was getting serious when my kids told me they were worried it was going to give me cancer. The ads they saw on TV had an impact on them and it made them look at me with open eyes.

It was then that I decided that I had to stop for the sake of my kids.

I started looking around and heard about a Women’s Program at Holyoake. Even though I was a bit hesitant, I was comforted by the fact that that program was only for women.

Looking back now, I am so grateful that I reached out for help. The Counsellor at Holyoake was so welcoming and I did not feel judged at all.

I learnt about self-forgiveness and self-compassion. I began to value myself and to appreciate all the good things in my life. I was good enough, and didn’t have to drink myself silly to feel better.

The work we did together in the Women’s Program allowed us to see the good in ourselves, and it enabled us to feel valued. I got so much from hearing other women tell their stories as I realised I was not alone and how we are all trying to cope with what life throws at us. In supporting one another we learnt that we are all worthy of love. I learnt that I am not a bad person after all.

This discovery led to my recovery from alcohol and has been key to helping me become a better mother to my kids. My biggest fear has always been that they would end up sad like me one day. I hope that, with all the hard work I am doing on myself, I am a better role model for them now.

I have been sober for over a year now, and living a happier life. Thank you to my Counsellor at Holyoake and to all the women who shared their stories and inspired the rest of us to go on with our quest for peace and happiness.

Click here to read more about Holyoake programs