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Em's Sober Story : THIRTIES

There comes a point in the life of every "Party Girl" where this label becomes null and void. Some settle down of their own accord, learn to "drink like ladies" or they simply grow up. Some though - myself included - move past the Party Girl archetype and start to embody another, far more tragic one: "The Liability", "The Lush" or, my personal favourite, "The Trainwreck". In my experience, the kind of behaviours in which I was partaking can very rarely be sustained. Eventually, the substances you're using stop working so you take more, chasing the high - or simply the relief - they once provided quite efficiently. But the vessel I was trying to fill seemed to have a little hole in it, through which everything I drank started escaping. This hole grew, and soon I needed to keep topping up to stop the substances leaking out before they took effect and disappeared. Hope and relief became still more and more fleeting, until they weren&#…

Em's Sober Story : TWENTIES

Ask me a year ago and I would have probably have described my twenties as the "Age of the Party Girl" or something similarly euphemistic. In reality, much of my twenties (especially the latter years) would be more accurately termed a total shitshow.

Because of my natural affinity for academia, a good memory and the ability to blag, I got into university and I did eventually graduate. But alongside this, my alcoholism was revving up and turning into an uncontrollable beast, a bit like that fire demon in Moana. I recently heard a friend describe alcoholism as putting a 16 cylinder engine inside the bonnet of a Mini Metro - brilliant at first, until the car blows apart. Back then, though, I just thought I was a normal girl enjoying the freedom and hedonism that comes with living away from home for the first time.

Moving from a relatively sheltered existence in Devon to a non-campus university in central London was, on the face of it, quite a bold move for someone who struggled …

Em's Sober Story : TEENS

So, how did I end up here, blogging about addiction and recovery at 35 years old? Well, the short answer is that I'm an addict. The long story, which will follow, has more twists than an episode of The Haunting of Hill House, such is the dramatic web that we addicts tend to weave. I find it easier to handle the shambles I've made of my life if I section it into three chunks, each hopefully demonstrating the progression of a disease I think would have eventually killed me, and very nearly did (see "Thirties"). So, here we go.

Childhood/Teens

I grew up in Torquay, Devon, a place best known for being the setting of the farcical comedy Fawlty Towers. Funny really, as my own life eventually became a farce too, albeit with more tragedy, wine and cocaine. I had a privileged middle class upbringing, did better than average at school and to the casual bystander, it looked as if I was set for a pretty normal life. Except there were always signs that I was a bit "off".…

Manifesto...You are not alone

Hi, I'm Em. This is my sober journal. I am an alcoholic and drug addict and have been in recovery for 310 days at the time of writing. I have been active on Instagram since the beginning of my journey - finding a whole support network I didn't know existed - and I feel like this blog is a natural progression. My manifesto for this blog (as in life) is fairly simple: I want others like me to know they are not alone. I suspect I'll operate in a very muddled, stream-of-consciousness style way, sharing thoughts on addiction, alcohol, mental health and all the shit that comes with it. I hope that this in some way helps you if you're suffering. I know reading others' stories has inspired me immeasurably in times of darkness. Addiction is a disease that wants to get you on your own and murder you...we need to not let that happen.