On 1st August 2020, I made an immediate decision to stop drinking alcohol after a mental health crisis that scared me.


Although I wasn’t drunk all the time or drinking all the time, I realized I had started drinking for the wrong reasons and at unusual times of the day. I might down a shot of vodka or two while cooking dinner to try to stop my intrusive thoughts or drink a couple of glasses of wine so I could fall asleep.



Nancy blonde and drunk


I needed to regain control and my alcohol intake was one way I could do this.


Since my teens, I had used alcohol as one of my coping mechanisms. It was time to stop hiding from my feelings and start facing them. Alcohol always made me feel great for a few hours but left me feeling rubbish for days afterward.


I have an anxiety disorder and I was actively increasing my anxiety. Why?


Since then, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve had to go to social events sober, which taught me that I don’t really like evening social events, meeting new people, or noisy spaces. If I had to drink to get myself in a room or be able to go somewhere, maybe those were not the spaces I should be putting myself in anymore?


Maybe its ok to not like the same things other people like?


I’ve always found it peculiar how alcohol is the only drug that loved ones will often encourage you to take. It’s been so normal in my life to ‘have a drink’. Have a drink because you’re celebrating, have a drink because you’re sad, have a drink because its Wednesday. I’ve decided I don’t want this to be the ‘normal’ for my kids.

Nancy drinking a large alcoholic drink while young daughter drinks a fruit shoot

I’m grateful giving up alcohol wasn’t a struggle for me but for many it is.


In England there are an estimated 602,391 dependent drinkers. Only 18% are receiving treatment.


Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages.


Alcohol is 74% more affordable today than it was in 1987.


#AlcoholAwarenessWeek @AlcoholChangeUK