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OTI Member Stories: Cathy



So, it all started for me on the 31st May 2019.


I had been bombarded frequently with advertisements about giving up alcohol. I’d look at and think how good it would be to not drink for a period, but never got around to it. I always had the usual thoughts… It won’t happen to me… My liver is OK…


Anyway, I decided on the morning of the 31st that I was going to do it.


I had recently started work running a nursing clinic in a homeless centre and I was encouraging my clients not to drink. It really didn’t sit well that I would say these things and then go home most nights and drink a bottle of wine. I would drink ¾ of the bottle of wine and then leave that small amount so I could say that I didn’t drink a full bottle. Then the next day I would drink the ½ glass that was left and then trot off to the bottle shop to buy another.


So, on May 31st I started. I started this journey and soon enough had a little army of people in my pocket who were all on the same journey. I found the first few weeks hard, but I am very stubborn, and I was determined to reach the 30-day mark. I initially signed up for 90 days but was soon helter-skeltering towards 365 days.


I reached 365 days in 2020 and have just celebrated two years alcohol free in May this year. I now work in government drug and alcohol services in South Australia as a clinical nurse/case worker. I counsel people for addiction daily and because of my journey, I have the best advice and tips to formulate their toolboxes. I have to greatest amount of empathy and understanding, and I know that we could have all ended up in a clinic like the one where I work.


As a non-drinker I am a totally different person. I am stronger, more present in my teenage girls’ lives. I am a role model for them and because of this they also are strong advocates for non-drinking. They are proud of me and that makes everything worthwhile. I am an avid bike rider and bush walker and love yoga and swimming. I am a total Zen Head and I am looking forward to travelling to India when Covid finally ‘does one’.


As for the future? It shines brightly for me.


I am on my second year of a Graduate Diploma in Addiction and Mental Health, I love my job and feel very lucky to be positively influencing people. I have just started a diploma in Aromatherapy, I hope to be able to include essential oils into my practice to help with craving and mood and change the world with the power of flowers!

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