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Sobriety Saved My Life

I used to be a binge drinker. Alcohol was my escape from the thoughts I had inside my head. It is one of the reasons I got admitted to a psychiatric hospital on 15th May 2022.

My story goes way back to when I was little. I came from a difficult home. My mum was working two jobs and my father was an alcoholic. Sometimes, it felt like it was just me and my sister. I don’t remember an awful lot, but I know for sure that it somehow messed us up. Psychologically.

When I got older, I started drinking, doing drugs, trying to ‘fit in’ with people I called my friends. I was addicted to certain drugs, from weed to Class As, from 2018 until the end of 2020.

That first lockdown sure didn’t help. I lost a lot of weight and my mind was completely scrambled. I thought, this is it, this is how I am going to die. But, I managed to get myself out of that rut. I was working hard, mainly focusing on myself.

Then, in 2021, I lost my job. I became mentally unstable. I was unfit to work and that feeling felt like a wave of failure. I hated myself. I couldn’t admit to myself that I wasn’t okay back then. I was always putting anyone and everyone before myself. That’s when the binge drinking started again. I completely lost it. I lost a lot of friends, too. People who I thought cared about me, they were gone. I was seen as a ‘mess’ and no one wanted to be around me. I was all alone.

In February 2022, I started working at a petrol station, where I had worked in the past. I knew what I was doing. I was happy. This is when I started dating my current boyfriend. I like to call him Super Tom, because he saved me. Everything was going well, or at least I thought it was. But I was still binge drinking, pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

One night, I decided to go out, drinking of course. My grandparents were visiting the family from down south. I was supposed to have a shift at the petrol station early the next morning, so let’s just say, it didn’t go down well. At all. I had a massive fight with my grandad that morning, and I can barely remember it. It didn’t feel real.

I vaguely remember sitting in the passenger seat of Tom’s car; he drove us back to his house, around 45 minutes away. I cried the whole time. I ended up living with him for a couple of weeks. My mum had told me I wasn’t to go back home, that I couldn’t live there anymore. I was too much. She had kicked me out. I had lost all hope in living.

A couple of weeks had passed, and I had found myself a place to live. Not quite a place to myself, it was supported accommodation. But it was a start. When I’d managed to find it, I remember having massive grin on my face, like a little kid visiting Disneyland for the first time. I collected my house keys, and I was over the moon. Things were going to change.

My mum helped me move my stuff to my new place. Tom was amazing too. Always by my side, coming to spend the night, taking late-night walks to the shop to buy hooch and snacks.

I should mention too that before I moved out of my mum’s, I had managed to fracture my tailbone on a night out. It is getting better now, but I still have to use my crutch to stabilise myself when I leave the ward.

As you can probably guess, the fracture happened from drinking, along with a lot of other injuries and embarrassment. The fracture made it impossible to do what I wanted to do, and my mental health still wasn’t great, so I was housebound most of the time. This was where all the problems started again. I couldn’t go anywhere, apart from when I forced myself to the shop down the road to feed my alcohol addiction.

My entire body was messed up, I don’t even remember a lot of the time I was living there because I was almost always drunk, mixing alcohol with Valium. My weight was dropping rapidly too, as I struggled to get up and make myself food. Worst of all, I was lying to everyone. I felt nothing but shame and defeat in those months.

During the months of hell, I was so reliant on alcohol. I’d go to the shop, spend all my money on cheap cider and vodka, mix it with Valium, and cry myself to sleep most nights. My boyfriend was having his own problems so my brain would repeatedly tell me, “he doesn’t want to hear this bullshit” or “he deserves better than dealing with your messy drinking problem”, so I hid it.

I wound up in Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital on a few occasions. These involved getting blackout drunk, harming myself and taking a stupid amount of pills. When my brain finally came out of the blackout stage, I would be there, lying in a hospital bed attached to a drip, wondering why my life was utter chaos.

I wanted to get better, I really did. I even tried in-home treatment. The temptation to feel the alcohol slide down my throat and coarse through my veins was higher than ever, though. Then it came to that night, on 14th May 2022.

Tom and I were staying at my place for the night. I don’t remember much of it, just him saying “Maisy, maybe you should slow down on the drinking”. I locked myself in the downstairs toilet, swallowing all of the medication I had on me. Tom banged on the door, telling me to let him in. Then it all went black. I woke up in the visitor’s room of a psychiatric hospital.

I was sat in that room for about an hour, sobbing, shaking, just overall confused. That’s when the treatment to a good life started.

Since that moment I have been doing everything differently. I am nearly two months sober, writing a book, doing things I was too depressed and unmotivated to do before. It’s like a dream come true.

I am yet to be discharged from the hospital, but the time is very close. I can look back now and think wow, I am really proud of myself – and mean it.

Death. I was close to death.

But thanks to my newfound sobriety, my lovely family, friends, and the greatest boyfriend I could ask for, I have a reason to wake up in the morning. I open my curtains each day to the sun beaming through the glass, sip a cup of herbal tea and smile.

Maisy has found sobriety at 21 years old. She is the younger sister of Charlie Martina, the monthly host of the OTI young and sober podcast. The two of them support each other in their sober and mental health journeys.

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