S W’s Blog


Sarah came into my life when it was a total mess with alcohol and other drugs. She has helped me more than words can say. So, this may be short, but there is so much more to the work The Sanctuary does, it would take a book to explain it all!

After 6 weeks on the programme, and then follow up with maintenance, my head is now clear and have HOPE for what the future holds.

She believed in me when I didn’t have any belief in myself.

I shall always be grateful for her expertise, empathy, support and friendship.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Sarah, you are truly amazing.

The Ten Year Plan…

Happy New Year to both clients and followers of the blog.

I am changing direction. As most know I was the founder of the Six Week Programme, but now feel there needs to be a long term solution, even the magical six weeks cannot fix everyone.

If we consider the old expression three score years and ten as a lifespan, that is a complete thing of the past. But many people who have have struggled with alcohol still live beyond 70, with a range of medical and often debilitating problems. The average age of my clients is 47.5 years. So with a a fair wind have the possibility of another good 30 years to look forward to, to live, not exist. There is so much publicity regarding obesity, smoking lack of exercise, but how many times do we hear about the consequences of alcohol?

I do think Adrian Chiles did a good job with his programme and made many think, but that’s it, we think, we don’t do. When you are concerned about the wine o’clock habit, that is exactly what happens. We think, from when we wake up probably at 3 in the morning, we think not today, I’ll make a promise to have a couple of days off. Feeling as the old boys expression goes, being a ‘little old fashioned’ in the morning, there is real determination until about 3pm. Sugar dips, up until then you have shown real fortitude that not tonight Josephine but the crumbling starts. So out of 24 hours of the day, in this position, we spend most of it, thinking shall I shan’t I, will I won’t I, will I, only will buy a small bottle, perhaps bypass the shop. The whole process of thinking is exhausting, combined potentially with a job, children, home, maybe a poorly parent, the excuses mount. There is never logic to over use of alcohol so pointless even trying to make it so, and once you have the habit, the feeling of release, oblivion often, at that time it makes sense.

If you start from a stance of none of this makes sense, as it wouldn’t if you were for example lactose intolerant and ignored that, you would know it would make you ill. Why is it that alcohol kids you that it won’t make you feel like an awfully poorly box of frogs, then of course you are not going to stop. It is time to not up the price, it is time to start with warnings on bottles, not shoving it in our faces each time we shop, make it completely not normal to drink, because unless you are having a ball with it, why do it??

All that know me know I am not an evangelist, the opposite, completely outrageous actually because I don’t drink now, I can dance on tables, and say what I feel, because I remember all of it. Argue with me, debate with me,agree with me, for the most part I will be gracious, but now I have got to a point where none of the old fashioned methods to conquer this don’t work, we need to get modern, we need to embrace our uniqueness, we need to stop comparing, we need to get into self preservation mode, might upset a few people, but you know what I don’t care, I never want to hurt anyone or myself, alcohol is the one biggie that will do that. I am errr, mature, but am determined to show that doesn’t mean we can be the best we can be, and free ourselves of guilt and shame.

So please start thinking forward. Where are you going to be in ten years time? Not tomorrow, not next week but in the future.

Time to start to think how these golden years are going to pan out, because if we don’t then Big Alcohol will scoop you up, spit you out and then you will rely on our overstretched but amazing NHS. We would all I am sure prefer not to do that!