My Name Is…And I’m An Alcoholic

There’s a documentary on Channel 5 tonight at 10pm called ‘My Name Is…And I’m An Alcoholic’. And I’m in it. Along with seven other people who all fell foul of the demon drink but managed to successfully pull their lives back from disaster.

This programme has had a strange effect on me. I’ve already seen the rough cut of it, and it’s profound, sad, moving. It had me in tears. It dragged me right back to a very dark place I inhabited a few years ago where I drank far too much and my perspective on the world was incredibly small, restricted to bottles of wine and trying to lose my mind. A place where I showed myself up on a regular basis, where I wasn’t a fantastic mum, somewhere where I strived to be a person I’m not.

It has been almost five years since I last drank alcohol, and I can barely equate who I am today with that depressed woman who spent half her life in a fog of booze.

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I forgave myself my alcohol-related wrongs a long time ago, because what’s the point in wasting the present wrapped up in feelings of regret over the past? But my involvement in ‘My Name Is…’ has brought me closer to my history than anything else has since I became a non-drinker.

In the making of this film, we were all interviewed in a room in London, and Mikey, the director, asked the questions: a very straightforward set-up, a set-up that brought out some honest and heart-wrenching stories. Talking to Mikey, I forgot that I was being recorded for much of it and I suspect the same is true of the other seven people in the film, as their accounts are brutally frank.

I’m glad I took part in this documentary. I think it’s vital to get our version of things out there, those of us who have struggled with addiction, and especially those of us who have managed to get sober – to offer hope and insight to other people who are fighting the fight, desperate to believe that life can get better but not quite seeing how it ever will.

There’s always been prejudice against people who are alcohol dependent. Those who can manage their intake and exercise ‘responsible drinking’ are at a loss when it comes to understanding anyone who can drink and drink and drink, with terrible repercussions, and who goes back to the bottle for more the next day. And the next. And the next. Knowing that their health is suffering and they are risking everything but still not being able to stop.

Alcohol addiction is a secret and sad state of affairs. When you are floundering in the thick of it, you become wonderful at disguising it. And afterwards, as you recover, you may well prefer to keep your struggles private, and who could blame you, when one considers the stigma that is rife in our society with regards to ‘problem drinkers’?

So, I am pleased I took part in this programme, even though it has upset my internal apple cart a little. I am full of admiration for the other seven who feature in it; they’re a brave bunch of fighters who have my utter and total respect.

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23 thoughts on “My Name Is…And I’m An Alcoholic

  1. saoirseslifebible says:

    You should be so so proud of yourself, for being sober AND for being part of that documentary, well done to you! xxx

  2. sue says:

    quite simply brilliant and brave of you all – balanced, articulate, honest a great cross section of people, not dramatic, well put together ,- intend to watch again and again – should be part of the national curriculum!

  3. Well done Lucy you did great. Thought it was really well balanced, and it was great to see something NOT dominated by AA. A good mix of routes to wellness including yourself and someone from SMART Recovery too .. though might have mentioned The Sinclair Method..!

  4. Camilla says:

    Loved the programme, I’m 22 yrs sober The eight of you were brilliant, brave and an inspiration. A really well put together piece, thankfully not dominated by AA, whatever works. Huge respect and best wishes to all of you X

  5. I am watching again straight after on +1.. Thank you and the others for agreeing to do this programme. As newly seperated single mum been on slippery slope..that am now ..and this programme has been a real universe gift tonight….to keep at it…hope. THANK YOU XXXXX

  6. Imogen says:

    It was a wonderful and sensitive documentary and you were too Lucy. I can imagine how talking about your drinking past in such a context brought you back to that dark time. You and everyone involved were very brave and everyone’s humanity shone throughout the programme. I hope the programme helps others to realise that they too might have a problem and look for help and for all the normies I hope it provided deep insight.
    You are very strong Lucy and thank you for empowering so many of us here through Soberistas

  7. jan says:

    A big well done to you all myself at this present time am trying big time to get my 23 year old son help at the monment hes in hospital after trying to take his own life twice via drink and other things i dont no now which way or were to turn to it got so bad that he was using the hand gel via it having alcohol in it i have now got the staff to remove them from his bay please can anyone help me as to were and what i can do thank you

  8. soberlizzie45blog says:

    Thank you for taking part in the documentary. You, and the others, were fantastically honest and i’m sure you will have helped so many people to look at their drinking and be honest with themselves. I stopped drinking 8 days ago after 33 years (started at 12) and the last few being very alcohol dependant….and you have helped me without knowing!! I googled looking for help and found your posts and they really have helped me get to day 8, and I feel great and at the moment don’t miss wine and have no desire to drink…which is shocking for me, and although I am not going to be complacent and I know there may be difficult times ahead, I want to thank you for helping me and wish you all the best for the future x

  9. Hi to everyone who has posted above. I’m touched beyond words at the response to this documentary – I was, for the first time since launching Soberistas, genuinely quite worried about this film. I felt really exposed as I did talk about some pretty grim aspects of my drinking. But, I have been overwhelmed with positive responses and as usual, the main reactions have been one of relief (that you aren’t alone) and of hope (that it IS possible to stop drinking and be happy). So, thank you so much of taking the time to let me know what you thought to the film – Lots of love to all. Lucy xx

  10. L says:

    Hi Lucy, I have just watched the documentary and wanted to say thank you – to you and the other seven interviewees – for sharing your stories. What brave and honest souls you all are, and how very inspiring! I have been sober for six years now but have rarely found other sober peeps to share with, so I really valued hearing your stories. I even had a little weep at the end! All the best x

  11. Betty Draper says:

    Hi Lucy, I watched the programme , totally brilliant, in fact I loved it so much I watched it twice! All of you are such an inspiration for others seeking to give up the booze. I’ve heard your story before, as I’ve read all your books and love your website. Of all the stories on the programme I can relate to yours the most, as I used to be a girl who loved the wine too! I’ve been sober now for just over 2 years and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I have ever done, although probably the hardest!

    Just wanted to say thanks to you for all the help, advise & support, particularly with what to read about addiction & introducing me to Jason Vale & other great inspirational people, without which I don’t think I would be sober now & so happy with my life.

    Keep up the fantastic work Lucy, thank you. xxxx

  12. Meirion says:

    Thank you, Lucy for your contribution to, “My name is…” Your openness and honesty was both humbling and inspiring. Your weekly articles are really appreciated here. I’m over 3 months sober now, and enjoying that clarity of mind of which you have written so eloquently. Thank you so much for all you do to help others.

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