Sober Story: Mel

Today’s Sober Story comes from Mel, a 56-year-old living in Derbyshire, UK.


Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?

Mel: I have been in recovery for 7 years.

Mrs D: Congrats! How were things for you at the end of your drinking days?

Mel: The last months of my drinking were just a total mad, sad unhappy time. I had 2 young children who I adored and I couldn’t understand why I kept putting drink before them. Every time I had the chance to ‘sneak’ a drink I did. Once the thought of a drink was in my head I knew it wasn’t going to go away until I got one. Then I would drink it fast so I could try and look sober before my husband came in from work or I had to collect the kids from school. The problem was I never stuck to my initial plan because as soon as I knew I had only 1 or 2 glasses (mugs actually, so if anyone saw me they’d think it was tea or coffee) I would be back out to buy another bottle of wine. Again I would start to drink it fast to get it over with and sober up in time…….same thing would happen of course, so by 2.30pm when my husband came in, I would have drank two or three bottles of wine. He would go Balistic, threaten to report me, threaten to leave me, everything and anything he threatened me with but of course it wasn’t MY fault ! Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink. Totally blaming him and everyone else, such a bad and lonely place. This went on and on and on. Every time I was genuinely devastated and full of self hatred along with self pity, but I was so terribly ashamed and genuinely meant it when I said no more, but of course I kept on doing the same thing time after time.

Mrs D: What was the final straw that led to you getting sober?

The final straw came for me one Sunday. It was warm weather, my husband was working so I decided to prepare a barbecue….chance to drink ? I invited a few of my family and set off preparing the food,of course I had a drink became my husband wasn’t there to see ! Three, four bottles of wine later and the place was a shambles. Everyone here, me talking rubbish and no food done, no barbecue lit and my husband in from work. Well after I had made a complete fool of myself everyone left, I went to bed leaving my husband to clear up and take care of the children. Next day my husband told me that if I didn’t get help then he was going and taking the kids. He told me to phone AA but I darent phone without a drink !! I remembered having some left in a bottle outside but he had locked me in when he went to work ! Eventually I did manage to break a lock on a window to get out but there was no wine! He must have found it! Nightmare! When he came in from work I hadn’t had a drink but I hadn’t phoned AA either, so he called them and put me on to speak to them. I had absolutely no intentions of going through, I just did it to get him off my back.  When it came to the evening though, he had arranged to have time off work that night to take me, and he did. I was terrified. I could see people in other cars all going out for the evening and here was I, off to an AA meeting. I felt at rock bottom. Inside the room someone came and said Hello, asked me if I wanted coffee, made me feel welcome. I still thought though, you won’t see me again, then this guy started talking. He was celebrating 3 years sober and I thought wow, he’s done well! Then he started saying things that had happened to him whilst drinking and I thought WHAT! That Could Be Me he’s talking about!!! Things just like that happen to me!! So I got interested. By the time we stopped to have a coffee I was already feeling that I was with people the same as me. They were crazy too. I walked out of that place feeling like a huge, massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It wasn’t what I expected to feel but I went back next night and carried on going. I still wanted the buzz of a drink though. Every time I went to a meeting my husband took me or my Cousin took me, they didn’t trust me to drive past all those shops selling drink and I didn’t trust myself.

Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?

Mel: When I first tried to get help for my drinking from AA my family were relieved I’m certain but I’m pretty sure they weren’t sure if I would stick to it. I managed to get to as many meetings as I could because they helped me by taking me to meetings or baby sitting when my husband took me. It took a few months before they began to believe it was helping and quite a while before I was trusted to drive myself – I didn’t trust myself. I was enjoying the meetings though, enjoying meeting people who had the same problem with drink and had suffered similar excruciating times. One thing I’m sure of, they were pleased they didn’t have to put up with my unpredictable behaviour and above all they were proud of me and they hadn’t felt that for a long, long time.

Mrs D: Have you ever relapsed?

Mel: There have been quite a few times I’ve got upset about something and my alcoholism has told me to Stuff it! Have a drink! I don’t know how but I’ve managed to ignore it. I think of how far I’ve come and how disgusted I would feel with myself and somewhere I have found the strength to ignore it, Thank God!

Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?

Mel: I can’t really recall when things began to calm down but certainly from that first AA meeting when I found others the same as me, when that weight was lifted from my shoulders, I began to feel different within myself and gradually that feeling grew and spread to other parts of my life.

Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?

Mel: The only thing that has surprised me in my recovery is just how crazy I was to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Why didn’t I realise how sick I was emotionally, spiritually and physically?

Mrs D: Such a freedom to be free from that booze trap isn’t it?

Mel: Absolutely. Now I’m not constantly worrying about when I can get out to buy drink, how I’m going to pay for drink, how I’m going to dispose of the empties and convince all I come into contact with that I’m not drunk, my life is a hell of a lot easier.

Mrs D: So much easier!

Mel: Now I don’t have to face the terrors of waking up and realising I don’t remember going to bed and what I did at the end of the evening before. Now I don’t have to worry that my husband and children will think I’m acting odd and have had a drink. The arguments have stopped – well mostly! I no longer have to check the telephone to see who I called and what I said! There were so many things to worry about, now I have peace of mind and it’s priceless. It’s fantastic! Every day I thank my lucky stars and my husband for making me stop and think and get help!

Mrs D: Anything else you’d like to share?

Mel: One thing I really want to get across to people and would like to mention is just how extremely condensed this story is. I would be here for a day or so to remember everything that happened to me and would take a long time to tell. I was drinking alcoholicaly for about ten years and it took me to some truly terrifying places,



  1. Anonymous 4 years ago

    Please help me. I am so trapped. I can’t give up. I am vomitting continously I can’t eat..husband angry with me

    • Helme 4 years ago

      Hi, I’ve just come across your post. How are you? What’s going on in your world? Can i help?

  2. Jane Muralez 4 years ago

    Hi! I think it’s so interesting how you finished the story here – by saying it was extremely condensed, and it would take a day to really tell it. I can relate to that, and I think our route to health is through honest storytelling. My route to sobriety got increasingly uglier, and I still drank until it became so clear that I was going to permanently injure myself (or worse) if I kept going. Thanks so much for sharing your story. xx

    • Omkarime 4 years ago

      Yeah it’s amazing how much we have to suffer before we finally accept we do have a problem isn’t it. The scariest part is that it’s all too easy to forget and go through it again ! I met a guy at AA who got sober just before I did and he appeared to be doing great. One day he walked past a local pub and decided to call in for one. I remember speaking to him about a week after when he finally sobered up enough to get to a meeting. It had a devastating effect on him and he never recovered his sobriety and died two years later. The most terrifying thought for me at the time was that when I spoke to him after and he was so full of remorse and at rock bottom again I could smell alcohol on him and a part of my brain ENVIED him the hit and the feeling!!!!!! If that’s not an insane, twisted alcoholic mind I don’t know what is !!!!! Madness. Our disease is total madness XXX

  3. Tryingagain2505 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this Mel, it sounds like it is still pretty raw for you even 7 years on, but you should know you are a huge inspiration x

    • Omkarime 4 years ago

      When I look back at the total chaos that I caused and the heartbreak I brought to others as well as myself I do wonder how I survived it all. While ever we can remember that and keep sharing and do our best every single day then we can help each other to stay sober. It’s not easy but I tell myself to look back and recall what I did and that’s difficult to do and painful but has to be done x

  4. Liberty 4 years ago

    Grateful to you Mel for sharing your story. It helps so much to know others understand what we go through and have walked this way too. xx

  5. Omkarime 4 years ago

    I am very pleased to have found this group and although my story only scratches the surface of my alcoholism and the sheer Hell I went through, I hope that it will give someone the strength to recognise similarities and join in. If anyone would like to ask me anything at all about my alcoholism and how I still have to be aware of it every single day then please ask.

  6. Jessi 4 years ago

    So happy for you that your husband was so supportive in getting you help – you deserve even more credit for seeing it through. I felt the same when I found this place – lots of people who were just like me. It’s all so helpful to have these resources, and it helps us accept and relish a new life. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

    • Omkarime 4 years ago

      Yes, it’s amazing how you feel like the only person in the whole world who feels that way and it’s a hell of a relief when you find other people who have the same feelings as you! That is a huge help I think x

  7. Bondi 4 years ago

    Thank you Mel for sharing. It still surprises me how similar all our stories are. And how much we have gained by removing that poison from our lives. xxx

    • Omkarime 4 years ago

      There are so many similarities aren’t there ! A lot of totally different experiences, but all stemming from the same feelings x

  8. enzedgirl 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Mel. It’s a hard thing to do but, like that guy you met at that first AA meeting, you never know how much it might help another person.

    Thanks again x

    • Omkarime 4 years ago

      That’s why group therapy helps so much with our sickness isn’t it. The first time I spoke to someone from AA I asked them if there was something I could do one to one because I said I didn’t think group therapy would work for me ! That was because I was scared, ashamed and didn’t want to go basically

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