This is a letter we received from one of our Facebook group members. We asked her if we can share it with you as her journey has been incredible…..

A LOVE LETTER TO YOU ALL: Hi, today marks 45 days without drinking alcohol… this is a big deal…if you’re like me, you already know this. I wish I could say it was some moment of clarity that caused me to stop.

It could have been the time I acted a fool at the office Christmas party five years ago…it wasn’t. It could have been the time I blacked out when I first met my husband’s family ten years ago…it wasn’t. It could have been the time I went to a neighbor’s Halloween party a few years ago and apparently told off one of my neighbors because she wouldn’t paint her house, it wasn’t. It also could have been one of the times I woke up in a strange place with no memory of how I got there, but sadly, none of that was enough.

Here’s what happened to me…I had a CT scan for a different problem and the CT scan did my entire upper body. The doctor left me a voice mail with the results…nothing major, he said…just a fatty liver, blah blah blah.Fatty liver, in case you don’t know, is the first stage of liver disease. Also, in case you don’t know, the liver is really, really important and liver disease is really, really bad.

Some people get a fatty liver from eating wrong…I knew that wasn’t why I had it, why I had given this to myself. I knew, in that moment as I listened to the voice mail, I knew. I knew what I had known for years…I was slowly drinking myself to death. Death had just come to my younger cousin. He died of Cirrhosis of the liver…this is the final stage of liver disease…game over. I got the news on August 1st and guess what was the first thing I did? Did you guess that I drank alcohol? Bingo!! Yes I did! Lots of it! Of course I did! I needed comfort. I needed to forget. I needed to escape the terrifying truth that I was slowly killing myself with booze. Vodka to be exact.

Oh Vodka, how I love(d) you! I kept you in the freezer…the big bottle, the public bottle…but there were other bottles…of course there were! Bet you knew this too. Other bottles (that I obviously needed) were other places…the bathroom, my closet and lots of little airplane bottles to take with me places (in case there wasn’t enough)…There is NEVER enough…is there? Was yours wine? Or beer? Or something else? Doesn’t matter, does it…because there was simply never enough.

All of August I struggled to say goodbye, to save my life…but it was so hard. Why was it so hard? Well, for me, it was because of the very stubborn and oh-so-logical voice in my head…it had lots to say! You know that voice, I’m sure. She is a f***ing bitch and a f***ing liar! But she is also the voice of my longtime best friend! Surely, she is not trying to kill me! Or was she? I felt lost, alone and hopeless. And then I found two groups on FB. Club Soda and The Sober Experiment. I found you all.

You (mostly) lovely British drinkers wanting to NOT let booze ruin your life too! You were so sweet and so non-judgmental. You shared stories…some of you were doing so well and some of you were struggling…but there you were, every morning when I opened my computer, there you were, sharing your defeats and your triumphs…and slowly, I began to have hope. I started the 30 day challenge on The Sober Experiment on September 1st and vowed to go until my birthday in October (coming up)…that was the best I could do and you made me feel like that was pretty good! So today I have 45 days…in a row! 45 days of not drinking. 45 mornings waking up and REMEMBERING everything about the night before. 45 days of no shame, guilt or crippling fear. So thank you all! I love you all! I have hope…hope that my liver will heal, hope for a better life.

 45 days of no shame, guilt or crippling fear.

Lisa and Alex, I will come to Manchester one day to give you a proper, goofy, American hug! So I am sending you all love, especially I am sending love to anyone with less time. If you are in the first few weeks, and the voice is lying to you, please have hope. It gets better. Thank you for being here…it really matters…every post, every like, every GIF…it matters, you matter to me! I am 45 days sober today and I think you Brits would say “I’m feeling very chuffed with myself!” X O Yvonne

Our Reply: We want you to know, Yvonne, that we think you are amazing and one hell of a woman! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, we definitely are “well chuffed with you” xx

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