Hi, I’m Maria and I live in South Manchester. I own a FMCG recruitment business and I live with Frank, my long-term partner and our beautiful chocolate labrador, Willow.
Being Irish, drinking is a huge part of our culture and I first drank when I was 15. I drank heavily through university, then when I moved to Britain afterwards, continued binge drinking at weekends. This was bad enough for my health, but when my Mum died when I was 32, started using alcohol as an emotional crutch. Knocking back a bottle of wine a night became common place during bereavement. I would then go through good periods in my 30's, not drinking for a week or two, doing a fitness challenge etc, but as soon as I started again, I couldn't stop at 1 drink.
My 40's have been eventful, made redundant twice and dealt with childhood trauma. Alcohol was always there as an escape. I have tried all the tricks to moderate, including stick with lager, avoid wine before 7pm, drink water between rounds, have 2 nights off alcohol, drink white wine spritzers, nothing worked! When my beautiful sister, Stella, died of motor neurone, in December 2017, 10 weeks after diagnosis, my alcohol consumption rocketed. This destructive cycle continued until June 2019 when I finally realised, if I wanted a long life, with healthy relationships, I had to stop drinking.
Tempest online school, sober books and Bee Sober have been an amazing support in my sober journey. My health has improved, depression has gone, close relationships have improved dramatically and my hobbies have flourished. I can honestly say that becoming sober is the best thing that I have ever done!
I’m looking forward to meeting other sober people in my area so we can support each other and enjoy some sober socialising.
Together, we can do this!'