How Alcohol Abused Me – Amy’s Naked Life

Amy didn’t just abuse alcohol, she also found alcohol abused her. It took some perilous situations for her to finally find control. Read how This Naked Mind helped her find freedom from alcohol.

alcohol abused me

Alcohol Abused Grandad

Alcohol has always had a strong presence in my life. My Nan and Grandad raised me. My Grandad was a burly Irishman and had a taste for the drink. You could say his world revolved around it. He worked for Guinness. Regularly found in the local pubs until the last bell. He loved his drinking pals (his only pals).

I vividly remember knowing even at a very young age, that Grandad came as two different people- sober and drunk. I would know the difference immediately. Not just by his behavior or slurred speech but from the strong smell that echoed off his breath. In the pubs,  I would always ask my grandad to taste his drinks and I was, I suppose, like most children- interested and fascinated by the ‘adult only special drink’.

Pain and Tragedy

At 13, my Grandad passed away from cancer. It was just me and my Nan from then on. I guess from the traumatic experience of watching Grandad decline and pass- Nan was very lenient with me. When I would have friends over I would request a bottle of lambrini or big alcopops for us to share. Our house was known as the party house. Nan was the ‘cool’ parent. As I got a little older, as many young teens do, I started sneaking about drinking hard liquor stolen from parents’ cellars & alcohol cabinets. This continued to grow, as I did until I hit college. 

Knowing It All

I was 16 and believed I knew it all. We partied, and drank, we smoked and we started experimenting with harder drugs. At 17, unlike all my mates, I dropped out of college and moved in with my then-boyfriend. He was a weed dealer and I believed he was the one. I didn’t care for education, I cared for the party. And party we did. So much so, that it was in that year I reached out to my doctors and expressed that I was experiencing very problematic drinking. However, the yearning to feel an escape and have dutch courage coursing through my veins was too enticing to actually deal with this growing problem, as advised. When I turned 18 I finished that relationship and I began a road of promiscuity. 

I was the party

I was the late-night call at 4 am, as I’d be the girl you knew was still up and out on it. In fact, I didn’t work because I didn’t need to at that point. People always lavished me with all the alcohol I wanted. Bed hopping from house to house depending on where the ‘party’ was.

By 19 I started an extremely volatile relationship with my next proper partner. My lifestyle included heavy alcohol use daily, not just the socially planned evening/weekend/parties.

This is when I first had contact with an alcohol key worker with the local recovery partnership but yet again the desire to truly take ownership wasn’t quite there, so I ditched that pretty sharpish and continued on my alcohol journey. The next 5years were just a blur of non-stop ‘party’ if you want to call it that?

Drug Enthusiasts

We were the drug enthusiasts. Our sessions went on for days/weeks at a time and drugs were rife. Any job I had during that point never lasted. I’d either be fired for drinking on the job or sod the job off to continue the session that was raging on. Things were very messy. I got my first DUI,  I was hurting people around me doing things I’d never do sober. My mental health was declining evermore, and resorting to episodes of self-harm and suicidal tendencies. I could not tell you the positions I got myself in and I was pretty much known as a town drunk amongst other things.

Drama

At age 23 I got together with a friend I’d known for years, his name was Mike. My (then) best friend’s ex. It ruffled a few feathers, to say the least! It caused a huge drama. Our friends were divided. (He has been my biggest supporter. We’ve been together for 9years this May. Now happily married. So it was definitely worth all that we went through to be together.)

Alcohol Abuse and Being Abusive

However, we had a very alcohol-driven relationship at the start. During this time I started turning from the ‘happy party girl drunk’ to the ‘angry, spiteful and nasty drunk’. I became verbally and physically abusive. In short, I was vile and filled with hatred. I was hurting a lot inside. Carrying huge emotional wounds/traumas that I experienced throughout life and through my drinking career. I haven’t touched upon these as that’s most definitely for another day.

All Alcohol, All the Time

For the next 3 years, I drank throughout the entire day. It is no exaggeration that the only liquid that passed my lips was alcohol. From the minute I woke up, I drank. It was on my nightstand throughout the night. I was 26 when I knew something had to change. I had lost myself in a way I hadn’t before. My next step was to do a medical detox. I reached out to the local recovery group again and applied. However, my body couldn’t hold on until then.

Three days before my booked detox, I started experiencing extreme stomach pain and sickness. The more my sickness came the less alcohol remained in my system and I started experiencing extreme withdrawals- I had no idea of the nightmare I was about to live.  I  had actually started delirium tremens – also known as DTs or AWD. About 5% of people in alcohol withdrawal get DTs. If untreated, delirium tremens can cause a heart attack, stroke, and death.

Abused by Alcohol

To the hospital, I went. On arrival, I had alcohol psychosis and believed the devil was talking to me.  I witnessed flies, rats, and people tormenting me at my bedside. I had a grand mal seizure. This left Mike and my Nan terrified I might die or be left with brain damage. When I came around I spoke like a baby/with a different accent for hours. I stayed confused and disorientated throughout the rest of my hospital stay.  Due to my alcohol abuse, I also was diagnosed as having my first acute pancreatitis attack. Acute Pancreatitis is a life-threatening illness and extremely painful. Treated with Librium for withdrawal. Given morphine for pain relief for pancreatitis pains. My body obviously abused by alcohol.

Lesson not Learned

I was advised I should stop drinking immediately. I discharged myself early despite requests not to – I couldn’t stay any longer in the ward where I witnessed so much horror. My detox nurse came to my home daily to check in and gave my Librium to Mike to administer throughout the day, to continue the detox safely. I swore I’d never touch a drop of booze again. The pain, the sheer fear, and the trauma I’d experienced put me off for good. Or so I’d thought.

I lasted roughly one month before I reached for the drink again. And off began this cycle of hospital visits/pancreatitis attacks and all that goes along with it. I was hospitalized regularly and eventually diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis from alcohol misuse. During these frequent hospital visits/episodes, I had DTs each time, each one equally as unpleasant as the last. If you are unfortunate enough to know what they are like, you’ll know the misery/fear I was living through.

Risk of Death

It was eventually written on my discharge sheet that I was formally warned I would die if I didn’t stop drinking and I ran the risk of death each relapse as my withdrawals were so extreme. I was told I wouldn’t survive another round of this.  Well, I was to test this theory again and again, like a cockroach I came out war wounded but breathing. God kept saving me but I couldn’t understand why I could never get past a couple of weeks of no alcohol even despite the damage being done to my body and wellbeing. The damage my husband, my family, and friends endured. The threat of further pancreatitis/DTs and even death couldn’t deter me.  I was abused by alcohol but still abusing alcohol.

Breaking the Cycle

I could not get out of this vicious cycle. My enemy disguised as a friend-a friend I didn’t want to lose. A crutch I could not put down. A habit I didn’t want to drop. I had no idea of who I was underneath it all. I believed it was part of my identity. Embedded in who I was.


In 2019 I found out I was pregnant. After getting over the initial shock, we were happy with our unplanned little gift. I cut my alcohol use down a tremendous amount. When I found out the news I was still drinking daily and heavily. Although I cut back, I certainly could not stop. I had several drinking occasions throughout my pregnancy which I was not proud of. However, this was the soberest friends and family had witnessed in years!

Moderation is a Myth

Thankfully, our son, Fyn was born a super healthy 9’3lb and was perfect head to toe. We were in love. The first few weeks/months with Fyn I didn’t bother with alcohol, I’d have the odd glass of champers/gin and after one or two decided I didn’t care for it and could ‘pass’. It helped that I was breastfeeding. However true to form in my story, moderation didn’t last- I resorted back to alcohol with a vengeance and found myself back at square one in 2020. Another year of drinking ensued.

Here We Go Again

In January 2021 I reconnected with my alcohol recovery team once again. I found myself drinking a bottle of gin a day and wanted to detox. However, there was a 6-week wait and that seemed too far the distance for me. So I did an at-home reduction dropping down a unit every few days. After a successful reduction, I made it 19 days before I broke and picked up the bottle again. Thus began a whole different drunken war, because this time I had a baby to look after and protect.

Thankfully I was living with my Nan at her home whilst we saved for our first privately owned family home. So there was always a supervising adult around between my Nan and my husband Mike. During this year I got my second DUI and social services became involved within our family unit. They visited once a month and I spoke to my alcohol counselor fortnightly. I told them I had ‘occasional’ drinks but was predominantly sober. I was lying, I was binging still. After a few months, they signed us free from their services.

Lost and Spiraling

2022. This brings me to the pivotal moment. The domino effect that has brought me to be the most sober and free I’ve ever been. My Nan- my mum, my best friend- passed away in mid-January. It sent me into a complete downward spiral of epic proportions. When I realized how far down the rabbit hole I’d fallen again, I attempted to self-detox/reduce at home. I was desperately unwell and my husband and a dear friend had to care for me, bathe me, etc. as I was bedbound. I believed it was simply down to harsh withdrawals again however that was not the case.

Near-Death

On March 5th, 2022, my husband, my friend, and my aunt forced my hand into going into an ambulance that had been called. Thank God they did as not only was I withdrawing badly, I was battling sepsis caused by alcoholic gastritis and an inflamed liver. Left another day and I’d have gone into septic shock and there would have been a very different outcome to all this.

Something changed this time. In a covid stricken world, I wasn’t allowed visitors on the ward. I was alone and left to lie with my thoughts. My heart weakened when I was told I had sepsis. I honestly believed I’d never see my husband or son again. The pain experienced with sepsis was more significant than any pancreatitis attack I’ve ever had (and as previously mentioned, those are PAINFUL) yet this was a new level of agony.

Pure Agony

I lay there praying to God, pleading to save me again and that this time would be different. The lady opposite me lay in her bed, jaundice yellow as her liver was ceasing to function. She had told me her husband had recently passed from pancreatitis cancer. Both her illness and her loss resonated with me for obvious reasons. I felt like I was looking across at a potential future me, or that I’d suffer the same fate as her beloved husband.

I No Longer Want To Be Abused by Alcohol

Lying there at age 32, I objectively looked back over my 15-year turbulent relationship with alcohol. I realized what I already knew deep down. Alcohol was ruining my life from the minute I let it in. It steals everything from me- peace, jobs, memories, relationships, happiness, awareness, and a true sense of identity. It wasn’t just rotting my body from the inside out slowly and painfully but actively trying to take my life full stop.

Getting Naked

On my last hospital admission whilst I had a medical detox and battled alcoholic gastritis and sepsis, my husband took to the internet to find me some recovery books to come home to. He Google searched and This Naked Mind was one of the top books recommended and that had piqued his interest.

I absolutely devoured it, finishing the lot within 2 days of coming home. I’ve read numerous recovery books over the years but this one felt like it stuck. It gave me hope. It helped take away the feelings of guilt and shame, as I learned how I’d been tricked and manipulated rather than being a bad person throughout the years. I understood that we’ve been programmed with our thoughts towards alcohol and unraveling them helped me take back control! I’ve since recommended this book to several friends, each has enjoyed it as much as I have.

Start Reading

If you’ve been abused by alcohol and you’re ready to take back control, start reading This Naked Mind for free right now!

Making the Decision to No Longer Be Abused by Alcohol

Upon being discharged from the hospital, I made a life-changing decision. I told my husband, family, and friends – I can never drink again. Terrified of ever stating that to anyone and never thought it was a thing I could take ownership of. But I did it and in doing so I burnt every bridge to drink with people ever again. Suddenly, I felt a wave of relief and excitement flow over me. The decision had been taken away. I wasn’t going to drink again and people knew it. I had told them. Contrary to what I’d been tricked into believing, alcohol isn’t anything but poison. A liquid that will strip you of your good heart, mental wellbeing, relationships, health, jobs, memories, money…the list goes on and on. Sobriety isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s’ not shameful. It’s liberating and freeing. There’s a fulfilling life awaiting out of the clutches of addiction and I’m starting to see it all in all its wonder!

Share Your Story

I am currently still going strong and have 69 days AF! My longest stretch yet. Each day is a blessing! This Naked Mind has helped me recognize my unhelpful thoughts towards alcohol and shut them down as soon as they crop up! Giving me another day without the desire to drink poison and most importantly staying sober!

If you’ve turned the page on being abused by alcohol through our books, podcasts, or other programs – we’d love to have you share your story and inspire others. Click here to learn how!