A mother's battle with alcoholism: "I'm finally the mum my son deserves"
This week in Woman magazine: my story about one woman's determination to stop her secret drinking habit.
From the outside, nobody would have guessed that respectable Sonia Grimes was anything but the perfect mother, She picked her son up from school everyday, held down a job and payed the mortgage on her house in Buckinghamshire.
But behind closed doors, Sonia's young son witnessed her chronic drinking. She was often passed out drunk on the sofa in the evenings, and would hide bottles of booze in the airing cupboard when guests came to visit.
Her drinking became steadily worse throughout her son's childhood, and she tells how she became emotionally unavailable to him. Until one day, when her son was 15, she decided to give up drinking for good.
She said: "Looking at my son one day, I had a moment of horrible clarity. I suddenly realised what my drinking must be doing to him."
Although she'd attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the past, she'd always fallen off the wagon when having 'just one glass' of wine after work turned into downing the whole bottle.
But this time she quit cold turkey, spurred on by the determination to give her son a better life and be the mother she knew he deserved. She battled cravings for a drink every time a stressful situation arose, and tells how she avoided going out with friends so she wouldn't be faced with alcohol.
But she succeeded, and three years later she is still teetotal. Now Sonia says she is finally the mother her son deserves.
She said: "My son and I have a very honest relationship now. At first when I gave up drinking he didn't believe I was serious about it. I said, the onus isn't on you to believe me, it's on me to prove to you that I can do this.
What's more, giving up drinking gave Sonia the courage to start her own business, YOUtrition, which coaches people through weight loss.
"I don't miss alcohol anymore because the relationship I have with my son is more important than anything else. Now I help other people who are battling with food addictions through my business."
Sonia bravely shared her story with Woman magazine to give courage to other women who are struggling with addiction. She tells how the face of addiction isn't always the drunk on the street but sometimes the respectable mum in the playground.
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