Exit to Google
Sophie was already into clubbing and experimenting with alcohol and its intoxicating effects long before she went to university. Once there however, it felt obligatory. She was alone, but excited – she was not going to be left out of the social side of uni – and she was no stick-in-the-mud.
Sophie was bombarded with invitations to go 'partying'. Firstly she was hit with 'fresher's week' (which turned out to be fresher's month), and indeed continued in one form or another throughout the academic year. At the same time, all the students, who had never had their own 'pad' before were having house-party after house-party. It didn't seem to matter whether you knew them or not, word got out and then you met more and more people, who could feel lonely?
Opting out was frowned on as if it were a judgement on the inviter, and anyway Sophie wanted to experience everything! The journey was agonising, lectures missed, essays unwritten, warnings and penalty marks. She started to socialise in order to distract herself from all the negative stuff. Soon it felt wrong not to be going out.


Even when others seemed to be settling into a more ordered routine – they were being 'boring', and then in her mind, they were jealous, didn't understand her, even hated her.
She didn't remember stumbling in, waking everyone up, shouting, being sick, making a mess in the kitchen and bathroom. She didn't believe them when they told her. So the 'friends' who did go out and go 'clubbing' were now her "real" friends. They perpetuated the lifestyle – they were all about validating each other whilst leading each other further into the alcohol fuelled world.
Even as, in rare moments of lucidity, Sophie began to suspect that she would prefer a different way of living. She turned around to find she had no real friends to help her. Her club friends however were always there, always with an invitation to go out, 'chillax', hang out or 'whatever'. Soon Sophie hated herself, hated her lifestyle and felt trapped.

She looked for a support organisation, but there was nothing, meanwhile family and friends were trying to say she had a problem…. She didn't feel she really had, what did they know? At some really dark moments, when she called out, they just said 'get help' but where was it? The only thing she read and heard over and over was 'you're an alcoholic'.
She was already doing things she didn't want to think about, things she struggled to admit even to herself. She felt she was already in hell. Fortunately, Sophie came from a close family, and had been brought up with a fighting spirit. She wasn't going without a fight. She organised some therapy and painfully, made progress, she stopped drinking completely for 18 months. There are still big things to tackle in her life and it's not perfect, but she is on her own journey. Her courage is immense, and she wants others not to feel trapped, to be able to get out at the decision crossroads. Some intervention may be necessary – 'it doesn't have to be inevitable'.
Sophie dared to make her own decisions, how about you?
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