A mother has revealed how she spent $450k on booze, lost 18 phones and necked vodka for breakfast, all while working in a top job.
Nicola Farrell from Crystal Palace, London, began boozing with friends at 16 which sadly led to addiction in her '20s.
The 37-year-old mum-of-two found herself drinking a litre of vodka daily whilst working as an executive assistant in a top financial company.
"I was drunk from the moment I arrived at work,” Nicola said.
“I found it bizarre when people didn’t drink. However, I never told anyone that I was drinking vodka on the tube during my morning commute and wine on my lunch, followed by more vodka on an evening.
“It was a rolling cycle towards the end - I was constantly hungover and tipsy.”
Nicola was a self-professed party girl as a teenager and went on to become an air hostess in her ‘20s.
She says her drinking spiralled out of control and she became alcohol dependent.
“I began drinking because it was fun but in the end, it was the complete opposite,” she said, revealing she spent about $450,000 on alcohol over 13 years.
"I stopped socialising with other people as they didn't drink as quickly or as much as I’d like and I didn’t want them to judge me,” she said.
“I used to bring my children Athena, now 10, and Alana, six, to restaurants with a bar rather than McDonald's and other kid-places.
"When I split up with my ex-husband in 2017, we sold the house and got around $165k (£90k) each - I don't have a penny left as I drank it all.”
Nicola recalls people saying she doesn’t ‘look’ like an alcoholic when they found out about her lifestyle.
“We all have a preconception of what an alcoholic looks like,” she said.
“I used to try hard to make sure everyone believed I was fine but deep down, I wasn’t.”
She admitted she had a problem for the first time in February 2018 while she was sitting in a pub during her lunch hour and she knew she was ‘too drunk’ to return to her desk.
“I decided to just come clean and tell my boss who was so supportive,” she said.
“I was an alcoholic and I checked into rehab. I haven’t looked back since.”
Nicola say she wishes she had told her friends and family sooner so they could have helped her.
Now, she is set to celebrate two years sober and hopes to inspire others to seek help.
Nicola attends three Alcohol Anonymous meetings per week, claiming they have completely changed her life.
“People think sobriety is boring but you can do everything when sober - apart from drink,” she said.
“It is amazing waking up without a hangover and being there physically and emotionally for my girls.
“I don’t think I would be here today if I didn’t stop drinking as I wouldn’t have coped with the lockdown.
“I feel sorry for people who have been drinking throughout the lockdown and I urge them to get help. They won’t regret it.”
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