I started binge drinking at 14 and became addicted but now I’m sober
A woman has opened up about her struggles with alcohol and drugs from a young age, after she became addicted to binge drinking at the age of 14.
Abi Feltham, 35, from London, started drinking cider from the age of 14 just like her friends, but her issue was, when they stopped, she would still carry on and hid bottles around her room and her family’s house.
She moved from cider to hard spirits, began taking drugs and got involved with the wrong crowds, drinking until she would black out.
Now sober, Abi, who has lived over Asia, Sydney, New York Ottowa and Tofino working in hospitality jobs, before moving back to her home in UK with her mum when the pandemic hit in 2020.
Abi Feltham, 35, from London, started drinking cider from the age of 14 and became addicted to alcohol. For almost two decades, she struggled with her addiction, before quitting drinking and becoming sober
She’s revealed she’s fallen in love with herself after becoming sober, getting a serious partner and finding a passion for bodybuilding, Abi is worlds away from who she was over a decade ago.
Abi explains: ‘When thinking back, it makes me feel sad for who I used to be and that woman who had no hope. That woman who was hurting herself and on such a destructive streak.
‘I would just drink to get black out drunk every day. I would work in restaurants and hospitality jobs just so I could drink on the job.
‘I tried to end my life and I was severely depressed. Throughout my life I have had mental health issues and I have always had a difficult relationship with alcohol, I’ve always been a wild child rebellious and partied too hard.
Abi, pictured now,
The former addict admitted she would drink from the moment she’d wakeup, and all throughout the day
‘I was in a relationship with a guy who got sober, but he introduced me to crack cocaine and I fell into this really bad cycle.
‘Any money I made from working I would just spend straight on alcohol, every day. My boyfriend at the time would go to work and I would spend the day drinking a whole bottle of tequila and he would come home and I would just be blackout drunk.
‘I would drink from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep and I wouldn’t care if I lived or died. It got to a point where my boyfriend who I was with in New York, put me on a plane to Canada to live with a mutual friend as he couldn’t cope with me anymore.
Abi, pictured now, admitted that during her binging years, she dated a man who was sober from alcohol, but would no crack cocaine
Abi lived around the world, and embraced the party lifestyle, but she was deeply unhappy and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for three days after attempting to take her own life
‘It was there I tried to end my life and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for three days, but I never made the correlation between how I was feeling and how much I was drinking. As soon as I was out I started drinking again.
‘I was able to hide it from my family because I would only show them the things they wanted to see. They would only see the good parts of my life.
When the pandemic hit, Abi was living in Canada, but everyone around her who were there whilst travelling had gone home, so she eventually decided to do the same.
She explains: ‘I think being in the house I grew up in and being at my childhood home helped a lot. It was like putting a mirror up to myself.
After the covid-19 pandemic forced her to move back home to the UK, Abi said it was like a mirror had been put to herself, and she quit drinking
Following her recovery, Abi met her new boyfriend at the gym, who she said has been ‘amazing’
The recovering alcoholic focused on herself and her mental health to overcome her addiction to drinking
‘I took a long hard look at myself, I had so many rock bottoms and I was exhausted at being in such a low and dark place. Being in my childhood bedroom made me reflect and I think it’a what triggered the change in my mindset.
‘I think I realised I wanted to live and improve my life. I wanted things to get better before, but I didn’t believe they could, and in the moment when I realised I was powerless against alcohol and all my decisions, that’s when I had a bit of hope.
‘I think one of the main changes is that I started to like myself a little bit more. My self esteem was so low I didn’t care about my wellbeing as I hated myself so much, but as I started making positive lifestyle changes, I respected myself a lot more and as my self esteem has grown a lot of other areas have too.
Abi said she feels more stable and in control of her decision since she’s stopped drinking, and now has a career in marketing
‘I have career now in marketing, with job prospects and a future with development, no longer just waitressing and fast food jobs. I have also just moved into a flat with my boyfriend who is amazing, who I met at the gym.
‘It’s the first healthy relationship I’ve ever been in and the first time I’ve been with someone who is kind and actually a good person.
‘I started looking after my appearance and I’ve fallen in love with powerlifting. It’s been a huge part of recovery. I now go to the gym and look after my body. I eat well and I drink water now which I never did. I’ve noticed the biggest change is my mental health.
‘I’m a lot more stable now than what I used to be. I’m in control and I make decisions that are good for me.
‘It’s like all the parts of the puzzle now fit together and I’ve realised I’ve had to stop drinking, surrender and knew I had to let go, and if I did, if I could eradicated it and things would start to improve, I had glimmer of hope.
‘My mum knew what I was like growing up, so I think she knew the sort of stuff I was doing and gone through. She knew about the suicide attempt and the psych ward.
‘I’m very open with friends and family when I stopped drinking and for me that was important in recovery. To be honest with the people around me, I admitted I was alcoholic and couldn’t drink anymore and I had to be sober.
‘Because they knew that they knew how to support me, now when I go to bars, pubs and parties they know I cant drink and are very supportive.’