A woman who turned to alcohol during lockdown out of sheer boredom has spoken out about its devastating effects.
Kathleen Edge would drink a litre of vodka and four bottles of wine in two days – partly because she was so bored of being stuck at home.
Despite previously having a "healthy relationship with booze", Kathleen says the stress, strain and boredom of lockdown tipped her over the edge.
And at one point things got so bad she could barely crawl between her bed and her sofa.
Speaking to the BBC, the woman from Newport said: "I knew it was wrong, I knew it was too much.
"It had got to the point where I could not walk anymore. If I wanted to get between the bed and the sofa it was virtually crawling.
"And I knew something was wrong”.
Her turning point came in December when a friend came to drop a delivery off and she begged him to "please just take the booze away – it is killing me".
“I probably owe him my life. He told me I looked dreadful and that he would not leave until I had got help. Until I had got an ambulance," she added.
Kathleen admitted it was humiliating to be carried out of her house, especially knowing she had drunk herself into that position, according to Wales Online.
"I'm thinking 'you've got yourself into this position, there is Covid going on and you're calling an ambulance and this is really selfish'," she explained to BBC Wales. "But I needed an ambulance."
It was the straight-talking of a liver specialist at the Grange Hospital, near Cwmbran, that forced Kathleen to confront her problem head-on.
"He said to me 'I think you have something to tell me. You need to say it out loud'," Kathleen added. "And I looked at him and said 'I'm an alcoholic'. That was the first time I had said it out loud and it was very freeing."
The damage to her body is long term and potentially irreversible. Her liver was so damaged it caused her legs to swell and she now has to walk with a stick. Alcohol is a "great deceiver" she said, and she is happy to have ditched the vodka.
"It is your best friend, it makes you feel fantastic, it makes you feel good, but it is almost as if alcoholism is grooming you and it can blow up in your face.
"It is all in my hands now. I make the decisions. I have been incredibly lucky. I want to get to the point where we do not talk about it anymore. I don't drink and that's that."
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