Bottled Up

Help and Support for people living with an alcoholicProfessional therapists bringing you their 
unique experience of both sides of the problem.

Public Blog

In this Blog we hope to be able to discuss some issues that are relevant to living with an alcoholic.  We invite you to make a contribution to the discussion through the comments facility on the Blog.  However we must make it clear that, much as we might like to, we cannot provide detailed answers to personal questions through this Blog.  So please do not leave personal questions in the comments section.

This is a website for people dealing with serious life issues.  Please be respectful and do not post spam or adverts for unrelated services.  If you do they will be deleted immediately!

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  • 10 Sep 2014 1:23 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    We have published a new post on Yourtango.  It is about one of our central themes for Bottled Up - the nature of the problem and how looking at in the wrong way can be dis-empowering.

    It would be great if you could have a look at this post and 'like' it or share it so that it may get to someone who it could help.  Thanks

    Is my partner an alcoholic


    Lou and john

  • 26 Jun 2014 10:52 AM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Recently we asked you what you thought about us providing a 1 to 1 service on Bottled Up.  We can honestly say that this email prompted the biggest response we have ever had.  All the responses were positive and thought it would be a good addition to the website even if you personally did not use it.

    So because of all this feedback we are now looking to see how we can incorporate a more personal approach to Bottled Up.  We hope to have an offering for you in the next couple of weeks.  So watch this space.


  • 24 Jun 2014 1:22 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    I apologise for the spam that is continually appearing on Bottled Up.  I spend a lot of time policing the Blog and deleting the posts for unrelated products and websites but, to give them credit, they are very persistent.

    As you can see, there is a plea at the head of the Blog asking people to be respectful.  But hey, some people just aren't and it probably would not matter what we put there.  Please be assured, as quickly as I discover the spam I delete it. 

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

  • 02 Jun 2014 2:21 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    We are exploring a number of ways that we can improve the help and support that we provide at Bottled Up.  One of the ways that we are looking at is partnership working with other agencies and individuals working in this or a similar area.  However we really don’t want to create something that you might consider to alter the character of Bottled Up in a negative way.  So for that reason we want to keep you informed and seek your opinion on our plans.

    We had a long chat this morning with a therapist, a lovely lady who has been working for a number of years in this area.  On idea that we discussed was that she could provide 1 to 1 counselling via Skype or phone or email.  This would obviously be a paid option that anyone could choose.

    My question is this. 

    Do you feel that this is an option that would be welcome at Bottled Up?

     Also is this an option that you would consider using? 


    Please don’t worry a yes answer to either question will not be interpreted as a request for these services.  Although if you do want to take up the service you can let me know and I’ll organise it.


    We would really appreciate your opinion on this matter and AS ALWAYS all correspondence will be regarded as completely confidential.


    Warmest regards


    Lou and John

  • 01 May 2014 4:57 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Sorry that we have not updated much lately.  The reason is that we have been extremely busy doing life.  Sometimes it is just like that, life starts to demand your attention like a screaming child and you need to need to drop everything and attend to its needs.

    A few weeks ago our daughter left home.  Nothing sinister, she went off to be mistress of her own domain and make her own life.  However, obviously that is not as simple as “Bye, I’m off.  See you at Xmas, birthdays and when I’m broke”.  No, it was more like a military operation reminiscent of D-Day and took everyone’s full attention for a couple of weeks.  Then we had to mover her across the country and make sure that she was settled in to her new place.  So we may have lost a daughter but we have regained control of the TV remote and found enormous amounts of cupboard space.

    Just after she left we put our house on the market so we could downsize.  Why is it that the best the house ever looks is when you first move in and just before you move out?  Anyway, it was absolutely crazy for a couple of days as hordes of viewers descended on us.  Amazingly we sold within the week (only because we had to go to sealed bids) and we are now looking at our move to a new house.

    So, as I said life has just kind of mugged us recently.  Hopefully we will  get back to updating soon.

  • 27 Feb 2014 1:39 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)
    I feel sometimes that I get little glimmers of hope, like a shaft of light shining in through a crack between heavy curtains.  Then someone notices it and pulls the curtains tighter and the light is gone.

    Sorry about the obscure philosophical opening.  I was doing a bit of research on the web, looking for some stats so that I could make a case to some people I am talking to about Bottled Up.  As I browsed through the stats and the various websites claiming to serve your needs, I became increasingly aware that there is a huge hole in the service provision for families of alcoholics.  But I'm sure that I don't need to tell you that!

    It did not come as a surprise to me either, after all that was why we set up Bottled Up in the first place.  However what was rather surprising is that, despite the hyperbole of service providers, things do not seem to have moved on very much.

    One meeting I was at I was told that, unless service users (that's you) make a case for the services then it is unlikely that they will be provided.  I need to quickly defend the person who told me that.  He was convinced that services were needed and he liked what we provide, BUT the current system of commissioning and providing services makes it difficult for him to make it happen.

    So that's where you come in - let's face it, you knew that I was going to ask you for something - help us make a case for the services.

    All we ask is that you send me an email saying that you would like to have help and support to cope with your drinker.  You can then give as much detail as you like about what that help and support might look like.  Would you want to be able to access it online 24/7, would you like access to information, would you want support that is about YOU and not how you can help your drinker.  And anything else that you might want to add.

    We will maintain your anonymity.  All you need to include is where you are from (county is sufficient) and your initials.  We will strip the email address and any identifiers out of the correspondence before showing it to anyone.

    Send it to me at

    Thanks for helping us help you.


  • 02 Jan 2014 12:25 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)
    Happy New Year to all our members and visitors.  How was the festive season for you?  Was it as good or bad as you expected?  Or did it turn out completely different from what you expected.  Tell us how it went.

  • 04 Dec 2013 2:54 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Recently we were asked to run a seminar/workshop on the Bottled Up approach for people who live with an alcoholic.  When we agreed, we were unaware that this session was going to be attended by some of the local agencies working in the addiction field. At first it seemed a bit like pushing a very large stone up a hill - really hard work.

    Both of us have presented in public many times.  So we are not usually fazed by standing in front of an audience.  However that particular day it became clear that there was more than one agenda going on.

    We found it very difficult to actually engage with the audience at first and it seemed (which actually turned out to be true) that we were on trial.  A couple of the attendees (who worked for the other agencies) told us after the seminar that they had come along to see us with a lot of scepticism (actually at least one put it a bit stronger than that).

    However, the end result was that they liked what we had to say and felt that what we had to offer was valuable.  Indeed we are now about to have a couple of meetings with the other services to see how we can collaborate with them.

    So altogether it was a very valuable day.  And watch this space, particularly if you live in the South West of England as we hope to be able to announce a brand new service some time in the new year.

  • 01 Nov 2013 10:44 AM | John McMahon (Administrator)
    We have come back from a great time having a cruise round the Mediterranean.  This is the end of the first week back but we are still struggling to get back in harness and get into any kind of routine. 

    I think that the issue was that this last year has been very draining for us in so many ways.  There have been so many changes happening in our lives and they all seem to be happening at the same time.  Most of the changes are good, our daughter is leaving home to set up home with her man, we are looking to move house and are in the process of fixing everything that should have been fixed while we lived in it.  We have started a whole new enterprise for businesses and that needs lots of time and effort and lots of other things that I won't bore you with.

    I don't think either of us have slept as much as we did that first week of the cruise.  Any time we sat down or lay down we seemed to be asleep in seconds.  And that seems to have continued to a lesser degree since we returned.

    Sorry to drone on, all I started off to say was we are back.  So hello again.
  • 11 Sep 2013 1:27 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)
    We have just published a new article on YourTango.  This one is all about the secrecy that appears to be part of living with an alcoholic.  Have a look at it and let us know what you think of it.  Buried alive - The secret world of the alcoholic's partner.
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All material copyright Lou Lewis and John McMahon © 2013

All photographs by Cassia Lewis
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