Welcome to the bottled-up 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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  • 28 Apr 2017 11:46 AM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    An Alcoholic's Motivation to Change is part of the video series about an alcoholic's drinking and recovery from alcoholism.  These videos are a very personal account of my (John's) relationship with alcohol and why and how I eventually changed my life around.

    Please share this video with anyone you know who might benefit from seeing it or add a comment if you found it useful.

    Other videos in this series are.

    Why did I drink?

    An alcoholic says sorry

  • 09 Mar 2017 4:04 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Lou recorded this video for you to play when you are having a bad time.  Remember, she has been where you are and lived with an alcoholic for many years (29 to be exact).

    If you are having a bad day, play this and know that we are thinking about you, know that you matter to us.

    Warmest regards

    Lou and John

  • 27 Feb 2017 12:11 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Jo Huey has launched a business in Bournemouth, UK, helping people who are affected by someone else's drinking.  Her aim is to raise awareness of the damage that someone else's drinking can do to families and businesses.  She has plenty of experience of the issues having grown up as the child of an alcoholic.

    We have been in contact recently for a number of reasons, mainly work related.  However I could not let miss the opportunity to interview her, especially since she had just been interviewed by the BBC as part of National Children of Alcoholics' Week.  So here is her interview, completely unedited so you get the full impact of the way alcoholism affected her family and herself.

    Jo tells us in the interview that she has participated in a number of healing avenues that have helped her to deal with the past traumas.  A big thank you to Jo for being willing to be so vulnerable in this interview and for all the work that she does for others.

    Here is the interview.  The interview was carried out over Skype, so there may be some background noise.  Sorry about that but the speech is pretty clear.  Click on the link below and a new page will open and the audio will automatically start.  If you want to download the audio to listen to later then click on the download button on the right side of the audio player.  The file will download as a Mp3.

    Interview with Jo Huey

    Leave a comment to let us know if you found it useful.

  • 20 Feb 2017 3:37 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    If I had tried a little harder, or fought a little longer maybe my dad would have stopped drinking!

    In the UK this is National Children of Alcoholics Week.  Agreed, this is not an occasion that has penetrated the world’s consciousness in any big way.  But it is an important recognition of a large group of the population that is sadly neglected in the UK and all other countries.

    One of the members of Bottled Up wrote this moving piece about her relationship with her dad, eloquently providing us with a glimpse into her burden as rescuer of the dad she loved so much and who loved her in return.  Although this is a deeply personal article, it is a scene that has been repeated in many, many homes as children feel obliged to save their parents from themselves.

    Link to the article  I Couldn't Save my Lovely Dad from Alcoholism

    If you have suffered from someone else's drinking then joining Bottled Up could help you.  All the members have lived with a drinker, including the creators Lou and John.  Join us now

    Please share this link to help us raise awareness of the issues of living with an alcoholic and the lack of help available.
  • 17 Feb 2017 12:46 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    You probably don't know it (I didn't) but this week is National Adult Children of Alcoholic's week. In recognition the BBC interviewed the adult child of an alcoholic (Jo Huey) about her life. You can find the interview here

    Unfortunately the interview is a bit short but if you want to find out more then you can go to her website and see how she helps others in the same situation as herself. http://www.johuey.co.uk/

    I had the pleasure of interviewing her this week and will post the videos of the interview in the members' section of the website soon.

  • 02 Feb 2017 11:34 AM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    Some time ago, I was asked by some of the members of Bottled Up to talk about my drinking and recovery and at the time I promised to record a series of videos.  This video is part of that series.  In this video I discuss some of the influences on my drinking, the circumstances of my ‘first drink’ and how it made me feel.

     I talk about how, for me, alcohol was like some magic elixir that made me feel so special, that gave me power.  That, when I found alcohol, I found the bit that God had left out.  However, my drinking changed when I got married.  My wife did not like my drinking companions and banished them from the house.  This led to me increasingly drinking alone which led more and more to binge drinking as I tried to avoid the withdrawals that were happening more frequently.

    At the end of my drinking I hated the person that I had become and I was drinking to blot that person out which led to even more self-loathing.  Eventually the alcohol stopped doing what I craved and no longer took the fear away.  At the end of my drinking my boss said something that inspired me that I could change.

    Leave a comment if you found this video interesting.

  • 05 Jan 2017 11:19 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    So what about the year ahead, do you feel prepared to meet the challenges of living with an alcoholic? If not, we can help. At Bottled Up we have the tools you need to empower yourself and make 2017 a very different year. So come and join us.



  • 23 Dec 2016 5:48 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    About a year ago I wrote an article apologising for the hurt and pain that I caused by my drinking behaviour.  For some time time now I have been meaning to record the video version of that apology.  This is that video.

    Leave us a comment to tell us your impressions of the video.


  • 19 Dec 2016 5:01 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    So how are you preparing for Christmas?  Is this a time of good cheer, goodwill to all men (and women) time of the year for you?  Or is it more a grit your teeth and hope it passes quickly time? I suspect that if you live with an alcoholic then the second scenario is more likely, for many households with an alcoholic Christmas can be a nightmare as the alcoholic spoils the festive spirit for everyone with their drunken behaviour.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, here are a few tips that could banish the ghost of Christmas past and make your Christmas present a great experience for everyone.

    Expect the Expected

    Einstein is regularly quoted as saying “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome.  Do you do the same thing every Christmas and expect/hope that this year everything will turn out all right, even though the last 10 (or however many) Christmases have ended in tears.  Make this Christmas different by being prepared.

    Christmas is a time when most people take a drink.  Even people who never take a drink all year will indulge.  So it is difficult to expect an alcoholic to abstain on the one day of the year when the rest of the world drinks.  It is not a realistic expectation.  That does not mean that there is nothing that you can do.  You can negotiate some moderation.

    One possibility is to ask your drinker to compromise by not drinking until after the celebrations, for example your mother has gone, the guests have left or the kids have gone to bed.  In return you will not complain about him/her drinking afterwards.  It is probably unlikely that you would get an agreement to such a limiting agreement.  Instead you might negotiate on a amounts or type of drinks, for example no wine or no spirits till after the celebration.

    Party Time

    If you are out at a party or gathering with friends, there is a strong possibility of the drinker behaving in a way that you find embarrassing and shameful.  If they do so try to remember that the shame does not reflect on you.  Although you may be worrying what the other people at the party are thinking about you, it is wise to remember that they are not judging you.  If they are judging anyone, they are judging your drinker and sympathising with you.  Many of them have probably known about the problem drinking for years and may be a good source of support, if you let them help you that is.

    Don’t rescue your drinker, if they are embarrassing themselves let it happen.  Yes we know this seems harsh but you need to remember that if they are going to change their drinking it will be because of the negative out comes that happen.  It won’t be because they are having a great time and the motivation to change may be reduced if you rescue.

    If you feel the need to leave the party because of your drinker’s behaviour, or for any other reason, then leave with dignity.  It is too easy to make the grand exit but, as understandable and justifiable as that may be, it only makes matters worse.  Next day the drinker will not remember their bad behaviour but they will remember you storming out of the party.  So, keep the high moral ground by telling your drinker that you are leaving, invite them to join you and then make your goodbyes to everyone, especially the hosts and then leave.  If your drinker goes with you that’s great, if not don’t wait.  You need to take back control.

    Drinking and driving is a big problem at this time of year.  Make sure that either you drive, or keep the car keys.  It may be wise to ensure that the drinker some money for a taxi home.  You can organise that before going to the party.  If the drinker refuses to take the cab fare you can give the cash to the party host.

    The point is to be prepared for Christmas and what it brings.  Just like you would think through the ingredients for the Christmas dinner and what gifts and cards you need.  The more preparation that you put into planning for the drunken behaviour, the less disappointed you are likely to be and the more peaceful your Christmas will be.

    Have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

    Lou and John

  • 08 Dec 2016 6:29 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)

    In this video Lou explains the rationale behind the website, why we created it and what it is designed to achieve.

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