‘I was drinking a LITRE of booze every day – a life-threatening accident forced me to get sober,’ says woman, 27

Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Tweet

A woman has revealed how a life-threatening car accident forced her to get sober after years of alcohol abuse.

Saoirse Welland, 27, who is a childminder from Leamington Spa, began drinking booze when she was just 12 years old and soon became addicted.

The 27-year-old claims she was drinking the equivalent of a one-litre bottle of booze every day – opting for everything from wine to beer and spirits.

Saoirse Welland in October 2021 after the crash. (Picture: Jam Press)

However, after being involved in a car accident, which nearly cost Saoirse her life, she knew she had to get help.

“It’s the first drink that gets you; one is too many and 100 isn’t enough,” Saoirse told NeedToKnow.Online.

“I began drinking at 12 to suppress emotions but it escalated in my teens.

“I would steal from my parent’s drinks cabinet, decanter them with water to fill them up.

“It gave me the feeling of a warm blanket on a cold day.

“I fell in love with that initial first taste of alcohol, I was constantly chasing that feeling.

“I would drink secretly in my room, go on walks, hide bottles, throw bottles in bushes.

“When drinking, I was a Jekyll and Hyde character – people would never know what version of Saoirse they’d get.

“I’ve been arrested for drinking and driving, being violent, smashing property up; you name it, my actions were part of a very colourful spectrum.”

Saoirse Welland sober in December 2022. (Picture: Jam Press)

Saoirse believes her drinking problems stem from past trauma – in particular having to tragically watch her brother die in a car accident.

She said: “I witnessed my brother die instantly in a road traffic collision.

“He was hit by a car, I was 16.

“I began daily drinking around the time of my brother’s death; I would hide alcohol, stash it, and put emergency bottles around the house.

“My family had exhausted themselves with supporting me because over time things only digressed.

“I hid it well from some friends, they were in shock about my alcoholism, they assumed I just liked a drink.

“I would be in a constant blackout, waking up to empties in my make-up trunk or bathroom cupboard.

“I would drink alone and drink drive.”

Saoirse Welland in Barcelona in 2016. (Picture: Jam Press)

In the end, it was the drunk driving that caused Saoirse to get sober – after she got behind the wheel of her car 4.5 times over the limit.

In October 2021, Saoirse crashed her car into a tree which caused it to flip upside down – she had to be cut out of her vehicle by firefighters.

The 27-year-old suffered a broken nose, broken ribs, a head injury, sustained whiplash and a concussion.

Despite the traumatic experience of the accident, she is grateful – it became the start of her journey to recovery, though it’s not been an easy one.

Saoirse Welland (middle) in 2003 with her brother and sister. (Picture: Jam Press)

She said: “Upon discharge [after the accident], I went to my local recovery partnership and they told me to reduce my units by 10% every three days.

“My dad managed my alcohol consumption (daily allowance) but it was heartbreaking seeing him pour me wine at 9am because I was a 24/7 drinker aside when I was asleep or passed out.

“But it didn’t work; I couldn’t see a life without or with alcohol.

“Eventually I called an ambulance and embarked on a nine-day detox at my local hospital.”

Since the accident, Saorise has managed to turn her life around and has now been sober for 14 months.

She says her relationships with family and friends are slowly repairing themselves, and she now has a sense of self and identity.

Saoirse added: “I don’t have the obsession or compulsion to drink anymore.

“I feel lighter, free of old behaviours such as ending up in sworded places.

Saoirse Welland now – 14 months sober. (Picture: Jam Press)

“I travel and have begun to see the world through sober eyes, I fell in love with blogging, yoga and have a sense of self and identity.

“I have learnt about my character defects, and continually work on navigating my self-development in a positive, healthy way. I

“In sobriety, I have gotten my feelings and emotions back, that’s both good and bad – hard to initially accept.

“Today, now I have surrendered to alcohol, I can be humble and live a serene life.

“Today, I share my experience, strength and hope with a view to it possibly resonating with someone in a similar situation.

“I was filled with resentment about coming to such a conclusion at a young age, but now I’m grateful to live a happy, sober life.

“It’s just one day at a time, that’s all I have to manage without a drink.”