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drugs

Wiltshire family share an amazing love story…

This article first appeared in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald in early February 2014.

 A love story

A love story

Today mum Liz Badcock is a loving mother, doting wife and fledgling entrepreneur.

As she turns 40 this year and enjoys watching her 20-month-old son Harry grow up – she knows she’s lucky to have him, her husband Phil or her new business as a weight consultant.

Liz, who lives near Chippenham, is a recovering addict. She’s spent 20 years battling alcohol and drug dependency, a problem which began in her early teens.

“I had a lovely childhood,” Liz told me. “I’ve got loving parents who have always done everything they can to support me. I cannot, in any way, say that I wasn’t loved at home.

“However, I was always a needy child who craved attention. I grew up well before my time and at 14 I was out clubbing and drinking and getting a lot of male attention.

“Most of my early teens were relationship after relationship, getting used for sex, getting drunk and taking ecstasy and cocaine. I got engaged at an early age, cheated, drank heavily and was never happy.

“By the age of 21 I went from one abusive relationship to another, taking drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and resentment towards myself for putting up with it.”

Liz began a cycle of heavy drink and drug use alongside self-harm and many related issues. Even when she met her husband Phil, who comes from Swindon, she was unable to deal with her various addictions.

“We married on August 29 2003. I drank all day and stayed up until 4am , then I began to drink whisky. On our honeymoon I drank vodka and orange every day trying but failing to disguise it. When we got back my husband insisted that I see a doctor and they diagnosed me with depression and anxiety.”

A partial recovery began with Liz becoming dry for a few years and she began dealing with her weight problem, losing seven stones in six months.

“However I was taking huge does of valium each day to help me diet and smoked very heavily.

“I was sober until December 2007 but things were no better really.

“My doctor stopped prescribing me valium so I took out loans and credit cards and sat at home while my husband was at work, ordering pills from the internet. The amounts were huge when I finally went into rehab in 2008 I’d spent £57,000 on drugs and alcohol.”

During this period of time, Liz and Phil had tried for a baby through IVF with no success. This failure led to a suicide attempt, more attempts at rehab treatment and various relapses into addiction.

Husband Phil stuck by Liz throughout always believing she could change her behaviour.

“Lots of our relationship I was either drunk or high on valium. He always supported me and he’s always been strong. I don’t know, if the boot had been on the other foot, whether I would have been strong enough to support him if he’d been an addict.”

Then in September 2011, something fundamental changed in Liz and Phil’s lives.

Liz said: “I went to the doctor’s after another binge and told her I was late for my monthly, believing this was due to the alcohol abuse. She said I should do a pregnancy test which I thought was a joke. I did the test and found I was pregnant.

“I knew I had to give up the valium, the alcohol and smoking and I also wanted to lose weight once the baby was born. I tried to make amends with all of the people I had hurt and I promised myself I would do right by my unborn child and felt that this was a miracle and a blessing. I quit everything. Harry saved my life.”

Being a recovering addict and being pregnant isn’t an ideal combination. Liz knew that her history could affect Harry in the womb.

“I knew due to my lifestyle that Harry could be at risk. In the early months I had a scan every month as there was a chance that Harry could be very small. At my 20 week scan, it was clear that everything was fine and that he was looking healthy. In fact I then had to have scans to ensure he didn’t grow too big so that I could deliver him safely.”

Harry was born in June 2012 weighing in at 9lbs 11oz. However, Harry wasn’t the only one who was heavy. By the time of his birth, Liz weighed 22 stone and, even after having her son, she still tipped the scales at over 17 stones.

“I knew I had to do something about it so I went back to the Cambridge Diet plan which had worked for me before. However this time, I was going to approach it differently. No drugs this time.

“Now I’m down to 12 stones and will soon fit into size 12 clothing. I’ve still got some way to go but I’m on healthier journey.”

In fact, Liz has now become a weight consultant herself and she’ll be opening her own Cambridge Diet business at Body & Soul in Corsham, Wiltshire at the end of March.

“As I face my 40th birthday, believe me my life looks a lot different. I’ve learned to love myself and I’ve come to believe I am a good person. I know life is to be enjoyed and people deserve love and respect.

“I’m now in a position where I can go into a pub with my friends  – something I’ve never achieved before – and it doesn’t matter that I don’t have an alcoholic drink, I don’t even want one. I used to envy people and now I just think why would I have a drink? Why would I ruin everything? I’ve got a great husband and a happy, healthy child.”

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Winehouse – a mother’s view

Is a bottle of beer really a tribute to a dead addict?

Sometimes the media captures a moment in time of an element of society.

The pictures of the tributes to Amy Winehouse’s sad death this week show bottles of beer and cider placed carefully among the flowers and candles in Camden. It’s like her fans want to say ‘Cheers!’ to her as she enters the next life.

Am I alone in finding this offensive?

It’s well documented that Amy had her troubles with alcohol and drugs. But to celebrate with the very thing that caused so much of her ill health seems childish and remiss. Alcoholics eat little, as excessive drinking can cause problems long term with appetite and the ability to digest food. Amy was clearly thin, and looked ill.

Having a drink can be fun. But what I’m seeing on these images is a lack of sensitivity to her loved ones. This isn’t the end that they wanted. Plenty of people tried to help her but in the end it wasn’t enough.

I’ve seen many articles this week about the 27 club.

Other members such as Janis Joplin, Keith Richards, Kurt Cobain have caused their bodies to pack up because they haven’t known when to stop. They clearly needed help to deal with their emotional problems, yet it is their excesses that are lauded as a cool lifestyle. Live fast and die young? Behind that sentiment is so much sadness.

Amy was a highly talented song writer and singer. Isn’t that what should be celebrated?

High drama outside bedroom window!

As I was quietly contemplating today’s first new blog post, one literally popped into my head. Well, ‘pop’ is not quite the right word, more like ‘screeched’.

I’m not joking. On the little housing estate where I live, it is quite sedate so loud noises really ring out. I heard the screeching of tyres, twice. Rushing to the window, like the neighbour from hell, I thought ‘right, I’ll clock who that was and talk to them or their parents’. I’m afraid I thought it was a young person going far too fast in a residential area.

As I live on a corner, I do get a lot of kids playing football outside as it’s very spacious. I don’t mind, makes the place sound lively but cars do need to be careful.

But I was wrong. A blue car shrieked round the corner and stopped at right angles to my home, right across the road and a guy opened the door and ran off, a second shimmied over from the driver’s side and ran after him. I thought ‘bloody hell, they’re leaving their car in the middle of the road’. Both men were black and, I’m ashamed to say, I thought ‘is it drugs?’ as I realised I was witnessing the aftermath of a crime of some sort.

Then I heard more shrieking brakes and two police cars came and a police community support officer came belting round the corner shouting. I could hear other voices so I assume that another police car had come the other way – a classic pincer movement on my doorstep.

A few seconds later, the running police officer came back with a man in handcuffs – the other one was nowhere in sight, worryingly. Then followed a long time of talking, sitting, on the radio, gathering and chatting, back slapping by police officers and PCSOs. I watched them do a cursory search of the car but nothing was found as far as I could see.

Now as a journalist, did I take pictures! You bet I did, as soon as I realised this was a little bit of drama. Then I thought can I use them? I itch to use them. They’re not that exciting, I have to say as the two men had run off before I had time to even think ‘camera’.

Should I use them?

Let’s think about it. These two men could be innocent of any crime. Unlikely as innocent people don’t shriek away from police cars, abandon their ‘own’ car in the middle of a street and run off. But they could be. Is there likely to be a court case? Who knows? Would my showing the pictures prejudice that case? Possibly if one defendant’s case was that he wasn’t there I suppose? Or that the car wasn’t his? Or he wasn’t in the car?

The pictures clearly identify the car, and one of the men, so should I use them? They do show that this is a nice street and give the impression that such an event is highly unusual and quite exciting. But then that would be the case for most of us. They show that the police acted quickly to deal with it, with the minimum of fuss although there was quite a bit of hanging around afterwards.

On balance, I’ve decided not to publish some of the pictures in case the police decide to knock on my door, or the suspect (or his mate) does the same! But what I’m telling you is true, even if slightly pointless!

police car parked across road

high drama on a Wiltshire street - well for a Thursday afternoon

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