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marriage

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

Gay marriage is one step closer – good or bad?

Today I find myself blogging about something which can divide opinion – it’s not an issue I struggle with myself. Gay marriage is one step closer. Thank goodness. 

I must admit that when it reached the House of Lords, I didn’t imagine that the vote would pass with such a majority. The fact that it did suggests to me that the time is right – now is the time.

There are some of you who will read this post who will feel very conflicted about gay marriage – and the definition of marriage being a union between a man and a woman.

I don’t find any conflict at all.

There will be people who will think that I cannot believe in God and support gay marriage. Well, I’m afraid and I do and I do. You can argue this biblical thing or that biblical thing but I will still stand my ground. I won’t shout my corner, I will just believe in it because I feel it’s right in my heart.

Why? Well, there are several reasons. I’ve always worked in an industry where many people are gay or bi-sexual. I’ve learned through years of having friends and colleagues who are this or that way inclined that being happy and true to yourself is so important.

Too many people in the past have hidden their true sexuality and done the ‘right’ things like get married and have children only to cause pain later on. I know at least one person personally who’s done that. What good does that do in the end?

Tell me, which one is gay? Does it matter?

Tell me, which one is gay? Does it matter?

I have friends who have been in same sex partnerships for many, many years and their relationships are fantastic. So what right do I have to say they are not entitled to be married? If that’s what they want. I’m married and I cherish the relationship.

It’s crazy to me that, only a few years ago, you could have been with your same sex partner for 20 or 30 years and, if your partner died, you could be left with nothing. Where’s the justice in that?

At the weekend I watched Lincoln and the story of the political jiggery-pokery which apparently went on when he was trying to get the 13th amendment passed which made slavery illegal. The same religious arguments were put forward then as to why slavery should stay in place. Beliefs which seem utterly disgusting now. Men who really thought that the colour of skin dictated a level of superiority and that this was dictated by God – clearly.

I wonder if our children will look back and think the same of this debate now….

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