Mim Jenkinson never woke up needing a drink.
It was never the first thing she thought about in the morning. There was so much else to do: Her kids needed to get to school, and her small business was doing well.
But it would be happen each night, around 7pm. She’d worked, picked her kids up from school and now with them safely tucked away in bed, her mind was racing with thoughts she wanted to quell.
To the outside world, Mim’s life looked pretty good. She lived in sunny Newcastle, was the mother of two small kids, ran her own blog and small business and had been given the all clear after having breast cancer in 2015. She was in remission, making money and winning awards.
Here are just some of the effects after one year without drinking alcohol. Post continues below video.
But behind closed doors, and at around 7pm each night, she’d reach for a wine. It was this desire for a drink that was secretly taking its toll. Her alcohol dependence was growing rapidly, as was the frequency and quantity of the drink she was consuming.
But Mim was never what we imagine when we think ‘alcoholic’.
“I don’t want people to think that behind closed doors I was wasted and out of it, because that wasn’t the case,” Mim explained to Mamamia.
“I drank so much, so frequently that I tolerated it and I managed to function very well as a mum, as a businesswoman, as a wife and as a friend. While I was cracking on the inside and definitely had issues with mental health because of the amount I was drinking, and the shame and the anxiety and the guilt that came with it, it just wasn’t apparent to other people.”
She never rolled out of bed and reached for a bottle. She didn’t even feel a physical need to drink. It was, she realised upon reflection, more mental.
Her husband knew exactly how much she was drinking, but did not realise to what extent it had become a problem. She confided in her GP and in a psychologist she was seeing for PTSD, but otherwise, no one knew.