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I didn't see an end to drinking - I just thought I'd die from it; A WOMAN WHO LOST HER SON, HER JOB AND ALMOST HER LIFE TO DRINK TELLS janet tansley HOW SHE TURNED HER LIFE AROUND.

Byline: janet tansley

AIRPORT security worker Janice Gill unscrewed the bottle top and smelled the water she had just taken off a passenger.

"It wasn't water, it was pure vodka," she says. "I was in a room downstairs and I just drank the bloody lot."

It was the first and only time 49-year-old Janice had drunk at work but it cost her her job.

"It was fair enough," admits Janice, from Allerton. "Before that, I was getting away with it. I could do my job, I drank in the evenings.

"But once I wasn't working and I was at home all day, I was drinking from the minute I got up until I passed out going to bed."

In fact, alcohol cost Janice more than just her job. It cost her her health and it cost her her son.

Now sober, Janice has been to hell and back, and she is desperate to assure people that the addiction can be beaten.

"There is hope," she smiles. "I have given up alcohol and I now have a brighter future than I could once ever have hoped for. People don't realise what's going to happen, that if drinking is your crutch it will only get worse.

"But there is help out there and I hope my story will help others to see that."

Janice lived in a house of drinkers. Her mother drank and so, too, did her son.

"The three of us would clash because we were all drinking, it was a living nightmare."

Janice believes there were a number of events in her life which may have contributed to her alcoholism and certainly caused it to escalate: "I've had a lot of things happen to me in my life. My son Jamie's dad died suddenly in 2005, then Jamie died in 2009. I lost my own dad at 21 and I don't think I ever got over that.

"But other things happened, I suffered a sexual assault ... There were things I had to live with and I never had help with anything."

Jamie was born with a rare genetic condition which affected his appearance, and of which he was very conscious.

"At one point he was never in, but then he wouldn't go out. There were bullies who made his life hell. It broke my heart."

After leaving school, Jamie never had a job. He just wanted to hide himself away and he, too, began to drink.

"He threatened to kill himself. He just drank and drank and drank. I tried to do something, but how do you drag a 20-year-old to see anybody?" asks Janice.

Jamie died on January 7, 2009, two years after Janice had lost her job.

And it sparked an even further downward spiral.

"It was absolutely horrendous. My drinking was totally out of control. I would drink at least a bottle of brandy a day.

"When I was at my worst, I weighed about 51/2 stones, I was drinking but I wasn't eating. I drank all day, every day, but I could go two weeks without food.

"I didn't see an end to it. I just thought I was going to die from it."

Janice did go to her doctors and saw specialists at the Royal, but nothing stopped her drinking.

"I didn't see a way to stop. I thought that was my lot and I would die from alcohol poisoning. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in 2008 and even that didn't stop me. It's a miracle I'm still alive.

"I was admitted to A&E seven times between 2006-2008 because of my liver. I used to cry with the pain and had to call an ambulance. But they would keep me in a week and then send me home.

"I couldn't see any way out and, after Jamie died, I didn't want one. I would never have killed myself, but I didn't want to live. There was no point being alive once I lost Jamie."

Janice doesn't know whether it was her mother finally kicking her drinking habit before she died but she suddenly realised that she wanted to live: "I don't know what happened but something dawned on me, my mother had stopped drinking and we got on so much better and I didn't want to drink any more."

Janice had had help giving up smoking 15 years earlier from clinical hypnotherapist Kathy Curnan: "For some reason, I still had her number and, when I called, she was there."

Janice sold all her gold jewellery and added it to cash she had got for her birthday to raise the PS350 to see Kathy, who talked to her for two hours to understand her issues before hypnotising her: "Kathy helped me to say goodbye to my dad, which was a catalyst for me, as well as Jamie and his dad. I have never wanted a drink since. When my mum died, I broke my heart crying, but I never even thought to have a drink. Previously I would have just gone for the bottle.

"Kathy saved my life. I still have health problems: my liver will never get better but there is no further damage. " For the first time in her life, Janice has no one to look after but she has got a partner, Fred, with whom she worked at JLA.

"Fred retired on April 3 and this, now, is the start of the rest of my life. We are going to go on a little holiday, I can make plans.

"I can't explain what it's like to be finally free from alcohol. Drink can take over your life. It can destroy you.

"I have got a lot of regrets but I can't change anything that's happened. Kathy gave me the power to believe in myself. I have a future."

Clinical hypnotherapy can help change your life KATHY CURNAN says: "I have found over nearly 20 years of being a clinical hypnotherapist that the root cause of so many addictions, depression, compulsiveness, bingeing and even hypochondria comes right back to a need to fill the emptiness of not being 'enough'. This void only exists in the mind.

"The Marilyn Monroes, Philip Seymour Hoff-mans, Heath Ledgers, Robin Williamses, Whitney Houstons and Amy Winehouses of our world had everything except a feeling of self-worth and without that we have nothing because it all feels so meaningless and no drug can ever change our beliefs.

"You are not born with these negative beliefs, they are learned behaviours and can easily be unlearned and eliminated with clinical hypnosis.

"This gives people the power to make the changes in their lives by knowing and absolutely believing with unshakeable certainty that they really are 'enough'. Once you have that understanding, you can change almost anything." | Kathy Curnan, Clinical Therapist - 0151 666 1532.

CAPTION(S):

Kathy Curnan - you can change almost anything

Janice's son, Jamie, who died due to alcohol

Janice Gill has fought back from alcoholism
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2016
Words:1161
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