DRIVING home from her mum’s after going there for help, Lisa Baker caught a glimpse of the bottle of wine on the back seat.
Unable to resist temptation, the mum-of-two reached behind her, grabbed the bottle, undid the screw top then began swigging from the bottle while driving at 50mph.
Lisa Baker recalled her drinking days
Lisa said everything changed when she hit rock bottom
Mum-of-two Lisa, 55, from West Wittering, West Sussex, says: “What started as a few glasses of wine when my kids had gone to bed had turned into full-blown alcoholism – drinking in the mornings and blacking out every day and night.
“But it took me years to face up to my illness.
“In fact, it was only when my boys threatened to have nothing to do with their embarrassing mum that I realised I couldn’t go on living this way.”
Growing up, Lisa had a turbulent childhood and says addiction ran in her family – her dad was an alcoholic and her older brother, who died when Lisa was 17, had a drug problem.
She started secretly necking cider in the park with friends at 13.
Then in 1987, aged 20, Lisa got married and went on to be in an “unhappy marriage”, having two sons, Jack, now 34, and Joseph, now 32.
Lisa, currently a support worker, says: “My marriage turned out to be rubbish but I adored my sons and would do anything for them.
“I used to drink when they were young, but it was never a problem.
“But when I divorced my ex in 2003 when I was 35, the kids were 13 and 15, and I felt as though I had been let out of prison. My drinking really started to kick off.
“My beloved boys started to see a mum that used to be at home all the time, going out regularly on a Friday night, getting very drunk, often bringing people back from the pub or staying out to party.
“I was selfish and didn’t put them first. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was in the throes of alcoholism.”
Lisa admits the boozing took its toll on her relationship with her sons – and the eldest moved out in 2004 to live with his dad, which “broke her heart”.
“My youngest stayed with me but as my drinking progressed our relationship got harder,” Lisa admits.
“They had an alcoholic parent who was a mess but I just thought I liked a drink – I was in denial.”
It took me years to face up to my illness
She then met a new man through mutual friends in 2004 and they drank alcohol together whenever they saw each other.
After six years together, Lisa gave away all of her belongings and furniture to move into his house.
Lisa said: “My relationship was volatile and toxic.