We have all been there, right?
Gone to your works Christmas party, got drunk, and insulted a whole bunch of work colleagues?
Well for one teacher it was the final straw after abusing alcohol for 15 years and having a disastrous Christmas party.
30-year-old teacher Pippa Head was told after the shameful event that she might lose her job after insulting colleagues at the ‘do’.
She used to drink 3 bottles of wine a night and, at the party, told her line manager that she thought he was “a bit useless” then went on to tell her friend that she thought she was overweight.
Head woke up bleary-eyed the next morning not remembering anything from the night before until she got a text from a colleague saying she might be losing her job.
It became the motivation she needed to stop drinking and hasn’t touched a drop since.
Head, from Croydon, South London, said “I was very loud and over the top. I always needed to have the loudest voice. When we got to the curry I was so drunk I insulted one guy so badly I can’t even think about it, and offended everyone else. I got my bag and left and my friend texted the next morning to say she didn’t want to see me and I might lose my job. The message said my behavior had been disgusting, I was a danger to myself, and it was absolutely shocking. None of them had ever been spoken to like that before.”
She started drinking at the tender age of 15 as a way to stop her anxiety and quickly became known as the “one who gets drunk at parties.” She said that because she managed to function properly at work no-one noticed her drinking and went on to say that her job was very stressful.
She explained “I was never late, never missed an appointment.
As a teacher, you are always on show so I used all the tricks, like make-up, baby wipes, mouth wash, coffee, sugar. I was able to get through on what I’d had the night before, but I’d be craving a drink by the end of the day. I would start to sweat and I’d shake, but then it would be just a couple of hours until school ends and I could go to the pub.” Head said she started a new teaching job in September 2019 and, although she suffered accidents and blackouts, she managed to hide her drinking as she was good at what she did. She went on to say “Every day after work I would share a bottle with a friend in the pub, then buy two more on the way home. I’d give my mum a glass of the second bottle, which I’d drink over supper. Then I’d take the third bottle to bed and drink until I passed out. But at work, I was organized, always on time, clean and well turned out, and I did my job well.” Head has managed to turn her life around and says she has spoken out to help others who may be suffering from the same fate. She now swims and takes exercise regularly, has paid off her debts, and been approved for a mortgage.
She finished off by saying “I started to feel the benefits quite quickly and that spurred me on. I was really surprised at how good I felt so fast. I’m less bloated, have better skin, even my eyes look different, everyone says I look really good, even people who didn’t know. I go out now and enjoy being with friends. Being a heavy drinker is so lonely – you go out to drink but not to see people. I do have fear, not that I will relapse, but alcohol is a scary thing that ruins families and lives. As a society, we send positive messages about alcohol, in ways that we don’t about smoking and other drugs. We advertise it, pink and low calorie for girls, and we don’t advertise any of the negative effects of it. Now I am educated about the effects, increases in susceptibility to breast cancer, the impact on memory, and the number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK, I can’t understand why anyone would ever want to drink.”
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