A Fife mother of three is urging alcoholics to seek help three years into her own recovery.
Former firefighter Jacqui McDonald, of St Monans, is fit and enjoying life but still takes it a day at a time since quitting drinking.
Jacqui, 50, is telling her story to mark Alcohol Awareness Week in the hope others struggling with addiction will seek help.
She said: “I’m proud of where I am today but I take my recovery one day at a time and take nothing for granted.
“It’s not been an easy ride by any means but I take my strength from my friends and family. I wake up every day and feel proud of where I am today.
“If I can help one person to come forward by sharing my story and encouraging them to improve their lifestyle then this is a positive thing to do – it is okay not to be okay.”
Despite her dependence on alcohol, Jacqui, who is now a fitness trainer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, managed to hold down her job.
“I drank to relax. It was a coping mechanism to help me deal with the stresses of life.
“But before you know it one glass becomes two, two becomes three and it’s a slippery slope.
“You don’t have to be the stereotypical person many people deem to be an alcoholic.
“It’s not just people who have no income, career, lifestyle or family. Alcohol took control of my life and even led me to attempt suicide in July 2012.”
In December 2017, Jacqui took the brave step of reaching out to Alcoholics Anonymous.
She described the support she received from her fire service bosses and colleagues as she embarked on her recovery as “absolutely massive”.
“I got counselling through the service, and I got help through occupational health. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
The turning point for Jacqui was realising the impact her lifestyle was having on her family, in particular her daughters.
“No one would have guessed what was going on in my life.
“It was very much hidden and secretive and it wasn’t an enjoyable life to be in. I would promise my children that this would be last ever drink, knowing full well that promise would be broken.
“The relationship with my daughters was teetering on the edge of being smashed into smithereens and I knew in my heart and my head that I would never touch another alcoholic drink.”
Jacqui now wakes up with no regrets and wants to help others do the same.
More information can be found from Alcohol Change UK’s website.
She added: “I look forward to the day and look forward to spending time with my girls and my friends. It’s like night and day.”