Ainsley Loudon was 14-years-old the first time she attempted to take her own life.
“I lived in utter darkness from a very young age and I found drink at a very young age too … I thought it was normal the way that kids drink, and for a while it was normal,” she told the Kilmarnock Standard.
As she got older, Ms Loudon began to use drugs and she lived her life in “chaos”, several more suicide attempts followed and she found comfort in binge drinking.
“The drinking continued and developed into cocaine use too. My life just completely spiralled,” she added.
“There was never any normality – I couldn’t hold a job down, there was violence and I was getting into trouble at 16 and narrowly avoided going to jail.
“I was drinking because of this horrible hole inside me. Drink was my solution, which then became my problem. It just got really bad and dark.
“Nobody wanted to be with me and that continued right up until I was about 26,” she explained.
Now at 28, Ms Loudon is sober and has shared her story hoping to inspire others to seek help.
‘You don’t need to drink or use everyday for it to be a problem’
In a blunt and honest account of her ups and downs on Facebook, Ms Loudon said she has been attending meetings for drug and alcohol use for about two years and although she has relapsed a number of times, she’s proud of her current three-month dry spell.
“I am now at a point where I will be three months sober again this week. Wow, a quarter of a year for a girl who could barely stay sober more than a week,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I will fight everyday to become a better version of myself.”
In a stunning confession, the woman from Kilmarnock, Scotland, said that she didn’t think she was an addict because drugs and drinking wasn’t something she did every day.
“I had tried everything in my power to stop drinking and it wasn’t an everyday thing for me by the way, although was close to it at the end, because i couldn't hold a job down so just binged etc,” she wrote.
“My point to that is you don’t need to drink or use everyday for it to be a problem.”
Ms Loudon shared older photos of herself and videos taken in an inebriated state she admitted to “frequently” getting herself into.
The blurry images showed her with bloodshot eyes, smudged make up, sores on her face and slurring as she sung to the camera clutching a bottle of vodka.
“I'm so embarrassed looking at them but I just want to show the change to prove it can happen and work. To now. Being clean sober and free,” she wrote.
The realisation that ‘blew my mind’
Ms Loudon explained that while she usually disliked Facebook posts similar to hers, she wished she had seen more of them when she was suffering.
“If I can reach one person and give them hope then that’s enough for me,” she wrote.
She described meetings she attends as “magic”.
“The meetings firstly taught me about what I suffer from – addiction is an illness. That blew my mind,” she said.
“I hated myself because I thought I was just greedy and wondered why I couldn't stop myself but I entered these rooms and absolute magic happened.
“Not only did I manage to learn about myself, I managed to separate myself from drugs and alcohol. With a lot of support and guidance,” Ms Loudon explained.
‘If I can turn this around anyone can’
Ms Loudon has managed to hold down a job for the first time in her life and said she no longer feels suicidal.
“Before, there wasn’t a day in my life where I’ve woken up and I haven’t wanted to die. But I’m grateful for every single day now,” she told The Daily Record.
She believes that everyone with an addiction has a chance of recovering and living a happy life.
“Everything was sad, painful and empty ... If I can turn this around anyone can. Most people thought there was no hope for me. I didn’t either. But there is and its only just the beginning for me,” she wrote.
If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s alcohol or drug use, contact Odyssey House on 1800 397 739 or call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service’s 24-hour help-line on 1800 250 015.
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