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Mary Byrne Opens Up About Dealing With Alcoholism During Lockdown

Jessica Spencer
Jessica Spencer

12:06 16 Feb 2022


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Mary Byrne opens up about her battle with alcoholism.

Mary Byrne has said she feels 'better than ever' now after struggling with her mental health during lockdown.

She told Ireland AM, "The pandemic took a huge toll on my mental health.

"Not just the pandemic but the fact nothing was open and I couldn't go in to work. I wanted to be on stage performing and I couldn't do that."

 

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The previous X Factor contestant went on to say, "last year in particular, I hit the bottle like there was no tomorrow.

"I was sitting at home many times thinking 'I'll just have one glass of wine,' but one glass turns into a bottle."

In a bid to stop drinking, Mary told herself, "you're a stronger person than this, you've seen all this happen and you don't want to go down the road."

Getting Help

Mary said that she realised she needed to get help when she found herself considering suicide as "an answer, like it would solve everything" while walking by a canal.

"I just remember thinking, 'I could go in there, it would be all gone, I wouldn't be a burden to my daughter or to my friends, I wouldn't have to worry about bills coming in.'

"Then something just clicked, I cannot explain. I thought, 'I can't do this,' and that's when I walked into the chemist for help. It changed my life."

 

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Mary told Woman's Way magazine, “On the day I was thinking of doing something silly to myself, the person I think saved my life was the woman in the chemist.

"Her name is Ramona. Something dragged me over there to that girl. She was behind the counter and I just burst into tears. She brought me into the little room at the back.

"She spoke to me with most gentle of voices and told me I was OK and that I’d get through this.”

Recovery

It's a year since Mary began her recovery, which she describes as a "fight."

"I've turned a huge corner and I've done it in stages.

"That's the only way you can do it. You don't just wake up one morning and think it's gone and that I'm better now."

She's committed to staying on medication to help her mental health for life, saying “Anti-depressants work for many of us and some of us need to take them on pretty much a permanent basis.

“They can shove me in a box or burn me but I’ll be going with the anti-depressants."

If you have been affected by this story, please contact:

Samaritans: Call 116 123

Pieta House: Call 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444


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