Journalist Bryony Gordon talks to Annie and Louise about her relationship with alcohol and drugs, and her passion for mental health and her charity Mental Health Mates
In this 33rd episode of the season of the Her Spirit podcast BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and BBC Triathlon presenter Annie Emmerson talk to journalist and mental health campaigner Bryony Gordon.
Bryony’s bestselling memoirs "The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos", "You Got This", "Mad Girl", and "Eat, Drink, Run" have deservedly earned Bryony critical acclaim – and a multitude of loyal readers worldwide. Uncompromising in her truthfulness, Bryony challenges the stigma that surrounds addiction and demonstrates a determination that whatever life throws at you it is to be lived and cherished.
In Bryony’s new book ‘The Glorious Rock Bottom’, she recounts the traumatic consequences of her personal addiction journey, and her experience in treatment as well as in recovery. The abundance of integrity, dignity and humanity Bryony brings to her writing invites the reader to relate to her own experiences and, in so doing, may help others to open up about their own difficulties with a view to seeking treatment and support for themselves or their loved ones.
She recalls waking up drunk and drugged lying on damp grass, a man's head between her thighs. That man was not her husband - he and their daughter Edie were half a mile away sleeping in the grounds of the country estate they were staying at to celebrate her friend's birthday.
Gordon was 37 and when the man, who had given her cocaine, phoned up the following week asking if she was still up for a threesome, she realised she didn’t know herself, or what she had said or done, while intoxicated that night
She has charted the journey through alcoholism and subsequent recovery in her no-holds-barred new book, Glorious Rock Bottom. Her husband [financial journalist Harry Wilson] knows all of it. I've always been very honest with him about what happened when I was drinking. We've worked through that.
As her career soared, her mental health plummeted, she continued to drink and do drugs, even though she had become an ambassador for mental health. During her regular binges she'd black out - not be able to remember the next day what she'd said or done.
Had she continued drinking, she believes it would have killed her. "It doesn't bear thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't got sober," she says now. "I don't drink any more but I'm still an alcoholic.”
She talks to Annie and Louise about this journey and how she felt the worst mother possible. A staunch campaigner for mental health and now feels lucky to be alive.
Her ground breaking interview with Prince William raised the awareness around her mental health work. She enjoys being active and has run and how 'Running Made Me Realise That Anything Is Possible'
These podcasts have been made possible through the support of Medichecks www.medichecks.com and Sport England www.sportengland.org.
Medichecks offers an easy and affordable way to check your health from the comfort of your own home with their simple and personal at-home blood tests. From hormones and nutrition, to cholesterol and diabetes, there is something for everyone.
For more information on Her Spirit and "Your Best Year Yet" go to http://herspirit.co.uk