A Saint John woman is talking about her struggle with alcohol to draw attention to the Sophia Recovery Centre — a facility that offers addiction counselling to women of all ages.

Rosanne Mullin said she hopes by telling her story, women in need of support will make the phone call that saved her life.

A few years ago, Mullin was drinking every night, often to the point of blacking out.

She said her teenage daughters were so distraught, they decided to move out.

"The mom they knew when they were young had been consumed by alcoholism, I believe. I just wasn't there and they had enough of me drinking daily, of me not being there. And they left," Mullin said.

"The home-life situation I had created was very toxic and very painful, and I believe I had made everybody very sick in the home."

'They have to be willing and honest with themselves.' - Arlene Brawley, addictions counsellor 

Mullin said she continued on a downward spiral that went on for a year. She said by that point she thought her partner would leave.

"I didn't think I could beat it … And I was scared, very afraid of what was next, because there really wasn't any future where I was at," she said.

"I couldn't see any hope or happiness, my kids were gone. In my mind's eye, I did believe that my kids hated me. I really had lost all self-respect and faith in myself. There was nothing."

That was when Mullin made a call that put her in touch with a sponsor at the Sophia Recovery Centre. Soon after, she started the 12-step program and found the support she needed from the Sophia outreach workers.

"They have to be willing and honest with themselves," said Arlene Brawley, an addictions counsellor with the centre.

"They have to come to that self-honesty and realize they can't do it on their own. I think that's a key piece. And be willing to receive the help that is necessary."

Mullin said her journey to sobriety was a long, painful process that included going without speaking to her children for two years.

"How do you go from not being able to live without a drink to not drinking at all? It's not easy, and by no means would I ever tell somebody walking through the doors that it's easy," she said.

"But nothing worthwhile is easy … I didn't speak for a long time. I sat and listened. I didn't think I had anything of any worth to say."

Mullin is now sharing her story to encourage other alcoholic women to ask for help.

The centre is holding a Women in Concert fundraiser on Friday night in Rothesay, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on 31 Gondola Point Rd.