Mom of four who drank until she passed out after school run lived in hell

A mother-of-four has spoken out about losing her home and children after regularly drinking herself to sleep with four bottles of wine.

Debbie-Lyn, who is now sober and a successful businesswoman, says she became a functioning alcoholic to escape her reality.

She told that Manchester evening news how she worked as a day makeup artist, but after picking up her children from school, she drank until she passed out.

As soon as she picked up her four children from school, she started drinking until she passed out.

Always hungover, she struggled to keep her job, and after becoming a single mom found it increasingly difficult to cope.

She ended up losing her home, her children and her pets, but when she woke up in a hospital bed after attempting suicide three years ago, she learned she had a second chance at life.

The 40-year-old sought help and began taking care of her body Spirit.

She sobered up and struggled to see her children again, who are now proud of their mother as the owner of a successful MUA (Make Up Artist) business and head of make-up at a Lancashire fashion house.

Debbie-Lyn has now started her own makeup artist business



Debbie-Lyn is now sharing her story in the hope that she can inspire others who are going through a difficult time that things can be turned around.

“It was like I was living in hell the whole time, my reality was so horrible,” Debbie-Lyn Connolly Lloyd said south portsays.

“I started drinking, and earlier and earlier.

“I was trying to manage on my own with four children. But my mental health was declining, I couldn’t function, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t take care of the kids.

“I literally felt like a massive failure, I couldn’t pay the bills, I was struggling to keep my job, I was constantly hung over. The children didn’t go to school, it was a mess. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again.”

In February 2019, on the night of her daughter’s 10th birthday, Debbie-Lyn overdosed, for which she has felt guilty every birthday since.

“It was like I was trying desperately to make it to her birthday and make sure she had a nice day, then it happened that night,” adds Debbie-Lyn.

“When I first woke up in the hospital, I was disappointed that it hadn’t worked. I was still very depressed. I felt like I had lost everything and there was no going back.

“I spoke to the crisis team and they were really good, they said they saw people coming back from it and I was starting to believe it was possible.

“It’s been a long road to recovery” The first thing the mother of four did was join an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group and Southport’s Recovery Circle, an addiction service.

However, she had a couple of relapses that saw Debbie-Lyn come back to the hospital binge drinking. Her three older children, now 17, 13 and 10, had stayed with the family while their youngest, six years old, lived with his father.

Unable to see them alone at first, she endured a two-year court battle to regain the ability to care for her youngest son.

Debbie-Lyn, who was put up with her friend in a one-bedroom apartment after being released from hospital, continues: “I had to claim benefits, then I got sober and started my own business – Miss Slay MUA – doing face painting and makeup myself.

“I had to build myself from the ground up, which is something I’m proud of.” Her work increased after creating Instagram and Facebook accounts, and later she became head of makeup at Kingfisher Couture, where she did makeup for their editorial shoots.

She even appeared in series 28 and 29 of The Only Way Is Essex, doing the cast’s Halloween makeup.

Debbie-Lyn with Emma Thompson at the ICON Ball in 2021



When she was able to move into a larger apartment, her three older children followed six months later and she was assigned a social worker who wrote her off last year. Debbie-Lyn can now see her youngest son every other weekend and during school holidays.

“I had to be extremely vulnerable, apologize to so many people, to my children,” she says. “I’ve learned to always be open and honest with my kids about mental health and addiction. It can happen to anyone.

“I have a good relationship with them and have worked very hard with them. They’re proud of me today.” Debbie-Lyn, who says a difficult relationship contributed to her alcohol use, has been single since recovery, prioritizes her health and sees a personal trainer every week who says she’s so at 40 healthier than ever.

She manages her mental health with yoga and meditation, alongside medication, and has been diagnosed with a personality disorder since her breakdown. Though she’s not teetotal and does have the occasional social drink, she has vowed never to drink at home or around her children.

“I’ve always been an artist, it’s my job but also my meditation,” she says. “With my diagnosis, just knowing I have it, makes me understand myself a lot better.

“My mind is so busy that anything I can lose myself in can relax me. I used to drink because it was the only thing that calmed my head, but now I know how dangerous it is for me. When I feel an emotion, I know it can go.”

Debbie-Lyn says she learned to love herself and gained a boost in confidence when she took up plus size modeling and attending fashion weeks – something she’s always wanted to do. “My confidence wasn’t there, now I’m like a different person,” adds Debbie-Lyn.

“My family is still gone, but I’ve made many friends during recovery who have been very supportive. I’m pretty vocal about my experiences online and I’ve had strangers message me to say I’ve helped them.

“No matter how bad you think it is, there will be someone worse than you who made it through. People think the opposite of addiction is sobriety, but actually it’s community.

“Addiction is extremely isolating, so it doesn’t matter what group, an arts group, AA, as long as you feel you belong somewhere, you can reverse it.”

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