At the age of 15 Carrie Armstrong had her first drink.
Almost immediately, she experienced a strong yearning to have another and then another.
It was as if pouring alcohol into her seemed awaken a demon that, until now, had lay dormant. The only way to temporarily satiate, this burning craving of a demon, was to drink more.
Carrie become an alcoholic, pretty much, from the age of 15 until she was 25.
Just as Carrie was recovering from alcoholism, out of the blue, she was struck down by a mysterious virus that nearly killed her.
The virus left her struggling to walk meaning she had to spend the next few years in either a wheelchair, or in bed.
Today, through years of physical hard work and mental determination, Carrie has recovered from both illnesses.
Ironically, after spending years where she was only able to watch (or study) TV she’s become a TV presenter and has also set up a website.
Carrie’s website Life After the Chair is a resource, for other people who face similar challenges to the ones she overcame.
Here’s a few things that make Carrie happy:
What’s your favourite book?
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
I love that all the nights Sara Crewe sat in her attic room and hoped for the answers to a better life they were right next door to her the whole time…isn’t it lovely when that happens?
What is your favourite film?
A Christmas Carol.
All versions-I’m easy. I like that Ebeneezer gets another chance just when he thinks it’s too late. All of a sudden life is shiny and new for him. And from then on he knows there’s no such thing as an Ordinary Day.
What little pleasure makes you happy?
Dressing myself. Feeding myself. Leaving the house. Every moment is a miracle really. It never gets old for me, being able to do these things now.
Which person inspires you or which person do you think is inspiring?
She was my full time carer for years as well as working 12 hour shifts & she never complained. Never stopped smiling. Never stopped believing l’d get well. Not once. She’s my hero.
Probably Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection.
It came out when l was really young but when Pope John Paul II banned it from schools & my Dad banned it from the house it took on Legendary Proportions for me from that point on.
I love the British Library.
It’s mind-blowing to me. All of those words all in one place. If I could live there I would.
Favourite TV show?
The music is beautiful, John Thaw is flawless & Oxford is somewhere my eyes never get tired of looking at.
What product do you love / can’t live without?
You will rarely find me without a massive cup of Starbucks tea in my hand. If you see me without one? It’s cos I’m busy looking for one.
What one event has been the most memorable / most enjoyable in your life?
Falling in love with people again.
I spent so long in isolation, then so long being unable to navigate the world and mix with people properly that when I was able to enjoy other people again it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Is there something that’s happened to you, which at the time was seemingly negative but eventually turned out to be positive?
Yes. My entire adult life.
The moment I realised that the main component of Recovery is Faith. And faith is just believing before l see, rather than seeing before l believe.
Then I truly understood that it didn’t matter what crisis occurred in my life, I could always use it as a springboard to a better place just by focussing harder on what l wanted rather than what I already had, that I didn’t want.
After that shift in perspective every seemingly negative thing that had ever happened to me suddenly just became an opportunity for me instead…
Carrie’s website: Life After The Chair
Carrie’s Twitter: @CarrieArmstrng