The Winner Takes It All.. too far?

Wikipedia statistics show that 15% of alcoholics commit suicide. Fact.  As many as 25% of alcoholics suffer from severe psychiatric disturbances.  The most prevalent psychiatric symptoms are anxiety and depression disorders. What leads an individual to take his/her own life is a subject for another day, this post is about one alcoholic in particular. Her name is Rachel Butler.

Rachel Butler is an alcoholic.  She is also a woman whose husband left her just after Christmas (just 2 weeks ago).  She has not only lost her husband which, although the marriage was (in her own words) long dead, she has lost her dignity to boot.   

For most people, a relationship breaking down is painful and stressful enough. Add to that alcoholism, betrayal and mistrust (regarding dates) and what have you got?  A terribly vulnerable woman who, rightfully or wrongly gave an interview to the press…

A former friend is now openly having a relationship with the available husband John (but only SINCE he left the family home we are told ). Upon being informed that Rachel had given an interview to The Mail, this friend posted press releases on her blog-page which state that Rachel is an “abusive alcoholic”.  Amongst these is one from Rachel Butler’s daughter Lucy in support of her father’s new relationship, denouncing her mother. Heartbreaking.

The statements were then published in full, in The Daily Mail and many other national newspapers since.  In response, the distressed Rachel has admitted she is an alcoholic, declared that she would name her former friend on the divorce petition and labelled her a “marriage wrecker”.  The Daily Mail again acting as host.

It’s all gone a bit Jeremy Kyle with this publication (but without the patient doctor waiting in the wings to offer his help). Nor are there bouncers at hand to prevent the parties from further blackening not eyes but reputations on all sides.

Time for our media to grow up and take some responsibility, this is not a side-show, these are real people, one of whom at least is extremely vulnerable.  They should not allow or encourage even more damage to be done to an already damaged woman, in the name of readership figures and “entertainment”.  Why not? I refer you back to my first paragraph.

I truly hope that the rest of this sorry tale can be played out in private, with all sides finding the help and happiness they deserve.

If you would like to speak in confidence about an alcohol problem you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous here.  The NHS also offer advice on their “Live Well” page, which has links for your local area.

* Since finishing the post I have discovered this Daily Mail article..  “on and on it goes, where it stops, nobody knows”: Willy Wonker.

** This post has been edited since first publication as it contained my personal media experiences which I have since decided to delete.


  1. ‘interesting “editing” of your blog, editing your own personal interest and reasons for feeling the need to comment. if someone had ran an, albeit mis-informed smear campaign against me… I’d be making my feelings known too. If I was after the self promotion, that is.
    Almost worth the risk of dragging it all up again for a some new followers on twitter, I suppose.
    And how exceedingly clever, wishing them the health and happiness they “Deserve”. Oh Humph, your dislike of her is well known. You’re making yourself look like a petty teenager, despite the thin veil of concern that people should play out their lives in public this way. Imagine THAT.
    I think the pot may be calling the kettle for a colour check. For someone who puts so much of their own life online for people to see, no matter who they hurt.
    Hypocrisy at its worst.

    • I wondered when you would pipe up : )

      I edtited the blog for entirely personal reasons and only mentioned that as I totally expected to be jumped on over the missing content.. which you have done anyway.

      Although I have, not loathing or hatred but a great deal of pity for someone who is single-handedly murdering their own career, I feel no need to antagonise ND over her personal relationships which are and should remain private. (her own CLP chair has aired a similar view today!)

      What I do and will always take issue with is when a vulnerable person is allowed to be attacked publically in this way. Today’s Mail yet again features this story, this time the “alleged lover” of Rachel Butler stating categorically that he never had a romantic relationship with Rachel, and that ND is yet again lying in order to smear an opponent.

      As I said in my blog (which you correctly interpreted) , I hope all involved enjoy the happiness they deserve..

      • I’d love to have your insight, Humph. For you clearly know the true story, of what goes on behind closed doors, the full facts you have been fed by the ever reliable Daily Mail.
        Imagine if someone believed everything other people had written about YOU!!! FOR someone who’s had such negative experiences with the press, you’re incredibly quick to draw attention to other peoples lives.
        People in glass houses, as they say…….

      • I fail to see what your comments have to do with the essence of this blog, which is alcoholism and media responsibility. I intentionally removed my personal experience as I wanted to concentrate on the real story here. You obviously have an agenda which is nothing to do with Rachel Butler and everything to do with stirring up trouble. I shall not publish any further comments from you in this regard. HC

      • Stirring up trouble? No, I’m just trying to point out that you’re being a hypocrite.
        Again, you take the Daily Mail as gospel and see fit to add your tuppence worth.
        I’m merely adding mine.

      • Erm, when did I take the Mail as gospel? The purpose of this post is to point out that publishing unsubstantiated statements about a vulnerable woman is dangerous. I truly cannot see how I am being hypocritical. HC

  2. Beautifully written, to the point, and not resorting to the playground antics of our MP. Well done Humph

  3. Excellent post. Dorries trumpeting the daughter’s statement was particularly vile to see – perhaps the daughter has good reason to be bitter about her mother, but for Dorries to use that to her own advantage was sociopathic.

    Here was my take:

  4. Just a brief comment on your links. On the whole AA sometimes behaves rather too much like a religion for a health body. There are other good sources of help which may also be worth linking to, especially Community Alcohol Teams, which are NHS-supported and may well be better for many people in need.

  5. Well said Humph.

    No-one comes out of this particularly well, but the media approach is typical sadly. Anything for a story it seems.

    In time I suspect many (but not all) of the players in this will look back with regret on the rush to self-justification.

    As you say, lets hope they can now sort things out in private.

  6. That needed to be said. Right behind you, Ms Cushion.

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