John was brought up by an alcoholic father “who was carrying on a tradition that went back to his dad and the dad before”.
“I remember growing up and thinking, when mum was getting a hiding by Dad, that I would never be like that. I grew up determined not to follow in Dad’s footsteps … yet here I am.
“The only thing I did do was decide not to drink spirits because that’s what Dad drank. In my whole drinking career I never drank spirits.
“I had periods in life when I did really well in my working career and I’d knock back on the drinking. But then I’d get comfortable and the drinking would escalate again. That enabled me to think I had a bit of control over it.
“But at some point I crossed the line. My business went broke. I had three young children and my wife was over my drinking and was talking about leaving. But it didn’t matter what she said.
“Eventually I ran out of money. We were running out of food and I was making decisions to buy alcohol instead of food for my kids.
“I’d put the kids to bed as soon as possible so I could drink as soon as possible.