Lisa Greenwood’s battle to fight crippling addiction

From harmless drink to devastating hustle, Lisa Greenberg knows how easy it is to fall foul of alcohol addiction.

The wife of Todd Greenberg, one of Australia’s best-known sporting bosses, nearly died when alcohol took over her life.

Now she wants to be a cautionary tale about its dangers.

“It’s such a bad disease that I couldn’t see past the next drink. Because I was nothing without it,” Lisa said. 60 minutes.

Lisa Greenberg, wife of Todd Greenberg, one of Australia's best-known sports bosses, nearly died when alcohol took over her life.  She now wants to be a cautionary tale about her dangers.
Lisa Greenberg, wife of Todd Greenberg, one of Australia’s best-known sports bosses, nearly died when alcohol took over her life. She now wants to be a cautionary tale about her dangers. (New)

“Someone says you can’t drink anymore, I’d rather cut my legs. Who said that?”

But for four and a half years, Lisa has been winning the battle against an illness that has almost destroyed her.

And she is not alone in this struggle. Lisa is part of the largest growing group of problem drinkers.

One in five women between the ages of 45 and 60 now drink at dangerous levels, more than any other age group.

Lisa Greenberg was part of the largest growing group of our problem drinkers
Lisa Greenberg was among the largest growing group of problem drinkers. (New)

For Lisa, it was a life of lies.

“Lying to my family. Looking them in the eye, ‘Please don’t have another drink,’ ‘I won’t,'” she said.

“But you know, I really meant it. I would wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’m not drinking today’. And I meant it with every ounce of my energy.

“And at noon, I was in the car heading to a bottle store.”

For Lisa, 53, things changed in 2016, when her husband Todd landed the NRL’s top job, and she closed her personal training business to support him.

“What I loved was empowering women through fitness and I had quit that as well,” she said.

Lisa Greenberg, wife of Todd Greenberg, one of Australia's best-known sports bosses, nearly died when alcohol took over her life.  She now wants to be a cautionary tale about her dangers.
For Lisa, 53, things changed in 2016, when her husband Todd landed the NRL’s top job, and she closed her personal training business to support him. (New)

“So add that to Todd’s hard work, the kids don’t need me, I quit 20 years of being a fitness enthusiast…and what was probably already diminishing has amplified.

“And as the self-esteem went down, the drinking went up to try to combat that and it was a disaster.”

Todd said the situation went from “okay” to “not okay” very quickly.

“One thing I learned is that Lisa is very good at hiding these things in a full addiction. So you know there were a lot of things that I didn’t see, thankfully,” did he declare.

“But what stood out was that Lisa wasn’t Lisa. She was a completely different person.”

Christmas 2017 proved to be a turning point, when Lisa said her drinking problem became apparent to her extended family.

Lisa Greenberg was part of the largest growing group of our problem drinkers
For Lisa, 53, things changed in 2016, when her husband Todd landed the NRL’s top job, and she closed her personal training business to support him. (New)

But bottom line came when Todd and their two children left her, demanding that she get help.

“I think they saved my life,” Lisa said.

“It was a tough call. Todd didn’t know if he would see me alive again.”

And it worked. Lisa checked herself into a rehabilitation center, and after a month her family returned home.

She is now sharing her story in hopes of inspiring others who are struggling to make a change for the better.

“I never demonize alcohol, ever. If you can drink, great,” Lisa said.

“And the women who call me up and say, ‘I think I’m losing control’ and ‘What am I doing?’ I just say, well, why don’t we take a break?

“See how you’re doing. And if you feel like you’re white and you need it to get through life, then maybe there’s a problem. And if there is a problem , there’s an amazing sober community out there. And you’re not alone.”

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