WRITING about his childhood experiences and trauma of growing up in a household dominated by alcoholism and violence has put a 52-year-old New Barnet man at the top of a bestseller list.

John Taylor, who now runs a family unit for Turning Point drug and alcohol service, is hoping to help others who are suffering in the same way he did.

His book Alcohol Stole My Mum, penned with experienced author Paulo Hewitt, marks an important milestone in John’s healing.

He says: “I grew up with an alcoholic mother and violent father and dealt with the trauma of my childhood by spiralling into my own drink and drug addiction. In 2003, I ended up in the North London Priory in Southgate because of my addictions facing the dilemma 'did I want to stop drinking and using drugs and see my young daughters grow up or did I want to be like my mother?”

John felt he could not write the book until his parents had died, but even close friends and family were shocked to hear some of what he suffered.

He recalls: “My home was a warzone. I was full of fear. I was full of terror. I didn’t know which way to turn or which way to look. The only time I felt safe was when I was playing or watching sports. Arsenal and Celtic were my teams (still are) and their respective home grounds Highbury and Paradise were my sanctuaries.”

He adds: “I grew up with my little sister who was four years younger than me. After my mum and dad split up we lived with my mum in Scotland and, because of her alcoholism, I became the head of the household looking after my mum and my little sister. I was eight years old.

“My mother and father died years ago and I would not have written my book if they were still alive. They were both flawed people who grew up in alcoholic homes and just passed their issues down to me. By stopping drinking I was able to stop the cycle of addiction being passed on to my children.”

His daughters are aged 22 and 21. John split from their mother 10 years ago “on very good terms” and co-parented the girls. He says: “We still remain good friends today and my ex-wife told me she was very proud of what I achieved with my book.”

John says: “My family and friends have been supportive of the book and are shocked by what I went through as that little boy because I never told anyone.”

He adds praise for his co-writer, Paulo, who is a well-known music journalist and biographer of the band Oasis: “I read a book by my friend Paolo Hewitt called The Looked After Kid where he told his story about his often abusive childhood growing up in care. I told Paolo then that he had inspired me to write a book about my childhood. The only problem we have is that he supports Tottenham and I support Arsenal.”

John says: “My book is for the millions of children worldwide who are growing up with or have grown up in an alcoholic home with alcoholic parents to help them realise they are not alone. I am hoping to raise awareness also for men's mental health because I talk openly about my own mental breakdown and recovery and was the main reason why I trained as a counsellor.”

John’s book Alcohol Stole My Mum is available from www.alcoholstolemymum.co.uk