Men’s Week – ‘The Boy Who Drank Too Much’ by Scott Pearson

Men’s Week – ‘The Boy Who Drank Too Much’ by Scott Pearson

My relationship with alcohol started from around the age of fifteen and was fairly normal in that I was allowed to have a shandy or two at family events. My mum’s thinking was that she’d prefer me drinking in a safe environment at home, instead of buying cheap booze and sit drinking in the park with my friends. Sadly, like most teenagers, I still ended up doing exactly that.

I think my earliest memory of being tipsy was after our school prom, aged sixteen, when a few of us managed to get hold of some large bottles of Smirnoff Ice and WKD. There was nothing particularly groundbreaking about my drinking; I drank the same amount as everyone else and slept over my friend’s house. It was pretty standard.

A year later, I went to fashion college in London. My world turned upside down when I met someone who, in hindsight, properly introduced me to alcohol. One night after college, he took me to a bar he knew would serve us, despite knowing we were under age. Before I knew it, the first bottle was gone and we ordered another, only this time, the moment the wine hit the back of my throat, my body decided I’d had enough and brought the whole lot back up again. If only that were the end of my relationship with alcohol.

Things then went up a gear or five. I left college early as landed myself a job in a fashion and beauty PR agency. Alcohol then became a firm fixture … think Absolutely Fabulous! I was suddenly surrounded by stylists, models, fashion designers, A list celebrities, Z list celebrities and even the Olsen twins at one point. Most industries love alcohol but the fashion PR industry is a whole other level because guess what? It’s free!

Most events I attended were sponsored by an alcohol brand, and if they weren’t, I would always know someone who could get me free drinks. This meant a never-ending supply of alcohol and I certainly wasn’t going to turn that down!

My attendance at work began to suffer and by nineteen, I’d lost approximately four mobile phones, two wallets and some huge chunks of dignity. Around that time, I had what could only be described as a complete physical and mental breakdown; it turns out the toll of extensive drinking and partying in the name of fashion doesn’t sit well with your body.

The next few years are a haze. Something had changed and now the sole purpose of drinking was to get very drunk. Week after week, I would find myself in spine-tingling situations because I was tanked up. I still can’t think of some of those situations now.

After a couple of years living away from home, I moved back to my parents aged twenty three. I vividly remember them sitting me down to tell me they thought I had a problem with alcohol. To be very clear, I didn’t drink every day but when I drank, I DRANK. I told them I was no different to any other twenty-three year old and closed the case by storming up to my bedroom. Mature, I know.

The next two years were a repetition of me making the same mistakes over and over again until I found myself in a relationship. Yes, at the ripe old age of twenty-five, I’d finally found someone who was willing to put up with me!

When I look back now, there were warning signs about my/our drinking from the start. It wasn’t just the normal drinks when socialising; it became a bottle of wine a night. Over the two and a half years we spent together, it then increased to three or four bottles.

By the end of our relationship I’d gained four inches on my waist, my face was puffy, my teeth were stained from red wine and any sleep I got was alcohol induced. I genuinely believe that if I’d stayed in that relationship, I would have been seriously ill and unemployed by now.

After my relationship broke down, I moved back home (again), hit the ‘fuck it’ button and partied solidly for 6 months because I was single. Here’s a list of some of the things that happened:

• One winter’s night, I went out, spent all my money, missed the last train home and slept on a bench outside a train station in the freezing cold

• I spent £300 on an Uber to somewhere outside of London

• I told the CMO of the company I worked for where I thought the company was going wrong (incidentally, it did go into administration around the same time)

• I met a random person on the train home (drunk) and brought them back to my apartment. My flatmate was NOT impressed

• I fell asleep on a train and woke up at the end of the line, only to find out the trains were then out of service

• I reached the limit on my credit card and didn’t pay balance in time so the card defaulted. I’m still on a payment plan to clear it now

The list could go on, but one by one, these things contributed to my rock bottom. Finally, following the passing of my grandad, I started to take a long hard look at myself and really questioned who I was.

Around this time, I had noticed that my friend Sammie was sharing her story on Instagram about practising mindful drinking. I messaged her and we got talking. She recommended listening to the Love Sober podcast and reading ‘The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober’ by Catherine Gray

https://amzn.to/2S9wXOg

By 1 October 2018, I had decided to reduce my alcohol consumption and to only drink on planned occasions. I drank twice more but when I woke up on the 9 October 2018 with the worst hangover known to man (and trust me, I should know), I knew I was done for good.

Choosing to go sober isn’t easy, especially when you’re 28 years old and have recently joined a media and entertainment company, but it is so worth it.

My life has changed in ways I never thought possible. I’ve got more friends than ever, much more energy, I sleep better, I have more money, I’m kinder and more importantly, sobriety has made me realise how powerful I am and no one can take that away from me.

Since becoming sober, my friend Kate and I have created something I am SO proud of called @thesobermillennials. We’re tearing up the rule book and helping sober and sober-curious people connect through monthly events.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and please don’t hesitate contact me through the links below if I can help you in any way on your journey.

*****************************************

Written by Scott, edited by Sober Fish

LINKS –

Scott – Instagram – @theboywhodranktoo

Love Sober Podcast – Instagram @love.sober

Scott & Kate – Instagram @thesobermillennials

Scott & Kate e-mail – thesobermillennials@gmail.com

To buy ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’ by Catherine Gray, please go to

https://amzn.to/2S9wXOg

and to follow on Instagram – @unexpectedjoyof

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Guest Blog – ‘ Going Sober – A Clean and Clear Mind’ by Kellie

Guest Blog – ‘ Going Sober – A Clean and Clear Mind’ by Kellie

I have struggled with my mental health on and off over the past 15 years. This varied from post-natal depression, to stress and anxiety, to, at it’s very worst, self-harming. I have never shied away from attempting to deal with my mental health issues, attending the doctor when I needed help, taking medication for most of this period and seeing a counsellor.

During this time, I drank. I drank because I was young and it’s what you did, I drank because I was a student and it’s what you did, I drank because I was a mother and it’s what you did, I drank because I lost my mother and it’s what you did, I drank because I was depressed and it’s what you did.

I now choose not to drink because it’s what I had to do.

If I break my life down, it goes like this:

Childhood – happy – I didn’t drink

Early teenage years – typical – I didn’t drink,

Late teenage years – the decline started – the drinking started

Adult years – bouts of depression on and off – the drinking continued.

I’m not saying alcohol caused everything however my deepest darkest time of depression was around age 19, when I was at university. I drank to excess most days, cried most days and self-harmed regularly which I mostly concealed from others. I felt depressed so I drank to, in my mind, ease the pain and suffering. I would wake up with a hangover which made me feel worse and then drank more to again ease my mental suffering. The cycle continued.

On one memorable occasion I drank a bottle of vodka on my own, cut myself so much that I was taken to hospital, and was interviewed by the police – all of which resulted in me being asked to leave the halls of residence and placed somewhere where I wasn’t in such close proximity with other students. How did it not click with me then that alcohol was a major issue in my life and most likely causing my depression and self-destruction?

Writing this down and seeing the words, I cannot comprehend why it didn’t occur to me – was it because drinking was the norm and everybody else was doing it so it couldn’t possibly be the alcohol it was just the wiring in my brain? Was it my thinking that the alcohol was helping me forget about my problems – but how could I possibly have thought this when every time I drank I felt worse?!

At this point I visited the doctor to talk about how I was feeling. I was asked to complete a questionnaire and one of the questions was how much alcohol I drank each week. Of course lied about this. This was the only point during my illness that alcohol was mentioned.

I continued to drink into my twenties. I didn’t drink as much as when I was at university to begin with but soon it started to build up. Every so often, alarm bells would start ringing that alcohol was a problem for me and it was time to give up. I ignored them for as long as I could until I could hear nothing else.

I was drinking nearly every day – if I had one day off in the week I would think I had done well. I was tired all the time, started to put on weight and felt depressed and anxious. I drank some more to forget my problems. The cycle had begun again.

One huge alarm bell was having a drink in the morning, this happened only on a couple of occasions but was enough for me to take a step back and ask myself if this is what I wanted for myself. I think it went on as long as it did because I was running a household with 3 children, holding down a full-time job, completed a marathon – how could I have a problem with alcohol if I could do all of this? But that is another story altogether.

I gave up initially as I knew I was heading towards a life I did not want for myself or my family. Drinking excessively, always thinking of drinking, planning everything around drinking and not enjoying what I had all around me.

One very surprising outcome from stopping drinking was a dramatic improvement in my mental health. I guess if I really think about it, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. It is very clear that mental health and alcohol are closely linked.

At the start of my sobriety I spent a lot of time watching box sets, walking, reading and sleeping – anything to distract myself from wanting a drink. I was so focussed on this that I occasionally forgot to take my medication for my depression, this increased to forgetting for over a week and I realised I did not feel stressed, anxious, depressed I felt happy, I felt free, I felt energetic, I felt healthy. It soon dawned on me that I had not taken a tablet since around month 5 of going completely sober, could alcohol have been the problem all along? The alcohol I took to ‘help’ me with my depression was actually causing it.

As mentioned before, when I first visited the doctor alcohol was not discussed, my subsequent visits were the same; alcohol only came up every so often and of course I lied saying I drank maybe a wee bit more than the guidelines recommended. At this point I was not ready for admitting that alcohol was a problem – I couldn’t let go of what I thought was helping me and keeping me sane. Is this what it is like for thousands of people? Should doctors be making an emphasis on alcohol intake and mental health? For me YES they should! I know it is easy for me to say on the outside looking in to say we need to tackle this, if you are not ready to admit the issue then what can you do about it?

I sometimes stop and listen to my body and my mind to what they are telling me. I am worried I am missing something as I cannot believe it can be this easy to not need medication. It can’t can it?

I have now been sober for 7 months and I do not want a drink or feel the urge for a drink.  I have never been happier and healthier. I have so much more energy and more time – I cannot stress enough how much more time I have  – time to spend with my family and friends, to sort the odd jobs in my house that have been put off, to read, to watch my favourite boxsets – to do things that make me happy.

Happy – what a glorious word that I can now use on a regular basis to describe my state of mind. Happy.

Written by Kellie, edited by Sober Fish

Instagram: @soberlass

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Guest Blog ‘How I Transformed by Finding True Wellness in Sobriety’ by Karin

Guest Blog ‘How I Transformed by Finding True Wellness in Sobriety’ by Karin

Don’t be scared to walk alone
Don’t be scared to like it
There’s no time that you must be home
So sleep where your darkness falls

John Mayer

The benefits of getting sober while single and childfree are numerous but the most important one is that you have the time and freedom to devote your focus to yourself and your sobriety.

There’s no spouse who refuses to stop keeping vodka in the cabinet or children that won’t sleep through the night. There’s nothing to prevent you from your recovery which means that if getting sober requires three meetings a day or 90 days in treatment like myself, you never have to compromise.

It’s taken me 8 years to find gratitude for my divorced, child-free, sober status because I was stuck and wished I could change the past. I’d assumed I would be a happily married, moderately drinking mother to beautiful children, with a loving husband and a house in the suburbs, but I had to accept that wasn’t and probably will never be my story.

I never drank moderately. My unhealthy marriage ended suddenly when my ex-husband violently kicked me while I was pregnant. I lost the baby; it was my second loss, and first incident of physical violence after less than two years of marriage. I left and never went back, but failed to find the right help, falling deeper and deeper into alcohol abuse to numb the pain.

My drinking seemed normal to most people because I drank alone and it went unnoticed for years. By the end, I didn’t have many friends; the only ones left drank more aggressively than I did and told me rehab was for quitters.

I was overweight, depressed, in debt and in a horrible cycle of dating unhealthy men. There was not much support for my decision to get help except from my management and coworkers who were incredibly kind and compassionate. My friends and family thought I was being dramatic and told me ‘everyone drinks too much occasionally’ but I knew my drinking was dangerous, was getting worse quickly and would one day result in something horrific happening.

I checked myself into Passages Malibu rehabilitation centre after a final written warning woke me up to the truth and made me realize that if I didn’t take dramatic action, I would eventually lose everything like so many of my family members before me. My brother, uncle, cousin and godmother all had drink driving convictions and three of my four grandparents died from alcohol related health issues before I was born.

Rather than wait for the same to happen to me, I took my health into my own hands and transformed my mind, body, and spirit through sobriety.

I looked at rehab as a wellness retreat with a focus on addiction in a broad sense rather than limit the lessons to alcohol. I applied them to multiple areas of my life where addiction was an issue like overspending, binge eating, dating and travelling to escape reality.

Being single and childfree gave me the time and resources to hire a personal trainer, nutritionist, become a yoga teacher, pay off all my debt, get promoted and lose over sixty pounds in a year because without alcohol there are no limits to what is possible. I took my therapists advice and stopped dating and communicating with men and it was the best decision I have made in my entire life.

Getting sober while single gave me the ability to get to know myself again after all the years lost to drinking and helped me remember that I am a beautiful soul worthy of a healthy and happy relationship. I became my own best friend and created a life for myself that I don’t want to escape from and instead crave the calmness of my bathtub over a crowded bar or fancy restaurant.

Sobriety after over twenty years of heavy alcohol abuse is a hard and lonely road whether you are in a relationship or not. It requires more strength than I ever imagined and I am forever grateful for the help I received. For years, I wished the past could be changed and mourned that I never had children or a partner but now I cry tears of gratitude for my freedom.

All too often people jump into relationships because they are scared to be alone but I think being alone forced me to become stronger and more sure of who I am and what I want from my life.

Sobriety requires an examination of the darkest parts of ourselves and forces us to bring them to light to heal. It’s deeply internal work and I am thankful to have had the space and time for this journey without pressure from another person to go faster or recover in a different way that they deemed to be more acceptable. For example some people might require their spouse to attend a certain number of meetings per week or have various other conditions to be met during early sobriety but I have none of those issues.

Sobriety offers the opportunity for a spiritual journey, total transformation and the ability to create an entirely new and different life for yourself. Being single, sober and childfree gives you the freedom to design that new life entirely around your unique preferences and desires. For example I want to purchase a small condo in Sun Valley, Idaho and live there during the summer while teaching yoga internationally in the winter and being single and childfree affords me the freedom to make it happen.

In the beginning it can feel lonely, sad and hard to be doing this work alone but I urge you to look at the situation from a different view to see the freedom and opportunity that lies ahead. If you are struggling please know there is nothing to be ashamed of, treatment does work and you can heal.

I am now nineteen months sober and have accepted that I am likely not going to be invited to certain events where drinking is the main focus and many people will choose not to hang out with me or date me because alcohol plays a big role in their life. This used to make me feel left out but then I found new people to do more interesting things with in my free time. The world is so big and beautiful there is no reason to fear being excluded, you just keep searching and eventually will find the place you belong.

Keep the faith and you will one day look back and laugh at the idea that drinking is fun or glamorous because you have experienced so much more that life has to offer and will see it for the scam it truly is.

Written by Karin, barely edited by Sober Fish

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/thedrydiet

Website – https://www.thedrydiet.com

E-mail – thedrydiet@gmail.com

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Guest blog ‘Learning Alcohol No Longer Serves Me’ by Karolina

Guest blog ‘Learning Alcohol No Longer Serves Me’ by Karolina

I can count back at least five years where I consciously knew I wasn’t entirely happy drinking alcohol. I didn’t know this when I was planning winery getaways or brewery hangouts. I didn’t know this come every weekend when I drank, because, well, it was the weekend and wasn’t that just what everyone did?

I only knew this during the very still and quiet times, in whispers and glimmers. I knew it when I woke up once again with a dull headache. I knew it when I let myself down and felt my self-esteem crumbling. I knew it as I journaled that surely I was meant for more than this merry-go-round.

One of the scientific effects of alcohol is that it makes you sad and anxious but everything in my life was so amazing. I was a happy person. I didn’t drink alcohol to drown my sorrows or use it to relieve my stress. I drank socially or as a weekend treat so why was alcohol becoming my Achilles heel? What was I doing wrong? I was slowly becoming someone that I couldn’t identify with and at times, actively hated.

It wasn’t like I could just quit; that would scream to the world that I’m an alcoholic, which is the last thing I would ever admit to. My drinking was fairly normal for my age and lifestyle. I only drank around the weekend and kept it under one hand’s fingers. Anyways, adults drink, that is a requirement of life isn’t it?

With all this internal turbulence, I was pretty excited to try Dry January. It was a movement people! Finally, I had a solid excuse to try an alcohol free life without having to tell people I had a ‘problem’.

I couldn’t wait. I was going to reset, get healthy, and learn new mindful drinking habits. I would then return to my Friday night treat with new determination, new rules, a new understanding of how much alcohol makes me feel happy and how much was too much. I was going to have this thing solved.  I was going to be new person.

Dry January was incredible. I slept amazingly well, lived healthier, devoured books, and felt so much appreciation and gratitude. I enjoyed myself doing the simplest things like playing board games with my husband and goofing around with my niece. I learned that I could hang out with my closest friends without drinking and still have fun. I felt like myself; there were no masks, no internal shame was smothering me; it was just me learning to be awake and alive.

February arrived and I realised I wasn’t really looking forward to drinking again. But, I knew I would return to it. It reminded me of being on vacation and experiencing the most profound realization that our time on earth is short and every moment should be seized. But then you come home, wake up on Monday morning and go the job you hate, because, well, that’s life. You need a job to live and you need to drink to survive right?

During February, I drank nine times and I hated each and every time.

I was proud of my first weekend drinking. I had two and a half beers on Friday night over a long boozy dinner and then only two beers on Saturday night. Wow. This was it! I could finally moderate! Dry January had really worked it’s magic! But I disliked the feeling when the social part of the night was over and I came home to my nightly routine. I hated feeling buzzed when I was trying to read and journal. I hated how I felt in the morning after a ridiculously restless sleep compared to the sleeping beauty slumber I had grown used to.

The following week I went to Las Vegas. For the first few days, I only had one drink per day, but by Saturday and Sunday I was ready to let loose. I had about 4-5 drinks on each of those days and it was the very last time I got drunk. I remember having a drink at the bar and feeling upbeat and having fun talking to my husband. Then we left to get a taxi to go to the hotel and suddenly my feelings of frustration and impatience were through the roof! WHERE was the taxi? WHERE was the bathroom? I’d only had one drink and was acting like the world owed me a favour! Later, I saw an award-winning acrobatic show and felt complete and utter apathy. Only a few weeks ago I was mesmerized by trees and clouds. What was going on?

By the time I was on the plane home, I felt such a dull ache in my heart. In fact, half-drunk and half-hating myself, I ordered Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind (https://amzn.to/2PXLvvV) to read when I got back.

On the last weekend in February, I drank alcohol for the last time. On the Friday, we were out for date night and I had two beers. I then started arguing with my husband because I was being sentimental and wanted his undivided attention while he was trying to normally cross the road. That wouldn’t have happened if I was sober.

The next night and very last time I ever drank, I had half a bottle of wine while watching a movie and playing a game. The movie sucked and I wasn’t really into the game. I didn’t like the taste of the alcohol and it wasn’t giving me a nice warm buzz. I had to force myself to drink my two and half glasses until my last sip when the buzz appeared and feelings of the alcohol “chase” kicked in. This sucked. Drinking alcohol sucked.

I decided to do another thirty days without it. I was relieved to start again. The heavenly sleep! Maybe I could live my whole life this way? Drink a little, take a thirty-day break? Except that when I got to the end, magical things happened. I was riding such a pink cloud, such a burst of happiness, I felt so giddy like I was falling in love.

Thirty days turned into sixty days. I had completely new experiences and traveled to New Orleans, Boston, and Hawaii all sober. I watched sunrises. I swam with fish and rode bikes along the coast.  I went to birthday parties—I felt so happy I wouldn’t wake up with a hangover compared to the people around me. Smug even. I started writing again. My lifelong dream was to write more, but I used to have the worst writer’s block.

I had started to become the person I had always wanted to be.

I had an upcoming vacation and thought surely I would drink then. I had planned a trip to Japan when I was still drinking and for me traveling always meant experiencing the local drinking culture, like going to sake breweries and having Japanese beer in izakayas. But when I got there, I just knew the waves of gratitude, appreciation and good feelings would go away the moment I had a drink. I would feel pretty low having to restart my clock. And for what? A beer that I’ve had like 5,000 times in my life before? Been there, done that. I didn’t drink. And guess what, for all that culture I thought I was missing out on? I did get to have beer in an izakaya—non-alcoholic beer is everywhere in Japan. I came home knowing I was not going to drink for a year, then a year in my mind turned into two, and then I finally decided to not drink ever again. This life was too good to ever give up.

Not drinking alcohol has led to the most amazing shifts in my life. I love myself again. I am proud of my decisions and lifestyle. I feel tremendous happiness and gratitude most of the time. Euphoric really. Sometimes I feel low too, but instead of numbing myself, I let myself feel low, and come out of that with more resilience. I am so confident in my decision to go alcohol-free. It’s the tipping point to everything I have always wanted in my life. I am finally on the trajectory I was meant to be on and getting to know the person I was meant to be. Life is so much bigger than drinking alcohol every weekend.

You don’t have to drink A LOT to feel that alcohol is holding you back from your fullest potential.

You don’t have to feel embarrassed about examining your relationship with alcohol—it is the most life-affirming thing you can do.

You don’t have to decide to quit drinking forever to try and experience the perks of an alcohol-free lifestyle.

You don’t have to label yourself and throw yourself a pity party that you can’t drink anymore.

Alcohol is sleep-interrupting cancer-giving brain-altering depression-producing fulfillment-robbing confidence-faking substance that makes you look old, greasy, fat, and sad.

I am thrilled I don’t have to drink it anymore.

Written by Karolina Rzadkowolska, edited by Sober Fish

Euphoric Alcohol-Free

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www.instagram.com/karolinarzad

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#club365 Week – Jo – ‘Coins in a Jar’

#club365 Week – Jo – ‘Coins in a Jar’

On 27 July 2018, I celebrated my first Soberversary; one whole year of being completely alcohol free.

It’s been a year of ups and downs but most importantly, a year of huge self -awareness. Choosing to live a sober life is so many things all at once. I feel strong, but also have incredible moments of weakness and self doubt.

People often ask why I decided to stop.

Well, to get to the nitty gritty, it took a healthcare professional to tell me what I already knew and had repeatedly tried to justify for at least the last 20 years.

Luckily, hearing her words ‘you need to stop drinking and what you are doing is not normal’, was enough to spring me into action.

I started drinking young, at around age 15 and always, ALWAYS, knew that my relationship with alcohol was far from normal. It just got worse and worse until a year ago, after really listening to this doctor’s words, I decided enough was enough.

I decided to try on my own and knew I needed something to make me accountable so started my blog called ‘Coins in a Jar’. I also actually put a coin in a jar every day so that I had something concrete to monitor my progress and I slowly watched the jar fill up.I did lots of research by joining groups, speaking to people, watching videos, reading books and getting my hands on just about any alcohol related content I could find. Reading and relating other people’s triumphs and struggles really helped me hugely.

The hardest part of the year was my mind.

I don’t think I ever physically needed a drink at all. It was the ridiculous tricks that our mind plays that make us think we are missing out. Like any unhealthy relationship that has ended, we always think of the good times. Not the sick times, the regrets, the mess ups, the wasted time.

A year on, I sometimes look at people drinking and think they are lucky. Lucky that they can relax for an hour or two and have that numbness wash over them but then my logical mind kicks in and screams ‘They’re not lucky! You’re the lucky one!’

I also find associations hard which is totally normal. A holiday, a sunset, a get together with friends, good times, bad times, hell! When exactly didn’t we drink alcohol?!😊

I find it quite easy to be around people drinking and when I am offered a drink, I don’t make any excuses. I’m a straight talker and I am honest when explaining how alcohol was simply f…ing up my life. When I verbalise this, I’m usually met with big eyes and a ‘well done’, immediately followed by their own beliefs, justifications or excuses such as ‘they only drink on weekends’.

Honesty is just the only way for me. I believe strongly in openness about mental issues including addiction. My mother was a huge sufferer of addiction, depression, anxiety, you name it. So for us and anyone else suffering with mental issues, I will never play it down. It’s just as important as any other disease that we can see.

If I were to describe my life one year on in one word, it would definitely be ‘quieter’.

Life is also much clearer. I’ve learnt to sit with discomfort and emotions instead of drowning them which takes a lot of practice! I am much fonder of chocolate these days. I’m not a huge stickler for plans as I once was; they don’t really bother me. My best friend is a planner. She will talk about Christmas plans or holidays next year and I laugh and tell her I just can’t think that far ahead.

I used to be a big planner. Had to be busy, see people, have people over. I realise now it was all mainly an excuse to drink. Now I’m in bed at 8 most nights and I love it.

So how did I celebrate my soberversary?

Well, I went out with some friends and had a giant mocktail but more importantly, I had a tattoo done on my arm! Words that I love and I can look at every day. Words that inspire me and remind me to keep going when I do have a down day.

Sobriety is the greatest personal achievement of my life. It’s not just about having the strength to not drink again; it’s made me believe in myself and my abilities. Cliché I know, but I can really now do anything.

I don’t have any intention to drink again, but I guess one can never say never. I don’t want to drink again and I’m almost on the verge of not having to need to drink ever again. Alcohol has become something I just don’t do. Like some people don’t eat sugar, I don’t drink alcohol. I have absolutely no problem being around it.

In fact, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I’m around pissed people.

I smile and think to myself. Thank God it’s not me.

MY 3 TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU LIVE A SOBER LIFE

1. Find something that makes you accountable. This could be joining a support group either online or in person, writing, finding someone with the same sobriety date and spurring each other along.

2. Always remember what you are gaining and not leaving behind.

3. Be kind to yourself and TREAT YOURSEF OFTEN!

Written by Jo, edited by Sober Fish 2018

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