The Search for Mr Sober Fish

The Search for Mr Sober Fish

I’ve been thinking about my dating demands, about whether I’m cruel for writing someone off for not understanding sobriety by asking ‘can’t you just have the one?’. And my conclusion is no, not cruel but realistic. 

When I decided to give up alcohol for a year, I had no idea that it would even change the type of person I was looking for. To be honest, I’d always scrolled through non drinkers believing them to be weird or mad. I mean, they say never trust a sober person right? I deliberately hunted down a party animal, someone who didn’t mind smoking, someone who had no off switch. I didn’t want to meet someone put off by Marlboro Light breath or who would put me in my box at midnight or God forbid didn’t partake at all. 

And that’s what I got. Mahoosive party animals with no off switch. Enablers in my own personal party. And in turn, I enabled them to have the time of their lives. 

But now that has to change. I have to scroll through that glint in the eye, that photo holding a magnum of champagne, that group shot of bug eyed boys out on the town. I’m looking for the quieter ones, the ones who do more at a weekend than shove 10 pints down their neck, who enjoy more than lazing around under their duvet watching Match of the Day. 

I’m looking for someone with spirit, who has had the balls to admit and agree alcohol is as damaging as I’ve proved it is. I’m looking for someone who understands my mad morning walking and the fact I turn into a pumpkin at 10pm and that an afternoon in the pub to me is as exciting as an afternoon in a mortuary. 

One of the biggest problems I see online is unsupportive partners, of people desperate to be sober but whose partners insist on buying them alcohol because they are too frightened to see their partner change. I have no intention of going into a relationship where a. I may be tempted to drink or b. My partner already thinks sobriety is ‘just’ an option or c. The person thinks they can change me.

Through this blog, sobriety has become my life, my passion, my baby. It will not & cannot be compromised by anyone else and for that reason I shall continue to discard anyone who doesn’t ‘get it’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to discuss & educate before dismissing but there are some people who will never understand this way of life and they’re not for me. So for now, I shall continue swiping and hope that Mr Sober Fish is out there hopefully swiping right on me. 

#day350

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The Future Is .. Sober

The Future Is .. Sober

On my journey I have been criticised for calling it an ‘experiment’, that ‘proper addicts’ can’t ‘experiment’ with sobriety. For the record, I’ve never called myself an addict & or an alcoholic .. for me it is irrelevant if I am either. I had a problem with alcohol, admitted it, and my personal choice was to stop doing it, for good, forever. 

An interesting question I’ve been asked is why I chose to become completely sober & not moderate my intake if I’m not a proper addict. My answer is always that if I knew what moderation/moderating was and was able to do it, don’t you think I would’ve been doing that before?!

Alcohol is so ingrained in our culture, so acceptable. Imagine swapping photos on Facebook of people drinking alcohol for people shooting up heroin (considered to be a less harmful drug). Social media would become a plethora of zombies and needles. This is how I see alcohol now. A powerful, socially acceptable killer. In my view, moderation is just a slow release of a drug rather than bingeing it like I did. Sadly, the end result is the same. Alcohol is a poison whether you drink it slowly or not.

My heart breaks for people who try abstaining from alcohol, love it and then reintroduce it slowly to enjoy themselves at the weekend, fearing they are inferior without it. It is rare this is successful. I read about lots of people who say that once they start moderating, their old habits soon reappear and they are back to square one. After all, we all know how one or two drinks can soon escalate into a couple of days & disaster. That’s what got us in this mess in the first place.

The more sober I become, the more I can see the sadness spread across our society. I see it walking through town, I see it in the supermarket and particularly notice it on vacuous dating sites. Sad eyes blink back at me, photos of men with pints like trophies. It makes me want to scream ‘that pint is a deterrent not a magnet’ but what’s the point? They think it’s making them happy when actually it’s masking a multitude of problems. One day, they will understand. 

I believe the future will not be about getting hammered. Remember, only 20 odd years ago we were still smoking on aeroplanes. Alcohol is expensive & ruining lives. The younger generation have already worked out alcohol makes you fat and drink far less than we did at their age.

I believe that in the future, alcohol will become as much of an issue as smoking, that it will be recognised for the harmful toxin it really is and that there will be more (less expensive) help available for those affected. I believe it will become socially unacceptable to drink until you’re sick, that maybe people will start to understand the damage being done rather than think it’s a hilarious incident. 

I believe that it will become more socially acceptable to be sober than be a drunken slurring mess. 

I believe Soberdom is the future. 

#day343 #soberrevolution

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My Gong Bath & I

My Gong Bath & I

Before the meditation, you’re told to bring pillows, blankets & be comfortable. And that minimum effort is required. This sounded like the perfect extracurricular activity to me. Me, my brain & my blanket. Beautiful. 

When we arrived, the place was packed. The smell of incense was in the air and you couldn’t miss the two ginormous gongs as the focal point in the room. We found a spare space and made ourselves comfortable. It felt like a big adult sleepover. With gongs. Once everyone was comfortable and laying down, the meditation began with deep breathing exercises & repetitive mantras. As someone who’d always believed this kind of thing to be a load of gobbledegook, I could feel the resistance begin but fought against it, breathing deeply and letting myself relax. 

When the gongs started, they were loud. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Your brain is kind of all over the place with all the different sounds and sometimes you have to snap your eyes open to ground yourself and then go back to where you were. 

At some points, I wanted to scream ‘shut up’. The gongs went on for so long and were sometimes unforgiving. The feeling I likened it to was when you’ve been on a plane for many hours and you feel claustrophobic and wish the constant drone would end. But then again, there were times that the gongs were beautiful & melodic. 

I can’t tell if I went to sleep or not. I feel that I went into some kind of state but can’t put it into words. At one point, I thought ‘I’m never doing this again’ but since coming home, I’ve booked again. 

I wanted to find something that took me away from myself & from the monotony of every day life & this satisfies that urge. And that’s why I want to do it again. It was good to get away from my little phone screen, from the tv, from humans (although I was surrounded by loads of corpse-like ones) and have an hour ‘off’. 

Life is about trying new things & I’m glad I tried this. If you have gong baths near you, why not give it a go! If nothing else, it’s great to be a big kid and lie around wrapped in a blanket for a while with a whole load of strangers .. one for the bucket list! 

http://www.iamscania.com

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The Eternal Quest for the Alternative Escape Route

The Eternal Quest for the Alternative Escape Route

** Warning ** I may say some things you don’t agree with & for that I’m truly sorry but this is my opinion & my opinion only & not against any individual in any way **

I’m going to be honest. Personally, I’ve never understood ‘blipping’. I know it happens & that not everyone gives up alcohol on Day 1 forever. I also get that you can climb back on that horse/wagon/bus & carry straight on & not discount the sober days behind you & that’s absolutely fine. 

But I’ve never understood the actual process of blipping. The actual conscious decision to undo all of your hard work in a moment of madness by going to the shop/pub, buying/pouring yourself a drink, taking a sip and cracking on. 

Until now. 

Now, I’m starting to understand that the process of ‘blipping’ is not so much about the drink hitting your lips, the ritual of weekend pleasure, the desire to satisfy that craving. I’m understanding that it is also about the escape route, the desire to break up the utter monotony of daily life, to satisfy the rebel inside. 

Soberdom makes me think. Too much. I’m at a point where I’m thinking what is the point. Not in a suicidal, woe is me kind of a way but in a ‘there must be more to life than this’ way. My pattern of life before Soberdom was broken up by craziness. The opportunity to get out of my own overthinking head. But now that option is gone, my life is beyond regimented & I can barely see space for fun & spontaneity. 

I know this sounds very doom & gloom. In some ways, it is. I guess I just need to find out where to get my dopamine high from & it’s no longer coming from a Magnum or a Russell Brand podcast. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not close to ‘blipping’. For me, it is just not an option. I have promised myself that my status/blog will never read ‘back on day 1’ & that is enough for me to stay strong. I don’t get tempted in the booze aisle or in a pub .. the consequences of me taking a sip are far too great to contemplate.

But

I need something. Something needs to perk/pick me up. My mood is teetering on utterly fucked off / bored /rebellious / regimented / unable to see the Sober light of day. I want something that stops my brain thinking, just for a little while. Yes, walking is good for a few hours, plugged into someone else’s tale of woe. But soon it’s back to my own. A Boo A Hoo.

So this week the quest commences .. How to stick a smile on the miserable Sober Fish face. I am going to a meditation gong bath & have my first proper counselling session. I’ve also got a few days off work & my first sober birthday. If mocktails, cake & steak can’t do it, I’m not sure what will! 

#day330
 

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My Sobriety Onion

My Sobriety Onion

Following my emotional episodes this week, several people have compared my sobriety to an onion, peeling away the external layers to reveal forgotten buried layers beneath. Isn’t it ironic that onions also make you cry?!

If you’d told me a year ago, when I was chucking copious amounts of anything down my neck, that in a years time, I would be booking to go to a Gong Bath or meeting random strangers for coffee or writing about sobriety being an onion, I thought you were insane. But here I am. 

I guess it’s hard to anticipate how you’re going to feel on any journey you haven’t been on before but the way I’ve felt this week came as a bit of a surprise. I’ve battled to get my 3 stone weight loss certificate for at least 3 months now but upon obtaining it, I just felt a bit flat. I cried watching people do a marathon. I cried when I saw my friends at the marathon. I cried when I saw my friend doing a beauty treatment for me. I cried at 5.30am listening to Russell Brand for f**ks sake.

I just don’t feel how I thought I would feel this close to the finish line. 

The problem with putting down a drink for the last time is that you’re not just putting down a drink for the last time. You’re changing everything. You’re changing relationships, interests, weekends, week nights, food choices, bedtimes, get up times. You’re changing your world. And you’re also cutting off your escape route. 

This week it has hit me that I will never be able to escape again. This is it. I am me and this is it forever. Deal with it. No more ‘f**k it, let’s get wasted’ moments. EVER. No more opportunities to just forget it all, for even the smallest moment in time. I have to deal with EVERYTHING whether I want to or not. And that is ENORMOUS. 

As I approach the completion of my first year of sobriety & what I thought was the end of my journey, I realise that, in some ways, this is just the beginning. The real challenge of peeling away layer by smelly layer of my sobriety onion and dealing with what lies beneath (without an escape route) could potentially be more difficult than dealing with abstaining from alcohol itself. Wish me luck! 

#day322 #sobrietyonion

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