And suddenly it stops.

It’s the eve of my 28th birthday. I’m sat in my garden with a glass of shiraz, pondering life and feeling a complete failure.

I fell off the wagon last week. We had gone to watch the football in the local and I found myself downing pints like a good un. Been thinking about alcohol ever since. I told myself no so many times.

Today was an awful day, I had some bother at work and found out some awful news about a family member. What’s my first go to crutch? Wine!

Five and a half months wasted. I’m sorry to any fellows reading this, I’ve let you down as well as myself.

I will not start my 28th year on this earth feeling a failure.

My journey starts again.

Xx

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Sober Berlin.

Monday 11th June 2018

So, Berlin was beautiful and everything I wanted it to be. Just me and my boyfriend doing a city break and exploring the German capital. It’s been a while since we had some quality time together, so I wanted to make the most. We did some cool stuff like visit Berlin Zoo, saw the Berlin Wall (east side gallery), visited checkpoint Charlie and loads of other stuff.

On an evening we went out for dinner and drinks, and it was just really lovely. After dinner one night we decided to check out the local night life. I was in too much of a Berlin buzz to worry about alcohol so my tonic on the rocks was just fine. We were enjoying our time in a gay friendly trendy bar, the type were the cocktail list was on a chalk board and the lights were dim.

Once we finished our first set of drinks it was my turn to order, I ask the barman ‘a large beer and an elderflower please’ assuming he would know i meant just the tonic. Anyway, this delightful looking cocktail appeared in front of me in all its glory. It was coming towards me until another barman informed our barman that I had been drinking just tonic, and this cocktail was full of Gin. I don’t know how I felt about this, there was a big sense of relief that the other barman intervened and removed the alcoholic drink. But, I can’t help but think, if he hadn’t of intervened I would of drank it and enjoyed it. I might not have spat it out. I might have pretended to the world that this was just in fact a dressed up tonic water. I would of lived in a lie for the duration of that drink.

My boyfriend tried to make funny of the situation and said ‘well that would of fucked you up for the night’ and it was funny, and I laughed. But then I thought, this wouldn’t have fucked my night up, it would have fucked over 4 months of sobriety up. Reflecting on it, I am so happy the barman intervened, it feels like a sign.

For the rest of my time in Berlin, I no longer asked for Elderflower tonic, and stuck with ‘ein tonic wasser mit eis, bitte’ – A tonic water with ice, please.

Im still hopeful and I’m still sober.

Xx

Vivid dreams.

Thursday 7th June 2018.

Good Morning ☕️[[
For the past two weeks I’ve been having really vivid and realistic dreams. This is not normally something I flag up, but these dreams are me falling off the wagon – more like nightmares.

They’ve been happening 2-3 times a week. I wake up in a panic and it all seems so real. I can’t describe the relief when I realise I’m still sober and haven’t actually thrown my recovery away.

I’ve researched it a little bit this morning. According to the pros it’s common for alcoholics to dream about drinking again, especially if they had been drinking for a number of years and drink was an important part of their life. It’s natural that dreams are influenced by our drinking memories.

Some suggest that these dreams can be a warning sign of relapse if you wake up and find that you enjoyed the dream you were having. If this is the case, it’s suggested that you give close attention to your recovery and reevaluate where you are with it. Some more effort may be required in your sobriety.

In my case, I woke up feeling guilty and shameful and it’s safe to say I hated the dream where I was rat arsed! This is okay too, according to some; this reaction is a positive influence on your recovery because it suggests how serious you are about your sobriety and how much you cherish where you are. These dreams can be a good deterrent as they show what could be in store for you if you go back to your old ways.

Even though unpleasant, I’m glad I’ve experienced these dreams and processed them properly. When I wake up in a panic in the future, I can look around and be thankful it was a just a dream and continue to cherish my sobriety.

I remain hopeful and I remain sober.

Xx

Boozy blues

28/5/18

A previous bank holiday, probably drunk.

Today I woke up feeling drained and depressed. I’m putting it down to working night shifts and it’s a bank holiday weekend and I’m an alcoholic. On my way to work tonight I saw all the beer gardens full. Supermarkets full of people buying alcohol. Festival on the tv everybody drinking. My partner currently at the pub, drinking.I know that this is me feeling sorry for myself, the poor alcoholic who can’t drink anymore.

I work in a mental health hospital – oh the irony. The patients have to spend their bank holidays on the unit, with no alcohol and no home comforts. How hard is it for them day after day? I feel selfish for feeling the way I’m feeling.I’ve been at work for five hours now and I’m feeling a lot more grateful for everything I have. I’m still hopeful and I’m still sober.

Just gotta ride these waves I guess x

100 Days.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Well, I had a lovely day. I was bright in mood from start to finish and I didn’t tell anybody why, that was enough. Id be lying if I said I didn’t find some days harder than others – of course I do, but this time its different. Im sober because I want to be, not because I have to be. The lifestyle I have now is so much cleaner, healthier and happier.

We went to the local pub yesterday evening, at first I was resentful at these situations ‘why can these people drink and I cant’ but now I understand why. Because if I drank, I would be rolling out the pub and in to the gutter probably. I ordered two becks blues (0%) and poured them in to my pint glass. People around me was asking how long I’m going to be sober for, they didn’t need to know that I plan for it to be forever. I simply said until I am ready, knowing full well that I will never be ready, ever again.

One time I was out with my partner in the local, we had both had a skin full. He said he was ready to go home so we walked the short distance back to the house. Once inside, he was sick in the toilet (very rare for him to do this). I put him to bed, and then I walked back to the pub. why did i do that? I was already drunk, very drunk. He was furious at me the next morning. I was a state. Looking back, I wouldn’t dream of doing that now.

Alcohol misuse is responsible for so much shit people go through, and most of the time its what we turn to for comfort. Now I’ve learnt to channel my negative energy in a different way. I will not hit the bottle when something goes wrong. As is life, things will always go wrong, no matter what type of life you lead – but the important thing is to learn to deal with stuff head on rather than getting shit faced.

Today I am positive. Today I am proud. Today I am sober.

Happy Sobriety!

98 days.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

98 days sober.

Not quite the 100 day milestone, but close enough for me to start writing about it. I know that starting to write from day 98 isn’t the natural thing to do but writing about my sober journey is something that I have wanted to do since the beginning, but fear of failure put me off. I have read other blogs about people quitting drinking, and related to a lot of their feelings and thought processes, and I too wanted to put mine out there – regardless of whether or not it gets a read.

I’m not even sure where to start, my background and history? Im a 27-year-old guy who has a drink problem. I don’t want to make this overly negative so it will be hard to document everything that has happened in my drinking career. I have had relationship troubles, got into trouble at work, lost the trust of my family and lost a million iPhones. All for what, a few hours of a pissed up daze. I would probably class myself as a functioning problem drinker. I work full-time and own my house and car, I have a partner and a dog. Does this make me any different to anybody else who is addicted to alcohol? No.  Everybody who is not able to stop drinking once they start, are all suffering the effects of alcoholism in the same way. It can be a sad, miserable and lonely place.

I started drinking socially when I was 16 after school on a Friday night with friends, it was new and exciting for me. I had this newfound confidence I never knew I had. Then at college, new friends and new freedom. Fast forward 10 years and I’m alone on a Saturday night in my house with two bottles of Shiraz and the remainder of the vodka bottle from the night before. Gone are the times when it was fun and exciting, it became a necessary routine which I struggled to get out of. During the week I would get home from work and the first thing I would do is pour a glass of wine, and rarely left anything in the bottle. I used to go to the local pub while my partner was at work, dishonest about the time I left the house, to make it seem as though id just ‘popped out for a couple’. He wasn’t silly enough to actually believe that I had just had the couple. That is probably the worst factor about living with alcoholism, the deceit and dishonesty. The sly trips to the pub, the bottle of wine that you buy and drink and bury in the recycle bin, the half empty vodka bottle that you hide at the back of the cupboard under the sink. Only people with a problem would hide their evidence, this should have been a massive warning sign for me.

As I approach my first 100 days sober, I begin to think about the previous attempts and how much stronger I feel this time around. My first attempt a few years back lasted 10 weeks. My second attempt last year lasted 8 weeks. Third time lucky serious. It is important to remind ourselves of two things;

number 1 – the reasons why we are giving up alcohol

number 2 – the consequences if we don’t

The past 98 days have already been an adventure, sobriety doesn’t have to be boring. Without alcohol I have felt happier, more ambitious, guilt free and without the depressing hangovers.

I’ll post more on day 100. Thank you so much for being here with me.

Happy sobriety!