Category Archives: Alcoholism

Good Article by Jack Monroe – Well Worth Reading

Just a very quick post about a really interesting article I read in today’s Observer newspaper.It is written by Jack Munroe,who is a food writer and activist and who gave up alcohol around this time last year. Much of what she says resonates with many of the posts on our sober blogs and interestingly she talks about the absolute importance of having support.

Reading the article made me feel even more lucky and fortunate that I am part of this fantastic sober blogging community. Try and check out the article for yourselves it’s definitely worth a read. Jim X

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/29/my-year-of-sobriety-jack-monroe

Thanks Claire for providing the link!

12 Weeks- In Need of Some Stimulation Man!

First things first. Tomorrow marks 12 weeks of being Alcohol Free, 3 months sober; now officially the longest I have been without a drink since I was about 17. So it’s a significant event for me. How do I feel? Proud, surprised, curious and appreciative of all the benefits particularly this; being awake on a Saturday morning without a fuzzy head, full of energy ready to take on the day. And yet…. There’s always a but with me I know. Being honest with myself I feel the tiniest bit bored!

On the face of it, everything’s fine. Moved a year ago, got the house sorted, started a little therapy business, that’s doing well, enjoying my activities such as table tennis league, volunteering, packing my days with useful, noble activities and intent and I am deeply appreciative of what I have but I do miss a bit of stimulation, of things being unexpected and out of the ordinary, of excitement.

Writing this I feel a bit childish and immature, excitement at your age Jim, get a grip I want to respond but it’s what I feel and I would always say to clients, recognise and acknowledge your feelings, so I need to do the same for myself. I think this is clearly linked to the removal of alcohol from my life. Alcohol often made life seem exciting. When I went drinking with friends say at the end of term when I was a teacher we would all drink far too much and something always happened. One person might blurt out something that had been unsaid for years, someone would make a pass at someone else, there might be an impromptu song and no one quite knew where the night would take us, who we might meet, where we would go or how we would get home.

In reality, drunken nights out are just that, there’s no real excitement or change just the sensation of it and then a terrible hangover lasting days fed by greasy food and sweet pastries. I’m glad I’m out of that but at least there was a suggestion of something different when drinking and that is something that is a little bit missing now. Life is more measured and predictable but I miss the craziness and looseness one gets when drinking. Seeking those states is why I ended up drinking too much, I became a stimulation junkie ironically using a substance that is a depressant.

Not sure where this reflection is taking me. I think what I’m trying to say is in order to get some of the buzz and fizz back I need to find alternative ways to get some excitement and unpredictability back in my life. Knowing my past, that slightly worries me, I know where the search for stimulation can take me. Sitting in my garden being mindful of nature is great but it’s not going to provide that missing “je ne sais quoi”. Maybe I need to start rock climbing or buy a motorbike, take a year out and do some travelling? Oh god, am I having my second post mid life crisis? It needs some thought. I know playing music gives me a buzz and I no longer do any drama which I really enjoyed so there are avenues to explore. Either way after 12 weeks I need to find real stimulation after having escaped the illusory excitement of alcohol. All part of this journey I suppose.

Have a good, sober weekend folks but do something a little bit crazy.

Jim x

11 Weeks – Anxiety Down, Frustration Up

A quick post, mainly so I have a record of how one element in my early sobriety has changed. The weekend anxiety syndrome, that horrible unease I got around Friday night and lasting into Sunday has completely evaporated. I knew it had to be conditioning as it only occurred if I didn’t have a drink on those days. For me, and I guess, a lot of others drinking alcohol and the arrival of the weekend were inextricably linked. Drink + Friday = Feeling good, No Drink + Friday or Saturday= unease, anxiety, agitation.

When I stopped on 1 September I would say my first 6-8 weekends were blighted by this unease and nearly made me question my decision to go AF, but in the last few weekends that anxiety has not just lessened it’s disappeared, vanished. I know if I went to the pub on a Saturday it would re-emerge but that’s more about the pub/booze/good time association but even that is lessening.

So anxieties due to social conditioning and association definitely on the decrease. Anyone out there in the early days of sobriety, if my experience is anything to go by, IT DOES GET EASIER!

I won’t go on to mention lots of the benefits, we all know about those. So what could be the cause of the frustration?

For me I’m starting to see a pattern. People now generally know I’m not drinking and as we start gearing up for Christmas meals, social events and drinks parties, the word seems to be out; need a lift? Ask Jim!

Now I don’t mind giving a lift or two, helping someone out if I’m going their way but what I’m experiencing is almost being treated like a taxi service, “Oh Jim, you know the meal we are arranging, as you’re not drinking we thought we’d go to that nice country pub and maybe you could pick us up and drive us all there.” The other three all live in different places and what would have been a 20 minute journey for me will now be an hour’s journey, sit watching them neck bottles of wine, likely pick up an equal share of the bill half of which will be alcohol related and then spend another hour dropping the piss heads back home. You know what, it’s not bleeding fair. I don’t like it. Saying “why should I give you a lift” seems churlish, so I’ll do it. But I’m now getting the same with another social event and I can feel the goodwill withering. I wonder if this is a common pattern for others that have gone sober?

I suppose I could always buy myself a little peaked cap, install a meter and make a little cash on the side and just call myself “Jim’s Taxi Service” but in reality I’ll just grin and bear it. But it is annoying and it is frustrating, or am I being a miserable, cantankerous old bastard?

Anyone need a lift?

History Bloody Repeating Itself

A morality tale from the reverend Jim High Anmighty

I had to laugh. Sorting out my study last week I came across an old notebook and thought “that’s good I can use that for my music notes”. There were some pages that needed ripping out but when I looked at them I could see they were pages from a diary going back to 2011.  I was attempting at that time to train for a second London marathon and the pages were my activity and health log.  I read a few entries and my heart sank whilst I simultaneously smiled.

Here’s an entry from January 2011 :”Couldn’t do the run as planned.  calf still playing up.  Bad weekend,saw  ______ and _______ for dinner and drank way too much.  Sunday felt awful and had usual fry up to soak up the hangover.  Weight 14st.  far too heavy.  must cutback on alcohol.” 

I didn’t end up doing the marathon that year and I didn’t make the changes.  I have diaries from other years, same story.  I record my blood pressure on an app.  So many times I have left comments such as ” BP and weight both up.  Heavy week too much booze and food. MUST cut down,” and so it goes on.  That cycle of drinking, eating, needing to change, next big event more over eating excessive drinking always trying to rein in the rampaging monsters.  

Luckily at times I did rein them in for days at a time but only days.  Without that reining in, even for short periods, I dread to think where I would be now.  Seeing those entries and knowing that was the pattern of my life seems now like so much wasted opportunity but it also looks like denial.  The evidence was in front of me.  I was not in control and I hated it. OK it’s taken me a long time to get here but at last my diary entries have changed.  I can now put in my Blood Pressure app.” BP in normal range, steady weight loss since September, had a few runs, weekends now longer blighted by hangovers and fry ups.”

There’s a lovely irony in being someone who has spent their life trying to help others change and develop only to discover that I was in my very own self repeating hamster wheel of stasis in relation to food and drink. But then I remind myself that my life is not just about my problemmatic relationship to food and particularly alcohol.  I have made changes in other areas of my life. There has been development. I improved my relationships, became hopefully a better parent, worked hard to be a better educator and more recently counsellor. I also like to think I’ve improved my guitar playing and biggest improvement of all moved up a league in table tennis (and yes, sad to say, that IS important to me!).

On balance history had repeated itself in a couple of key areas.  Yes, and they were big areas. Those, thankfully are finally being addressed and I’m not going to be too hard on myself because they are but two aspects of my life.  Having been stuck for so long with the food and drink cycle has definitely helped me be more empathic with those I encounter who struggle with the same issues. I see people at the extremes sometimes of alcohol use disorder, drinking that risks work, relationship and life itself. I count myself lucky that my drinking never went to those extremes, but it could have done.  Those who have broken the cycle are in a great position to speak with empathy, understanding and authority.  I’m at the beginning of breaking the cycle and look up to the people who really have done it. 

That brings me neatly to my final point. I want to repeat something I’ve said before. Fellow bloggers with your insight, experiences  and comments, you have made a difference. The support is probably the crucial factor in me finally making the changes that were so long overdue.  Thanks.

Now I have a favour to ask. A fellow blogger, Lia, (No More) has just got back into doing her blog after a two year absence and intends giving up the booze on Monday 18th November.  Here is a link to her blog; Lia’s Blog

It’s called No More and it would be wonderful if we could give her the support that I and so many others have enjoyed and which undoubtedly helps. She will really appreciate it. I asked her if Icould provide the link, give her a mention and she was morethan happy for me to do so.  So please give her bog a visit and wish her well.  Thanks.

In the end I suppose history doesn’t have to repeat itself not once we realise that we are ultimately the authors of our own histories.  

Here endeth the sermon for today.

Jim x

 

 

Emerging out of the Closet

I knew I had to be honest with people. I was not prepared to live a lie any longer. I knew there was a danger that family and friends would not be able to accept my new identity, my new way of life, but I could no longer live a life of secrecy and shame.  It was time to come out the closet.

I was nervous. Would I be accepted?  Would friends turn on me? What about my sons, would they now feel embarrassed by their dad’s new way of life. I knew I’d face predjudice, incredulity, mockery even hostility for what I was about to tell people. “But Jim, please give it some time, it might just be a phase, you could be back to normal in a few days.” I could hear the possible words that would be directed at me swimming around my head.

“Jim, you’ve spent too much time hanging out with those strange types on the internet, they’ve warped your thinking, influenced you, made you feel you are different than you really are. Jim for God’s sake, turn back before it’s too late.” Maybe they would say that, but my mind was made up. 

I decided to make my announcement to a friend in a pub last Friday.  I could tell she knew I had something monumental to say.  I poured myself some water.  I tried to speak but my mouth was dry.  My hands were trembling.  My friend took my hand, took a huge gulp of her red wine, looked me in the eye and said, “Jim, you know you can tell me anything.”

This was the moment.  I knew my friend would relay what I was about to say to her, to my other friends.  One way or another I would be out the closet and it would be a relief.  I coughed, straightened up and hesitated. I couldn’t do it.  My friend was now highly concerned for me.  Thinking she was changing the subject she said, “Shall I order a bottle of the Merlot Jim, I’ve nearly finished my glass and you haven’t had anything yet? Yeh let’s get a bottle, we can leave the car here and I’ll drop you home in the taxi.”

I couldn’t take it any longer.  It just came out, “I’m not bloody drinking, alright.  I’ve stopped, that’s it. Finito. Don’t keep asking me.  I don’t drink.  I have stopped drinking. I’m identifying as sober! Go on reject me, tell me to fuck off you freak, I don’t care any more. Just leave me alone.” I sobbed.

“Jim, take it easy, I only asked if you fancied some wine. Is that why you’ve been a bit tense, a bit odd?”

“Er yes it is actually, that’s my big announcement.you don’t seem shocked.”

She wasn’t. We ordered our food.

And that was it. I was Captura de pantalla 2019-11-11 a las 21.52.02.pngaccused by my friend of being a drama queen but otherwise my friend thought it was amazing that I hadn’t had a drink for ten weeks and was now determined to carry on Alcohol Free.

 

 

I went home and then told my partner.  She said she thought it was a good idea. “Well done,” she said.

I emerged from my sober closet and the world just carried on.  It was all rather underwhelming. I, on the other hand, felt great.  I had my new identity.  

To make it sound cool I call myself a Soberista, as if I am some kind of revolutionary alcohol free Mexican hell raiser.  Again a little over dramatic, but why not.  

I’ve emerged from the alcohol closet, I’m a Soberista and I’m proud!

 

 

Two Months Alcohol Free and Busy as the Proverbial Bee

Let’s get the self pitying stuff out the way first.  It’s 2.30 am, the clocks have gone back which means in England; damp, dull, grey little England, we will be consigned to our days getting dark around four in the afternoon.  It gets worse, much worse- I have a cold! Not the greatest tragedy ever to afflict a person, granted, but I hate colds and they make me feel sorry for myself. Also it’s my blog and if I want to moan about a cold I can. Oh and to compound the misery I over ate last night using the “feed a cold” excuse to eat in quick succession: scotch eggs with rhubarb chutney, crisps, chocolate, yoghurt and then more chocolate.  Now I’m up becasue I have an upset tummy. Life can be cruel sometimes!

Ok that’s the self pitying done with so now where am I in this Alcohol Free adventure?  8 weeks AF today.  That’s OK, pretty pleased with that and just two weeks away from breaking the 10 weeks I went without a drink earlier this year. Yesterday and Friday also represented the first weekend where I did not suffer the anxiety pangs and cravings which I had every time I got to Friday evening up until this current weekend.  That association seems to be slowy dissolving.

So progress is good and yet it has been quite a while since my last post.  I suppose the fact that this going without booze is getting slightly easier means slightly less motivation to blog and yet I have been wanting to sit down and write a post, see how my other boozeless, blogging buddies are doing. So what is going on?

The simple answer is that I have suddenly become very busy.  My days are getting filled with things to do; appointments, deadlines, correspondence. It has left me little time for this blogging  and it takes an upset stomach in the middle of the night to create the time and space to sit down and write.  The busyness is a direct result of giving up the booze. Being sober, knowing there will be no hangovers, having more energy has meant that I started to

Screenshot 2019-10-27 at 03.51.57.png

Oh look, Jim’s a busy bee! 

fill my time and now I think I may just

 

 

have overdone it, stretching and commiting myself a little bit too much.  But then that’s how I am. That’s how I used to drink; just drinking that little bit too much, insisting we open just one more bottle of wine.  Yep, slightly excessive but at least now the excess is in doing productive things, things that give my life meaning and purpose, the holy grails for those of us without faith.

One of the things I’m overdosing on is Spanish.  I use a site called Conversation Exchange

It’s brilliant for finding people who want to learn another language and you learn theirs. I’ve been chatting to one Spanish guy on Skype for 3 years now.  Once a week we chat for an hour; 30 minutes in English, 30 minutes in Spanish. We have become friends, we improve our language skills and it’s free.  With my extra time and energy I logged onto CE to see if I could find a second person to chat with.  Trouble is I hadn’t  logged onto the site for three years and logging on again meant I came up first when Spanish speakers were looking for potential English partners. Without thinking things through I was getting requests to chat and being someone who finds it hard to say no, I have now got two new language buddies and another one scheduled for Tuesday. Having chatted to the two new people, (a retired guy and a successful business woman) I can’t suddenly cut them off but it means 3 or 4 new time commitments each week.  I’ll see how it goes because having to speak Spanish is fairlydemanding and exhausting, I have to think and concentrate! At least my Spanish should improve and in reality what a nice bonus from going Alcohol Free.  I guess I shouldn’t moan, I should celebrate but it does mean less time for other things.

The other area where I am getting busy is my therapy work.  I use a site to get my leads and there seems to be a big upswing in people looking for therapists in my area.  I have a room set aside at home for this but I only usually like to see a couple of people a week but now I have 5 clients and they are all sticking with it.  That’s good as I love doing that work but it does involve assigning a lot of time to it.  I tend to spend as much time thinking about clients, making notes and reading around issues as I do actually seeing them so I am spending a lot of time focusing on these clients and their issues at the moment.  But I wouldn’t change this.  It’s what I love doing. Being Alcohol Free has also given me a new found enthusiasm for what I do. Talking to clients about the possibility of change knowing that you are engaging in a process of change yourself feels very empowering and tangible.  Change can happen, it’s possible, it’s not always easy but with support it can happen.  I know giving up the booze is not like trying to overcome anxiety or a lifetime of feeling inadequate but it is similar in terms of developing the motivation and understanding to make small steps in changing in thoughts, feelings and perspectives.  Those things can instigate and sustain change.

So there we have it.  Two months without booze and the bonus of more time and energy. Time to improve my Spanish and developing my therapy work(and I never got onto the music which I also spend more time on) . I mustn’t in all of this “busyness” neglect the blogging and reading others’ blogs because it really has helped and the support on here has been wonderful.  I must also make sure I  do not neglect my very supportive partner who is becoming increasingly intrigued about what my going boozeless is all about. In short I need to monitor how I use this increase in productive time and not overdo things. I need to leave some unscheduled time and not overfill my time like I did my wine glass! Moderation, ah, if only.

Jim x

Achievement and Loss- The 7 week Mark

Seven weeks and my overriding feeling is not one of achievement but one of loss. Why is that?My head says well done but my heart says at what a cost.  Our minds can play funny games with us and mine is currently playing the ,”Your drinking wasn’t that bad Jim, lighten up and enjoy yourself,” game.  Very seductive.  Very appealing.  Very half true!

In some ways this “thing”, this going sober, would be much easier if my drinking had been truly out of control and I was waking up trembling in the morning craving my first litre of  super strength lager. But it was never like that.  The drinking wasn’t ruining my life but it was nibbling at the edges and being a person of some excesses, when I drank, I drank with gusto. I nowfind myself remembering the many ocassions I did drink moderately (usually because it would have looked unseemly to do otherwise) but conveniently repressing days when I’d inexplicably reach for yet another drink, spending a day alone getting into a drunken stupor and then feeling shit about myself for around 3 days.  I conveniently forget  the hangovers that stopped me doing my Saturday morning runs or led me to spend a day eating fatty foods to soak up the booze. Well I’ve just reminded myself . Yes, of course there were good, sensible, rational reasons for stopping.  Health, sleep, energy, but boy can good intentions be boring.

This is the thing, despite my ego and superego (apologies to Freud) acting like some sensible parents, my instinctual, childish ID says, “Fuck off you boring killjoys, being human is about experience, we are all going to die anyway, let’s at least have some good times before the inevitable annialation!” Naughty ID! A bit of a drama queen but I get his point.  I do miss much about drinking.  I know the facts.  I know the science but stopping drinking is more than feeding yourself the sobriety propaganda. That gives you some reason and motivation.  It helps.  But I have to recognise aScreenshot 2019-10-21 at 08.18.01.pngnd grieve for what I have lost as crazy as that may sound.  Drink gave me some release.  It was a drug I chose to take because I liked its effects.  It also gave me companionship and an identity. I was bloody good at drinking so it gave me a strange kind of warped kudos and standing.   Of course there were negatives and side effects but those were understood to be part of the deal. You pays yer price.

So what am I saying? God knows. I’m suggesting I suppose that like many things, going sober is not as black and white (for me and I can obviously only talk about me with any certainty) as I thought it would be.  It’s clearly a process.  There are real pluses and I’m grateful for those otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.  But I have to acknowledge the downsides and probably the biggest of these is the loss of identity, ritual, and shared activity that drinking gave me.

An example of this is when I eventually go to Spain to visit relatives.  I need to visit but I put if off. Why? Because I know that something will be missing. They live in Valencia and a typical day will involve late breakfast, a trip to the centre, beers, chat, meeting friends and tapas. Not much beer or wine but steady, small amounts. A light, sweet feeling of mild intoxication and then a restaurant where good food matched with fine wines is the order of the day. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, or I say to myself, spending a day like that with a non alcoholic beer or soft drink is not going to be the same.  That experience is now dead to me, it’s something that happened in another life.  It was good and it has gone.

Seven weeks.  I have done well and I have no intention of giving up my giving up, but I must also grieve and reorganise my identity. I need to find new ways of getting the comfort and buzz, that not just alcohol, but it’s associated rituals and hinterland gave me.  Maybe it’s the grieving rather than a physical dependency that makes many return to booze. Maybe knowing that that is what is going on and giving myself time will help. There was much that was good about my drinking days. Acknowledge the loss, feel the loss, grieve for it and move on. Better days await.

Apologies if this is a depressing post but these reflections have been swirling around and it helps to write them down.

Jim x

Ambivalence (Trigger Alert!)

Ambivalence; mixed feelings, contradictory views- yup that’s me right now. So i’ve been 5 weeks alcohol free and part of me feels, “great achievement” and part of me thinks, “big deal.”  Yes 5 weeks AF and I’ve had lots of benefits; no hangovers, marginally better sleep, lower blood pressure, bit of weight loss, blah, blah, blah. Another part of me misses what I’ve given up – the bonhomie of drinking, the getting slightly squiffy and the sheer delight of sampling new beers often in cosy, covivial surroundings.

Life is often not black and white and so it is proving with this alcohol free journey. I went to visit my son and his girlfriend at the weekend.  They have moved to St Albans.  My son, not knowing I’m not drinking bought some of my favourite beers and some corking wines to go with some stonking cheeses.  This used to be my heaven. I tell him I’m not drinking.  We head off to the town centre and the pub for some food and a drink.  I order AF beer. They have real beer.  I feel terrible.  Why am I denying myself? I always used to love that first hit of alcohol. Now I sit there thinking about not drinking just like before I used to think about drinking.  Brilliant, we’ve really moved on haven’t we!

Tangent. ‘This Naked Mind.’  Seemingly the bible for the newly sober, amen. I read this and bristled at some of her arguments.  I get the idea, turn people off alcohol, it’s easier to give up.  Her argument about taste though really annoyed me.  She says that alcohol is ethanol, true, and that drinking it is like drinking poison, true, and that we may learn to aquire the taste but really we don’t like the taste of alcohol, untrue. Alcoholic drinks are not just alcohol. They are often complex drinks and alcohol carries taste. Try AF wine next to real wine and there’s no comparison.  The alcohol carries the depth and range of flavours.  Good wine tastes lovely! For me denying that wine can be tasty doesn’t help one bit.  In fact it puts me off ‘sober propaganda.’ I know alcohol is not good for you in excess but you can say that about many things that give us pleasure. I like the taste of wine and a well crafted beer.  I like the feeling of getting slightly squiffy.  Let’s cut to the chase- people drink because it’s pleasurable. There, I’ve said it. Apostasy. Sacrilege.  Jim’s gone to the dark side!

No, I’m just reminding myself that I have given up something that at various points gave me much pleasure.  My problem, and it is MY problem, is that I am an excessive person and you play the excess card with alcohol and you are heading for trouble.  I know this weekend that had I been drinking, a couple of pints during the day would then have transformed into several beers later on then gin and tonic and once the wine was opened… hello hangover and a ruined Sunday. That is why I am not drinking but I wish I could be a moderate drinker. Ambivalence!

So what stopped me drinking this weekend? I was seconds away from cracking.  I wanted the companionship and lightheadedness, the pleasure of drinking in company. But I didn’t drink. I thought of two fellow bloggers in particular, Anne and Nadine, of how they are peservering and how much the mutual support means to me.  I reminded myself of why I had embarked on this journey in the first place and I also knew deep down that I’d be really annoyed with myself if I cracked. I want to see how I feel about alcohol in 3 or 4 months.  It may well be I get to a point where weekends like this one just gone do not feel like massive feats of denial.  Life is for living and I want to savour it’s many pleasures, but I also want to be healthy and there is much I want to accomplish in the time I have left.

So, I’ll continue, not in the bubbly, naive, trumpet blowing way I started out, but in a more realistic way.  Life is often contradictory, our own thoughts and actions likewise, but there can also be moments of clarity, calm and certainty.  My hope is that after wading through the swampy mire of ambivalence I’ll end up on firmer ground.

Maybe. One day.

 

Jim x

The Honeymoon is Over! Now the Hard Work Begins

Someone,and I can’t remember who, coined the term Limerance to describe those heady first days and weeks in a new relationship when you are just so caught up with your new love.  You see only perfection, not the flaws, you feel strangely optimistic and heady and the flames of passion burn strong. Oh blissful days.

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 21.03.35.png

Then it changes! Time to move on to a new lover?  No, no, no. That’s bad, immature. Instead it’s time to take the relationship to a new more meaningful, mature level! You have to put the work in and sometimes make compromises.

Well that’s a little bit how it feels for me after 4 weeks of being alcohol free.  The first few weeks it was all heady optimism-; “Oh sobriety I love you, we were made for each other, let’s make love again, it’s been 30 minutes already!” (oh no that last one doesn’t really work as a metaphor does it?). Anyway you get the idea.  It was all positive, loads of benefits, saying goodbye to hangovers and seeing a lovely alcohol free life stretching out unto the sunset. Bliss. Limerance.

Then it changed! A few heady weeks of limerance and then reality sets in- this is tough, the feelings more confused, the reality more nuanced, the pulls of the past growing stronger.  Early optimism gives way to mixed feelings- feelings of loss, trouble dealing with boredom, dealing with nights out. A feeling of not being able to enjoy what others enjoy.  

Divorce is in the air!

Except it’s not.  It’s time to be more realistic, more mature.  The honeymoon may be over but the hard work begins and the true nature of being alcohol free will hopefully emerge.  I don’t want to experience just limerance in my relationship to sobriety, I want a lasting commitment where I sacrifice going off with that floozy alcohol for a one night stand for a more meaningful relationship with sobriety. Sticking with my new partner, sobriety, will give me more depth and satisfaction in the long term I’m sure.

I’ve not been a great one for relationships in the past so there are parallels for me between my new relationship to sobriety and my real life relationships.  I have in the past become restless and sought new relationships always looking for some elusive “buzz” and often ignoring what was there all along.  Steadfastness was

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 21.08.52.pngnot a great quality of mine but that has changed markedly in recent years.

Sticking with being alcohol free is another chance for me to show that I can stick at something past the early optimistic stage and make a change that is profound and life changing.  It’s going to be complex but then so is any good relationship.

So, come on sobriety, give me a cuddle.  We’re in this for the long haul.

 

Jim X

I’m pissed off and I WANT A DRINK!

This is the first day in just under a month a when I really want a drink and feel sorely tempted. I can almost feel the sensation of how a big gulp of wine would soothe my troubled brow. I’m not in a pub, out with friends, I’m at home alone and just really pissed off.

It doesn’t help that in the last few days, without going into detail, I’ve had to show positive regard to an ignorant rascist, listen as two young people with outwardly everything to live for tell me that they are planning on ending their lives, hear that many of our female politicians have had death threats made against them and try and be upbeat when a sobbing man tells me he cannot get the help he needs from the NHS because he has had his quota of “free” counselling.

All this has been going on whilst having essential building work done on my house that has made me feel that I’m living under siege and the costs keep rising as more issues are found.

On top of this my body acts as though it has aged 10 years in a day. The final straw today though was finding that my car has been bashed by a red car in a nearby car park. No note or apology but I think I know the car in question and tomorrow there could be a showdown. That should guarantee a sleepless night.

This all reminds me of how I often felt when working full time. Being a deputy principal in a school, managing staff, parents, disputes, working weekends, drink was a way of switching off and putting stress to one side. We all know the perils of that but it seems really tempting right now. I suppose that’s why I’m writing this post; get through it, get through it.

Pause.Stop. Breathe. Relax.

The car’s just a bloody car, the building work will get done, money will sort itself. The encounters though, yes they were upsetting but at least I was on the right side of them. Mine are minor troubles, some people see nothing but darkness and joy never seems to visit them. My problems are as nothing compared to them.

Ok, I think I’ve regained some perspective. I’m pissed off but I DON’T NEED A DRINK. It won’t help. It was close though.

Jim x