Day 20: I’ve had a little break since my last post but things are going well. I’m 20 days sober and haven’t craved the stuff. I did have a can of Bitter Shandy fizzy pop the other day though. But I stuck to one!
I’ve been keeping myself busy with DIY, spending time with my little ones and focusing on my mental and physical health. The depression and anxiety have remained pretty quiet of late but I wonder if that’s the fact I’ve just come out of hospital and been so determined to move forward and keep myself in a positive place. I’m under no illusions the dark days will return in the future but I need to give myself a fighting chance to tackle my dark days head on by living a cleaner, healthier and more relaxed life day to day. I often wonder if I’ll ever drink another drop of booze again because it was a big part of my social and private life for years. My Dad has an unhealthy relationship with booze and my Grandad before him was described as a drunk who would spend the rent money in the pub. I didn’t buck the trend by drinking but I’m certainly bucking the trend by admitting I have a problem and I need to not drink to have the best chance of saving my sanity, my family and maybe my life.
I’m under no illusions that drinking was the only issue in my life but it intertwined itself into most aspects of my living. I was selfish. I was controlling and I was often angry. My wife has told me some home truths this week and for my marriage to work going forward there needs to be some huge changes with the way I speak to and treat her. I live in a house with three ladies and I’m ashamed to say there have been many times where I have emotionally abused my partner of 15 years. I wasn’t actively and consciously doing it but looking back I was doing it because of the way I felt about myself and a disregard for the feelings of somebody I am meant to love and care for. Am I a Sexist? No. But was I dismissive of my wife because I was the full time worker and more socially active of the two of us? Yes. And I’m ashamed.
We only get one shot at life. I’ve made mistakes but I try not to have regrets because I can’t change the past and I know the past can shape your future. I know I’m not a bad person. I love my daughters and I love my wife. I have a mortgage, a car, a good job and all in all decent physical health. My friends are good eggs and my parents are supportive. Things could be so much more difficult for me and I need to appreciate the positives in my life. The alcohol doesn’t let you appreciate those things. The alcohol wants me to focus on the alcohol.
Final quip from me to end on a positive. When I was in hospital I started reading ‘Shoe Dog’ by the founder of Nike; Phil Knight. I haven’t quite finished it but I will this week. It’s been so refreshing to read about an introvert who didn’t enjoy public speaking and selling but build up one of the world’s most recognisable brands from nothing. He could relate to the product – sports shoes. He was a runner in school and college. His social circle was dominated by fellow runners. He had the perfect storm of components to launch a new line of trainers that he knew would always be needed as long as we walk and run on this Earth. He also had to travel a lot to get his business off the ground which leads me to a quote of his…
“The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.”
I can totally relate to this from my recent time away from those I love. The darkest hours of my life have also been my most fulfilling in terms of realising what is most important to me. The perfect storm?