Day 70: If trying to stay sober isn’t hard enough at the best of times, try throwing ‘life’ into the mix. An example of a typical day coming up…

I woke up and scrolled through my phone. Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp all awash with people talking about going out boozing the night before. Hungover this morning, gonna get back on it, never drinking again, great to be back in pubs, etc.

Off to the shop for my morning paper – pass the local village pub. Many good memories in there with friends and family. Not always dominated by alcohol but most of the time I had a pint or six during my visits. Ah, the local shop. The booze aisle by far and away the most stocked of any product range in there. I used to buy my ‘secret booze’ in this shop sometimes. It was easy when working from home and the kids were at school. Nip in there after the school run and get myself some cans for later in the day. Get work out the way first of course – I do have some self control!

I go to my friend’s garden for the first time in months. Now restrictions are lifting in England it means I can go and see my mates. Four of us meet up in his garden. I drive over and take myself a bottle of ginger beer – the closest thing I have to ‘beer’ these days. I was a little anxious about the trip – I have known my mates most of my life and they know about my sobriety and mental health issues but nevertheless they still drink, still talk about drink and still get drunk. It was nice to see them but as the afternoon wore on I felt a bit out of the mix sitting with my fizzy pop and passive thoughts. I just didn’t feel like socialising. Hopefully that will change going forward but I like many have become accustomed to isolation and an antisocial existence since COVID came along in March 2020.

My evening consisted of watching some TV – I watched an episode of a drama series on Netflix with my wife and the main characters are sitting with wine and whisky pretty much every evening. My wife goes to bed and I put a film on – Scarface. A film I haven’t seen in years but again, plenty images of boozing and the power and confidence the stuff brings. Drugs have never been my bag though so Tony Montana’s demise through greed and the white stuff ain’t something I relate to. Great film and soundtrack by the way!

I suppose what I’m saying is that some days the ‘not drinking anymore’ feels so in my face as if everyone and everything around me is centred around alcohol. The biggest reason why I believe I’m 70 days sober today is because I am determined not to drink for me and I know that my relationship with booze is not a healthy one. The way it is glorified and glamourized day to day doesn’t help though. I guess over time I will become numb to it. Maybe it is similar for people who are recovering from gambling and sex addictions. They will see the betting adverts online, TV, radio, billboards, football matches, football shirts and betting shops on the high street. Sex is everywhere too (‘sex sells’ after all).

So recovery continues. I am up and down but generally my mental health is more stable and I’m sober. I am spending plenty time with my family and I am back at work (well, if logging on my laptop from my bedroom desk counts). I’m a Happy Daddy more than I used to be but its still a flip of the coin what Daddy gets out of bed on a morning each day.

SCARFACE, Al Pacino, 1983, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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