Day 200: Today is my 200th day sober. It hasn’t been easy at times but I have no regrets and the good days have massively outweighed the bad ones. My life is 100% better now I’ve removed alcohol from it. I’m in the minority in society now but feel like I’m also the luckiest. My Mind, Body, Relationships and Bank Balance are all evidence of that.
It takes a lot to remove alcohol completely from your life. You have to be all or nothing. It’s an addictive substance in the same way smoking and drugs are but it’s seen as an acceptable thing to do in society because of the sexed up way the industry, media and advertisers portray it.
A medical report published in 2015 showed that in England alone the total annual cost of alcohol use (to the NHS, police, welfare, etc) amounted to £3.9 billion. Taxation on alcohol brought in £10.4 billion. It’s in the best interest of our Government for us to be a nation of drinkers. It is therefore no surprise we are sold this pretty picture of alcohol.
Let’s make things clear, I’m not planning on a one man crusade to stop folk drinking. I have no issue with those around me drinking. It’s ingrained in our culture and binge drinking is very much a big part of my generation. What I will do is continue to share my own experience of abusing myself and others when I drank. My subsequent breakdown, hospitalisation and detox. My sobriety and the benefits I’ve experienced since going alcohol free have given me so much more than a pint of beer or tumbler of whisky ever did.
One of my best mates gets married next Friday. I’m one of the groomsmen. Earlier in the year when I was in the infancy of my recovery I had anxious feelings towards going to the wedding. Not drinking. Not toasting the bride and groom with the obligatory glass of fizz. Not being the first on the dance floor and getting the party started! In hindsight I needn’t have worried. Nobody will batter an eyelid if I don’t drink the free wine. In fact I’m now at a comfortable point in my recovery where I’d proudly exclaim my sobriety. I shouldn’t be ashamed of saving my life! I might not be the last to leave the party, I won’t be getting the shots in and I may choose to go outside for a walk whilst everybody is drinking between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. What works for me is what I need to focus on. I want to enjoy the day. My mate wants me to enjoy the day. We are on the same wavelength as we were on his Stag in Liverpool. That’s all that matters. He is going to have the best day and I’m going to be there for him.
I’ve said in the past that each day is the most important day in recovery. Day 199 and Day 201 are as important as the big 2-0-0. All that said, it’s nice to celebrate milestones. I’ll see you again at 250! 🙂