Overcoming Addiction

I never wanted to be defined as an Alcoholic and the few times I did say “I’m Barrie and I’m an Alcoholic” at AA meetings I really didn’t like how it felt.

It isn’t denial. I’ve fully accepted that I was a binge drinker who then started to rapidly become dependant on alcohol. I was sectioned and completed a detox so I’m not going to sugar coat or play down the severity of my drinking, but now that I don’t drink alcohol and have moved on with my life I’m certainly not going to call myself an Alcoholic. I prefer to say that I’m in Recovery (which to be honest, I’m even questioning that term now that I’ve closed the door on my time with alcohol) but I guess I’m still in recovery from the huge mess I found myself in (both alcohol dependency and severe mental health deterioration).

You may be wondering why I care so much about the terminology but for me it’s a big part of my day to day. I’m active as Happy Daddy on social media and I write regularly on this Blog. I do public speaking occasionally and I’m also a Guest Co-Host on a popular Twitter Space Meeting every Friday. I’m talking about my past and my present alot and the usual buzz words within this community are used again and again – AA, Alcoholic, Higher Power, Sober, Dependent, AVRT, Recovery, etc.

Therefore it’s important to me that I can define who and what I am and feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m open minded and willing to listen to others, taking on board opinions and feedback along the way but ultimately I am my own man on my own journey and I’m not easily influenced.

I’ve met and connected with a lot of people within the Recovery Community in the last 20 months and many of them describe themselves as an Alcoholic. Many of them use Alcoholics Anonymous and are invested heavily in the programme. I wish those people well and I’m so happy that they have found something which works for them and keeps them sober but for me I just can’t subscribe to the principles and workings of AA. This is why I’ve been so vocal about Rational Recovery and the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) which I’ve found to be a perfect fit for me in aiding my prior relationship with Alcohol and being able to teach myself how to overcome the desire and interest in consuming it.

I used to drink when I was stressed or anxious (which was quite often!) so like many others in recovery this is when we are at our most vulnerable to picking up again. It’s not been the easiest couple of months for me and I’ve had days when my anxiety was heightened, I’ve been fatigued, unwell or pissed off. Previously I would’ve had a drink without even thinking about it – I say drink but I mean drinks. Now I don’t even think about turning to alcohol 90% of the time I’m feeling that way and when the 10% occurs I have the tools to keep my addictive voice in check.

When I talk about not drinking anymore I get challenged (quite often by people in AA) who say that you can’t look beyond today but why not? If I take my sobriety one day at a time I’ll never overcome that period of my life. I’m 36 years old – Do I literally want to focus on staying sober EVERY day for the rest of my life? How about not focusing on alcohol and getting on with my life? I can go weeks without thinking about booze and then when my addictive voice does make a noise I can deal with it and normally I can shut it down within minutes of the voice stirring. If I base every waking day on being thankful for abstaining and counting the days I’ve stayed sober I’ll be continuously focusing my existence on something I no longer want to be part of my life. That’s how I look at it anyways, but as I’ve already said – each to their own.

Finally I just wanted to give OpSec Security a brief mention. I used some of my volunteering time that I get from my Employer to do some Mental Health and Addiction Speaking at their local site to me and then delivered a second online session to their global workforce. It is never easy to talk in detail about my personal journey but I want to do it because I know how important it is for people like myself to share and try to normalise the fact that we can really struggle at periods in our life and if we don’t address it things can go downhill very quickly. I won’t be giving up my day job anytime soon but I’m pleased to hear that it had a positive impact on those I spoke to and even if it helps just one person, it was worth every minute.

Author: Happy Daddy

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

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Addiction”

  1. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs. I haven’t read all but quite a few. My name is Angel Hoffman and I’m a person in recovery. That’s hoo I introduce myself in an appropriate setting. I started identifying this way during my training to become a certified recovery coach. I started reading your blogs because I try to be open to all recovery programs. I grew up with the AA, Al-Anon, and Alateen programs because my dad was an alcoholic who ended up a psychotherapist and my mom was a counselor. I went to detox, rehab, and then worked the AA program and still do. My beliefs are my own and I respect whatever works for addicts is their own and I respect that. So I do try to wake up grateful everyday and I take it one day at a time but I do not think about alcohol every day anymore. I do this because I know that I’m an alcoholic every day and I cannot ever take even one drink ever for the rest of my life. I believe in all that I am that I won’t ever go back to drinking but I can’t take that for granted because I believe I have to keep myself in heck everyday. Just wanted to give you my take on my recovery. So thank you for your blogs and teaching me about your recovery. Keep up the good work because anytime we tell our story it may help one person who can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words. I’m a fan of Recovery not a specific programme, as we are all on different journeys so any like minded person working on a better life is a friend to me


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