Where do I start?
Well, in a nutshell I started the year sober, relapsed and ended the year sober. I continued my journey into Yoga and Spiritual Growth. I ran regularly and finished four Race Events around the North of England including my first ‘Trail Race’. I bought a Nespresso Coffee Machine and quickly turned into a Coffee Snob. I had a solid enough year at work and I started collecting Funko Pop Vinyl Figures.
I went on holiday to Portugal (my first trip abroad for what feels like forever) and we had a family holiday in North Yorkshire. I finally saw one of my favourite bands ‘Embrace’ for the first time live – Also my first sober gig since entering recovery. I blogged, I read a lot and I developed an obsession with Podcasts. I saw my Race Horse win his first race in his debut season. I went to a new Racecourse I’d never visited before. I got my first tattoo. I started working a Sobriety Programme after white knuckling abstinence for 458 days and I gave my first ever Mental Health Talk in person to a Company I don’t work for! I saw Book of Mormon at the Theatre and I did Disney on Ice for the second time as a parent.
What else?! Hmmm. Oh, I got a speeding ticket. That reminds me, I still need to pay the fine. I went to ‘Peppa Pig Live’ with my 3 year old daughter. Her first trip to the theatre and her first trip on a train. That was a lovely day. I went to watch England play Cricket against South Africa on the hottest day ever in the UK. I still to this day can’t believe it went ahead!
I finally got an allotment and soon came to realise the back breaking work that has to go into it. I ate my first home grown fruit and vegetables. I read two George Orwell books. I grew a beard then broke my hair clippers trying to shave it off. I bought new hair clippers. I watched my youngest daughter in her first School Nativity and I watched my oldest daughter on stage with her Dance School. I argued with people on Twitter. I realised arguing with people on Twitter is pathetic. I stopped using Twitter.
I started seeing a Therapist. I booked a 2023 London Trip for my Mam who has never been before. I watched my football club Sunderland get promoted to the Division above on the fourth attempt. I missed Sunderland’s Wembley win because I chose to drink a bottle of whisky when I arrived in London. The day I relapsed. I tried and failed to purchase tickets for Blink 182’s UK Tour and for the fourth time Ricky Gervais liked one of my tweets. I put weight on. I developed a sweet tooth in the absence of drinking alcohol.
There is probably a lot more that happened in 2022 which I’ve failed to share but I’m sure the above is a big enough nutshell for now!
Unfortunately the year ended with a very difficult period for both myself and my family. My oldest daughter became unwell and spent 7 weeks in hospital. The family unit was broken up as me and my wife alternated between staying with our daughter in a Children’s Ward 30 miles away and trying to keep a level of normality back home for our 3 year old daughter. I didn’t deal with this very well and many of my old issues resurfaced as I allowed the difficult period to overwhelm me. I didn’t talk to anybody and I didn’t use the coping mechanisms that I had come to use so effectively – Reading, Blogging, Running, Yoga, Talking and Walking.
I got angry. I got agitated. I got selfish. I got nasty. I got irrational. I got argumentative.
The final months of 2022 were awful but I could have managed them much better. I can’t change my behaviour from that period but I can certainly learn from it. I’ve started 2023 in a stronger headspace and with a more determined mindset. I want to be the best version of me which includes being the best Daddy, Family Member and Friend. If I can learn to love and respect myself I will achieve this.
This is my first Blog post in a while. I do plan to return to blogging this year and I will continue to share my experience of using Rational Recovery and AVRT to live a sober life. I will write about my own thoughts, feelings and experiences as I navigate my way through life. I won’t write in detail about my family though. It’s not fair for me to expose other people’s lives through a public platform. My children are too young to understand what this Blog is and they should be able to decide for themselves if they want their lives shared with the World. That is why I don’t share their names or photos on my Blog. The same goes for my wife and other family members or friends.
When I first started ‘Happy Daddy’ it was meant to be an anonymous Blog which I would use to journal my recovery from alcohol addiction and a mental health breakdown which had lead to me being sectioned in a Psychiatric Hospital. Over time people started to find out (largely through me) that it was myself behind the Blog. Family, friends and work colleagues knew the identity of Happy Daddy and it created the additional stress of how much I should share and what was appropriate for people to know about me in both a personal and professional sense. I want this Blog to remain raw, honest and hopefully helpful to you reading it but I also need to acknowledge I write about very sensitive things which haven’t just impacted me but many people close to me who I care very deeply about.
Thank you for supporting my Blog in 2022 and I hope you will continue to read my content this year. Speak soon!
One thought on “My 2022 in Recovery”
Happy New Year! Looks like lots to be grateful for in 2022 and some learnings to look forward to. Sorry to see your rough times at the end of the year.
Nespresso over booze, great choice. Wouldn’t want to live without mine!
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