The Sober Haters

My previous post has stirred up quite a debate. I did wonder if it would! I’m not sure if it came across cocky or self assured (or in some people’s eyes ‘unrealistic’ ) but my argument has been quite simple. Actually, it’s not even an argument because I’m not challenging anybody or anything, I’m simply sharing how I’m staying sober and looking after my mental health. People can choose to read or skip past. I’m not here to give everyone guidance and promise results because I can only control me. If people can relate, feel inspired or even better, remain sober off the back of reading I’m so pleased to hear this but that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to share my story and anything else is out of my control.

I didn’t realise there could be so much bitterness and cult like behaviour in the recovery community at times. If you dare to challenge the archaic ways of treatment (again, I say challenge loosely) by sharing an alternative way of thinking and living day to day in sobriety you get chastised for it. Of course, it’s a minority but the minority are normally the loudest and the hardest to shake off.

There’s the door!

It reminds me of the other great social media subject – Politics. People get so nasty and aggressive with you if you disagree with a political statement, vote for a party that doesn’t match theirs or even ask a question that is then interpreted as disputing their view. Behind the keyboard folk lose all basic human decency and it gets bloody nasty in the social media world. I love using Twitter and Instagram (don’t bother with Facebook) to engage, learn and share but I do have to monitor my time on there because it can suck the life out of you and make you feel like shit when people who don’t even know you have a pop or accuse you of something.

I’m hardly a saint and if I’m rattled I’ll react but generally speaking I try to ignore the negativity and focus on the great connections I make in the virtual sphere. The time I used to spend drinking I now spend among other things writing my blog and often discussing recovery via the #recoveryposse hashtag on Twitter. I’ve met (if I can use that description) some great people at varying points in their recovery from those who have 30 years sobriety in AA to those who relapse regularly but thankfully keep coming back. I respect anybody who is prepared to open up and admit they need help and are honest about where they are at. We don’t have the beauty of face to face interactions on social media so a lot is interpreted from an emoji, a tweet or a photo.

Maybe that’s why I need ease up a little. I know what I mean every time I write a blog post or share a tweet but without the beauty of body language and tone of voice you will always find people taking things you say differently. To one person I may come across vulnerable, willing to learn and good hearted. The next person might think Happy Daddy is an obnoxious prick!

Anyways, that’s enough screen time for one day. I’ve been in front of a computer all day and when away from my work desk I’ve been on my phone. All this with conjunctivitis too. Time for bed and a few pages of my new best friend… ‘Rational Recovery’ by Jack Trimpey.

I will NEVER drink again

I will never drink again.

The End.

That’s how easy it can be. To make the plan to never consume alcohol again regardless of where I’m at, who I’m with and how I feel. Alcohol is irrelevant. It can exist, sure. It can be around me. But it doesn’t effect me. I don’t drink ever. I’ll never drink.

It’s not easy to say that to yourself is it? I mean, if you’d just decided you didn’t want to drink anymore could you say that with the confidence and conviction I just wrote above? But it was easy for me today. Maybe not yesterday or last week but I’ve been saying this to myself all day out loud. It feels empowering.

Up to now in recovery I have been told, and used the mantra of “one day at a time” and “we only have today” – which is fine as it allows us to try and control the anxieties of the bigger, busier picture of life. We can de-compartmentalise things and focus on small wins today. Tomorrow can wait. I’ve used this method successfully in the past particularly around my mental health. It works well for Depression when you are in a shitty place. Don’t worry about work or that holiday or that night out with friends. Focus on yourself today. Fuck it, the next hour. Focus on you for the next hour. Let’s get out of bed. Make the bed. Nothing more. Let’s get up and head downstairs. A win for today.

But why apply that with drinking? I don’t want to drink anymore in my lifetime. Not on my next holiday, not on my brother’s stag doo, not at my daughter’s wedding. Not on my 75th birthday to celebrate my wonderful life up to that point. Nope, I don’t look ahead and imagine myself with alcohol. Sure, I can imagine those milestones in life and I hope they all happen but not with alcohol. Not even a glass. Why? Because I have committed to never drinking again.

Why should I count days anymore if I know I’m never drinking again? It would be nothing more than a reminder each day of the last time I drank and had a very bad day mentally. Why celebrate Day 29 when I know on Day 29 that one day I’ll reach Day 2,929?!

You might be reading this thinking I’m being arrogant about my abstinence especially after a relapse last month. But you know what? Maybe I need to be arrogant about my sobriety. I need to own it and I need to keep control. I will never drink again and that sounds bloody amazing to me. If anybody has a problem with me saying that statement it really doesn’t matter in the slightest. People can doubt me, challenge me or even mock me but it will have no bearing on my decision to not consume alcohol ever again in my lifetime.

Say this with me as you read along…

“I will never drink again”

How did that go? For me I had nothing but silence in my head after saying it. No fear, no voice saying “bullshit” or “you will” – Just silence.

The reason why? Because I have given my 100% all to investing into a life of sobriety. It really is that simple. I will never drink again. Period.