The vulnerability of happiness

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on

It is often said that we are at our most vulnerable in terms of irrational thinking and behaviours when we are under stress – going through a difficult time at work, financial worries, bereavement, relationships, etc. but I find that my vulnerability (and I’m talking on a personal level about my sobriety) is often when I’m happy and content.

My alcohol dependency manifested during some very dark months but my relationship with alcohol was built on the foundations of enjoyment, care free thinking and socialising. Now that I have my mental health in a good place (which isn’t something I’ve been able to say often since I started this Blog) my addictive voice is trying to latch on to the feel good factor after failing to win the battle against my rational thinking when I was going through a rough time earlier in the year.

Instead of my ‘beast’ as many people who use AVRT like myself like to call it solely waiting for the opportunity to strike when I’m feeling down, it has started creeping into my head when I’m out running, out for a meal with my friends and today for example, simply because it was sunny and I passed a pub beer garden. Now don’t get me wrong, my beast has used those examples many times in the past when I have been in various places on the mental health continuum scale to try and lure me back to alcohol but it tended to be at it’s quietest when I was happy. This is a different tactic and it caught me off guard if I’m being honest.

No I haven’t drank alcohol and no I haven’t started planning to but for the first time in at least a month to six weeks I’ve had a real battle over the last 48 hours and it has been a reminder that we can’t let our guard down in recovery. I’m not recovered, I’m still recovering.

I disagree with the simplistic language that Jack Trimpey, author of Rational Recovery and the AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) Guru uses at times where he states that once you put your Big Plan in place you are free of your past. I know people who have used AVRT and indeed consider themselves ‘broken free’ of their addiction and I have no doubt that will be me one day but you have to get to that place first. It’s a path that you need to go down and experience, something I am clearly still doing based on what I’m sharing today.

I understand AVRT and I understand my mental health. It has taken a long time for me to be able to say that though. I’ve been able to stay sober and rationally overcome my addictive voice this week because of the understanding I have developed since my journey began back in February 2021.

That’s all for today. Short and sweet. It was simply a reminder to others who are trying to stay sober that it’s not uncommon to have some of your biggest battles when you are happy – our addiction will do anything to get what it wants so stay focused on that goal you set back on Day 1. To not drink or use again.

Bye for now

I’ve taken the decision to step back from my Happy Daddy Blog and associated social media for a period of time.

It’s been an exhausting 20 weeks or so which has included my daughter being really unwell and hospitalised for several weeks, my own mental health struggles and time away from work. There are other things going on in my personal life but I’d rather not go into it at this time.

I return to work after 18 weeks away on Monday and I need to focus on that because it’s an important part of my life and something I take seriously. It will give me routine and something to get my brain engaged with other than being a parent.

Unfortunately I’ve chosen to drink alcohol again, albeit I picked up on Thursday when on my own and haven’t drank since. Some will say it’s a wobble, others will say it’s a relapse. My parents will say it’s fine because it was ‘just’ cans of Guinness. Others will say I’ll never change. Whatever you think or want to label it, I chose to consciously do it and once again I let myself and others down. Its on me.

I’m safe, I’m sober and I’m focused on the next stage of my life which involves some big changes. I’ll be back blogging soon but in the meantime look after yourself and live your best life.