200 Days on The Road

200+ Days Sober have come and gone, who could have predicted that? Certainly not me!

I haven’t blogged for a while, life has thrown shit at me from all directions and time for myself has been scarce to say the least. BUT …. I’m still sober!

I have now coped with trips to and from the hospital with my Mum whose 79 , a very close terminally ill friend, a busy as Xmas period in retail with everyone going nuts as usual, Xmas day lunch was spent at the local emergency clinic with a badly poisoned foot, New Year’s Eve with my foot coming right but not wanting me to take it anywhere, and then on January the 5th another dear friend deciding he’d had enough of this life and left everyone reeling in the aftermath of his decision, and finally his funeral to attend, which was followed of course by the usual ritual of drinking and commiserating with drinking buddies from the past.

I declined the wake, I’d had enough.

And now……..Peace, and time to reflect on 2 crazy, messed up months. But more importantly a time to engage with the present mindfully and plan some positive stuff to look forward to this year.

Did I feel like a drink with all that crap happening? You betcha! Certainly opportunity was there. More than enough reasons to imbibe once again! It would have been so easy to get hammered and to not have to think about anything for a while. Albeit short.

I really don’t know what got me through. Although, when tempted and thinking about drinking, my mind always takes me back to my last ‘drunk’ and the processes that follow the day after. Somehow that last scenario is etched upon my mind and I guess my inbuilt hard drive hits the replay button and because I’m sober I can reason with myself enough to realize that I can’t go back there. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, my last session with the booze was nothing out of the ordinary for me, no cops or ambulances or violence or any other nasty shit. I just knew that I’d had enough of the deadly roundabout that I was stuck on and crawled off feeling battered and bruised.

Life is hard at times for all of us, but I do believe that it is much easier being sober.

July the 1st will be my 1 Year Sober Anniversary! I’m so going there!

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San Francisco and back

Time to put pen to paper or as it is now fingers to keyboard.

It has been over a month since my last post, a lot can happen in that time and it certainly has for me.

Ms J and I decided we both needed a break from the normality of our life and as we were boarding the Air New Zealand plane bound for California, I mentally zoned out from all the day to day grind which lay behind me and concentrated on what lay ahead.  A strange land I’d never been to before with it’s many sounds and sights and quirks to capture all of my sober senses.

Flying without the usual alcohol intake was a first for me, especially on a 12 hour run but it was relatively easy with over 100 days AF behind me. I was amazed though, at how many times the crew came through to proffer the poison; ” More wine? Red or white?” No thanks, No, I’m all good.

I was sorely tempted to drink just once when I came face to face with my favourite beer in the world at a convenience store. There it was staring at me through the chiller door- Pilsner Urquell- in 4 pack fashion straight from the Czech Republic, glistening bottles with condensation running down the glass neck. I looked hard once, twice! I even opened the chiller door!! WTF? While my brain was processing a multitude of thoughts, I was suspended in slow motion…….No…No…No….!

This was no dream, this was real!

Gently I shut the door once again to my previous toxic way of life and got on with my new one. Fuck That Shit! I don’t want to go back there. Ever!

One thing I managed to get addicted to however was baseball. The Giants were playing The Royals in the World Series Final and I learned some rules and watched every game I could on TV. Fantastic! Great sober fun. Loved every minute. Of course I had to buy a Giants T Shirt to bring home.

At over 160 days now,  I love the new me, I’m happy being myself and enjoy being a non drinker. I thought that my abstinence from alcohol would have led to other, perhaps safer addictions but in reality I have gained untold pleasures instead. Simple things, everyday enjoyable things that come my way.

On the way home from work today I was stopped at a police checkpoint. As the cop neared my car I said to him “I’ve been waiting for this moment!” and put my head down. ” State your name and address!” He brought the breathalyzer up to my mouth and I duly gave my details. I saw the reading on the hand piece : It read ‘NO ALCOHOL’

He looked very perplexed so I explained: “I’ve been looking forward to getting breathalyzed for over 5 months. That’s when I stopped drinking!”

In a  gruff voice he replied: ” Good on ya, you have a great day.”

Oh yeah! I most certainly will.

Posted in 150 Cleaned up days | 2 Comments

The plan goes awry

So, my plan has turned to shit. Out of nowhere came a curve ball, I didn’t see it, never expected it but it came all the same!

My best friend has been diagnosed with liver cancer and things look very grim.

Shattered, confused, so many questions rolling around in my head. Why? How? Where to from here?

This is my first experience close hand with someone I really care about and quite frankly it really knocked me. I wanted to get plastered that night and forget about everything for at least a little while, to gather my thoughts. But after 100 days under my belt, thankfully I understood all too well that this was not the answer nor would it change anything for him or for me.

I have been moping around for the past 2 weeks trying to make sense of it all. My life has been put on hold. It certainly puts into perspective what’s important and what’s trivial in our lives.

A dear friend who has had experience with terminal illness gave me some advice which I have yet to apply:

“This is his journey. You need to continue with your own. Be there for him and be positive.”

She also told me that the loved ones close to people with the condition will often be more overwhelmed by it all than the person who is afflicted, therefore rendering themselves vulnerable and of little comfort to their loved one.

Pretty good advice I think but I’m finding it hard to apply. Perhaps I am wallowing in my own pity.

Snap out of it! Get on with your own shit! Be the positive person that you want to be, that you already are!

I can safely say that I am now a non-drinker! Bring it on life! Throw me the curve ball!

I will deal with all of it, the best that I am able to, but definitely sober.

There will be no more re-reading that same old drunken story; that book is closed forever!

 

 

 

Posted in 2o+ days sober | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Plan Has Hatched!

Right! It’s time to publish the plan:

Give up smoking!

Start exercising!

Eat properly!

Start Date: Monday  29th September 2014

I realize that this is a big ask for me but getting closer to 100 days sober, I need another challenge!

Cigarettes are the ‘biggie’ for me, I think I have used  them as a crutch whilst not drinking, but it won’t be the first time I have quit so I know what I’m in for.

Cold Turkey = The Only Way!

If anyone wants to jump on board, the train will depart at 7am on Monday with a swift 1/2 hour walk to be followed by breakfast (What is that ?! ) at 8am.

This first step will happen every day without fail for 4 weeks. After that, Sunday will be a rest day.

The second step involves raising the heart rate ( Not Sex! maybe as well? ) 3 times a week, a good cardio workout for 40min or more. Mon,Wed, Fri will work for me.

There is a local mountain track in my city which has a rather nasty, steep incline which is suitable for this task. I call it ‘Huff’n’Puff” and that will be me as well!

The third and final step is to align my eating with the other 2 steps. Since not drinking, I have developed a bad junk food habit. I have read that this is very common in the early stages of sobriety but after 2 months I feel it’s time to kick this into touch as well.

All of this at once? Yes, it has to be as it is all related and makes so much sense to do!  It is my very own boot camp! Certainly it will not be easy but I know deep down that it’s time and the rewards will be tenfold!

I look forward to the benefits of this humble, yet efficient form of self abuse and will be posting about my progress after the month is up.

“If you will be hard on yourself, Life will be easy on you.”

Zig Ziglar

Posted in 2o+ days sober, Cold Turkey | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

And now for my next trick

Well, I am now 80 days sober! How do I feel about that achievement? Awesome, Fantastic, Jubilant!

How do I feel within myself? Meh! While getting on top of the alcohol trap is wonderful, I feel uninspired and generally lethargic and sloth like. Not committing to much and keeping to myself.

I used to be outgoing and spontaneous, always the first to put my hand up and say “Yep, count me in!”

The shield of protection I have put on to ward off the attacks of giving in has turned me into a boring, safe and comfortable being.

It’s time to shed these shackles and say “Enough!”

I started smoking again about 2 years ago (Yes, I hear you all groaning). Guess what made me start that awful habit again? My good old friend alcohol of course. A weak moment, lots of stress at the time and that was that. “I will just have one!”  YEAH RIGHT!

And then in due fashion I stopped my exercise routine, no more regular trips up the local mountain. I used to get such a buzz out of that!

Even the dog is missing out on his walks these days.

It’s time for a change, time to book into my own boot camp!

And the ciggies will have to go, it really goes without saying!

I will put a plan in place and stick to it, surely if I can be sober then this will be the icing on the cake.

Hopefully this will get me out of my current apathetic existence.

I will let you know!

 

Sloth

Posted in Fit and Sober, New Habits | Tagged | 13 Comments

The Point

“What? You’ve stopped drinking? For how long? Two months? Are you serious? That’s awesome! I wish I could do that but I know that I would miss it. It’s like my friend you know.

No I couldn’t do that. Surely you can just have one or two though?”

 

“Yes, I have quit drinking. Haven’t touched a drop for over two months. Yeah, I know it’s pretty amazing, in fact I’m pretty amazing!!”

And no, I can’t just have one. Or two. There is no point. What is the point of just one or two? It would taste like shit now anyway, as it probably did then until I got to the third or fourth or fifth! Then it would start to taste real good! Oh yeah!

I remember it well; some of it anyway. The endless cycle that can go on for years and years that has no point to it whatsoever!

What’s the point now?

I’m sober, I’m enjoying my life, I’m looking forward to things again rather than dreading the days ahead.

3 positive things and they are just at the core of the life that I’m enjoying now. A positive foundation, a solid base on which to build on.

The future is looking bright and promises so much more than I ever had back in those dark days.

That’s the point.

 

 

 

 

 

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To be or not

I’ve never ever liked the term ‘Alcoholic’. It conjures up dark and negative images and quite frankly doesn’t gel with me.

A friend of mine who is a counsellor has a very apt saying:

“Nothing has a meaning until you give it a meaning”.

I have applied this saying for my own sanity on a number of occasions and this works for me.

Am I an alcoholic? No, I am a non drinker. Was I an alcoholic? No, I had a love affair with alcohol but the relationship went tits up and we’ve gone our separate ways! Will I be an alcoholic in the future? No, because I wasn’t one in the first place!

Who decided to give the label to the love affair? Who gave it a meaning? Who called it a disease?

Don’t get me wrong, if the term works for you then by all means use it. Whatever it takes! Whatever gets you through!

It just doesn’t work for me and I’m certainly not going to cart that label around with me for the rest of my life. No Way!

I am enjoying my life more than ever now. It’s a brand new day every day for this non drinker!

 

Posted in The Label | Tagged | 4 Comments