Long Overdue.

First of all, I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in a while.

I’ve been kinda busy with the band, and just generally dealing with the amount of changes that this whole thing as brought about.

I figured that the best way of staying sober was to just forget what I was doing, and try not to think about it too much! (Hence why I’ve been so quiet recently).

So, what’s been going on?

I’m currently on day 29 – tomorrow will be a month. I’m genuinely proud and in a state of disbelief, I genuinely didn’t think I could do it.

A few updates for you though!
You may remember that I had my first real challenge last week – playing a gig with the band in Scotland.

I started off being pretty sceptical, and at the airport on the outward journey, I really did want a beer or a glass of something stronger.

Luckily though, we had left it late and had to get straight on the plane, which in hindsight, was a big blessing in disguise.

I’m pleased to say though, that all I drank for the two days was coffee, and Coke.

It’s funny, because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to play properly without a beer, but I have to say, I’ve never played guitar as well as I did that night.

Socially, at the venue, nothing was different. Same atmosphere, same banter with mates… it’s just that I can remember every second of it, and didn’t wake up with a massive hangover the next day.

From that moment, I guess you could say I was convinced. I had my “moment of clarity”.

Everything is coming together, since I last posted, I’ve started dating the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. Someone who before, I would never have spoken to unless I had a few drinks inside me, so I guess it’s done wonders for my confidence too, without me realising it.

Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough for one morning, I’ll be checking in tomorrow to mark my first month of sobriety.

Until then, thank you all so much.

Adam.

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Double Figures.

I’m on day 13. Unlucky number for some.

Pretty ironic then, that on the 13th day, I have woken up irritable, down and pretty anxious.

Ah yes, these must be those delayed withdrawals that I have read so much about.

I knew that they would be making an appearance, but I thought that they would manifest, from a niggling feeling, escalating into their truest forms.

Apparently not, on one hand I feel really good because something amazing is happening in my life at the moment, which I’m truly thankful for and I don’t deserve.
But on the other, it seems like a darkness has suddenly crept in and has taken over me. Temporarily, of course.

I genuinely didn’t expect it to be this intense, which leads me to believe that my self-diagnosed drinking problem was bigger than I first thought.

Which is good, in a way, because it’s made me realise that for once, I’m doing the right thing.

Now I’m in that frame of mind, I can be honest with you.
I haven’t been on here for a few days because I’ve had a bit of a wobble.
I’ve been so close to reaching for a drink every day, I can’t tell you. Just that feeling of forgetting for a few hours seemed really appealing.

The thing is though,  I don’t even know what I’m trying to forget anymore.
It’s all merged into one ball of mixed emotions in my head, and I think separating them is going to prove hard.

Anyway, I didn’t have a drink, I just threw myself into work and tried not to think about it.

Even as I type this, though, I’m starting to feel better – maybe bottling things up isn’t the answer after all.

Some might say, we will find a brighter day.

Adam.

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Steak & GTA

So I’ve been off work since Monday, and  I’m happy to say that I haven’t entered a bar or touched a drink!

Instead I’ve been for a few meals and coffee with friends, and today all I’ve done is play GTA V with my mate! (Actually, I’m writing this whilst we are having a break to get some food!)

It’s been pretty strange, but conversely it’s something that I can get used to.
I haven’t missed the hangovers, feelings of “oh my God what did I do”, and sending stupid drunken text messages!

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JD & Coke. Without the JD...

I can report, 9 days in that my sleeping pattern has improved tenfold, my anxiety, depression and irritability have pretty much disappeared, and I’m starting to regain some of the confidence that I once had.

All positives, there have been no negatives as yet! I thought the social thing would be difficult without a drink, but actually, it’s going OK.

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Swapping cider for steak!

I didn’t put in an entry yesterday, just because I didn’t feel like writing, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t force it if I had nothing to say.

Thank you to everyone who has told me to carry on, and to keep writing this, it means a lot and is a huge bonus 🙂

Adam.

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7 Days.

Today marks my seventh day of sobriety.

It’s pretty ironic that it lands on a Monday, the day that I always go out for a beer or ten.

It’s 19:00 as I type this, usually I would be a complete mess by now… or well on my way, anyway.

Instead today, I got up at 08:00 instead of around midday (which was typical before), and instead of going to the bar I’ve been for a catch-up and a coffee with a good friend.

The verdict?

I have to say, I honestly did prefer it. Infinitely, in fact.
It’s so nice to have had a couple of hours of great conversation, great coffee and even better company, rather than shitty beer, no meaningful conversation and company that deteriorates with each passing pint.

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Caramel lattes and cake are my new staples

Right now, I am incredibly content.

My anxiety and depression has eased off to a level that it hasn’t been in years, I can only come to the conclusion that it is exacerbated by too much alcohol polluting my body.

So, for the rest of the night I’m going to watch some crap on YouTube and play Project Cars, which is one of my all-time favourite racers. Incidentally, if you’re on ps4, feel free to add me: TurnerStorm.

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I have to admit, secretly I was pretty doubtful I would make the seventh day, but I have. So my next milestone is going to be one month… we’ll see how that pans out.

Until tomorrow,

Adam.

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The First Sunday.

So, it’s Sunday morning…

Usually I would have gone out or had a few in the house last night (being Saturday), and spent all day today feeling like shit.

Instead, I’m lying here watching Top Gear, with the only feeling of regret being that I agreed to work tonight.

It’s a strange feeling, and one that I can get used to – not wondering if I was a dick last night.

But I have been thinking what the appeal of going out every Saturday night is.

It must be the long queues, over-priced, watered-down beer and piss-filled carpets.

Fantastic.

From what I can tell, It definitely has nothing to do with going out and having fun with friends, because you’re all going to be out of your mind and unable to have a meaningfully good time, never mind contribute any cognitive thought.

I’m not slating anyone who enjoys going out on a Saturday night, if it works for you, then great! But personally I think it’s a load of bollocks. I was always a mid-week drinker, who was coerced into participating in Saturdays.

Anyway, my first big challenge is coming up soon.
On the 7th of November I’m going to Scotland to play a gig with the band.
Traditionally it’s been a “play gig > get drunk > forget whole experience > hangover” affair.

So the thought of ordering a coke or a water is seriously daunting, because I honestly don’t know how I will cope with talking to drunk people whilst totally sober.

I will do it though, because already, the thought of having to tell people I failed not even a month in gives me a kind of sick feeling, right at the bottom of my stomach. Ain’t going to happen.

For once though,  I was going to focus on a single subject for today’s entry, but somewhere between falling asleep last night and waking up this morning, I’ve forgotten what that was.

Must have been important, eh?

If I remember whilst in work today,  I’ll write it down for tomorrow.

Anyway, I’d better drag my  (totally sober, non-hungover) self out of bed and get ready for work.

As always, cheers guys. Without you lot, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t bother.

Adam.

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The World is Yours

So today I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about tonight’s entry, so I suppose I’d better write it before I forget!

If I’m honest, I was actually debating the value of writing a daily entry, wondering whether or not it actually helps.

I mean, I’m pretty sure it does, purely based on the sense of – I don’t know – lightness I’ve been feeling since I started a few days ago.

But I am, admittedly, the type of person that never accomplishes anything. I can think of a hundred follies, incomplete projects and failed passions that have graced my life.
That’s why I’m so determined to keep this up, and not fail. Not just for myself, but for my family and friends.

They’ve never known me achieve or complete anything of any worth, and trust me – it’s a pretty shit feeling when you realise.

I was actually wondering if anyone actually enjoyed my writing, without just feeling like they had to say it to spur me on, and give my morale a boost (seriously, I do appreciate it either way).

Then I thought maybe that I should structure my writing,  instead of just writing down whatever came to mind – I binned that idea pretty quickly, so if you were wondering why these entries seem a bit random, it’s because I literally sit down and write what I’m thinking. Without prejudice, with total honesty.

But I would like to thank one of my wonderful friends who I work with, she told me that she sincerely does enjoy reading these, and for me, even if one person enjoys it, then that’s good enough for me! Grazie di cuore, Ilaria 🙂

Anyway, I know these can seem pretty pessimistic (unintentionally, honestly), so I have some good news.

I received my first medallion / chip / coin today, that marks my first 24 hours of sobriety.

It may seem trivial,  but I am immensely proud of this small token that marks the start of my new way of life.

It is the first of many.

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As always, I’ve gone on for far longer than was anticipated, so I’m going to let you all get on with your lives.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being with me on this journey.

The world is ours.

Adam.

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Day Three.

Just a quick one tonight because I am completely done in from work! (Excuses, I know).

I just want to say thank you to all of my friends on Facebook, in person, work colleagues and the one hundred or so totally random people that shared my last entry.
It is truly humbling and I really am thankful!

Today has been pretty good though, I had the best sleep I’ve had in years last night, which I think was down to just being completely honest and writing some of my thoughts down in the last post.
It really does feel like a weight has been lifted.
Admittedly, not the entire mountain, but a big amount has been removed!

I also just want to briefly outline what I expect to go through in the next few months. I may be totally right, or wrong. To be honest, I am expecting the latter, and I am completely ready to embrace it and learn from it.

I don’t think removing alcohol will be impossible, because I don’t drink religiously (most of the time). But I know it won’t be easy, either.

I think the hardest part will be going out socially and not instinctively ordering a double vodka or a pint of Guinness.
I do have a plan though, which I will outline when it’s drawn up properly.

I am aware that this sounds like a slightly crap pseudo-military operation, but I feel that I need to plan things out to avoid slipping into the same way of life that I am reluctantly accustomed to.

Anyway, I do realise that this has turned into not such a quick post, so I will wrap it up until a real entry, maybe tomorrow night.

Once again thank you all, it really does mean the world to me.

Long live the walls we smash through.

Adam.

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Epiphany.

First of all, let me get a few things straight.
I am not a professional writer, nor am I an academic. I am also not an alcoholic.

But I do have a problem with alcohol.

I know it’s a kind of contradiction, but trust me, it’s true.
What I mean is, that I don’t long for a drink all day whilst in work, nor do I open a can of lager or a bottle of vodka as soon as I wake up.

The way I see it, is that every shitty, ill-advised and mis-informed decision I have ever made during my adult life has been a direct result of alcohol abuse.

I am totally incapable of “popping out for a drink”. One leads to two, and two leads to me being completely shitfaced and making a complete dick of myself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 13:00 on a Monday afternoon, or a Saturday night in the city centre. The end result is always the same.

So on Tuesday, October 20th 2015, I decided to quit.
Not for a few weeks or months, but permanently.
I have flirted with the idea of sobriety before, but have always found an excuse not to commit fully, no matter how flimsy or whimsical it may have been.

So what led me to finally say “fuck it”, and commit to such a big thing?

It started off as a few drinks, as always. A good friend from work, and myself. A quiet, boozy afternoon consisting of pints, double vodkas and a few too many games of pool. It was going great.
Until, that is, we met a few guys from work later on (slightly worse for wear, may I add).
The night culminated not in a stumble home singing shitty songs at the top of my voice, or falling asleep on the train.
It actually culminated in me throwing a full drink over two of the nicest guys I know, because I had misinterpreted a light-hearted joke… whilst incomprehensibly pissed, of course.

Now this may sound funny, and I guess it may have been at the time.
But what wasn’t and isn’t funny, is the sense of total guilt and embarrassment that I felt the next day; which I am still feeling.

Now of course, this isn’t the stupidest thing I’ve done whilst intoxicated, nowhere near it in fact. But I’ll go into that in another blog.

It was the wake up call I needed, I think that it’s funny how something so little and inconsequential can have such a profound effect on your mindset.

So, the point of all this? Sorry for banging on, but I aim to be completely honest and forthcoming about my journey into sobriety. But most of all, I guess it helps me by writing this stuff down.

Cheers for reading, and thank you in advance for your support.

Adam.

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