Promises we can’t make

A couple of days ago I was asked a question by DM on Facebook and received a phone call from someone who lives quite a distance away…. The question was

“Ladies name”, she asked me when she can stop worrying about drinking. I couldnt answer, thought you might have an answer?

My answer was….

Bloody good question!!!! Unfortunately I don’t think there is an answer to that question. How long you not had a drink for?

It doesn’t really matter what his answer was to that but it was a good few weeks.

He then gave me a call from the other side of the world, we spoke for about 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes I was still unable to answer the question. 🙁

Maybe if I was A LOT more intelligent I would be able to answer this question, but intelligence really isn’t my strong point, so I will answer the question in my usual style…. Yup by talking quite an amount of bollocks 😉

These days I seem to be a liked person, oddly when I’m speaking with people from a good while back I’ve always been a liked person, odd really when I have pretty much always hated me. I like me these days, but in my drinking days I was an arsehole for many many reasons!!!! Being an alcoholic was actually very good training for my time spent in sales cus it taught me how to lie and manipulate pretty much any situation. I still have a natural manipulation streak in me but I believe most of my manipulation these days is fairly positive. Positive for both the manipulator (me 🙂 ) and the manipulated (possibly you, soz).

So, when can a loved one stop worrying about you drinking? For me that doesn’t depend on the drinker, it depends on the person with the drinker, it also depends on trust and being realistic, sorry but it does. In my view there is always a possibility that a drinker will drink again, when I used to go to AA there were people that had been soba for 20+ years and for one reason or another would start drinking again. If I did drink again my reason would be very simple “booze is glorious” it made me feel amazing, I loved it!!!! I still miss it!!!! From time to time I think about buying some of the liquid of gloriousness and having a sneaky one, who’d know?…  Fucking everyone would know, cus I’m 99% sure oblivion would be the next stop on this journey. Although I really don’t like AA and it’s cultish, brainwashing, simply swapping addiction ways there is actually quite a bit of useful stuff to be gained from AA and one of those things for me is a saying….

“I have another drink in me but I don’t have another recovery in me”

Another one of those things is step one….

“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

These 2 sentences are probably about 80% of all I need to keep me soba the other 20% is mainly the fact that I’m a stubborn c**t and I know out of the 5 or 6 people in my group in the Woodbourne Priory I was the one that people “knew” wouldn’t be able to do it, so part of me keeps doing it to prove them wrong and perhaps to prove there is no “one” solution to getting soba it’s as individual as the drinking ways you are trying to get away from.

There will always be reasons why I could drink again, and if there isn’t a reason I’ll just bloody make one up…. Simply and purely cus I am an alcoholic that loves booze and the feeling of oblivion….

If you have a loved one who is trying to remove there addiction from there life, please don’t ask them to promise anything, cus let’s face it most of us addicts are or have been lying, cheating, manipulative horrible scum bags at periods of our lives and we are all capable of doing it again. Is any of what I am saying fact? Nope, it’s just my honest opinion. I haven’t read any big books (partly cus as I said before intelligence really isn’t my thang) I haven’t got any certificates, I haven’t got any letters after my name, I don’t earn a huge salary for doing very little, I’m not a self important stuck up arsehole that hasn’t actually got any real life experience of addiction and how it feels….

I’m just a mouthy numpty who has 16 years of drinking experience and 11 years of sobriety and these are just my thoughts based on my horrendous and wonderful experience of the glorious devils liquid that is booze….

Unfortunately I’m gunna have to end with another one of those goods things from AA….

“How long you have been soba isn’t important, all you can do is take one day at a time” (summit like that anyway)

If you are trying to remove your addiction from your life, be realistic take it one day at a time and if you have a blip that’s all it is a blip. Perhaps a couple of hours, maybe just a couple of drinks if you’re lucky, you can’t beat yourself up about your blip cus it will give you an excuse to spiral out of control and keep drinking cus “you can’t live without booze in your life” and “it’s the only way you can cope with life” Bollocks if I can do it anyone one can do it….

“There ain’t nothing you can’t do…. Eventually!!!!”

Keep going 😉

Jon aka exboozehound

Oh and don’t forget my Thingymajig (memoir/book)


Booze, booze, booze, booze………

I don’t know why but I had an urge this morning to post about booze, as usual I have no idea where I am going with this……

February 2014, I’m about 10 days away from my 11th booze birthday……. Everyone who knew me back in the booze days would never of thought I would be able to not drink. I’m making an assumption there but when I say everyone I do mean everyone, including me!! I’m worried where this post is going to go because I am pretty sure I am going to contradict stuff I have said before, however, I have noted on here that I do contradict myself a lot and that comes from believing in what I believe I believe in on any given day. I think this is going to get confusing!!!

First lets address “belief” I don’t believe in God, I didn’t believe in clairvoyance (until yesterday!) I know there are fakes out there but what I heard yesterday puts no doubt in my mind that there are some real ones as well! This might seem a bit “oh look at him he’s a bit full of himself…”, but, I have never believed in me…….I DO NOW!

If you are returning to this blog you will of noticed a little pop up window as you land on the site, this is annoying but I figured it was important because anything I write on here are my opinions and thoughts, indeed my ever changing opinions and thoughts and indeed, the ramblings of an official nut job. People have started asking for my “advice” what I answer with is not advice it is just experience and stuff I have formulated in my noggin!!

However, having heard some of the “advice” GP’s, noggin docs aka book monkeys give out it makes me wonder if the books they are reading are the Beano?

Right, disclaimer done lets get into it!

I heard this phrase in AA “I thought the clinic was going to teach me how to drink like a gentleman” I have used it on many occasions, when I entered the booze clinic I never thought the night before would be my last drink, if I had I would of drunk a lot more! Before the booze clinic my GP gave me the only bit of advice that I liked to here, I mustn’t give up drinking before I went into the clinic….. I pondered this and then thought….”I can handle that” :D. Yes I am being flippant, the point was my body was so used to booze, if I just stopped it could of been very dangerous!! I believe this is why binge drinking, as it is known these day, in my day it was just called the weekend, can be more dangerous than constant drinking. At the time of me going into the booze clinic the GP told me a story about a very fit sportsman who’d died from a heart attack, it was thought this was the result of binge drinking. Makes you think doesn’t it??

I guess that all sounds a bit preachy, but don’t get me wrong I love booze, booze is awesome, booze is the liquid of joy, booze brought me some fantastic times, some fantastic mates and dare I say some fantastic birds…. Yes I dare 🙂 .

I look at in many different ways… One of which is: –

“I abused booze and over used it for the wrong reasons so I now don’t have the right to enjoy it”

Let’s look at it another way: –

“I eat 20 bars of chocolate a day, I don’t understand why I am overweight?”

This is not meant to be offensive to people with weight issues, there is a point to this…. I promise!

Here comes the point…

Not long after I left the booze clinic I had one of those morning programmes on, they were doing a feature called “fat island” (this is genuinely what I think it was called) I heard a guy say “it’s easy for alcoholics to give up alcohol” this made me a little angry!! He continued and he made a lot of sense…. “They just have to stop drinking their addiction, but we still have to eat” I was still a little angry!! But then I thought “you know what he is spot on”. If I was told I had to have 3 pints of cider a day, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (or whatever word you use I was going to put Tea but I think this is frowned upon in some quarters) it would send me over the edge. THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE ONE PINT AND THEN NOTHING ELSE, THATS ABSOLUTE MADNESS!!!!! but people with food addiction or just people who enjoy there food still have to eat to stay alive. So that guy was right it is easy for alcoholics…. Easy is the wrong word but his theory was right (in my mind anyway) he perhaps could of used the word easier or simpler.

So I can look at booze and in a way say I was allergic to it, it had a bad reaction in me…… I don’t know? Am I talking bollox? Probably, this is how my mind works.

When I went into the booze clinic, I didn’t think I will never drink again, I didn’t want to stop drinking, I knew I had a problem and had known it for years but I just wanted to learn how to control it. I wasn’t at my rock bottom, I just wanted some help and if I’m completely honest I wanted to get people of my back for a bit…. Just like those times when I stopped drinking for weeks to PROVE I wasn’t an alcoholic…. This is bollox, a good alcoholic can stay of the booze for a few weeks and even strangely enjoy it. Strange thing to say? Again this is my experience and my opinion, I could strangely enjoy it because I was using one of my many alcoholic skills, manipulation, it is a skill I don’t care what you say, manipulation can be used for good and bad. As an alcoholic I used manipulation for bad, and enjoyed it! As a salesman I used manipulation for good, good is probably the wrong word, but good for me because it made me money and more important than money it gave me the buzz you can only get from making a sale 🙂 . Oh, buzz, interesting…. Another addiction???

To stop drinking, you don’t have to: –

Want to
Believe you can
Be at your rock bottom
Loose everything
Live in a skip
Sleep on a bench
Do everything AA tells you to
Believe in god or a higher power
Get a sponsor
Or a lot of other bollox you will be told….

But, if you know you have a problem or you are told you do on a regular basis by family and friens, you do have to: –Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download


I was a novice alcoholic compared to some, I would drink 2 maybe 3 bottles of wine a night, on my last night before the clinic I drank something like 3 bottles of wine and 8 cans of Stella Artois which is nothing in comparison to some. Fortunately I couldn’t afford more booze, I also fell asleep a lot once I got to a certain level. Unfortunately I fell asleep under tables and in bus stops as well but hey ho it’s all good for funny stories….



Keep smiling 🙂

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In reply to Alex J – Peace Out

Alex J is someone I have never met, he began to follow me on Twitter a short while back and has commented on a regular basis on this blog. I don’t think he will mind me saying he is a student mental health nurse, and I for one feel that if this is the quality of our future mental health nurses things can only get better. There is a passion and an interest in Alex that is very encouraging for the future.

This post is all about one of Alex’s recent comments, I think me and Alex are similar in that we will not say something in 7 words if 236 will say it better (attempt at humour?). I tried to reply to this comment previously but just as I finished my reply my laptop crashed and I lost the lot, I was a “little” frustrated!!!!!!!!

So Alex’s comment are in Black and my reply is in Red. (probably obvious, bit patronising Jon!)

“get Mans a pint of cider it will be entertaining” laughed out loud to this. I know it’s a serious topic, but like you, I can do comedy and seriousness at the time 🙂

Sometimes it can be hard to laugh at serious things but I think it is important for many reasons, one important reason for being able to laugh at unpleasant things is my mates, they are merciless when it comes to abusing each other so you have to get used to it. As an example of how merciless they are, when I got the shit battered out of me, along with a few teeth, I was lying in bed with a face twice the size as normal and I have a picture of my mates smiling, pulling faces and all thumbs up :). One comment I got from a mate was “to be honest they have done you a favour really because your teeth weren’t that good before” gotta laugh aint ya!

I’ve gone periods of staying off the booze (more on this later) and although I totally respect my own issues with booze are completely different to yours (both in their nature and their consequences?), some of the principles relating to the way people deal with a “non-drinker” are the same and we have experienced similar responses, as would everyone trying to cut down or eliminate booze from their life.

Generally speaking I tend to stick within reasonable limits for alcohol consumption (although “reasonable” is the not the same for everyone. You for example). Your reasonable is literally zero I’m assuming. For me, even if I am going through a period of drinking 5 or 6 days out of 7, I’m such a lightweight I would usually not go above the weekly recommended amount of units. Sometimes I would (especially if 75% bottles of red wine are getting downed), but not every week. My relationship with alcohol is that when I am drinking it stops other things from happening. I’ll have 75% a bottle of wine perhaps in an evening at home on my own, watching a movie. Relaxing? Chilling out some may say? Yeh, but the problem is, there were maybe two or three other things that needed doing that evening. The bedding needed doing, I told myself I’d go down Morrison’s to get some groceries or maybe tonight was the night I was going to start doing press-up’s again!!!!

It seems that booze is a way of life, it is everywhere…. “i’ll have a coke please” “a coke, go on have a proper drink”…. I have no idea what the weekly recommended units are, but I think I would be able to smash those in a couple of hours. Booze does stop you doing things but it will do in normal life, it’s a relaxant. I think there are a lot of people out there that will have a drink pretty much everyday and I don’t see a problem in that, yes it may not be very good for your health, but not a lot is. 75% of a bottle, is there such a thing?? There is a lot of pressure in life these days and a relaxant can relieve that stress, momentarily, I wonder if the liquid is the relaxant or the action involved in disposing of that liquid. I know for me just opening a bottle of wine used to immediately relax me, of course that opening was followed very quickly with drinking it 🙂 or :(. I’m not gunna talk about the “press up” issue cus I need to do some of those as well.

None of those other things would happen if I were to drink. That’s okay if it was just one night, but I’d end up enjoying the Merlot & Movie combo so much I’d want to do the same the next evening after work, and the evening after that. Before you know it, I’m doing less physical exercise in the early evening, less supermarket shopping gets done (and I’m losing money by buying at local corner shops) and my flat chores are piling up! This in turn get’s me tense and sometimes stressed, and thus a vicious cycle can develop of needing to “chill out” after work and “relax” into the evening!

Habits form very quickly and if drinking becomes a habit it will be hard to break if you are an alcoholic or not. For me if this habit is causing you to get “tense and sometimes stressed” I would say that sometimes you become reliant on the booze. Personally I don’t think being reliant on booze is an overly bad thing we are reliant on so many things these days and after all booze is a “legal” and “harmless” drug just like tobacco. (LMAO).

I’m getting off track here, but the main point I wanted to make, is when I come off booze altogether some other people (they don’t mean to annoy me!) can be really irritating (or I FEEL irritated… need to take ownership of my own reaction here), that “Mans does NOT want a f****** drink tonight”. “Mans” is perfectly happy to go without tonight!!!! This is especially true at Christmas as you will know. Three years ago I think it was, I went 100 days without booze. Not because it was causing me “major” problems, but because I wanted to show myself I can NOT drink and I wanted to see the impact not drinking would have on me. Among other things, wanted to lose weight and reduce spending. These 100 days covered a whole X-Mas and New Year period. I achieved a lot in those 100 days.

Just as a point of accuracy here “Mans” is my surname shortened and not Man with an s 🙂

100 days is fantastic, I bet you felt so much healthier and better for it. Alcoholics can go weeks, maybe months without drinking, I did a number of weeks, possibly a month off the booze but personally that is just a trick, a manipulation. It shows the people around you your are not an alcoholic….. during my time not drinking all I would think about is booze and the kick I would get when I started again. People around me would be proud of my effort and most importantly get off my back and pay less attention so I could drink more in secret….

Having said that 100 days is brilliant and I think shows it isn’t a “major” issue for you which is cool :).

I enjoyed the one X-Mas party I went to that year but only after people eventually shut-up about me not drinking. I tried to laugh it off at first but then I think I got short with someone and eventually they stopped bugging me. It was a good night after that. But I tell you, that night, you’d have thought I was REFUSING TO TAKE IN OXYGEN, that’s how baffled people were (or they seemed baffled to me anyways) and how determined and committed some people were in getting me to take a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. You’d have thought I was sitting there NOT BREATHING and people wanted me to breathe! “Look everyone, we got someone here not breathing, someone help this man, give him a breath for Christ’s sake, help him”. “We got a man down, we got a man down”, “Houston we have a problem”.

Lol, it is strange isn’t it, I think people are just wanting you to have a good time, to let your hair down and enjoy yourself.

I was even having wine poured into my glass that I had just finished my lemonade out of! All well meaning and done with jokes and smiles, but half of me was okay with the banter and half of me felt disrespected (again, I take responsibility for my emotions, feeling disrespected, that’s on me).

Strange how people don’t want to buy you as many drinks when you are drinking, that could make for a very cheap night out. On the “disrespect” thing I think it is a good point. If you were at a Christmas meal with someone who had lost a lot of weight throughout the year, people would not be piling stuff on to their plate, they would respect the effort of that person and probably say over and over again “you have done so well” (mind you I bet that gets annoying as well!)

I’ve tried the route of having a drink once, maybe twice a week, but I now feel the time again has come to have a proper run of no alcohol (for physical health and finance reasons) but also for my psychological wellbeing as I want to introduce a bit more discipline into my life and some boundaries I can stick to. I’m also desperately trying to support and encourage both parents to give up smoking as it’s killing them (well one of them for sure). My point here, is that I want to show myself I can practice what I preach and “give something up”. I admit it won’t be forever, but I’d like to give up at least one thing going into the New Year, even if temporarily. Take away a “crutch” I rely on. Battle through it, overcome urge and temptation. DISCLAIMER – not saying giving up casual drinking for a month is the same as giving up a life-time smoking habit!

Although I don’t know you very well, I know you will achieve the goals you set yourself :). Smoking is a shitty habit/addiction, I smoke far too much but I haven’t got the will power to stop at the moment. Fair play to you for supporting your parents, sorry to here one of them are unwell from smoking, I hope they manage to give up!!. Tobacco is also a “legal” drug (??). I like your DISCLAIMER that should save you from a bit of abuse!! 

I would like to add a DISCLAIMER as well on the booze subject…. If you drink copious amounts on a daily basis and you want to stop, be very careful about just stopping, this can be very dangerous. Before I went into the booze clinic I was told to keep drinking (this pleased me immensely) because my body was so used to the alcohol and stopping it suddenly could kill me, once in the clinic I was on certain drugs that control the withdrawal and kept me safe. Also, and this is a personal opinion, don’t say “that’s it i’m never drinking again” it sounds daft but it is a day at a time, maybe even an hour at a time, setting fixed parameters can be dangerous because if you don’t manage to keep to those parameters it can set you off and give you another reason to drink more and more because you have “failed”. I heard a story recently of patients in a well known addiction clinic keeping diaries of future events, things as simple as watching a TV programme at the weekend and it being written on a calender, you might think “what’s the issue with that” but what if there is a power cut and you can’t watch that TV programme, what are you going to do you had been planning this for a week, for me this could be a trigger to drink?? (again this is a personal opinion, I don’t think a recovery can be completely regimented because we all know “Shit happens”).

And Jon, guess what I heard on the radio the other day! it was advert relating to this…. I’m up for it 🙂

Yeh I’ve got my own agenda and motivations for this, but if I can raise money for a good cause, then why not?


Go for it, I’ll do it with you, do you think people will consider back sponsoring me for 11 years, that could be worth a few quid. There is no problem in having your own agenda, there is no such thing as an unselfish good deed. It seems that January, February and maybe March are the only months it is acceptable not to drink because people are on a “detox”. If you do it I will sponsor you :).

Alex, thank you so much for taking the time to comment the way you do, selfishly it helps me a lot, and I hope it helps others as well!! I noticed “AL” commented the other day saying “Nice work, both of you x”, thank you AL x.

Oof, that is a long post!!

Peace Out

Keep smiling 🙂

Booze at Christmas

I am a Bah Humbug / miserable git when it comes to Christmas, probably for many reasons not least of which the fact that it starts in October!!! Unfortunately I don’t believe in God, I don’t even like to type or say the “G” word, in fact when I did go to AA I wouldn’t say the “G” word at the start of the serenity prayer: –

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Even the fact that it is called the Serenity “Prayer” bothers me a little bit, but nearly 11 years on from leaving the booze clinic I carry a coin with it on in my wallet. On one side it has the Serenity “thing” and the other side a butterfly with the words “Keep It Simple”, sounds daft but just looking at it gives me strength to stay off the booze. Of course being an alcoholic with mental health issues is never going to be “simple” but for me the answers are simple: –

Alcoholic = Avoid Booze

Mental Health = Ask for help and talk about it

I wish I could of done both of the above sooner than I did, but I can’t change that now I can change what I do moving forward and I have the wisdom to know the difference……

So, to the title of this post “Booze at Christmas” every year I can guarantee I will be asked the question “you will have a drink with your Christmas lunch wont you?” erm……nope! I also often get “if you haven’t had a drink for years surely that means you can control it now” erm……nope! Here’s the thing, there is a possibility that I could have one drink, there is the possibility that I could now drink like a gentleman but that’s a hell of a risk to take with my life and the lives of my family and friends. I was speaking with a guy the other day who has been soba for a couple of months and he was looking forward to his drink with Christmas lunch, I did say “I don’t think that is a good idea” but it’s not up to me and who knows he might be fine, but I am convinced I wouldn’t be. You won’t be surprised to hear that as an alcoholic I LOVE BOOZE, i’m not keen on the after effects of booze which is why I constantly had to top up the levels and if I had a drink I am sure I would only remember the good stuff and very soon it would be carnage.

“I have another drink in me, but I don’t have another recovery in me”

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”

My guess is I will be getting the question about a drink with Christmas lunch on a fairly regular basis now, that’s cool it’s funny, sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I am fortunate to have a bunch of mates that were merciless when it came to taking the piss…. one of my favorite comments I received after getting soba was “get Mans a pint of cider it will be entertaining” I still use this comment now :).

If you have a problem with booze, do something about it. Stopping drinking wont fix your life, it won’t be easy and at times it will be FU**ING Horrendous but it will be one of the best things you ever do, for you, for your family and for your friends. Being an active alcoholic is a selfish game of manipulation and lies, getting soba is also very selfish for a while, maybe for ever, getting soba will be the only important thing in your life, but  that is what booze is, well it was for me, nothing mattered more than booze, NOTHING!!

If you have any questions about getting off the booze drop me a message on here, Twitter or Facebook, i’m not an expert but I have a little experience in this area!! Do bear in mind though I am an alcoholic, I wont be able to be your crutch i’m too selfish for that and if you get on my nerves I will tell you.

Have a bostin Christmas……… Bah Hum Bug!!!!

Keep Smiling 🙂

Answering a question

I asked on Facebook and Twitter if anyone had any questions because I had received a lot of amazing feedback and people contacting me away from the blog and here is the first questions I will answer.

Again I will stress these are my opinions, it is important to know there are properly trained people out there that would probably disagree with me.

“do you ever crave a beer and how did you stop?”

There is a very short answer to this question….. Yes and I don’t know…… but if you have been reading my blog you will know by now I never use 5 words if I can use a couple of hundred!!!

Yes I crave beer, wine, cider and most strongly for some reason Southern Comfort (with a little bit of ice, no mixers that is just madness!!!). I was in a pub yesterday ordering a “cup of tea” walking up to the bar I was looking at the good stuff but I know I can’t go there it would destroy me!! In AA there are phrases like “one day at a time” I think these are a few very important words with alcohol and indeed mental illness. I think other people set goals like I wont drink until the end of the week and then the end of next week and so on and if that works for them that’s great but for me it was one day at a time.

So in short I do crave alcohol, i’m not sure it is a physical crave more a mental crave I want the feeling of being relaxed and if i’m honest the feeling of being completely out of it. There is another saying I took from AA “I have another drink in me but I don’t have another recovery in me”. I could not go through getting off the booze again, it is not easy!!!

On the “how did you stop” part of the question there is a short answer to this as well “The Woodbourne Priory” I am ashamed to say I am not 100% sure of the guy’s name I would accredit most of the praise to, I think it was Chris. There is of course a whole big story prior to me going into the Priory but I will cut it short’ish. I tried Aquarius after it was suggested by a counselor I was seeing at the time (Shaun was the guy that got the ball rolling he is an amazing man who stopped pussyfooting around me and said “until we sort out your alcohol problem we will never sort out your depression”), unfortunately Aquarius didn’t work for me, I will stress however I know lots of people it did work for it is an amazing charity, the reason I think it didn’t work for me was I basically just lied through my alcoholic, selfish, incredibly manipulative teeth. I told them what I thought they wanted to know and then I stopped going, I didn’t want to stop drinking.

I never tried AA because that is for proper alcoholics, you know the guys on the bench begging for money…… What a tool I was to think like that but I am pretty sure I am not the only one thinking like that and if you are reading this with the same thoughts then you are wrong. I have mentioned AA a number of times now but unfortunately I do not got to AA anymore, I wish I did, I often think I may be in a better place if I had carried on with AA but I can’t change that now. I am a very stubborn person and unfortunately although I have taken things from AA I don’t always agree with the things said in AA. It is important at this point that I stress that AA has helped an awful lot of people and I have thought long and hard about saying “I don’t always agree…..” I do not want to say anything that could possibly harm anyone but that is my point when people think of alcoholics they think of AA and this is for a good reason they do an awful lot of good, BUT for me it wasn’t the answer and the reason I decided to say this is that if AA hasn’t or doesn’t work for you then I believe there are other options but you wont know if it is for you until you give it a try and I don’t mean just go once try it again and again and go when you don’t want to go it works for so many people.

I am going to contradict myself now as I said I would on the “About Me” page, I got a lot from AA. Part of the one month in the Priory was two AA meetings a week, there are some fantastic people in AA and being able to spend time with people who had been soba for 10, 20 years is inspirational and makes you realise it is possible. There are also people there that fall off the wagon and with their strength and the people around them they dust themselves off and get back on again, this is very hard to see but also inspirational there is no shame in relapsing you have been drinking for a long time there is no shock that you go back to it. I saw a guy who had been soba about 15 years start drinking again it was horrible to see but he stopped again. There were people that would relapse again and again but they kept going, there was one guy who shared that he thought he needed to relapse to make him understand he couldn’t control the drink. Everyone is different even though the stories they share mirror your life almost exactly they are different and need something different for them to get it.

Without a shadow of a doubt the Priory stopped me and probably saved my life, I was lucky I was in BUPA and got the treatment for an excess of about £250, in fact that was one of the reasons I did go into the clinic, I realised I was lucky and that not everyone had the opportunity to go to such a good clinic and if I didn’t go it would be like I was taking the piss out of those people (sorry I couldn’t think of better words to describe that).film Despicable Me 3

The clinic took me out of “real life” and allowed me to concentrate on the job in hand other people in there had visitors I decided I didn’t want visitors, there were 5 or 6 people in the group I was in we did a lot of group therapy (scary but so beneficial!!!) a lot of that group therapy was based around the 12 Steps. I struggled for a long time with these because I fixated on the word “God”, in the end I just ignored the God word and listened to the rest. The point at which I thought “I’ve got this” was we had to write our “life story” and read it to the group (yup scary!!). The others guys life stories were incredible and upsetting at the same time, it was then my turn so I read it out and got some great feedback “you are so brave” “you have been so honest” etc etc. Then it was Chris’s turn to give me feedback (Chris was the guy in charge who earlier in this post I said I would accredit him with most of the praise) I don’t remember his exact words but they were along the line of “you haven’t been brave, you haven’t been honest, you have let us in a little bit but you have given us what you think we wanted to here”. You may think “harsh” the other guys in the room thought that as well I could see it in their faces, but he was spot on. I had used my alcoholic manipulation skills and manipulated most of the room, fortunately apart from Chris. We had words about this but he was right and in challenging me he had made me see I wasn’t putting in the effort I should I was still lying to myself and everyone else. So rightly or wrongly I decided I would never be able to do everything they wanted from me so I had to find the tools I could use. I have heard it said “think of AA as a tool box and use the tools that are right for you” so my main tool is Step 1 – 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Out of the 5 or 6 that were in my group I think I am the only one who never drank again, I could be wrong. I am pretty sure that the people in the group, the counselors and the people I met through AA thought I would not make it and lets be honest I still might not make it. People say “you are not an alcoholic anymore if you haven’t had a drink for over 10 years” I don’t agree with that I am still an alcoholic and will be until the day I die, I am just a soba alcoholic.

You can give up, even if you don’t want to. You may not want to but you know you have to, I still miss booze but I no longer have that option I look at it in this way “I abused alcohol so much I no longer have the right to enjoy it”. Again this might be right it might be wrong but it’s my sobriety and I don’t care if the experts agree with me or not. Reading through what I have just written I am thinking what a load of bollox so many contradictions but again I don’t care contradictions happen in life all the time especially in my mixed up brain, because I think one thing one day doesn’t mean I have to agree with that the next day. I disagree with myself all the time.

Keep smiling 🙂

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Booze and Depression

Ok, first of all I will stress that these are only my opinions and experiences.

For me I think my depression and alcoholism run hand in hand, like a lot of people I started drinking “down the tip” at about 14, cider, thunderbirds, something I think was called Scotsmac and I remember one particular bad decision one night to get pissed on QC Sherry (still can’t smell the stuff without feeling sick!). I don’t really remember when it got out of hand, probably from day one. When I went to Cavos with the lads when I was about 19 I had the temporary nickname of Olly Reed, to be fair I think another one of the guys was Keith Chegwin and there was another one tagged with an alcoholics name, I cant remember what that one was, probably George Best.

It is fair to say a lot of booze was drunk on that holiday and to be honest every time we went out. All the lads were drinkers, but if i’m honest I think I was different because I was the one getting the “Drunk and Disorderley’s”. The first time I was arrested was for trying to steal a policeman’s hat outside a local pub. I was later to be banned indefinitely from that pub and the next time I went in, while the land lord was on holiday, I got the shit beaten out of me. I don’t remember the beating at all, it involved 3 people from what I have been told one of them “karate chopped” me in the throat and then a fat C**t sat on my chest and beat me unconscious, which lead to all my front teeth having to be capped. There are many other stories that still to this day cause me a lot of shame, but I think the above is enough to demonstrate it was out of hand.Roblox Robux Hack 2017

I think I knew by the age of 20 I was an alcoholic it took me 10 years before I went into the booze clinic to do something seriously about it. I class that as 10 wasted years.

So why do I say booze and depression run hand in hand. I remember being a very shy kid, to the point that if I was washing my dads car on the drive and people were walking up the road I would hide. At 14 booze gave me some confidence, by 18 I was on antidepressants and by 20 I knew I was an alcoholic. Of course I may have suffered with depression even if I wasn’t an alcoholic but I feel the abuse of alcohol made things worse. Yes I dealt with the booze issue 10 years ago but I then just plodded on with life and the depression. Now I am 40 and have had what I can only describe as a mental breakdown, I don’t think the doctors use that term anymore but that’s the only way I can describe it. 10 years on from sorting out the booze issue I am “clinically depressed” with people using phrases like “disability”, “Mental Illness”, “Mental Health” (which I find very scary!!). I am waiting to see a psychiatrist (a very long wait but that’s a story for a different time!!!), waiting to see about other types of therapy, I have people from mental institutions calling me to give me “crisis numbers”, I am speaking with mental health charities. Its fair to say life is not a lot of fun at the moment and I class this 10 years after the booze clinic as another 10 wasted years.

During the 10 years from 20 to 30 I did things like not drinking for a couple of weeks to prove I wasn’t an alcoholic, but this is bull***t, all that does is it gets people off your back for a short while. All through the time I wasn’t drinking I knew I would be able to drink again soon. I also knew I would have to be cleverer and drink a bit when no-one was watching, try and behave a little better, it’s all bollox. It is said you have to hit “Rock Bottom” before you get off the booze, this is probably true, but let me tell you if you know you are an alcoholic “Rock Bottom” is fu**ing horrendous do something about it before you get there!!! They also say “you have to want to give up” i’m not sure that is true, I didn’t want to give up, yes life was hard at the end but the bad bits disappear when you are pissed off your box, there is no better feeling than being completely out of it. Booze owned me there was nothing more important to me than booze, nothing!!

I believe the reason I am where I am now it because I plodded along, yes I had accepted the depression, I had accepted life was miserable. I kept fighting it getting more and more tired, struggling harder each day to get out of bed and getting on with it, putting on my “Jon” mask every morning over and over again and eventually something just exploded in my head, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I believe if I had been more direct with my doctor and asked for more help sooner I would still be doing the job I love.

Please don’t let booze and depression begin to own you because when it does it will f**k you up!! You can give up the booze even if you love it as much as I did, I still miss it. From what I read now on Twitter and Facebook and plenty of other websites you can still have a great life with a mental illness but if you let it own you life will seem pointless, don’t get to the stage that you purposely get out of bed and get dressed for the sole reason to go and say goodbye to the cats before you throw yourself of a car park.

Get some help, help on the NHS will be hard and slow to get and the “system” will drive you mad, but keep going. When you are thinking its never going to get better it will seem real, it seemed real for me a couple of months ago. Now is still horrible for me I had to leave my brothers bonfire party earlier tonight I walked up the road in tears, but I do know I will come out the other side sooner or later.

Keep smiling 🙂

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A bit about booze

As the title of the blog suggests booze has played a part in my life, although it does’t now on a physical basis it definitely still does on a mental basis!! I still miss booze a lot, but I know I cant handle it. We will speak about booze a lot as we move forward, if you have read the “About Me” page you will know I was fortunate enough to be in BUPA through a company I worked for for many years.

I spent a month in The Woodbourne Priory, so basically for an excess of about £250 I received £15000 worth of residential treatment, mainly group therapy. A lot of the therapy was based around “The 12 Steps”, I struggled a lot with these steps for reasons that don’t really matter at the moment but eventually I got Step 1: –

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable

Step 1 for me is very important, I miss alcohol, I love alcohol but I cannot go back there.

I don’t know if my abuse of booze is why I am now labelled with “Clinical Depression” don’t get me wrong I am happy to be labelled as it makes sense of so much. I think this is an important point, I have been soba for 10 years and I feel if I went back to booze it would destroy me, one phrase I got from AA is “I have another drink in me but I don’t have another recovery in me”. With this in mind a few months ago when I was changing my medication from Cipralex to Sertraline I was a complete mess and wanted to die and this thought came into my head “Start drinking it will ease the pain and it will give you the strength to kill yourself”.

I’m going to leave it there, but please you HAVE to know if you want to give up booze IT IS POSSIBLE, it’s painful but it is possible.