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My 5 Top Reasons for Giving Up Drink

  1. Becoming an antisocial
  2. Developing a taste for heights (Climbing scaffolding)
  3. Sleep walking home from the pub
  4. Hangovers taking longer and more difficult to get over
  5. Watching my life disappear in a drunken haze

There we are – my top 5 reasons why I gave up drinking. Of them all, the taste for climbing was most worrying. I started doing this whilst at college. One night I found myself on a ledge at the back of a nightclub, oblivious to how dangerous it was. It was at least 3 stories up and would have been a certain end to me, had I fallen.

It didn’t stop at ledges, I enjoyed climbing scaffolding as well. Totally oblivious to the danger to not just me, but those around me, especially if id fallen and hit someone. I would always wake in the morning in disbelief that I’d done that. Not sure how I could have done something so stupid, but at the time the drink is in you egging you on. Pushing you…relentlessly.

“Have another it would say in your ear”, “you’ll be ok”. “You don’t need to think about giving up drink”

I never was though, I always was an early casualty and left the bar or club early too drunk to really know what I was doing. The scrapes I got into. Talk about a cat with 9 lives…I must have got to the 8th when I finally decided to stop!

Sleep walking was another worrier. I don’t know how I did it, but I’d regularly fall asleep walking home from the bar late at night. I walked into buildings, literally the walls and quickly woke up. I was getting bruised and scraped and had to explain marks to work colleagues, who must have whispered behind my back. They must have realised, except I never did. It’s only now that I think back and wonder if they did know I had a problem and just couldn’t control my drinking.

Watching my life disappear before me, my 20s went really fast and my 30s were speeding along quickly too. Suddenly I saw myself as an old drunk, lurching from one bar to the next, on my own. With friends married off with families, I knew that I really didn’t want this to happen to me. I wanted to take some control of my life.

In the end I knew deep down that I had to give up drinking. It was no longer funny to look back and think about lucky escapes. There is only so much luck in life and I figured that if I pushed it too much, too often, I’d end up regretting it, and really regretting it at that!

So my top 5 reasons are still good enough to stop me from imagining for a second that having a drink now would be a good thing to do. I know that I have to be sober the rest of my life. I know that it isn’t a vacation I’ve taken, it’s a life choice. But you know what? It gets more and more comfortable the feeling of knowing that with care and attention I am going to be sober the rest of my life and I’m going to have such a better life because of that. :o)

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The Serenity Prayer – How it Helps Me to Stay Sober

“O God and Heavenly Father, Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”, Reinhold Niebuhr.

In my research online for help with my binge drinking problem, I came across this short prayer many times. I’ve seen it on Twitter as well in posts on other blogs, and each time I see it, it strikes me how simple the prayer is. It helped me to look at my own problems and I know that if I could sort out those things that I can’t change from the ones that I can, then life is indeed a lot happier and less stressful too.

Maybe I worry too much. Sometimes I find that I’ve been focusing on the wrong things, i.e. trying to change the things that can’t be, whilst overlooking completely the things I can..! Having wisdom is all very well, but being able to apply it correctly is important.

In giving up drinking, for the last time, I was able to focus and zoom in on exactly what I had to do in order to give up alcohol. With perseverance and sheer hard work, as well as putting up with doubters around me, I succeeded. I found that I could change that which can be changed, but up to that point had been something that I couldn’t have changed no matter what I did to try. I always failed, just couldn’t make the break and always found myself back at the bar on the Friday and again Saturday as if nothing had happened.

I still think of this serenity prayer and though I don’t say it as often as I should, the elements within it help me to stay true to myself.

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Prayer of St. Francis


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

My Grandmother was incredibly spiritual and religious and she often quoted this prayer, in fact I think it helped shape her life. I’ve since found it to be inspirational and help me with my own recovery. With each sentence help me to look for the positive and what is it that I can do to help others, instead of just helping me, selfishly.

This road of recovery that I’ve been on the past 5 years hasn’t been easy, but there are many others who need more help than I needed. If you’re reading this and are thinking of giving up drink or getting sober after years of drinking, then please write to me. I’d love to hear your comments, simply reply in the comment box below.

The gift of being able to survive modern life without the need for getting drunk is amazing, and through this blog I’d be so happy to have reached as many people as could be. It is through this blog that I am giving my tips and hopefully an energy that someone reading this, nervously thinking of giving up, should then see that it is possible to succeed without losing all your friends or having to live a life of a hermit on an island away from everyone else.

Writing my blog has been incredibly helpful on my journey. I hope you find it equally helpful. Please write your thoughts in the comments area below.

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P.s. Thanks to SoberIsSexy for reminding me of this prayer and inspiring me to add it to my own blog.

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