For those that are new to this blog or to my writing (ramblings) you would know the struggle that I had with alcohol, how this affected my friends, family and entire wold and the drastic measures I took to fix it.
Those of you who do not I decided to write this little summary of gratitude and thanks to the many people who helped me kick this habit and explain my journey and what has changed in my life.
I started Hello Sunday Morning in 2012 and made a 12 month commitment to eliminating alcohol’s control over my life and as the title suggests greeting every Sunday morning bright and early with purpose and drive. Sounds easy and cheery doesn’t it? Honestly it was the hardest, most frustrating and rewarding thing I have ever done.
Consider this before 2012 I would go out to clubs every friday and saturday night, spending up to $300 per weekend just on alcohol. Coming home completely intoxicated, waking up and then doing it all again. Monday nights were Mexican Mondays and always involving tequila, margeritas, sangria and Corona’s and lime. Tuesday and Wednesday was just a few glasses of wine at night and Thursday would be pub meal and beers to make Friday a hazy day of seediness before the big weekend parties.
During my “party phase” I did horrible things from smashing chairs, yelling, swearing loudly, pushing people, constant array of vomiting at friends houses, in their garden, falling down in the gutter and generally making me look like a big pile of human trash.
Then my friend started a HSM and told me about how much it had changed her life for the better and after hitting rock bottom I decided I would give it a go and see where it left me. The problem for me was the only friends I had were heavy drinkers, they could down just as much as I could and taking myself out of that drinking culture was destined to shake up my friends circle and I had to prepare myself for the fallout.
2012 started with New Years Day on the beach in Newcastle with fruit, crossaints and coffee in a thermos, I wasn’t drunk from the night before (but I had some wine to say goodbye, but nothing o.t.t) I sat on the beach with my friends talking about the year that was to come and thinking to myself “oh shit, the change I am in for it going to be huge!” it sounded fun and easy at the time, we laughed about how I would be the boring one now I was going off the alcohol. Little did I know that my laughing about what I would be doing was extremely short lived.
I spent my Saturday nights trying to convince my friends to do other things besides drinking, dinner, movies, bowling, beach, ANYTHING but seriously who was I kidding, no-one was interested, they all had their own thing going on and the fact that I removed myself from it was puzzling to them.
After a month and a half of being sober everything started to rise to the surface, emotions, feelings, situations that I had not resolved but instead stifled with the constant stream of alcohol and I found myself at breaking point. I would cry and cry for days and not turn to alcohol to console me. I went to counselling sessions and was even on anti-depressants for a while to control everything that was happening to me. My body was begging me to just have a few glasses and silence the pain for a few hours, yet it was during these times that I developed an inner strength. My will power to see this thing through, not give in and keep going was growing stronger and stronger, at the time I could not feel it and I wanted to give up but this tiny shred of willpower kept me going.
Things turned pretty rough one day when I found myself on top of a mountain (literally!) screaming and crying, I spent the day on this beautiful green mountain top with my thoughts, some music and a pen and paper. This was the day when my healing began and the little pieces of my heart and soul that felt ripped and abused began mending themselves and I felt my strength and courage begin to return.
Everything became clearer, my mind processed everything that was happening and allowed me to return to some sense of normalcy. It was then that my body decided to give out, I spent several weeks in bed and on the couch unable to move. I have never been that sick in my entire life and as I vomited and cried it was like my body was spewing forth (sorry!) all of the pain, all of the loneliness and bad feelings that had once lived there.
It was around this time that I started losing friends, people started to think that I was “unreliable” saying no to a lot of things or backing out at the last minute because I didn’t want to put myself in a place of alcoholic temptation and be that weird guy who doesn’t drink.
I did have a couple of friends who stuck by me and to them I will be eternally grateful for sticking with me and understanding why I had to do this. Finally after what seemed like an age of pain and sorrow I began to get better. I spent my Sunday mornings at the local farmers markets buying fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers for myself like I was in mourning, catching up with people who had moved on from the drinking life and started families that I had lost touch with and I began to feel content.
The year came to an end and I was at peace with myself, I had dealt with my emotions and managed to find a way to exist without being dependent on alcohol to have a good time, or to become a better person. It is now 2013 and I renewed my HSM for another 12 months and now I can have a glass of wine with dinner or at a party and it no longer controls me.
I am still very guarded around alcohol but I will never get back to that trashy stage again and I would like to publicly thank a few people by name for their assistance on my journey. For putting up with the teary phone calls, checking up on me, talking me down off the mountain and just loving me for what I wanted to achieve, your support has been incredible and I can never thank you enough.
Thanks to Naomi Graham, Kale Edwards, Kirk Ellis, Kirk Muddle, Dante St James, Tim Newell, Nicole and Ryan Lawler, Mama Deb and Pete Frater, Hannah Bird, Sonia Veltruski,my fellow HSM’ers who commented on my posts and gave me positive reinforcement and hash truths when I needed it and lastly to Chris Raine who started the HSM website, you have no idea the impact you have had on my life and the better person I am today because of it. Thank you for being so bold, so brave and so generous.
If you want a change in your life, I really recommend Hello Sunday Morning, jump on the website, register yourself and join a supportive community that will help you change your life.