14th October 2013
When addicted my life was consumed with loathing for myself because I seemed to have no control over doing something over and over again that I didn’t want to do. It was so stupid going around and around in circles, caught up in an everlasting and pointless wheel of destruction. Being in a cage is the exact opposite to what I longed for but back then it was so difficult to imagine how to escape. The door was firmly locked and it seemed there was no way out.
Free from fags
I started my addictive journey back in my teens when I started smoking. I remember clearly throwing up in the gutter in my school uniform and thinking,
“If I keep on smoking my body will get used to it.”
So I wiped the sick from my mouth and lit another cigarette, literally.
I was 14 years old and happily smoked for 10 years before my first attempt at giving up which unfortunately lasted another 10 years! I only got truly free from fags seven years ago.
The next addiction I got myself embroiled in was cocaine. A nasty sneaky substance which put a forceful voice in my head which wouldn’t take no for an answer and had an unreasonable and insatiable hunger. I ran away from it by moving to the other side of the world, but it found me there and the whole ugly cycle re-emerged stronger than ever. It broke my relationships, health and financial security. I returned back to the UK six years later with my tail between my legs, broke, and vowing not to allow that white monster a place back in my life again. A promise that I have kept to this day.
A poison that destroys and ends so many lives
Unfortunately that is not the end to this sorry story. In fact the worst of it is still to come! My alcohol addiction was the most insidious of them all, and one which threatens to ruin so many lives in our country. And my issue with it is our whole societies attitude towards it. Alcohol is a poison that destroys and ends so many lives; there is nothing positive or health giving about it, yet it is so closely woven into how we celebrate our achievements and milestones.
All my friends turning 40 recently meant that I perused many a greeting card shop, and was faced with a barrage of champagne images as if it is something that must be consumed to celebrate correctly. Champagne is a symbol of sophistication and success, but causes sickness and death in reality.
And it is something that we not only use to celebrate with, but commiserate with too. Apparently it helps us to become the life and soul of the party, and also relaxes us after a hard days work. But all it is really doing is filling our bodies and minds with toxins, and ensuring we feel physically wretched and mentally depressed the next day.
But everyone does it, and most people seem to be mostly unsupportive of the few who choose to abstain,
“Don’t be so boring”, “Go on just have one”, “Come on you haven’t got work tomorrow!”
Is it their own inadequacy at not being able to go out and enjoy themselves without it, or is life really that boring without booze?
And I have 365 days and evenings as evidence to support that answer! Food tastes better, I have less weight around my middle-aged midsection, and the insomnia that I thought was inherent in my genetic makeup has vanished. I sleep well, I awake refreshed and ready, I remember every conversation that I have, and I make balanced and rational choices everyday. Gone are the demons, the ‘horrors’, the fears, the insecurities, the self-flagellation, the despair and constant sense of failure.
Are you ready to make the change?
Of course it was scary to make that initial first tentative step. I have been addicted to something my whole adult life, over 25 years! and on some level addiction held a certain comfort in its familiarity. It had become who I was.
So when I made that first step, I fell over a few times, before finally one year ago today, for the very first time not looking back, I kept on moving onwards towards my new sober life. Trying it on for size and realising as the days, weeks and social events passed, that it was not only getting easier but I was enjoying myself! I had my control back, I felt good about myself and finally as the weeks became months I felt proud. Now 365 days later it feels normal to be sober and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do not miss alcohol, cocaine or cigarettes EVER. I never have an urge to go back to that life of self-induced slavery, when my life now is one of freedom, happiness and clarity.
So my work is to show you how to take that step. There are certain tools that have helped me tremendously which I wish to share with others who are keen to be free also. This blog that you are reading will become the introduction to the new book I am writing, and the manual that forms the structure of my ‘Yoga for Addictions’ five-day retreat program will become the subsequent chapters.
You see something shifted when I had my last drink and made the decision to be kind to myself. It was about a week into sobriety that I fully grasped the fact that this was the first time I’d been sober in my whole adult life. It was a pivotal moment and one I want to share with others who would like the clarity, prosperity, health and happiness that is part of my everyday existence now.
If I can do it, why not you too?
I am living the life of my dreams, realising my full potential, and have steps you can take to lead you to that place too. If I can help just one person out of their addiction I will have achieved so much!
*originally published 14/10/13
NB: everyday this week I will be publishing the blog that I wrote on my soberversaries; years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and then finally my 6 year soberversary which falls this Sunday
Photo taken in Spain, on my first EVER sober holiday aged 41
In this section you will read something that has been said by one of the Quantum Sobriety Online Programme members over on the very lively private forum:
Residential Retreat and Online Member