How Did That Happen
Wow I made it to 500 days sober. How did that happen, I have to say it has just flown by. In June 2016 when I decided to quit alcohol forever. Forever felt like too much, felt too daunting. Me the regular everyday drinker, every night after work 8-12 pints. Every weekend drinking that many and more to excess. Forever just felt impossible, getting past 90 days felt to much of a task. I made it though and now forever seems well just normal. Like I said to someone the other day, if I could show you in 12 months what your life could you’d pay me millions for it.
You may ask yourself it can’t be that good otherwise everyone would be doing it. Well not everyone is like me, see drinking is a wide spectrum. Its not just you don’t drink, you have an occasional glass once or twice a week, or your a raging alcoholic. It’s much wider than that everyone has different ranges of how much and how often they drink. See I fell into the spectrum of drinking daily too many pints, but also functioning by working everyday to a high standard. Outside of the work and pub I had nothing no. No money, very scarce days out and the very occasional holiday.
What Have I Achieved In 500 Days
In 500 days sober I’ve started saving to buy a house putting money into an home to buy savings account. I’m getting to end of each month with still a little money in my pocket. I’ve built an amazing relationship with my young daughter, sleeping over more and were going out every week. Going to things like coast, festivals, walks on canal, cinema and i’m hoping soon we might hit our first music event. Its not just my daughter its my close family relations that have got better. See I was looked on as a total looser and failure they didn’t like associating with me. Since quitting alcohol I’ve attended my sister’s wedding, my brothers wedding, seen my youngest brother get engaged.
Family meals is something I used to never go to, well never invited really. They knew I’d not come out of pub to attend them, or too drunk to last till meal. In 500 days sober I’ve been to more family meals than I can remember. My brothers birthday, nieces 21st, my OYNB celebration dinner. Also it doesn’t end their as i’ve been going to more social events like works do’s and dinners.
I put down on a list at start of my journey that I could’nt afford holidays and even my brother in laws stag do. Well in 500 days sober that changed, I managed to save up and go to my mates 50th birthday in Dublin read all about it How I survived Dublin Sober I also celebrated my year of sobriety in Spain meeting my good friend and fellow OYNB legend. I’m even looking forward to planning 2018 and going on more holidays. This time doing short breaks more often and seeing places id think id never get to see.
Sport and fitness
Before I quit drinking I would attempt to go to gym, but would not go as much as needed. I even quit gym to raise more money to spend on alcohol at start of 2016. in 500 days sober that has just sky rocketed, see I thought I start running. I did do one 10K run in February 2016 whilst still drinking. Safe to say I did awful coming in last 10 people of race. Since quitting alcohol I have now run over four 10 K races, a 10 mile race, ran my first ever half marathon. If anyone had said i’d run an half marathon i’d of laughed my head off.
In April 2017 whilst having a bit of a low day I asked friends on my support group for help in getting a new social scene. Suggestions came back to join a local triathlon club. I laughed I said I can’t swim, they said just go do the running. So that’s what I started out by doing, since then I’ve started swimming, riding my bike again. Started making plans to do a triathlon in 2018, plus my long term goal is to to one day do an ironman event.
500 days sober hasn’t just given me back extra money, a much better family life, a new social scene and new friends. Its also given me a new drive in life, in January 2017 I started writing this blog. Writing has never been my forte, but when I do start blogging it does help. Also I hope its helping to inspire others to look at their drinking and change it. It’s also made me look at my career and where i’d like to be, this year I applied to become a firefighter. Although not successful I went for it something I wouldn’t of done previously.
I’ve been looking at what I want to do with life and since joining the triathlon club i’m looking at starting coaching. Setting up my own business to coach people through triathlons, ironman events. Even on the small scale coaching people to get from couch to 5K. See I know what it takes to start from never running to attempting marathons and triathlons. Please look us up on Facebook its called TRI-b3 who knows I might be coaching you soon. Not just running but also on coaching to quit drinking.
Finally I just want to do some thank you’s. Especially to my family they really have supported me through this and helped me get to where I am. Sorry for past 16 or so years when I was a knob. To Forward Leeds without my support worker i’d of struggled in the early days. To OYNB Ruari and Andy without seeing your pdf booklet that night in May 2016 i’d still be drinking. It’s an honour you made me an ambassador for your amazing support group. To friends new and old you’ve supported me through this and read my musings and suffered them.
My OYNB friends that I would never of met hadn’t it been for trying to quit alcohol. All my new friends at Wakefield triathlon, I will master swimming and become a triathlete with your help. Your all amazing and supportive, the kind of guys I need to be around more often. Finally and I know she won’t read this but my daughter. Every day I wake and see your face in a picture, you inspire me to keep on this journey. You inspire me to achieve more as I want you to have everything I did and more. My girl I love you xxxx