Guess it’s true when your least expecting it. Up it pops and bites you in the arse.
So many many months ago I wrote a blog post Can I Sober Date on why I didn’t think dating whilst trying to stay sober was a good idea. The reason I wrote that post was I’d decided to take a year of quitting alcohol and finding myself. See I used to go on meaningless dates, get with women I knew weren’t right for me. Then find a way to break it off after 4-6 weeks. Mainly because I was missing the pub and the craic with the lads. Guess I wanted it all back then, the single life and a partner. That combination never works, which is reason I gave myself 12 months off. This actually turned out to be 18 months off in the end. I’d rediscovered myself in those 18 months, lost weight, run lots of 10k races, completed an half marathon, started eating healthy and generally feeling good about myself. So much so that I decided to think about a career change in personal training, so signed up for a course. Then as I’d joined a triathlon club I pencilled in lots of triathlons. Was going to be a year I competed in one. Also started coaching people online to start running and had ideas to be online and 1-2-1 personal trainer. And that’s where it happened……….
Bit in the arse
As I’m on lots of sober sites via Facebook I had the idea to tout for potential clients on a few. Well it worked from one site I got 3 interested parties. On another site I got many more all beit more inquires to cost and how it worked. Then this one person seemed very keen to find out how it worked and how I’d offer it. So we struck up a messenger conversation and chatted about how I’d start a plan for her and what it would entail. Then she came out with it that she couldn’t afford it right now but it’d be something she would be keen to do when she could afford to. We carried on chatting exchanging messages and even had the odd phone conversation. As I’m not just experienced in coaching running I’m also experienced in how to stay sober and she was 8 months in. So we had a lot in common lots to talk about and things just flowed naturally. We discussed how to cope with pressures of life whilst not running home to bottle of wine or bottle of lager. How some days are tougher than others. General chit chat and advise really but nothing to do with running coaching at all.
So the days progressed into 2 weeks of talking or texting everyday. The conversations flowed we laughed and joked made each other smile each day but I was getting doubts. See I put up an iron wall when I quit drinking. No woman was getting through that for reasons of my past. I get hurt, they cheat on me, take me for granted, take my generosity and throw it back in my face. This woman was melting that barrier I was getting feelings for her, this couldn’t happen I needed it to stop.
So I did what I thought would solve this and get my wall back up. I composed a message telling her all of my home truths all of my past, things that even my closest family and friends don’t know about me. All in hope the wall would rise again. It worked the reply came back that she didn’t want anything to do with me no more leave me alone. I got mixed emotions though on one hand I was relieved I was back in control of me, the wall is up and I won’t get hurt. On the other hand I felt a massive sense of loss, I’d hurt this woman and it’s hurting me knowing I’ve done that. I wasn’t feeling good in myself I felt hollow and ashamed.
A day or two went by and I heard not a lot from her. I didn’t expect to I’d hurt her and I was hurting too. Then about 3 days later I got a message saying can we talk. I didn’t agree at first I didn’t want to hurt her anymore. Plus I was hurting and it could be emotional. I finally agreed with the call emphasising that we would only stay friends and nothing else. We had the call over 45 minutes whilst on my tachometer lunch break, I’m a trucker as you know. Everything came out in this call.
It was the lay it all bare conversation, no holds bars talk. The type of talk I’ve never had with a woman before. I don’t like getting my emotions out and that’s what this talk did. After the 45 minute we agreed to stay friends and continue to talk. We talked daily and messaged lots in the following weeks, so much so that we agreed to meet as friends. We made plans to meet which was easier to talk about than do. All because I’m a Yorkshire boy and she lived in south of England. I’m not good at leaving Yorkshire I’m a bit of a homely guy. Comfortable where I am and not one for change or things that scare me like meeting people from miles away.
Our first meeting
We decided on a date. A Saturday after I’d taken my daughter home. So I dropped my daughter at her mums and headed down south. 4 hours journey and I arrived in the south, safe and sound it wasn’t that scary after-all. I pick this lady up and we headed out for the afternoon to get to know each other more. Still on the premise of just been friends and getting closer. After an amazing afternoon I took the lady home and headed for my hotel. We didn’t stop chatting on text after I got back to hotel.
Then in morning I had to get up early as I had an OYNB Social in Manchester at lunch time. Thing was Saturday went so well I got up earlier and made a detour to see so called lady before I headed north. We embraced and I headed up north with tired eyes but the most amazing grin on my face hoping to see this woman once again. In the coming weeks we chatted more staying on the premise of been friends
The fall of the iron wall
In the following weeks we chatted more and more. Things were starting to turn more away from friends and progressing to something more. We’d been on our first sober date a big step for most who had alcohol problems. Plus off the back of ‘THAT’ call a few weeks back when we both laid it bare. We learnt to talk more openly and express our feelings. I didn’t admit to her that I was getting feelings for her but I was. See she was melting the iron wall, making me realise that someone can have feelings for you that are genuine and not fake. She understood me and I understood her, we talked about things that niggled us and sorted them there and then. We decided to meet again this time clearly not as friends and we stayed the night together. This followed with a few more trips to south for me over a few weeks.
We’re now a quarter of way into 2018 and in that time she’s melted my heart. So much so we celebrated new year together. Celebrated her birthday and valentines day in London and Portsmouth. Were making plans for my birthday in April. She’s met my family and I’ve met some of hers. We’ve made it official and are making many many more plans for the future. The icing on the cake has to be she has met my daughter. No one in the past would ever come near my daughter. She is the most precious gift to me and I would not let anyone into her life that I didn’t believe in. Also someone that might up sticks after a few months. So this really cemented what I feel for this woman. Thank you for coming into our lives and fighting for me. We shall keep been open and honest and I look forward to our future.