One Year Sober
Ive made it through my first year of sobriety read how I achieved it.
I’m writing this in past tense and there is a reason for this. I hit my year of sobriety on the 1st June 2017. You may be thinking why am I writing this 3 weeks later. Why wasn’t this written on the day when I was obviously buzzing. Well the reason is a few things, for one yes I was buzzing. I was also out of the country celebrating with a really good friend in Mark Rees a fellow One Year No Beer 365 day legend. Another reason is since the euphoria of hitting a year I also hit a low point again which I spoke about in another blog post Depression . Wasn’t as severe but just felt I was in a state of as Kevin and Perry would say “Ugggghhhh whatever.”
Kick up the butt and promise
Then we get to my writing this isn’t my strong point I was always poor at doing any essay type things at school. I only started this blog to just stop boring people on One Year No Beer and hopefully help that one person see benefits of sobriety like I have. I haven’t even checked my site since early May. Then Monday I just clicked app on my phone and noticed I had comments, my posts never have comments so I looked. Whilst some were spam, there was this one from ‘Joey’ it touched me. Long and short of it was that he had been through it with his brother, stick with it and keep up the good work your inspiring people.
Well I made him a promise that I would get back writing as all I want to do is inspire people. To hopefully show people that might of been like me, feeling crap after relationship breakdowns. Lack of money to do anything. Sitting in a pub everynight after work getting wasted as you feel your not worth anything. That there is a better life out there and its a sober one its the one I’m going to take you on with a review of my past year. So thanks Joey this is for you and your brother. I hope it inspires.
Month 1 June – The Fear
So its June 1st 2016. Ive just started first day of rest of my life. With the help of the community One Year No Beer I’m determined to quit alcohol for life. I started off ok as i’d done dry jans before and knew i’d get headaches, cold sweats and sleepless nights. This was different though as I was not going back after 31 days. This really scared me as days went on, the thought of never walking in my local pub and the barmaid having my favourite tipple on bar ready. As she’d already seen me arriving in car park for my night of drinking.
See all I knew was get work done, lock cab up on my lorry and head straight to the pub. Gym can wait I’ll start back next week I’ll smash it up and have that beach body this time next year. We all know that wasn’t going to happen. Surprisingly though I got a kinda mentor on the support group in form of an irishman. His name was Jarlath he was 60 days into sobriety and hearing how much he was loving it and his family liked he’d stopped going out till late in evening. Made me interested in his story were still good friends.
Month 2 July – I Start Rehab
5 weeks previous I called my local alcohol abuse centre Forward Leeds earliest they could get me in was late June. My first meeting was 3o days in, my case-worker was assigned to me he was brilliant from first meeting. I didn’t feel like I was been judged it was like going to see a friend for a chat every week. First meeting he set out that id be there for 13 weeks and was surprised i’d already got 30 days under my belt. As we discussed my drinking habits he was surprised to know id held down a job as well as getting hammered every night. This bloke was amazing if like me your scared about a life of sobriety go check out your local services.
Also this month it was time to start the body image change. I used the money I was saving on beer to do the Body coach diet. This was a great thing for me as it not only got me focused on eating right. It showed me how to make plans and prepare food. I was cooking more. I was going food shopping for first time in my life, picking foods I wanted to eat. Not like when I was drinking and i’d go days not eating or ordering a greasy kebab pizza at 11pm. Focus.
Month 3 August – Dating Apps go
Month to start making progress, we went through what I actually wanted from life. I told him perfect family life, house nice car, love and to make my daughter proud of me. I explained all my past relationships were drink filled relationships I was bed hopping from month to month abusing dating apps. Sat in a bar every night fishing for my next poor victim that meets a sweet nice guy. That in following weeks shows his true colours hitting pub not wanting to miss out his mates. So yes not only did the alcohol go I deleted all my profiles on dating apps. Like I had to find myself and be happy within myself respect myself and then attempt dating. So decision was taken that I would also take a year out from dating until I felt id found who I was and what direction I was going in.
So I rejoined gym, not only was I eating right but I needed to burn the fat. I quit gym in November previous year to do running but that didn’t work I got injured. Doing too much too soon running too far after completing a 10k in February. This was rejection to me and when I feel rejected I hit the drink hard. So it was back to gym with a new focus to build up the leg muscles. Plus I had a big do coming up next month that I was bricking it about my sisters wedding.
Month 4 September – Sisters Wedding
23rd of this month comes my biggest challenge. I’m coping really well with alcohol but the wedding is starting to worry me.My case-worker is brilliant right from start he told me I would get through it. See I put a plan in place, I found out that hotel did alcohol free beer. I’ve been using these as a tool to kerb my cravings erdinger alcoholfrei is my favourite. Plus the guys on OYNB also suggest using them in social situations. So support from everyone around me is helping.
The day came and was amazing sister looked gorgeous and groom scrubbed up well. I used the alcohol free beer to get through it some people later in evening when I said I’d quit alcohol. Were like you been drinking all day, thats how deceiving it is looks just like real stuff. I do suggest using it if you are at parties so many options out there, wine, spirit, lager, bitter and even Guinness do one I hear. Only thing I did feel about day was that I was looking in on the party from outside like third person mode. I did it though and sober didn’t spoil anyones day.
Month 5 October – Father Daughter Bonding
As my case worker put it clock watching. This was something I always did when my daughter came to see me. That point in day when hangover is subsiding and you want that next drink. You can’t though as its daughter day so you clock watch till its home time. Was awful to admit I did it but I did every week. So I made sure that now we would do things together. Started by getting her a walking coat, fleece and hat on way home from rehab. That weekend we then went for a reluctant walk on her part into woods where I knew there was a waterfall.
To see the joy on her face as it changed from not wanting to walk, to seeing waterfall and wanting to see more was amazing. Its called been present, something were not when were drinking. This carried on each weekend for months after and now its regular thing to have an odd walk up canal or in woods. Also this month my rehab came to an end discharged. I followed this news by posting about my rehab to all my friends on Facebook. That was moment weight was lifted from my shoulders. I got the love and support that overwhelmed me, finally good to come out.
Month 6 November – Half Year Of Sobriety
Diet went into overdrive. I’d come off the body coach plan and started following a macro tracking plan. I was finally losing more pounds, hitting gym harder and looking back on my strava I ran 5 miles round local lake. I don’t remember this see that much has happened this year. Also this month was my brothers step daughters 8th birthday party. So I went out bought my daughter a nice dress and we hit the trampolines. Something Could never of done hungover on a Saturday 6 months ago. We followed this by a meal, it was at that meal I suggested to brother and brother-in-law I was looking to celebrate a year sober in sun abroad. To which they both replied ‘what by getting shit faced.’
See this is how I was looked upon in my family the piss head. So it came as no surprise to hear it, I just said calmly no thats me done with drink. They found that hard to believe see I think they believed I’d fall off wagon soon very disgracefully. Not knowing what great support I had received in rehab and the ongoing support ad friendships i was building on OYNB.
Month 7 December – Xmas
Party month arrived 3 weeks time I’d be clocking off from work for nearly 2 weeks. This did scare me as you can guess in them 2 weeks normally I would be in a drunken state from dawn till dusk. Christmas day would always be worse, never over Christmas eve before back on it. Not eating dinner and causing arguments.This year was different I’d been invited to sisters for dinner, this was unheard of black sheep been welcomed back into flock. Then there was the las day at work big piss up, I was expected to go possibly as a great chance to see if I’d get off my face and be back drinking. Well I made excuses for this day when it came I didn’t trust myself in a big group in town.
One other event this month 10 years since two of my best friends got married and they had invited me to there party. Problem was it was in local club, the local pub had a gas leak, everyone would be in there. I’d always said I would go because these two had opened there hearts to me when I came out about my drinking. Only problem was how could I face rest of lads from pub. Piss taking and trying to get me drinking again telling me I was a bore. So last day of work came before break. One of my customers bought me an alcohol free wine. My boss invited me into office to give me beer a work tradition, was brilliant they bought me becks blue alcohol free made me feel really good. So then it was home and prepare for xmas.
So what happened
Well I didn’t go into town and get smashed got out of that. I sat at home ready to be a loner. Then 7pm came and I thought wonder what time that do starts. Looked it up was 7:30pm I though nah ill leave it. Then 7:30pm past and thought I’ll go to bed. Then someone from OYNB earlier in week had said you’ll become recluse. So I went upstairs got changed and headed for party. Anxiety hit roof walking in but then it soon went. My friend’s were so pleased to see me hugs and respect for facing my problem. Old friends weren’t there so made it easier. One old friend was there and the way he made me feel was amazing he told me how much he respected what I was doing.
Sisters xmas dinner then went great I was only sober one there felt more at ease now been in social company after the party. so was interacting and enjoyed the day / night. People were starting to see that i was in this for real. Oh and The running bug was back I was up at 6:30am xmas day morning to do a 2 mile frosty jog.
Month 8 January – The Blog
It was whilst sitting at home in the 10 day break that I thought I’ll look into writing a blog. The inspiration came from people on oneyearnobeer telling me how I was inspiring them. So I thought well lets see if people off this site can get inspired and join me in sobriety. See when I was looking for inspiration at start I found no-one like me. The bloke from UK that went to pub every night after work and then found sober was better. So thesoberyorkshireman.co.uk was born and I hope I do inspire you. This took up the next two months really as I was finding how to get noticed. This is still a problem I can’t seem to get a following.
Thanks to Joey though I will start updating this more and hopefully you’ll share me out there and get people to realise sober is a better life.
Month 9 Febuary – Dublin and First 10k Of Year
Back in June my boss asked me to celebrate his 50th in Dublin. I was reluctant as thought I would get tempted back to drink. I booked on though at the time with a plan. Remember you need to plan events so you don’t slip up. I booked a different hotel to them on my own planned meet ups with Jarlath my mentor from start remember this meant I wasn’t sat in pub all day with guys. Don’t get me wrong I did do the pubs see my blog and video post How I survived Dublin Sober shows it can be done and in style.
Me and boo did our first solo Cinema trip this month too watched the film Sing. This day will live with me forever. As at one point I turned to look at boo and I caught her chuckling it made me cry I never seen her this happy. Then there was my first race of year Dewsbury 10k. A race I did previous year and finished 5th last in. This year I had built it up and done a plan followed it felt strong in the knees. I went out and smashed the race, ran faster on way in than way out. Did my fastest 10k and felt amazing check the post The Sober Yorkshiremans First Running Event Of Year 2017 February Dewsbury 10k
Month 10 March – Walks and My blog getting recognised.
So I hit double figures for being sober. Was in a really good place from what I remember. I was going all out trying to get this blog up and recognised. Me and boo (daughter) were spending so much quality time together it was really making us bond better than ever. See I had more energy more get up and go. Life was for living now. Remember this month we went for a 5.5mile walk up canal with my mother, brother, his wife and their boy. Boo is 5 she never moaned once about it and the day was brilliant see video on my YouTube page. I also completed the Bradford 10k my second race of the year.
Also this month I was invited by forwardleeds to do a video talk on my recovery. This was after them reading my blog, it was a really positive step for me. As I wrote at beginning I’m not a writer this is just a way to express my journey hence the title. So for someone to ask me to go talk about my journey and how they had helped me get sober I was more than happy to oblige.
Month 11 April – My First Sober Birthday
Well this month was special my birthday month doing it sober was going to be easy. See I had no reason to spoil this by going and getting smashed, plus I didn’t want it. What made this even more special was boo slept over as it was Easter. We went to cinema and Nando’s for lunch. I had one bottle of Erdinger alkoholfrei like I said previous I liked these as a tool to still enjoy a drink. Thing was I’d stopped using them as much, this in fact was my first since Dublin mid February.
I also signed up to Leeds half marathon this month after completing my 3rd 10k in Wakefield. See knees were good training was going superb I’d increased to 8/9 miles on long runs. Getting injured and missing out on Leeds half last year was start of my downfall. A 2.5 month bing before calling rehab mid may 2016 for help. I had to conquer this challenge to prove to myself I could become an amateur athlete, and aim for a marathon.
Then bam – The Black Cloud
Bank holiday weekend hit and I fell into what I wrote about in Coping With Depression Now Im Sober. I just felt so low and didn’t want to do anything. I had two weeks where I couldn’t train or run I just left work and went home sat on sofa or went to bed early. It prompted me to ask for help on OYNB by posting a video. This was a lifeline as all support is on that group. I started one to one counselling with Leah Butler-Smith of enhancedlifenow .This really helped I started practicing daily meditation and keeping a graditude journal.
Then another member suggested I should join this triathlon club near me. I said I liked running but triathlon is above me as I can’t swim a length. She advised me to give just the running a go and then go to the open day on May 13th. So following on from this I went and watched a track run session and talked to a few people. Didn’t commit to anything though as plans were still just running and concentrating on trying to make the half marathon in Leeds.
Month 12 May – Triathlon Club and Leeds Half
Entering my last month before I became an official OYNB plus making last minute plans for my holiday and Leeds half. This was a good month for me felt I’d lifted the black cloud was excited about going away to meet Mark from OYNB. So weekend of Leeds half came and it also was a northern meet up too, a few of us from OYNB meet up for chats. Taking the online support offline these are brilliant. On same day it was also open day for Wakefield Triathlon Club so I headed down first to this. Within minutes of talking to a coach I was in, this was what I needed, a purpose, a family, a social scene. See my social scene went when the alcohol did. All my friends are big drinkers so I made myself a loner this would get me group training and a friend base.
I bought the team hoodie and signed up as a member that evening I was in. I went met the guys from OYNB and then it was home to spend evening with boo. She was sleeping but not coming to watch me race. Morning of race came and I felt good nervous but knew all I needed was to average 10 min/miles and I’d get a good time. Well I got 9:45 splits which gave me a time of 2:07:21 i couldn’t of been happier, my mum was near finish line and it just topped my year of sobriety off. I was now set to have some quality time with boo before I headed off for week in sun.
365 Days OYNB Legend – A Year Of Sobriety
I made it a year of sobriety and I was on a plane to Spain. This past year has been both tough and amazing. emotions of ecstatic highs and deep dark lows. I spent 7 days in Spain met Mark and his family a friend for life right there, plans are in place for next year to go again. Were aiming to do a marathon together hopefully a triathlon too in future. I became a one year no beer legend I’m an ambassador for them mentoring and helping others daily on their site. I did come back from holiday and get the blues again for a few days mate week. That was due to not doing daily meditations and lack of sleep in hotel, once I got back into a routine I was fine.
Summary My Year Of Sobriety – Should You Go Sober
Well if you was like me sitting in a pub every night skint and looking and talking to same people. Not spending quality time with your children (remember you make their memories make them great ones). Instead your clock watching. Going to gym 4 times in a month because you want that beach body next year. Like me still living with parents as you can’t afford a mortgage as all cash goes over bar. Been black sheep of family not invited to family do’s. Forever failing in relationships as drink is number one priority. Not been able to afford an holiday or go on lads trips as skint. Then I would say defiantly yes look at what I have achieved.
I’ve been on a weekend away in Dublin, a week in Spain. Taken my daughter out every weekend not thrown money at her spent quality time and made good memories. I’ve changed my body from a fat beer gut to almost a wash board lean machine. I’ve achieved a goal I never thought I would by running that half marathon and 3 10k’s just first half of this year. I’m saving up for a house deposit. I’ve been welcomed back into family invited to meals out which never happened and gained respect from them all. Especially my youngest brother he hated seeing who I was, a bum and words he sent me on reaching 365 will stay with me forever. Whats next well so far………..
Year Two Of Sobriety – Trainee Amateur Triathlete
I’m starting to conquer the swimming started coaching sessions and got to 2 lengths already. Bought a wetsuit so that when I’m strong enough I can attempt open water swimming. Bought aero wheels for my road bike, I’ve been back out on it in first time for four years. I’ve made a two year plan to attempt an ironman within 2018 I want to do an olympic distance and an half distance ironman. Culminating in 2019 doing the full ironman, but starting ambitiously with doing a sprint triathlon this year 2017. Note I’m a weak swimmer and a sprint is 30 lengths of a pool, but I’m determined and have desire to achieve.
Subscribe and join me on this journey to the new me, as you can see from first year of sobriety I packed alot in. Imagine what year two will bring.