Things I’ve noticed about sobriety

1) I actually like myself

I know what you’re thinking. We should all love ourselves and be grateful for everything we have in our lives. The truth is alcohol took that away from me. I hated my very existence, I hated waking up, I hated having to talk to people, I hated myself.

2) I really love my family

Have you ever noticed how irritating kids can be when you’re hungover? I have two daughters, they both love me very much, in fact, they idolize me. How do I know this? They tell me everyday without fail. When I was hungover I used to find this annoying, I didn’t want to hug, answer questions or communicate in anyway, other than a grunt. Now I am truly grateful for the wife and kids who stood by me during my lowest point.

3) I’m more confident

My friends used to think I was bubbly, confident and outgoing. They only saw me when I was drinking. To them I was the life of the party, full of witty comments and comical tales. They never saw the real me, the guy who would walk the other way in a supermarket to avoid conversation, the guy who would avoid eye contact with strangers, the guy who would lie in bed for 2–3 days nursing the huge hangover. Now I’m turning in to a sort of Cinderella figure, up extra early, walking the dog while the birds sing and the sunshines. I can hold idol chit chat with friends now, speak to strangers and I no longer avoid awkward situations. I now embrace all of these mundane things with glee.

4) I neglected my health

At my heaviest I was 18 stone (252 pounds, 114.5 kgs). I am slowly but surely returning to a normal weight range. The years of hard drinking, drug taking and curry eating have been harsh. I find myself left to cope with hypothyroidism, ulcerative colitis, metabolic syndrome and acute depression. Not to mention the grotesque affects it had on my body. I’m now on medication for the rest of my life. Some of these ailments are curable through diet and exercise and believe me, I intend to cure them.

5) Anything is possible

Now that my brain fog is lifted, I see the world clearly. As well as writing this blog, I intend to keep mood and food diaries. I have a lot of stories to tell and a lot of sage advice to give. I have started to take time for hypnotherapy (stay with me, I’m not crazy) twice a day I listen and relax, I’ve found it enormously liberating and helpful. Just to be still and allow my thoughts to drift is something I never thought possible, previously my thoughts turned to drink or suicide on occasion.

Today is a new day, anything is possible. Take pride in yourself and respect your body and mind.