Watch it

I wasn’t planning to post today as nothing much happened. Sunday has been chilled and mostly for cooking, washing up and the occasional video game. It’s been a day of relaxation.

This would likely have been the only paragraph in my blog if I hadn’t been pointed toward something on television by a friend from work.

‘Are u watching BBC2 now?’ The text said.

‘No.’ I replied ‘Why?’

‘Watch it’ came the quick reply. ‘It will be interesting’.

My colleague has been incredibly supportive of everything I’ve done over the last few months, and over the years has proved time and again that he thinks about my well being as much I as I think of his.

I stopped what I was doing and turned on the TV. The programme in question turned out to be a BBC2 Louis Theroux documentary called ‘Drinking to oblivion’.

(apologies if you’re outside the UK – I doubt the link will work)

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 23.20.44

From a personal perspective it’s a pretty disturbing documentary to watch, and I know for most people the title alone will turn them away. However – If (like me) you have used alcohol (or any kind of drug) to manage your moods before it became something that was more than just a passing phase and if (like I did) you want to change this aspect of yourself I would urge you to watch it.

Even if you don’t feel the way I did or do what I did I would suggest its worth a look. I think we all need to understand that labels applied to people in such crisis are incredibly reductive. There is so much more to each and every one of them than just ‘addicts’, and they are as nuanced as any of us.

That’s one of the good things about a Louis Theroux programme. He almost always manages (although maybe not quite with Jimmy Saville) to humanise the very people that we wouldn’t normally consider as ‘like us’.

Sure, the individuals in the programme may appear as warped versions of what we would consider normal when they’re drunk, but the segments when they are sober, and in recovery show just how much like us these people are, and what they CAN be. NOT what they currently are.

By the end of tomorrow it will be three months since I last had anything to drink.

On the outside my life hasn’t massively changed. I still go to work, I still sleep, eat, breathe, and want a dog but on the inside I feel immensely different.

Before I stopped I felt that oblivion was preferable to feeling – that there was no other way but to bury uncomfortable thoughts and moods under layers of food and alcohol.

I have my good days and my bad days, but when I look back I realise that the good ones started to equal the bad shortly after I stopped pouring wine into my glass.

Then they slowly began to overtake the bad ones when I sought help and started looking at the underlying issues.

They now vastly outnumber the bad ones and are a conquering force.

Even the ‘bad’ ones aren’t what they used to be, thanks to some of the insights I’ve had from the program I attended and the people I met.

I do sometimes fear a return to old thinking though, and although I do feel strong now I hope that if I ever forget who I was and what I was doing to myself back then that people will gently remind me and not stop doing so until I listen.

Anyway – I’m doing well and I’m happy. Very importantly I go to bed tonight knowing that people care about me, which is a warmer feeling than any duvet can provide.

Love and abstinence internet, I hope you like the documentary.


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