Fighting Through The Down Days

Fighting Through The Down Days

I’ve been struggling to put anything down on paper of late as my moods haven’t been all that great to be honest. I was starting to believe the nonsense in my head that no one was interested in my journey and that there was no one else I could help. In your head is generally a dangerous place to be sometimes, I used to convince myself that everything going on in there was true and that was often when I would turn to drink. The harsh reality used to be that alcohol would solve everything, but no matter what it did for me in that moment, those feelings from before would only return ten times worse. I decided it was time to get my backside back in gear and start doing the things that make me happy again .

I know I am not in a great head space when the thought of a drink becomes exciting again which is exactly what happened a month ago and I’ll tell you what, it gave me one hell of a fright. I was asked to go along to a seminar and talk for 45 minutes on my alcohol days as well as my recovery days, it all came about from someone reading the blog actually. I went along and absolutely loved it, I came away from it feeling absolutely rejuvenated and buzzing to go again.

Being in a good place mentally for a long period of time now has been incredible, but for me I kind of know that it’s not going to last unless I keep fighting through and progressing in the way that I have been for the past three years. Recently, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to be upbeat and positive. I was getting myself into a bit of a mess trying to work out why I wasn’t feeling great and after about two months of this, I worked out that I was making myself ill with worrying that I wasn’t OK. I was quite literally worrying about why I was worried – how mad is that? I realised that I had become very impatient (Mrs W will confirm this) and very indecisive and for the first time in two years the thought of a drink entered my head. Those words had returned, “it wasn’t that bad” and “one drink will not harm anyone”. Now if you have read my blog you will realise that it was that bad and that I can’t just have one, I’ve never just had one drink in my life. When I get low, my head can very easily wander and come up with some very strange ideas. Thankfully, I’ve been reminded of two passions that have changed everything – writing and fitness.

The point in sharing these tips is to show that no matter how well you’re doing, or how well you think you’re doing, EVERYONE can be susceptible to a setback. I’ve started going out with a good friend for a walk every week for an hour or so and we just talk and generally fix all of the world’s problems in that time. Our football team generally gets a hammering as well. I wake up in the morning and I feel better, so again, the power of talking can never be under-estimated – even if it doesn’t always make sense.

A few people have been telling me how stressed they are and how they struggle to switch off, so I’ve been telling them of the benefits of meditation. I realised though I’d been telling people how good it was and yet hadn’t done it for months so back to meditating I went and surprise surprise, I’m already feeling the benefits.

I’ve also signed up with a Personal Trainer so that I can get as fit as I possible my BIG birthday this year. Working and talking with him has really opened up my eyes up to another character flaw which has gotten slightly out of control – body dysmorphia. I’m constantly worried by the way I look and have been driving Mrs W round the bend with my constant “I look terrible” and “I really am fat.” I spoke with another good friend with regards to this and he felt exactly the same. I really think more men feel like this than I first realised but are just too afraid to admit because it’s just not a very manly thing to do. When I was drinking, I really hated myself because of the lies I told, the stealing I did and generally just acting like an idiot. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror at that time, but now I am looking in the mirror too much haha. I need to find that middle ground, look in the mirror, be proud of what you’ve achieved but STOP judging yourself. It’s all a work in progress.

I need to listen to myself more when I say “its OK, not to be OK” and to stop taking everything so seriously. Four years ago I was cutting my head with brand new Stanley blades and now I am beating myself up just because I am not feeling on top of the world. When I look at it like that, I realise I am doing just fine and this journey of addiction is never ever going to be an easy ride.

Lastly, I’ve begun working on a new project called ‘Have a Heart for the Homeless’ which will be great for me to get out there and try and make a difference. I chose to stay out on the streets some nights so that I wouldn’t get caught drinking and so that I could get to the pub first thing in the morning. However, most of the people on the streets have no choice but to be there and so myself and some friends have decided that we are going to have survival bags made up with the help of donations which we will the distribute throughout Glasgow. We’re not going to change anyone’s life, but hopefully we can make it that little bit easier.

Everything is going in the right direction again and long may it continue, I guess sometimes you need to give yourself a little reminder of just how far you’ve come.

Onwards and upwards.

G

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15 Comments

  1. March 13, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Inspiring post, Graham! Remember, for all the readers you are aware of helping there are just as many silent readers who connect with your message. Many of whom are in various stages of recovery. I’m glad I found your blog. Into my fourth month of sobriety I am muddling around trying to figure out what is next for me. You are a great example of someone who is living “in the solution” and reaching out to help others in more ways than one! Bravo to you and please keep on blogging 🙂

    • March 13, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      Thank you so much,I am so happy you took time to comment it means a lot,4months sober is amazing I hope by reading my blog you try not make the same mistakes as me, keep doing what your doing

      • March 13, 2017 / 11:00 pm

        Thanks for the follow! A great way to introduce me to your awesome blog 🙂

  2. Alicia
    March 13, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. Just you remember how far you have come and the people who love and support you. Xxx

    • March 13, 2017 / 10:47 pm

      Thank you, my head is a dangerous place to go on my own so that’s where the blogging comes in, thanks again for commenting

      • March 13, 2017 / 11:52 pm

        I understand. I am in recovery too. When we write things out we get to see things more clearly including where our thinking is mixed up. 🙂

  3. March 14, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    I hope your mood lifts once more for you reading your blogs gives me hope and helps me understand my son a bit better, he has not yet got back onto the recovery road and is not in the best of places, I feel helpless with the whole situation and so disheartened praying and hoping he can come out the other side of things, I guess I have spent so long trying to fix his life that it is not within my power and he has to fix it. It has been hard for me to grasp this road of destruction he is on and I am simply at a loss as to what can be done, hope you have a good week and you realise your journey does help loved ones and those struggling to over come addiction in life

    • March 14, 2017 / 2:19 pm

      Thanks for commenting, one of the hardest things I still have to deal with is my guilt for the pain and hurt I put my family through but you have to believe when I tell you that your son will not want to hurt you but sometimes you can’t deal with the pain of getting sober so take the easy way which is drink or drug, I pray he gets and more importantly wants help very soon because he needs to want it for him and nobody else, if you ever have any questions I am more than happy to be honest with you, take care G

  4. March 16, 2017 / 1:40 am

    Great post! I’m glad you wrote it. I too suffer from too much head time. It doesn’t take much for me to start telling myself the same kinds of things. You head can indeed be a bad place to hang out. I glad you are able to come here and share. It is really helpful. To you and to others. And your charity sounds like a marvelous way to give. I’ve found doing something you feel is useful and important is really good for the ego, and quiets your brain. Doing good things make us feel good. Keep it up!

    • March 16, 2017 / 6:40 am

      Thanks for your comment, it’s unbelievable sometimes the way I try to convince myself in my head that everything is great and just smile through it rather than chatting with a friend. I am really looking forward to the charity and giving something back, hope you have a great day

  5. Alan
    May 11, 2017 / 7:28 am

    Graham

    As with other replies you will get 1 comment for evey 100 people who read and are impacted. Your twitter post today made me return to your blog. It’s powerful stuff. Raw, honest and emotional.

    I salute you and you’ve got my support even though we’ve never met.

  6. May 17, 2017 / 10:14 am

    What a joy to find sooneme else who thinks this way.

    • May 17, 2017 / 10:21 am

      I was able to move on when I realised that other people thought the same things I was

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