The recovery process at times can be one of the most unpleasant experiences life has to offer, but it is also one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me – along with meeting my very patient wife of course. The people I have met along the way have become lifelong friends, friends who knew my deepest, darkest secrets and never once passed judgement. One of the biggest things I learnt along the way was the ability to pick up the phone and ask for help and over time I learnt to pick up the phone and help others too.
The process of recovery, however, is never quite as straightforward as you’d like it to be. On a holiday to Mexico I faced one of my biggest challenges. After ordering a Sprite I was served a Vodka and Sprite and anyone who has been to Mexico will know that this is mostly Vodka. I took one big gulp and realised immediately what had happened. The taste made me feel physically sick, but what affected me most was the mental aspect of what had just happened. I felt like I had blown my sobriety after all that hard work and was overwhelmed with flashbacks reminding of all the previous holidays I had ruined. This was supposed to be the new me and suddenly a simple misunderstanding had compromised everything – I panicked. I genuinely believed my whole life was about to go into free fall again, all from that one gulp. I quickly made a call to my usual support network who put me in touch with a gentleman from San Francisco who was visiting nearby. I told him what had happened and he explained that the same thing had happened to him once before. It felt amazing to talk to someone, it seemed like a miracle to have found that support such a long way from home. I’ve never forgotten that day.
After a year of no drinking I very quickly realised that I was substituting alcohol for food, which I’d been warned was fairly commonplace. After growing tired of piling on the pounds I signed up to the Partick Thistle FFit Program. I joined just to get fit and lose weight but I gained more from it than I ever imagined I would. Whilst participating I realised that I had very little confidence or faith in myself. I had given up drinking but in truth I still didn’t really like myself, the memory of the things I’d done were perhaps still too fresh. The guys on the program, however, were fantastic with me. The two Andys, Craig, Greg etc they were amazing and helped me grow to like myself again. I also joined the FFIT football team where I made even more friends who I still play with to this day. Overall the program was invaluable, I rediscovered the ability to make friends whilst being sober – something I hadn’t experienced for a very long time.
Oh and I lost 15 kgs – needless to say the wife was pleased.