As you may have guessed I’m a massive football fan, but during the recovery process my love of the beautiful game was forced to take a bit of a backseat. Football provides a lot of temptation to drink, before and after attending a game or even just drinking all day as you watch it in the pub. I was, however, very lucky to now be surrounded by the guys from FFIT who gave me enough support to return to football without drinking and trust me being a Partick Thistle fan is enough to turn anyone to drink!
Going to football felt like being back where I belonged and there are a couple of games in particular which really stick out in my mind. The reason these games stand out is because of the times people helped me out enormously but were completely oblivious to it. Thistle were playing Aberdeen at Home, I’d met up with Andy M and simply watched and very much enjoyed the game – end of story. This might not sound like a big deal to the majority of readers, but this was the first time in as long as I could remember that I’d lasted a full ninety minutes so to speak. The norm for me was to sneak off at half-time because I needed a drink. He was just doing what every football fan and what every friend would do, but I can’t thank Andy enough for the confidence he gave me to not just be there but feel comfortable being there.
Another game which stands out was an Away game at Dundee United. I’d travelled up with Raymond S having a great chat along the way, when we arrived he went off to fulfil his commentary duties whilst I took my seat in the stand by myself. Again I really enjoyed the game, the only problem was that it had been warm in Glasgow and so I was wearing shorts, but Dundee was another story. At half-time a nice little upbeat dance tune came on over the speakers and I took it upon myself to get up and rather embarrassingly ‘flex the knees’ a bit to warm myself up. I was finally there when I heard my name being called along with an eruption of laughter, I turned around to find my FFIT team-mates Bob, Gav and Alan H filming my questionable dance moves. The clip was soon posted on our Watsapp group for all the team to see. A joke at my expense, but a funny one at that. Believe it or not being ribbed by these guys meant more to me that they’ll ever know. Why? Because it reaffirmed my status as being just one of the guys, I didn’t need alcohol to make friends I was just being me dancing in my shorts, I felt accepted.
My confidence then started to build and build and a while later I then went on a golf trip with Craig L, Maxy and David C, we met at Firhill and were heading up North to play at Castle Stuart golf course. We played a round and then had some dinner before staying overnight and the following day we all went to see Partick Thistle narrowly miss out on reaching the top 6 of the Scottish Premiership. The entire trip was fantastic and it was the first time I had been away on a trip whilst sober and I was proud to still be sober come the end. I sat with the guys for a while whilst they had a few drinks, but I have a strict rule that I’m out of there after the first hug and declaration of love – it was also nice to be the only one without a hangover in the morning!
Again, I know these things may seem a bit trivial to some, but when there was once a time that addiction made you want to kill yourself, these people and these moments, all become more and more like miracles.
Have a great week,