I got so depressed and ill a few years ago that I began medicating with alcohol, proper binge drinking, heavy consumption to a point that my mental health was deteriorating further.
Vicious circle – felt low, drank; felt temporarily better, drank more; ended up severely depressed and even suicidal.
That stop button disappeared and I drank more and more until practically comatose.
What a piss poor role model for my two children eh?
Today though marks 14 months dry.
I packed in permanently on 19th December 2016 and haven’t touched a drop since.
Sobriety has saved my mind, my family life and my marriage. It does feels odd to admit that a pleasant habit of drinking wine or cider or gin or gluten free beer had tipped over into habitual addiction, but it did and after seeking support and talking about my issues with the recent past in education in Norfolk, I saw the light and went permanently teetotal or “Ich bin abstinent” as I said last week in Berlin when offered a free shot after a meal.
I know too that I won’t ever drink again because since that date, rather marvellous recoveries have taken place with my freelance career and my mental and physical health.
Don’t get me wrong – I still have moments where I feel low, where I feel like banging on the closed classroom door that was barred to me, where I want to pick the scab of the past – but being permanently sober keeps me in control.
In control of emotions, thoughts and feelings – and allows me to see clearly a better future ahead.
I’d say, and others may disagree, but it’s worked for me, that if you’re suffering from mental health issues as a man or a woman, stop drinking.
If depression is rearing its head or anxieties and stress are getting the better of you, bin the booze.
Spend the money on something healthier like a gym membership or a rescue dog (I have) and admit that you’re better off, mentally and physically, without alcohol.
I won’t touch drink again ever.
I’m happier now than ever, personally and professionally.