Becoming abstinent from alcohol for such a long period of time. What’s my next direction?

Well St Patrick’s Day today marks the 602nd day in which I have been alcohol free. This makes me 60.2% towards my target (1,000 days for those slow at math!) which will be completed on April 19th 2020.


The start was hard, I remember I had to keep telling myself that I was not ‘allowed’ to drink and that I did not need it, this was all because my body had made it habitual during the last 14-15 years of drinking. After 3-4 weeks, it all of a sudden became ‘the norm’ and I just started to subconsciously refuse alcohol, almost like someone was offering me something which was so detrimental to my health that I completely ignored it.

Day by day, week by week and month by month has gone past where I have had birthday parties, Christmas dinners, new years eve parties, gatherings of friends and pretty much every other event you can think of where I have just remained as cool as you like and have felt so proud of myself when some has offered me a drink, I replied with

“No thanks, I’m t-total, today is XXX amount of days”

… the inevitable congratulatory comments following my proud personal statement are always something which has, does and will always mean a lot to me, even if I was to start drinking again tomorrow (no chance in hell!) I feel like I have come so far (and I have!) and everyday from now is just more and more icing on my huge fat imaginary cake that I have baked myself going so strong for such a long period of time.

 

 

Existence.

Why are we here? Surely we must have been created and we’re not just a result from a mere coincidence?

I’ve always been fascinated with what happens when we die, how did we feel before we were born or even what would it be like to not exist after spending time ‘existing’?


Where is the explanation? Why can’t any one of the 7.2 billion people on this planet find out the answer to just 1 simple question?


If we’ve been created why can’t we find this answer from our creator?

Sporadic feelings of questioning my own existence, not feeling content & thoughts about our creation have given me the minerals to publicly write this post.

It’s come to my attention that as far back as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever been ‘content’ with life. I’ve always felt like there was and now is something missing. I feel like I am trying to complete a puzzle or jigsaw and a vital, the last remaining piece, is missing.

Where are you?

What is it?

Where is it?

How can I obtain it?

To drink, or not to drink..? That is the question!

The past few weeks I have been feeling more and more like drinking. I don’t know why. After 559 days sober (1 year, 6.5 months) and with only 171 days to go until I reach my 2 years mark, would it all be worth it? Is the alcoholic grass really greener on the other inevitably sick-filled side?!

Do I really need to drink? Does anybody really need to drink?

I guess one reason might be that I feel I am getting better (one lives in hope!) so I’m feeling more and more like normal. I know for certain I won’t be going back to the Sam who can’t control his drink, because I just don’t want to suffer from an awful hangover again…

Actually, I’m changing my mind. Even contemplating thinking about the thought of a banging head in the morning is already making me feel sick.

 

171 days to go!

Vicious circle of eating.

For me, personally, it’s not easy to eat ‘clean’ or ‘healthy’ or whatever you want to call it. I have these moments and bursts of energy when I have the idea what I feel like exercising like mad for 2-3 weeks and eating super-healthy, which I do actually do, but much like an old carpet, it fades; I end up bingeing on rubbish, fatty, sugary foods and ultimately it leads me to feel down and not like my usual self.

My new little challenge is to figure out what is the cause of this. If I can trace it to the root of them problem then I can remove the so-called ‘root’ and stop these ideas planting and growing inside my head. I guess a lot of us do ‘comfort eat’ but we do this subconsciously. All of a sudden, 6-12 months down the line, post-stressed traumatic/event, we find ourselves a stone heavier and more lethargic looking than a sloth on Valium.


” I really want a McDonalds later; make it large, with a full-fat Coke and loads of BBQ sauce.”


I have lost count of the times I have said this to myself in the past when I have been feeling a little down. It’s something I love to eat, so I would have an idea in the daytime to make this my evening meal on that night, the craving would become so bad that I drive there after straight after work and gorge on something which I know wasn’t good for me, all because I have been stressed out at work and it’s a great comfort food for me.

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A fun-loving acquaintance meeting curry evening on Friday night prompted the typing out of this blog. I had the usual: Chicken Sagwala (spinach), Peshwari Naan (coconut) and 2 pints of Coke. When I think about it now that sounds awful. All that fat, sugar, carbohydrates and grease in one sitting. It didn’t help that I stuffed myself and finished the lot. *types bloated after eating roast dinner followed by cheesecake* 

I’ve felt ill these last 2 days and believe it was a direct result of the Ruby from Friday. Just as a gentle reminder to those with delicate stomachs (apparently like mine), the meal was from The Shiraz at the top of the Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury – Delicious, but I’ve never felt these effects before; stomach cramps, sickness and feeling lethargic. The conversations were brilliant and so too was the meal, at the time, but if I suffer any longer from a dodgy-feeling gurgling stomach then it will be stepping into the realms of PTSD.

I want to eat healthy, I really do, and I want to exercise, but something is stopping me. A couple of flippant remarks have come my way when talking to people about this:


“If you want to stop then stop. Just stop eating rubbish. It’s not hard, I can do it.”


Well if it was that easy then I wouldn’t be writing this blog, would I?!

What have I learned recently from Life Explored? Different people attend the course on a weekly basis, some are more frequent that others, and I am sure everyone will take away something different from each session. Week taught me something valuable.


“The only person holding me back is me.”


 

Life Explored.

A new course, a new year. Life Explored is a continuation of the all-so-popular Alpha sessions which we finished a little before Christmas.

With 7 weekly meetings, LE has already got me hooked on the insight into the Christian world of what, who, how, where and why? The ‘man’ himself, God, has been the focus of tonight’s session and has had us all thinking about what he is telling to us / trying to communicate to us on a daily basis.

For those of you who know me, this is not my usual blogging theme, and you may think I have gone a little crazy, but these courses have really made an impact on my thoughts ever since the first Alpha course started back in October. It really made me look at my life and I was amazed how I take so many things for granted.

Alpha was so powerful over the 8-9 weeks we attended because it gave an insight into so many different people’s lives; everyone’s opinion was stated on a range of different topics and it was inspiring and empowering to hear. References were often read out from the Bible and it was great to hear that everyone could relate to this in one way or another.

Tonight’s first LE for me was more vocal than normal. I gave opinions on different questions that were asked (focusing on and around God) but related them to my life. It made me think of something which I believe is true for every single person in the World, the condition being it’s how much each individual wants it:


“A path has been created for each and every one of us, but we as people have to walk it ourselves to find out what we are destined for in life. We are restricted by our own self-belief, if we fail, or don’t achieve something, we only have ourselves to blame, nobody else.”


This is maybe a more refined version of the old cliché, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead’. The message is still the same, but in my own words and not as cheesy!

I am not a practicing Christian by any means, and nor am I a regular church goer, I just believe what I want to. For those who are reading this and are wondering what or who created us here on Earth, if you are like me think ‘How can God be real?’ – Just ask yourself:


“How did we get here? How can we explain infinite space? What happens when we die?”


These are a couple of the topics we touched on briefly tonight, and they are incredibly fascinating but frustrating for me, I guess there is a lot of us in the same giant boat on this one!

So, all-in-all, a very enjoyable evening and it was nice to see some of the same faces as we saw in the Alpha course. Onto the next one and I’ve already made a start on being a man of my word and not procrastinating as Emily quite rightly pointed out tonight!

One of my hidden passions i am fairly certain has been becoming bilingual so I have signed up to Spanish classes online and have set myself learning goals!

Hasta la vista!

Tonight’s post is dedicated to a very loving, loyal and special family member. ‘Lucky’, or ‘Lookey’, depending on your pronunciation, sadly left us on Monday, after a short and sudden illness. Rest in peace Mr Vamos. You will be missed, greatly.