Seeing the fruits of my labour in print and in colour was one of the most amazing days of my life.In my hands was a shiny book with a story I had created for a need to have a better representation of the lives of disabled people but also I needed to prove to myself I was capable of being creative again .At this point I didn’t care if I only ever sold one copy, the fact I had a novel written with my name on the cover was quite simply the biggest achievement I had made in years. Gradually word got out about it, and by knowing a few key people with influence I managed to get a couple of really positive reviews and interest in my work.I realised that I had to change my way of thinking and projecting myself in social media and became a little less open, and more professional. I was heavily influenced at this point by other well known authors who seemed to be enjoying great success and exposure. I began to emulate the things they did to promote themselves. I started by creating a new Facebook page for my professional work and I started to record video blogs tackling issues raised in my book and gave examples of actual events that happened to me relating to some of the content.At the same time this was happening I was spending time with some people I was heavily influenced by for all the wrong reasons, being with them usually meant drinking heavily this I now know was to project a happy sociable likeable individual regardless of my insecurities inside, sadly though the person who came out from me was an emotional mess.I was unhappy and very vulnerable and even though I knew at the time my behaviour was unacceptable I felt out of control and unable to stop this pattern.Just around the corner from this vicious cyclone there was a light that came from nowhere which would change everything for the better. It turned out a friend of mine who was reviewing my book had suggested to someone they should get it and I received a message on Facebook asking for details for buying the book. I messaged back with enthusiasm as I was feeling so much confidence about how sales were going it felt that in my professional life at least things were going well. This person and I began to message daily and strike up a friendship it was clear she was attracted to me but I resisted.I was only a couple of months out of another failed relationship where I had been left feeling worthless and used, I was in no fit state to begin something new with anyone. In my head from that point on I was focused on my career, nothing more.During the following few weeks we began to increase our contact and found we had a strong bond lots in common and easy to talk to for hours.For some reason I didn’t feel the need to be someone else, I could 100% be me. I began to feel like I had finally met someone who understood everything about me the fact I began to find her attractive was out of the blue but I decided to be open and see if anything would develop.I began to check my phone regular for texts or missed Skype calls. By now I knew how she felt about me I was reluctant to let her in as I felt I was in a bad place but Cupid fired his arrow and that was that. Would this have a happy ending or like so manny other relationships before will I mess it up, be too difficult to live with or will I finally find my forever love. I could work out why anyone would want to be with someone so messed up as I was but she wasn’t taking no for an answer and I don’t mind admitting I enjoyed the attention, what will be will be .
A rocky road to start
The love I got from my new partner was like nothing I had received before pretty soon it felt like we had known each other forever.But there was a huge elephant in the room which was a constant source of arguments,alcohol!!,. This addiction had got hold of me so bad I couldn’t go out without causing a scene and upset for us both. We had a massive row one night and our entire relationship was on the line, I knew I was in the wrong but felt helpless when trying to figure out how to change but I wanted to by this point. I really wanted this relationship to work and I was prepared to really focus and find a way to stop. Very shortly after we both became volunteers for a mental health foundation and I began to research the work of two of the ambassadors Nick and Eva Speakman. I had seen various segments they did on This Morning so was aware of their work.During my research I came across a video online. It was the two of them at a university giving a lecture/ interview about their techniques and in particular how they treated one of the many celebrities on their CV. I was overwhelmed by the story which unfolded and by the similarities between my own experiences and the person being spoken about.I began to recognise that some of my baviour was exactly like they were describing and I recognised personal events which had happened to her where also very similar to my own history. All of a sudden I realised exactly what was happening and all the reasons why I had spent many years behaving this way. It was such a powerful Moment for me such a huge relief to be able to join the dots so to speak. I instantly knew the first couple of things I needed to do, a, stop drinking,b, finish my greaving process I hadn’t had the right opportunity to grieve for my dad 24 years before this day but FINALLY I believed I had found the route to everything and I had finally found in Natalie someone prepared to stand by me and help me through what was bound to be a very bumpy journey ahead. I knew facing deep painful emotions and reliving memories was going to be some of the hardest things to ever go through but if I was to truly be happy I knew I HAD to do it the time had come the time was right and I was ready.
365 days the hardest mountain I had to climb
As I sit here today I am happy to be celebrating one year sober, that’s 365 since I was last heavily under the influence of alcohol. I have drank the occasional one drink at a meal, but I can honestly say now that I don’t even like alcohol any longer or the way it makes me feel. I have found alternative alcohol free drinks I can enjoy in social situations and I am already feeling the physical benefits.My story about my mental health does definitely not end here far from it but today marks a very special landmark for me that I HAD to write about. What followed next opened up a whole messy can of worms…..To Be Continued………..