About five years ago, when I was still gigging with my turbo-messy techno punk band Petrol Bastard, we scored a gig at some big freezing-cold warehouse in Liverpool (I think it was Liverpool anyway. Dunno. Was drunk). From hazy memory I recall it being a total washout; maybe ten people in attendance, all rattling around in a room the size of an aircraft hanger. And most of them were probably only there because they were DJs or bar-staff, so in actual fact there were probably only two or three paying punters there, but fuck it – what did I care? We were getting paid, I was wankered on lovely cheap booze and nothing else mattered. Begone, peasants. I’ll make my own fun. It was a standard shit gig for us, which seemed to account for about 70% of all gigs, so nothing exceptional or exciting. Until, that was, I spotted a familiar-looking guy with piercings and a short spiky mohawk, unpacking a load of t-shirts and CDs onto a table by the back wall. Continue reading
I drank my last drink, a huge plastic bottle of cheap French red wine, three years ago. Over the last 1000+ days since then I’ve learned a lot about getting sober, both from my own experiences, and also by squidgy osmosis through other people’s experiences – absorbed from the many books and blogs I’ve read on the subject, and conversations I’ve held with other ex-fuckheads. Continue reading
Any regular SoberPunkers will know that in the absence of booze (three years next weekend! woo!), ice hockey has become a firm favourite for getting my kicks. It’s with this in mind that I’m super happy about today’s news: Michael Fine, one of the new Canadian signings at my local team Milton Keynes Lightning, will be playing all of his away games for the 2018-19 season with SOBERPUNKS emblazoned across his back! I managed to secure sponsorship of his away jersey just this morning, and can’t wait to see him flying our flag at fixtures up and down the country – including against some of the league’s biggest teams like Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, and of course Cardiff Devils. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from one of my readers, a Spanish lady who has proudly reached her six month sobriety milestone after a few false starts. And proud she should be! Those first six months are probably the toughest, but also the most rewarding to get through, with the mad nightmares and beer cravings finally starting to subside, and the fog of a brain battered by perpetual hangovers beginning to lift.
Keen to mark this occasion she asked if she could write a guest blog for SoberPunks, and share her story with all of you fellow sweaty man-babies.
I said NO, but she threatened to come round and kick the fuck out of me – so here it is, completely unedited for full Spanish effect:
A couple of weeks ago I was walking alone around Willen Lake, which is a lovely big lake in Milton Keynes famed for it’s wakeboarding circuit and abundance of swans and geese and other wildlife. The weather was sweltering, and I was looking for a patch of lakeside grass to plonk myself on for an hour or two where I could enjoy the cool breeze off the water, whilst flicking through a knitting mag and listening to some rousing oompah music on my Spotify. Continue reading
When I was a drinker I was liable, occasionally, to be a bit of an animal. I’d think nothing of smashing down a load of beer and shots and then clawing and swearing at the people around me like a loved-up drunken Tasmanian Devil. It was never an anger thing, you understand. I became a hugger and a playfighter. Booze always impassioned me. It made me want to grasp life with gusto, and squeeze it until I could feel the soft bits oozing out between my fingers. It made me want to laugh loudly, eat bloody raw steaks, and get the people I cared about in headlocks. Everything done with fire in the belly, and a fist waving at the sky. A fury and zeal that it’s near on impossible to maintain in sober life, apart from in short controlled bursts (which is a bit of a contradiction really).
It’s now been a month since I had my balls mangled, and everything is pretty much back to normal down there. I’ve got a couple of empty cups at home that need spunking in and emptying into a post box for a doctor to taste (“mmm yes that tastes lovely, and I’m glad to report it’s sperm free”), but that’s not due until September.
The first sobriety milestone most problem drinkers hit is 1 day. Then you hit 1 week, then 1 month, then 100 days, and then the first real biggie is 1 year. After that they lose a bit of meaning as the novelty falls away, and you’re left in a weird sort of booze-free purgatory; a strange coffee-scented realm which exists between the pink clouds of your new exciting sobriety, and your inevitable grey, sober, lonely DEATH. Slowly it dawns on you; the acceptance that this is your life now. I’ve got no facts or figures to back it up (fuck pie charts and proper research, right?) but I’d imagine this 1 year mark to be the point at which a lot of people start jumping off the wagon.
Not many males, at least according to my Facebook feed at the weekend, are fans of Royal weddings. Some blokes, unhappy with the option of simply not watching the wedding of Harry and Meghan, have even gone out of their way to prove how anti-Royal-wedding they are. Banners have gone up, and anti-Royal rants have been scatter-gunned across social media, and that’s all fine. I know there are politics involved here, what with the spending of taxpayers money versus the tourism trade the Royals bring in. It’s not a debate I want to get into, or care enough about to discuss, but it’s one that rages on nonetheless. So, given my general disinterest in the whole thing, I was quite happy with the idea that I might have it on the telly in the background, but would also gladly miss the entire thing pending motivation to hit the climbing wall, or go shopping, or grind through some more matches on NHL 18 on my dusty PS4. Continue reading
A sudden sharp intake of breath.
Oh God! Oh fucking God! What is this? Where am I?
Light dapples through the darkness, turning into thick, white, distorted lazer beams as the rays are captured and bent and twisted by my mangled eyelashes and my thick, crusty eye-goop.
I roll over and push my face down into the pillow. Force myself back towards the warm world of sleep, and dreams about exotic sports cars, and roller coasters built in strangely familiar places, and sex with fat women. Anything to avoid having to think about what awaits me beyond these eyelids. If only they could be locked down and used to keep the outside world away – like a couple of sturdy rusted portcullises; keeping me merrily oblivious to the land outside of this fogged, befuddled head. I consider, for a second, that that may be the experience of coma sufferers. Cut off from everything in front of the eyes, and left floating in a strange galaxy of dreams, limited only by the imagination of the vegetative party. Continue reading