I’m still not getting the chance to update the blog as often as I’d like, but I spotted this news item and couldn’t not share:
Joe’s story resonated with me massively, because Louis Theroux’s ‘Drinking To Oblivion’ documentary – which introduced us to Joe and his heartbreaking story – hit our tellies when I was just a few months into my own attempt to quit the drink.
I’m not an anti-booze warrior by any means (how could I be? I goddamn love drinking! [this is the problem]) but I do hope Joe’s story helps a few people out. It’s this kind of success story that can give hope to anyone struggling with the drink, and mobilize them into taking the first step to getting dry. Proof before your very eyes.
At my stage, a year and a bit sober, it would be cool to get the chance to sit down and talk to someone like Joe – compare notes on that first year. His problem was heavyweight compared to mine, so I imagine the small revelation that I had will equate to a full-scale epiphany in his world. Lazer-dinosaur-robot-Jesus type shit. Angels shredding to Slayer.
The biggest question I’d probably want to ask Joe, or anyone else who’s recently shared this 1-year sober anniversary, is WHAT NOW?
After 1 year sober, you have probably experienced a lot of sober firsts. My memorable ones included:
- First sober birthday
- First sober Xmas
- First sober new year
- First sober gig
- First sober recording session
- First sober family wedding
- First sober night out for a mate’s birthday
- First sober motorway driving
- First sober holiday
- First sober works do
(Motorway one was just jokes bruv…)
Once you start doing these things for the 2nd and 3rd time, the novelty has gone. I think this is a double edged sword:
- On the positive side – you have done a full loop! You have successfully integrated back in to society. People have replaced the memory of you attacking people at a family wedding, with the memory of you not attacking people at a family wedding. This is a great thing.
- On the negative side – you have won, so you take your eye off the prize. This is easy, the challenge has gone, and you’ve realised that this is for life. Surely if it’s this easy for me, then I probably don’t have that big a problem – right? I was probably just over-reacting to the whole thing – there was no need to stop. I’ve proved I can control this thing. I can stop whenever I want. Fuck it, I’ll have a beer with everyone. I’m only being sociable, and everyone else is doing it. BLAM! You wake up in a bush outside your ex’s house, with no trousers on, and the whole debacle begins again.
So, what now Joe Walker? How can we seal this motherfucker in concrete? I can’t speak for Joe, or anyone else, but I think there’s 2 things most people would agree on:
- Support others. I’ve written about this before, and it’s the best way I can think of to ensure you don’t revert to old habits. If people rely on you then you have a responsibility to them, and that in itself should be enough to keep you on the straight and narrow. It’s the reason I started this blog, but I’d like to take it a step further – maybe see if I can do some voluntary work to help other people who struggle with the booze. From what I’ve read – Joe Walker is already all over this. What a dude.
- Keep on pushing yourself and challenging yourself. It’s only when life gets stale that we start looking to old habits for boredom relief. Take some of that cash that you used to spend on booze, and spunk it on an adventure. Jump out of a plane, form a band, learn a language… It’s probably a massive cliche, but it’s these things that make life worth living.
I’m starting to sound like one of those people who post motivational quotes on Facebook, over pictures of rainbows and waterfalls. I’ll stop.
I don’t have Twitter, but if anyone reading this does then I’d appreciate if you can drop Joe Walker a link to my blog. His thingy is: https://twitter.com/joedwalker
Peace out Mother Hubbards.
*UPDATE* My mate Seaweed shared this blog with Joe Walker. Below is his response. Awesome!