Milestones & Mutations

In my day-to-day job I’m a Project Manager for a technology company, so planning is pretty much my bread and butter – and most proper plans will have key milestones along the way to mark the completion of significant tasks or events. Don’t worry, this blog isn’t gunna be about Project Management methodologies or whatever. There’s a tenuous link to boozing…

When I decided to stop drinking, 15+ months ago, I knew that there were some key milestones I wanted to hit – such as 6 months sober, 1 year sober, first sober Xmas, etc. and it’s always a cool feeling to hit a milestone. It gives you a proper sense of achievement, and allows a bit of reflection on just how far you’ve come. I like to celebrate too – me and the missus celebrated 1 year sober with a day out eating posh food in London. I also marked the occasion by starting this here blog.

Hitting milestones is all good, but now when I look back at old photos on Facebook, and I remember the way I used to act, I genuinely don’t recognise myself. I’ve mutated into some kind of decent, healthy person (wtf bro?). This wasn’t in the plan! I’ve hit milestones that were never in the plan!

Remember in Robocop (the 80’s original of course dude) – there was that bad guy who crashed his van into a huge thing of acid and came out all deformed, and then the car knocked his head off? That’s like me – but instead of acid it was special happy-water that doesn’t melt your face. I’ve mutated into someone that I never thought I would be, and in all honesty the drunk me would have probably thought the new me is a bit of a wanker.

Proof Michael Jackson isn't dead

Me after stopping drinking

This thought-process started at the weekend. I was at a gig in London and I saw a few mates that I’ve not seen for awhile. A few people commented how well I was looking, and that I’ve lost weight. On reflection – I reckon I got pretty chubby on the booze. Chubbier than I’d realised. Being told I’ve lost weight felt like an unplanned achievement, and so I got thinking about the other stuff that the new Robocop melty-face wanker version of me has achieved. Writing blogs, volunteering to help people with booze issues, I completed a 10k assault course the other day (Rock Solid) and I’ve already started training for my first half-marathon. I’m getting married. I enjoy cooking. I sometimes take the bins out. What the FUCK has happened to me?

I don’t know if I grew up because I quit the booze, or if I quit the booze because I grew up… What I do know, though, is that I’m now the happiest, healthiest, and most confident person I’ve ever been. I still get pissed off sometimes, and occasionally I want to jack it all in and run away and live in a cave, but on the whole life is immeasurably better than it’s ever been. I’m surrounded by good people, and I enjoy my life. Stopping drinking was responsible for all of this. All of the milestones I hit, and the unplanned successes are down to that one decision I made 15 months ago.

Here’s the kicker though. If you sat me down and offered me a weekend of cold beers and partying in exchange for all that I’ve achieved then I’d still consider it. I’d decline, but for a second I’d consider it. I guess that’s what makes me who I am eh? I had to find my boundaries to work out who I am – same as everyone else does. I’ve had some great times because of alcohol, and made some great friends. I’ve moved on, but I wouldn’t change any of it.

Keep it melty

J

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