In a few months I’ll have been sober for two years. It’s flown by, but the changes have been huge – and it feels a bit surreal when I look back at drunk Jon and his antics (the chubby scamp). In comparison life appears to have become quite ‘normal’. I keep fit, I visit friends, I go to gigs, I watch movies, I wash my car (okay that one’s a lie – I pay these local Polish guys to do it), I read books, and I’ve even grown up a bit and bought a flat with the missus.
Arguably, at thirty-seven years old, this should all have happened a lot earlier. Maybe I should have been spending weekends at B&Q instead of rolling around on the carpet, but I have no regrets. I feel like my sobriety hasn’t suddenly turned me into an older, more responsible person, but rather it has given me a choice of options that were never available to me when I was a drinker. The transition from drunkard to teetotaler, coupled with the growing up that happens when you suddenly realise you’re pushing forty, means that it’s hard to know what each change should be attributed to. Would I have bought a dressing gown if I was still drinking? Maybe so, because maybe that’s what old men do.
It doesn’t actually matter what part of the journey brought you to your current mindset – the fact is that you’re here, and this is who you are. I would say, however, that a more bumpy journey is likely to spawn a more grounded, realistic, and life-savvy person. Our bad experiences might be unpleasant, but there’s probably not much more character-building than having lived a life of extremes – extreme happiness, extreme struggles, and everything in between.
I can’t personally claim to have had it that bad – I’ve probably had a much easier life than most, and what’s a weekend binge-drinking problem in the grand scheme of things? There are kids out there surviving in war-torn countries, there are people who have watched family members be killed.
It’s a bit of a messy and unclear message that I’m trying to convey in this blog, but basically what I’m saying is this:
- Be who you are, and do what you want. If that includes drinking then cool – it’s your choice, and it’s a part of your journey. If it means swapping punk gigs for laying a bathroom floor then that’s also cool – and vice versa.
- Fuck what people might think. It’s okay to spend the day watching telly in your pants.
- Have a lovely Easter break. I’m off on Sunday to Dans Le Noir in London, which is a restaurant where you dine completely in the dark. It’s meant to make you ‘completely re-evaluate your perception of taste and smell’. Exciting.
Peace out you tasty mothers.