Any regular readers will know that I have a pretty clear set of things that worked for me when I quit the booze back in 2015, which you can read about here. Thing is, though, that we’re all different – and I’m under no illusion that what works for me will work for everyone else.
Nothing made this more apparent than a message I received earlier this year, from a lovely woman who we shall call Sharpie McSharpie. Unsurprisingly that’s not her real name. Although that would be cool.
Sharpie has, like many others, got to a point where boozing has become a problem. She’s keen to quit – and stay quit – but the conventional approaches don’t work for her. She’s also fiercely private about her struggle, so much so that even her husband doesn’t know the extent of her problem – or the lengths to which she’s willing to go to beat that fucker.
Kindly, Sharpie agreed to share with us bastards at SoberPunks the story of her search for an answer – and her unconventional approach to maintaining that all-important sobriety:
I was searching for inspirational quotes and motivational memes which resonated with me, for those times I need an external source of strength.
Disappointingly… I found none.
I mean, I spent all of my insomniac hours on line and I think I covered the ENTIRE web. Nowt. Yeah, they all have nice words of encouragement and hi-res photos of nature and trainers but they all just seemed so fake, borderline patronising, and – well – just fucking irritating.
I had installed a sobriety app which sent me insincere generic messages of utter shite at stupid times of the day. Bloody thing just made me angry, so I uninstalled it.
I decided I needed a more personalised approach.
I thought… nobody knows you better than yourself, you know WHAT your weaknesses are, WHEN you’re most likely to have a wobble, and what you NEED TO HEAR in order to get you through!
Introducing The Sharpie Method:
- Tools – Get yourself a sharpie. They are ace for all sorts of jobs. Check out YouTube tutorials for marbled nails, you can bake art onto glass, and they’re non toxic on skin… a cracking bit of stationery.
- Life – Shit things happen to most people most days. Some bell-end might get on your nerves or you cock up at work, you miss the bus or your tit drops off. Emotional responses happen.
- Timing – This is vital. Act fast. The sharpie message must come from the strongest version of yourself. Preempt what your weaker self will think (and ultimately do) to get the booze in. It’s another weapon in your arsenal when the Battle of Wills kicks off later. ‘Weak you’ will whinge like a little bitch when you deny yourself the very thing you want; the only thing you think will make you feel better. ‘Weak you’ will negotiate like a pro and use persuasion techniques that would get you a £10k payrise if you dared to asked your boss. It will reframe your abstinence and resilience as Punishment. Denial. Torture.
It’s a spoiled little bastard. But one you created, so you can destroy the little fucker too.
- Words – Only you will see what you write so write from the heart. Conceal your message under your clothing so you (and only you) can look at it whenever you need to, and as often as you need to.
- Tone – Be as harsh or as kind as you need to be to win the anticipated battle. If you’re feeling tender don’t be hard on yourself. If you need to be stern be as brutal as needs be. I swear A LOT so mine are mostly obscene, stern or funny.
On ‘challenging days’ I look like that dude from the film Memento, and I pray I don’t have an accident and end up in A&E… folk would wonder why I’ve got “DON’T BE A DAFT CUNT” handwritten on my crotch or “FFS BITCH GROW A PAIR” written across my tits. (Harder to do than you’d think. Try it.)
I went for a swim recently and was mortified when I saw “GET PENIS NOT PINOT TONIGHT” down my calf… on my way OUT of the pool. (I’d drawn a cock n balls instead of writing the word penis).
Fuck man, sharpies are the bollocks!*
It’s an unconventional recovery tool, I appreciate.
Give it a whirl if you fancy.
Be your own motivational app.
You’re a human whiteboard dude.
Morph. Change. Improve. Grow.
*Not sponsored by sharpies; other pens exist
Proof that if you want sobriety bad enough – you’ll forge a way of making it happen! No more excuses! Do what you have to do!
What an inspirational, innovative, and dangerously headstrong brute you are Sharpie McSharpie! Thanks for sharing.
In other news, and completely unrelated: My wife is self-employed and has to visit customer’s houses. Last week she walked in on one of her customers having a wank. Thought you guys would appreciate that story.
Hugs an’ that,
Wanna read my big wanky blog from the start? Click here.
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