Okay, so last night you REALLY fucked up. You’ve woken up in a bad place – possibly both mentally (oh the paranoia!) and geographically (wtf why am I in a zoo!) – and you’ve finally decided that enough is enough. The booze buzz is more hassle than it’s worth. You’ve ruined too many relationships, wasted too much money, knocked over too many tables, bruised too many knees, and shagged too many mingers. Continue reading
There’s a lot written about the benefits of sobriety. Indeed, I’m personally responsible for contributing towards this ever-growing pile of woolly guff; endless reams of words spewing from laptops all over the world, about how stopping drinking will clear up your spotty skin, and help you lose 5 stone in 3 months, and turn you from debt-ridden scum into a highly respected business magnate overnight. There’s the health benefits, the financial benefits, the brain-sharpening benefits, the depression-killing benefits. Being sober will help you to work harder, to shag better, to live longer, and to look handsomer (it’s a real word, I googled it). People have published books about this shit. They’ve made TV programmes and podcasts. Businesses have been founded, and are now thriving, which focus solely on sharing the good word of sober living. It’s like a magic pill that fixes everything! Everyone in the world of sobriety wants to shout about their new lifestyle, their new look. HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT WHAT SOBRIETY CAN TURN YOU INTO! LOOK AT MY SUITCASE OF MONEY! CHECK OUT MY SOFT HAIR! But let’s not forget, amidst this pink mire of yoga trousers, ultra-marathon runners, and vegan cookbooks, one of the most primal and basic benefits that quitting drinking can bring; the one benefit that is quite often the catalyst for a lifetime of sobriety. That one golden nugget for which we all strive, and which only sobriety can truly bring us…
Okay, full disclosure; it wasn’t a hangover, but holy freakin’ novelty shitballs did it have all the attributes of one: Brain fog, dehydration, jitters, horrible gurgly stomach, daunting paranoia, cold sweats, yep… the works. Oh and I also had somewhere very important to be where I was expected to be well turned out, sparkly eyed, and ON IT like the, er… Wallace and Gromit.
A couple of weeks ago we put our flat on the market. The place is lovely but it’s tiny, and after three years squeezed in alongside a plethora of furry animals we’ve decided it’s time to upsize to a normal person sized house – a decision accelerated in no small part by the fact that our upstairs neighbour is a proper noisy chav twat. His girlfriend is perpetually angry, and sounds like a foghorn whenever she gets peeved (which is always). It’s just not a nice situation, and the golden-boy at the Housing Association, who promised us he could use our complaints and recordings as evidence to begin eviction proceedings, has turned out to be more of a gold-spray-painted boy. A cheap knockoff. All mouth and no trousers. Fucking useless.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to fulfill a lifelong ambition: to visit New York City; touristic centre of the universe, setting for some of the worlds greatest love stories, backdrop to arguably the best movies ever made, subject of a thousand songs, and home to some of the most friendly and colorful characters ever to be squeezed into existence.
Until recently I knew very little of Mark EG:
- He’s a DJ that makes ferociously POUNDING tunes
- He’s from Leeds (oi oi! Up the northerners! Etc…)
- Looks like a fucking possessed nutter behind the decks
In years gone by I’ve occasionally found myself, in various states of inebriation, staggering around dancefloors at his shows whilst dribbling into my pint. This has definitely happened in Leeds, definitely in London, and potentially at a club in Liverpool. I’m not sure why I’ve only seen him in places that start with L. Continue reading
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
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