Hi, my name is Jackson.
Today I’ve been sober for one year — 365 days.
Three hundred and sixty six days ago was a pretty messy affair. Vomitus. Bile. A significant amount of money on my credit card. Feelings of shame, regret, stupidity.
The events leading up to the decision to stop drinking alcohol culminated in one slamming crash into bottom of a bottle of Talisker and a handful of sleeping pills.
I stopped drinking the next day, and with the support of friends (especially my pal Daniel), workmates (Catherine, and Sara: you’re pretty cool), family, Green Party peeps, my new found love (Beth you’re the bees knees) and, weirdly, the people I had spent the last few years alienating, I haven’t had a drink since.
So I guess this is me “coming out” of the sobriety closet.
I haven’t really shared this with many people until now. I was worried I might fuck it up. There still is the possibility that I might fuck it up. But I figure if all you guys know, the likelihood of me picking up another drink decreases.
Also I hope that by standing up and saying “hey it’s actually okay to not drink” it might go a small way to challenge the way people who don’t consume alcohol are treated.
I’m always more than happy to talk to people about sobriety and will probably share more about the trials and tribulations of staying sober. If you want to chat or hurl abuse at me and tell me I am a pussy then feel free.
Here is something for your listening pleasure.
“It sucks you can’t drink.”
No. It really doesn’t. I quite enjoy being a functional nice human being who doesn’t wake up feeling like shit with a splitting headache, nausea, and wallowing in regret. Oh and the money. It’s great. Moral of the story: it’s great you can drink, it’s great I don’t drink. I’m happy, so please be happy for me too.
“Oh come one, you can just have one.”
Wrong. I, and many other people, can’t. For me, one always turns into two. Two turns into about 17 and ends up in some awkward situation. I’ve said I don’t want an alcoholic drink, please respect that. I shouldn’t need to have one in my hand for you to feel comfortable.
“We’ve got orange juice… or, like, water.”
Orange juice is the non-drinkers hell. I hate that shit. Unless you’re hand squeezing, please, for the love of God and all that is holy, don’t provide orange juice as your sole non-alcoholic option. Especially if you’ve got at least two types of beer and three types of wine. There are heaps of decent soft drinks. Live a little.
“You’ll be able to drink one day, eh?”
I don’t think so. Please don’t tempt me. I’d rather not chance it.
“What about other drugs?”
Nope. Clean and sober. Gettin’ high on life.
“Have you found God?”
Fuck no. It just became quite obvious that me and alcohol were a bad combination for me and the people around me.
“Did you wake up to Jack Daniels on weetbix?”
No. There seems to be a popular conception that you only have a problem with alcohol if you start drinking it before midday regularly. I don’t think I ever had a six pack for breakfast or brushed my teeth with vodka. Drinking still got the better of me despite not fitting into this stereotype.
“Are you cool with people drinking around you?”
Yip. That’s okay. As long as you’re respectful. There is nothing worse than getting told your a pussy because you’ve got a lemonade rather than a beer. And once people start getting too drunk I’ll probably sneak off. Have you met drunk people, they’re not very fun.
“But what about karaoke!!!??!!1!?”
Have you even heard my rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody?
“Have you become a wowser, Jackson?”
Nope. Other people can enjoy the benefits of alcohol. I can’t and am resigned to the fact that I won’t drink booze again. That doesn’t mean I will call the fun police on you for having a few beers.
“I think I have a drinking problem too, what do I do?”
There are heaps of ways to get help.
- Call the alcohol and drug helpline 0800 787 297
- Find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or call their helpline.
- Find the nearest AOD service to you.
- Talk to your doctor.
- If you’re really desperate Email me.