Jason recently found himself celebrating 100 days sober! He never dreamed he could make it this far and credits This Naked Mind with being the most influential tool to get him there.
I am a 44-year-old family man and a successful business owner. Blessed with a lovely family – my partner, our 12-year-old girl, and two wonderful step kids. I have over-achieved in my business career and had very successful innings to date.
My drinking started like always – from peer pressure in my younger days. In the early days, I didn’t even like the taste of alcohol or the way it made me feel in particular, but everybody liked to get smashed and it is very much part of our culture in the UK.
Becoming a Drinker
I drank through my 20s. Not problem drinking as such but more weekend binge drinking. I was always the character that there was a story about. I would be the last out. Generally, I would do something stupid, falling out of taxis on roads, falling off hotel balconies, falling asleep in the most random places the list goes on…the warning signs were there from the early days.
In my early 30s, my drinking slowed down, I had a little baby and family to look after. My drinking was only a small part of my life. It was a very happy time for me and I look back at these years fondly.
My late 30s and 40s were when the problems started. I found myself drinking more and more. Generally, from Wednesday to Sunday I couldn’t go without a drink. I needed alcohol for every occasion, and I felt I couldn’t enjoy myself without alcohol.
Hitting Rock Bottom
In 2015, I hit the bottom. After an afternoon of drinking, I went home and started drinking again. On a Sunday night, I drank a bottle of brandy on my own and woke up on the kitchen floor. I took the decision that I had to stop drinking for a while and started visiting AA. I had two months not drinking. AA helped me in a way, but whilst in the meetings, I felt all the stories resonated with me. Still, I just didn’t feel I was in the same category (Fool). I started drinking again. For a few years, I managed to control it to a degree.
Then came lockdown.
Relying on Alcohol
I found myself drinking more and more again. Really relying on alcohol to try and take the stress away of running a business through Covid with all the extra pressures. My drinking was out of control… but I was never one to show it. I did it all behind closed doors on my own. I was never violent or aggressive or abusive in any way whilst I was drunk. No, I was always the one laughing and joking until I passed out, which was pretty much every time I had a drink.
The early morning depressions started. When I opened your book the first page actually made me cry, and I’m not an emotional man. This paragraph was me in a nutshell.
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I would wake up at 3 am and start to try and think where I fell asleep last night, how much I had to drink – the merry-go-round! I would sit there thinking “why I am doing this to myself?” and “today would be different, I won’t drink today” …. But, I always did. The afternoon would come and the thoughts of drinking would overcome the willpower. Coming to the end was when the thoughts started to get darker…really dark. Thinking of ways I could just end my life. I felt like a complete failure. Like a boxer who just keeps getting in the ring against an opponent that would thrash me on a daily basis…why would any sane person do that ???
My last weekend of drinking started on a Saturday, I started drinking at the pub in the afternoon with family who came to visit. When we arrived back at our house, I drank more until I passed out. I woke up at 5 am with dark thoughts. When my partner woke she explained that I was out of control last night, and I couldn’t believe it. She told me after initially passing out I woke up at 11 pm and between then and 1 am I drank 2 bottles of white wine like you would drink lemonade.
Out of Control
I could not remember a single thing about it, totally out of control. On Sunday, I felt so bad and hungover that I drank all day till I collapsed at 8 pm. On Monday morning I woke about 4 am with the darkest thoughts I have ever had. I was ready to get up and leave the house at that time. Having no idea where I was going but I am certain if I had left I wouldn’t have come back.
I was beaten to my lowest point, I couldn’t get any lower. It was the hardest morning of my life.
I accepted in the morning that I was completely out of control and I am an alcoholic. We checked and called around to rehab centres to try and get me in. The costs were so high and I think that made me determined that maybe I could try and do this without spending all the money.
I joined a site here in the UK called One Year No Beer and I signed up for the 28 days. This helped me and watching the daily videos really kept me focused on not drinking. Then on this site, I saw your book which I ordered. I have read the book back to front twice now and honestly, I cannot tell you how much this resonates with me. The book has been my main instrument in pushing off the alcohol pangs throughout this journey.
I have just been on a 2 week holiday and that’s my first holiday alcohol-free since I was probably about 13. It was amazing! We did things we would never have done if I would have been drinking, it was perfect – happy and sober!
100 Days Sober
I am now 100 days sober and it’s like a switch has clicked. Now I am looking to the future more positively without alcohol than I ever have. I can sit down for a meal, or chat with friends at the pub with a coke or alcohol-free beer without constantly thinking I’m missing out. It feels so refreshing. I’m enjoying the moment alive and not dulled by alcohol.
I am at the start of a long journey, I know this, but trying to take every day as each little battle to hopefully make this journey happier and free for the rest of my life.
Share Your Story
I want to thank you so much for writing this book, I am sure it took a lot of energy and emotion to get this down on paper. Your booked has saved me, I’m sure of it.
Wherever you are in your journey – 100 days sober – or more – we’d love to hear how This Naked Mind has influenced you. Share your story and inspire others like Jason has!