Long after David’s rugby career ended, his drinking profession continued. This Naked Mind is still one of his guiding principles after 5 years alcohol free.
I had a happy childhood growing up in rural West Sussex UK. At 7, I went to boarding school. I loved it and loved sport. Progressed at 14 to senior boarding school and I can remember the first time I got tipsy. It was at Brighton Pier Saturday night July 1988. 3 cans of Fosters and felt woozy on the train home, head spinning in bed.
From then onto the age of 41 – every time alcohol hit my lips I was not in control. It escalated at school from total abstinence to complete oblivion twice a term when we were allowed out. No regard for strength of spirits, wine, and beer. Always ended in total blackouts, wetting the bed and vomit. Morning vomits of yellow bile – horrible!
My Drinking Profession
I left school to embark on a pro sports career – playing rugby internationally. My drinking profession took off at this time. In hindsight some truly frightening nights out – arrested and in jail, crashed a car ,and waking up in neighbourhoods I shouldn’t have been in.
University was again on the one hand totally focused on my rugby career but also twice a week oblivion. My problem was very simple I had no handbrake after about pint 4. I was totally obsessed in my own evening and in hindsight manipulative so it went the oblivion route I wanted it to go.
I went on to play 15 years of pro Rugby and represented some well known teams and my country.
I had some hard core drinking mates and I always tried to keep up. I would appear relatively sober, however when recounting the next day I was in blackout mode and they didn’t know it. While chasing my drinking profession I probably was arrested for being passed out on the street 5 times. All very funny in your 20’s, not in your 30’s and not cool at all in 40’s!
Had a horrible reputation as the bed wetter which I hated but didn’t seem to make me stop. I meant my wonderful wife when I was 16 years and she has had to endure the blackouts, going awol, bed wetting, lies, and deceit.
One Career Ends
When I was playing rugby I always justified it that I am invincible and I deserve a break and reward for a win – again just plain selfish. I stopped playing in May 2007 and there was always this concern in my head and certainly my wife’s when it ends the drinking profession could get out of control.
It happened probably every 6 months where the wheels came off big time. We had 3 children then and I remember in my last year playing waking up on the bathroom floor by my 2 year old son – how low can you go!
Quitting My Drinking Profession
2014 – session in Edinburgh hospitalised. Gave up drinking for a few weeks.
Then the last time – July 3rd 2015. Really excited to be travelling to London to meet 3 University rugby mates. Been in the diary for 6 months.
Morning run, on train – 12.15 first pint.
Lunch – rose wine too many.
Bar at 4.30.
Due on 6pm train – wife been working for a week away due to meet and cut the grass at home.
5.30 leave bar – get in taxi.
5.35 thrown out of taxi.
5.40 stumbling around Oxford Street. Miraculously oldest friend sees me as I take out whole glass cabinet in Costa Coffee. He calls ambulance – admitted to Hospital.
9.30 wake up – discharge my self – £250 taxi back to Somerset.
Very sad wife – staying in Hotel.
Woke up and given ultimatum however I knew that was it.
It frightened me that was not my intention that day but the alcohol got hold of me and I could not stop the train of destruction.
I saw a counsellor for 6 months read lots of books, but the one book and it is still my reference and default is This Naked Mind.
Is it time for your drinking profession to end? Let This Naked Mind help guide your way!
5 years in July it will be – I will never drink again.
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