Tag Archives: Blogging

Two Years Of The Bottom of a Bottle

It’s hard to believe that I actually started this blog two years ago today, well I started writing in preparation a week or so before, but I didn’t actually have the nerve to go live with my story.  I had looked at various blogging sites and searched on tips for blogging, I had written a number of posts which would form most of my early uploads, yet I sat on it all, hiding what it was I had to say to the world.

Then on the morning of Saturday 6th October 2012, I went for a walk, it was a normal Newark morning for October, cold and wet, nothing out of the ordinary, just another Saturday morning.  As always I walked with my iPod on, playing songs that I had heard many times before, then a song came on that changed everything, the lines of that song are the words in the banner at the top of this page, those words reduced me to tears and I felt I knew what I had to do, to take a leap of that precipice and tell my story, all the inner most thoughts, the embarrassing and shameful parts, everything, warts and all.

Since that Saturday evening when I posted that first post and about me page, I’ve added 950 posts including this one, in addition using 496 different songs by 142 different artists, not to mention hundreds of photos of sunrises, sunsets, Bible Verses and other random stuff.

I had never really written anything before starting this blog, I had started a journal earlier in the year, just a matter of days before I became sober, when I read back some of the entries I had written I actually surprised myself, obviously I further surprised myself when I started writing the numerous blog posts over the last two years.

One of the biggest surprises has been the fact I’ve posted 145 poems in that time also.  I hated poetry writing at school, I don’t think I had written a poem in almost 30 years when I tried my hand at a few poems.  I actually now dislike some of my early attempts, I feel back then I was trying to force out words just for the sake of it, rather now I only write poems when I have a strong feeling that the words are something more than my own thoughts.  Sometimes, I have to sit on them for a while, wait, think and pray on them before I decide to form a verse with them, but I have to say, I now longer doubt myself when I post my poems, not like I did in the early days, back then I was apprehensive about them, but not anymore.  Having said that, I don’t dislike all my early poems, there are a couple of my earliest that are among my favourites, but as I’ve said before there were many of those early ones I never really connected with, now I connect with them all.

It’s been a long journey over the last two years, with some ups and downs, but I have to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, to like them and to comment on them.  I am especially thankful for every comment I get, I know I may not respond to them all, but believe me, I read them all and I’m extremely grateful for everyone of them, many have given me hope when times have been dark and kept me going with my writing when I was close to giving up, once again I thank you all.

I’m not sure what the next twelve months will bring for me and this blog, but for now I will keep writing and sharing my journey with you all.

But I guess the biggest shout of thanks should be sang to The Father, He has given me this story to share, He inspires my words and when I feel the most vulnerable He gives me the confidence to share.

Though I walk through the midst of my troubles
You fulfill your purpose in me
I lift my head from the dirt to see those eyes
I feel a peace in the wind to my surprise

You are sovereign Lord and I bless you
You are perfect in nature

Time For Post 300

So now I reach my 300th post and what do you talk about on your 300th post, well, as it seems so long ago I’ll talk about this Blog and that first post, “The Precipice”, even if it is just 233 days ago since the bottle was opened.

In that time I’ve made so many great friends over this Blog and hopefully I’ll make so many more.  What is amazing is that in that time and after over 1200 comments received on various posts, I have still yet to receive any feedback I would consider negative or derogatory, I have received nothing but kindness, support, inspiration and love, all of this from people I have never met and from people I probably will never meet, but I want you all to know how much your support, your comments and your likes mean to me.

This Blog has been a great source of release for me, it’s been therapy for me, to really delve into my feelings, it’s helped to find out some of the reasons why I found myself where I was, honest was what I have set out to be, to tell my story with complete honesty, I believed from the day I met with Gareth and Alex that it was the only way forward, the only way to truly deal with a problem is to admit you have it in the first place, not hide it or hide the key facts of it, I had been doing that for years, not anymore.

When I feel I can’t talk to people face to face about my feelings, I find I can write them, just let them flow through the keyboard and post on here, sometimes reluctantly, I know that I can say it with honesty without having to look anyone in the eye with embarrassment, but I receive the support and inspiration I need.

I didn’t expect that when I started this, I didn’t expect the level of support I have received, actually I’m not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I’ve found.

I set out with a lot of ideas for posts and preparation for my posts, some of those posts were within the first few weeks, although a lot of the preparation was never completed, some of that work is still going on behind the scenes.  Only a few of the post I had written in the early days haven’t been posted, they are still stuck in my drafts folder, when I returned to them sometime later I realised they were rants and put others in a bad light, when really I was the bad light in my life, no-one else, I am responsible for where I found myself and how things turned out, I made the wrong choices and I must learn to live with them, not seek to blame others.  Other ideas are still to be written, most of these are just a little about me, my work, my karate and family, background information really, I will get around to these at some point.

It was while walking that I started thinking about doing this blog, over a few weeks I had ideas for posts in my mind, then I actually started typing up a number of them, but they sat there a little longer, I just couldn’t make that step to actually starting this, I liked the idea of sharing my story and hopefully inspiring others, but was a little apprehensive about taking such a huge step about being so open.

So on the 6th October 2012 as I returned from a walk a song came on my iPod that broke me down, it was like a slap in the face.  I took a look at my journal entry for that day, I pointed out to myself that I had actually taken a walk up that hill that morning, thinking about what I could do with a blog, seemingly already celebrating what I hadn’t achieved, but the lyrics of the song said:

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

It was true, what were my accomplishments, at that point I couldn’t seem to find them either, maybe it was time to take that leap.

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Then these lyrics changed everything, on hearing this I knew it was time to stop deliberating and go for it, whatever the cost, just go for it, it was a message I couldn’t ignore.  I returned home to start creating this site, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, I wrote a post called “The Precipice” named after the song which had inspired me that morning and took that leap.  Sometimes when I listen back to this song, it still moves me to tears, a song of both beauty and power, it still provokes a reaction in me every time.

Again, I’m so glad I did, I set out to inspire and give hope to others, I hope I’ve done that over the months, but more importantly, I’ve been inspired and been given hope in my low times, thank you all.

And would I want to be to be any other blogger, as today’s Daily Prompt asks, the answer is quite simply NO!!!

So there is only one way to finish a post here on the Bottom of a Bottle, that’s with a song to inspire, a song that generally but not always compliments the post, well this time I return to the beginning and the song that inspired me, enjoy.

I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ‘til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece-by-piece I build the cell I’m in
But I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song 

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Walking Words

I started writing this post back on Friday 14th December 2012, part way through the news of the tragic events of that day hit me, I abandoned this post and wrote What & Why, but today as I reorganise my site and add a poetry section, I think it’s time to retrieve the post, so here goes.

OK, ok, I’m not sure where this new urge came from, just over two months ago I started writing articles in preparation for starting this blog, well before I posted my first blog “The Precipice” on 6th October 2012, now I’ve started posting poetry, rather than just the ramblings and shenanigans of my sobriety, struggles and life in general.


Well, as I walk many things ping around my mind, if I am troubled by something I go through it in depth, prepare words or action and most importantly pray about it.  Sometimes I think I just daydream, sometimes of situations I may have to face, other times just random stuff, I am the worlds greatest daydreamer, so inevitably over time I have created some absolute garbage and some, if I don’t say so myself, literary genius (my own opinion, not fact).

The problem is, forever it has remained within the walls of mind, before being lost in the fog of random rubbish, random information that is useful for nothing but pub quizzes (which I’m quite good at, by the way).

So once I had decided on starting this monster that has become my blog, I made a list of subjects where I wanted to investigate my feelings further.  I started writing about a week before I created this, I had a list of over 30 posts and had already written five of them.

Many of those posts were prepared whilst walking, I went through the basic feelings and outline of each post as I walked, then I started the post later when I get home.  It isn’t so important to remember the words for these posts, just the feelings, the words just come as I tap in to those feelings.

But poetry has been a completely different process and indeed more difficult.  Sometimes words just come, I would say we have all written a song or poem in our head, as we go about our daily mundane life, but how many actually write it down, I didn’t, so great words are lost now, gone forever.

I get words or sentences which I like, I try to work a format out to work within, then add to it, sometimes keeping within that framework, at other times abandoning it as it takes on a life of it’s own.

Words can be hard to come by, some I write and then just leave, I can’t finish them the way I want, I have many like that already, sometimes at random moments I get the inspiration and the words to finish them, so I do and once I’m happy I post.

My Blog posts I hold no shame about, I have no reservations about clicking that publish button, but poetry always seems different, I am insecure, I mean really insecure about posting my poetry, I don’t know why, but I have to fight to click that button, I’ve even closed my eyes and clicked, odd isn’t but that’s the way it happens, I guess poetry opens my soul deeper than I thought.

All the poetry I’ve posted is my own work, after all who would want to claim it anyway, but it’s me, it’s my heart and my soul pouring out, it scares me, but I do it, it’s part of breaking out of that shell of shyness I’ve cocooned myself in for so long.

Thank you for taking the time to read, to like and to comment, it really does help to keep writing and breaking the chains of my insecure self.

And this song to accompany this post is, City On The Hill by Casting Crowns, enjoy.

You see, the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak
(City On The Hill by Casting Crowns)

I guess the lyrics above have just answered my own insecurity, the line “And the soldiers thought the poets were weak” it’s just me isn’t it, the supposedly tough karate guy, he’s not supposed to write poetry, that’s for the weak, well not anymore, I’m bigger than that now, I’m breaking out.

Lacking Inspiration

As I sat at home this lunchtime with an hour to spare I felt I really wanted to start preparing a post, but I was struggling. I wanted to write, but I couldn’t think if a subject, nevermind any words. I didn’t really have time to switch on the laptop (it’s a very cluttered slow old beastie), on there is a list of topics I want to write about, I could remember some those titles, but couldn’t find any inspiration to write about any of them, I was a little lost, so I closed my eyes, held my phone upon which I would draft the post tightly in my hand, then I prayed, I prayed for some inspiration, I was just about to give it up as a bad job when this post started to write itself in my head, so I grabbed my phone and started the process of drafting a post.

So here it is really, the subject is simply about writing my posts, the process is not always the same, the content can vary, but the heart it is draw from is constant.

The Process

This post follows the process I usually use when I’m out and about, when I’m out and I want to post about where I am, I start drafting the post on my phone, then when I get home, I finalize it on the laptop, proof read it and then add the music video to it, before uploading it, I’ve only used this process a few times, but it works for me.

Some posts have been written for some time, I have about three already drafted on my laptop, but I’m not really happy with them, they await further inspiration before completion, when I feel I want to post them, I’ll revisit them, embellish and post them, these are all on the list of subjects I have prepared, many of that list are still to be drafted, but at times I’ll just sit down and write a few at a time.

Other times I look at the list, start typing on a subject off the list or on a subject that has been inspired by the days events, I just type it, check it, add the video and post it, job done.

The Content

The main content is my journey from lost alcoholic to sober Christian, my thoughts on my drinking and my journey with God, other posts just focus on the days events and some on my past, so you the readers can build up general image of who I am.

Karate has been a major part of my life, 32 years I have been training now, I started at six years old and I am still at it. I also love writing about the humorous moments that have shone through the darkness in my life.

The Heart

I write, I hope, straight from the heart, I don’t want to hide anything. My journey has been painful, but also special, it’s contained some fantastic moments, moments I feel compelled to share. My hopes are that if others can see where I was at the beginning of 2012 and where I am now, they can take some inspiration from my story, take some of the positives and rebuild their own lives.

Some posts are bleak, I know, the subject matter is painful, my memories are painful, but I always try to end the post on a positive, I want you readers to see how I’ve turned it all around, to celebrate with me, not to pity or feel sorry for me, I am dealing with all of this and I am turning the corner, I am winning this fight.

Music is a very big part of my recovery process, my music is all from Christian artists and inspirational music, I always try to find a piece of music that fits either the subject matter or the solution, either way I try to find a lyric video where possible. I have a few posts drafted where I can’t find the youtube video I want, so I am waiting until I get the time to find out how to make one myself, so those posts will have to wait a while, but I promise I will get round to it.

I have never really written anything before, I wrote essays at school, but I would struggle to fill two A4 pages, no matter how big I tried to write. I used to draft the odd letter at work, mainly they followed standard templates, but again a couple of A4 pages, with lots of waffle and repetitive lines.

I started writing a journal a few days before my sobriety, I have an A4 book where I write at least one page each night, recapping my thoughts, feelings and actions from the day, most days it is just one page, my record was six pages on the day of my Baptism. I read these pages at random some days and can’t help feeling a little impressed with what I’ve written, not so much the content, but the way I’ve written it, I never speak that way.

It’s the same with these blog posts, I have been blown away by not just the comments on my story, but the comments on my writing style, both from fellow bloggers and friends who read it, I didn’t know I could write this way, I’m not sure where the words and sentences flow from sometimes, as I’ve said I don’t usually talk that way, I’m sure some of you would never understand if wrote the way I talk, if I started using our colloquial Nottinghamshire lingo, you know things like “tar duck” (thank you my friend) etc, you would be lost, here in Nottinghamshire we don’t actually speak like Kevin Costner in Robin Hood!

I thank you all for all of your words of inspiration, your fantastic comments and just being here with me on my journey out of the darkness.

We are the bold, united souls
We live to win another victory
Our sacred scars show who we are
And tell the story of our memories
(We Are One by 12 Stones)

I hope and pray that those of you either walking the same journey through sobriety or those that may be trying to find the strength to start that journey or those on a different journey out of whatever darkness clouds their lives, will continue to travel with me, let’s see this through to the end, together we can all make it.