Tag Archives: Sanctus Real

Verse of the Day – Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

We were not meant to do this life alone, we are to share our life and experience with each other, I am forever grateful for the people the Lord has led me to, I could not do this life without them, they sharpen me when I am down, they bring me the Lord’s word that renews me, without these people life, just wouldn’t be the same.

WE NEED EACH OTHER by SANCTUS REAL
I think I caught a glimpse of
Life without friends
Bitter, empty, hollow, dark and lonely
We never meant to hurt each other
So Can’t we trust again
And take it as a chance
To keep on growing

I don’t know why it doesn’t come easy
But I know that we could be happy
If we’d only learn to love

Oh oh we need each other
So what’s the fighting for
Oh oh we need each other
Please don’t close the door
Oh oh we need each other
Through all the highs and lows
Oh oh we need each other
Cuz no one’s meant to live alone

Life revolves around the need
Of having someone
Causing every complicated feeling
Oh and I don’t want to loose you
And there is nothing wrong with
Telling me what you need
To keep our love strong

It’s just a part of being a family
Taking the good with the bad and the ugly
If we could only learn to love

Oh oh we need each other
So what’s the fighting for
Oh oh we need each other
Please don’t close the door
Oh oh we need each other
Through all the highs and lows
Oh oh we need each other
Cuz I don’t want to be alone

Oh Oh we need each other
Fathers and Mothers
Oh oh we need each other
All your sisters and brothers
Oh oh we need each other
We need friends and lovers
Oh Oh we need each other

Well I need you
You need me
Cuz that’s the way
It’s meant to be
I need you
We need each other
(I don’t want to be alone)

Well I need you
You need me
Cuz that’s the way
It’s meant to be
I need you
We need each other
(I don’t want to be alone)

Verse of the Day – Psalm 91:15

Psalm 91:15

Psalm 91:15

When I call out in the dark nights, to never wake again, He never left my side, even when the light of the morning came.

THAT’S LIFE by SANCTUS REAL
I think my share of hard times, trials and dark nights
Are starting to wear on my soul
The pain can bring you purpose, a fire can leave you burning
But lately I’ve been feeling cold

But this has been my life, the good and the bad times
Leaving me a little broken inside

I guess that’s life
It’s complicated, awkward, it’s a fight
With happiness and laughter intertwined,
It’s tension and redemption in this life
We labor just to leave it all behind
Then lay the mysteries and memories aside
To step into the light
That’s life

I can hear you whisper, I know you’re drawing nearer
But I could not fall further away
And I don’t know why I keep dreaming that one day life gets easy
Cause I don’t want that anyway

Oh, I want real life, the good and the bad times
Cause it’s how I know Your hope is alive

Oh yes, that’s life
It’s complicated, awkward, it’s a fight
With happiness and laughter intertwined,
It’s tension and redemption in this life
We labor just to leave it all behind
Then lay the mysteries and memories aside
To step into the light

That’s life
The joy and the pain
That’s life
The sun and the rain
That’s life
The push and the pull
That’s life

It’s complicated, awkward, it’s a fight
With happiness and laughter intertwined,
It’s tension and redemption in this life
We labor just to leave it all behind
Then lay the mysteries and memories aside
To step into the light
That’s life

Fears, Finances & Promises

All in all it’s been a pretty positive week, by rights it shouldn’t have been, but I’ve got through it and Praise God, I’ve come through it quite well.

My fear of yet another a fall, which I wrote about this time last week, has been extinguished for the time being, whether it surfaces again, I don’t know, but if it does I know I won’t face anything alone.

Maybe some of that fear had to do with yesterday.  For the last couple of years I’ve not looked forward to 10th May, for the simple reason is that back in 1997, that was the day I started seeing Victoria, indeed from that day we saw each other everyday until I went away with the England squad for the first time in March 2005.  Our relationship which was destroyed by my drinking is the hardest thing for me to deal with, I would love to get things back on track, but there seems to be no movement.

So for the time being, I just get on with sorting myself out, with walking my journey and trying to put right everything else.  Our financial position is not great, I still have a significant amount of debt, that I amassed in those dark years of drinking, I’m getting down it, slowly, all my repayments are agreed and scheduled.

I have to admit, even without an expensive drinking habit, I am pretty bad with money, I’m getting better, now with a regular monthly wage, all my repayments now go out within days of getting paid, unfortunately it doesn’t leave much for the rest of the month, but we make it through.

I’m still owed about six months money by the Architect’s, hopefully I’ll get a bit more of that soon, put it this way, I’m not going out of my way to complete work, not until I get some more money, I think I’ve been more than fair and more than patient.  Don’t get me wrong I still complete the work, but I’m working to my schedule and not being dictated to, if they pay I may be a little more reactive.

When I was out of work and the debts were piling up and the little money that was coming in, I was spending on alcohol, indeed I would work out how much beer/wine I could afford before I even attempted to pay any bills.  I couldn’t deal with the piles of letter that came in as payment after payment bounced, I simply retreated into the shadows of my addiction, leaving Victoria to deal with everything, to call the debtors and meet with the Citizens Advice Bureau to organise repayments.  I just couldn’t deal with it and to be honest, I still can’t, I still find it hard to pick a phone up and admit I have a problem paying.  Yet this week I managed to do just that, Friday afternoon I managed to pick the phone up and sort out a debt that was growing again, I paid the arrears and arranged the direct debit payments for the rest of it.

I always fear that I’ll get someone on the end of the phone who won’t understand and start making threats of action, you know the kind, they have a job to do and they are going to do it, no excuses, they take no prisoners.  I must admit I had to pray before I made the phone call, but it went really well, there were no problems, it was fine and all arranged.  That was probably all part of the fear that I was facing too!

I feel I have a promise from God for my situation,  at times when things get hard here at home, I start to lose a bit of faith in that promise, I start to question whether it really is all going to come together and work out.

But once more this week, I felt I was being told, don’t worry, it’s still all in hand, you still have My promise, just keep holding on, keep walking with Me and it will all work out in the end.

The vision I got was of that jar in the cupboard, you know the one which you can never get the lid off, every time you try it just doesn’t want to come off, you try everything, but it still stays stuck on there.  Then one day, you pick it up and it just comes off as easy as anything, not from anything special that you’ve done or that you’ve tried any harder, it’s purely because it was the right time for it to come off, it was ready to let you have what it held inside.

Maybe I’m not the only one who needs to read these words, maybe they are just for me or maybe they are for any one of you reading this, but simply put, God will come through on His promise, when the time is right.

PROMISES by SANCTUS REAL
Sometimes it’s hard to keep believing in what you can’t see
That everything happens for a reason even the worst life brings
If you’re reaching for an answer and you don’t know what to pray
Just open up the pages; let His Word be your strength

And hold on to the promises (hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (all right)
Jesus is alive, so hold tight
Hold on to the promises

And all things work for the good of those who love God
He holds back nothing that will heal you, not even His own son 
His love is everlasting; His faithfulness unending
Oh, if God is for us who can be against us
So, if you feel weak

Just hold on to the promises (hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (all right)
Jesus is alive, so hold tight
Hold on to the promises

Neither life nor death could separate us
From the eternal love of our God who saves us

Neither life nor death could separate us
From the eternal love of our God who saves us

Just hold on to the promises (hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (all right)
Jesus is alive, so hold tight
Hold on to the promises

Just hold on to the promises (hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (all right)
Jesus is alive, so hold tight
Hold on to the promises

Neither life nor death could separate us
From the eternal love of our God who saves us

My Daughter’s Chored My Ferrero Rochers!

Okay, so I get home after a long day at my Karate Club grading, with the gift of a box of Ferrero Rochers, my favourite chocolates, it does seem as though some of my students listen to me endless hints!

But since then my daughter has returned home, the first thing she found was my nice unopened box of chocolates, she worked out how to open the packaging and helped herself.  Now she keeps darting back in and out of the room to help herself to some more.

This is not the first time she’s eaten some of the chocolates I’ve received as a gift, a few years ago one of the parents who went with the England Junior team to Prague, where I was an assistant coach to the team, brought me some expensive chocolates as a thank you, on that occasion as the wrappers had what looked like Disney Princess Castles on them, she helped herself to them too!

Just in case your wondering what my post title means, well the word “Chored” is Newark slang for stolen, one our wonderful slang words!

It’s been a good day, I managed to train for 3 hours, the second time this year, so I am going to ache tomorrow morning.

Last night went okay, it was my Boss’s wedding reception, I really didn’t want to go, I’m not big on these kind of events anyway, but since last November I seem to have more of an issue going out to events where others are drinking. A friend from work said they were only going for a short while and they would give me a lift, so I agreed to go, I thought that out of respect I should at least make an appearance.  It went okay, these things are always awkard, but it went by just fine.

So next Saturday is the second anniversary of my sobriety, I suppose when I started out, I wanted it to be permanent, but even then I never imagined I would make it this far and still be intact, I can only thank God for that.

WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP by SANCTUS REAL
We will not lose heart
We will not lose hope
When all we see is fading
We trust in what we know
We will never give up

Pressed on every side
Praying for escape
We can see the answer
That You’re the only way
We will never give up

We will fix our eyes on the One who will last forever
We will hold on tight to the only real treasure
We will not lose heart
We will not lose hope
We will give our lives to the One who will last forever

We were born into weakness
Fragile by design
So we hold onto Jesus
With everything inside
We will never give up

We will fix our eyes on the One who will last forever
We will hold on tight to the only real treasure
We will not lose heart
We will not lose hope
We will give our lives to the One who will last forever

Greater is the One in us
We will never give up
Power of the Risen Son
We will never give up
We will never give up

We will fix our eyes on the One who will last forever
We will hold on tight to the only real treasure
We will not lose heart
We will not lose hope
We will give our lives to the One who will last forever

We will not lose heart
We will not lose hope
We will give our lives to the One who will last forever
Forever 

Verse of the Day – Proverbs 11:14

Proverbs 11:14

Proverbs 11:14

Wednesday night’s are Connect Group nights, I always find our group meetings to be an inspiration, I can’t thank my group enough for how much help and support they have given me and continue to give me.

WE NEED EACH OTHER by SANCTUS REAL
I think I caught a glimpse of
Life without friends
Bitter, empty, hollow, dark and lonely
We never meant to hurt each other
So Can’t we trust again
And take it as a chance
To keep on growing

I don’t know why it doesn’t come easy
But I know that we could be happy
If we’d only learn to love

Oh oh we need each other
So what’s the fighting for
Oh oh we need each other
Please don’t close the door
Oh oh we need each other
Through all the highs and lows
Oh oh we need each other
Cuz no one’s meant to live alone

Life revolves around the need
Of having someone
Causing every complicated feeling
Oh and I don’t want to loose you
And there is nothing wrong with
Telling me what you need
To keep our love strong

It’s just a part of being a family
Taking the good with the bad and the ugly
If we could only learn to love

Oh oh we need each other
So what’s the fighting for
Oh oh we need each other
Please don’t close the door
Oh oh we need each other
Through all the highs and lows
Oh oh we need each other
Cuz I don’t want to be alone

Oh Oh we need each other
Fathers and Mothers
Oh oh we need each other
All your sisters and brothers
Oh oh we need each other
We need friends and lovers
Oh Oh we need each other

Well I need you
You need me
Cuz that’s the way
It’s meant to be
I need you
We need each other
(I don’t want to be alone)

Alone In A Crowded Room

Daily Prompt: Back to the Future

I have this amazing ability, I’m sure it is something that I seem to have unintentionally perfected over the years, this maybe just one blog post, but I could write the book on it, this ability of mine to “stand alone in a crowded room”.

I’m not a natural mixer, I am okay in my own surroundings, but outside of that I am intensely shy, I find it hard to connect with others that I don’t know, some people I know can just walk up to people they don’t know and have never met and strike up a conversation as if they speak with each other daily, me I just stand alone, quiet, withdrawn, just me in my own bubble, struggling to mix.  Once I get to know people it’s a little different, but still sometimes in room of people I know I can still feel like I’m on the fringes of things, not that I’m intentionally left out, it’s just me, I can just put myself out of place.

In a place that’s new to me and crowded, I tend to just tag along with the people I know, following them around and trying to be a little like them.  This happened when I first went abroad to Norway with the English Karate Team, I didn’t really know that many on the team, I was a bit of an outsider among my own people, they were all from the London area, they knew each other had trained with each other for years, then there was me, this little odd ball from 125 miles away, somewhere up north, I felt outside of everything, just doing my best to mix.  Things improved as I got to know these guys more over the weekend and in the course of my years on the squad, I was eventually  considered to be a senior amongst those on the squad, I was one of the oldest, the senior grade, I attended more sessions than most of my team mates, even though I was travelling so far, I became a central figure, even after I retired from the squad I remained a senior figure and many of them gave me the most amazing send off when I retired from competing last months, they raised the biggest cheers for me as I collected my medal.

That’s just one story of many from my karate, just one story of so many in my life and probably one of many to come in my life, but in terms of the time I felt most out of place, when I really felt like a square peg in a round hole, well that came on the 1st April 2012, that was the morning I walked into the Everyday Champions Church.

I had been there before, I had sat in a service before, a family event that time, my daughters confirmation, I didn’t really understand what that meant, I attended with Victoria, my kids, members of the family, I even stood on stage as part of the service, I met many members of the Church that day and many came back to my house and sat with me.

But this time I entered the doors alone, I did my best to get in unnoticed, just to slip in quietly, not wanted to really connect with anyone, unless I knew them, I texted Alex that morning to say I was going, he’s an old family friend and sat with me that night that Gareth came around to meet with me a few weeks earlier, I spoke with him on the way in, he knew why I was there and what was going on, other than that I wanted to slip quietly in, sit at the back and see what there was there for me to find, I was searching for something, a way forward, a new start, a new life, I had made a start, but I was in need for something to guide me on this journey.

That’s the funny side of all of this, I wanted to be alone in Church, I wanted to sit alone, but also wanted something to help me stay on this new path I had found, I wanted the company of people to help me, but couldn’t make myself connect with those there that could help.

I took a seat right at the back, on the back row in the corner, the furthest away from the stage as possible and away from the crowds, I sat alone for a while until a couple, John and Eve, took the seats next to me, they introduced themselves and we talked, at that point I came to the first point where I had to make a big decision.

Do I tell the truth or do I continue to try to hide what I had become?

I had been hiding behind my addiction for so long, I hid it so well I had hid it from myself, I didn’t know I was addicted until it was too late.  Now was the time to make a choice, keep hiding or let it all out, admit what I was so the healing process could progress.

I recounted my story for the first of so many occasions, with that first recalling of my downfall to someone I didn’t know came some relief from the pain, the more I shared my story of the coming weeks the easier it got.

I spoke with John and Eve after the service, discussed how I felt about it and a little bit more about my story and my journey so far, but after that discussion I seemed once again to be alone.  That’s when after standing alone for some time, I decided to go home, but on the way out I met with James, he had been one of those who had come to my house on my daughters confirmation day, we had only met that once, but he remembered and we talked, for the second time that morning I retold my whole sordid story, it was easier this second time, I’m so glad I met with James on the way out that day, that meeting started a great friendship and the biggest support for my journey so far, in my low times James has been there to pick me up, maybe if I hadn’t of decided to go home that day, if I hadn’t felt a little bit like I didn’t fit, just maybe I wouldn’t have bumped into James and that support may not have been as quite the same, without it this journey may not have been as fantastic as it has.

Over the coming weeks and months in Church I met more and more people, but there were still times that I stood alone in a room of hundreds, when I felt out of place and simply left alone, but that’s me and my amazing ability.  I have that superpower, to become invisible, to stand alone in my own company, in a crowded room.

It’s my biggest problem, my natural shyness, I’ve struggled with it all my life and still do now, it gets to me because it holds me back.  On this blog I can hide behind the keyboard and screen, alone I type at home, in my own company, then everyone can read it at their own leisure, even my most private and potentially embarrassing moments and secrets I can write about on here, I guess I don’t have to look anyone in the eye as I’m telling my story, I don’t have to look embarrassed or feel like I’m being judged, after all being judged was my biggest fear that day I walked into to Church.

Being judged as not worthy of a place in Church because of my sin and my addiction was what I was most frightened off, when John asked why I had chose to come to Church that day and I decided I had to tell me story, regardless of what these people thought of me, I got the response I needed and that wasn’t judgement, it was a friendly smile, a pat on the shoulder and a welcome to their Church, reassurance that whatever I had become over the years, I was welcome there, I was in the right place now, it didn’t matter to them what I was, it mattered to them that I had found my way home, to a family that would love me and see me through my journey.

It mattered to them that I had found my way to God’s house, I was home.

Do I still stand alone in a crowded room, the answer sadly is yes, but it certainly not as bad as it was.

Can I just walk into uncharted surroundings and talk to people at will, no I can’t, I still not all good at that.  I would love to stand out in the crowd sometimes, not just fade into the shadows, I would love to be able to just walk up to someone I didn’t know and strike up a conversation, but I can’t, I guess it’s that fear of being judged on first impressions once again.

It holds me back sometimes, I’m not good at putting myself forward in situations, but I am who I am and right now, I’m happy with who I am.

ALONE by SANCTUS REAL
True love exists yes I know this
My heart was waiting for you
And when we met I felt my chest
pound fast, racing for the chance
to know you, to hold you
To open up and show you
The way it feels when you know…

You are not alone
Know that I would fight the tides to
Be together
When you feel alone
Listen to this song to make your heart
feel better

Two hearts entwined, yes, you are mine
And I’ll be your’s forever
I’ve done the math, I’m less than half
We’re better off together
And I want you here by my side
As much as you are on my mind
When I’m gona you should no

Rainy Mondays feel like Fridays
When you’re smiling at me I can feel
The space
Between us collapsing
Our love is everlasting

Listen to this song
Let it make your heart feel better

Silver Morning

My morning walk this morning was a lot easier, the walk up the hill and back had none of the heavy leggedness of yesterday, this time I could have easily of walked on, but I had to get back home, shower and then walk to work, shame I was enjoying it.

By the time i walked to work and passed the lake, the clouds had departed and the morning sun was in full view.  I took photos this morning with both my digital camera and my iPhone to compare, the same photos from the same sport, but to be honest I found that the ones on my iPhone created a great atmosphere, the silver of the sun behind the darkness of the foreground was a great contrast.

Silver Waters

Silver Waters

Silver Glow

Silver Glow

Light Beyond Dark

Light Beyond Dark

Silver Awakening

Silver Awakening

On a darker note, after almost twelve hours at work I come home to find the microwave sat next to the bins in the back yard, fantastic, no money and now no microwave, it never rains but it pours, this storm builds and the winds blow, but I stand facing forward and I walk as strong as I did yesterday, nothings gonna beat me, I will overcome.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep believing in what you can’t see
That everything happens for a reason even the worst life brings
If you’re reaching for an answer and you don’t know what to pray
Just open up the pages; let His Word be your strength
And hold on to the promises (hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (all right)
Jesus is alive, so hold tight
Hold on to the promises
(Promises by Sanctus Real)

Awards Catch Up

January seems to have been so busy, following the lazy end to December, which although it dragged me down a little, it did give me loads of time to visit many of your great Blogs on a regular basis.  I know over the last month, I haven’t been visiting and reading as much as I would like to, I haven’t posted as much as I would want to either, settling for posting poetry and photo’s, quick posts rather than the more structured longer posts on my struggles or any topics that crop up as I journey.

So one thing I haven’t addressed is the number of awards that have come my way over the last month, so I will process four awards in one post.  Because of that I’m not going to follow or post all the rules of the awards, I am going to award all four awards to each one of my nominees, apologies if you have already received them, but I hope you will appreciate the nomination anyway.  Should you wish to adhere to the rules of each award, please visit the Blogs of those who have been kind enough to give me the award.

The Shine On Award

 

Shine On Award

Shine On Award

 Awarded to me by Sheri at The Other Side Of Ugly.

Blog of the Year 2012 Star

 

Blog of the Year Award 4 star

Blog of the Year Award 4 star

 

Awarded to me by Robin Claire at A Christian Over Comer

Illuminating Blogger Award

light bulb concept

Awarded to me by Otrazhenie

Liebster Award

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

Awarded to me by Clem at Tornhout – Nashville

Therefore, I award all of the above to:

Robin Claire
Itchyfeetme
Cookie 5683
Human In Recovery
Gegebearbear
Deep And Wonderful Thoughts
Writerwannabe763
Gooseyanne
Misswhiplash
Pamasaurus
Jennyelaine
Glorius Mettle
AFrankAngle
Freedomborn
Stephenedwards425
DontYouKnowMe

Thank you all for your support and fantastic comments, and your wonderful blogs.

 With you all, I share this song.

Oh oh we need each other
So what’s the fighting for
Oh oh we need each other
Please don’t close the door
Oh oh we need each other
Through all the highs and lows
Oh oh we need each other
Cuz no one’s meant to live alone
(We Need Each Other by Sanctus Real)

How Did I Fall So Far?

So, at what point did this all go so very wrong, when did I start to descend down that spiral into the dark pit that I found myself in. Tuesday 13th March 2012 was one of the lowest points in my life, but how did it get to that point, what were the triggers, the reasons for finding myself face down on the floor and just five days later so close to ending it all with a knife blade at my wrist. That Sunday lunchtime it is clear to me now, I would never be able to take the easy way out, the cowards way out, because again that day like all the times before, God placed his hands on wrists and whispered in my ear the only words that really mattered.

But how and why did this happen to me, alcohol definitely became a crutch to hold me up, it’s an understatement to say I became dependant on it, I convinced myself I couldn’t sleep without it! But how did it come to this point?

I’ve always enjoyed a drink, but never really classed myself as a big drinker, it didn’t take much for me to get drunk on a night out, but at home I could drink loads and not feel drunk at all, that only seemed to happen when I was out which wasn’t very often.

I had been self-employed since 1998. I had already struggled with debt when I first started out and paid that back over time, but I let it happen again taking out loans and credit cards to pay off bills and debts, at that time the banks were throwing credit at everyone. I lived quite comfortably with my partner and two young children, I taught karate and had made it on the England squad, times were good.

But 2009 brought change, I retired from the England squad at the age of 35, although I passed my 4th Dan black belt later that year, there became a sense, that after all that I had lost a little bit of purpose in my life, I had at that point no goals to aim for. Then at the end of 2009 the “Credit Crunch” hit the UK, work just seemed to dry up and with it money, for the first time in over ten years I didn’t have any regular work, although this had happened before, then I had no kids and still lived with my parents with very little to worry about in terms of responsibilities, this time I had rent to pay, bills, loans, tax arrears and a young family to care for.

At one point I signed on at the Job Centre, if I was to pick a time where it actually felt like it all went wrong, it was probably that day, I sat in the Job Centre with people who quite clearly did not want to work, they would do anything not to, I swore that I didn’t want to become like that, I wanted to work and wasn’t afraid to, I didn’t really want hand outs, I wanted to pay my own way in life. Before I could complete the paperwork, I got a bit more work in, so I promptly signed off before receiving any money, anything not to have to step foot in the job centre again, don’t get me wrong, some people there were clearly looking to find work, but some were clearly there just for the hands out and had no intention of working. But as time passed, I became just like the lazy, workshy locals, that I sat next to in that Job Centre.

Work was hit and miss, a few days here a few days there, it barely paid the rent never mind the bills. The days I wasn’t working I found that gradually I didn’t even get out of bed, I would lounge around all day, pottering about on the computer, nothing productive, Facebook or games, watching the TV at the same time. Although money was tight I always managed to find cash for alcohol, the nights I wasn’t out teaching I would go to the local shop, buy either eight cans of cider or two bottles of wine, and drink the lot that night. If I was out teaching I would go to the pub after and have four pints of 5% cider. One thing I never did was drink before a class, I managed to keep it together for karate, that was the only place where I considered that things were normal.

As the weeks and months went on through 2010, work carried on to be inconsistent and money was getting harder to come by, in the mean time I was wracking up debts and bank charges. But I couldn’t break the cycle and things were getting darker, If I wasn’t working or teaching I wouldn’t really get up, wash or even dress, if I went to the shop I would just throw some tracksuit bottoms over the clothes I had slept in the previous night, eventually I spent so much time on the settee, I never left it, I just fell asleep watching TV with a can or bottle in my hand, I just started sleeping on the settee, I took myself out of the bed I had shared with my partner since 1997.

I couldn’t face dealing with the money issues, I just couldn’t get motivated to do it, if I was at home I just wanted to do nothing, just watch the TV programs I had got used to watching on a daily schedule and doing nothing constructive. At night I had convinced myself I had to drink, if I didn’t I couldn’t sleep, I would have bad dreams, nightmares, you know the kind where you keep going over the same problems, you wake thinking it’s real, you try to get back to sleep, but the same dreams comes back, the same problem, but if I’d had a drink that wouldn’t happen, I get into a deep sleep with no bad dreams, so I had to drink, it helped me escape my problems rather than face them. If I had continued to have these bad dreams, night after night, I would probably have been forced to deal with my problems, but as it was I was hiding behind the alcohol.

This cycle continued throughout 2010 and 2011, I knew deep down I had to sort this out, I knew a large crack was forming in my relationship and I knew if I didn’t sort it soon it would be too late, but I couldn’t seem to do anything about it, I just wanted to drink, I was convinced I needed to drink, if I didn’t I couldn’t sleep, I would be edgy, I would walk around the house rubbing my hand restless, I was hooked, I was no longer in control.

Towards the end of 2011 I got a full time job, regular money together with a bit of extra part time work. I thought this would be it, regular money, get caught up on some of the repayments and sort things out at home, I could get our relationship back on track once the money issue was resolved. I was wrong, because I still didn’t realise I had a drink problem, I thought it was the money that was driving the wedge between us not the drink. Earning regular money didn’t help either, it just meant that I had more money to buy more alcohol with and that was just what happened, to the point that in the weeks up to my complete and utter breakdown, I could get through anywhere between of 20 to 30 pints of cider and 8 to 10 bottles of wine a week.

The drinking habits got worse, I couldn’t not drink now, I had money, no excuse now not to drink every night. If I fell asleep with a can or bottle that I had started and I woke up in the middle of the night, I would finish it. If I woke in the morning with the alarm to get up for work and there was an unfinished can of cider I would finish it and go get ready, if it was a bottle of wine I would finish it, if it was nearly empty, then get ready or if there was more than half a bottle I would drink some more then save the rest for later. Some nights I would get back from the pub at 1am in the morning, I would search for something else to drink, then lay on the settee watching TV until I fell asleep, get up and go to work, I was spiralling out of control, I couldn’t leave any once I had started it, I couldn’t just pour it down the sink, that was a waste, I would it drink warm and flat, it didn’t matter it was still alcohol.

Then in March this year things happened at home and I had to find out where we were, my worst nightmares were confirmed, my relationship of 15 years was over and there was no going back, I had never felt so low in my life. During the last two years at my lowest points I had contemplated suicide a number of times, usually Sunday lunchtimes when the family were at Church and I was alone at home, I would sit on the edge of my bath with a small pen knife in my hand, trying to find reasons to end it or not. I knew the way the system here in the UK worked, I couldn’t provide, I wasn’t capable of providing for my family anymore, if they were a single parent family the state would pay for everything, they would be better off without me, they didn’t need me dragging them down anymore, but it always came down to one reason to carry on, that one message that was whispered in my ear every time I hit this point, that reason was that I knew the first person to find me in that bathroom, dead in a pool of my own blood, would be one of my kids, no kid should have to live with that, it would be better to live with me how I was, than live with the memory of finding me dead, that was the only thought that made me put that blade down, every time.

After that Tuesday night I couldn’t eat, I had no appetite for anything but alcohol, I was drinking more, but not eating, but after another suicide episode the following Sunday, I decided this time if I couldn’t find a way out then change was the only way forward.

I’m not all right
I’m broken inside
And all I go through
It leads me to you
(I’m Not Alright by Sanctus Real)

The next day started with a phone call that started a journey with God, a way out of the darkness and ten days later an end to the drinking. It hasn’t been an easy journey since, but I’m still sober and still on my journey with God, but now I am enjoying every minute of life, I refuse to let things bring me down anymore and I try to deal with things head on, not hide away.

Life now just gets better everyday and I can only thank God for that.