How Jeremy Kyle made me realise I'm an addict.

Here’s the biggest confession I will ever make in my life. Bigger even than the one where I admitted I am an alcoholic.

I am addicted to Jeremy Kyle.

I am more ashamed of this than I am of anything else. I love it and hate it in equal measure. It is the TV version of alcohol to me. I know I have to stop but I can’t.

We bought our house in November 2017 and, up until last week, we didn’t have a TV aerial as we have never really watched TV (who would when you have Netflix and Amazon Prime at your fingertips) and £80 - £100 to have one fitted seemed like an unnecessary expense for something that we didn’t actually need.

A couple of weeks ago, Hubs fitted an aerial himself (while I was at work) to much exclaiming of “Guess how much it cost! Go on, guess!” to anybody who was close by to our house at the time. In case you were wondering, it cost £20.

(Plus £50 for the retractable loft ladder, £200 to board out the roof space, £80 to board and re-plaster the bathroom ceiling after he put his…

Counselling and fifty days.

Last year, somebody told me that counselling was like picking at a scab so it can never heal. I couldn’t disagree more with this comment and made sure they knew it. Because you know me, I’m not shy in getting my point across. Counselling, for me, is not about picking the scab, it’s about healing the skin underneath the visible wound and making sure that you don’t have to cover that part of you up for the rest of your life.

I first accessed counselling at University. I was suicidal, again, unable to develop relationships with people on my course, or manage the workload and a full time job and a massive drinking habit. I drank every day at Uni. Fuelled by a diet of takeaways and garlic pizza. I couldn’t afford my rent half of the time but I could always afford a bender. Or worse, two, three, four bottles of wine alone at home.

This series of counselling was created purely to get me through my course, make sure I didn’t kill myself and embarrass the University and to meet a very basic we…

What a save, what now!

A very pleased Hubs who hasn't watched a single football match since we met four and a half years ago but is now an expert in football and the England World Cup team. And how to get wankered on four pints of Fosters. 
Last night I had my first experience of watching England play football booze free. I mean, I was booze free. I can’t guarantee they were. Certainly not judging by how they played in the second half…

We watched the match at a local pub where we managed to bag a table with a few friends and Hubs could sit next to me with a fucking four pint jug of lager (albeit shit lager) while I nursed ginger ale all night and was silently judged by strangers for putting Seedlip into it as though it was real gin.
Watching football sober is great because you can identify, just prior to any kind of stoppage time like half time, full time, penalty time (cheers England), when to go to the toilet at the most efficient, less queuey moment. After my first visit, I walked past queues for both …

Public Service Announcement: This is not a confession.

My "no-fucks given here" shoes worn at Newmarket Races at the weekend. I made incredible memories with astonishingly brilliant people and that is all you can wish for in the world. If you're not laughing until your throat is sore, have you even laughed?! Breaking the cycle can only be done when you make the choice to end it. Start your own cycle, make it amazing and fill it with unicorns. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not an advocate of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m not an advocate of any kind of scriptured religion that preaches tolerance only to those with the same beliefs who look the same and sound the same. But one thing I have seen come up over and over again in the Sobriety groups I follow on social media, is the concept of taking ownership for the wrongs you have committed in the throes of your addiction.
I feel that, over the last few months, I have been making living amends by changing the way that I am living to enable me to live my best life and to support other peopl…

36 days sober: My longest sobriety stint in 21 years.

Two and a bit weeks ago (and two and a bit weeks in to being sober), I restarted my health kick with a BANG and joined a 28 day shred that last year, I failed to make it past 8 days on. This time around has been verrrrry different to the last time where I was allowing my resistance to win (by drinking booze/eating shit/not exercising, I can’t succeed because it’s too hard and I don’t really want to anyway), whereas this time I have kicked it so far up its resistancey arse, it doesn’t even know what it was that it didn’t want to do.
This two and a bit weeks also coincides with my two busiest working weeks (GCSE time, woop!) and aside from a couple of minor transgressions (a full fat mocha with cream towards the end of an intolerably long and arduous 12 hour day and a Lidl Snickers or Twix here or there), I have been able to stick to both the healthy eating plan and the exercise plan.
So what is it that is so different this time? Have I developed into a fully functioning human being c…

Small acts of kindness restore hope in times of darkness – Jordan Rosenfeld.

Yesterday was a tough day. It turns out that sober pub crawling in these first early throes of sobriety is not the best idea I could have had for a Saturday. At 4pm, in the fifth bar of the day, I had a taste of a friend’s beer and it was so good. And I mean, SO good. In fact, it was everything I could ever want in a beer. Fruity, hoppy, full bodied delicious amber nectar, poured straight from the keg. Cold and refreshing. Filled with promises that I had temporarily forgotten that it couldn’t keep.

And I had to leave. After 29 days, I almost reached a point where I caved and bought a beer. A combination of factors led to that point. A spot of tension, social anxiety and sobriety all muddled together in a moreish mojito of moments that could easily have derailed 29 days of progress.

The lesson I am taking from this is that I am not ready to return myself to my previous social life yet. The talks with friends earlier on in my journey about activities that don’t revolve around the pub ne…

4 weeks sober. I know, right?!

4 weeks sober. 28 days. 672 hours. 40,320 minutes.
80 drinks passed. £242.80 saved. 1 day 2.98 hours of my lifetime regained. A stone, a fucking stone, in weight lost. 
Day one. Your blood is completely free of alcohol.
Day three. Your brain cells have started regenerating. Anxiety and nausea are high at this time.
Day seven. Anxiety, nausea and possible hallucinations should be much easier after week one, withdrawal symptoms have diminished or disappeared.
Day fourteen. Many signs of your physical health will appear after two weeks. Skin health, sleep and digestive system will all improve.
Day twenty one. New neurons are developing in my brain after three weeks, supporting your cognitive functions.
Day twenty eight. Grey matter in the brain has been shown to have increased in size after quitting drinking for one month. Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and sel…