Opening Time

This blog has been inspired by my finding out that several resources actually exist that promote sobriety in the UK without following the usual path of God, steps and meetings. These include The Brink in Liverpool and the blog Tired of Thinking about Drinking

I’ve only just started reading Belle’s blog and I’ve not even visited The Brink yet, but I have been sober this time for 1 year, 4 months and counting. It has struck me more and more that one of the great hurdles for people who stop drinking, especially when it has been central to their life before, is how socially unacceptable it is to never drink. Now, I have lived my whole life in the NW of England, I come from a Catholic background, and a working class one. So the drink had always flowed. And maybe its just the voice (what Belle calls Wolfie and what Rational Recovery calls the beast, the limbic reward centre  who’s quest to push its own button is translated by your upper brain into elaborate, self-delusional lies) telling me so, but it seems to me that the necessity of drink is still the predominant message out there. So, not being able to handle that necessary drink is something to be ashamed of: you are spoiling the party for everyone – you with your weakness, your problem, your fun sapping selfishness that sucks the drunken camaraderie out of the room. The gang. The mob.

I want a change in the world, I don’t want others in my boat to feel ashamed and isolated and boring. I don’t want that for myself, either. The blogs and dry bars and even commercial things like make me think that maybe a change is possible, is on the way. Lots of different social groups have found acceptance over the years, and while I wouldn’t for one second want to say the stigma of being sober and in recovery is comparable to the anguish of being gay in the 60s (sober bashing rarely involves actual beatings, as far as I am aware) what I am looking for is our Stonewall moment, where we stand proud and say ‘We’re here, We’re clear, We’re not getting sloppy’!!

I am sick of standing in a corner, haunting the back rooms of Churches, going late and leaving early. I want my safe spaces and I want them plentiful, unremarkable and out in the light.


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