Daily Archives: 22/01/2016

Friday Sober Jukebox – we don’t need no education

we don't need no educationSo this post is triggered by two things – a sample of this track spinning round during a run one time over Xmas and a post by Kristen over at ByeByeBeer.  I’m mixing my metaphors somewhat because initially there will be some expression of defiance about brainwashing, as this song so brilliantly illustrates, & then it will become about education, growth of self and homework for life! 😉

The defiance is about the brainwashing, aka PR & advertising might of the drinks industry, that cranked up it’s messaging that booze is good and excessive drinking is normal over the Xmas & New Year period that made me increasingly angry and resentful.  Not a good  place to be & I had to work very hard to manage that around my family.  I don’t know but the lyrics of thought control and being a brick in the wall resonated for me.  We become so co-opted by it all I despair and for me it really is that matrix red pill blue pill moment.  So you can take the red pill and keep drinking or take the blue pill and do it a whole different way.  Which requires commitment and faith that those who have been before you are not lying to you and that it is so worth it.

Which segways with what Kristen featured which is a TED talk called Homework for Life.  If you click on the ByeByeBeer link you can watch it there which is where I saw it 🙂

“Homework for Life” is a strategy that I originally began using to generate more story topics for the stage, but as I began to use the strategy daily, it changed my life. It made everything about my life so much more vivid and slowed my life down remarkably. It’s a strategy I teach to my storytelling classes often, and I’ve had people tell me that it has replaced therapy and meditation for them. It truly changes lives. Powerful.

He talks about spotting the ‘danders in the wind’ which really resonated for me.  So to counteract the ongoing onslaught of ‘life requires booze to be good’ message I’m starting to practice homework for life as an additional sober tool to support the therapy and meditation I already practice.  At the age of 47 life is already speeding up way too much for me so if I can slow it down & notice the beautiful in the benign that has got to be a good thing.  Plus it supports my word for the year ‘clarity’ 🙂

Now that tune 😉

PS If you’re looking for a new eaterie & are East London way can I recommend Redemption?  I’ve blogged about it before here.  They opened their West London venue in Notting Hill back in August & now they have one in the heart of Shoreditch!

This is what Catherine had to say:

Redemption Bar’s new Shoreditch restaurant will be located at 320 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DR and will open to the public from Monday 4th January for a lunch service. 

redemption old streetOpening hours:
Monday – Friday 12pm – 11pm
Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm

Alcohol ruined my life (2)

Yesterday’s and today’s post comes from my old home of Brighton & Hove.  It’s where I worked and cared for alcoholic liver disease patients so I am only too aware of the issue that the city has locally.   In Brighton and Hove there is an average of two alcohol-related deaths each week.

This was covered in the local newspaper The Argus in November and I want to contrast the shared personal stories with new products being bought to market by the alcohol industry at the same time to highlight what we are up against.  New ways to market alcohol in different formats and to different market segments are being worked on all the time and for this person alcohol ruined their life.

mancanA wine MANCAN!  Yes really ……… and thank you to the member of  Club Soda on FB who bought this new product to my attention.



Gary turned to alcohol after his life began to fall apart

FORMER school teacher Gary has not touched a drop of alcohol in six months.

It is a huge achievement for the 51-year-old who, until only recently, was seeking solace in booze every night after he lost his job and his marriage broke down.  He had always been a social drinker but it was never a problem until he was in his 40s and became “more thirsty” as parts of his life began to fall apart.

His relationship with his wife broke down, they sold their house and he moved into a smaller property on his own.  He turned to a six pack of lager and half a bottle of vodka to cushion the blow but said by 2013 he had gone “completely gaga”.

“It got the better of me and I got into a really bad space. It was horrible,” he said.  “I could hold my drink and could function OK but I never had an alcohol free day. I was using it to get through the day. I was going to work not completely alcohol free. It’s terrible but it’s true.  “I would get long holidays and had six weeks on my own so I became best friends with the off licence.  “I woke up one day and the first thing I did was reach for the bottle. I suddenly thought ‘Gary – what are you doing, is this what the rest of your life is going to be?’ I didn’t want it to be.”

In May this year he called Pavilions drug and alcohol service for help.  “I couldn’t get out of the hole myself. I went kicking and screaming – I was still in some form of denial until I could admit it. I was admitted to Mill View hospital in Hove, I couldn’t safely come off the drink myself so I went there to detoxify.”

He was in there for eight days and nights earlier this year, receiving injections of the tranquiliser Diazepam. He then attended a relapse prevention course with Pavilions.  Now he is in recovery and to show his gratitude for those who helped him, he has become a volunteer for the charity.