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Sex, drugs and sausage rolls: London life, love and other random stuff

2011: the year I saved a life

with 30 comments

Image: Lonely man

 

Someone needed rescuing in 2011

Last New Year’s Eve, I had a bad case of the flu. I was miserable, lonely, broke and ill. I called my friends at 11am and told them I wouldn’t be joining them and put down the phone feeling gutted.

Any normal person would have chalked it up to a case of bad luck and germs, watched movies in bed, grabbed a pizza and an early night and woken up on New Year’s Day one step closer to feeling better.

What did I do? I went to the shop, bought a bottle of vodka and got drunk.

I’ve never drunk normally. I regarded people who enjoyed ‘just the one glass of wine with dinner’ as freaks — although I envied them totally. For me, it had one purpose: oblivion. It made everything go away, and once I had it inside me, there was no ‘off’ button until my money ran out or someone broke the front door down to stop me.

At 3am, a brick smashed through the bedroom window and landed on the bed. It wasn’t personal, most likely the antics of some drunken idiot trying to prove himself to his mates. Ironically I judged him.

I woke up, not knowing for a moment what had happened. Broken glass covered the duvet and I cut my hands to ribbons tearing back the bedsheets and trying to figure out where I was. Still pissed, and with a bitter wind now blowing through my bedroom, I went into the living room, downed half a bottle of Jack Daniels and knocked myself out till morning, comatose on the sofa in a bloodstained blanket.

So it should come as little surprise that as I sit here typing this, hangover-free on January 1st — having spent New Year’s Eve eating ice cream and watching movies with my boyfriend — that comparatively speaking, 2012 is already off to a rollickingly good start.

2011 began as it was to continue for the next six months. I started off the new year drunk, lonely, frightened, in debt and with a hole in my soul ten times the size of that in my bedroom window.

February saw me relapse again, nine bottles of vodka over four days. The police broke in. I can’t even remember being taken to hospital.

I managed to stay dry for three months till it happened again. I had tried so hard, but I was merely abstaining, not dealing; and it was scarily easy to give in and pour it down my neck again. As I opened the bottle I even felt a sliver of excitement.  Another week lost from my life, another empty bank account and another bunch of cuts and bruises to add to my ever-growing collection of scars. All of which I have no recollection of getting.

I was losing my friends, the respect of my family, and clinging onto my job with bloodied fingernails. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I’d felt something close to self-respect.

All the while I was playing out a life in public that everything was okay. But then, I guess that’s what the disease of addiction turns you into: a liar.

I truly mean it when I say I wanted to get better  — or the next time I wanted to die. That was the choice. I couldn’t live like this any longer. I stopped trying to do it on my own and I got some real help.

I found a way. The irony is, I can’t tell you how I did it. I won’t. I’m not going to stand here and advertise a method of getting and staying sober. What if it ends up not working for me and I have a public fall from the wagon? I could destroy someone’s faith in a solution that might otherwise have worked for them. But what I will say is this: for anyone who’s listening, you can’t do it alone. You’ve probably tried already and it’s failed.

A month after I got myself cleaned up good and proper, the handsomest man I’ve ever known turned to me and said “I’d love for you to be my boyfriend.” He had wanted it for a while, he just needed to know I was getting sober for myself rather than for him.

Two months later I left my job. At the time I was riddled with fear, but by this time I had managed to accrue some cash in the bank. I took four months off work and threw myself into getting better.

In October I sent my first invoice for my new business, Thesaurus Rex Copywriting, to one of the world’s biggest software companies.

But most importantly, I no longer see fear or apprehension in the eyes of the people I love. I don’t have to feel that disappointment emanating from my friends and family when I’m found, paralytic, wild-eyed, thin and covered in god-knows-what after going off the radar yet again.

Destructive behaviour comes in all forms and can go to different extremes. Not everyone with alcohol problems drinks the way I did. It can manifest itself in drugs, booze, risky sex, even work and fitness. The drink and drugs just make the noise go away. The sex is a temporary validation.

My world this January 1st is a million miles from where I was last year. I have a loving boyfriend whom I fully intend to marry, a roof over my head, money in the bank, a buzzing new business. I’ve just been ranked in the top 50 most influential LGBT people on Twitter (in fact, it’s for this very reason I’ve chosen to share my story). All this has come to me since I got sober and started participating in my life instead of being a victim to an illness.

The best thing I did in 2011 was for myself: I saved my life. I finally saw how little I valued ‘me’ and I did something about it. And I’m full of gratitude to the people who helped me.

Life has changed, and if you’ve read any of this and are thinking “This is me. This is how I feel” then I promise it can change for you, too.

You just have to ask for help, and it will be given.

Happy new year. x

Written by guy_interrupted

January 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

30 Responses

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  1. as Adele puts it…my own saviour standing on my own two feet…..yours is an interesting journey and through that you managed to write a good few words of wisdom and keep a few of us on some kind of straight and narrow……and tweet lots of random nonsense with the rest of us……

    It’s a strange old world we live in and social media exposes you to so many people and opinions that you may never have thought or considered….the joy of the new age is that even if you don’t agree it might may you think…and change things…..

    As an individual you made me think different about HIV….made me get tested….made me less judgemental and made me jealous of a life I feel I may never have….

    good luck on the next stage of your adventures….you are in a strange way an inspiration…..[thats a compliment]

    M

    M

    January 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm

  2. Another great post. Your place in the top 50 influential tweeters is so deserved. I hope 2012 brings you much happyness. Looking in the mirror every morning I don’t like the person staring back at me. Hopefully I too can find the inspiration to change.

    Keep tweeting, keep blogging.

    Trevor

    January 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  3. Excellent. Thanks for sharing such an incredibly personal story.

    Alan Law

    January 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

  4. I was genuiely upset and disheartened when I began to read this…. I had no idea how your life had dipped, I think I kind of assumed you had it all; so now this has really made me stop and think.

    I am deeply happy to read how you have managed this and in the process found love, I trust your writing continues, and your steadfast attitude and acitvism re safe sex etc.

    i hope and trust 2012 will continue for you as it has begun.

    Love,regards and respect… Vinncent.x

    Vincent in Ireland

    January 2, 2012 at 12:07 am

  5. Amazing Kristian. Thanks for sharing your story I am sure it will help a lot of people. Happy New Year!
    Lots of love xx

    Louise Gillespie-Smith

    January 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

  6. This is such a brave thing to write. I’ve been through a frighteningly similar experience this year, resulting in me quitting alcohol – with help – in October. I finally know who I am, what I’m like without alcohol, after all these years. Do you know what I mean? It’s still a strange feeling every morning. It’s so sad that so many people live secret, destructive lives like this so it’s a fantastic thing you’ve done Kristian in writing this blog. Nothing is perfect. It doesn’t have to be but I feel more ‘perfect’ now than I have ever done – without any assistance from alcohol, or anything else for that matter. Who knew!
    :-)

    Simon Heath

    January 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    • I have a saying, Simon. “Progress, not perfection” – who wants perfect anyway? It’s *incredibly* boring ;)

      Good luck and keep on keeping on. Glad to hear you came through the other side x

      guy_interrupted

      January 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

  7. Another brilliant post KJ. Typing this while tears roll down my face. So glad you found a way to come through and brilliant news about the boyfriend and job.

    xx

    Paul

    January 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

  8. I wish I could have shown this to my son Tom. He died four years ago after a life made hell by his addiction. In the end I think he would have welcomed death as he could see no way out.

    Good luck to you and your partner.

    sue

    January 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

    • I’m really sorry to hear about your son, Sue. I know how it feels to see no way out and it crushes me to hear of someone who didn’t manage to get out of that dark place. Hopefully with this blog and your brave comment, we will be able to help other people who might be feeling the same. Thank you for reading and posting. Loads of love. Kristian x

      guy_interrupted

      January 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

  9. As ever, your honesty is breathtaking.

    Duncan Alexander

    January 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

  10. Kristian,

    I hold my hat off for you! What an inspirational story and I’m sure EVERYONE is behind you to keep your life going better and better. You just brought a tear to my eye in a good way. Happy New Life!

    Mark

    Mark Fell

    January 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

  11. Inspiring – well done!!

    e1geezer

    January 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  12. Amazing blog and I feel some kinship with you as my sobriety date is January 2nd 2009. I was too hungover to quit on the first, naturally. It takes guts to share this stuff and trust me it gets more crazy the longer you stay sober. So there’s never a shortage of material. Anyway, congratulations and thanks for speaking the truth!

    seanpaulmahoney

    January 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  13. Thank you for sharing this. It is fantastic to hear the good stories, when spirit and will triumph. Congratulations! As they say every journey starts with a single step, you’re well on your way and with someone to share it with, every day should be a great adventure. If I may, I’d like to wish you health, wealth and happiness for the new year and your new life…

    Rohn xx

    rohnmt

    January 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  14. Fascinating and moving story. The very best of luck with your recovery. You and ” deserve every hapiness. Lots of love and luck x

    Keith

    January 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm

  15. Didn’t you tweet about the rock through your window back then? A bit shocked at how well you had us all bamboozled! *spank*

    But so glad to see you’ve turned a corner, and so glad you shared so people can learn from this experience.

    And it proves how self-destructive we are really… :-/

  16. Wow similar but different experiences! Mine was drugs but I’m 3 months clean & couldn’t have done it alone either. About a month in I
    got back with an ex (teenage fling fun & we stayed mates) he’d been thru the same but he’s been clean much longer. He got me thru worst moments & made me see certain triggers & damaging people in my life. However I will warn others this doesn’t not always work as if u split & r vunareable u are at danger of relapse.

    Very inspiring story though made me feel more positive about my situation.

    Miss chief

    January 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  17. If we all had the heart to be as honest and open as you are, we could stop pretending and start being free. My deepest respect and appreciation. May 2012 be as good to you as 2011 was bad.
    x, buzzbrain

    buzzbrain42

    January 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  18. WoW Kristian I just finished reading your blog. I know exactly where your coming from. That was my yr last yr. I’m still a work in progress but Im getting there and loving my self more and more each day. Its sometimes hard to face that there is a problem or that you can change it. But it can be down I did it in the 80′s after the drug episode and I can beat this to. You are a very strong person to put that out there for the world to see and should be commended for it. Thank You for posting this Its nice to know Im not the only one out there changing for the Better. ;-) Have a Great 2012 Dennis N. Jr

    Dennis N Jr

    January 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  19. Beautiful and from the heart well done Kristian xxxxxxx

  20. Brilliant, raw, breathtaking – and shocking. Thank you

    mygayadoptionjourney

    January 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  21. I’m enjoying your journey, have read through a mountain of your “emotions” via your blog and tweets. You are obviously on the right path for you in life, can I suggest as a universal gay man, you extend your love, beyond your own immediacy, and that the next time you witness three generations of overweight single mums on the bus, you at least offer a helping hand with their buggies. Peace out……….

    Mark.

    February 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  22. What an amazing story…my life has never been simple having an unhealthy relationship with alcohol since college. Having been born without the “stop” switch in my brain I drank (sorry drink) to get drunk and I don’t stop until I’m mortal…often losing phones, wallets, friends and alas people respect. If I had a motto or a engraving on my tombstone it would be “everything to excess”
    My 2012 came to a head last Saturday when my self destructive left me in vauxhall with just my oyster card and no wallet or phone after I had them stolen in the club I was in. It gets worse!!! I’d had bb with 3 guys and didn’t care… That was until I realised it could have been a little risky!!
    It was when I was sat in the clinic asking for PEP that it sank In.
    Ive made a resolution…this destructive behaviour has to stop and after a crap referral from the GP to a service I could have self referrered myself to and not covering all my addictions!!! Let’s hope my 2012/13 turns out like yours Kristian and that you carry on being inspirational.
    Maybe excess and addiction are standard practice for us gays!

  23. I’ve had a really strange day struggling with my own addictive issues, one of the things I stumbled across on this bad day was this entry in your blog Kristian.
    Each day is a struggle. Hope you are still OK
    I reference your blog here
    http://chartingrecovery.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/whacky-old-day-and-couple-of-graces.html

    Steve Recovering

    March 8, 2012 at 6:42 am

  24. Hello Kristian, I hope you are continuing to do well & are ready to write some more brilliant, truthful, inspiring blogs….your blog & many of your quotes were featured today in a pullout section (“Plugged In”) of the Sunday edition Tampa Bay Times here in Florida, US, so I suspect your site will be receiving a little bit more traffic these days! I have Aunts, Uncles & cousins still living across the pond, where my mother was born. So although I may be a little biased in my wishes for your success, I wanted to extend my gratitude to you for sharing your story. Despite being so far away from here, I know you will be helping at least one person here in their journey through recovery. That makes you, Kristian, one very Blessed soul, Thank you!

    Heather

    April 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  25. [...] thanks to a powerful blog post, we’ve been thinking a lot about feeling broken and those who turn to self destructive [...]

    Feeling Broken

    June 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  26. Thank you for writing such an honest piece. I tried to deal with my alcoholism on my own to no avail. I’m now 5 years sober and my biggest challenge remains asking for help. Still, I prefer that to being hungover!

    Loss of live and hugs for continued success… one day at a time! :)

    @Sexy_Man_LA

    July 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    • I am still struggling but a bit better

      Steve

      July 21, 2012 at 11:30 am

  27. Really Good post Thanks for this one special

    biseeker

    July 25, 2012 at 8:41 am


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