Group Therapy

Every Wednesday I go to Turning Point, in Oxford and participate in a form of group work called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It is structured so each week there is a new topic that links on from the previous so over the length of the course you’re able to build up a portfolio of knowledge to take away with you and practice in the “real world”!

Todays topic was about being in the present and recognising thoughts/emotions that could lead to particular behaviours ie drink/drug use, or perhaps using a substance to mask those unwanted feelings. The thing is it’s not bad to feel, that’s just part of being human. The problem is the actions we take to control or avoid them!

This leads me on to our “homework” assignment. For the next week, about 10 mins each day, the group has been tasked with finding a quiet place and to just sit and be aware of whatever thought, feeling, urge or emotion comes along. Sounds easy! I know from previous experience that it can be really uncomfortable. Once you stop and take away distractions the mind starts to race and all sorts of things come to the surface, some welcome and some not so much. It does take practise but do you become emotionally stronger, more capable of being with yourself and accepting who you are.

That’s it for this post,

Stay safe.




Been feeling frustrated the last couple of days. I don’t feel like I’m getting any better and am slipping back into my old ways!

There are some positives though; I’ve reconnected with some people to build bridges and my plan is to start going to the gym again!!

Hope everyone’s keeping well

Drink History

So in this post, I wanted to talk about my history with drinking.

The Younger Years:

Like a lot of people, I’d started to drink on a regular basis when I was about 16. I met with friends in the park or we found that pub which didn’t care too much about ID. As long as you looked old enough!!

Back then, drinking was just good fun. It was all about meeting with your mates and plucking up the courage to talk the to that person you fancied!

The Working Years:

It wasn’t until I’d met someone and started working in the real world that alcohol became an issue. I’d come home from work and reward myself with a beer or two, this then became three or four drinks and you get the picture! I worked in retail so on my days off I was spending the majority of my time drinking because I thought I deserved it. I’d worked hard so why not treat myself.

I would go into work with a hangover, be angry at customers and then at the end of the day buy beer and do the whole cycle again. I started to resent my girlfriend being in the flat, because all I wanted was booze and I felt guilty that I was jeopardizing my relationship. But once that first mouthful had gone down all the emotions and feelings disappeared. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had discovered the very reason why I drink….I can’t deal with my emotions. sitting with those feelings scares me!

Fast forward a few years, I’d had moved around, been diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder”, my girlfriend had stuck by me through it all and we were now both working for Unilever, based in Bedfordshire. In many respects this was a highlight of my life, I had a stable income and medication for my illness. I still wasn’t able to quit the beer though. I kept pushing my relationship further to the breaking point, through various bad choices, and eventually it all came to a head. After seven years, we were finished.

In some respects I was glad, I didn’t have this person telling me that I shouldn’t be drinking or forcing me to go out when I wanted to do was hit the bottle. On another level, I had lost my best friend and that one person who was trying to stop me to drink so that I could fulfill my potential and be the person she knew I could be.

So after lots of tears, I moved out.

I subsequently spent the time living on my own trying to balance work and drink but, as is my way, the drink won. It all came to a head, again, when I was supposed to go on a work trip to Hamburg but had spent the night before getting drunk. I was nervous and doubting how I would perform in the interview so I missed the trip, overdosed, got in trouble with the police and was pepper sprayed/handcuffed which led to me being signed off from work.

Now the fun began, or so I thought. In my world, I was being paid to sit in my flat, watch TV and drink as much as I could. The reality of it was that I was depressed beyond anything I have ever experienced and bored out of my mind. I wasn’t eating, cleaning or generally taking care of myself and the people around me all moved on. Out of sight, out of mind. I spent 6 months in this state and tried to do a return to work on several occasions but with limited success. So, in April 2014, I decided that enough was enough. I couldn’t carry on like this. I quit my job, moved back to my parents house and decided that to have a break I would go cycling in France. That worked well for about a week and then I came back to the UK and hit the bottle again. I was trying to keep the extent of my drinking from my folks so there were days when I didn’t have any alcohol but for the majority of the time, I was wasted.

In Nov 2014, I had another meltdown. I was throwing things around the room and uncontrollably crying/shouting and punching myself in the face. Understandably, I was taken to the John Radcliffe hospital where I was assessed and discharged with a leaflet for something called the Oasis partnership and instructions to call them asap. Which I did. I can honestly say, It was the best thing I’ve ever done.

My Recovery: 

The “Oasis Partnership” has now become “Turning Point” and the quality of service is amazing. There are groups happening all the time and people who truly understand what your dealing with. I have been with them for 8 months and in that time have made some great friends and most importantly for me, I am learning to sit with thoughts /emotions and not react to them or try to block them out with alcohol. I am a long way from stable but with their support and that of my family have made great strides to becoming a “BeerFreeBloke”!


Hi everyone,

My name is Jon, I live in Oxfordshire and I’m an alcoholic.

I started this blog as a way of expressing my thoughts/emotions and to chronicle my journey through recovery.

It can be a very lonely place so it’s nice to think that maybe someone out there will read what I write and be able to relate to it.

Anyways, that’s it for now. More posts to follow!