Since he stopped drinking, the world has literally opened up for The Sober Trekker
By The Sober Trekker
The beginning of my story is pretty typical. I started drinking in the early 1990s when I was 14 years old. We would go up to the local park with bottles of cheap cider or sherry stolen from our parents.
I soon realized that alcohol allowed me to be an extrovert. Booze meant that I could play the role of the group joker—a role I thought I needed to play to kiss the girls and be liked.
The rave scene in the U.K. was in full swing, and Acid House was everywhere. And so were the drugs. In my mid-teens, I experimented with LSD. One evening at a friend’s house, I took a huge amount and had one of the most profoundly terrifying experiences of my life. Total ego death. This experience triggered a whole host of mental health conditions. Anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks.
I spent many years in utter denial about my addiction, despite a host of obvious and catastrophic signs to the contrary.
I soon realized that drinking was very effective when it came to dealing with feelings of anxiety or emotional distress. The oblivion I could effectively achieve with liquor and drugs gave me a respite from mental anguish. I guess it was only a matter of time until I became addicted to alcohol.
I spent many years in utter denial about my addiction, despite a host of obvious and catastrophic signs to the contrary. I didn’t have a rock bottom as such—I just bounced along the bottom until I was simply too exhausted to continue. I was done.
I found getting sober to be a terrifying prospect. I’d come to define myself as a rock-and-roller. I was going to have to fundamentally change and destroy who I was. The thought of a boozeless existence felt like a death sentence.
THIS WAS UTTER NONSENSE. Without a doubt, sobriety is one of the best things I have ever done. I honestly wish I’d done it years ago. Breaking free from the destructive clutches of addiction is exhilarating. I was filled with a sense of utter liberty and freedom. It was like being released from prison.
Since getting sober, I have also been able to get help and address other underlying mental health issues. Addiction is a catastrophic coping mechanism and a symptom of emotional pain. I have begun to develop a host of healthy coping mechanisms for my anxiety, including meditation, mindfulness, journaling and daily exercise. My mental illness is now mental health.
I have been to the Himalayas, Iceland, Patagonia and many more places. All thanks to sobriety.
Another wonderful aspect of sobriety is that my world has become so much bigger. I have gone from lying on the couch off my face night after night to traveling the world, hiking and trekking in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. I have been to the Himalayas, Iceland, Patagonia and many more places. All thanks to sobriety.
My days of addiction seem like a past life now, like a relationship with that inappropriate or abusive ex. Sobriety has given me a new life full of opportunity and possibilities. Not a day goes by that I’m grateful for my sobriety.
You can find out more about The Sober Trekker on Instagram.