Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I’ll be chatting to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
Mike is the owner & founder of dating website for alcohol free people Single and Sober (check that out here), he’s been sober for over six years and I found this interview super inspiring.
Read on for his not drinking diary …
Name: Mike (owner and founder of Single and Sober)
Location:Flagstaff, AZ USA
1.What led you to think differently about drinking?
Knowing that I could not just have one drink was what led me to think differently about drinking. I never drank to be social, I drank to get drunk.
I knew very early on in my life that I had an addictive personality and I knew one day the drinking would have to stop completely.
2.How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
I have been continuously sober from alcohol for over 6 years so I would say my relationship with alcohol is over. I started drinking when I was 15 and stopped when I was 31, it was time for that relationship to end because it was killing my productivity and I was not in control of my thoughts and actions.
3.What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
As a musician and lover of live music, the hardest thing by far would be concerts and jamming with people who drink. I have to limit these types of activities because I know being around this environment too much could be bad for my health.
I do not have any urge to drink anymore but concerts are where most of my hard partying occurred and it is important for me to be aware of my surroundings and know my limits.
4.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
After I quit drinking, I slowly began dropping other bad habits as well. I got a really bad cold a couple months into my sobriety so I finally decided to quit smoking cigarettes. Then my therapist at the time suggested that I stop taking my anxiety medicine. I was very nervous about that. That was truly my last crutch and after a couple of weeks I successfully did that too!
None of this was easy but I convinced myself that I wanted a happier and healthier life and this was the way to achieve it.
5. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
I start my day by showing my gratitude. I put my hands into prayer position over my heart and say thank you out loud quietly to the universe.
Expressing my gratefulness is something I always make time for during the day and especially during meals.
6. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Playing my guitar is a ritual for me and I try and play every day even if it is just for 10 or 15 minutes.
7. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free & not drinking) at the weekend?
My girlfriend just bought a ukulele so jamming with her is my favourite weekend activity right now.
8. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
Being mindful in everything I do especially with eating and exercise.
Sometimes I eat too much and sometimes I do not exercise as often as I should. I just try and do my best to keep things in the middle of the road these days!
9. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
Playing outdoor pick-up soccer!
10. And finally, thinking differently about your relationship with alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
If you feel like you have a drinking problem then you absolutely have the power to change that. You have to dig deep and want to change. I used meetings, therapy, friends and family to help me with my drinking problem. I encourage people who are new in sobriety to consider remaining single for at least the first year. Focusing on yourself should be your number 1 priority. Getting sober has completely transformed my life for the better