Member Journey – Dan Buchanan

Dan Buchanan’s Journey……
We wanted to start the year by sharing one of member’s journey. This one we read at the end of December and WOW. 
This is a very real and very raw journey and one that tugged at our heart strings.  Yes it made us shed a tear and made us realize even more that you don’t ever know what people are going through.
So, we want to thank Dan for allowing us to share his journey with you all.
Moo & Team x

 

 

Closing out the last quarter of the last day of 2021, I find myself reflecting on the year that was and dreaming of the year that is to come.

 

Dear reader, 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. I had the person I admire most, suggest to me, that I perhaps needed to look at how much alcohol I was drinking and whether that was helping or hurting myself and those around me.

 

Pride and self esteem slightly bruised, I took a break from the bottle. Days turned into weeks. Weeks became months and very soon those months will have become a year of sobriety.

 

Anyone who knows me at all knows I’ve never been far from a bar, a beer, a bottle of wine, or anything else even mildly reminiscent of alcohol.

 

Hell I spent 25 years either behind or in front of a bar! And they would also know that I would always be the first to suggest enhancing any occasion with a drink no matter how big or small, be it an actual occasion or simply just because. And I would do it all with a smile, maybe some music but definitely always a laugh.

 

But this last year without alcohol, the smile cracked, the music stopped and the laughter went from hahaha to just a solitary ha. Dear reader, without the bottle I just couldn’t keep on bullshitting myself. I had no more excuses. I had to face my demons before they tore me to pieces.

 

Without the comforting numbness of alcohol and with a head full of clear thoughts, I found myself regularly overwhelmed with shame, guilt, fear, despair, anxiety and depression to name a few trifling matters. Alcohol had been my coping tool for a lot of things I just wasn’t dealing with. Absolutely crippled and with no idea of what to do I turned to Jesus, lol just jokes! Nah for real though, I started journaling.

 

Emptying my thoughts onto paper helped me clear my head and helped me recognize problems as they happened. Journaling gave me the practice of naming my feelings and working through why I was feeling them. It unlocked something in me and before long I was able to do it all in my head.

 

After a while I got the balls to reach out for help and I contacted the Canterbury Men’s Centre. Before I knew it I was sitting with a therapist reading from my journal, crying like a baby and I remember thinking that this is fucking crazy and I should just pack it up and quit. But I persevered and I’m so glad I did. For the majority of 2021 I saw my therapist every two weeks.

 

We unpacked a lot of shit I had been carrying around for a long time. It felt amazing to finally be able to hold those things up to the light, see them for what they are and to put them away for good.

 

I’m still sober. I’m still in therapy. I still sometimes feel worthless. Like a shit dad. A useless mate. A hopeless husband. But I get through it and I don’t need to turn to booze to do it. 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. But it was also one of the most fulfilling and for that I am truly looking forward to the year ahead.

 

I hope everyone out there has a great 2022 and that you all find peace, love and strength. For any of my friends that are struggling, particularly with alcohol or with mental or emotional health, please reach out. It can make all the difference.

 

www.alcohol.org.nz

Alcohol and Drug Helpline

Mental Health Foundation NZ

Peace ✌

 

PS here’s some cute holiday pics

Article by Moo – The Owner of Bodyfix

Hi, I am Moo, gym owner, mother, business owner and jack of all trades here at Bodyfix. I have a huge huge passion for helping anyone & everyone out there to have a better and healthier lifestyle while at the same time achieving your health and fitness goals.

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