Life After Addiction, with Stuart Partridge & Philip West.

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Life After Addiction, with Stuart Partridge & Philip West.

I’ve spoken to recovered addicts throughout my talks, this time we bring it a little closer to home with one of my earliest raving buddies and another of my FB friends who are both enjoying the benefits of living clean and healthy.

This is an honest and frank discussion on when they realised there was an issue and how they are making steps to enjoy life on a day by day basis.

foreign [Music] foreign [Music] this is [Music] thank you sentence [Music] good afternoon everyone good evening welcome along it is Inspire and be inspired uh weekly motivational conversation uh my name is Andy Ward if you’re joining us for the first time it’s a pleasure to have you I am broadcasting live and direct from the Costa Blanca it is 8pm on Wednesday the 16th of November for the benefit of the recording if you are coming back and checking out the recording then please feel free to leave a comment or a reply to any of the topic that comes up tonight I am joined by two people who have very graciously given me their time to talk about life after addiction Mr Stewart Partridge and Mr Philip West before I bring them onto the stream let me say that I do like to make this as interactive as possible most people who join me on a weekly will be more than aware that I welcome all of your comments all of your points or questions and when I find a gap in the conversation I will address the gentleman good evening Julie how are you thank you for joining us good evening angel and good evening to the rest of the crew who I know will be watching with interest uh without further Ado let me bring my guests onto the stream and say good evening to Stuart and to Phil how are you gentlemen you’re right yeah good thank you very much all good thank you buddy thanks for having me wonderful so uh Jane Harrington also says good evening and my friend John Spore says he’s scrolling through and just happened upon this um many of my friends who do watch this weather live or after the event will definitely as I’ve just said find it interesting and may have some inputs into the conversation um I’ve been given a question already that I will plant in the back of your minds guys is there such a thing as a recovered addict so remember that and we’ll come back to it um the whole point of this conversation is for you guys to share your story um and tell us how you got to the point where um you realized there was an issue before we get there it’s important that we find out about your back stories um we’re gonna take a very brief look into the history of of yourselves and um you know how you uh we we all we’ve all met through music right I would I would assume and first of all my good friend here on the left as we look at the stream screen uh Mr Partridge is a gentleman that I’ve known for 35 years I’d Hazard a guess uh from the mean bad streets of Birmingham uh Stu tell us all about yourself bro it’s a born in Birmingham at 50 years old now I was born in Whitten uh grew up King standing yeah and certain people know Birmingham uh um yeah uh always big into music um bought vinyl from a young age and then yeah just uh started going the Raves and that went to Indy parties before that and clubs in Birmingham then managed to go to Ibiza Tenerife lived up in Scotland and then around 96 moved over to San Francisco for eight years heavily involved in the scene there and then came back uh did a few things in London was in London for about eight years uh left London moved I live in Cambridge you know and yeah um been through quite a lot and uh uh 23rd of last year um stopped drinking due to realizing that there was well I’d realized five years before that and probably long before that there was issues but like everybody else kind of pushed them under the carpet until they come to a point where I had to make a change well that that’s got to have been the fastest summary of I can go deeper but it might be incredible an incredible life that I know you’ve LED so uh I’m just gonna pull you back a little bit uh yeah on some of that because you did say earlier on your the memory isn’t the best you made some bullet points for yourself um uh our paths would have crossed at the Raves I I can’t remember if we would have met uh on the streets before we started going out clubbing I think we probably would have met in the hummingbird around 89 probably around then we might have met before then I know you were see I was from the Indy side so I was going sinatras in the West End Bar and like Edwards and that and from going the hummingbird on a Saturday to sensiteria we fear of our friends people you know like Ben Pearl Mark long and that too I used to hang out with said we need to go on a Friday night and of course went there one Friday night and that was the beginning of a lot of parties and that ran right up until I would have thought 2015 what we spoke about earlier was when I was like I just don’t love this anymore I really don’t enjoy it okay well let me let me pause you there um because we will go back to those uh pivotal days uh thank you for that and as I sit listening we’re definitely going to have a an interview a one-on-one interview because there’s a good 90 minutes uh just listening to your story um your escapades and your worldwide travels so um we’ll talk about that after yeah um okay so Phil Mr West I I have to make sure I address you as as Phil and not Philip otherwise you’re going to feel like you’re getting sold off right correct yeah so my my dad is Phil senior and I’m actually Phil at the third so yeah I I get called Philip when I’m in trouble but most of my friends call me Phil so yeah I’m Phil West um born and raised in Nottingham I’m 46 years old start clubbing when I was 16 17 started buying vinyl about the same time I had an ABS I’ve had a passion for music since I was about three years old I could put a record on the turntable you know my mum was massively into Elvis so we didn’t watch Telly we listened to music music’s been a huge part of my life and yeah started going out clubbing went clubbing all over the place soon as I could get a car and drive I was designated driver never used to drink funnily enough I always used to show for everyone else around um never did drugs either because I’ve got an autoimmune disease which I’ve nearly died from a couple of times so I didn’t think it was worth the risk so I used to go out and I’d be that happy bounding Soul bouncing around the club that everyone thought was on pills and off their face and I’d be drinking water and drive everyone home at the end of the night or when the sun was coming up um start DJing properly in clubs 98 I think something like that playing off vinyl got a few little breaks here and there locally um and just played warm-up for a lot of my friends um and then yeah towards the middle of the 2000s started playing the the bigger clubs um and end up with their residency at gate Crusher in Nottingham which led to going over to Ibiza partying over there um drinking more than I had done um and yeah carried on DJ and then now I’ve sort of fallen into a niche of um making acapellas and stems and stuff for some of the top producers like Dr Packer and Michael Gray and Lenny Fontana and people like that so I’ve still kept my my hand in music Don’t DJ as much as I used to but um because I’ve got eight-year-old twin boys one of them’s here he wants to come and say hello and I said he could so come here quick Ollie so this is my eldest twin Oliver hello and Oliver how are you no he said How’s you said how are you I’m fine thank you so he’s doing really really well he wants to come and say hello wonderful good to see so there we go okay right yeah so yeah so um I probably realized I’m sorry about that I probably had a realized I had a problem with alcohol oh many many years ago like a lot of people do um and you kind of just push it under the carpet and and think ah I’ll be all right I can I can take it or leave it and I’d go on Benders and um recover have a couple of days off a week off whatever get back into it and slowly over the years that that that that problem is really certainly had more often than not um and then January 2021 I decided it was time to knock it on the head for good and go sober uh and I have been sober since that day uh not not had an alcoholic drink which for if you ask any of my friends or anyone close to me is the the furthest thing from reality that anyone could have expected um I’ve always been known as a person who loves a drink uh big party person open house here everyone used to come call this past the Champagne Palace because there was all Fizz on the go and housefuls of people 20 30 people stayed on a weekend and it was it was good times but you know I’m older now a little bit more mature and realized that that side of my life needed to come to an end okay wonderful thank you for that summary um a couple of points that you made there I’ve made a note of that I’m going to talk to you about a little later on all right just uh saying good evening to pog wash Mr Neil McLean good evening to Debs good evening to Emily thanks for passing through um again I will remind everybody watching the recording please do uh leave a comment for our friends here because it is always nice uh when we do get feedback now we’ve got uh three different ways that you can or you may be watching this video on my own personal profile on the Inspire and be inspired page or via my YouTube um if it’s live if you want to head on over to the Inspire and be inspired page and give us a like it would make a big difference and if you wanted to share it as well or tag one of your friends in a message again it does help us get into the line of sight of more people so thank you uh I’m gonna probably Slaughter this name for giving is saying well done Phil I’m not sure if that’s a friend of yours or um someone who’s just watching who says well done Phil and Santa kiss so I have no idea how to pronounce that I yeah okay thank you for me so um I’ll come back to you in a second uh Phil let’s go and talk to Stu because uh in harsh contrast to Phil here you were that heavy uh you were that party animal back in the day as you say talking about 88 89 at the Hummingbird bang on it as we like as we used to say uh you were an unashamed token back back in the day right were you were you were you smoking weed for from a uh from an early age I think I probably started smoking hash 14 Big D uh um and then yeah it was just you know it’s funny how they always call it the gateway drug and at the time you don’t you know yeah whatever because you don’t know anything else um but yeah it just developed as long with alcohol um when I was at school I could come from quite an athletic sort of sports family but when I was younger I ran for Birchfield harriers I played football like currently Cricket County when I was like 11 12 13 and then I went to Great bar secondary great bar comp and then I think around 14 you know started having first tote probably first drinks and that was it it was just like sat everything off and then I started getting into music by records I become a big fan straight away I’ve sort of New Order Joy Division and yeah I think everything with them was about music and getting stoned to music or drinking to music and that was my Association for so long in my life with music I always loved it you know I was big into like finding new bands and stuff like that and going to concerts in Birmingham I think I went reading Festival in 89 . so I loved it but I don’t know we all did it so it’s just hand in hand and you know like that what the hummingbird was like it was just you know kick out Tom at the Hummingbird everybody was walking around outside absolutely Spangled it wouldn’t be nobody that wasn’t but in those early days um there were as you’ve just said people were consuming drugs but it was to enhance the music uh it was also to give you the energy to go through the night as well that’s my earliest memories it generally was okay A little bit of speed to get you through the night and then uh allegedly some of my friends would say and maybe a little bit of acid for the visuals you know um and then it progressed but then you would find other people as pills came onto the scene yeah who who would be known for wearing it as a badge of honor how many pills I could have in the night which was a little bit ludicrous at the time six seven eight pills and like some of us were or some of them were you know struggling to take a half or a one but we were never really like that were we no well if you think when we I remember when pills first come unseen and they were like 25 30 quitting but we were probably going Amnesia in Coventry the connection center a lot raw and stuff like that and I remember there was always that conversation oh if you buy a pill and if it’s a dud and it doesn’t work so you know a lot of time we would just stick to what we knew like you just said speed and acid you knew it was going to work you know I mean it worked pretty quickly where I remember standing with some of our friends who had took an e who like is it working I don’t know an hour later I don’t know I suppose most of the time suddenly turned around and you’re like I can tell you it’s working definitely by looking at you but yeah um it was just yeah like when I I’m a sort of hummingbird first taking acid and the connection with the music was just euphoric you just did you know what I mean it was completely different to drinking and speed and for a long part of that period we didn’t drink heavily you know you just wouldn’t because you’d be on the Dance Floor constantly so you just wouldn’t drink you’d probably go out Friday night out Saturday night and then suddenly it’d be your drink and maybe Wednesday and a Thursday going the station in Sutton or something like or I used to drink in the yenton as well so that would be your drinking where you’re sort of hanging out with the drinkers and then Friday Saturday that we see you you know in a car going somewhere up and down the country or you’d be at the Hummingbird or somewhere local you know then the Porsche Club started as well that was another one so yeah it was it was just the way I live wasn’t it no uh June has confirmed sorry June has confirmed uh how to pronounce the name thank you uh and says that I’ve spent a few weeks going to props while struggling to support my partner through his alcohol addiction and we have Mr burrow joining us who will be more than familiar with these stories of our early days out and about upsetting and up the town easy Buzz um okay Phil so that would run parallel even though you were a few years um after us that will all absolutely allow to your clubbing story right yeah absolutely I mean I started going to the really cheesy clubs when I was like 16 17 sneaking in got to know through through buying records in the local Record Shop that a friend of mine who a friend of mine now who is one of my best mates used to just to run the doorman always used to be in there by music so they’d see me and just like to a blind eye and I’d get in um but I again I I never used to drink because I was designated driver nobody else had a car and I didn’t need anything to have a good time I I would just get there I might have had you know I never used to have a a beer because if I want if I had one I’d want more so my thing was I’d always have a lemonade give me a bit of sugar a bit of energy and then I’d Just Dance for like four or five hours straight get nippy get a bottle of water and I’d be all over the place so started in the cheesy clubs and I ended up going to the garage which was one of the one of the best clubs in Nottingham and it was a totally different world you know everyone was off their faces having the times of their life and you could just enjoy it all with them whether you were doing anything or not nobody was drinking loads so there was no violence there was no trouble everyone was just really happy having a brilliant night I used to go to the garage and end up ended up going to the house used to go to be true all the places around around town that were decent put on decent DJs saw some of the best DJs in in the world and at the time just was blown away by it all and that inspired me to want to play tunes and and be a DJ I just loved the music that much um well you made a very good point there everything all of the the underground for whatever the underground clubbing scene was in was completely different to the Friday and Saturday nights in all of the major cities up and down the country where it was pure just beer monsters and fighting on the streets right it was and I didn’t feel comfortable I wanted to go and dance and have a laugh um with my mates and I wanted them to to feel safe and at the time I was hanging around with a lovely group of girls because they just wanted to go out and dance all my male mates at college and things like that they were well into their football going down the pub and all that kind of stuff and at the time for me I wasn’t about that it didn’t interest me I I wanted to go another dancer and listen to the latest tunes and just have a really cracking night out so I sort of grew closer to the the girls and I’d be there chauffeur for for the night pick them all up drop them all off their parents happy as Larry or whoever they were living was happy as Larry because you know they were safe they trusted me I got to have a great night out without any trouble or any hassle it was brilliant it was absolutely a magical time in my life absolutely wonderful wonderful well we say good evening to Neil good evening to Leslie thanks for passing through um many people rolling through watching us live um so I’ll stay with you Phil where can you pinpoint the uh the start of things going wrong I think um probably when my mother-in-law died and that was quite a sad time still is a sad time and we just couldn’t get over it it was such a shock it came out of the blue and to cope with that me personally I used to I used to have a drink I didn’t have a lot but I would feel the need to come home at the end of the day and just go let me decompress I need to have a drink I did that for years didn’t really and we you know we’d go on we’d go on a lot of holidays and we try and have as much fun as possible and we’d have really big nights out and then I think wow that was that was Heavy I need to stop were the children on the scene then I have to so well no so this was this was about two years before they were they were born so um we were we were traveling a lot seeing the world we did New York we went to the Maldives we’ve been to Portugal we did Ibiza loaves I was DJing Ibiza that’s where I met my wife married at this point yes so married just got married nine months after we got married happiest day of Our Lives uh age 62 my mother-in-law just had a heart attack and suddenly died so big shock to the family my wife’s a Geordie she’s from Newcastle so obviously a big drinking culture up there Everyone likes a drink um and and it’s kind of the the done thing and the norm and I think looking back it’s taken me to this 18 months to analyze my own life and try and pin Point these moments we had a brief chat yesterday once but it probably got bad you know four years ago but there was little elements of it over those 10 years where I kind of the alarm Bells were ringing but they weren’t ringing loud enough for me to take any notice other people might have said a few things to me like you need to take it easy there a bit dude you know you’re cleaning it a bit um and I would slow it down and I would take a step back and I would just you know rein it in and have a week off or whatever and in my mind at the time I think I was kind of saying well I’ve had a week off so I can’t have a problem with it because I can go a week without alcohol it’s you know what what’s the problem and then I get back on it again and all that and I never used to drink every day ever I was addicted to the gym like like Stu was saying earlier I I’ve got an addictive personality and I was Addicted to Fitness I go to the gym twice a day try and stay in shape and that was my my thing I never used drink in the week slowly as life changes you get a bit older you you know you have dinner you share a glass of a bottle of wine you have a glass of wine together and it sort of creeps up on you out of nowhere and then you know gorgeous boys came along amazing little little guys and um obviously you don’t drink loads when they’re little because you can’t you’ve got to look after them keep them alive and it’s very stressful having having twins that obviously we’re like new parents don’t know any different haven’t had any children before so that that period was okay um and then slow you know obviously you have a few knocks over the years business problems health problems life problems um and it just got on top of me where I started to not want to face it and I I’d been DJing three nights a week for years holding residences at some of the best venues in Nottingham having a great time and I used to drive to every gig I never used to drink because there’s no point going and doing a gig and getting paid and then spending it at the bar so I used to drive Park I’d get my car at the end of the night and I’d be straight home and then when the kids were born I couldn’t DJ as much obviously not fair on my wife so I’d always be there looking after them and that’s why I’d probably do once every three months and on those nights I’d see it as a night out you know it wasn’t work I’d probably be DJing with a mate of mine or maybe do it by myself and people would pop in and they’d want to buy me a drink because they’re not seeing me for a while so I started to drink at gigs and I think that had a a knock-on effect as well I’m also my confidence levels because I wasn’t playing regularly were quite low even though I’ve been DJing you know 20 years I felt I needed a drink to get over my nerves uh and that progressively got worse as as the time went on over the years where some gigs I would have three quarters of a bottle of Fizz before I went out but because I’ve been drinking I was Stone Cold Sober to outside appearances it calmed my nerves but I was already nearly a bottle down before the night begin and then people would reply me with drinks because they’d not see me for ages and you’d be like yeah yeah that’s fine and I play a good set and then by the end of the night I was absolutely hammered but because I wasn’t doing it often it was like oh it was a night out don’t worry about it you don’t see it as a problem foreign [Music] came along and covered really did uh spin me out quite a lot and I was I was Fuller from work I was at home obviously all the time with the kids and my wife and um my wife went and got a full-time job which was brilliant uh and turned around and said you’ve got to homeschool the kids and we’d both been sort of getting through lockdown as best we could and you can’t do a lot so as a lot of my friends did um we used to all text each other and go have you had your first beer are you on the Fizz blah blah it became a bit of a a standing joke the four o’clock in the afternoon everyone had a glass in their hand watching The Briefing waiting for Boris to tell us that we can’t do anything at all um and where a lot of people reigned it in as as they realized that they were having an issue with it I didn’t and so I would start drinking and then just carry on because there was nothing else to do um and yeah it became a bit of a problem and then when my beautiful wife got a full-time job and the kids were off school she said you’re going to have to homeschool the kids and that was a real wake-up call of a I’ve got to be on Zoom every morning at nine o’clock not looking hungover and disheveled and I didn’t relish the thought of homeschooling twin boys age six um with a banging hangover and at that point I couldn’t remember what it felt like not to be hungover I probably had a drink every day for the best part of nine months maybe a year um before that I probably drank nearly every day for the previous couple of years but I always used to do stopped over to prove that I wasn’t an alcoholic or had a problem with alcohol I’d always attempt a bit of dry January I’d always have a week off here a week off there and in my mind that was enough to to say oh you don’t have a problem with alcohol you just you just let your guard down a bit and you’ve got a bit silly um and that wasn’t the case and the hardest part when you have a problem with alcohol is admitting that you have a problem with alcohol and it took me years to actually admit that to myself that it’s not a friend of mine at all and it’s something that is negative and needs to go okay let me let me pause you there if I’m yeah go for it yeah of course um because that was really commendable of you to be so Frank about about your journey as to where you got to that point um sure I can see you from the corner of my eye nodding along in agreement with a hell of a lot of that um Do You Wanna Do You Wanna also tell us um you know your own journey of you know I was oblivious to everything I thought I was made of steel we spoke about earlier drugs I’ve done everything [Music] um push the limits quite heavily uh with alcohol I probably knew there was a problem last three years um would you ever say you had a problem with drugs as well or not really um drugs I could kind of take a lot you know I’ve done when I’m when I say I’ve done every drug apart from the new ones I’ve been involved in everything from the trendy ones well like the new ones I don’t know what the kids take no but you you your mind stays Coke heroin um crack um when it was in America was in a lot of PCP crystal meth um and I never had a fear of anything and it was quite funny how the Americans we would go to parties because we had the record store and it was really big records that we’d go to parties and they couldn’t grasp like they over did one or the other they drank or took drugs we would sit in the kitchen and be doing both and we’re doing both really heavily and this is hanging out with like DIY and other people that came to town and I was oblivious to all that I just thought I’ve got you know there’s no problem there’s no issue I’m fine um and then I got to London and London obviously cocaine Central I was doing chick loads of that ridiculous amounts you know in the week all the time everybody was and of course you’re drinking with it so the drinking’s sort of taken aback so it’s just part of it so you’re not seeing what the drink’s doing to you or how it’s accumulating or sort of building on you and then a left and kind of Cambridge and of course you don’t you can get drugs here but not very good so always quite easy just to ignore them you know what I mean so I didn’t and I stopped didn’t do Coke no pills nothing like that all that are gone the good drugs from America obviously are left in America um but drinking I think then drinking became more more of a thing because there was nothing else to do there was no other stimulant there was nothing else to give you that wobble effect in that and that is there’s a there’s a family of your own on the scene as well throughout all of these right yeah yeah I’ve got three kids but so my first daughter is nearly 30. that was from when I lived in Scotland she lives in London now and I’ve got two kids now 13 and six so yeah they’ve seen it all and I’ve seen the worst sides of it nothing violent or anything like that but they you know my oldest son uh well my only son George you know watched me deteriorate especially uh uh 2019 2020 2021 when you know again I I say I was oblivious to it I knew I was drinking too much but again this same attitude of like I’m fine I don’t it doesn’t matter you know I you know and I’m a lot of time you know I’d quite easily on days off open a bottle of wine at eight o’clock in the morning some days you know and I would drink it within an hour just you know and obviously this is part of depression anxiety and stuff like that and there was lots of stuff going on so that was my get you know and to be honest if there would have been decent drugs around I’d have probably done them as well yeah I was battling I was using I was self-medicating basically with alcohol to deal with demons depression anxiety and then feeling myself with another depression which is bringing you even further down and from there you know it’s all hindsight no you wake up the next day the problems are still there the shit’s still there so go get another bottle of wine and start drinking again and I I still make a lot of money off the job I do I could function towards a functioning alcoholic you know but I was drink driving and stuff like that and of course I would just add this thing in my head that I was made of steel and I I got away with so much in my life you know good you know bad stuff and that to do with drugs to do with other stuff I just you know I needed that one and even when I got two quite severe wake-up calls 20 20 21 I still carried on drinking I just that was my trigger that was the go-to thing he just shut everything out for the few hours and then I’d come sort of two a bit do a bit of work because I did a lot of work from home and my next thing was like right I’m gonna go get a bottle of gin and I literally go get a bottle of gin and I do I’d do a bottle of gin in the night well um I’ll ask I’ll ask the question but obviously you can answer or skip past it you mentioned two wake-up calls um or or two uh major moments do you want to elaborate on that or would you rather uh so one of them was I was in a motor accident accident and I was over the limit by a long way and I was basically facing prison and by the back end of a lot of close people to me but back in one of the companies I worked for one of the boss is he’s a close friend I didn’t know you know while I’m doing this I’m raising money for charity for like for like uh kids um youth centers in Hackney through construction companies and raising a lot of money and people were just shocked when the accident happened they were like well you know some people knew there was stuff going on but nobody knew to the extent of where I was at and the second one was turning up at my daughter’s nursery and I’m refusing them to be refusing me to have my daughter because I was intoxicated visibly intoxicated you know and that’s that’s you know their mom was called and I didn’t even know their mum was called until she walked up the road and we split up by then and she walked up around she went you know we’ve always had even now we have a relationship we’re not together we’re good friends because we focus on the kids and she just said Stuart just stopped [ __ ] up you’re gonna kill yourself but she had to walk away from which because nothing to do with you but you’re affecting the kids lives and everybody else’s lives and I still drank after that and literally on the 23rd of December last year I would probably drank the day before probably most of the day probably most of the week getting up waiting for Sainsbury’s to open go down there and buy two bottles of wine and by 10 o’clock we smashed off my head but because I’m working from home nobody can see me and I’m still getting the work done and then just keep drinking too I’m still riding my bike or still sort of functioning alcoholic is always called um on the 23rd it just says I’m not drinking today and I’ve done I feel I’ve done like I used to do stints where I did the first hundred days of the year and not dream the only reason I was doing 100 days was to get 200 to die [ __ ] go to the pub and get absolutely celebrated to celebrate you know I was I was not using my tools correctly I was not you because I didn’t know I had the tools I didn’t know what the tools were for sobriety and that and we’ll get into that but so everything had a finish point an end point I was like so I could proved I could do it was only doing it because there was an end point and then it was like the Summers here 100 days he’s from January 100 days is the calendar start of the summer and where I love it live it’s all beer gardens and pubs in the countryside so that was it bang straight into and then going into London for work visits and drinking in King’s cross and drinking on the train back all right so in a in a Perpetual cycle okay so I abused it completely I abused alcohol completely as a you know um I was medicating myself for depression so we’ll we’ll come back to you to your Rock Bottom moment um pokes is saying I can relate to parts of that story Mark good evening mate thanks for passing through he says he relates uh keep the faith online meetings are great good luck with the recovery everyone it’s a long path um Cliff Williams says good evening hi Cliff thanks for passing through as always Stateside Dimitri good evening my friend he says ask Stuart to DJ he’ll smash it I do know my friend I do know that’s Mr Brunson passing through giving you some love stew thank you respect pleasure to have you have you with us and uh Mark Wilkinson passes through and says word up um you mentioned Mark as a in your journey when we were talking very briefly yesterday Phil um has been one of the the people to start are planting the seed in your head about tell us a story because you you’ll put it better than I can yeah so I went to Ibiza in 2008 and 9 and 10 11 and 12 but 2009 was a big year I I used to fly out and I’d do four day students and cramming as many gigs as I could so do you know orange corner and try and play SV even all places like that and I went over and Mark was he had some gigs El Divino um for one of the brands over there and he basically said you know try and help me get the the coach’s full that leave from the orange Corner if you can get some people on it you can help and share the set with me the last set four yeah three three till five or whatever it was and I did I I played my Tunes at the orange corner and in between mixes I’d run around the tables you enjoying the chews you want a ticket for tonight and I just graft and get people on the coaches and he stuck to his word and I ended up playing El Divino three or four times um with him um and we played one of the last times it was ever open it was a magical time but at the time he was going through his journey and I ended up staying with him because I got offered a load more gigs I worked for my dad and I phoned my dad and said I’m not coming back because I’ve been offered some really good gigs like dream dream gigs lifetime gigs that I’ve always wanted to do had nowhere to stay and he was living in a house in in sort of the hills out of town he said oh just come come and stay with me if you can Chuck me a bit of cash towards the rent that’d be great don’t worry about it if he can’t and he was Stone Cold Sober and we used to go out I mean a couple of my mates who were with me um and we’d stop at this little coffee shop and ice cream place and we’d have he’d have a coffee and we’d be like we’re having a coffee for you know it’s it’s 10 o’clock 11 o’clock at night like yeah you’ll see um I need to have a coffee and we’d be all straight on on the beers and everything else and as the night went on we’d get progressively worse and smash start of our face is only be on it chatting to everyone focused amazing and I look back at that time now and I was a bit younger than Mark I’m 46 and I think he’s just a 50 or early 50s and I couldn’t see the point of what he was doing I was like you’re over in Ibiza you’re having the time of your life you’re running nights you’re doing this you’re doing that why are you not getting battered you know and really enjoying it and now looking back he was ahead of the game you know and one of my friends who I’ve known since I went to school since I was nine years old he was out on on on that Journey with me in Ibiza and he ended up coming back and after that having talked to Mark he quit alcohol he he just cut it out he said I’m done with the hangovers it’s ruining my anxiety it’s ruining my life it’s one of the most successful people I’ve ever met Anthony is and he just stopped on a wheel for years ripped into bits I feel really bad about it now but was just like really after what we’ve just experienced about an amazing time Ibiza and you’re going to knock in the alcohol and how he was like I don’t need it I’m going to do it I’m going to do a mark Wilkinson a lot of the the phrase was was coined um and to this day and now he’s like I told you you know I told you so that and you’d get there eventually that peer pressure is a bastard yeah it is all those people out there are saying come on have another drink have a shot what what’s wrong with you yeah yeah what’s the worst that can happen you are you on holiday you don’t know what people are going through when when that happens um and I didn’t I didn’t even because at that time I was going to the gym twice a day so at Mark’s house with me and my mate Jamie I was with I was with Jamie Anthony and we’d do workouts and stuff on the biggest hangovers of our life we’re doing crunches press-ups and everything and Mark could be laughing at us going God you you look like death you you know you must feel like death you’re still pushing it yeah fair play to you um and we just didn’t think anything of it we were just you know silly silly guys I I’d recently split up with my my partner after a seven and a bit years so I was having just as much fun as I possibly could I was cramming it into every single day living life to the full I went through a year of basically saying yes to everything if I got offered a gig yep I’ll do it don’t matter where it is I’ll do it I used to drive to London I’d play the gig drive all the way back I do everything um and then every now and again I’ll have a really big big party night well you thought you were living your best life yeah I was I was I thought it was because I was doing these amazing venues with these amazing people and having a great time but the hangovers it’s still you know four or five day hangovers and having to get back on it and the funniest part of that trip was we went to space uh on the guys last night they were flying back and and I was going to stay on for a bit longer and we went to space we all agreed that we would not take any money out with us no credit cards understand we’d take enough so I want to sort of our guest list to get in and we’d take enough for like three Waters so yeah take four years yeah yeah it was about 40 years at the time I think it was about 11 Euros a bottle of water and we’ve purposely said everyone put all your credit cards and everything in the safe so you can’t go mad and get on it because we all felt like death um and that night I bumped into my wife in the middle of the dance floor in space for the first time and it was her 30th birthday and for the first time ever I’m like can I buy you a drink and I’m thinking oh my god I’ve got no money to buy a drink I’ve got enough money to buy one bottle of water left so I was like yeah okay I’ll get your drink so I got her a beer I managed to go to Jamie and go can I borrow five euros I need to buy beer now and he was like you’re not allowed to buy beer um and so I bought her a Peroni um and we swap numbers and the rest of the say is history but that night we were determined to go out and have a sober night out and it was one of the best nights out of the holiday because we weren’t feeling the pressure of getting hammered and we were rushing before we went out because obviously everything’s really expensive your front load before you go out if you’re in an all-inclusive hotel you Bush it you get out and then you slow down we were like we were so hungover all the time we’re like we’ve got to have a night off and just give it a rest and it turned out to be magical let me put the break I mean that’s a fantastic story and a true a true love story and yeah thank you another part another part of a a whole uh life that could be captured in a full interview uh at another point but I want to put the brakes on that and bring us back back down to the the reason why we are here yeah um the moment that you realize you had uh maybe hitting rock bottoms you know probably overstating it but you you said right now this has got a stop and so you you said on that date was it January 21st that um did you say January 24 first mine was January the 16th January 16th yeah it was a 16th because yeah my um my wife was starting her new job on the 25th of January and she stopped drinking on New Year’s Day 21 that’s what I’ve written down yeah January 21 that’s right yeah January 21. so we parted New Year’s Eve with the kids I had a fair amount to drink not not so much that we couldn’t look after them but you know enjoyed ourselves woke up New Year’s Day obviously feeling rough but you get through it everyone’s done it when they’ve got kids you know put the kids first um and she turned around and said I’ve got this job I am not drinking through the whole of January she used to do dry January all the time because she lived in London for 10 years and they it was it was a sort of thing down there January is the worst month it’s so depressing so they’d just go out and go to like nice you know go to the Tate and and see some culture and everything else um and she used to do it every year until she met me and then um she did it I think Woods uh before the kids came along and managed all the way through January because it was always a birthday or something but anyway um yeah so she said I’m not drinking and I sat for two weeks drinking by myself trying to get her to have a glass being a right I mean I’m I was always an alcohol Pusher any of my friends will tell you that you come in this house the first thing I’ll say is what can I get you to drink and you can have anything you want at all yeah champagne you have the best vodkas whatever it’s all there knock yourself out no expensive spread she said I’m not drinking I’ve told you I’m not drinking stop offering me you do them a heading and after two weeks of drinking by myself I was bored because it’s no fun drinking by yourself it’s such a lonely experience and my anxiety was so high at the time I just felt like if I carry on drinking like this I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and not want to get out of bed and I’ve got too much responsibility and too much to do even though I was furloughed and everything else I thought I’ve got two kids I’ve got to homeschool them I’ve got to be presentable and I’ve got to be on my game and she said I’m just not drinking I’m going to go into the zoo meetings fresh based and fancy free and I went okay and I woke up on the sixth sixteenth was the last time I had a drink I think it was a 15th and I woke up and I just said to her I’m gonna have three months off alcohol and she laughed at me absolutely hysterically laughed and said you will never do it you know you struggle to do stopped over and I was the same as Stu I do stopped over to prove to myself that I wasn’t an alcoholic or had a problem with alcohol and I’m not quite sure I like the term alcoholic and that yeah I’m still trying to work that out but I’d get to the end and be like yeah I’ve done it let’s get smashed and you’d be like oh God and everyone would roll their eyes and go yeah you’ve done 30 days big whoop um and most people can do that without even blinking or a lot of people can a lot of people can’t but for me it was a massive achievement that I’d done 30 days so I said I’ve done 30 days I’m going to set myself three months and I looked in the mirror that morning and I put on two and a half Stone I looked about 55 I was bloated massive bags under my eyes and I’ve always looked younger than my age and always got away with it and I looked in there I thought you look 10 years older than you are what are you playing at and at that point Anna and my wife had her she looked at me and she was like you are on a slippery slope you are you know you get to the point where you’re not going to come out of this unless I am Keen I am Keen to get to the you know the the positive end of this story but I also I I have been thinking while I’ve been listening to you were you were you um I wouldn’t have thought you were an aggressive drunk but you were you’re a moody drunk did it affect the children what would what were the negatives Associated to you being yeah I was I was I was never moody or aggressive around the kids or around my wife I’d be moody and aggressive online um I found everything because I because I was so angry at myself I would see things online and take real offense to it and then just get into these stupid spats with people some people who I didn’t know some people I did and I’d voice my opinion without even thinking that it’s gonna cause massive havoc and that became a real problem as on top of the drinking because Anna would go oh my God you’re still arguing because I couldn’t Let It Go um so it’s never never aggressive never angry obviously you have your arguments you have your moments and things like that but I’ve never been in a fight I’m not an aggressive person I’m a lover not a fighter and luckily the children never saw me you know stupidly drunk or anything like because I’d never get in that state around them I’d always if I was doing that I’d go away for the weekend or go out for the night and stay somewhere else but it got to the point where I was walking around the house you know five six o’clock at night getting home from work and things like that or or get getting out coming back from shopping or whatever and the first thing I’d do is go to the fridge and I’d open a bottle uh if there wasn’t One open and this was at five o’clock never done that before I never I’ve never drank in the day always it’s never been a thing where I needed to get up in the morning and have a drink like that I I saw myself as if I don’t need to drink in the day I’m not an alcoholic it doesn’t make any difference if you’ve got a problem with alcohol it doesn’t matter when you drink it’s it’s it’s how much you drink and how fast you you know I could down a bottle and a half two bottles of Fizz before eight o’clock Some Nights and be perfectly fine you know bath the kids get them to bed and all the rest of it my tolerance got so high that for me to get drunk and be a little bit tipsy took a lot and on a night out people would be like wow dude you’ve polished off two bottles of Prosecco you’ve only been here like hour and a half are you all right I’m like yeah I’m fine and I’d be like absolutely fine but because they’ll call messes with your head so badly and I didn’t understand any of this and the only reason I understand more of it now is through Reading and educating myself I made a conscious decision that when I quit drinking I would start reading every night so I downloaded and bought loads of books on it like the sober Diaries and alcohol explained and things like that and the more I read the more I understood it so after about six weeks of in into it and it was a tough six weeks you know you get the withdrawals and you get the shakes and you have the headaches and all the rest of it I started to understand it and as I started to understand it for the first time ever I actually started thinking that I might have might never drink again but it took me to feel so low that I possibly couldn’t get out of bed and be a dad to the kids it never happened but I thought about well if I carry on that’s where I’m headed it could be the possibility that I you know Anna might have enough and not support me and she eventually might walk out the door they never got to that point luckily because all that stuff was playing on my mind and it was a case of do I want that next drink or do I want to spend time with my family and enjoy life and we have had an amazing life but we’ve had some really awful low moments through their you know family trauma that kind of stuff and me being drunk didn’t help ever you know alcohol and me I was never aggressive or nasty but I used to just get upset and angry inside so I shut down and keep everything bottled up and then just you know keep it and go lower and lower and lower and lower and the more you drink the more you need to drink to feel normal and it’s just you you end up hearing you and then you low low low low low low and it’s just ridiculous and it creeps up on you you can be fine one day and go I don’t feel too bad today I’m great and the next minute hits you like a sledgehammer and you feel totally worthless what’s the point to doing anything why does anyone even want to spend time with you you go through all those things in your mind and it’s not happening you just think it’s happening some of it might have been happening on a very low level you might have had a comment said here in a comment said there but because your mind is so screwed up because of the alcohol and the depression and the anxiety like you were saying you can’t see how that how good your life is you think your life’s terrible and people look at your life and go you have an amazing life you’ve got a beautiful wife you’ve got amazing kids you know you DJing you do this you do that and at the time my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t play gigs I would I would make excuses and pass my gigs to all of my friends and I used to run like a mini DJ agency free of charge just as a favor to all the bars I used to work in and I would put myself on the road to once every four or five weeks and 50 of those gigs I would last minute pull out because my nerves were so shot I was like I will not play a good set because I know I’m not going to play a good set I’m not even going to risk turning up and I’d never been like that in my entire life Wow nerves is great because it gives you the edge when you turn it to a gig you know that you’re one of the most successful DJs here so um but when you’re so depressed and so low and you have to have nearly a bottle of Fizz or something just to get you straight you know it’s not your time and luckily I knew and my friends would cover for me and they’d play a great gig and it was great and then obviously covert hit nobody could DJ and do anything and I used to do radio shows I’ve always done a radio show for House Nation and stuff and I’ve done that since 2007. um and we did it all online but to do my radio shows online not even on Zoom like with no one seeing me I would have to have a drink just to take the edge off my nerves during the first part of covid and I was playing to people who didn’t couldn’t see me I wasn’t in front of anyone I was in front of My Wife and Kids but I’d have to have a drink and at that point Anna was like Oh no you’re not gonna have a drink again are you it’s like three o’clock in the afternoon I was like yeah we’re starting to roll in and and it was noticing and trying to support okay well um I wanted to start hearing about the books and I want to start hearing about the positives but I’m going to come to show you and um hear from Stu so you know a lot of that I’m sure you relate to but let’s start hearing then about the the positive steps that you made and um where uh how you found the strength and and you know what the first step was yeah well I I’m still I don’t I don’t know what happened on the 23rd whether it was just me there was no trigger nothing happened like the bad things had happened that year but way before that I just the 23rd was like right I’m not going to drink and then I got in my head right I’m not going to drink Christmas and New Year I didn’t and it just kept on snowballing in through January February and then the notion started to come you know what I don’t think I won over drink again um I’ve done AI I’ve done ni um it didn’t work for me I I didn’t work for me I’m not religious and I know it’s not religious now but it’s it’s it’s roots and it’s sort of teachings are born out of Christianity and I’m very fearful of God and how man contrives that to control people so that was a No-No but what I learned from their meetings sitting down in a room full of people and when you I thought my story was bad believe me I’ve heard some absolute horrendous stories you know I’ve sat next to people who have been told multiple times by doctors in hope in a hospital we can’t do any more for you you’re gonna die you know and when you sit next to somebody who probably even now even though there could be 10 years sober they’ve done that much damage to themselves it is not just mentally but it’s physically impacted their life and probably shortened their life and stopped them doing a lot of stuff because they’re still they’re inside whatever they’re still they’re not critical but they’ve just caused irrelevant you know not irrelevant irreversible yeah it’s done but they still go to these meetings and they still you know and the one thing that that’s why I’ve got no I can sit here and tell you the worst cases all I can tell you um the stuff that I’ve done and I have no fear in saying it I don’t hide anything because I think that until you’re honest with yourself then you you’re not going to be at peace with yourself whatever it is your is controlling you or your addiction whatever it is it once you’ve given it up I personally think you’ve got to be cathartic you’ve got to let it out you’ve got to be able to stand it like Phil said about calling an alcoholic and being stuck with that so I’m quite happy I just say to people I’m an alcoholic who doesn’t drink alcohol and people will stand there and sort of go well how can you be an alcoholic or doesn’t it drink alcohol because you don’t know my story if you knew my story you would understand but you could be an alcoholic and not drink alcohol and that’s AI teaches you that so um those I went to all these meetings and the little bits from them and the bits I didn’t like I threw away I did a lot of stuff online I put the same as Phil I got a guy called sober Dave who’s really good who’s well known whose own stories horrendous who’s doing really well now and there’s lots of others and then I started building my own story and how does it work for me and I still I don’t know me I don’t know it and I’m hoping something comes to light I lost my mom last year no sorry this year um it didn’t affect me it didn’t make me drink um it was inevitable she got to that age and it was kind of a cathartic peaceful passing and it was a happy sort of time I know people might not see it that way um but this year I’ve just built on it I’ve built on it but I’ve stuck to and I’ll I’ll swear by this and anybody who needs help I would say to 24 hours don’t complicate it make it as simple as you possibly can you start in the morning and you say I’m not going to drink today or I’m not going to take a drug today whatever it is and just get for the day if the day starts getting difficult break it down to half a day break it down to three hours break it down to an hour if you feel like you want to have a drink I’m sort of mentor people know I’ve got a few people that come to me and uh helping them get through sobriety which is cathartic as well that helps me that’s a big positive because that reinforces what you’re doing and reminds you of what you’re doing and you’re also helping someone I say to them if they send me a message going on I’m in a bit of a nightmare or you know I say right find yourself a job to do for an hour Hoover your flat whatever it is for that hour stop thinking about drink or whatever it is you’re thinking of taking and is there a job you’ve been putting off just do it and then back to Aragon and then think of something else and then slowly the thoughts will leave your brain you know sometimes they don’t but usually I find they do so I would like to stick to the 24 and I still do the 24 hours now I wake up every morning and go I didn’t drink yesterday you know and I’m coming up 11 months now and it’s just an easy way I tell everyone just to simplify it and believe me when I say my life in the last 11 months I’ve had a fantastic life and I don’t knock anything that I’ve done and I’ve been really lucky to go the prices I’ve gone be with the people I’d be I don’t really regret anything I’ve done I wish I could have stopped drinking a couple of years back because I wouldn’t have obviously had the car accident the issue with my daughter at Nursery but they’ve done the history you’re learning AI in that what happened yesterday happened yesterday there’s nothing you can do about it you can learn off it but just put it away it’s gone and I live my life sort of by that I’m very in the moment in the day and in tomorrow what happened yesterday if it was a bad thing it’s done though nothing you could do about it just move on don’t sit on it and don’t oh God I should have it’s too late it’s gone if it still affecting your life then work out how you’re gonna change it in the future but my life in the last 11 months is it’s not it’s not I’m not a millionaire it’s not like fun face everywhere and stuff like that but it’s really good I’ve got my no anxiety I don’t have depression I can help people I’m helping people I I’m very vocal you are very vocal um at times and I can see um you do want to help people you say it’s cathartic it definitely it um gives you um it gives you a sense of Pride doesn’t it to be able to share your story knowing how you are helping others yeah without a doubt and think that you know you should not everyone should do it some people you know or don’t want to talk about it fine I for me I think that’s the wrong way to approach it I think you’ve got to make peace with them demons you’ve got to sort of understand that they happened and there’s nothing they’re bad but turn them into a positive use them to be a positive force we’ve all had bad things we’ve all done stupid things okay they’re all at different levels but until you make peace with it and this is like people know who may be thinking watching this or people have come across every thinking of giving up alcohol I say to them I say you’ve got to make peace with it you’ve got how you’ve got to want to do it and I think a lot of people do but as we spoke about before there’s stigma and that about it and people go oh you know you’re giving up alcohol or I don’t need to I’m not an alcoholic I think most people are alcoholics to a different extent we are socially conditioned to accept alcohol and it’s a poison and I would never preach to people that you know I’ve gone out since being sober I’ve gone to two parties I actually DJ’d at one of them in Brixton this summer and I was stoked on somewhere and I had people coming up to me people I knew from America people I knew from London and going wow how are you doing it and I’m like because it’s just better it’s so much better than being drunk it’s so much better than the hangover tomorrow it’s so much better than I went back to a house party and they were all on it and I was there until five in the morning and then got an Uber to King’s cross to get my train home and I was quite happily sitting over there with them while they were doing everything and you know it’s quite funny because then you see from the outside you’re like you know the fly on the wall and you see a people well I’d have people repeating the same asking me the same question like literally 30 times one after the other and you just but they’re my friends and I’ve known them for years and I just laugh and go I’ve already answered this and but I wouldn’t get frustrated I wouldn’t get angry you know the drunk Stuart probably wouldn’t or the doctor or the drug or the high wouldn’t have noticed that the same questions have been asked but if he would have I’d have probably nearly bit their head off or said somewhere funny you know just to shut them up to run them down so for me and I would say to anyone it it’s you can everyone’s look do whatever you like it’s your own life and uh but life isn’t boring of alcohol without alcohol life is actually far better and you don’t miss anything and once you get over that peer pressure and you can function that in your brain and be at peace of it I still go out now and people are you really sober and I’m like yeah and they go you sure you go on a drink I’m like no I don’t need one I’m fine and I’m having a better laugh than with the or as good in life as they’re having and yeah I just you know that’s my only regret I didn’t know that a few years but what I did I didn’t act on it I didn’t act on it strongly enough but you know I mean I’m an I’m the advocate of you know alcohol it’s it’s socially accepted it’s it’s not there’s not enough research done on it it’s kind of pushed to the side you know the alcoholics the the [ __ ] or the you know or like I was the bloke standing in the queue at eight o’clock in the morning in Sainsbury’s with two bottles of wine or whatever you decide or the media perceives it’s to be but you sit down watch your server and Phil will probably tell you this you watch on TV and you watch around it how many times alcohol is pushed at us subliminary without people even knowing that it is absolutely makes it acceptable it makes it hugely acceptable and that’s where people get afraid to turn around and go you know what I think I need to stop drinking usually people get to that point where like me and Phil were inside you’re just crumbling inside you’re in pieces and some people don’t I’ve lost a lot of friends through alcohol through taking their own life all through you know their bodies have just said that’s it we’re done so I think it’s important that I would never preach to anyone but I would happily sit down with absolutely anyone whether it’s face to face online on the telephone and tell them your life I’m not saying you’re going to win the lottery or you’re going to get this or you’re going to get that but your life will be far better even if you only go to Pub and we’ll only go on a Saturday and Sunday of three or four points and this and that but it’s only been three or four points why are you drinking at all that’s another thing I don’t understand I drive I drank to get [ __ ] face let’s be honest I didn’t do it for any other reason yeah I got used to the taste of it and yeah but you drink to get loosened up Avalanche then you get more drunk than any of these then maybe the drugs come out and that’s a it’s all about changing your your relationship changing your relationship with alcohol yeah and you change your relationship with everyone else and then people just say well I can’t go out unless I get hammered or we can’t go out unless we get drunk unless we have wandering oh you know I’ve got mates where I cycle with and we’ll stop at a pub and they’ll have a drink and I’m like I can why are you having one point yeah I’ve got you friends here I’ll go out with oh I’m only having three I’m like you know and I don’t drink and I and I’m the type of person going that’s a waste of time though if I was drinking man I’d have 10. well I’ve I’ve been I’ve been taught I’ve been told recently you know we we shouldn’t we shouldn’t pass judgments on others but I do see people on their holidays sat in the airport at the pub in the airport at 9 00 a.m with a pint on the table and I think what’s that it’s a riot of Passage though isn’t it that’s what it is yeah and everybody else is doing it so why shouldn’t I do and it’s just like again it’s that social it’s media driven it’s social driven it’s you know it used to be the same as smoking you know before they’re banned smoking before you know the links were cancer and that nobody you know everybody smoked you know I remember going in pubs and everybody smoked in pubs and you didn’t think it wasn’t until they put the big Health scare on it that it got demonized but I’ll never demonize alcohol but I’m demonize everything so much money involved okay well let me just go to the people who are still with us we’ve still got quite a few people watching uh listening I say every week listening intently uh baz says keep it up shoe you’re doing well mate uh he’s been with us all evening on YouTube she says well done Ian dad’s who’s no stranger to this journey he says well done Lads and and Pog wash Neil McLean says it’s been his world for the last 30 odd years being the sober one uh it’s changing that now you might have a morning when you’re talking on the radio uh but we won’t go there um yeah so a lot of people listening uh enjoying the story we’ve been chatting for an hour and 10 minutes we’re going to get to your um part of your journey now and thank you stu thank you so much for for being so open and Frank with that uh so Phil you mentioned about books you mentioned about yeah uh you know the beginnings for you yeah so I am I decided to post everything on on social media my wife she quit and she just didn’t tell anyone that she’d quit she did it because she was and she never said she was going to quit for good she just said I’m going to quit for this job um and I thought I need to hold myself accountable and when I did stopped over in the past I always rather you know a charity thing to raise money and all that and this time I was I’m not going to do that but I’m gonna post every month um and I posted my weight loss journey and I posted my sobriety Journey so the first month it was like I mean it’s 28 days greater or 30 days whatever and then I hit three months and I’d lost about nine pounds nearly nearly a stone in weight and I thought I feel I feel okay I feel good and I was reading some books and I read sober Diaries alcohol explained the unexpected joys of being sober and there’s a lot in it and there’s the stuff that I didn’t understand which probably still may not studies it takes 90 days for your brain to sort of get rid of all the chemical imbalances and all that kind of stuff and and and sort your dopamine levels out your serotonin levels and everything else out and I never knew that and so every time I done stopped over and I don’t feel the benefit looking back through my Facebook feed I was like I don’t feel any better what’s the point yeah when I hit 90 days I felt so different and so good I’d lost weight I was sleeping better I’ve always been a terrible sleeper but I was getting a good four or five hours in a row which for me was unheard of um I was exercising every day got addicted to exercise and because covered was going on and we couldn’t go out we bought a running machine just before lockdown happened and I’d go and do an uphill walk every day and because I was losing weight feeling better about myself it just all started to fall into place constantly reading books and then I get people on Facebook a lot of people like oh my God it’s just showing off again blah blah [ __ ] whatever but I kept getting these people dming me going hi mate you know really enjoying your sober Journey can you tell me how you how you’ve done it did you go to AAA have you have you done any any groups or anything like that have you joined any online communities and I did it cold turkey and I I did it called Turkey um because hey I was a bit embarrassed that I was in this position to be honest I’m really ashamed of myself and B I’ve always been a very strong person I’ve been able to deal with a lot through illness and everything through my life nearly dying all that kind of stuff and like Stu you kind of feel you you’re sort of invincible and until you become addicted to alcohol and then you become nothing and you feel worthless so I thought I’m gonna do this because I believe that I can and if I fail I fail but I’m going to give it a go um and everyone was like wow you mud to drinking nearly every day for the best part of four or five years if not not longer you’re gonna really struggle um and and that just kind of spurred me on a bit and particularly with my wife laughing going you’ll never do three months so when I hit three months she turned around was like I like this version of you you’re the you’re now the version that I met in Ibiza you’re fun you’re happy you’re calm you’re just nice you’ve gone back to being the person I married and I was like wow was I that bad was I she’s like no you weren’t that bad but you just weren’t you you were a different version of you and a version of your view that I was starting to not like anymore so luckily I nipped it in the bud and then because I’d sort of got over the 90 days I thought okay I’ll do six months Never Say Never Say Never likes to you says take it one day at a time but I thought I can’t I can’t do that I can’t just say for today I’m not going to have a drink it’s like I’ll set myself another three month challenge read more books had more people dming me and helped trying to help them out and and you know some people just you know they come to me and they will say oh I really feel like I need a drink and all the rest I’m saving still I was like right what what have you got to focus on are you making any tunes at the minute have you got any anything you can focus on do you do any sports and I’ll try and pick a hobby for them to focus on or do you need to do shot even basic you know basic stuff nip to the shops do anything to get out of that mindset of I’m gagging for a drink and I’m I’m looking back I remember I I used to plan my day sometimes around like still where I’d never I’d never go to supermarkets in the morning and stuff like because I was always at work or with the kids or whatever we were locked in the house anyway so it was all online deliveries coming but I’d be thinking oh my God where can I go that’s passing a supermarket where I can go and get a couple of bottles of fish because a couple of bottles might last me a couple of nights and they might last me a night or I’d be like oh my god I’ve run out what else is in the cupboards rooting through and to go from that to not even thinking about having a drink and I think once I hit three to four months I decided that I had a really bad relationship with alcohol and I was going to see how long I I would go without wanting an alcoholic drink don’t get me wrong you know six months hit and I was thinking oh I’ve done six months now is it time to celebrate with a glass of glass of Fizz and all the rest of it and then you get to coming up to my birthday and everyone was like oh come on and I was DJing it was Halloween weekend who everyone was DJing on Halloween first Halloween gigs over in many years and I went and yeah everyone took the Michael and all the rest of it and was like I go and have a shot it’s your birthday and I was like No And I’ll chat to people and they were giving me a bit of jip but then they were like no you’re serious aren’t you I can tell in your demeanor and the passion you’ve got about it and I was like I cannot recommend it enough speaking from someone who’s drank pretty much every day for five years or longer to have that Clarity of thought and to be able to be calm in any situation logically think things through and not react and deal with anything that gets thrown at you with a clear head is worth everything you can’t put a price on that it’s absolutely brilliant so anyone out there who’s struggling like Stu says if you need to reach out talk to anybody come to me come to Stew find a local group everyone’s different I’m not religious like Stu I I don’t believe in all that so AAA wasn’t for me well I’ve got really good friends of mine who went to AA and it worked for them and they swear by and they get their coins and their chips and all the rest of it and they they you know as a friend of mine cone in Manchester he said to me three years ago you need to stop drinking and it was when he stopped drinking he said come on let’s go on this journey together and I said I just don’t think I can and I wasn’t ready and he said if you’re not ready you’ll never achieve it and you’ll fail and you have to be ready and you have to do it for the right reasons you can’t do it because someone tells you to do it you’ve got to do it either because you’ve hit rock bottom and you really can’t see a way out of it or you know for some major incident in your life where you know doctors might tell you I mean I’ve lost friends like Stu I’ve had five of my friends commit suicide over the last six years I’ve lost people to various cancers who are 10 years older than me leaving behind their children really horrible stuff that you wouldn’t wish on anyone and the more that happened the more I kind of thought I’m getting close to that that that that that part where I’ve never thought about killing myself or anything else but I’ve thought about I’ve been very very very low and and I went for my you know I I think I told you last night in a little chat that I went for my I’m 40 and old health check years back I think it was delayed by about six months and I took three weeks off alcohol beforehand because I thought the doctor’s going to absolutely crucify me and they asked the question how many units of alcohol do you drink and I went oh you know 20 a week you know completely lying tossing it up probably up to 100 sometimes 120 units a week quite easily um and I had all the Bloods done and all the results came back and I was absolutely bricking it and everything came back perfectly normal and I couldn’t believe it so guess what I did I celebrated by getting back on it going I’m Invincible um and at that point I’m like Stu I wish I’d have taken that and gone right I haven’t got anything wrong with me touch wood um but I could have in the future so I’m gonna stop and and I didn’t have any major health concerns but I did my bond my entire body ached I don’t know if this happened to Stew or not but my bones ached and I used to get really bad headaches and I thought I was you know I was getting bad headaches because I was hungover all the time and I’ve since been to the doctors now I’ve actually I get tension headaches because I get stressed but I keep it so internalized that it results in a massive Tension Headache which I now have proper medication for and I’d never been to the doctors about them before because I always assumed it was a hangover because I was nine months sober when I went to the doctors I said I think I’ve given it long enough that it’s not the remnants of my alcohol abuse as it were and he was like oh no no he said it’s very common a lot of people don’t do anything about it so I I take something for that now and my I’m I’m 22 months today actually if it’s a 16th so 22 months today since uh I had my last drink basically um and yeah I I’m like Stu I I cannot compare my life now to how it was three two or three years ago my life’s been pretty good I’ve had a great life I’ve got no complaints and no regrets obviously everyone regrets little things like little silly arguments you’ve had most of them when I’ve been drunk and you just can’t think rationally but nothing to the detriment where friendships have been ended and things like that but you just say flick and stuff don’t you and then you regret it you apologize the next day and hopefully move on but now I haven’t had a crossword with anyone I’ve never had a a negative thought I’m I’m All About optimism and you know I’m optimistic Michael Gray’s t-shirt optimistic and I I am I want to help people I want to inspire people I’ve done a course on addiction I I did a an mvq level one online course it was six eight weeks two hours every Tuesday and the other people on the course were in you know different situations to me um obviously all suffering with addiction to various things but it really opened my eyes to just how little help there is out there and how many people need it and like Stu says I also agree that everyone who tastes alcohol and and starts drinking to a degree will be slightly dependent on it because everyone turns around and says oh I can take it or leave it and you go okay you take it or leave it you take it or leave it and leave it for a year and prove that you can do that because if you can really take it or leave it it won’t bother you and you say that to people and they turn around and go oh why would I do that I enjoy a drink I’m like yeah you enjoy a drink but if the doctor’s around to you tomorrow and said you can’t drink alcohol again would it crush your your plans and your life for the next year most people don’t think about it but in reality a lot of people would struggle with it and that’s because like Stu says our entire society and our entire life is built around alcohol and like I sit with Anna and you know when you’re watching TV and stuff and it’s so intrinsic in society and in life and basically if it was invented and discovered today it would never never be sold it would be banned it’s more addictive than heroin and all that all the studies have been done that it is one of the most addictive and destructive substances in the world because it brings in such high revenues and like Sue said smoking was demonized 20 years ago and that did have a big effect on a lot of people who quit it’s one of those things alcohol’s a strange thing when you tell people you quit smoking they go oh good on you brilliant that’s amazing you tell people you’ve quit drinking they turn around and go why what’s wrong with you yeah and that’s happened to me loads of times when I’ve been DJing and now and people I’ve met and they tell me oh can I buy you a drink I go oh no thank you I’m on water and they go oh why I say well I don’t drink alcohol anymore I go oh have you got a problem and I’ll go I haven’t tell you more I did have do you want to hear about it kind of thing and make a bit of a joke of it but alcohol is the only legal drug in the world that you know ruins so many lives and kills so many people and costs governments and Society billions 20 billion or something it costs with the amount of people who take six days sick days because of hangovers and it’s only when you read all this stuff and you really take it in and take the time to understand it you learn about it and realize what I’ve been doing all these years and yeah I’m not I’m the same with Stu I run the bar at the PTA for the school I have done ever since the kids started school so for the best part of five years I’ve been on the bar never drank on the bar because I thought if I have one I want to empty the whole bar in myself so I’d always drive but I still run the bar and people go don’t you find it weird serving people alcohol and I go no because I don’t have a problem with it if they want to have a drink let them if that’s how they have their fun let them crack on it’s the same with drugs and stuff if people want to do drugs it’s their life let them crack on if if people come to me for help and say I think I’m in a bad place can you help me that’s that’s brilliant because they’ve taken that first step and it’s only when they realize that they need help will you have a chance of helping them I can turn around to many people and and say you know you don’t judge people but you can see on a Saturday night and go wow they’re in a bit of a mess and you see them the next week and they’re in a bit of a mess and you see in the week after and they’re in a bit of a mess and you kind of think wow I really want to help you but I can’t approach you because you obviously don’t want the help so I’ll just be a friend in I’ll look after you make sure you get into a taxi okay or I’ll take you home or something like that but it’s if some point it comes up in the conversation they go I think I might knock it on the head for a bit Bingo that’s what that’s that’s the turning point for a lot of people and a lot of people it can only last a week and then they get straight back on it because they they don’t see the benefit of being off it and I the amount of people I’ve said let me ask you a question yeah yeah um uh during the course of the the points you’d be making Emily says I think when you were talking about type four um it take 90 days for the top yes to leave your body she says it’s so true when I was pregnant with my son nine months of not drinking or wanting to have a drink I felt amazing it was the best detox ever uh one of my friends uh Jane says she lost her hero her brother Bernard or Bernard to alcoholism five years ago she’s also worried that she may have another sibling going the same way but fully functioning and thinks it’s okay because they only drink in the evenings um Janie’s going to share this talk um in the hope that it may hit home thanks for being so honest guys ask for help like you were saying Phil if someone because there are many people out there and maybe this isn’t the point to make now during this um conversation because it may come across as pretty flippant but there are a multitude of people who who who enjoy a drink who who absolutely or they have a problem and it doesn’t it doesn’t physically affect them in any way shape or form oh yeah yeah you know what I think it is Andy it’s it’s about but people educate in themselves and understanding that that’s I think where it’s kind of falls short it’s we I know I did the same and um so Phil did the same you’re just conditioned by Society they don’t care what anyone says you are gonna oh no I’m not no I’m not nobody tells me to drink you are we’re conditioned by loads of things we don’t realize it well history conditions us doesn’t it uh he still conditions us yeah yeah our history you know when you’re a kid what’s the first thing you want to do it’s like getting into pubs underage we all did it you have your first drink with your parents don’t you that still happens today so it’s that right of passage it’s that get that and it’s passed down and I think for a lot a lot of it for a long time it was sort of you know you know it was the alcoholic is the drunk on the street or the or the yeah the tram or the you know it there was a a figure an image of how you saw what an alcoholic was yeah which is total fabrication you know it is in our society and I think it’s epidemic that people are struggling and as Phil said you say to anyone right well if you haven’t got a problem or you can take it or leave it take three months off try not to drink for three months and most people will fall I reckon after two weeks yeah definitely I don’t drink I even drink a lot I don’t drink a lot at all I I maybe have two or three glasses of wine uh when I’m doing a radio show on a Sunday that’s it and we’ve got we’ve got alcohol in the house that’s been here for months I’m not making any excuses for myself but if I said I can’t have a drink it would make me want to drink and I really can can take or leave drinks exactly a drink so why is it the question then is why in your head Andy why why do you have that wine when you have the show what what is it is it Association is it yeah no not nerves far from nerves I am programmed and people who listen to my show will know I’ll start the show and I say I don’t feel like drinking today the tunes are on I’m feeling the vibe we’re having fun in the chat room exactly I say you know what I might have a drink more often than not if I start the show not feeling like having a drink I won’t have a drink occasionally something will come and because there’s so much Nostalgia attached to the music I play I will reach for Adrian but I’m talking about one glass of wine or two glasses of wine the rest that’s brilliant absolutely brilliant week yeah that’s really good see so it took me I think this year five months to fall in love again with vinyl and music like we spoke earlier before we came on air and did I for five years I started selling my collection I started selling it I was getting good money because you know I’ve got from working in record shops and tweaking in America you know I’ve got records that are worth a lot of money but I just fell out with it I I just couldn’t break that Association every time I put a record on I thought about drink and and drugs and other things and I not obviously a bigger extent than what you did Andy but if I went to do a mix even if it was doing a mix for for nothing for for going the gym or whatever I would have to I would drink a bottle of wine and I could have break that Association and it’s no you know I got rid of my decks I bought one turntable I I readjusted my association with music I turned it back to where it was when I was 12 years old and I first started buying vinyl but it’s took that long five years of hating music or not hating it but scared to put it on scared couldn’t couldn’t couldn’t associate playing a record or put in a digital thing on without having to drink in my hand I just couldn’t break that site when I couldn’t so when I first started getting sober it took me I reckon till sort of I was buying records but it really took me till May June where I was like I am now comfortable I the association’s gone yeah I don’t know how the association went it’s gone and since then I’ve gone potty again I’m like records left right and Center I can’t believe I’m not now I’ve got an addiction again so how uh to vinyl but that’s a good addiction to have though isn’t it it is it is and always God we’ve said addictive personality some people I’m filing far more addictive than others yeah um but yeah what I’m getting that is again it’s that Association so we associate going out right well we’re going out so we’re drinking you know and it’s you don’t have to go out and drink I’m not saying you have to be not drink but I think what we need to do is people need to educate themselves about the associations and not just be so flippant and Blah’s everybody because that’s when people fall through the cracks and become alcoholics yeah absolutely people don’t we don’t you know I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine I’m all right tell me what other thing you would ingest into your body that’s poisonous like alcohol like Phil said for the next day to feel absolutely horrendous if somebody came up to you I don’t know with some sort of food and says you can have this and take it you’re gonna have a great time tonight but tomorrow you’re going to feel absolutely awful most people go well I’m not taking it then you know what I mean absolutely we’re absolutely well you know what tomorrow I’m gonna feel like [ __ ] but I’m still gonna go do it yeah it’s a weekend so you know it doesn’t matter I can I can recover over the weekend ready for work the following day you know you you are poisoning yourself in the next day it’s like and again for me no I I or I will sort of try and talk to people who are trying to come off alcohol or anything I say but you’re having fun for this short passage of time say four hours going out the first drink the first three drinks you’re never gonna find that buzz again once you’ve gone past them yeah you’re drinking for the sake of drinking yeah same with any drug you’re just taking it you know people who do cocaine after the first line after that you’re just taking a drug you’re never going to get that hit again like the first one or maybe even the second one but you’ll carry on doing it you’ll carry on pushing along peer pressure whatever with your mates you know and you you are having a good time I’m not saying you’re not but the majority of them will wake up the next day probably won’t remember a lot of the night or whatever the room is kind of blurred but that that eight for me I’d say to that evening’s gone you’re still you’re at the next day now so what’s it worth all that for how you feel today if you honestly look back at it oh I’m waking up fresh every morning is probably the biggest I mean like going out to a gig and I’ll drive to all my gigs and yeah I’ll probably won’t get in till yeah half three four o’clock in the morning sometimes if I really push myself to stay out that late um but then I can get home and I can be up at you know half seven eight o’clock nine o’clock face the day no problem out with the kids down the park football swimming whatever you know doing something really active I used to do all that on a banging hangover and I look back now and go oh my God the torture I put myself through just so I could have a drink I said surely you absolute idiot yeah and surely you must look back it’s easy on hindsight and we can say this because we don’t dream yeah maybe saying this to someone who drinks it might bounce off walls and they might go yeah I bet you don’t but you can probably say and I did when I went to these parties I had as good a night tonight as I would of if it had been off my tits and drunk absolutely I could say that the next day 100 and I’m not lying yeah listen gentlemen listen I need to start wrapping this up because as I did as I did say we will be talking and we’ll be gone way past the 90 minute Mark we’ve been talking for 95 minutes uh we’ve had uh we’ve had people passing through and enjoying it a couple people have said I’m definitely going to catch the rest of this uh on the on the catch up because it is very interesting and I guarantee there are gonna have been points made there are gonna have been um instances that you’ve shared that so many people will relate to and it’s definitely going to plant a seed and it’s going to be food for thought um I’m not entirely sure you’re going to stop me having my couple of drinks of wine but definitely everyone we need to do what they want to Andy that’s the whole point is everyone you know if you know your limits and you know how you’re going to feel and you can cope with it brilliant crack on but for me I know I can’t do that and that took me a long time to realize and and there’s a lot of people out there who can’t just have one can’t just have two you know I my my mum for example she loves a drink gets hammered sometimes and all the rest of it but she can have a glass of wine and then not have another glass of wine for three months and I’ll be like okay you’re still on the alcoholic scale but you know it’s each to their own and yeah you can’t tell people everyone has got to find their own path and at the end of the day if they want to have a drink let them have a drink it’s what that’s about just be happy uh it’s 100 be happy and it affects your life it affects your personal life or you have the thoughts then my advice is be sober curious try it yeah drinking for three months and go back to drinking yeah and prove a lot to you if you do that three months I would recommend everybody tries three months 90 days do it yeah well you know what you’ve planted the seed with me I’m gonna I’m gonna get a few people to join me and we’ll do it after Christmas I mean I know you should start now but I’m gonna do the three months and uh I I you know we’ve got a good Community out there so I’ll find a few to gonna do it with me and we’ll make a song and dance about it and uh you guys can be you guys can be heading head in the campaign all right same awesome good deal yeah sounds great hold me to that it definitely happened um okay gentlemen so many uh comments so many replies that you can uh check back on I’ll say thank you now I’m going to start wrapping up and I’ll leave you to the rest of your evening thanks so much for your time thank you everybody really appreciate it Frank honest um enlightening conversation and we’ll get you back on again I’m sure we’ll talk about something like this again thanks a lot thank you all right cheers mate thank you cheers mate thank you very much have a good one see everybody right wonderful Dave gone um hold on let me just move this over here so I can look you in the eyes uh what can I say uh thank you again guys when you come back and check out the recording you read all of the comments um this screen in front of me doesn’t really do justice to the amount of likes and shares that we’ve had for that uh because as I say all the likes you see here are mainly on the Inspire and be inspired official page uh most people are watching on my profile so thank you for that I’ll read through these uh Jane boy says I’m in for the 90 days nice to have you with me Jane uh I will hold you to that we’ll do it let’s do it we’ve got we’ve got a strong team uh we’ll make it happen um Simon Daryl uh says cheers guys Jane says uh where’s it going sorry I’ve got things beeping my ears thanks for the insights you’re both amazing uh Emily thank you so much Philly Stuart Julie thank you guys very insightful Steve Carroll some good advice big up Steve sorry I did see your comments earlier but I didn’t want to interrupt the gentleman up the Villa he says and uh Leslie’s Davis says I’ll do the 90 days to after Christmas yes we’ll make it we’ll make a big song and dance of it within the VB family and um hopefully it may make one or two people look long term at giving up alcohol uh I’ve got some very close friends uh and people even closer to me who have serious issues with alcohol I’m fully aware of what it does I’m fully aware of how he rips lives apart I’ve had my own Journey with alcohol I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had an alcohol problem personally but I’ve had some pretty crazy nights um down the years I’ve got myself into some ridiculous situations and now I enjoy not really having a strong relationship with alcohol many people are at the vocal booth will be laughing at that comment and they’ll remember I was like on the Saturday night it’s easily done I won’t make excuses for that and yet at the same time there are excuses how you can let your guard down you can allow yourself to get into those situations um but you know it happens from time to time uh I personally uh I’m happy that the hangovers are so terrible because it stopped me from drinking uh more than I probably would um I hate not being able to remember what I did a night before um I hate feeling like [ __ ] I love you know not having any kind of major relationship with alcohol but there are a lot of people out there who aren’t in that position so uh you know hopefully as I say again that was an interesting conversation for many of you um thank you all I shall not keep you any longer it’s been a long one you can see on the screen here next week next next Wednesday not Thursday the 20 3rd of November seven o’clock UK time we’re going to get back into a music conversation with one of the undoubted heroes one of the kings of the UK music scene Mr Gavin Mills uh it used to be known as DJ face he was uh The Man Behind setting up the legendary catch records he is behind a lot of massive hits that one or two people may not be familiar with and whether they’ll be familiar with the hits they may not know that he had anything to do with it and he’s also better known in recent years as being one half of copyrights now taking some amazing photographs for defected so on and so forth that conversation is going to be next Wednesday on the screen I say thank you to all of my access group all the subscribers who have helped me get this flashy new camera some new lights in the studio they give me the encouragement to put all of these talks together uh badgering away in the daytime coming up with new content so thank you all at the end of the show your names will be proudly displayed on the screen so respect to you I’ll leave you all to it thank you very much enjoy the rest of Wednesday uh what’s happening Saturday morning uh Saturday morning coffee Club something new that I’m going to be doing take a look on my wall for more details on that uh that’s me done one love guys be good to yourselves foreign [Music]

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Michael Watford Tribute: DJ Andy Ward

The definitive Michael Watford collection?
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