The second of February should have been my one-year anniversary from quitting booze. Although it didn’t quite work out, I am still pleased with the progress made over the last twelve months. Excluding the one moment of weakness I had not drank in that whole period of time. Of course I regret that day of self-pity and my inability not to succumb to the devil on the shoulder telling me, that to break my sobriety was ok. But it happened, I can’t change that or hide it. I told you guys about it straight away. My close friends and family knew about it too so there was no way I could conceal what I had done. But undoubtedly that was a positive. If I had been able to hide it, I would have done it again and again. I was able to put it quickly behind me and move forward. I don’t want to do that again. Yes, it will be great to reach one year of no alcohol but does the time elapsed explicitly matter? Ultimately, they are just numbers and days counted nothing more. That was one of the key lessons I took away from that moment. 

Changing the subject, in this blog I want to consider one key question. Am I a good person? It’s a very ambiguous question and not easily answered. But it is a question I have been asking myself recently. I am sure that I am not alone in deliberating this. It’s an internal examination (sounds uncomfortable) I have been undertaking, but I did bring this up in a recent therapy session. I know that I want to think of myself as someone who has morals, thinks of others and is a caring person towards loved ones and friends, but am i?

Let’s examine further. We all carry around insecurities and exhibit flaws to the world on a daily basis, that is undeniable. I know I have many. Please see earlier works for a full back catalogue!! But flaws don’t necessarily make you a bad person and being able to recognise them is surely a positive trait rather than fully negative, right? The society and culture we are a part of has also exacerbated the morale dilemma of whether we consider ourselves good or bad. Social media can be a driver of this. Appearing to do something good on Instagram isn’t the same thing as being morally virtuous. I myself have definitely been caught up in that. You think if people can see you are doing a positive thing whether it be for yourself or others then it will potentially fill a void, but it doesn’t in my experience. I am sure this will resonate with people reading although they may not want to admit it to anyone (yet).

So, what is or makes you a good person? It’s a difficult question to answer. How do you quantify it? There will be undoubtedly varying versions of what it takes to be either good or bad. Ideas and concepts of this will come from factors such as your childhood and how you were brought up. Or where you learnt your values from. What is your definition of positive or negative behaviour? Do you know people whether it be friends, colleagues, acquaintances or anyone who lives up to your idea of what is good?

Answering this question for myself is challenging. I don’t know whether I am a good person, and that terrifies me. By asking this question it has released new levels of anxiety I hadn’t discovered before. I have always cared (too much) what people have thought about me so have naturally made a conscious effort to present myself in a certain way. Does that make me sound disingenuous? Maybe. I can be selfish, self-absorbed – Christ I am writing a blog that’s literally all about me and how I feel. Am I a narcissist? I have met a fair few in my time. Maybe there are different levels to this as I wouldn’t have considered myself in the same bracket. I worry sometimes that I am emotionless to some situations that require more thought and attention. I compare myself to those around me and see how they respond and my mind doesn’t react in the same way. One point to raise in combat to this could be the medication I take, the side effects of which can be sense numbing. But I experienced similar thoughts and feelings prior to taking any form of anti-depressants so I am unsure as to whether I can use that. Part of me would really like to come off the drugs to see how it affects life. I want to be able to cope with it but another side of me thinks that I should keep them because they are a crutch to keep me upright and correct.

We all have a past, and I have written about some of the episodes I am not proud of from my own life. When I’m reflecting on some of these memories and ones that I’m still not comfortable sharing I think well am I ok? Do I deserve to be happy? Will I ever feel completely comfortable in my own skin? I wrote an earlier blog discussing impostor syndrome and this is definitely related. I have good days, bad days, and indifferent days but more good ones now. thankfully. Although, there is always that seed of doubt in my mind thinking that a bad day is only a short turn away. I think that ultimately I want to be a better person so that should count for something. Would bad people think that way? But then again, if I am overthinking it, am I genuine? So many unanswered questions here I am really uncertain about everything. I know this one is going to need a good proof read before posting as its tumbled out onto the page rather than flowing coherently like other pieces have.

I write this blog having had a bit of a rubbish day so maybe on reflection in a few days’ time I may feel differently. It’s been a tough one to write but hopefully a good one to read. I am going to continue this next week as I don’t think all aspects of this can be explored in one blog.

Thanks for reading.

Nick Denton

Sobering Thoughts