I reached a point in later life where, despite being surrounded by all the supposed joyous essentials, I was not feeling it.

My home was lovely, my wife incredible, and my children were creating exceptional adult versions of themselves.

I ran my own (profitable) business and had both car and motorbike in the garage.

My faith was strong, and my social group was eclectic and rewarding.

I had a mixed bag of talents.


And yet life felt dry.

It felt tight, constricted and limited.

I wasn’t enjoying it.

Let me tell you a story:

Once upon a time, a man wandered along the sea’s shoreline, when he happened upon a sponge washed up by the tide.

The sponge must have been there a while because it was dry, stiff, and curled up within itself.

The man collected it up and gently laid it back in the Ocean.

The man watched as the salty waters permeated the sponge, opening it to its former glory.

The sponge held a secret.

Hidden and trapped inside the sponge was a tiny fish, almost dead, but thankfully not.

The life-giving properties of the sea also resurrected the little fish who rallied and swam off.


I relate to this story.

I relate to the little fish.


If we are not careful, life can dry out and constrict us.

We can be suffocating and only notice once it is too late.


All that glitters is not gold; we should be wary of embracing all the hedonism that we are told leads to happiness.


In the story, the little fish swims off into the blue, but those waters are complex. There are currents, more tides, bigger fish, darkness, and much more, … but also a chance for life.


Many things can remove a person from their life-giving waters, and for me, an unhealthy connection to alcohol was the one nearest the surface.

Alcohol offered me reward, relaxation, fun and merriment.

But, in reality, it hijacked much of my world and sold me into the shame-filled slavery of an ever-decreasing circle.

I was that fish!

Caught up in alcohol dependence, my soul, spirit, and very being was gradually squeezed so tight that it ceased to function ..almost.

The waters of sobriety came to my rescue and became my first step in recovering what I had lost along the way.

In a life absent of intoxication, I am free and re-energised to breathe deeply again.

I can stretch out my being like that sponge and take my place like the fish.

I have recovered the ability to explore and nourish and grow.

I no longer feel that life is dry and tight.

Instead, it feels light and full of possibilities.

I am grateful, exhilarated, and ready.

I am, of course, scared by the darkness and mystery of the deep, but I also know that is where I belong and where I am finding my raison d’etre, fulfilment, and ultimately, my destiny.