On the face of it, Andy’s life looked great. A stellar, award-winning and record breaking career, a flash company car on the drive, great family, and money in the bank. Underneath, however, he was hiding a secret.
If you met him, you would find an outgoing guy who would smile and offer you a beer, but inside there was a relentless battle against alcohol addiction and the self-loathing that went with it.
Andy grew up in a pub on a tiny island in the Shetland Islands and as a young man, being able to ‘hold your drink’ was a rite of passage into manhood. If you weren’t able to down a half bottle of whisky and remain standing you were in some way inferior.
The patterns of behaviour laid down in his early teens led to a lifetime of over indulgence, costing him a small fortune, relationships, and ultimately a marriage.
By the time he was in his late forties, the wheels were starting to come off.
In a new relationship with a new young son, everything was in a better situation, and yet the drinking prevailed.
“Why do I do this, when the rest of my life is great?” Was a daily debate between his head and his heart.
A visit to the supermarket for the family dinner would see him walking into the supermarket, determined to ‘have a night off’ and not drink that night. 20 minutes later, pushing the trolley back to his car with the inevitable 2 bottles of wine and a bottle of gin, he felt worthless, alone and out of control.
Find out more about how to stop drinking yourself here.
He took a few days off and went back over everything he had learned about influencing psychology through professional qualifications and personal development courses.
He formed a plan – after all, if he could win healthcare industry-wide awards for influencing others, what if he turned those skills on himself?
Something inside shifted. Hope turned to excitement. Excitement turned to determination, and then into acceptance that he simply did not feel the desire to drink.
“I think I’m done” he said to Louise, his partner.
“Yeah, right” (We had been here before)
“I can’t explain it, it just feels different this time”
Days became weeks, and after a couple of months, he woke up with a sense of wellbeing he hadn’t experienced in 2 decades. Only then did he realise just how much alcohol had been taken from him.
Andy is just an ordinary guy, but probably one of the most curious people you will ever meet. He was professionally interested in what had just happened as he assumed that he was virtually beyond help.
He recruited some volunteers to try the plan he set for himself, and the feedback was unanimous:
“This is amazing – you HAVE to share this”
And so the FREEDOM programme was born. It has helped thousands of people around the world to not only control their drinking, but simply move on with their lives.
Now Andy devotes his life to helping others who feel the same sense of frustration as he did.
By keeping things ‘real’ and using his own story to inspire others, he is now one of the most sought after individuals in the field of alcohol addiction, having appeared on countless TV and Radio stations.
Andy would be the first person to acknowledge that quitting drinking doesn’t make your life perfect. It does however, enable you to deal with life’s challenges more constructively which in turn makes a massive difference.
In 2018, Andy rode into Paris on his bike, having ridden the entire course of the Tour de France, raising thousands for a charity helping disadvantaged children.
Not bad for someone who a few years before had been using a stick to walk, don’t you think?
Andy often says,
It’s amazing how your life can unfold along a different path when you have more time, more energy, better mental & physical health, better self esteem and are saving money!Start your own journey now