Depression and 'Lost Connections'

Today's blog post and podcast is really a rave book review of Johann Hari's new book, "Lost Connections". I've mentioned him in a previous blog post, when I talked about his amazing TED talk, "Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong", in which he said that "the (...Read more)

Mental Health and Compassion

The topic of mental health is a vast and complex one. I couldn’t possibly hope to touch on every aspect, or cover all the different methods we can use to work on and improve our mental health. But I was listening to a podcast the other day - How to Fail by Elizabeth Day - an interview  (...Read more)

Interview with the FREEDOM junkies' Ryan Swainson

After episode after episode of me chattering away, I thought it was high time for another interview, so I cornered Ryan, my partner, fellow Freedom Junkie and sober buddy, and convinced him to sit down and chat with me about the whys and wherefores of his sobriety journey!  (...Read more)

Let's Talk About Stress!

I think we can all agree that everyone experiences stress, at some level or another, on a nearly daily basis. The contributing factors, severity and frequency will differ from person to person, but it's an almost universal fact of life. Yet it seems, and I speak from personal experience  (...Read more)

How To Combat Your Clutter

Unless you've been hiding under your bed or refusing to look at the internet recently (and considering the state of the world currently, I wouldn't blame you), you've probably heard of Marie Kondo and her show,Tidying Up on Netflix. Even if you haven't watched the show, memes of (...Read more)

1 Year Without Drugs & Alcohol: Reclaim Your Energy, Attune Your Priorities and Manifest New Realities

The concept of this topic alone is enough to raise a vast spectrum of emotional reaction within each and every one of us mere mortals. I can already feel a whole range of responses being projected across the cyber-sphere, as the bold declaration of an entire solar rotation without (...Read more)

What I've Learned In A Year Of Sobriety

Who'd have thunk it? If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever even take a break from smoking weed, let alone spend an entire year completely sober, I would have laughed/wheezed in your face. Being a stoner had become so completely wrapped up in my identity (and I was so  (...Read more)

Interview with This Naked Mind's Annie Grace

I feel like I've always been a little bit behind the times when it comes to technology. It took me a while to make the switch from mini-discs (remember them anyone?!) to MP3, mainly because I just couldn't understand how you got all that music in that tiny little machine. I don't have a smart  (...Read more)

Dry January Hints and Tips

We're halfway through the month, and the fire and energy of all those post-New-Year hangover-fuelled good intentions might be waning a wee bit. So this seems like a good time for a bonus Dry January episode, full of tips and ideas for making this sober month (or indeed whatever "month of  (...Read more)

Dry January

Happy New Year! It’s officially 2019, and right now, all over the land, people are nursing hangovers and recovering from a festive period full of fun, good cheer and excess. But not me. No, for not only am I now basically middle-aged, it is also ten years since I quit drinking alcohol.  (...Read more)

Introducing Breaking Free

All has been quiet on the FREEDOM junkies' front for a while now, because we've been working away on our podcast, Breaking Free. I have to admit, it's been far more complicated than I thought it would - but then, anything to do with technology and computers always is for me!  (...Read more)

The Power of No: Reclaiming control of your choices

One of the most thrilling words you learn when you stop doing something, be it drinking alcohol, smoking weed or spending too much time on your smart phone, is one we as people have a long relationship with. It’s commonly one of the first words we learn, and as toddlers are masters of  (...Read more)

How To Conquer Cravings

I’ve said it before, and I’m pretty sure I’ll say it again - this being sober malarky is quite the up-and-down journey. A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about getting over the hump. I was feeling in a very positive state of mind when I wrote it. The sun was shining, I was relaxing in  (...Read more)

Getting Over the Hump

The other day I reached the 9 month sober mark. Now, counting dates and marking anniversaries is not something I'm necessarily all for (as I saw someone write, 'what am I going to do, count every day of the rest of my life?') and it's true, as the years since I stopped drinking pass by they  (...Read more)

The Introverted Addict: Why Drugs Are So Appealing For Social Interaction

Since I stopped using alcohol, weed, tobacco and ecstasy around 8 months ago, I've been noticing many new realisations and perceptions about my personality (and others') that until recently I've never had any helpful explanations for. Stopping regularly using substances has stripped away  (...Read more)

The Ins and Outs of Moderation

My Nan, just like everyone else’s nan, always used to say “everything in moderation”. And with most things, I think it’s a fairly good rule of thumb. I genuinely believe that life is too short to agonise over whether you should eat a piece of delicious chocolate cake - if you want the  (...Read more)

Public Service Announcement

Dear FREEDOM junkies readers,
I have some really exciting news - The FREEDOM junkies is going to start a podcast! It’s called Breaking Free, and its going to be me, talking honestly about addiction, how it has affected me, and the things that I do to try and break free. I’d also love to interview people and have  (...Read more)

My First Sober Festival

The 15th July was a landmark date for me - I had 6 months of sobriety under my belt. For someone who has used one drug or another almost every day for 15 years, it felt like quite an achievement, and something I couldn’t have imagined a year ago. In this time I’ve discovered that  (...Read more)

Never Mind The 12 Steps, Start With Three!

It seems like after telling the ugly truth about why I quit drinking, it might be time for a helpful ‘how to’ post. But I’ve been stalling - the problem I have with writing about this is that the more I learn about addiction and recovery, the more I realise there is no one way, and  (...Read more)

Sobriety vs Lucidity: What’s in a Word?

Writing a blog about freedom from addictions has brought me very quickly up against a semantic road block - I’ve realised that I have real issues with the language used to talk about this subject. Just think about the words we use to describe the quitting of drugs or alcohol:  (...Read more)

How Substances Shaped My Identity - And Why I Quit For Good! (For Now)

Hello. I'm Ryan. I'm usually adverse to talking about myself from a first person perspective - it's much easier to speak from behind the mask of characters, ideology or stage - but as we are here to talk about honesty, independence and integrity it's probably important to write at least  (...Read more)

Why I quit drinking at 25

I promised in the first blog post that we would meet. So now I'd like to introduce myself, and tell you far more things about me than any normal person would tell you when you first meet. Hey, who doesn't love a good over-share? So go make yourself a nice cup of tea, because I hate to (...Read more)

We want to be free to do what we want to do

Addiction. Abstinence. Smashed. Sober. Fried. Free.

Well, I guess this is some pretty heavy stuff to start off with. And we haven’t even properly met yet. We will, later on, I promise. But we can’t really write a  (...Read more)