#wearenot9to5 Matt Jones

#wearenot9to5 is a series of stories about mental health & addiction from people in the hospitality, food & beverage industry. We share these posts to normalize the challenges and decrease the stigma & shame.

Matt Jones shared this post via social media last week & we found it so incredibly relevant and inspiring that we offered to host it on our website. Sobriety is not the answer for all but we're so happy that its helped Matt. Alcohol is a substance that we all have easy access to which is why it's important to learn about moderation, harm reduction and self-regulation. Let's work with alcohol, not for alcohol.

Shared post by Matt Jones from October 16, 2019:

365 days. Today. Sobriety. Amazing what can happen in a year. And for all the right reasons.

One year ago today I finally realized I could not go it alone. My 25 year relationship with “functional” binge drinking had to end. I made all the excuses over the years. My entire professional career, my identify in my mind, hinged on a lifestyle that included always being hospitable, never saying no to a guest or customer buying me a drink...or 10. Open a bottle, it gets finished. One year ago today, my doctor told me my chronic alcoholism was going to be irreversible as I approached midlife. One year ago today, I made the choice to get help.

One year ago today, I would not have guessed I would be making this post, this way. I have learned so much and still continue to learn and heal, One Day At A Time (ODAAT). My children’s love saved me. Then 8 months ago, an angel came into my life, who has been the most supportive, patient, and healing person I have ever met. I continue to learn from her daily, and learn more ways to love myself. She continues to amaze and mystify me. She has shown me what a family is, what a partner is. I love you, Nicole! My space otter.

I clearly still work with beverage alcohol, a very hard line to walk.

I realized that my passion for the people and the culture of whisk(e)y is not what took me down, it was my relationship with alcohol that needed to change, the underlying issues that contribute to addiction.

I will continue to preach my message of ‘sip the whisky, drink the history’ but abstain from drinking alcohol indefinitely.

My personal choice, with no judgment to those that enjoy a healthy dram or cocktail. That said, I will continue to cook and create culinary delights and cocktails, inspired by the complexity of the most richly flavoured and storied beverage of them all: Whisk(e)y

If you are struggling, realize that the reasons for the addiction are deeper than the addiction itself, and cannot be healed unless confronted. I will always be a work in progress. We should always be a work in progress. Take your life back. Love yourself. ODAAT! One love!