LifeRing is proud to introduce our online “How Was Your Week” meeting originating in Scotland, UK. This meeting is convened by well-traveled Edinburgh native Michael T. Michael writes:
LifeRing has had a profound effect on me that I will always be grateful for. I always feel better after a meeting. There is something unique in the way that crosstalk between peers with real lived experience brings out new perspectives. I just want more people who are struggling to know about LifeRing and to remove as many barriers to a better way of living.
I came across LifeRing when working in Austin. It was a really friendly small group of people, who I immediately felt at ease with. I had to leave the US at short notice, when the company I was working for folded. I had a visa which needed an employer who was willing to sponsor. I had just bought a house, so that was a stressful time. At that point I was sober for 1 year. I moved to Ireland (new job) and convinced myself that I could control things again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I spent the next few years in a downward spiral again.
Then I found LifeRing Ireland, which I will be eternally grateful for. I've been sober for almost 4 years now, and have learned a lot in that time.
I originally started LifeRing Scotland/UK (Scotland because I intended to try and start up in-person meetings), but [moved it] online because of the pandemic [and because it] meant I could possibly reach more people ….
Currently our meeting on Saturday at 10am GMT is attended by people mostly based in Ireland. I have had a few people from the UK join, but in that respect it is still early days. I have recently started meetings at 5pm UK on Monday and Wednesday. I have an appointment to go into a rehab facility to explain what LifeRing is all about, which may result in an in-person or hybrid meeting
In an ideal world there would be more joining from the UK and at some point becoming convenours. I like convening, though I personally only need 1 meeting a week and it would be great to step back a little. It will scale up or down depending on demand but it won't be going away.
In my past life I was a complete workaholic and suffered burn out on many occasions. That has changed in recovery. I practice a simple and informal version of mindfulness, in that I try to be present and enjoy what is around me and be measured in what I feel, think and say.
At heart I am a bit of a quiet geek (not a negative word, geeks fix the world 🙂 I have too many hobbies, and have mastered none of them, from 3d printing, tinkering with home automation (much to my wife's displeasure), guitar, to inappropriate cross stitch. I made a princess castle bed (in early recovery because I needed something to do) for my daughter, which turned out quite expensive just on the shipping costs between continents.
I left school as early as possible and started work as an apprentice electronics technician and over the years worked on image processing for military companies. I've been lucky to get to see a fair bit of the world, but sometimes just to the Army / Air Force base and back home. I'm now a software team lead for a medical imaging company.
My home town is Edinburgh in Scotland, but I have lived in Berkshire in England, Austin Texas, Dublin Ireland, and now back home to a small village in the hills, south of Edinburgh. I'm on the southern upland way so there is great scenery and lots of walking. My days of wandering are finished and I am happy to settle down in one place now.
I am still a work in progress, but there is a world of difference in the way I think about life and what is important to me. Counselling (both for me and marriage) has helped also.
I'm a Glasgow Celtic fan and believe that football is played on the ground and must never be called soccer 🙂