Colin H. Clark shares his journey with alcohol

About 10 years ago, Colin came to stay with my flatmates and I in London (I was living there for university at the time). He was passing through on his travels and we all spent a few days going skating throughout the day and then to house parties at night.

This was a really fun week. Skating, partying, what more do skaters want?

But for Colin, alcohol started to become a problem over the years, causing issues in his life that he has courageously had to confront and work through to get himself to where he is today – sober, and with his life back on track!

For information and resources about Alcohol, including ways to gain support, click here. And for Mental Health resources for the UK & EU, click here

Could you give me a quick overview of what you do for work?

I'm a filmmaker and have gone through multiple different genres. I worked in professional skateboarding for 10 years, shot/edited for Tony Hawk's production company, lived overseas and covered the world skateboarding contests. I later moved in to food, working in high end pastries at Four Seasons Hotel with Christopher Ford in Beverly Hills, then gaining a corporate position at California Pizza Kitchen headquarters which is an international restaurant chain. Most recently I opened a coffee shop/coffee roaster with a couple of friends called Push & Pour over 3 years ago. We currently have two locations.

Colin (bottom right) on a video set

When did you start to realise you needed some support with alcohol?

I had a lot of complications from my drinking before I ever got help, and as an alcoholic, I don't think I ever truly realised I needed help. It was difficult, and perhaps impossible for me to truly

understand there was another way to live. Near the end I was drinking daily, it didn't matter morning, noon or night. I think I just accepted that the physical, emotional, mental, and social complications that come from that abuse was just a part of life. Eventually, I was given an ultimatum by my girlfriend at the time to either get sober or break-up.

How do you feel now that you've been sober for a while?

I have four and half years of sobriety, and it's by far the best thing that has ever happened in my life. Like I said, my drinking affected every aspect of my life, inside and out, so my sobriety had the reverse effect. The physical results are great and occur pretty fast. Lowering anxiety, depression, going back to a normal weight (I had lost about 70 pounds), but the relationships I gained are the most important.. renewing old friendships, business connections, my family... and most importantly building a strong connection with my parents.