Facing your demons can be an incredibly difficult task and, for many, the motivation to change their life just isn’t there. However, for David Monaghan, his continuing battle with alcoholism was spiralling out of control.
That was until, one day, an emotional conversation with his young daughter made him realise that it was time to change his lifestyle before it was too late.
The former pub manager, a Gloucester City fan, sought the help of Licensed Trade Charity in 2017. A year later, he completed the Cheltenham half marathon in September 2018, raising money for the charity that supports licensed trade people – such as bar workers.
Working long hours, often under the influence of alcohol, David wanted to change his life after one particularly striking moment.
“My kids are the reason I changed my lifestyle. I’ve got a young family. One day my daughter said she always sees me drunk” he told Severn Sport. “It was a Thursday morning and I decided to call Alcoholics Anonymous.
“The man I spoke to on the phone offered to pick me up and take me to a meeting that day. But I was scared. Too scared to even leave the house because I needed a drink to be able to function. I told him to pick me up on Monday and we went to the meeting then.
“When my family found out I was attending A.A. meetings they were all very happy that I finally decided to turn my life around, because I think they already knew I had a problem.”
David, who is married to wife Jackie, says that he has noticed a change in his family life, but it’s his young children that have seen the biggest difference.
“I am much more approachable now and my children have noticed that” he said. “I interact with them a lot more. We’re doing things as a family more which we never did before because alcohol was my main priority.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I had carried on the way I was with my previous lifestyle, my wife and children would have left me.”
Quitting his job was one of the first things David did after seeking the help of Licensed Trade Charity, who gave him a six-month hardship grant to help him with living expenses whilst out of work.
After fighting his battle with alcoholism and leaving work, David’s next goal was to take strides towards his dream job – Sports Performance Analysis. But before he could do that, he took up running with the aim of completing the Cheltenham half marathon in September.
“I took up running to focus on something instead of alcohol” he said. “It was mainly to take my mind off the urge to drink.
“I wasn’t at all active really for at least a decade because my interest was purely on alcohol. Before that though I used to be a very active and sports minded person.
“Unfortunately my addiction to alcohol took over at a very young age, but now I’ve finally decided to do something about.”
Since completing his first half marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes, David has gone back to school, at Hartpury College, where he is studying a three year course in sports performance.
He is finally pursuing a lifelong dream to become a sports performance analyst, working in the Cheltenham Town academy.
Whilst it might seem strange to some for the long time Gloucester City fan to be working for the club’s historically biggest rivals, David is not fazed by it and he took a moment to acknowledge the Tigers season so far.
“It will be a very hard task but hopefully with the input of Zack Kotwica and Fabien Robert we can stay up this season” he said.
“If we can get confidence back into the changing room and finally get that elusive win under our belt who knows. It’s been a very hard season with a lot of things changing but City’s main priority is staying up ready for coming home.”