Still got this

A very quick update to say I recently forgot to celebrate my six year sober anniversary!

That actually happened! I can’t believe that the day/week/month even came and went without me even noticing.

I’m not saying that there are not still times when it’s hard being sober. There are moments when I really fancy being reckless. Times when just plain forgetting my worries would be a real treat.

An evening off from family anxiety or work stress would be bliss! The sheer escapism of it all still appeals.

But the memory of the bittersweet taste of those times are still with me.

I only have to go back and read this blog or other sober blogs to be reassured that this the place for me.

Alcohol never delivered all it promised to me. I expected too much to be fair. I was never really in it for just the one. Taking just the edge off didn’t cut it for me and never would.

I was after the full numbing, don’t give a fuck, where’s the party , I don’t want to feel my feelings experience every single time.

In an ideal world I would have a drink every time I had an uncomfortable feeling.

Just writing that makes me cringe at how scared I was of myself, of my own life.

I’ve learned to face myself, it’s not always easy and it’s uncomfortable sometimes. Occasionally it’s boring and I’m I’m not the party girl anymore. But it’s totally worth it and I’ve never been happier to look at myself every day and to know that I’m trying to live a life where there is truth and honesty and I finally have MY best interests at heart.

Putting yourself on the agenda doesn’t necessarily feel easy or natural but with a bit of practice it’s very rewarding and worth the pain along the way.

Still the best thing I ever did. Even if I’m not obsessing about it quite as much these days. It’s finally coming a bit more naturally I guess.

I wouldn’t have believed it to be possible.

Thanks to anyone who reads or writes in this space for being there when I needed someone.

I am so grateful

C xxxxxx

Still here :)

I am three years sober today!

Though it was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life it continues to bring me more reward sand satisfaction than I ever thought possible. I am thankful and grateful every day that I found a life on the other side of a shitty alcohol addiction. 

Reading sober blogs does not feel at all like a chore but a lucky reminder of the wonderful community who just like me are either fighting or winning their own personal battle. I’ll don’t think I’ll ever shut the door to this place where I found such wonderful friendship and support. 

Being sober mostly comes naturally to me these days save the odd pang or nostalgic longing. I have my moments when I wish it could be different but it passes and I never regret not drinking!

So, if your reading this and you’re struggling or wondering if it ever gets any easier, then I can promise you that you can change and it’s not awful forever. In fact, it’s actually really ok. 

So, I’m still here and I’m all good 🙂

Love to all Carrie x

Dry January Ideas

Great to see some positive ideas for sober fun…I’ll be checking some of these out!
Busy preparing for my second sober Christmas. Not so daunting this time, really haven’t felt like I’m missing out at all.
I’ve had an amazing year and I couldn’t have done any of it without staying sober or without all of you!

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!

Funny Video

When Friends Stop Drinking

This video was sent to me by Steve Whiteley. It was inspired by his friend’s reaction to him going alcohol free.

I can certainly relate to some of the bizarre comments!

All good here in camp Carrie. I recently celebrated 18 months of sobriety and am pleased to report that it is still my preferred lifestyle choice!

I was very lucky to meet up with many other sober bloggers in London this week and it was just fab to connect in person with such interesting, lovely people. If you get the chance to do something similar, I would really recommend it.

Love Carrie x

Staying here…

It’s been so long since I have written a post…I’m not sure what to write about.
I’m 15 months sober.
Not drinking is totally normal for me now and I really feel like I am embracing long term sobriety.

But I worry whether I can live in long term sobriety without always working my recovery? I owe so much of my journey so far to the tools that I used almost daily in the first year. I emailed sober pen pals, blogged, commented, reached out to other sober bloggers. I met up with like minded people who were on the same path as I was, most of us were relatively new to sobriety. I wrapped myself in a virtual sober cloak for a year, while piece by piece I pulled my old fractured, disillusioned existence apart. I stripped myself bare of all the fronts and props that had been holding me back. It was a gradual process but a lot of the time I felt alien and raw.
With help, advice, encouragement and support, bit by bit. I built a new existence that no longer revolved around escapism and chaos.
Day by day, the cravings got easier to handle and over time I did a lot of overdue, emotional growing up.
I learned to take ownership of my feelings and responsibly for my actions.
Whilst all of this is incredibly hard to face, there’s a real learning process, a lot of pain, some anger and a whole load of tears…there is the other side of you that bounces back into life too!
There’s the happiness, the laughter, the fresh start, clear head, the joy of rediscovering the good stuff that got squished down along with the bad.
I cannot believe how high my highs are when they come. Ok, it’s not every night at 6pm but it’s real and it’s not followed by pain, guilt and remorse.
You know when you think about (or used to think about) a life without your precious tipple and you couldn’t imagine anything that could ever compensate? And when you can’t see your world with any sense of satisfaction or fulfilment without booze…When you feel sick and panicked at the very thought of it?
Well, take booze and replace it with recovery…that is the way I feel about my precious sobriety now. I couldn’t stand to have it taken away from me.
My life is worth so much more now. I value every bit of it and I can t believe I was so flippant and how I fucked around massively with my health.
I adore being sober.
I am finally content and at peace with myself. I respect me, and as a result everything around me has changed and benefited. It’s not a party all day, every day. There are still times when I want to shut out reality and have a bit of time outside my own head. But it’s no longer an option so I find other ways to temporarily switch off. I lose myself in a film, some window shopping or indulge in some treat food. All of these, like booze, are a temporary fix, but without the negative consequences.
Socially, some nights rock and other nights are pants…the only difference is that I own the morning after and the rest of the day or weekend. A shit night out ends when I decide to call it a night and not about two days later because I drank so much to pep it up and suffered a shitty hangover. I can get a two day buzz from highs of a fun night, spent in good company, laughing, chatting, eating and focusing on other elements to add the fun factor. I have stopped worrying about who/when/ how much boozing will be involved – I just don’t fret in advance anymore. I can’t tell you what a relief all of this is for me. I never pictured myself to able to exist happily without wine let alone feel so strongly that this is the best that I have ever felt in my adult life. It is and I am grateful to have found a way out of that life to this place.
Booze had stopped working for me years and years ago and yet I just couldn’t let it go. Now I have finally found something else that has made everything fall into place I am going to do everything it takes to stay here.

One year treats and thoughts…

Thank you to everyone who commented and sent good wishes for my one year soberversary, I was really touched as always by the support and time taken by
this lovely sober support network. I even had some flowers delivered to me from a wonderful sober blogging friend on the other side of the world!!
There was cake, of course, and a new jacket that I have worn almost every day since. Every time I put it on I feel happy. I remember how far I have come from the yo-yo drinking/guilt/pain that was my existence a year ago. My life was absolutely saturated in alcohol. All those expensive trips to the supermarket and corner shop that I have been saved from, have resulted in the most loveliest treats.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a case of the what nows? Worrying about whether I would be able to stick with sobriety long term?
I’ve tried to put those thoughts aside, as they are always going to be too overwhelming for me. I have never looked too far ahead in the road before and staying in the moment is easier to cope with. The one day at a time serves well to keep me relaxed and happy.
My life has changed so much in the past year, though it’s been really gradual. I’ve slowly removed myself from being overly sociable and gradually I have stripped myself of the party girl label. It feels calm and I think I have done a lot of growing up. I’ve come to terms with having fewer hiding places from my emotions. I am slowly learning to stand up and face life head on. With that comes a new sense of authenticity and achievement that feels really good.
Whilst I miss the anticipation of a fun boozy night out on the town, I did have a sober first a couple of weeks ago that really surprised me.
Driving home from work on a Friday night, mentally planning my outfit etc for birthday drinks and dinner with a bunch of girl friends, when I felt a old familiar rush of excitement about going out and letting my hair down. This feeling however, was not immediately followed by the newly familiar anti climax of ‘oh but I can’t have any fun without alcohol etc’. This was a huge first for me, I have embraced nights out and forced myself to be the uber-cool-fun-sociable sober girl but it’s taken a lot of effort. To be genuinely looking forward to
the evening’s events without any booze thoughts at all was awesome!! It was a great night and another giant sober step for me.
With time the booze focused thoughts and associations do fall away one by one. With that it gets easier and being sober becomes more natural and something you think about less and less.

What I don’t take for granted yet is how amazing I feel every weekend when I once again wake up hangover free and set about getting the most out of another weekend. And family life is totally different now that I can be counted on to be present, reliable and in good spirits!
So, I feel like I have found my sober feet.I am excited about being excited to socialise again. I’m hoping that I keep on making progress and that the learning is as interesting as it has been this past year.
I have met lots of interesting sober bloggers in real life, it’s wonderful to meet people that you connect with instantly on such a big lifestyle issue. I’m looking forward to meeting more sober cool people and keeping the connections that I have made so far.
I wonder if I will ever have a ‘normal’ life again? It wasn’t exactly normal before..
Will I always need the support of like minded sober people or will I one day be able to stand alone in my life as a sober girl amongst all of the drinkers? Will I still be writing/reading blogs in another year, forever even? I will keep doing what I’m doing because it works and it keeps me sober.
Not just sober, sober and happy. And in excellent company too.

One Fucking Year!!!! Take that Wolfie!!

Life after alcohol?

Boy, did that one thought keep me stuck in the shit
for a long time? I was a regular binge drinker from the age of sixteen, so had absolutely no idea who I was or what I was going to donwith myself, without it. Drinking was a huge part of the culture that I grew up in. I loved it. The taste, the feeling, endless socialising, wild partying, the unpredictability, the chaos, I craved it all. It never once occurred to me that life could be fine, maybe even better than that, if I stopped completely. I envisioned a future of the boring sober girl, enviously gazing at everyone’s drinks wishing i could have a wine or six and never again getting excited about anything, ever!

This time last year after a not out of the ordinary boozy Sunday lunch, I decided to have another go at quitting drinking. My previous attempts of 4 months, 2 months and quite a few 1 month stints had been anything but a walk in the park so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Each time I hoped that the previous attempt would mean that I would find it easier, that I might have found the magic formula that was going give me that shot at real success. Honestly, I think that each time I experimented with abstaining from booze, I was secretly hoping to fix the problem, make my addiction disappear, and get back to drinking like a regular person.

Although forever scared the life out of me, I knew that I’d researched, practised, tried and failed with moderation enough times to realise that it was never going to be an option for me.
I emailed Belle and signed up for Team 100, enlisting the help of both her and Amy at Soberbia as sober penpals.
Whilst I didn’t email everyday, it was then that I started to use the sober blogging community as my daily tool for support. I checked in online everyday, reminding myself that I wasn’t alone, absorbing the advice of those with time and experience, cheerleading and being cheered on by many in the same boat as me. If I had to single out the most important thing that I did diffently this time, it would be that. There were days when I didn’t feel like being ‘in recovery’, other days when I felt ‘cured’ and wanted to wing it on my own. But I forced myself to do the same thing everyday, regardless, because it was working. It was still hard not to answer the call of wine time at 6pm everyday but I busied myself with other things and spending time on my recovery was the main focus. Reading, commenting, sharing, laughing out loud sometimes at these genius sober accounts has lifed my spirits every single day.
I’ve cried tears at the stories of struggling and relaspe. Felt deep sadness and been humbled when the dark drunk- tales of despair and collateral damage resonated all too often with me.They serve as a remindert that I am exactly where I need to be. I would not be sober now without this blogging community and I thank you all for that.

I also embraced the treat concept (another brilliant idea of Belle’s) wholeheartedly. Being kind to myself, cutting myself some actual slack and rewarding myself when I’d climbed a sober mountain or simply got through the day without booze. I allowed myself to believe that I was worth it.

Putting the booze to one side was only one part of the journey. It was easier not to drink than it was to come to terms with being comfortable in my own skin. It quickly became apparent that without wine, I had gaping holes in my adult emotional toolbox! Coping skills were almost non existent and I didn’t know how to just be with myself. My emotional development had been stunted by the constant blotting out and drowning everything in booze. I cried ten years worth of tears in the first 3 months.

There’s been lots of work to do and although it’s been tough, it has been worth every second. Quitting is not easy but it is worth it beyond belief. My life is a million per cent better than it was when I was actively addicted to wine. Drinking doesn’t make all of your problems disappear but being sober, not being hungover, makes the problems easier to tackle one by one.

I am happier, thinner, richer, I have better skin and a wardrobe full of sober treats!I’m a better mother, a nicer wife, a more attentive friend, a more productive employee, every area of life has improved. I wake up refreshed, energised from sounder sleep and look forward to what each day will bring. It’s been an adventure, I’ve met some awesome people. Made new amazing friends. I feel lucky to be on this journey , it is the road less travelled. I am grateful to be here rather than in that addictive place where obsessing, guilt and shame prevail. I am thrilled to have discovered a life on the other side of addiction where there is peace, calm, and kindness. A place where I have rebuilt my self esteem and taken the power away from booze, I am no longer defined by it. It’s not always Rainbows and Butterflies but It does exist, a fucking awsome life after alcohol and if you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend that you do.

Happy One Year Sober Birthday to me!!!!

Time for cake 🙂