SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Making A Difference

Love and support

Some of you may already know that when I stopped drinking the last (and final) time, I replaced wine with non-alcoholic versions. I know it can be seen as a controversial subject, some say you’re replacing one addiction with another and others that you’re not really addressing the issue. Other people swear by them, so it’s a difficult subject to navigate.

I’d never liked non-alcoholic drinks. I didn’t see the point in wine without the kick, but when I gave up the last time I needed it to be for good, so I used whatever tactics helped.

I liked the ritual of having that special something in a glass still in the evening. One lady I met in recovery poured milk into a wine glass every evening for the same reason. It’s the little habits that seem to help the most. That ritual in itself gave me something to focus on, so while everything was different, pouring my glass each evening made it seem more normal.

Of course, me being me, it got to the point where it was never enough. Like with wine, I obsessed about it, I needed it in the house and couldn’t settle if I didn’t have some, ‘in case’, although I’m not really sure what I thought might happen without it. It wasn’t a physical dependency, but it became a mental one, as I relied on it to help me settle in the evening. If I wasn’t at home, and hadn’t poured myself a drink, I couldn’t relax.

Removing wine from my life only highlighted just how bad my anxieties were, and while I hoped they would go away in time, I didn’t really deal with them as I probably should have done. Time was certainly a healer, and for a lot of people, it is the end of the story. For me, giving up drink just uncovered my insecurities and made me see how much I’d relied on wine to help me numb everything.

I think, it just brings me back to the fact that in recovery there isn’t a one-size fits all remedy. If you’re in the same boat as I was, try new things. Just because it hasn’t worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. We’re all different, as are our addictions and recoveries. If it works for you, it isn’t wrong. And always remember to be kind to yourself.


Take care and thank you for reading.
Claire x

💖💖💖

Talking To Others

Talking to Others
As a family we’re quite self-sufficient, in that we don’t really rely on many people outside of our little bubble. And by bubble, I’m not referring to anything Covid related, we’ve always been like it.

I think of my husband as my best friend, but over the years we’ve fallen out of touch with a lot of other friends. I guess, because we were so young when we had our older kids, it was difficult socialising with friends who weren’t settled and spent their time differently to us. As our kids got older, our friends started having kids and so the balance was tipped the other way. By the time Stanley had come along we had lost touch with many of our close friends, not completely, but we just didn’t see them that often.

In many ways I suppose it made it easier not to see lots of people when I was in the early days of recovery, and even now. I don’t have to explain things to anyone else, unless I choose to. It’s tricky because I feel that I am on top of my problems to such an extent that they don’t worry me anymore, and yet, occasionally, I realise that there is something I haven’t really addressed and makes me struggle more. Like the idea of eating out in a restaurant. It’s those small things when I see that I haven’t pushed myself as much as I could have done. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. It’s not like I’m actively avoiding things. I’m not sitting at home wishing I was out. I’m quite happy at home, it’s just when an event is suggested, even something like a work party, I worry about how I will deal with it.

I felt like a bit of a fraud yesterday at work. I was finishing off some bits for my online shop. I’ve been really enjoying embracing my creativity a little, and designing and making some gifts for those in sobriety. So I waited until everyone was on lunch so I didn’t have to explain myself, not because I didn’t want to, it’s strange, I just find it a bit embarrassing, and I still assume that I’ll be judged or misunderstood. I work with the nicest team of people, and yet, I still worry what they think of me. It’s hard, because there is no rule book of how to explain an addiction to the people you work with. People that work full time spend a lot of time with those they work with, they become almost a second family, well at least it seems that way with our team, and I feel that I don’t want to let them down or have them think the worst of me.

Anyway, everyone was on their lunch break and it was quiet when one of the staff came in and asked what I was making. He was literally just interested and yet I just clammed right up, I felt so self-conscious. I know he saw the word ‘sober’, which isn’t a problem, but because he didn’t ask, I then felt like I couldn’t explain myself. It’s so difficult, because I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, and yet, on days like yesterday, I realise just how many avoidance or coping strategies I still have in place.

I’m not really sure what I should do. I know it isn’t anyone else’s business, and it no longer defines who I am, but it is still a part of me. I’m quite an open person in general, so having a ‘secret’ or something I don’t talk about with those close to me feels odd. It’s not even a secret, I just don’t want to be judged. I don’t want people to think the worst of me. I know my strength is in my sobriety, but I don’t know if other people who will understand that. In a culture that is so underpinned by drinking, it can be hard to understand those who don’t drink unless you’ve been affected personally by it. But, maybe I’m just blowing the whole thing out of proportion? I have been known to overthink things!

Thanks as always for reading.
Claire x

💖💖💖

Substitutes

Substitutes using other things instead of alcohol to get over an addiction. Claire Hatwell My Not So Secret Diary blog
Some of you may already know that when I stopped drinking the last (and final) time, I replaced wine with non-alcoholic versions. I know it can be seen as a controversial subject, some say you’re replacing one addiction with another and others that you’re not really addressing the issue. Other people swear by them, so it’s a difficult subject to navigate.

I’d never liked non-alcoholic drinks. I didn’t see the point in wine without the kick, but when I gave up the last time I needed it to be for good, so I used whatever tactics helped.

I liked the ritual of having that special something in a glass still in the evening. One lady I met in recovery poured milk into a wine glass every evening for the same reason. It’s the little habits that seem to help the most. That ritual in itself gave me something to focus on, so while everything was different, pouring my glass each evening made it seem more normal.

Of course, me being me, it got to the point where it was never enough. Like with wine, I obsessed about it, I needed it in the house and couldn’t settle if I didn’t have some, ‘in case’, although I’m not really sure what I thought might happen without it. It wasn’t a physical dependency, but it became a mental one, as I relied on it to help me settle in the evening. If I wasn’t at home, and hadn’t poured myself a drink, I couldn’t relax.

Removing wine from my life only highlighted just how bad my anxieties were, and while I hoped they would go away in time, I didn’t really deal with them as I probably should have done. Time was certainly a healer, and for a lot of people, it is the end of the story. For me, giving up drink just uncovered my insecurities and made me see how much I’d relied on wine to help me numb everything.

I think, it just brings me back to the fact that in recovery there isn’t a one-size fits all remedy. If you’re in the same boat as I was, try new things. Just because it hasn’t worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. We’re all different, as are our addictions and recoveries. If it works for you, it isn’t wrong. And always remember to be kind to yourself.


Take care and thank you for reading.
Claire x

💖💖💖