My Not So Secret Diary

Time to Ourselves

Time to Ourselves, Lee Hatwell and Claire Hatwell, married couple, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell, Cornwall
Unexpected bit of time to ourselves this morning. Honestly this never happens so we’re making the most of it, even if it is only for a few minutes while we do some shopping

Social Media

Social Media, Steven Bartlett, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
We have to be mindful that we’re not just trying to keep up with others by using social media. It can create divisions and leave us feeling lacking. Not as many people post their failures as they do their highlights, so just remember, you’re only looking at a snippet, not the whole story. That said, the use of a few hashtags can help us find our people so to speak. The online sober community is amazing, and it doesn’t matter where you are, you can find someone to connect with, to inspire you or that you can encourage. Just be mindful and remember to have breaks away too. The real world can be challenging, but its also very beautiful.

Hospital Corridors

Hospital Corridors with my family at Treliske hospital in Truro, Cornwall, family, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
Today was spent mostly in hospital corridors as I chased down an illusive bag of medication and waited for my Dad to be discharged. I’m getting to know my way around pretty well. Now I just have to wait for Mum to come out soon and all will hopefully return to normal. I for one can’t wait, and I know they feel the same!

Fuelled by Costa

Fuelled by Costa, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
These things seem to be keeping me going at the moment!

Sober Shop

Shop Items available on Etsy at SoberMe, sober shop, sober gifts, inspiration, 1 week sober, one day at a time, 1 year sober, gift, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
New additions to my Etsy shop, unfortunately I can’t keep my website as up to date as I can my Etsy shop, so please check that out for a list of all my sobriety gifts, books and cards.

Yoga Time

Yoga Time, yoga, practice yoga change your life, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
In between jobs today I managed to find half an hour to myself for a bit of yoga. I took my mat outside and just slowed down. Makes the world of difference to me!

Steam Trains and Stanley

Steam Trains and Stanley Hatwell at Launceston Steam Railway in Cornwall, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
A break from the norm today, my mother in law and I took my youngest to our local steam railway. It rained rather a lot, but we had a lot of fun!

Tuesday Trainer Pic (Again)

Tuesday Trainer Pic, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell, Converse, Chuck Taylors, Launceston Leisure Centre
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Tuesday trainer pic, but today was one of those days. Swimming was louder than it’s been in a while, apparently the quiet weeks where children have been on holiday were just lulling me into a false sense of security. Today there was much noise, and kids having a bottle flipping fight over our heads because apparently that’s a good idea. I put my airpods in and wound the music up, but I could still hear the chaos over the top. Later, a parcel I’d redirected was sent somewhere else, which was just brilliant and took me far too much effort to retrieve. Then to top off my afternoon my daughter struggled to be allowed onto the ward to see my mum today when she went to the hospital drop some things off, which was unbelievably frustrating. I know we need rules, and people need to follow them, but it seems sometimes that they’re only followed by others when it can make life more difficult for me
I was feeling properly frustrated on the way home, and with my five year old jabbering on next to me in the car, I decided to tell him before I exploded that it wasn’t him I was irritated with, just lots of things that were making me feel grumpy. I’m not sure whose idea it was, but the next thing I knew we were counting to three and shouting our frustrations out. Not once, but three times. I think he’d still be doing it, but he made my ears hurt! Whatever fools we looked, it made us both crack up which was great and I felt so much better
If you need to let some frustration out, then I really suggest it, only make sure you’re not somewhere people can hear you!


Beauty, Bumble bees in our nature garden at work Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
You can find beauty anywhere. We have a little wildflower garden in our car park at work. It’s the only spot of beauty in an industrial area, but it’s a hive of activity. I sat outside today to eat my lunch in the sun and was surrounded by bees and butterflies. It makes me happy


Parenting, with my mum and dad at Treliske Hospital Cornwall, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
It’s a hard job being a parent. We try to get things right but every one of my four kids have provided me with completely new experiences and challenges. No two days are ever the same. We’re there for our children 100% of the time, until they begin to spread their wings and they need us less. Somewhere along the line we start to need them, for the little things and the big things. It’s another challenge, because just as there is no rule book for parents, there isn’t one for children either. I might be an adult but I don’t have all the answers, just good intentions and a need to help. My sobriety is a huge benefit because I don’t have to think about what I can or can’t do, regardless of the time of day. I might not get everything right, it’s a bit of a juggling act, but I do my best.
This is me with my mum and dad, making the best of a visit in the hospital. I’m glad I can help them now, it’s good to be useful!

Taking Things Personally

Personal Steven Bartlett Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
It took me a long time to realise this, and I’m not saying I still remember it every time something happens, but it’s true. Sometimes by facing up to our fears or worries or addictions, we are shining a light on those feelings in others. Let’s try not to take it personally. I know how I would have reacted if someone had told me to get sober before I was ready. It wouldn’t have been pretty and I wouldn’t have been ready for the journey. They’ll know when it’s right, and their battle isn’t ours. Save your energy for your own fight and most of all, have a great day!!

Dear Drinkers

Dear Drinkers it's my choice to be alcohol free and it's so good to live a sober life Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
So good I had to repost!
Thanks @sassysobermum

Why aren’t you drinking? How long are you stopping for? Can’t you just have one when you’re out? Did you have a problem then? Go on, just have a drink. What will you do for fun now? I could never stop. Don’t you think you’re being a bit over the top? Just have a break from it. Reset yourself and then come back to it. Do you think this is forever then? I’ve cut down massively actually. I can easily drive on a night out if I want to. Why would you stop completely? Just save it for special occasions. Surely you will be drinking at my wedding/birthday/hen do/Christmas? Being sober wouldn’t be for me. I love drinking too much. Are you still doing that thing where you don’t drink then? How’s not drinking going - bored yet? Can I get you a proper drink? Go on, have a wine with me. Just for old times sake. I miss drinking you. You’re so boring now. Surely you’ve proved you can control it now. Why don’t you just have one and then drive home? Are you pregnant? Why don’t you just moderate?
Can I just not bloody drink and it be ok
Remember folks, peoples reactions to you not drinking reflects their own relationship with alcohol and not yours.
Those that squawk the loudest tend to be the biggest (and most problematic) drinkers.
Keep your resolve.
Have a lovely day all


Stanley Hatwell Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
Proud of my little man today! He was so brave although there were a few tears and he is now double vaccinated.

Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell with my daughter Katie Hatwell at West of England Steam Rally
I had a panic attack yesterday. They’re a lot less common that they used to be, but they seem to be getting more common as I try to do more and push myself out of my comfort zone more. What I hate is that they come out of the blue. I was having a lovely day, and then suddenly, when we stopped to look at something I felt my heart start to race and I couldn’t breathe. My first instinct was to run away, I’m never sure where to, but it’s either that or shut down and people will see me if I end up in a ball on the floor, so I don’t do that.
My family get it. I mean, they don’t understand why I’m like it, but then neither do I. They rally around me without smothering me and check I’m okay. They know talking to me or asking if I’m okay doesn’t work because it’s just another thing when I’m already on overload. They’re there, and that’s what matters.
Later, I tried to apologise. I know I don’t have to, and they don’t expect it, but I feel like I need to explain myself, even though in many respects, I don’t understand myself at all. It’s like I’ve momentarily lost control of my body, and then afterwards, when the adrenalin has subsided, I cry and feel exhausted. It’s embarrassing. No one is trying to change me though, they accept me for who I am. My husband even told me I should stop worrying abut trying to change things I can’t control. With those words, I felt a huge relief. It’s like I was fighting against a part of myself when I should have been accepting it. I may not like it, but it’s there, so I suppose I should get used to it.
It’s so easy to be kind and supportive to others, but it’s so much harder to do it to ourselves. I’m going to try to accept myself a little more. Let’s see if that makes a difference! If you've got any tips for dealing with panic attacks let me know, because I seem to forget everything when I'm in the middle of one!

Shop Announcement

shop announcement for SoberMe shop on Etsy, Sober author and blogger Claire Hatwell
I know so many of you choose gifts with a specific date in mind to celebrate a sober milestone or anniversary. With that in mind, if you're purchasing from my shop over the next little while, please be aware of the planned Royal Mail strikes, as once I've posted, things will be out of my hands and I'm not sure how that will affect deliveries. Thanks so much x