My Not So Secret Diary

Sober Adventures

Sober Adventures, Chiswick Park in London, Happy Place Festival, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recovery
At New Year I made a resolution to try to push myself out of my comfort zone. I realised that I’d spent a long time drinking, then a long time hiding from covid and my anxiety. I like being at home, and when you’re happy, it’s easier not to, but life is short.

This year I’ve done things I never would have done before; while small to many, they are huge for me. I’ve found making a booking is just the first step… after that I start to panic. It’s the logistics, the what if’s, and I’m not sure why, because I can’t ever remember things going terribly wrong before. I just expect that they will. As we get closer, it seems less and less achievable. It’s weird wanting to do something at the same time as wanting a good enough reason not to do it.

Last weekend, me and my daughter went to Happy Place Festival. Not a big thing you might think, but it is when we live in Cornwall and had to go to London for it. I booked the sleeper train, arriving at Paddington at 5am; plenty of time to explore and get breakfast beforehand.

I’ll be honest, I panicked. Not the usual ‘oh dear where am I going’ rather, ‘ah I can’t breathe and everyone is looking,’ but I got through it. Did I want to run away? Yes, but to be honest, once in London, there was nowhere to go. I’m really proud of myself for doing it, for not giving in, for not letting fear and anxiety hold me back. I’m also proud of Katie for understanding and tolerating my crazy. I hate that I get anxious and feel like a burden, but I was okay, and I wouldn’t have been a while back.

The festival was great. We listened to inspirational speakers, ate lovely food and did brilliant things. There wasn’t a drop of alcohol in sight and that was refreshing. It was nice that everyone had the same calm, relaxed mindset. The journey home on the train was very different with lots of rowdy football supporters! It was a challenge, but I managed and I’m glad. I’m going to carry on pushing myself although I might take a break in between to reset!