My Not So Secret Diary

Sober Thoughts


My Book!

thirdI never thought I'd be able to hold a book in my hands and say, "I wrote this!" - Feeling pretty proud of myself!

Reasons to be Grateful

Getting sober was a massive challenge for me as many of you probably know. I was afraid to admit I had a problem with alcohol, because by doing that I was effectively saying I was going to do something about it and I didn't know how. Back then I literally didn't see the point in a life without wine.

Fast forward four years and four months and I can tell you it's a different story now. I'm not saying getting here was easy, because as anyone who's ever been addicted to anything will tell you it’s not. Is it worth it? Yes! 100% and that is something I never thought I’d say.

Let me tell you why - in no particular order of greatness...

  • No hangovers in the morning. I don’t miss that foggy headedness one little bit!
  • No regrets about drinking the night before, because I haven’t!
  • No worrying about whether I’ll be able to drink later, because I won’t.
  • No random illnesses, worries about illnesses, or concerns about illnesses (all drink related).
  • The ability to concentrate on something I'm reading or watching, to get to the end and generally be able to remember it in the morning.
  • The freedom to be able to go out and drive my car whenever I want without even thinking about it. No matter how late it is!
  • Keeping a level head in an argument, although arguments happen less often now anyway. I used to lose the plot a little, lose track of what the argument even was about and get muddled up. Now I can make my point and keep a clear head.
  • I’m less likely to embarrass myself, either in public, or on social media.
  • I don't panic in the morning and have to check my phone for things I've said or posted or sent that were supposed to be funny and weren't.
  • I don't have to pretend to remember things I don't.
  • I’m not constrained to what I can or can't do based on whether I'm planning to get home for a drink or not.
  • I don't wake up in a panic in the morning. Okay this one is a lie; I sometimes do, but it's because of my anxiety, not because I've been drinking.

In general, everything is a little easier. I’m calmer, more balanced, more settled in my mind. I don't escalate quite like I used to. Life isn't such a challenge oh, and I'm not panicking over wine supplies or stock-piling during Lockdown. I honestly don't know how I would have managed!

All in all life without alcohol is a good place for me to be! Just remember the hard work pays off in the end, and by choosing not to drink, we really aren’t missing out on anything!

Much love as always.

The Fragility of Life

The Fragility of Life Stanley Hatwell my little boy covid 19 lockdown in cornwall writing for my blog my not so secret diary
What a year last year was! Who could ever have predicted at the beginning of the 2020 what a bumpy ride we’d be in for? But we had good points too, spending time together, getting to know people we live near that we wouldn't normally chat with, getting to help people…

For me, I enjoyed the slower pace of life that lockdowns have enforced. I've enjoyed making time for the simple things. But, times have been trying too. We haven't been able to connect. We've been kept apart from those we love and care about. We haven't even been able to visit our loved ones in hospitals. It's difficult when we live some distance from our family when it's not just counties dividing us, but tiers too. When we hear someone is in hospital we are powerless. We can't see them and even if we could get close we wouldn't be allowed in. It’s for our protection too though isn't it? Most of us do understand the reasons for the distance - we know we're protecting ourselves and our families by following the rules, but that doesn't mean it feels any better.

We had some bad news recently. We're lucky in a lot of ways because we have a lot of older or 'at risk' people in our family and so far we've been okay. We’ve counted ourselves lucky and kept as safe as we could. Recently however, things have changed and several (younger) members of our extended family have contracted the virus. They all seem to be on the mend but then both of my husband’s Grandads fell ill and ended up in the hospital. One contracted Covid-19 while he was there. He did seem to be improving but I guess with these sorts of diseases, you never really know what's around the corner.

It got me thinking really, when you see it happen in front you, you realise just how fragile life is. How can it be that people who were 'fine' and relatively well a week or so ago are now needing ventilators? It's frightening how quickly this disease moves and how fast things change. It’s unbelievable to think that someone who was with us is no longer there and we can't even see them to say goodbye. At the end of this long and challenging life, they just slip away.

It’s so sad, but it also makes me think just how lucky we are. I know things are difficult at the moment. Everything is hard, whether you are young or old. I really feel for the kids who are still trying their hardest to learn but have lost the structure of school. But... just think of all the things we can do, even if we're in Lockdown. I'm sure all of us could find at least one thing we can be grateful for. Even during hard times I try to remember that, to remind myself the struggles usually have a reward and that, "Rainbows often follow storms.”

Especially now, but always I think we need to remember to be grateful for what and who we have and to take care of them, and ourselves.

Much love,
Claire xx


My Book

My Not So Secret Recovery by Claire Hatwell my blog My Not So Secret Diary - recovery addiction and life
For a long time I've been toying with the idea of writing a book about my journey. It's something I've always wanted to do, but however much I share here, it's almost scarier, even when I have so many of you that are so kind and encouraging.

I am so very excited, and also a little petrified to share this with you all....

I hope you like it!
Kindle version is available now, and the paperback will be available very soon, both on Amazon.

Much love,

Here's the link to it on Amazon -

Lockdown Stockpiling

Lockdown stockpiling
Lockdown stockpiling... I have been caught, and to be fair it’s not really lockdown - it started as I didn’t want to run out over Christmas. That’s nine boxes of coke behind the door in the utility! I’m just glad it is coke and not wine! Can you imagine what that would have looked like?! 😂😂