My Not So Secret Diary

My Book

@soberme_claire Sober stories helped me so much in my recovery, they made me feel less alone and more understood. That’s why I tell my story, to inspire others. Hearing that it’s been enjoyed makes me feel great!! #sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberquotes #soberjourney #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #booktok #authorsoftiktok #sobrietyisbeautiful #sobrietyrules #soberauthor #writersoftiktok ♬ Relaxing song to shine on the beach in the evening - KOU MUSIC" href="">♬ Relaxing song to shine on the beach in the evening - KOU MUSIC

Pink Faced Runner

Pink Faced Runner, eden half marathon, sober runners, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Diary
I’m trialling wearing a white t-shirt instead of my usual red one today to see if that makes any difference to the redness of my face after a run. I don’t think I’m quite so red, but then maybe it’s just not so hot today! Happy Anyway, the run did the trick and my mind is much more settled than it was, sometimes the world is just so loud!!

Last Friday

Last Friday, sitting on my sofa at home in cornwall, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiaryLast Friday morning, I dropped my littlest at school and was driving home along the country lanes when a car shot through a stop sign at a crossroads and ploughed straight through the car in front of me. While it was undoubtedly a shock, that wasn’t the biggest thing I noticed and as I drove to work this week, along the same lanes, I realised what was different; it was me, the way I dealt with it, and how I felt afterwards. I felt like I watched the accident happen in slow motion and afterwards, I jumped out of my car to check on the occupants of the other cars. It only hit me afterwards that I was completely present and logical, clear headed because I hadn't had a drink the night before. If something similar had happened a few years ago when I’d still been drinking, it wouldn’t have been the same, and I may not have reacted in the same way. I was glad I could put myself in a place where I could help.

Having said that, having a sober mind doesn’t remove my dizzy side, as one morning this week I forgot it was rubbish day, and managed to completely run over the sacks left out for the bin men as I moved off our driveway. Yes, before you ask, I did notice the bump, but by then I was already on top of it. Obviously my mind was elsewhere…
Sobriety really does touch every area of your life, sometimes the parts you’d least expect it to, and while I was never a bad person when I was drinking, I can safely say I’m a better one now.
Take care of yourselves,
Claire x

Kids Again

Kids AgainThis is so true! When I take my five year old to the park after school, I watch him and his friends play and have fun regardless of what they’ve had to drink. Why does that change as we get older? Why do we let ourselves use substances to feel like we’re fitting in or relaxing? Sadly, rather than really feeling better, it just numbs us and we end up missing out on good experiences. •I want to be that kid again. Who’s with me? 1f496••Photo Credit @faithfullysober

More Drinks

More Drinks, mccafe iced, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiaryThe picture doesn’t do it justice, but this is my favourite ice drink of the summer so far… raspberry ripple iced cooler. Yum 1f60b1f970 I’m enjoyed trying them all! Any recommendations for me?


My Not So Secret Guide to Recovering, My Not So Secret Recovery, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Diary, blogger and writer, SoberMe, Launceston Life MagazineRepost from @sobergirlbookclub•If you enjoyed ‘My Not So Secret Recovery’, by Claire Hatwell, she has also released a guide to recovery! Check it out if you are looking for some more support on your sober journey

Not Just Me

Not Just MeUm anyone else feel like this was written about them, because I do….Repost from

Launceston Life

Launceston Life, Magazine, writer and author, SoberMe, sober inspiration, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Diary

My piece in @launcestonlifemag this month 1f496 You can read it online here -

Evening Thoughts

No RegretsThought for the evening. It’s so true!!Even though it was truthfully one of the hardest things I’ve done, I don’t regret working for my sobriety at all. Even when it’s hard, stay strong - it’s so worth it!

All Ready

Ready and Waiting for the Sober Girl Book Club to Start, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiaryAll ready to join the chat at @sobergirlbookclub tonight! Can’t wait to meet you all!

More New Drinks

More New Drinks, mccafe, iced drinks, cold, hot day, fiat 500, purple nails, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiaryOkay so this one wasn’t even mine. I stole it from my daughter… but it was worth it! Strawberries and cream is not something I’d usually pick in a drink, but they’ve nailed it!

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning watching the steam train, Bodmin and Wenford Railway, mum and son, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiarySunday Morning 2Sunday Morning 3Saturday morning walk and bike ride 1f6b4_1f3fb_200d_2642Hid under the trees to avoid the rain 1f3331f326Found a steam train, much to Stanley’s delight 1f682 The simple things mean so much to me!




Social Media

Social MediaWow! I saw this post and it made me remember… There is not one bit of me that enjoyed the way I felt when I realised I’d posted something or texted something that I thought was so funny at the time! Of course, then the next morning there would always be the fear as I rapidly tried to delete the evidence. Even now, I see posts in my memories that I have to delete because I hate to remember… but I can’t change it, and beating myself up won’t make it any better. Going forward things are definitely better.

Last Night

Tuesday Evening 3Last night… Just a perfect evening! Tuesday Evening AdventuresTuesday Evening 2.All the worries seep away with the water, which is still actually quite cold, but warm enough to have lost our gloves and socks. Peace, quiet and stillness. Perfection!

New Drinks

YumTrying fabulous new cold drinks on hot days could definitely become a thing for me, but you know, why the hell not?

Sober Girl Book Club

Sober Girl Book ClubI love talking to book clubs, and I love seeing my book pop up in different places as people read it! Really looking forward to Sunday @sobergirlbookclub .Repost from @sobergirlbookclub•Beach lounging with June’s book! Who is ready for book club this Sunday?!

Little Treats

Little TreatsDid I need it? Probably not. Did I want it? Yes because there is always room in my life for another book, especially one about wild swimming! Nowadays, I really like being able to treat myself with things that actually matter and that I enjoy! It’s far better than wasting money on wine! .But I shouldn’t be allowed near book shops!!


Yum 1Yum! I had myself a mango and passionfruit cooler as a little treat today. Great refreshing taste, alcohol free, no headaches, no regrets… definitely feel like I’m winning!

Author Spotlight

Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret DiaryAuthor Spotlight .Claire Hatwell ( @soberme_claire ) , author of this months book ‘My Not So Secret Recovery’, tells us a little about herself: I always felt like I was the fun one, until one day I wasn’t anymore. Drinking had become such an important part of my life that I struggled to see the point without it, but I always kidded myself I was all right because I didn’t fit the stereotype of an alcoholic. I had a good job, my kids were happy, but every night, I washed all my anxiety away with three bottles of wine. No one can keep going like that forever, although I tried. Things threatened to come crashing down around me, and I realised I needed to change.

My attempts at sobriety weren’t quick or easy, but I persevered and I can safely say now, at five and a half years sober, I wouldn’t go back.
I struggled with drinking for a long time because people didn’t associate me with alcoholism, and that made it so much harder to find help. My mission is to share my story; if it helps someone in a situation like mine, then my struggle had a purpose.
Thank you @soberme_claire for sharing your story with us

Repost from @sobergirlbookclub

Morning Run

Morning RunThe view of ‘my’ field today… beautiful, but a touch warm, and I thought I’d got out early enough to avoid the worst of the heat! Tomorrow I think I’ll skip the run and go for a refreshing dip somewhere instead!

Book Club

Book ClubLooking forward to chatting with @sobergirlbookclub this week about my book My Not So Secret Recovery!

#Repost from @sobergirlbookclub

Book club meeting this Sunday! Author Claire Hatwell will be joining us!
5pm UK time and 9 am Pacific US.
We will see you there!!

Game Face

Game Face 2Game Face 1Doing things today that I would normally avoid, seeing people, going places, having conversations… but I’m getting it done, and feeling good about it. It sounds so simple, but my life has improved so much since I binned off the wine!

See the second picture for how I’m actually feeling! But I think I’m allowed to still feel a little nervous!!

The Red Faced Runner Strikes Again

Red Face Strikes AgainManaged to squeeze in my run today after it cooled down, but before the rain came! Still hot, still a red face, but as always, I felt much better when I got back in than I did before!

The Road to Recovery

Road to RecoveryThis is so true. Remember, just because someone is posting all the good stuff, doesn’t mean it’s all real, or that it’s the only way things look for them. We all have good days and bad days, people don’t often post as much about their bad days, and your journey is unlikely to look exactly the same as someone else’s. Just do what you need and take each day as it comes. Soon the days will be weeks and the weeks will be months. All that matters is you keep moving in the right direction! .As always, remember to be kind to yourselves!

#Repost from @soberfierce

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Sandy Feet

Sandy Feet 2Sandy Feet 1Last night… Just a perfect evening! 1f496 All the worries seep away with the water, which is still actually quite cold, but warm enough to have lost our gloves and socks. Peace, quiet and stillness. Perfection! 1f496

Coping Mechanisms

Coping MechanismsHow I coped with stress in the past, versus how I cope nowadays… The picture in the middle is from 2009, although it’s not special, I have so many just like that one, they all feature wine..I set off on a run to clear my frazzled mind the other day and it got me thinking about how I cope now, and I realised I definitely get more out of life nowadays! In many of my old photos, I always had a glass of wine and although I often had a smile on my face, it was frequently covering up how I felt inside. At the time, I thought wine helped wash those worries away. It didn’t, it just made them worse. Now, I’m still emotional at times; yes I get anxious, yes, I over worry, but I don’t try to push those parts of myself away, instead, I’ve found things that work for me. So yes, the person in the middle picture is me, but I prefer the person I am now, the one who deals with things rather than burying my head in the sand. Running, wild swimming and generally being outdoors give me a natural high and make me feel so much better than drinking ever did!

Red Faced Runner's Club

Red Faced Runners ClubMy face nearly matches my top!! It was rather warm on my run today!!

Tuesday Evening Adventures…

Tuesday eveningA few years ago, a sunny evening would have been another excuse to drink. Now it’s a reason to get outside! Tonight we’re off to the beach for a play on the sand and a swim in the sea!

Yes Please!

Alcohol FreeWell this alcohol free mojito was a yummy surprise! I wasn’t looking for it, but noticed it as I was shopping in Aldi this morning. Will definitely be trying some more in the range!

Sunday Run-day

Sunday RundaySunday run day! 1f3c3_1f3fc_200d_26401f3c3_1f3fc_200d_26401f3c3_1f3fc_200d_2640

Alcohol Free Bars

CofoSo good to see a local company embracing the alcohol free options! This photo makes me so happy!! .

#Repost from @cofo_cornishfocaccia

Did you know we have a zero percent bar? We also offer a BYOB policy, with free corkage when the spend is over £25 per person


ExerciseI find exercise hard. I guess most people do, but at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is go out for a run. Things have been hectic lately, (I’m fine, so please don’t worry), it’s just I notice it in my mind, and as I’ve said before, I get a bit scatty. So yesterday, after a bit of a cry mid shop (as you do) I went out for a run. I was heavily encouraged by my lovely husband who seems to appreciate the effect running has on me far more than I do. I used to run every day, and back before lockdown I was running half-marathons fairly easily, and I loved it, but getting out of the habit makes it harder to restart, because comparison is a pain, and you know, I used to be faster…

So, putting my past achievements to one side, I decided to start again. I’m not running for anyone other than myself, so it doesn’t matter how fast I am or how far I go. I’m not even logging it, and I used to be religious about tracking my runs on Strava. It just takes the pressure off, and brings the joy back. I’ve found my legs remember, and as I was lapping a field, my five year old positioned in the middle of it, because his legs were tired, I remembered how fun it is to be outdoors, just running. I guess for me it’s less about exercise, and more about being outdoors. I’m the same with swimming though, I could easily go to a pool, but I prefer to be in the sea, even midwinter, because it makes me feel alive. Being out in the elements soothes me in a way nothing else does, and while a lot of that is helped through running, swimming or yoga, what really makes it work for me, is where I am.
I suppose I’m saying don’t give up, make it fun and find something you enjoy, because that is what really makes a difference.

Take care of yourselves,
Claire x


FrazzledMy least favourite place of the week… swimming lessons. I come every week because my 5 year old deserves to learn to swim and is doing well, but it’s literally my idea of hell. Cliqueyness… noise… a ball that keeps flying over my head because apparently some people feel that’s okay… I choose to sit by myself as far away from the other parents as I can… yes I’m a little bit antisocial, but I find peopling hard. The good viewing spots are always gone by the time we arrive after school, by mums who aren’t even watching their kids and my airpods can’t even drown out the noise!!

On the good side… I’m going to the beach in a minute for an evening swim. God knows my frazzled nerves are going to need it!

Fierce Calm

Fierce CalmThis is from over two years ago, but I never shared it… Repost from @fierce_calm

"I felt I wasn’t good enough, which compounded the anxiety I suffered. Depression followed me over the years & being told to ‘pull myself together’ made me feel like a fraud, like I was attention seeking. I had no way of expressing myself, because I didn’t fit in & mental health issues weren’t spoken about"
Meet @mrs_h_82 sharing her #yogasavedmylife story
"One thing that helped was drinking wine. It was a slippery slope, & one I didn’t realise I was on until it was too late. Combining my hectic mind with a stressful job, a husband working long hours & young children meant I looked forward to a glass in the evenings. Over the years the kids got older but the pressure increased as I tried to juggle more & more, even completing a degree alongside everything else. The more I did, the more I drank. One glass became 2, 3 & soon it was 2 bottles to myself every single evening. I deluded myself that I was ok, because I still had my family, home, job, I didn’t even drink in the day.. surely that meant I couldn’t be an alcoholic...
But of course I was. Blackouts from drinking meant my anxiety soared, my self confidence plummeted & I hit rock bottom. I had nothing left & pushed everyone away.
Recovery was terrifying. I loved drinking, it was my constant & I had to relearn everything. Without it my mind was chaotic, never stopped whirring. Wine had been my buffer, my release & relaxation if I coped throughout the day. I didn’t know what to do with myself & I was always on edge.
Then I found yoga. I wasn’t flexible or strong. I couldn’t do the poses. In fact I was weaker than I had ever been, mentally & physically. Slowly though, I found that my body could still do so much for me. It made me proud, & I began to get better. Through yoga I found running, & I got stronger, my mind calmer; I healed. It’s been a long, hard road, but I haven’t had a drink in three years & don’t intend ever to go back to that place.
Yoga gave me back my mind. It taught me that I am capable, & strong, I feel like a warrior now


AffectI agree 100% Repost from @jenleehirst•

Addiction ripples into every single aspect of our lives, and so does sobriety. As long as we stay sober, everyone benefits.
Because there is no better gift I can give my kids.
There is no better gift I can give my husband.
There is better gift I can give myself.
It took me four years to share publicly about my history with alcohol. I thought it was something I should keep hidden, like it’s something to be ashamed of.
So I was...for many years.
But once I got the courage to come out went I started Beachbody coaching five years years ago, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. There’s no other way to describe it.
I had no more secrets. I didn’t have to explain why I wasn’t drinking to others unless they didn't know. And I didn’t get the weird reactions I thought I would when I come out. Instead I received praise and encouragement.
Own your sobriety. Wear it like a badge of honor. You never know who might need someone to raise their hand first. Your transparency will lead to other people's transformation. You will be the example of what is possible


Mocktail 3Well this was rather yummy! So if someone offers you ‘cuddles on the beach’ say yes!! I love being offered a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, because sober really does not mean boring! In fact I had such a lovely day at the weekend, and it wasn’t affected in any way by me wanting or needing a drink. In fact, afterwards I sat with my cup of tea, remembering what a great day we all had, and I wouldn’t change anything!
Mocktails 1Mocktails 2

Sobriety is Freedom

FreedomIf you had asked me a few years ago, I never would have agreed with this, but it’s so true!

My Decision

DecisionI like this. It’s very true and it’s decision I’d happily make every day now! .Repost from @sobrietysisterhood•Like and share this if you agree. It doesn’t matter if you’re at day 1 or day 1001, it is a daily (sometimes hourly) choice to keep on your sober journey. The cravings are less. You learn how to avoid or deal with triggers. You realize how awesome you can be without alcohol messing you up..

However, I know that I could undo all of my good work within one decision. I know that if I choose to have ‘just one’, it will lead me back to the person I used to be and I had a hard time loving the old me.
It might not happen straight away, but I know myself well enough to know that it will never stop at one.
So I make the decision every day to not drink alcohol.

Monday Morning

Monday MorningMonday morning school run… I have had the best weekend and all it involved was me and my family. A bank holiday weekend a few years ago would have been an excuse to drink more wine. It would have been perfectly acceptable to do so… but, in the back of my mind would have been the worry, where was the next drink coming from, was I acting okay? My glass always seemed to be empty in those last few years before I stopped. Waking up this morning, yes, I am tired, but I remember everything, not just the bits where I embarrassed myself. We had fun and I didn’t make a fool of myself. I’m not struggling to remember what I said or did, because I know. Most of all, I feel happy and wait for it… relaxed. That isn’t a feeling that comes easy to me, so things have definitely changed. There’s no way I’d change them back now! .I hope you all had a great weekend too?


BooksMiley hasn’t decided which one to read first!


FamilyDays like today make me very happy!.It’s so simple, spending time with my family, but it means the world being able to have time together. Especially as they all get older, they have less time for us, and that’s the way it should be, but knowing today they all chose to be with us was lovely!

The Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the IcebergHow true is this? How does it apply to you? I’ve always had a mask that I’ve shown to the world, first when I was anxious, then when I was drinking and then to cover up all the things I felt were my shortcomings. The thing is, my mask didn’t help, it just made other people think I was coping when I was a but of a wreck inside. Now, I’m much more upfront about how I feel and how things are for me. It’s not a weakness to not feel 100% all the time, and more people than you’d expect would understand. Trust me on that!

#Repost from @theblurtfoundation
Please, be kind to yourself and others. We never really know what is really going on for people around us, so it's essential to assume nothing. Stay kind and let us know how you are today?
The artist of this image is @journey_to_wellness_

Reaching Out

Reaching Out Years ago, before I finally decided I had a real problem with alcohol, I remember watching daytime TV one day. I think it was a chat show of some sort, but Denise Welch came on. At the time, I had no idea that she had a drinking problem, to be honest, I had no real idea about her, other than the fact that she’d been on the TV, but as I listened, I felt a real connection. What she said hit a real nerve with me, and I identified on so many levels. It was a time not so long ago, when people didn’t really talk about addiction. It wasn’t the done thing to acknowledge that it happened to ‘normal’ people, something which stopped me from getting help for a really long time. Anyway, I was touched by her bravery in speaking so openly about her addiction and her recovery. I remember sitting in tears as I watched, realising that I wasn’t the only one, because sometimes, it really felt like it. Now, I’m not one for fan-girling, but sometimes, I think it’s important to show people that you are grateful for something they’ve said or done. I spent ages writing a message, and sent her a DM. I wanted her to know how much her words meant, and how much hope it gave me. The thing is, I didn’t really expect a reply, I know how busy these people are, but I wanted to say thank you, because it meant such a lot to know I wasn’t alone. It gave me hope that there was a way through it all. Days went by, and then weeks, and I occasionally checked back, only to see that she’d never even read the message. Instead of the positivity I’d felt, all I felt was disappointment and isolation. In the end, I hit unsend on the message.Now, like I said, I know what it’s like to be busy, to not know which way to turn, but I also feel that if you open yourself up to the public, you should expect interaction, and when you don’t give it, you’re letting people down. In our case, vulnerable people, who don’t know where to find help and are often just looking for reassurance or a positive connection. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I do know how it feels to reach out and be ignored. I don’t do that, I read, and reply where I can to every comment, review or message because they mean a lot to me. Unless of course it’s one of those offers of money if I send my bank details! It’s so hard to reach out. It’s so hard to admit you have a problem (any problem) but connecting with like minded people helps. Connection is the opposite of addiction, so keep on reaching out.Much love,Claire

A Fuel For Anxiety

A Fuel For AnxietyI used to think I was relaxing when I poured myself a few glasses of wine… It wasn’t until I stopped drinking that I realised what damage I had done to mental health. Trust me, if you are prone to anxiety, alcohol does you no favours, it just delays what you are feeling and you dealing with it, so when you do, it will feel like a mountain, rather than a hill.

On the good side, you can overcome it, and anxiety (and alcohol) don’t have to define you. If you’re having a hard day, don’t give up. Things will get easier x
Repost from @soberrhumor

Drinking alcohol is like pouring gasoline on your anxiety.⁠ ⁠

Anxiety is complex, but alcohol never helps. It may provide very temporary relief, but on the back end, it spikes cortisol, blood sugar, and triggers other biological responses that can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.⁠

What's your experience?⁠

Meanwhile... in Cornwall

Day 1
Day 2
A beautiful day out on the water today! The sea is one of my favourite places and being able to enjoy a couple of hours with my husband and two of our boys was lovely! Better than a day in the office any day!

Beautiful Day

Beautiful DayBeautiful day today! We’re planning to take the kayak out if we can catch the tide right! What are you all up to?