My Not So Secret Diary


I remember a time when alcohol free options were really limited. Obviously we still have a long way to go, but how nice is it to see the range expanding in our ‘normal’ shops, so we can grab a treat when we’re shopping rather than having to make a special trip? Sobriety is becoming more mainstream!!


One of the most important factors in my recovery is the way I looked at alcohol. How we feel about it influences how well we’ll find living without it. For instance, if we tell ourselves that we’re missing out, that life isn’t good enough without it, then that’s how it will feel, and it will be harder. Instead, if we see the positives, like the freedom we’re given without the ties of needing to drink then it becomes easier. Remembering it’s an addictive substance, not a treat helps, as does rephrasing the words we use. Personally, and there is no right or wrong, but I like alcohol free rather than tea total. There’s nothing wrong with either, but for me ‘total’ implies a limit, whereas ‘free’ clearly is what it is. The way we think influences the way we feel so keep yourself real and try not to romanticise the thing you’ve those to love without. Remember, we can drink, it’s our choice not to, and from where I am, it’s a great choice.

Starting the week right

Monday morning yoga class… the perfect place to remember that you are not perfect (and neither is anyone else), that your body is strong and pretty amazing, that you are capable of far more than you imagined, oh yes and that if you breathe and move, your worries disappear, at least for a bit. Far better than drinking and a great start to the week!


Anxiety is a funny old thing. When I was drinking, I always had an underlying bubbling anxiety. It was always there, never stopping me from doing things but always making me aware it was there. When I stopped drinking, instead of that I’d have nothing and then a full blown panic attack out of nowhere. Although I never drank in the day I think that drinking as much as I did took the edge off my worries, and stopped me overthinking before something happened. It was almost like I did things on autopilot without engaging my brain too much. Afterwards, I could drink to stop myself worrying. Now, I don’t rely on alcohol to numb my feelings, so it was hard to learn how to ‘be’ and deal with certain situations. Like today, I had to take my son to meet his Beaver group on the moor for a hike. What with one thing and another, I was panicking before I got there, and although I’d planned to stay, I found my flight instinct kicking in and before I knew what I was doing I was half way home. Logically I know no one can see my insecurities, I know that no one is judging me, but I feel horrible all the same. So I went home and cried, because that’s normally what follows a panic attack, and then I had a cup of tea and waited for my emotions to settle down. I come out of them much better than I used to, and managed to go back to collect him without any drama, although I did fall asleep this afternoon, which again is normal after I’ve felt this way. My point is, that I may be 6.5 years sober, but I’m still learning, and that’s okay. We all are. Learning to live without a substance we’ve relied on emotionally can be hard, but it isn’t impossible, and I’d much rather feel my emotions than numb them, even when it’s difficult.