My Not So Secret Diary

Hitting the Share Button

Hitting the Share Button My Not So Secret Diary
Anyone else find this offensive rather than funny?

These sort of posts drive me mad! I just don’t get it, and yet posts like this one, and those similar to it, are shared and re-shared all over the place, with laughing emojis depicting just how funny they are and comments like, “Yeah, me too!” or “I’ll need that to get through!” This one is particular was accompanied when I saw it by the words, “Lockdown day 2”. My kids call posts like this memes, but it’s not a word I’ve ever used so I feel a bit daft saying it, but I’m sure you all know what sort of posts I’m referring to.

What I see when I look at this one in particular, is a woman who doesn’t really want to be with her kids if she needs a box of wine to herself, and those kids, albeit it on TV look a lot better behaved than most! I see a woman who maybe needs some help if it’s got this far. The one thing I don’t see is anything amusing. It seems to me that all it is doing is reinforcing how wine is supposed to help, and numb our feelings. At a time like this though, with so much going on I think it is entirely the wrong message to send out. Especially to our children. They need to know that we are okay, because if we aren’t how will they be? They need to see us taking sensible steps to protect ourselves and our families and through that, our wider communities. Drowning our sorrows in alcohol will not do that, and instead will just show them that we can’t cope, that we need to rely on something external to help us get through. Of course, as they get older that message will be remembered.

I find it so frustrating in this day and age, when our media and advertising are so policed in many ways, that things like this are out there. I’m not saying we should remove all humour, I just think there should be some common sense. You don’t see adverts for cigarettes because people know they are addictive and cause cancer, so why do we still see adverts for alcohol? It does the same thing, only under the misconception that it’s ‘cool’. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, but little videos like this send out the wrong message, and while I know at the moment, we all need a little bit of relief, a laugh and a joke to keep normality where we can, I really don’t think this is the way to do it.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant! The stupidity of some of the posts I’ve seen recently just gets to me. I hate the idea of it undermining anyone’s sobriety, especially at a time when things are so difficult so for many anyway. But what do you think?

Take care, and stay safe.


Here's the link in case you want to watch the whole thing!

Kindness and Community Spirit

You can't catch covid-19 from two metres apart, sobriety and kindness at this time writing for my blog My Not So Secret Diary
Just a few little reminders.

I often think that we’re quite an isolated society on the whole. We live independently and we certainly aren’t as interconnected as our previous generations were. My mum used to tell me how her family all lived closely, within a few streets of each other when she was a child, but I’ve never known anything like that. It seems a little strange to think of having people so close. We don’t have people in and out of the house, nor do the kids (I guess they’ve learned it from us), so it seems like a different way of life.

In the last month or so, before the news got so serious, my newsfeed was full, as I expect everyone else’s was too, of offers to help others, to collect shopping and exercise pets. The offers were almost a bit overwhelming and as there was so much, it did make me wonder just how much of it was some people jumping on the bandwagon so to speak, seeing a kind idea, and wanting a little bit of glory for it themselves. Often those out there who are most genuine in their reasons for helping do so without shouting about it. In the last week or so things seem different, things have got a little bit more serious, and people are finding it hard. We are so used to our freedom, especially in the UK, there is very little we cannot do when we want to, except for right now.

The situation is unprecedented and somewhat unexpected. We don’t know how long it will last for, and what might be next, and most of the world is in the same boat. We could all fall apart, and yet, recently I’ve heard of a few real acts of kindness, great examples of people thinking outside the box and helping out others. Here are a few, but if you’ve heard of any others I’d love to hear them!

• A garage offering to pick up cars for MOTs for those who are self-isolating, and return them, with any supplies the owners may need.
• One of the lovely ladies at nursery offering to help provide breakfast and lunches for children that normally receive free school meals. This was offered before the schools closed and she was worried that families might struggle.
• Postcards to fill out your details showing your neighbours what help you are able to offer them.
• Stanley’s nursery offering additional sessions to relieve grandparents from their babysitting duties to help protect the elderly, again, this was before the stronger measures came in.
• My own 14 year old son phoning his grandparents to offer to get any shopping or walk their dog if needed.
• Authors taking to social media to read their books aloud on a daily basis to provide entertainment for those who are in self-isolation.
• The National Trust opening it’s parks for free so that people can get out in the fresh air with space from others during this time. Of course, this also has changed now.

Although it’s hard, we’re all doing the right thing, we’re pulling together and doing what we can for our family, our community and our country. It’s strange but true, in this case I think every little bit does help.

Lets all try to remember to take care of each other at this very strange time.
Claire x


Easter Break

Easter Break daffodils outside quarantine spring blog about recovery and sobriety living My Not So Secret Diary

I've been thinking about where to spend the holidays. So far it is very weather dependent, but I've managed to narrow it down to the lounge or the garden. 😁
What are your plans? 💜💜

Sobriety in Quarantine

Sobriety in Quarantine self isolation in Cornwall for the corona virus covid-19 walking on Bodmin moor, and writing about my experiences for my blog about sobriety and mental health My Not So Secret Diary

If there is one thing I am grateful for right now, it’s my sobriety. I certainly wouldn’t be coping with this crisis if I was still drinking. I think in all honesty, I would be impossible to live with.

As a family we haven’t stockpiled, but as there are six of us living together, we have bought a few things that will last, in case the shelves stay as bare as they have been recently and also, in case one of us contracts the virus and we actually can’t get out. Both sets of our parents are at home in self-isolation and there is no-one else I would be able to ask to get things for us, so I’ve had to prepare us a little. I couldn’t reasonably ask my parents to collect something for us, and live with myself if they got ill because of me. I was thinking the other day though, how I would have stockpiled before. I can’t quite get my head around how much wine I would have bought, how I would have excused it and where I would have put it. It would have cost a fortune!

One of the reasons I began to address my drinking problem all that time ago was because I began to worry about the amount I had to buy, not only to drink, but to calm my anxiety in case I couldn’t get to a shop, like late on a Sunday. Now, with the lack of food, especially alcohol in my local supermarket, I would be very concerned.

On top of my worry about getting enough wine to drink, I would have also not been as present as I am at the moment, I wouldn’t be as clear headed and able to listen to the news, and the events in the world. I’d most likely be making excuses to drink earlier in the day, because we are at home, and the weather is nice or it feels like a holiday, or we don’t have to get up for work… I’m sure I would have been able to think of something that seemed like a good enough reason, but all it would have done would be to numb my feelings. It wouldn’t have fixed anything. I wouldn’t have been so open to listening to events unfold. I would have been falling asleep in the evenings, or not remembering what happened the night before. I know this is true, because I know what I was like.

It might seem tempting to drink, to stop all the worry and to ‘relax’, especially at a time like this. I know I found myself scrolling through Instagram and saw a photo of a glass of freshly poured wine next to the bottle. Someone had poured it to reward themselves for something they had achieved earlier in the day. Before I even realised, I had stopped scrolling and was just looking at it, remembering. And then I caught myself and I scrolled on by. I don’t actually want to drink anymore, it’s just that sometimes the memory is still there and catches me out. I know honestly that it won’t help in the long run. It doesn’t make things better.

So here are a few tips to help you, if you’re struggling, because the last thing anyone needs now, is to relapse.

• Occupy yourself, keep your mind busy and it will help you to stay positive. Take advantage of the extra time you might have on your hands to take up a new hobby. It might be harder than normal to buy supplies, but if you’re happy to wait, you can get most things online.
• If you’re not already a member of any online groups, join some. Your online sober community can provide a safe place to talk to many people in similar situations and share, even though you can’t meet up.
• Get outside if you can. I went for a run this morning and spent the afternoon in the garden with the kids. I felt so much better. Granted, the weather is nice at the moment, but let’s make the most of it, and take advantage of it where we can. Walking, running and fresh air are all good for your mental well-being, just respect the social distancing rules.
• Distance yourself from negativity, whether it’s social media or excessive news consumption, don’t get too drawn in, and make sure that your news comes from a trustworthy source.
• Whether you are home alone, or with others, try to stay in contact with others, by safe means like FaceTime, and don’t isolate yourself.
• Equally, remember the difference your contact will make on others, don’t isolate them either. It’s easy to forget how others are feeling at times like this.

Above all, stay positive. We will get through this!

Take care and stay safe everyone.
Claire x