31 March. 2023
When something doesn’t got to plan like most people, I can’t help but feel disappointed. I know that’s a fairly natural reaction, but it goes a little further sometimes and I take it personally. I know logically that it isn’t me, but it feels like it is; I suppose that’s just me and my insecurities.
I was let down just recently. Someone inadvertently mixed up their plans, which had the knock on of affecting mine. I took it personally, not the fact that they’d made a mistake, rather it felt like they didn’t want to do the thing involving me, and rather than tell me, they used disorganisation as an excuse. I saw it as a slight against me, that I wasn’t good enough and that letting me down was easier for them than being honest and telling me that. Something that is so small to someone else can really affect my confidence. However, there is a positive. While it doesn’t feel nice to have feelings like these, before I would have been upset and pushed it down. I would have felt upset and then washed the feeling away with wine. I certainly wouldn’t have dealt with it or learned from the experience. But, things are different now. I don’t hide from my feelings, I deal with them. I guess I don’t have the option of drowning them out now, but I’m glad of that. It’s not always nice to feel everything, but in all honesty, it’s better in the long run, because I’m growing and learning, and for that I will always be grateful.
28 March. 2023
💖💖 • • • #sober #soberlife #alcoholrecovery #recovery #recoveryispossible #sobriety #soberjourney #addiction #alcoholfreemovement #af #alcoholfree #sobercurious #recoverymotivation #soberinspiration #teetotal #sobernotboring #anxiety #anxietyandalcohol #soberaf #soberselfie #soberwarrior #soberwomen #sobercommunity #soberstories #sobrietyrocks #sobercommunity #soberinstagram #soberreels #sobertok #soberquestion ♬ original sound - Claire" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7215669359610546950?refer=embed">♬ original sound - Claire
@soberme_claire I’ve been thinking about my journey, and wondering how I can help others, so if there’s something you’re wondering, ask me, and I’ll do some videos answering your questions. I used to wonder how I’d cope on a Friday or Saturday night without drinking but I know it’s different for everyone, so ask away!! . . . Take care of yourselves!
27 March. 2023
🎂💖🥰 • • • #sober #soberlife #recovery #recoveryispossible #sobriety #soberjourney #addiction #alcoholfreemovement #af #alcoholfree #sobercurious #recoverymotivation #soberinspiration #sobernotboring #soberrunner #anxiety #anxietyandalcohol #recovery #soberaf #soberselfie #soberwarrior #soberwomen #sobercommunity #soberstories #sobertok #instasober #soberinstagram ♬ Golden - Harry Styles" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Golden-6769291963263879170?refer=embed">♬ Golden - Harry Styles
@soberme_claire Birthdays used to be another excuse for drinking, because of course that’s the way we’re told to celebrate… nowadays though mine don’t involve drink or hangovers or anything messy and regrettable. This is what my weekend looked like, and being honest, I wouldn’t change it for anything!
27 March. 2023
So proud of my son Barn today, because he just passed his driving test!! He didn’t believe me when I told him he could, but he proved himself wrong, passing first time! That’s three out of four kids on the road now, but there’s 12 years until I have to worry about the littlest learning to drive!
26 March. 2023
Overthinking is one of my downfalls. I know about it and I'm aware of it, but that doesn't make it any easier to live with. I give a perception of being fine, and act the part, but afterwards, I question everything. I suppose in a lot of ways, wine numbed out the worries, but let me be clear, it didn't help. If anything it made it worse because Thad worse anxiety the next morning, and often wondered if I'd forgotten anything. Now, while I might worry, at least I know it's me and not the wine talking when I say something. It's worth persevering, things get easier and while it takes time to rediscover yourself, it's so worth it.
Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Anything-Could-Happen-6931008429539592194?refer=embed">♬ Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding
@soberme_claire Overthinking is one of my downfalls. I know about it and I’m aware of it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to live with. I give a perception of being fine, and act the part, but afterwards, I question everything. I suppose in a lot of ways, wine numbed out the worries, but let me be clear, it didn’t help. If anything it made it worse because I had worse anxiety the next morning, and often wondered if I’d forgotten anything. Now, while I might worry, at least I know it’s me and not the wine talking when I say something. It’s worth perservering, things get easier and while it takes time to rediscover yourself, it’s so worth it. • • #sober #soberlife #recovery #recoveryispossible #sobriety #soberjourney #addiction #alcoholfreemovement #af #alcoholfree #sobercurious #recoverymotivation #soberinspiration #sobernotboring #soberrunner #anxiety #anxietyandalcohol #recovery #soberaf #soberselfie #soberwarrior #soberwomen #sobercommunity #soberstories #sobertok ♬
25 March. 2023
Last night… We had a lovely day, and then went out for dinner for my birthday. I was a little disappointed in the non-alcoholic drink choices in the restaurant, I suppose it’s difficult for them to cater for everyone, but I don’t always want to drink coke or water… I suppose more than that, it was the staff and their lack of knowledge of AF options. It made me question myself and for a moment I wondered if I should join in and be the same as everyone else… It can be easy to feel threatened or not good enough, like we’re somehow the ones in the wrong by being ‘different,’ and yet, I know I'm not... I used to be envious of other people who didn't need to drink like I did in the evenings. Now I'm one of them. I have nothing to feel wrong about, no regrets to worry about, I just get to enjoy lovely sober evenings. I am so lucky 💖💖💖
24 March. 2023
Well, so this is 41!!
I remember when being in my forties seemed so far away, so middle aged. I didn't know what it would be like and yet, now I am here and for that I am very grateful. I am more than aware that not everyone gets to experience their 40's and while I am not the same person I was in my 20s or 30s, it's not bad, it's just different. I'm gaining an acceptance of myself that I never had before, and while that’s still a work in progress, it's there, growing in the background which is more than it ever was before.
It's Friday and once upon a time that would have meant an even bigger excuse to drink, but now it's a bigger reason for my sobriety, to enjoy real things and then to remember them, however big or small they might be. I definitely appreciate things more now. Off now on my Friday morning run. Have a lovely day everyone!
22 March. 2023
Oh was it a wet one today! Well, it wasn’t, not until I was out the door and down the hill, and then the heavens opened. Luckily I had grabbed my jacket but my trainers… my poor trainers are dripping water as if they’ve been submerged! Anyway, it might be wet, but I feel alive. Being out in the elements always does that for me. It makes me feel like I’m a little part of a bigger something, which of course we all are. Another day stronger, both running and sobriety wise. I hope you had a good day, whatever you were up to!
21 March. 2023
Does anyone else struggle with Mother’s Day? (Or birthday’s and Christmas come to think of it?) I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because I’m really not, and I don’t even want all the gifts, I’m not into buying what we don’t need… It’s more that I want to feel noticed and appreciated and sometimes I just don’t. It makes me wonder where I went wrong, because I wouldn’t dream of letting a year go by without saying Happy Mother’s Day to my Mum or offering her a hand. But then I feel rubbish, like I expect too much from them, and I hate that because my grumpiness spoils the day. I suppose for me, what would make my day is the kids thanking me for the things I do for them and maybe sometimes offering help, rather than watch me doing jobs. I don’t need stuff, but a bit of gratitude goes a long way. I hope you’ve had a lovely day, whatever you’re up to.
20 March. 2023
I’m trying to be aware of making a little bit of time for myself here and there. Like today, I ‘should’ have left work, gone to school and picked up my little one before going home. Instead I asked my mother in law to pick him up for me. She’s only having him for half an hour, but she’s happy and it means I get to run by myself for a few undisturbed minutes. It feels selfish sometimes but, by taking a few minutes for myself, I’m better able to deal with everything else. And surely that’s a good thing?
Anyway, today I got rained on but my head feels clear. I can’t do it everyday, but some days it’s just what I need! 💖🏃🏼♀️💖
18 March. 2023
Today I did my first parkrun since before the lockdowns! I’ve wanted to for a while, but been a bit scared, it’s not competitive but in a way it is, because people will see me if I can’t do it. Anyway, I put my fears to one side, enlisted my wingman Barn and off we went. He’s much faster than me (before lockdown he was competing nationally) but he still runs with me when I ask him to and his support gives me the confidence I need. It would have been nice to have a lie in but thank goodness for #sobersaturday as I would have been disappointed to miss out. 💖🏃🏼♀️💖
17 March. 2023
What a message! Of course all Mothers need alcohol to make their day special! It’s so sad 😢 I’ll be honest, as a mother of four, I’d be happy with a cup of tea, or failing that, a hug. Alcohol won’t make my mothers day special and the fact that stores like this are reinforcing this message is pretty awful. Disappointed in @asda for this very limited and one sided display!
11 March. 2023
🌊💖 There is nowhere in the world that I feel more settled and relaxed than at the beach. The sound of the waves, the feeling of being out in the elements and most importantly being with my family. The perfect thing for clearing my mind after a busy week 💖🥰🐾
10 March. 2023
Today in a moment of clarity the reason I gave up running a couple of years ago came to me. I don’t think I even realised at the time, but it’s not because I can't do it, it's because I'm scared I can't. I'm scared to fail. I'm scared to let myself down in some way, and I’m scared that someone, somewhere, will see me and laugh because I can't run far enough or fast enough.
Today, once again I became overwhelmed as I ran, panicking about everything and nothing, which seems to be happening more and more often. Instead of letting my feelings run away, I tried to pull it back, reminding myself that I am not down the road yet, I don't have to think that far ahead. I'm not failing yet, and it actually might not even happen. Instead I focused on where I was at that moment, I took a breath and concentrated on my feet, left foot, right foot, letting the repetition soothe me. As I let myself just be in the moment without thinking about anything else, or putting any expectations on myself I began to enjoy myself again; nothing else mattered.
The first time I started running properly I was newly sober, and running was a novelty. Having had a couple of years off running, it’s different this time, and I’m learning more about myself. It’s a real achievement pushing myself and gaining a little bit of strength or distance, but I’m realising how strong my mind is, and that’s not always a good thing. Realising today that I could push through and overcome my negativity and anxiety was a definite win, and while tomorrow’s run might not be easier, I’m hoping in time I will get there.
Fear is limiting but we don’t have to let it win.
10 March. 2023
Today we have been married 22 years! He's the person that's always there for me, no questions asked, and accepts me as I am. Even though I must test his patience from time to time! 😂 He even stopped drinking when I did, not because he had to, but to support me 🥰 Here's to many more adventures!! 💖💖💖
09 March. 2023
Isn't it weird how sometimes you just hear exactly what you need to? After my last post I got in my car to get the littlest one from school. I enjoy Steven Bartlett's Diary of a CEO but I'm currently listening to all the old ones I missed and today he was talking about our responses to things. He described the way we all feel when confronted with something or someone challenging and our need to react, but said, especially in the workplace how the reaction can be wrong when emotionally fuelled. He suggested that we take time to process even if that means taking ourselves out of the equation in order to formulate a response rather than a reaction. It was refreshing to hear someone describe the way I feel sometimes and also validate the way I try to respond. Maybe we don't have to be too quick with our responses and certainly try not to react under pressure. Giving ourselves a little bit of time isn't always a bad thing! 💖💖💖
09 March. 2023
It was 'one of those' days today. It was stressful at work but there was no particular reason why. I felt like everyone was getting at me and I took it personally. Now I know they probably weren't but putting reality to one side, that's how I felt. So I had three options as I saw it. One... carry on and don't bite. Two... shout and swear but that will make tomorrow rather awkward as I have learned from previous experiences! Three... make up an excuse and leave early, then go for a run. Guess which one I chose? Okay so, I know I can't do that every day, but I was on overload today and it was the best option for me. Outside it was windy and raining, but I've found that pulls me back when I start to lose the plot, it makes me feel alive to be out in the elements. So I ran, a grumpy pace to begin with and then a bit of a panicky moment because I run too fast and struggle to pace myself when I'm struggling with my emotions, but then I levelled out and remembered to breathe. And now I'm okay. I feel more myself again, and I haven't exploded at anyone or cried which is a bonus. So… there are coping strategies which aren't found at the bottom of a bottle which is a bonus!! Off on the school run now, feeling patient and ready, and all because I listened to the way I was feeling. Sometimes we just need to. Hope you're having a good day whatever you're up to! 💖💖
08 March. 2023
As you may know, I was recently interviewed by ITV about my sobriety. When the camera crew arrived one man joked, asking me if I had a bottle of wine open already. My response was probably a little sharp, but his comment was unnecessary, at least in my mind. He then asked if I was a specialist, to which I answered, “No, I’m an alcoholic.” The look on his face told me everything, so I added, “And that’s why you’re here to interview me, because I don’t look like one.”
The question is, what does ‘one’ look like? I always knew I drank a lot, but because I didn’t sleep on a park bench or drink out of a paper bag, I assumed I was okay. And if I was okay, I didn’t need to stop drinking. It was obvious really, because people like me, well we just don’t have problems like that. Except I’m finding more and more often that we do. So many people, women in particular, are drinking more, and the reason seems to be that they need to cope, not with their lives, but rather they struggle with the pressure of perfectionism. Being perfect (or as close to as possible) is challenging and tiring, and at the end of a long day, I looked forward to that glass of wine to chill out. However, when you do that every night, soon, one glass isn’t enough so you have two and then three until one bottle isn’t enough, but because you keep functioning, the world thinks you’re okay, and so you convince yourself that you are.
Around this time I began to question myself, to challenge myself to cut down a little, because clearly, I still didn’t think I needed to stop, and of course, I never drank in the day. Those nights were awful because I couldn’t numb the feelings of anxiety that had bubbled away all day. And so the next day when I was ‘allowed,’ I’d drink more. That cycle is vicious, and it can feel like you’re alone, that no one else will understand. Trust me, when I say that we do. That there are so many people living alcohol free, a journey that might have been scary to begin with, but is now our preference. Don’t suffer, reach out. There’s a lot of people who would love to help. And be kind to yourself, being hard on yourself will not make things any easier. You deserve kindness. 💜💜💜
07 March. 2023
At the beginning of my journey I was terrified of the thought of sobriety. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like and I hated the thought of losing the one thing I relied on, even though I equally hated the hold it had over me and the need I had for it. It was a confusing time, and the thought of forever was awful. For a long time I held onto the idea of one day being able to moderate, which I know now is ridiculous, but I suppose back then made it seem a little easier. I took it a day at a time, and gradually those days started stacking up. Today is day 2371 for me, and I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not ever going to have another day 1. If you’re at the beginning of your journey don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and don’t belittle your efforts either. The days add up, and if I’m honest, every day without alcohol is a win.
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence + The Machine" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Rabbit-Heart-Raise-It-Up-6927236108866570241?refer=embed">♬ Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence + The Machine
@soberme_claire At the beginning of my journey I was terrified of the thought of sobriety. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like and I hated the thought of losing the one thing I relied on, even though I equally hated the hold it had over me and the need I had for it. It was a confusing time, and the thought of forever was awful. For a long time I held onto the idea of one day being able to moderate, which I know now is ridiculous, but I suppose back then made it seem a little easier. I took it a day at a time, and gradually those days started stacking up. Today is day 2371 for me, and I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not ever going to have another day 1. If you’re at the beginning of your journey don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and don’t belittle your efforts either. The days add up, and if I’m honest, every day without alcohol is a win. • • • #sober #soberlife #alcoholrecovery #recovery #recoveryispossible #sobriety #soberjourney #addiction #noshame #alcoholfreemovement #af #alcoholfree #sobercurious #recoverymotivation #soberinspiration #teetotal #sobernotboring #soberrunner #anxiety #anxietyandalcohol #recovery #soberaf #selfie #soberselfie #soberwarrior #soberwomen #sobercommunity #soberstories #sobrietyrocks #sobernotboring #soberwoman ♬
06 March. 2023
Today reminded me a lot of the way I felt in the last few months before I stopped drinking. The feeling actually had nothing to do with alcohol, which is funny really; it was more to do with the will I or won’t I, mind games I play with myself. I normally run on a Monday night, but first thing this morning, I began to worry about whether I should. It reminded me of mornings when I’d try to convince myself not to drink later in the day, which of course never worked, except this morning, I was trying to convince myself to run. As usual, I had all the arguments, you know, I’ll be tired, I have to work all day, then I have to pick the kids up, then I need to go shopping. I really probably won’t have time. Then I had the other voice telling me I’d regret it if I didn’t, that it’s only an hour, that if I don’t tonight, I won’t tomorrow. All day I was thinking could I or should I, and I realised my mind was rushing away, thinking too much about other things than about where I was right then, which was kind of annoying. So I pulled myself together and got on with my day. I put all my negativity to one side and ignored the idea that it would be hard to run, because sometimes it is just hard, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. And later, you know, after all the daily family stuff, I did it you know; I went for a run, and the best thing was, I actually enjoyed it! And, it was way better than an evening lost to drinking!
04 March. 2023
I was recently approached by ITV who wanted to speak to me about my experiences with alcohol and sobriety. Follow the link to read their article or watch some of my interview.
04 March. 2023
I used to think being sober would be boring, or that it would limit me in someway. It took me a long time to get past that, but once you’ve seen life from this side, there’s really no going back! Sobriety is certainly the way forward for me! Here’s how my weekend has looked so far!
Golden - Harry Styles" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Golden-6769291963263879170?refer=embed">♬ Golden - Harry Styles
@soberme_claire I used to think being sober would be boring, or that it would limit me in someway. It took me a long time to get past that, but once you’ve seen life from this side, there’s really no going back! Sobriety is certainly the way forward for me! Here’s how my weekend has looked so far! • #gratitude #attitude #perception #family #sober #soberlife #alcoholrecovery #recovery #recoveryispossible #sobriety #soberjourney #addiction #noshame #alcoholfreemovement #af #alcoholfree #sobercurious #recoverymotivation #soberinspiration #teetotal #sobernotboring #soberrunner #anxiety #anxietyandalcohol #recovery #soberaf #selfie #soberselfie #soberwarrior #soberwomen #sobercommunity #noregrets ♬
03 March. 2023
Trust me to overthink; I should have known… I was so pleased that @ITV contacted me and wanted to hear about my experiences of sobriety, that I said yes. I want so much to be a voice for other people, to help share positive experiences and spread hope. I want to break the stigma of what an alcoholic looks like, because as the man that came to interview me said, I don’t look like one. The thing is that once it’s out there, people can see it, and the reporter only took the bits they wanted. Most of my message was lost, and although it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. So I feel a bit deflated about the whole thing, and then of course I imagine all the people that don’t know the full story will be out there judging me.
Today my running wingman Barn and I went off after the school run. I was glad to have him, I was so emotional that I was almost in tears before we’d got very far. And then I got to that point just before a full on panic attack where I couldn’t breathe and you know, it’s hard to run when you can’t breathe. But he gets me, so he was there, not pushing, just understanding and I kept running. Sometimes distance can be a trigger for me, it’s like I look at it and just think, there’s no way, kind of like I did with sobriety back at the beginning, but one step at a time works just the same as one day at a time, and I just kept doing it. Gradually the panic began to fade, and at the half way point we turned back.
I cannot explain the feeling when I achieve something when I’m running, it’s just immense. I used to knock out a half marathon without much effort, now it’s harder to do shorter distances but the feeling is the same, and on the home straight, I found my sprint again. I thought that had long gone. So it was a good morning. I was happy to not be on my own, and to be understood. Later we went for a swim just to finish ourselves off, and now, I feel more relaxed than I have done in a few days. I suppose my message is not to give up. Some moments will be hard, but surround yourself with people who get it and things aren’t so bad. In fact, they can be pretty amazing. I for one wouldn’t give up now, not when I’ve come this far!
02 March. 2023
Well this happened last week, when I was asked to record a piece with @itvnews about the growing number of people going sober. I think they chose the bits where I stumbled most over my words, but, I suppose I should have expected that! Another sober coach managed to get on with his books too, I wish I’d thought of using it for advertising! 😂😂 Anyway it’s out there now, I hope it helps someone, that’s all it was intended to do!
02 March. 2023
Sometimes I’m braver than I think. Last week I was asked to talk about my experience with alcohol and addiction. Lots of people may see it. It would have been easy to say no and even now, I’m worried about it being seen, or worse, what I said being taken out of context. But… I took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself to me. Although it was scary I said yes, because it matters to me that we share positive stories about sobriety to inspire those who follow in our footsteps. Let’s speak out and break the stigma! Who knows who might be watching!
01 March. 2023
That moment when you achieve something you weren't sure you could! It doesn't matter what the distance. Sometimes it might just be that you made it out of bed. Everyone is different and every day is different too. Be kind to yourself, but don't forget you're allowed to be proud of yourself too. Today I am. I ran up a hill and nearly made myself sick, but, I DIDN'T STOP!!! I see myself improving and I'm proud. What have you done to be proud of today? 💖🏃🏼♀️💖