11 September 2022
When I first got sober I felt a lot of shame. I didn’t feel like I could own my sobriety. I felt I had to recovery quietly so I didn’t offend the ‘normal’ drinkers with my abstinence. Not so many people talked openly about sobriety or recovery and I had no idea of what to expect on the other side. It felt like the end of something rather than the beginning. Now, I know that admitting you have a problem with alcohol or any other substance is not easy; trust me I know because I’ve been there. But the thing is with the wonder of Instagram and TikTok, none of us are alone. We can find people just like us, with similar interests, similar difficulties, wherever we are in the world and we can support each other, because under it all, despite our journeys being different, we’re kind of the same.
For me, being able to be a part of something, realising that my experience is not isolated, and that there are so many others out there in a similar situation was massive. I didn’t feel so alone, and that helped me shake off the shame which would have held me back otherwise. For every bad story I have, I’ve seen others who’ve done something similar. We’re not alone, we’re not bad. Yes, we have a shared experience, where we’ve come to rely on a substance to fill a gap in our lives, but we’re not broken. Addiction is a small part of our story, but it doesn’t define us.
I often take my youngest to the park after school where he’ll have a run around with his friends. It’s nice to let them burn some steam off before we go home, but to be honest, I’m not sure where they get their energy from, especially after a long day at school!
It’s taken me a long time to feel accepted at school but just to be clear, I’m not blaming the other parents, I know a lot of it is just me. I worry that I’ll not be accepted so I find myself avoiding some situations, which of course ends up creating a divide I didn’t intend. But, I recognise it and I’m working on it, and gradually infiltrating the group.
I had a lovely afternoon just recently; the parents chatted, the kids played and although a couple of them got a little rough, they had a lovely time together. Towards the end, one of the mums joked, asking if it was too early for wine. I laughed as I always do in situations like that, neither criticising nor condoning, because I’m well aware that my problem is not their problem, but it got me thinking. Not too long ago I would have been grateful for that comment because it would have given me the green light to go home and open my first bottle, but where most people drink slowly, savouring and enjoying the effect, I would already be moving on to the next.
I saw my ability to drink as a badge of honour when I was younger. I hate looking back at that time of my life now, at how many things I missed or rushed in my urgency to get home and have a drink. I thought it helped me but to be fair, wine was only ever a problem in my life. Now I’m more careful, but I’m also more present, more grateful, and happier. Nothing takes the edge off for me, but then I’m not sure that it should; without the hard bits, how can we really appreciate the good?
I wrote this piece recently for Launceston Life magazine about how cold water swimming has helped me with anxiety and with my sobriety. It’s particularly special as my daughter took the photo for the article which features me and my friends playing in the waves!
💖 #sober #soberlife #soberliving #soberlifestyle #alcoholfree #soberjourney #soberinspiration #soberblogger #soberauthor #soberandfabulous #dayone #sobercurious #soberaf #sobermum #sobermovement #sobercommunity #sobernation #sobermotivation #sobrietyisbeautiful #sobertiktok #sobertok #soberandproud #soberauthor #quitlit ♬ Late Night Talking - Harry Styles" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Late-Night-Talking-7099115733325449217?refer=embed">♬ Late Night Talking - Harry Styles
@soberme_claire I wrote this piece recently for Launceston Life magazine about how cold water swimming has helped me with anxiety and with my sobriety. It’s particularly special as my daughter took the photo for the article which features me and my friends playing in the waves!
I haven’t posted in a few days. One of the reasons was with the news of the Queen it just felt wrong to post my stuff. I haven’t felt well either, and my sinuses have been playing up. But of course, for me, once I haven’t done something it’s harder to get back into it. It becomes a bigger deal than it needs to be and I worry about getting it wrong. So, here’s something I can’t get wrong! This is Stanley, my five year old, looking proud because he secretly got dressed for school this morning to surprise me! 🥰🥰