SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Perceptions

Perceptions, Claire Hatwell on the beach in Cornwall, Hatwell writer and author, sober blogger, My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not So Secret Guide to Recovery, sober author and blogger
I struggle with TV from time to time. I think my life is so full already that I don’t have the time or mental capacity for too much drama. I tend to prefer a bit of fantasy and escape from the real world; oh how I miss Game of Thrones! There’s the odd ‘normal’ thing I enjoy too, often a good hospital drama, but I’ll be honest, more and more it seems that TV programmes carry a message rather than just being there for entertainment. I’ve lost track of the amount of shows that have used an alcoholic parent as the reason behind every one of the main characters mistakes or poor choices and I’m a bit over it to be honest. While in no way am I suggesting it’s something you’d hope for, I don’t think we can condemn people as bad parents because they have an alcohol dependency. My kids have always been the centre of my world, and to suggest I was a bad parent due to my drinking really upsets me, because it’s not true. I am not and was never a bad person, just one who drank too much. Now, yes, I am a better version of myself, but I was never ‘bad’ and in my mind, these shows just reinforce all the worries ‘normal’ mums and dads like me feel about getting help. We don’t want to admit we’re struggling, so we keep the act up until one day when we can’t anymore. The other thing is the way recovery is often portrayed on TV as a few rough days and then back to normal. When my recovery didn’t look like that, I felt like I was doing something wrong. We shouldn’t feel like that because we’re all different. That’s one of the reasons I love the social media community so much, it doesn’t matter where we are, we can connect, no shame, no judgement, and those two things right there are two of the biggest healing tools I know.

Stick with it, one day at a time, and it will get easier.
Much love,
Claire

Beautiful

Beautiful Flowers Claire Hatwell sober author and blogger
A week later, and still looking beautiful!
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In the Office

Work Buddy, mum Claire Hatwell and Stanley Hatwell at work in Launceston. Sober blogger, and author based in Cornwall
So the heatwave finally broke today, giving us torrential rain and thunder and lightning, but it gave me and my little work buddy something to watch out of the office window!

Rosettes

Rosettes, Sober Me gift shop on Etsy for recovery and sobriety, Claire Hatwell sober blogger and author
One of my most popular celebration rosettes, lots more available in my Etsy shop. Have you checked it out?

Yum

Yum Cawston Apple Can, Non Alcoholic Drinks, Sober Me, Sober Blogger, Claire Hatwell writer and author
Yum! Now this is worth a try. My husband popped to the shop last night and came back with some of these for me. It’s not too sweet, and really hits the spot!

Other People

Other People, Claire Hatwell, Sober writer and author, My Not So Secret Diary, My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not So Secret guide to recovering, Cornwall
I suppose I always imagined that when I finally stopped drinking other people would be proud and cheer me on. I expected them to understand what a challenge it was for me, and almost be in awe of this amazing thing I’d achieved. I was wrong, because unless you’ve had a problem with alcohol, how could you possibly understand this sort of addiction? Honestly, how could they understand when they didn’t go through recovery with me? I portrayed such a polished outward appearance, that no one other than those closest to me would even begin to understand what was going on in my mind. The two parts of myself were hard enough for me to reconcile, let alone for someone else.
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There are situations even now, that I won’t put myself in. It’s not because I’m afraid I’ll drink again, because I’m not. It’s more that I don’t want to be surrounded by people that do. At times, we’re on separate paths, and that’s okay, it’s like, I wouldn’t go to a gym just to watch people work out, so why would I go to a pub to watch people drink? I’m realising more and more that I’m okay with that.
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Before, when I was invited to something, I wouldn’t have been so honest, I would have tried to go, and either got grumpy or stressed out because it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’m learning it’s okay, that I don’t need to be afraid of upsetting people, because my thoughts and feelings matter too. It’s my choice not to drink, a good one that I stand by, and if I want it to stick, then I have to defend it, and not be ashamed. So that’s what I’m doing. I can’t believe I’ll have been doing it for six years next month. There was a time when six days was impossible.
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My advice is to just do you. It will get easier. It will be challenging too, and not everyone will understand, but unless they’ve walked in your shoes, we can’t expect them to. Trust me, those that matter will stay, and in the long run the journey will be so worthwhile.
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Take care of yourselves x

In Need of Some Sober Inspiration?

Sober Inspiration, books by Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in Cornwall
Need some summer sober inspiration or a good book for the beach? Which of my books have you read?
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All are available on Amazon, or for a signed copy, visit my Etsy page.

Behind the Scenes

Just a little bit of laser engraving, watch to the end to see the finished products.

@soberme_claire Packing up items to post out tomorrow. Check out my Etsy shop for more sober gifts and cards 💖 . #sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermum #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberjourney #soberthinking #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #sobrietyisbeautiful Stories - Lux-Inspira" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Stories-7030730469670946817"> Stories - Lux-Inspira

Available Now!

Are you sober curious? Maybe questioning your relationship with alcohol? I've been working on this. I'm so excited to share it with you! Okay, so buying a journal won't magically make you sober, but it will give you a focus, for the good and the bad moments. Journals are a simple and effective way to keep you on track and I've used my knowledge as a qualified sober coach to help keep you focussed. • If you're dipping your toe into the pool of sobriety who knows, this might be just what you are looking for!

@soberme_claire Are you sober curious? Maybe questioning your relationship with alcohol? I've been working on this. I'm so excited to share it with you! Okay, so buying a journal won't magically make you sober, but it will give you a focus, for the good and the bad moments. Journals are a simple and effective way to keep you on track and I've used my knowledge as a qualified sober coach to help keep you focussed. • If you're dipping your toe into the pool of sobriety who knows, this might be just what you are looking for! . . #soberweekend #sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermum #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberjourney #soberthinking #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #sobrietyisbeautiful #anxiety #copingstrategies #soberstories #sharing #soberinspiration #sobervibes #sobersaturday #nohangoversunday #sobersummer #booktok #bookstagram #quitlit original sound - SoberMe_Claire" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7131274519578200838"> original sound - SoberMe_Claire

Last Night

Friday Night, Claire Hatwell, sober nights on the beach, no regrets, no hangovers, books by Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in Cornwall 
It’s nights like last night that make me remember the true reason I love being sober.

We avoided the heat of the day and went down to the beach after work, around 7pm. We built sandcastles and swam in the sea as the sun went down, not all of us, just me, my husband and two of our four kids. We talked and laughed. Around 10pm we made our way back to the car, because it was getting dark, and the midges were beginning to bite, not because I wanted a drink. We came home and ate a very late dinner, and then went to bed. I was relaxed, I didn’t ruin the night because I wanted to drink or because I had got drunk. I remember everything, the coldness of the water, the sand between my toes, and how happy I am to be with my family. Nothing gets in the way anymore. There’s no panic over what I might have said, or might have done, because I was 100% there. I’ve said it before, but the simple things matter so much more now, because I slow down long enough to see them.
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Have a great day, where ever you are!

Etsy Packaging

Packing up items to post out tomorrow. Check out my Etsy shop for more sober gifts and cards 💖

@soberme_claire Packing up items to post out tomorrow. Check out my Etsy shop for more sober gifts and cards 💖 . #sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermum #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberjourney #soberthinking #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #sobrietyisbeautiful Stories - Lux-Inspira" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Stories-7030730469670946817"> Stories - Lux-Inspira

Friday Night

Friday Night, sober nights on the beach with my husband Lee Hatwell. Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in CornwallFriday Night part, Joe Hatwell and Stanley Hatwell on the beach in Rock, Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in Cornwall

My Friday nights certainly look different now, but I am not complaining! We had a lovely, unrushed evening at the beach after the heat of the sun had gone. The water was so warm too! Feeling full of gratitude!
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BoardMasters

BoardMasters, my son Barn Hatwell off to his festival, books by Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in Cornwall
There’s a fine balance between letting your kids grow up and pushing them. I’m constantly trying to get it right, and even with four kids, I get it wrong sometimes, because they are all so different. Today I took my 17 year old (my second youngest) to @boardmasters - I want him to have a good time, but man, am I worried about him already! He’s meeting his friends, if he can find them in the crowd… I’m sure he’ll be fine, but in this heat, it’s even worse! It doesn’t get easier as they get older. The one good thing is I know if he needs me over the weekend, I’ll be able to get there straight away, being alcohol free does come with a lot of benefits!

The Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery Sober Journal by Claire Hatwell, recovery and sobriety author and blogger
I like books. I like reminders. I like a plan. So recently, I’ve been working on this… I’m so excited to share it with you!
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Okay, so buying a journal won’t magically make you sober, but it will give you a focus, for the good and the bad moments. Journals are a simple and effective way to keep you on track and I’ve used my knowledge as a qualified sober coach to help keep you focussed.
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If you’re dipping your toe into the pool of sobriety who knows, this might be just what you are looking for!
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Shopping

Shopping with Stanley Hatwell for school shoes, in Plymouth, Sober Mum, books by Claire Hatwell, author of My Not So Secret Recovery, My Not so secret guide to recovering and the road to recovery. Sober Blogger in Cornwall
It was ridiculously hot today, but we managed to get all the school shopping done for the new term. Afterwards I treated myself to a mango and passionfruit cooler to cool down, way better treat than anything alcoholic!

Sober Tokens

Coins, sober token, SoberMe Etsy Shop, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recovery
New bits in my shop! These tokens are designed by me and laser engraved into wood, so they’re all unique. I hope you like them!

Sober Adventures

Sober Adventures, Chiswick Park in London, Happy Place Festival, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recovery
At New Year I made a resolution to try to push myself out of my comfort zone. I realised that I’d spent a long time drinking, then a long time hiding from covid and my anxiety. I like being at home, and when you’re happy, it’s easier not to, but life is short.

This year I’ve done things I never would have done before; while small to many, they are huge for me. I’ve found making a booking is just the first step… after that I start to panic. It’s the logistics, the what if’s, and I’m not sure why, because I can’t ever remember things going terribly wrong before. I just expect that they will. As we get closer, it seems less and less achievable. It’s weird wanting to do something at the same time as wanting a good enough reason not to do it.

Last weekend, me and my daughter went to Happy Place Festival. Not a big thing you might think, but it is when we live in Cornwall and had to go to London for it. I booked the sleeper train, arriving at Paddington at 5am; plenty of time to explore and get breakfast beforehand.

I’ll be honest, I panicked. Not the usual ‘oh dear where am I going’ rather, ‘ah I can’t breathe and everyone is looking,’ but I got through it. Did I want to run away? Yes, but to be honest, once in London, there was nowhere to go. I’m really proud of myself for doing it, for not giving in, for not letting fear and anxiety hold me back. I’m also proud of Katie for understanding and tolerating my crazy. I hate that I get anxious and feel like a burden, but I was okay, and I wouldn’t have been a while back.

The festival was great. We listened to inspirational speakers, ate lovely food and did brilliant things. There wasn’t a drop of alcohol in sight and that was refreshing. It was nice that everyone had the same calm, relaxed mindset. The journey home on the train was very different with lots of rowdy football supporters! It was a challenge, but I managed and I’m glad. I’m going to carry on pushing myself although I might take a break in between to reset!

Gratitude

Gratitude, Fleurtations in Bodmin, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recoveryIt’s always nice to be appreciated, but even better when you get an unexpected delivery like this! 1f4961f4901f338

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Avoiding the Heat

Avoiding the heat 1, Merlin Cinema in Bodmin, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recoveryAvoiding the heat 2, Merlin Cinema in Bodmin, Claire Hatwell, sober blogger, sober author, my not so secret recovery
Taking a break from the heat of the son to watch Sonic 2 today. Forgot how hot it was until I left the air conditioning behind!

Summer Days

Summer Days 1, Stanley Hatwell in Cornwall, swimming in the seaSummer Days 2 Claire Hatwell, author, my not so secret recovery, sober blogger, Cornish sea swimmer
Making the most of the sunshine and a day off work today with my water baby. I’m making sure I get him started cold water swimming young!
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We might not be going on holiday this year, but who needs to when we live here?

Happy Place

Sober adventures with my lovely daughter this weekend. Honestly I had a couple of panicky moments, but never in a million years would I have contemplated such a full on 700 mile round trip and day out when I was drinking. We had so much fun - no alcohol required!

@soberme_claire Sober adventures with my lovely daughter this weekend. Honestly I had a couple of panicky moments, but never in a million years would I have contemplated such a full on 700 mile round trip and day out when I was drinking. We had so much fun - no alcohol required! #london #happyplacefestival #chiswickhouse #mumanddaughter #soberweekend #sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermum #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberjourney #soberthinking #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #sobrietyisbeautiful #anxiety #copingstrategies #soberstories #sharing #soberinspiration #sobervibes #sobersaturday #nohangoversunday Good Time - Jodie Harsh" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Good-Time-7064865236469172226"> Good Time - Jodie Harsh

Today

Happy Place Festival, Chiswick Park London, Katie Hatwell, Claire Hatwell, author, my not so secret recovery, sober blogger, Fearne Cotton
Tomorrow I’ll write a proper post and share some more photos, but suffice to say, we had a brilliant day in London today. On our way home now, tired but happy
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Days like these would never have happened before I was sober.
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Check my story for more from today.
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Blurt

Blurt it out charity, Claire Hatwell, author, my not so secret recovery, sober blogger
I treated myself to some lovely cards from @theblurtfoundation - this message definitely applies to me. Isn’t it funny how these things come up out of nowhere to make us realise how we treat ourselves?

Sharing

Sharing More Stories to help, sober blog, claire hatwell, blogger from cornwall, sobriety, my not so secret recovery
I've had some wonderful contributions so far, but there's still time if you'd like to submit your story to me for my new project. Just think who your story might inspire!

Lunch Date

Lunch Date claire hatwell with stanley hatwell. sober blogger from cornwall, writer and author of my not so secret recovery
Lunch date with this gorgeous young man
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It’s been a busy week, so today, I’m slowing down and making time, because the little things matter so much
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Reasons

Reasons to stop drinking and go sober. claire hatwell author and blogger. my not so secret recovery
At least I can say now that my mistakes are my own, and not drink fuelled, and the best thing is, I actually remember the night before… Anyone else feel this way?

It’s Quite Clear, I Don’t Miss It

I don't miss drinking alcohol, sober blog, claire hatwell, author from cornwall in my garden in bodmin
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a house party, or any party for that matter, and yet recently, we ended up playing host to one. It wasn’t intentional, I think the words “BBQ” and “Friends” were mentioned, and as it was one of our kids’ birthdays, we said yes. It was meant to be more of a gathering than a party and we said it was no problem as long as everyone was sensible. No one has drunk in our house since I stopped over five years ago, so although I wanted to do it for them, it was weird. I’ve always been honest, but my problems are not my kids problems, and they’re not going to learn from my mistakes, so we let them explore (within reason).

My teenager was summoned to the door by other teenagers requiring access. Some nodded towards me, others didn’t, and once they were in, that was it, the house apparently was theirs. I didn’t mind, not while they were being respectful, but it’s funny that the parental gatekeepers of the front door don’t seem to exist as they once did. There was no small talk or forced politeness. I was the one who felt awkward in the house.

Suffice to say, we didn’t sleep much that night, but one by one, the teenagers departed, leaving the house quieter and quieter until four remained, watching movies in the lounge. When I got up the next morning, they were still asleep, four mounds under the covers. I looked outside, my lovely garden strewn with rubbish, but other than that, everything seemed to have survived. The house was all in one piece, and so were they. Although I am sure, several of them had sore heads.

For me it’s too much drama. I don’t miss that at all. The tears and unpredictable emotions that I witnessed from the other side, as one or two of them drank more than they should. No harm was done, but I know my own teenager was more stressed than necessary, feeling a watchful eye needed to be kept all night. The evening of fun and enjoyment was ruined for him by those who lacked control. It’s a hard lesson, but one I hope he learns while he’s young, before he makes the mistakes I did. On the good side, whatever else happened, it served a good reminder to me, for why I don’t drink, and for that, I’m grateful to them.

Better Than Before

You know that moment when something literally speaks to you? Well, @lizzobeeating has hit the nail on the head with this one. Sobriety has changed me, and while I’m not going to pretend everything is rosy now, things are a whole lot better than they were. I’m a lot better than I was. So don’t beat yourselves up about what has gone before, instead try to let it shape who you are now.

@soberme_claire Sometimes the lyrics of a song can really hit the mark. Don’t beat yourselves up about what has gone before, instead let us shape who we are now. .#sober #soberlife #sobercurious #soberaf #soberliving #sobermum #sobermovement #soberlifestyle #sobernation #sobercommunity #sobertribe #soberjourney #soberthinking #sobermotivation #soberisbetter #sobriety #sobrietyjourney #sobrietyisbeautiful #anxiety #copingstrategies #soberstories #sharing #soberinspiration #sobervibes About Damn Time - Lizzo" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/About-Damn-Time-7086201843973621762"> About Damn Time - Lizzo

Waves

Waves my mug from Saltrock Cornwall. Claire Hatwell sober writer and blogger
Even at my desk, thoughts of the ocean aren’t far away!
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Breaking Up

Breaking Up with alcohol. going sober. sobriety inspiration. claire hatwell writer and author. my not so secret recovery
I love this explanation of why we feel like we’re mourning a relationship when we break up with alcohol. We know it’s not good for us and yet we stay far too long, until we lose ourselves. Not any more. And if it does take us a while to find ourselves again, well that’s okay. At least this time we’re working on something positive!
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Thanks @walking_the_straight_line
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this was too good not to share!

I don't care how long it takes to feel like I'm totally free of all the negative effects that alcohol had on my life...
Everything about me and my life improves every month that I'm sober, and that's more than good enough for me.

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