Friday, 16 December 2016

New Phases

HAPPY SOBERVERSARY to claireperth! Awesome work, girlfriend!

Claire wrote in her e-mail to me: This year has been the best year of my life. I still haven't quit smoking, I still have some serious shit to sort out, but I feel really at peace - it's a shiny new lovely place to be! The biggest thing I have learnt is that it's a slow process to change a life; to change a really big part of who you are and to be comfortable with it takes time.

This got me thinking about the different phases we go through when we quit the booze.

Most of you will be familiar with Phase One. Many of you are still battling through it.

It's the physically tough stage, the period when you feel more tired than you can ever remember being and the phase when you become totally obsessed by booze: by drinking it, by not drinking it, reading about it, blogging about it, dreaming about it.

Then, after about 100 days, the fog starts to clear and come out into the light, blinking, and thinking ok, now what?

And now what is Phase Two, the mentally tough bit. This is when you start getting your head around the idea of 'forever', when you battle with the idea that perhaps now you can go back to 'moderating', when you have to find new ways of dealing with fear, anxiety, elation, with life.

Then, as you reach your first soberversary, you start to think hey, I may have got this now. I can do it. I've done my birthday, Christmas, a whole twelve months of ups and downs. Hurrah, but then....

....what next?

And Phase Three is all about working out what to do with the rest of our lives.

You see when you get sober you're left with huge chunks of time to fill, and massive amounts of energy and passion (because we 'overly-keen-imbibers' are a hugely enthusiastic and passionate lot - that's what got us into this mess, isn't it?).

You're also left with a sense of having wasted too much of your life and a realisation that time is precious.

Plus, twelve months of facing up to your fears and trepidations sober has given you back your courage and your drive.

So you start to think what am I going to do now?

And, funnily enough, the process of getting sober often involves re-discovering old passions, or finding new ones.

In order to make it through wine-o-clock day after day after day we take up things like running, yoga, knitting, baking - whatever stops our minds racing and keeps our hands occupied.

Then, miraculously, for many of us, the hobbies that saved us become a career. Anneinsobriety became a yoga teacher, melanie-from-boston set up a jewellery making business, Lucy Rocca took up running and founded Soberistas.

And my old passion, the thing I did to wind down, to take my mind elsewhere, was writing and reading.

When I got to my soberversary, last March, I thought how can I turn my passion into a job? And, in doing that, how can I help as many people as possible who are stuck in the same hole that I climbed out of a year ago?

So I wrote a book proposal, based on this blog, and I sent it to a few agents. Then my agent sent it to a few publishers. And along the way I got a whole heap of rejections which, in the old days, would have had me weeping into several glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and resolving never to bother again.

But, along with the rejections, I had some amazing feedback from women (all women, funnily enough. The men usually didn't bother replying) who really got it and who said there is a need for this book and we want to help you publish it.

AND YESTERDAY I AGREED A BOOK DEAL with a wonderful team at one of the biggest and best publishing houses in the world. All being well, it'll be on shelves in January 2018.

That glass of wine might give you a momentary buzz, but there is nothing like the high of having worked at something really hard for months, having been knocked back but having picked yourself up and then, finally, to have achieved what you set out to do.

That's a high that lasts for days and doesn't end with a hangover.

So, to all of you who helped me get there, thank you. I could not have done it without your support and encouragement.

And please believe me when I tell you that quitting booze really does change your life.

Love SM x

43 comments:

  1. eeee! Congrats! Looking forward to reading it! xoxoxo

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  2. Omg!!! That's fab news!!! Congratulations!!! So inspiring! I have my own ironing business and the sober me is realising how much I hate it, I've always loved fitness and would love to have a career in that area?!?! Early days but maybe just maybe!!! Xxx

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    1. Was that a typo...an ironing business?? You may have just given me an idea!!

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  3. That is amazing. It really is! And to think, if you had just kept drinking, none of this would have happened. Thanks for the inspiration. ; )

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  4. FANTASTIC NEWS and so richly deserved!! Couldn't be happier for you SM. You rock! xx Catherine K

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  5. Congratulations! Amazing news.. the best Christmas present you could have hoped for !

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  6. Congratulations! Amazing news.. the best Christmas present you could have hoped for !

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  7. Congratulations! Amazing news.. the best Christmas present you could have hoped for !

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  8. Well done, wow wow wow! Can't wait to read the book. You are like my celebrity sober blogging inspiration. xxxxxxxxx

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  9. Yaaaaaay!!! Utterly, utterly deserved!! Congrats, lovely SM. Red xx

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  10. Wonderful! I can't wait to put in on my kindle!

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  11. Well done and congratulations! Xx

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  12. I am so deeply and exceptionally thrilled for you! You are amazing.

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  13. Over the moon to hear this news! No one deserves it more!!

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  14. You are incredibly smart and talented and I for one can't wait to buy it! I am don't think I would have made it as far as I have without your blog and the trail you blazed one year ahead of me.

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  15. Aw well done you. That is great news and very well deserved. You have been an inspiration and support for me and so many others xxx Great Christmas present x

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  16. Congratulations SM that's fantastic news! I can't wait to read it!

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  17. CONGRATULATIONS!!! The best news and thank you for your beautiful email xx

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  18. Teary and dizzy with joy for you SM - but how will I be able to wait a year to read it! Thanks for being such an inspiration xo

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  19. Teary and dizzy with joy for you SM - but how will I be able to wait a year to read it! Thanks for being such an inspiration xo

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  20. Congratulations!!! SO very happy for you! xo

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  21. Well done Claireperth and brava Sober Mummy! Well done, big hugs to you both.

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  22. So very excited for you. Well done. And so very excited to read it - so long to wait ( I've definitely found that sobriety brings back my childlike anticipation and longing for things I look forward to eg holidays, Christmas and fantabulous books I want to read!) well done claireperth. Only a couple of weeks until my soberversary!!

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  23. Brilliant SM, cannot wait for the book..I will be sharing it...what a difference a year makes..I will be 9 months on Boxing Day, and still trying to work out what I do next,,,big changes..children almost left home.....thank you so much for sharing your journey...it's truly changed my life,,,for the better,,,,have a wonderful Christmas.xx

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  24. What a great post, I love it!!!! I'm approaching my 1st soberversary on 28th December and I have loved reading your blog xx

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  25. Congrats - and please plan ahead - I'd like to have a signed copy to Eeyore and I'll pay extra for and the handling to the US. Eeyore - who past one year last week!

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    1. Huge congrats Eeyore! That's awesome! If I get to do a launch event in the US you'll get an invite and I'll hand over that copy in person :-)

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    2. Oh, lovely - I'm in the San Francisco Bay area - and do get to London and New York from time to time as well (and I should have written "passed").

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    3. Eeyore, if you get a spare moment can you e-mail me about your first year sober and I'll share it on the blog? Sobermummy@gmail.com xxx

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  26. Thrilled for you SM. How exciting. I am having a lovely hangover free xmas holiday and its all thanks to you - would never have even thought it was possible. You have changed more lives than you will probably ever know. Can't thank you enough, we all probably feel the same. X

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  27. HUGE HUGE HUGE congratulations! xxxxx

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  28. This is fantastic news! You have put a lot of effort into this blog and your book and you deserve buckets of success. I am 94 days af and I owe a huge chunk of that to your blog. Your wonderful writing style, inspirational insights, and tips/tricks for staying sober when the wine witch was bellowing in my ear have saved me! If you're ever wondering whether what you're doing makes a difference, IT DOES!! Best of luck on your book launch. I can't wait to read it!

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  29. Massive congratulations!!!! Long may you continue to motivate and inspire 😊 You're such an outstanding advocate for sobriety and I can't wait to read your book 😊 xx

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  30. So excited for you SM!! Looking forward to your book :) Its day 200 for me and I just left my first drinks party. It was a very odd feeling and I'm still a bit on edge. But at least I know I will wake up in the morning feeling great :)

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  31. I love this! The phases....it's just what I needed today on my day 1 and so much energy, passion, excitement and hope in this blog! I can't wait to read your book, you will do amazing....and CONGRATULATIONS!
    Hugs,
    Christy
    Runningfromwine.wordpress.com

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  32. Congratulations! I hear you about "time back", I now have a whole waking day a week to fill thanks to some time out from drinking... Just got to work out what to do with it all! LOL

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  33. Congratulations SM, well deserved. I am sure it will help countless women in their struggle with wine and all the other liquids we sip. Wishing you every success with this endeavour and delighted you are getting recognition for your hard work.

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  34. Hooray for SM!! Can't wait to read it! Do we really have to wait another year or did you mean 2017?

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  35. I really really really love this. This has helped me so much today. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I don't know why I am writing everything in three's but there you go!

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  36. Congratulations. You deserve all of this. You are amazing!

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  37. Fab news. What a great present to yourself. Can't wait to add it to my Kindle.

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  38. Wonderful! And thank you for sharing your journey all along!!

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