Thursday, 29 March 2018

Sober Easter Holidays



Before starting this post on Easter holidays, I just wanted to say a huge thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, to all of you for your incredible support after my mini meltdown last week.

I am so, so sorry that I haven't been able to reply to you all individually, but your messages meant so much to me.

I was reminded, yet again, that this sober tribe is made up of the most generous, thoughtful and amazing people. You are all superheroes.

Thanks to you, I'm back to feeling chirpy, plus the weather is improving, and we're into the Easter holidays!

But I know that holidays are not the easiest time if you've recently quit. I've had a number of messages over the past few days from people worrying about how to get through them without drinking.

I really love sober holidays now and can't imagine doing them any differently, but it takes a while to get there.

I think the biggest issue is that we've conditioned ourselves over years - or decades even - to associate holidays with partying. And by partying, I mean drinking. 

The Easter weekend, for me, was all about being able to have long, boozy lunches that went on well into the evening. Then long, boozy evenings that went on well into the night.

But, you know what? At the end of that weekend, I'd feel awful! I'd be toxic, anxious, depressed, exhausted and run down. I'd go back to work feeling like I needed..... a holiday. But wasn't that what I'd just had?

The trick is to redefine what holidays are about!

Now I see holidays as a chance to look after myself, to recharge and reset and get ready for new challenges ahead.

I get loads of sleep, eat well and go on long walks, so that by the end of the holiday I feel amazing.

More importantly, I see holidays as a time to reconnect with my family, especially my children.

Over Easter holidays of old, I'd spend a lot of time trying to escape the children so I could drink with my grown-up friends. Now, the holidays are all about doing things together. Making memories (that you actually remember!)

A bit of over-indulgence is still obviously crucial, so this weekend I will go a little crazy on the chocolate.

So, if this is your first sober holiday, be good to yourself. Easter is a great time for new beginnings. Hole up in a cosy cocoon for a few days and get ready to fly.

Talking of flying, my New Year's resolution was to do more new things this year, so a few weeks ago I booked us all an Easter holiday in Ibiza!

It turns out that no-one goes to Ibiza in April, because all the clubs are closed and the weather isn't great (but no worse than August in Cornwall, which is what we're used to), so I managed to rent a villa for a fraction of the normal cost.

I've always wanted to go to Ibiza, but - back in the drinking days - I was a bit worried that, on a party island, like that the wheels really would come off! I might never have come home.

Now, that's not an issue. My wheels are firmly stuck on.

I'm hoping that the island will be pretty quiet, and we can drive around visiting local tapas restaurants and deserted beaches and just chill.

Mr SM has obviously booked the cheapest flights available - RyanAir. He then had a panic about having to pay for everything apart from the actual plane as 'extras.'

"Do we really need any suitcases?" he said. "And surely we don't need to sit next to each other on the plane?"

I had a panic yesterday when I received an e-mail titled IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FLIGHT!

Arrrgghhh! I thought. They've cancelled it (RyanAir have form in this area).

Turns out they haven't (yet), but as this is a flight which is very popular with hen and stag parties, they've issued a complete ban on any alcohol on the plane.

ALL BAGS WILL BE SEARCHED! ANYONE SHOWING SIGNS OF INEBRIATION WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE PLANE!

Hilarious!

Have a wonderful Easter, everyone! If you want to see any of my smug holiday pictures, you can follow me on Instagram @clare_pooley

There's inspiration and information every day on the SoberMummy Facebook Page ('like' page to stay updated).

If you're looking for holiday reading, then look no further than The Sober Diaries. You can read the first few chapters for free by choosing the 'look inside' feature. Click here for UK, here for USA and here for Australia.

And, finally, you can see my TEDx talk - Making Sober Less Shameful here.

Love to you all, and see you on the other side,

SM x


144 comments:

  1. Have a great holiday Clare and family! Your post came at a goodtime- i drank last night and am feeling grim this morning. The plan was to take the dogs and the children to the beach for a walk then lunch, but first I need a thousand cups of coffee and have to sit through yet another Despicable Me dvd.It simply was not worth the2 glasses.

    Enjoy - and check out this link about budget airlines. Cracks me up every time.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPyl2tOaKxM

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    1. Oh you poor thing! Don’t despair - see it as a lesson, and next time you’re tempted remember how you felt this morning! You can do this! πŸ‘ŠπŸ» Thanks for the hilarious video! So true 😬

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  2. Love this! Happy easter lovely lady, have a fab holiday! We are off to Crete, same as you got a good deal cause start of the season and no guarantee with the weather, but that’s fine by us!!! Omg how do you judge if someone looks drunk or not to get on the plane, I’m always a bit giddy and hyper at the airport, plus a new pair of wedges on and I will look like I’ve had a bottle of vodka!!!!! πŸ˜‚ have a lovely easter sober warriors and stay happy and healthy!! Xxxx

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    1. Have fun in Crete! I’ll be checking your Instagram for pictures! Xxx

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  3. Have a great Easter you deserve it. I found your book in the library and read it straight off. I have a friend in rehab for the second time and want to know how to support her, we are 300 miles apart. The book gave me some idea of what she is going through. I write every week a letter of mundane ramblings as I reckon she gets everything else from AA. Is there anything else I can do to help her? I,ve never replied to a blog before but I'm looking of ways to help her.

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    1. Hello! What a lovely friend you are! I think the main thing you can do is to congratulate her endlessly. Her self-esteem is probably at rock bottom. Tell her she’s brave and wise and wonderful. And when you see her, organise really interesting things to do that don’t involve bars or restaurants - like theatre, or hiking, or a spa day, or an art gallery, so she knows that life can be fabulous, and your friends will still be there, after booze. Sending you both lots of love xxx

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  4. Thank you for this positive and uplifting blog! Yes, a sober Easter is a beautiful thing.

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  5. Hi from sunny Florida!
    Clare, I'm so happy to hear you are feeling better. Hope you have a super relaxing holiday in Ibiza. Tomorrow will be 60 days for me also my first sober holiday....yay! I am excited!!! :-)
    Happy Easter!
    J xxx

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    1. HUGE CONGRATS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you, Joni! xxx

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  6. Happy Easter! Have a fabulous time in Ibiza. x

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  7. Enjoy your family time Clare. Wishing you all a Happy Easter! Xxx

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  8. Good Clare
    Glad to hear you’re back to yourself and up and running!!
    I was worried about you

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  9. Clare I am halfway through The Sober Diaries and last night I shed a few tears thinking about the fact that I am tearing through it and soon I'll be done and then what?! I'll be sure to check your blog and Facebook page regularly. Thanks for writing in such a way that makes me want to be part of your sober (but the fun loving kind of sober) tribe. You are the bees knees!

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    1. So glad you're enjoying it! Thank you xxx

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  10. I'm three months in and feeling superrrrrr!!!!! First AF holiday coming up in 2 weeks. I agree with you - this will be a time to really pamper myself, slepp, eat and think mindfully! Love your posts Clare. You continue to help me change my life. Love to you xxxxx
    PS Hope you have a fantastic time In Ibiza ��

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  11. I’m also 3 months in today. My gorgeous Dad is dying and my son commented earlier that he didn’t know how I was managing that without alcohol. I realised that I didn’t know how I’d manage it if I was still drinking!!! They’d be endless tears of self pity, an inability to be so sensitive to the needs of my Mum, children and close family. And with them all boozing in the evenings - no one sober enough to drive to the hospice whenever the call comes from Mum to say that we are needed. This is an extremely sad but special time that I shall remember clearly as I’m not trying to drown all the emotions with the wine witch but am instead properly present with my lovely family.

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    1. I'm SO sorry about your Dad. So very proud of you for coping with it sober. You will never regret it. Huge love and strength to you xxx

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    2. Thank you Clare. Dad died 3 days ago. I’m so sad but still AF. I can’t say it’s been easy, there has been times I have craved ‘something’ - but I acknowledge that booze would be a temporary high which would lead to inevitable over indulgence, self pity and a raging hangover 😫 So - no intention of going there!! πŸ‘πŸ˜„
      Your blog and all the comments from others are so helpful, inspiring and encouraging. 😘

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    3. I’m so sorry. Did your Dad know you’d quit drinking? Was he proud of you? Sending lots of love πŸ’•

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    4. Thanks Angie F. Xx
      Yes he knew and he was proud - thank you for reminding me of that 😘
      He told my mum I had his stubborn streak so if I said I was doing it, I would!!! lol πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ‘

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  12. I'm so jealous of you booking a holiday! Hope you have a lovely time in Ibiza (I went with my mum when I was little and we had an amazing time exploring the Island).

    Looks like lots of us went sober at the start of 2018 and are still here, a quarter of the way through the year! Feeling so good and settled in my decision to stay off the booze. Thanks for being part of the journey.

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  13. So glad you are back on site
    Your book has changed my life
    I feel as if the next chapter of my life will be so much better than I could ever imagine after decades of living a half life
    Have a super holiday xxx

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  14. I'm really struggling at the moment. I'm 92 days AF and I know I won't have a drink but I'm not feeling positive about it anymore. I've felt like this for a while now. We've been to parties and I have coped well but yesterday we had some friends over for the afternoon and it was the first time I have hosted since I quit. I didn't know how to behave, even in my own house. I couldn't relax and felt like I was outside looking in on any given conversation. I felt myself clock watching and just wanted everyone to go. I didn't enjoy the time at all. Some were drinking, some were not. I looked at one of my friends (who wasn't drinking) in absolute fits of laughter thinking, how do you do that? The only time I'd have got that hysterical before now would have been after a few glasses of fizz. I bought a decent bottle of AF prosecco but that didn't do the trick. Neither did a few bottles of Becks Blue. I felt miserable when they all left. All those feelings of 'why am I doing this?' came flooding back. I don't like to admit I'm struggling and 'what's the point?' but it's just how I feel. Apologies for the doom and gloom. I'm sure I'll be ok in a few weeks. Clare as always thank you so much for your fab post and I hope you had a wonderful Easter in Ibiza!! Good luck to everyone and also happy Easter to you all. Jacqueline xx

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    1. I remember having a lull coming up to 100 days .... Hang on in there, you will soon be relaxed again. 100 days is quite a milestone ... Well done!! You should be so proud .... It all gets betterer .. Promise :-)))

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    2. In was the same as Jacs60, I think in your head you build up to 100 days and it’s a lot of pressure on yourself. I always say the highs are high and but lows can be low too when your on your alcohol free journey. Just think If you would have been drinking it would still have been a crap day, that’s just how you felt that day? It was a low day but at least it wasn’t a low day with a hangover! Plan somthing to treat yourself for 100 days then aim for 150, plan ahead how you will reward yourself (u used to pencil in every 10 days in my diary and even if it was just buying myself a coffee in a lovely cafe with a new magazine, it was just me time for a few hours!) you had a crappy day but look at all the good days and how far you’ve come. Hang on in there, big easter hugs! Xxxxx

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    3. Hey Jacqueline, you have done amazingly well getting to 92 days so please hang on in there. I can see how you feel having doubts about why you are doing this. I felt the same and got bored and slipped off the wagon at day 70 thinking I could now drink in moderation. But I binge drank for a few days and felt absolutely horrendous and seriously regretted it ever since so its just not worth it. Being sober can feel dull and boring but remember alcohol can make you feel depressed and anxious so please try and keep positive. Like Ange said can you reward yourself at day 100, do something you really like to make you feel happier? Be proud of what you have achieved and maybe even avoid social events for a bit if they make you feel bad. Everyone says we will have ups and downs and doubts but please stay strong and positive and look forward to that 100 day milestone. I'm sure you will ride the storm and feel better in yourself soon, stay strong. Sarah xxx

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    4. Hope you are doing ok Jacqueline, thinking of you xx

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    5. hello lovely. Hope you are okay. This is the hardest time in many ways as the novelty's warn off, but it's still hard. I remember those scratchy feelings at social gatherings really well. You've spent YEARS using drink to cope, so it's bound to take a few months to adjust. It WILL get easier! Hang in there....

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    6. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for your support. I'm overwhelmed. I'm overwhelmed full stop right now. I'm 100 days in today and am very tearful. I'm having an identity issue. I don't know who I am. I have always drank alcohol; its been my stage - my life. Now I've stepped off the stage and I don't know how to be. I thought all my relationships were changing but now I'm realising that my friends haven't changed at all. It's me. I will of course continue on through this but have now realised just how much those rose coloured alcohol specks clouded every single thought. They were my coping mechanism. Now I've thrown them away I feel vulnerable. Thanks again everyone. It means heaps to me. Jacqueline xxx

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    7. Hi Jacqueline, firstly a big congrats on reaching day 100, that is so amazing. But sorry you are feeling so low. I'm a couple of weeks in after a few blips and am still feeling positive but the thought of being sober forever seems very scary to me and frankly quite dull and boring!! But you know you don't want to go back to the way you were so being sober is the only option isn't it. I got to day 70 and fancied a glass of wine so treated myself thinking I was safe to do moderation only to binge drink for a few evenings, it was horrible like I couldn't stop myself. Then got back into that horrible wine o'clock struggle with the wine witch. However boring being sober is I know I can't go back to that again, waking every morning feeling dreadful and full of anxiety etc. Can you try and be your old self, but without the alcohol? I socialised sober recently (a very rare occasion) and forced myself to be the life and soul otherwise I knew I would sit and be a miserable teetotaller. Please try and be positive and happy although it is so very hard but I guess we all know this is going to be a very long journey with all its ups and downs!! I hope you are ok and can see some light at the end of the tunnel. The alcohol didn't make you, but it probably gave you confidence and made you happy at times. But then remember all the owners which have made you get to where you are. Please don't look back and try and embrace the future. Big hugs, you are amazing xx

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    8. Hope you are doing ok Jacqueline, I keep thinking about you. Hope you are feeling a bit happier. Please stay strong xxx

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    9. Thank you both so much for your lovely replies. They mean so much. It's true I have been knocked for six. So determined was I, and then suddenly hit with all this emotion that I would normally drown out with a bottle of wine. I will continue of course. I'm not giving up. Love to both of you and am in this with you. We will do it. Above all else, booze is not my friend and I tell myself that all the time. You are both amazing. Jacqueline xxx

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    10. Jacqueline, you are amazing for getting to 100 days so please don't give up Now, however tough it is.
      You are so right, booze has never been out friend, please try and stay positive although it's so hard at times isn't is. But I never want to go back to the way I was and I'm sure you don't either. Stay strong xxx

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    11. Thanks so much Meggie. I think in addition to packing up the booze my weight has started to go up which hasn't helped so I'm going to keep a close eye on that and start exercising. Thanks a mil for your support. Hope you are doing ok xxx

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    12. Hi, I'm doing ok-ish thanks. This journey can be very hard can't it with all its ups and downs. I'm feeling v tired at the moment and sober can be so bloody boring and the thought of forever absolutely terrifies me but I have no choice having slipped off the wagon before. I clearly can't do moderation hence I'm here! I'm re-reading Clare's book at the moment and she was even still struggling at day 91 and poured a glass of wine and nearly caved but stayed strong so hopefully you can do the same. I don't think you will cave but you're having a bit of self doubt which is v understandable, I guess after relying on booze for years to give us that oomph we are going to miss it for quite some time. Perhaps focus your energies on getting fit and losing that weight although I'm sure you are fine and look tons better than when you were on the booze! Please try and stay positive and don't be too hard on yourself. I so admire you for reaching 100+ days, I'm on day 24. Take care and try keep happy ☺ xxx

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    13. Thanks so much Meggie. I hope you are doing ok. You are doing fantastic and yes you are right, moderation isn't for us. I am, believe it or not, getting used to AF wine now. There are some really good ones out there. Not bad at all. Poured in a wine glass, I feel like I'm having a drink. I don't analyise it much and don't do it all the time but a glass with dinner or just after a manic day really helps. I'm still going but have stopped counting the days in my head. Funny that, as I was obsessed before. I just count the months now. The wine witch is still there but distant and I'm sure even if I really wanted to drink and actually did it, would be sick as it's been a while and apparently your body wouldn't like it! I still have my moments I won't lie but I know that one day none of this will bother me and that's what I'm aiming for. Bit by bit it will ease. I've still got a long way to go but I've started training a couch to 5k with my young daughter and I'm back on weight watchers to get the excess weight off from eating all the chocolate since I quit booze so little by little... Big hugs to you Meggie. All the luck in world to you - we can do this. You are amazing. Jacqueline xxx

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    14. Hey Jacqueline, thank you so much for your lovely message, it brought a tear to my eye! I really appreciate your support and I am glad you are sounding so positive, you sounded a bit down a little while ago and I was worried about you. That's fab about Slimming World and couch to 5k, I bet you will feel amazing once you shed the weight and are fitter then combine it with no alcohol, bring on the summer!! I do 5k parkruns and they are so much easier when I wake up with a clear head, I used to fight the wine witch every Friday night dithering about how much I could drink and still run, it wasn't good. I'm sure you will smash it. And you're right, little by little. Think I won't keep thinking about forever as it depresses me, week to week is good enough. Btw what AF wine do you buy? I tried a red cabernet sav and I didn't like it, any tips would be good please. I'm still downing loads of Becks Blue and Seedlip spice which help but I was a big white wine drinker so any substitute would be good!! Thanks again for your support, it has motivated me to stay on the straight and narrow. Big hugs to you too, we definitely can do this xxx

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    15. Hi Meggie! Lovely to hear from you again! And so lovely my last message cheered you up! Brought such a smile to my face. I almost missed your message as we are about 3 or 3 posts down on Claire's blog! We'll have to start a new one on her most recent! Glad you are feeling better and you are right, you so can't think that this is forever right now otherwise it will do your head in. One bit at a time. I'm still up and down all the time with my emotions but with any new lifestyle you are going to have that and I know it's going to take me a long time to get through this. I still miss drinking but I don't if you get me? One thing I can tell you is that I was obsessed with counting the days I had been free and then once I got to 100 days, that sort of disappeared and I've found myself counting in months now so that has to be a good thing. The 5k training is going well and I force myself to do that, however knackered I am when I get in from the office and it's great to have the time with my daughter, without phones or other distractions. I so agree with you about boozing and exercise. I pretty much organised my whole life around drinking. That always came first and then anything else second. How controlling is that? And it's great that I don't have to bother doing that now. I was a great champagne and chardonnay drinker and would spend a fortune on the best I could get. I even had a chiller for it all. So trying to drink AF wine has been difficult. I started using the Becks Blue when I first stopped but now it's been four months without a glass if fizz, can actually enjoy an AF version. I've bought some prosecco from Dry Drinker and that was ok. Not a great fan of rose in the past I actually found one I like in Sainsburys. It's called Eisberg. They do a white too and chilled, it's ok if you fancy a glass with dinner. There is also a chardonnay in Waitrose that I've had which again, wasn't too bad. It will never match the real thing of course but it's ok for when the wine witch rears her head, albeit she is slightly distant now. You can do this - absolutely 100%. And I am right there behind you all the way. Hope to chat to you again. Take care and keep going! Don't think about forever - just tell yourself that you are choosing not to drink and this is a new lifestyle. Big hugs to you J xxxx

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    16. Hi again, hope you are ok. Was thinking about how we keep in touch
      and we could move to SM's latest blog however it will keep moving down won't it and anyways I just look for the Easter one as it's easy to remember. Then I just look to see if the number of comments have increased and if they have I'm guessing it's you! I'm in a little group in the newbies section which you are very welcome to join but I have to scroll down and load about 4 pages to get to the latest blog there which is a pain and I think you are pretty much beyond being a newbie now and it might do your head in!!
      I do get what you mean about still missing drinking but then you don't. I feel like I am doing really well day to day and am not bothered about it most of the time but its just the odd occasion where I think a lovely cool glass would be nice and I have a couple of things ahead, like a girlie weekend away which would normally be fuelled with heaps of prosecco and stupid giggling, although the thought of prosecco does nothing for me now. But a sauv Blanc is a different story, hey ho. Thanks for the AF wine advice, I will give them a go, I feel like I need a treat. I did binge on the Becks Blue the first couple of weeks and it really helped to get me through the first few very long days. How much did you drink? I was on a bottle of wine a day sometimes followed by a large g&t then usually more at weekends, god thats probably 100 units, so you are right I just have to keep thinking of it as a new lifestyle, it is most definitely a massively large change to my lifestyle that's for sure!! I read an article yesterday about someone who gave up for a month and then went for moderation. Sounds unbelievably tempting but having slipped off the wagon so badly at 60+ days I so know it isn't an option for me really but bloody tempting all the same!! And I know what you mean about your life previously revolving around drinking, ditto. Seems ridiculous to let it control me that much. It was such fun at times though so I guess of course we are going to have ups and downs with our emotions with this big lifestyle change. I just keep reminding myself of my self-loathing when I would wake yet again feeling hungover and promised myself continually I would cut down or stop but I never did because I was simply addicted.... I do feel a bit dull and wonder what's the point sometimes and feel I am almost losing my identity and I think you have previously felt similar, but then what other choice do I have, I KNOW I can't do moderation so AF has to be the only way. Sorry to drone on, just trying to convince myself!! Thank you so much for being here for me, I really appreciate it and enjoy our chats as I feel you totally understand. And good luck with the running, have you got a particular 5k event you are aiming for or are you doing one when you are ready? I do love park runs as they are for all abilities and are very relaxed. Take care J and keep in touch. If we ever lose touch on this blog I think we should write on the latest blog or even email SM to put us in touch again. Thanks for being there and glad you are sounding so positive. Big hugs to you too xxx

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    17. Hope you are ok Jacqueline, I miss our chats xxx

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    18. Hi Meggie! I have been meaning to send you a note all week but work has been manic!! Thanks for your notes and I do like our chats. GOD I am finding it hard at the moment. We had the bank holiday weekend didn't we (if you are in the UK)! Glorious weather. Normally I would have been hammered for the entire time. Had friends over, BBQs, the lot. I did enjoy the time and it was nice sitting on the sun lounger with a cold Becks blue but that's when it really hit me - the enormity of my past habit.... I sooooo miss drinking I can't tell you BUT I'm not giving in. To go back to it now would be pointless. I'd be back where I started all over again and I'm not going there. On another note I'm 4 weeks in on the couch to 5K and enjoying it so it's all good. How are you doing? You must be coming up for 100 days now??!! Fab work you must be so proud. How are you feeling about your decision? I just feel stuck. Waiting for this pink cloud that Claire talks about. I don't feel free yet. Going to Italy in two weeks. Scares me to think that if I don't find a supermarket that sells AF beer I'll go off my rocker! Speak to you on here again. I'm going to post on the new one too as it's about holidays! But will of course keep checking this one. Don't worry about the identity issue. This is all about change and when we come out the other side it will all work out. No point in putting pressure on ourselves. We have enough of that for now! Love to you - keep going!! J Xx

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    19. Hi again Jacqueline, good to hear from you. Yes I struggled a bit over the bank hol weekend too (am in the UK as well) although I had to drive around dropping and collecting my kids so for a couple of days drinking just wasn't an option. And yes I would have spent most of it hammered too!! I'm only on day 50, I hit about 60 days then caved so had to start again. I'm doing ok day to day and don't crave alcohol but just feel a bit sad that I can't ever drink again. I know we must just take it one day at a time but we're going away for a few days in half term in 2 weeks time and we always go to our favourite pub for a lunch for a few cheeky beers and I'm dreading it already, at times it makes me feel a bit miserable having to be AF. I'm trying to reason with myself that I can limit myself to 2 beers....but then I will have wrecked what I've achoeved so far and will be back to day 1, be like Groundhog day. Then there's the summer hols to contend with too like your trip to Italy, one step at a time eh. It seems like you miss drinking lots too but you sound SO determined. I'm going to stick with you on this one, we will hit the pink cloud sometime. Although I think I will always want to have a drink, it was such a big part of my life.
      And well done about the couch to 5k, so glad you are enjoying it. I love running and sometimes it's what keeps me sane. Went out with the girls on Fri night and although I tried to enjoy myself and join in it all felt a bit flat and I was bored. They were drinking copious amounts of prosecco (which actually turns my stomach a bit now but I love white wine) and laughing away but I just wanted to go home. I wonder if it will always be like this, getting drunk was such fun and I do miss it. But then again I was up early Sat and ran a lovely 5k Park Run, wouldn't have been able to do that in my past life so have to keep plodding on!! My husband has been v supportive and will drink my Becks Blue but hasn't ever been a heavy drinker. He can't really understand why I can't allow myself to have a drink one night then abstain but then again I hid a lot of my drinking from him so i dont think he quite knows the extent of my problem!! Take care and keep going and I SO hope you find some delicious AF beer in Italy. I'd start Googling Italian shops that sell it, can't believe Aldi doesn't sell any AF beer or wine apart from shandy?!! Take care and keep strong. Sending lots of love xxx

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    20. Hi Meggie! What's this about ONLY 50 days!!??? That is FANTASTIC! You are selling yourself short on the massive credit you deserve. What you are doing is an amazing thing and of course it's going to be tough. I think you are marvellous to go on nights out with the girls - I'm not sure I could do that yet. We have had parties this year since I quit but I've had a handbag full of AF beer to get me through. I totally understand you wanting to go home and you are so right in what you say - it is like being outside looking in watching everyone get smashed. What I don't miss is having to apologise the next day for what I may or may not have said. And then beating myself with a stick all day, hungover, tired and miserable. That's not a good place to be. I think you are being incredibly hard on yourself - whether you went 60 days or a million and 60 days, the point is clear to see. YOU GOT BACK ON THE HORSE!!!! That speaks volumes in your determination. You are not the same person you were then and this time is different from the last. You are going to hit 60 days and it's going to eat your dust!! You are flying with this. If you are like me, two beers wouldn't even cut it. If I drank now, I'd have one, then I'd have ten, and then more and more. You get the picture. Moderation doesn't work for me. I'd have lunches at work, go back to the office and function - God knows how. Then I'd either go out after work or go home and it would be more drinks. Not before I'd raided Waitrose wine cellar on the way home. I was like a wind chime walking up the street. As the years rolled by, the more I drank and the more I needed and I'd always be the last one standing as my tolerance was so high. My husband doesn't really drink so I never needed to worry about driving if a night out etc. The hangovers would take days to go and to combat them I'd just drink more. This is why I know I can't go back. I was on a merry-go-round for years. I had to get off. In Jason Vale's book he says you shouldn't stop drinking for the reasons you know you shouldn't drink - you should stop for the reasons why you do drink. That's what keeps me in check. The reality of where my drinking was taking me was out of control. It stopped being fun and I was constantly trying to control something that was in control of me. Maybe cut back on the socials for a bit? This is such a life change for you and it's going to take time to adjust. And don't be hard on yourself about feeling sad when you think about never drinking again. That's normal and how you feel now. In six months time you'll be in a different place - and in a year it will change again. It can only get better. It has to. Be kind to yourself. You ROCK!!! BIG HUGS xxxx

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    21. Ps this is from me! J xxx

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    22. Hey Jacqueline, you are right, I do rock. And so do you!! Thanks so much for your lovely message and advice. And you're right, just 2 beers wouldn't cut it. Last time when I fell off the wagon after 60 odd days I did manage just 2 beers at lunch on the first day and was so proud of myself and didn't even drink in the evening. Shared a bottle of wine the next night with my husband thinking I'd nailed it. He then went away on business and I was back to my old self, I drank a bottle of wine followed by a couple of large G &T's, on a Monday night too, how sad is that? Then continued drinking for a few days til I knew I had to pull the plug on it again. I must say I've done the real hard work, getting through the first few days with those horrible 6pm cravings is the worst isn't it, they don't happen any more thankfully. Just need to keep plodding on. I re-watched SM's tedx talk last night along with a couple of other tedX's and they were really motivating (esp one by Claudia someone). Will order the Jason Vale book too. I also Googled AF beer for you in Italy, seems the larger supermarkets stock it so fingers crossed you will find some when you get there!! I also giggled about you walking down the road sounding like a wind chime, I used to buy wine from different places with cash so my husband didn't notice how much I was buying and when my online grocery shop arrived it would just have a bottle or 2, I'd bought the rest elsewhere. That's the only thing I've ever lied to him about, the quantity of alcohol I was drinking. Sometimes I would drink so much I almost felt like my body would give up and I would make myself seriously ill, god knows why!! Thanks again for being there for me and sorry about my moaning about being bored and sad about being sober, am feeling much more positive today and of course this journey is going to be hard at times. But it will all be worth it in the end and you're right, 6 months + down the line things should be different and we will both be so much stronger. I love your resilience and determination. We WILL do this. Thanks again and take care and big hugs xxx

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    23. Ps don't ever worry if you can't reply for a bit if you are busy, just keep in touch when you can xxx

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    24. Hello my lovely. Please don't apologise for writing how you feel. It is tough. Really tough and I feel privileged that you are able to tell me how you are really feeling. I've just read your post on Clare's latest blog. I really feel for you and was sad to read that your friends were trying to get you to drink again. You need support and they should be proud of you. Not trying to tempt you back into a lifestyle you are trying so hard to ditch. Have you thought about telling your husband how much you used to drink? It will definitely give him a better insight as to why you have finished the booze for good. I told my husband when I threw in the towel and packed it in. He had no idea as he doesn't really drink and as the fridge was constantly stocked up, assumed it was the same bottle(s) - I'd drink a bottle or two and then just add more. I'd hide the empties in the recycle under all the other stuff. He was quite taken back when I told him. I'd always have friends dropping in and I guess he thought they were polishing off the stock, but they'd only have a glass or two. It would be me drinking it like lemonade. I'd put in orders with Magestic, buy out of Waitrose, Tesco - wherever. Another thing that struck me is that not only are we ignoring the wine witch daily, we also waving goodbye to a past life, if you like. It's a huge loss. I often feel quite sad that I can't just hammer a bottle of something and don't enjoy the news of a party invite or some other booze up. I watched the royal wedding yesterday and back in the day, would have had friends round, drinking whilst watching it. God I miss that. BUT, it wouldn't have stopped there. I would have carried on and on, way after they had all left and today I would have been hungover and miserable. I get your bit where you'd drink loads on a Monday or drink so much you'd make yourself so ill. I've been there a thousand times and it sucks. That's the point I got to. Towards the end, I didn't get anything from 'doing drunk'. It had me by the throat so much that I felt compelled to do it. Had to. That's when I knew I was in a bad place and it's pure fluke that Clare released her book around the same time. I read that and the rest is history. You've got to crack on with this Meggie. You've got to see what it's like the other side. Be PROUD of yourself, what you have and what you've achieved. Never lose sight of what your aiming for and where you want to be. You live your life how you want to and don't let anyone take your strength. I'm behind you 100% and you will do this. It's going to take time, that's all. I really hope you are doing ok? Sending you sack fulls of love. Big hug to you. Jxxxxx

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    25. PS get Jason Vale's book - kick drink easily. It's a cracking read and it really will help you see the dreaded drink in a whole new light Jxxxxx

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    26. Pps! Thank you so much for googling Italian supermarkets for me!! That's so sweet and thoughtful. We fly this Saturday for the half term week. Off to the Amalfi Coast. I will have a hunt while I'm there. Jxxxx

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    27. Hi Jacqueline, thank you so much for your motivational reply, it's so lovely to have someone who fully understands how I feel and what I'm going through! I'm doing fine thank you but slightly apprehensive about the sober half term but we know we can so this! I have tried talking to my husband about my drinking, he's amazing, he can just take or leave alcohol and has probably only had a couple of beers in the whole 2 months I've been AF, probably as I haven't been regularly forcing alcohol down his neck so I don't feel bad drinking alone!! He has never been addicted to anything (I smoked many moons ago too) so doesn't really understand why it has to be forever, he thinks that I've done a couple of months now so why not allow myself a glass of wine should I want one. Don't get me wrong, he's not encouraging me to drink at all (not like my 'friends') but he can't really fully understand that I can't have just one as I might go off the rails again and there's absolutely no way that I'm going back there again! Like you the Clare book got to me at the right time, I had promised myself for years I would cut down/give up but like you it had me by the throat. It also has a number of my friends by the throat but they are choosing to ignore it, so be it. I've tried explaining things to a couple of them and even offered Clare's tedx link which I think really explains things but they aren't interested so I am just keeping a low profile now and avoiding some social situations (and just attend events I can drive to so no issues!!). I've had one friend plead with me to join her on the gin looking at me with doey eyes and another texting me urging me to drink on numerous occasions as she was. God I have had enough problems with the wine witch without friends joining in too! Although in their defence I was probably exactly the same, I hated someone being sober when I was getting lashed.
      Hope you have a wonderfully relaxing time in Spain, just think of all those days waking and feeling amazing and enjoying life rather than waking and feeling groggy and hating yourself like I would. Oh and I'm reading the Jason Vale book, God that's enough to scare you off drinking forever!! Thanks SO much for your support and pep talk, I really appreciate it. Take care and have a fab holiday and message me when you get back and tell me about your break. And fingers crossed you find some lovely AF Italian beer. Sending lots of love and hugs and strength xxx

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    28. Hello my love. Lovely to hear from you. I was a tad worried about you I confess. You really don't need pressure from your friends. You really don't need anyone trying to get you to drink. It's really sad that they don't realise your determination this far down the line. I get that sometimes we can have a 'few days off the booze' and then people say, "go on, have a drink". I've done it. But I also recognise when someone is really determined. It's admirable - maybe they feel in someway scared. Scared that they don't have the willpower like you and know they are trapped and by encouraging you back to the bottle, makes them feel better. It's a tough one. I've also been there in the past when friends have tried to talk to me about my excessive benders. I never listened either and carried on but I knew they were right deep down and it was fear that stopped me taking note and I carried on. Like smoking too, I used to smoke a packet, sometimes two a day but I had to get to that point where I thought 'enough'. That's what you did with the fags and what you are doing with the booze. It's fantastic. You are fantastic. You want to be free from all this and why shouldn't you? It's like a marathon. It requires committed training, which is tough. That's where you and I are right now. Training. Your husband sounds like mine. My husband has never smoked and hardly drinks. He says I'm a lot calmer now and my mood swings have gone. I used to think it was pmt but now know it was the drink/hangovers. My husband doesnt have an addictive personality like me. He can take it or leave it. I can't. Sure, I might be able to have a couple of drinks now and that's it. But it will plant the seed right back at the root I'm trying to kill off. Within a few days the moderation is out the window and I'll be back where I started. Take one day at a time over half term. Get some alcohol free beers and hang in there. We fly to Naples at 6am tomorrow morning... I will be thinking of you. We can both do it and I will think of you when I get tempted. (Although I won't actually have a drink - doesn't stop the cravings though!). Have a lovely half term week - where are you going? I will have Wi-Fi at the villa so will check in on here. Heaps of love to you. Keep going!! BIG hug J xxxx

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    29. Ps. Since going back on WW online and the 5k training I've lost 11 pounds!! In 5 weeks! Every cloud.......!!!

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    30. Pps!!! I've only found some flippin AF beer here in ravello! Couldn't believe it! Tiny shop in the back streets! I gave up looking and then there it was!!!! It's so hot here. Absolutely stunning. Wish I could send you a pic. Hope you are doing ok J xxx

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    31. Hi again lovely. Sorry, you are in Italy aren't you, for some reason I put Spain in my last message, durhh! And I knew it was Italy as I looked up Italian supermarkets hoping you find a nice AF Peroni!!
      I am fine thank you, holed up in a little cottage in the Peak District with Becks blue, AF cider which I haven't tried before and AF g&t, can life get any more exciting?!! My friends are lovely but I think do have issues themselves and can't break the cycle which I know from experience is bloody hard at first, especially the first few days and hence Clare's book really helped. I have tried explaining why I've gone cold turkey but they are choosing not to accept it although one friend told me she had fought the urge to drink on a Monday night after drinking all weekend as she thought about what I've said to her. I'm not trying to persuade anyone else to give up I'm merely trying to explain my position and get support. But then again I was probably the biggest drinker and the one urging others to keep up and always pouring massive measures etc etc so it's karma I guess!! I won't let them pull me down and always ensure I am on my guard, offering to drive etc. That's fantastic about losing 11bs, bet you feel amazing, I'm proud of you. That's a good steady weight loss and I bet you feel lots fitter too. I'm so grateful for your messages, you are SO positive and really help me. I have been on the newbies section but another member has slipped again and I almost find it pulls me down too which, combined with my friends isn't the greatest of help!! Have a lovely break and stay strong too although I know you will. And enjoy every minute of that sober holiday!! Sending big hugs and lots of love xxx

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    32. Ps just seen your last message about finding AF beer (it popped up after I published my message), result!!!!! Enjoy, you deserve it and I wish I could see pics of where you are xxx

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    33. Bonjourno from Italy! So naturally I have just been back to the back alley supermarket to clear out his entire stock of what he had left in the AF department! I bought two bottles to try earlier and I hoovered them in about 30 mins... I told him I'd be back tomorrow so he'd better re-stock! He nearly broke his neck this afternoon when I pulled this beer out of the fridge. In front of a packed shop he shouted 'no alcohol' pointing at the bottle in my claw. I merely replied 'good!' and tonight he gave me a discount on the rest!! I know what you mean about your pals and others that you are on this journey with. I am of course sure they have your best interests at heart and love you dearly and of course it's going to be difficult when people who you know are struggling get reeled back into drinking again. I mean this morning, at 4.50am people were actually getting pissed in this airline lounge we were in. I tried to think that this was a crazy thing to do but I couldn't. As before the turn of last year I would have been doing exactly the same. I was actually in panic mode when the drinks cart came round at 8am on the plane. This is the first holiday I've had booze free since I was a child. I had water with dinner tonight in the restaurant! Water!!?? I gave up asking if they had AF beer - they just thought I was asking for the real thing. I'm sitting on the balcony now looking out to sea.... Sorry I'm rubbing it in aren't I!!!! It's so peaceful and beautiful here. You must put it on your bucket list if you haven't been. Equally the Peak District sounds lovely - I definitely want to go there. Are you there for the week? I'm so glad you are doing ok and you sound really positive which is fantastic. You were in my thoughts this morning as I sat on that plane and the one person I knew I would be letting down if I caved in, apart from myself and my family would be you. I've made a deal with myself that there is no going back. So whenever I do get a wobble, you are there in the forefront. Have a super week, don't put yourself under an unnecessary pressure and above all, enjoy every minute. Big hugs my friend, love to you J xxx ps thanks for your lovely message. Always brings a smile....

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    34. Hi again my friend, that made me smile about you clearing the shopkeeper out of AF beer and him pointing out it's AF too! People don't get it do they?! Did you see that thing in the news recently about loads of bottles of AF beer being dumped, the police think they were stolen but the burglars didn't realise they were AF so then dumped them; hey we would have gladly hoovered them up!! And well done about not being tempted by the drinks trolley on the plane, these are all new milestones aren't they. I think I would find that hard, I became friends with the stewardesses on my last long haul flight as I visited them so often.
      All fine here, went for a lovely long walk early this morning in a beautiful location and it was so tranquil whereas on a bank hol weekend I would normally have woken up feeling groggy, gone out later and find the beautyspot packed. We're going out for a meal tonight and I'm driving so all good. Must say I'm a bit apprehensive about going out for a pub lunch tomorrow (We can walk there but it's a bit of a distance) but I might drive just to be sure. My husband still finds this all a bit of an overkill and smiles at my holiday reading material (Kick the Drink... Easily!) but is v supportive. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday,it sounds absolutely beautiful there, will definitely put it on my bucket list. Take care and big hugs, your messages always bring a smile too and encourage me to keep going with this AF journey xxx

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    35. Hello my lovely. I did laugh about those thieves pinching all that beer only to find out it's AF!!! Ha ha!!! God it's so nice to have some time out and I'm able to talk to you on here more often. Life gets in the way doesn't it? Work, stress, life stuff you know? When you are away from it all you chill out and focus on what matters. Sounds lovely where you are. And you are right, it's so nice not to be hungover. This way you get to enjoy, and remember everything. Drive to the lunch tomorrow if that's going to help. Do whatever works for you. Sounds like this is a bit of a milestone, like my flight. It may turn out to be all good - take some of your AF beers with you if that will help. Even if they charge you corkage? I'm sure they will sell some? It's not the same I know and God I have had a million urges out here to drown a bottle of wine or two BUT it's so not worth it. Besides which it's not an option for me. I've bought the Jason Vale book with me - he's to the point isn't he? I love it. Takes no rubbish and to the point! Glad you are having a lovely time. Pop me a note and let me know how lunch went. Proud of you!!! Toodle pip from across the sea. Love to you - big hugs J xxx

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    36. Morning, hope you are still having a lovely relaxing time. Had a lovely meal out last night with 2 AF beers so all good. Today's lunch has been constantly on my mind though. I MUST be strong but keep thinking a couple of cheeky beers won't hurt....but I know deep down they will and I don't want to ruin what I have achieved so far and let myself, my family and you down. God this journey is so hard at times!! Will these urges ever go?!! Hope you have a lovely day and I will keep reading the JV book. Take care xxx

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    37. Ps put off lunch out til tomorrow, bank hol and just too busy today!! xxx

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    38. Hello my love! Yes it is very very hard! Glad you had a lovely evening out. That's really good. I do feel for you. Ultimately it is always our own choice. Choice to have a beer or glass of wine. No one is going to judge you Meggie. I'm not suggesting do it if course! I'm here to support you whatever you feel/want to do!! Last night I sat in a restaurant watching everyone drink. It was the toughest yet. Grea restaraunt. Lovely warm evening. You get the picture. And if I put a quid down for everytime I've thought 'why am I doing this?' this past week, I could pay the mortgage for a month. But I know I'd feel good for around the first bottle. Then the high would only last that long. Then I'd be kicking my backside for the next how many days or weeks to come until I decide to start the while quit process all over again. I hear everything you say and know how tough it is for you right now. I feel exactly the same. What keeps me in check is remembering my own reasons for stopping in the first place. It's the first of everything without it isn't it? First holidays, Christmas etc. It will get better. Have a lovely time at lunch today and I really hope you enjoy it. Sounds like you are having a cracking week! I'm shattered today. We did a tour of Pompei yesterday and went to the top of the volcano that covered the city. Massive crater! And it is still active and was smoking away. Imagine doing that on a hangover!? I'd have collapsed. Was a mammoth day but awesome!!! Keep going my pal, I'm always here. Have a super day xxxx

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    39. Pps STAY STRONG! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! xxx

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    40. Ps. STAY STRONG!! You can do it!! Xxx

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    41. Ppppps! No I've been drinking.... it's the Wi-Fi - keeps dipping in and out. So I think it hasn't published but it has!! And the auto correct is driving me nuts so forgive the obvious typos!! Have a super day xxx

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    42. Pppppps I mean I HAVEN'T been drinking!!! What's wrong with me today!!!!
      .

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    43. Hello my lovely friend, I did it, I did it, I did it!!!! 3 pints of lime and soda, yay!! I was really worried about this lunch, possibly because it is my absolutely favourite pub with my favourite beer and is where I had my first drink when I fell off the wagon at 60+ days last time, exactly where I am now. This time I am stronger as last time I kidded myself that as I'd done a couple of months AF I was in control. WRONG. I'd been wrestling with myself for the last couple of days and as we were walking there I knew that although I wanted a drink I also knew I didn't and you were in my mind too. Thank you so much for all your support, I so appreciate it and it has really helped me. And god if you can manage the airplane trolley and nice Italian restaurants I'm sure I can damn well manage a country pub! And you're right, there has to be a first for everything. I am so pleased I did it, it feels like a hurdle I have got past. I would be hating myself now if I had caved and no doubt back on that horrible slippery slope. And I would probably have come back and carried on drinking. I'm off for a run soon to burn off my lunch calories, something I wouldn't have been able to do had I been drinking. Sounds like you are having an amazing break and that volcano sounds really interesting. And so much more fun without hangovers! Thanks again for all your support and I feel like you are about the only person who really understands me and I feel we are going through the same thing. I do feel you are that bit stronger than me though, you are resolute that you are not going to drink again. I am too but I keep having these teeny wobbles, although last night was clearly hard for you but you hung on in there, well done. Did you feel better once you got back to your villa last night? Must say I felt better/relieved when I got back to the cottage this afternoon. Off for my run now, take care and stay strong.
      And thank you for everything xxxxx

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    44. YAAAAYYYY!!!!!!! FANTASTIC!!!! I am bursting! Well done. Absolutely amazing!! I KNEW you would be ok and also knew that this one was a big deal for you. Absolutely brilliant. It's done and you came racing through it. You know I was re-reading Jason's book this afternoon. His reasoning on all this is so true. I don't know how far into the book you are but he's so damn right. There is nothing to miss out on - alcohol is a highly addictive drug and nothing more and we are free from the moment we take our last drink. There is no 'waiting' to be free. We already are!!! The relationship with the booze is DONE. Finished. I'm so proud of you and am always here. I'm chuffed to bits that I've been able to help you. I don't feel like I've done a lot but it's lovely to hear that you take strength from out chats. Means heaps. AND we are both STRONG. Hope you have had a great run. I bet you are flying right now. Onwards and up my girl! The power has never left you - it's always been there. I have to say this holiday, the first sober in I don't know how many decades, is turning out to be one of the best. Chilled, no anxious feelings about controlling my intake - no hangovers and remembering and taking in everything. Bliss. Sounds like you are having a great week. Keep going. You are damn well smashing it! Massive hugs xxxxx

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    45. Ps wobbles are normal. They are just thoughts that go as quickly as they arrive. Don't worry xxx

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    46. Hi again, thanks for your lovely messages. When I read them they put a smile on my face although this one brought tears to my eyes, in a nice way of course! I think you've really helped me by just being there, and listening to me wittering on! And I thought of you today when I was debating whether to drink and if we hadn't been having these conversations I may well have been weak and drunk today as no-one would have known. But I knew that I would be messaging you again later and I just didn't want to have to say I'd caved (whereas the rest of my friends would no doubt be gleefully clapping their hands) although I'm sure you would have understood if I had! I've been on a high tonight, relieved I got through it and I really couldn't face going back to day 1 again having got this far. Glad you are doing so well and feeling so positive. I think that enjoying our sober holidays totally outweighs those few times we have when we miss drinking, like you said you felt in the restaurant last night and my odd cravings over the last couple of days. Funnily enough I felt quite calm when I got to the pub as I'd made up my mind I was going to drink lime and soda, it was the day or so beforehand that I kept thinking about drinking, I suppose I linked drinking with having a good time at that pub. I now know I can have a good time there without alcohol. Phew.
      I'm nearly halfway through the Jason Vale book and yes he is damn right and we are now free from the drug (not sure I quite agree with the 'taste has nothing to do with it' section but the rest is all good although I reckon my husband thinks I'm becoming brainwashed, Lol!)
      Thanks again for all your support, I feel like Clare, Jason and you are getting me through this, thank you! We are strong and we are damn well smashing it. Enjoy the rest of your holiday and take care. Sending big hugs and lots of strength to you xxx

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    47. God I have had a morning on here today. I couldn't post on this site. I thought it might be because we have maxed out the space on this message! But I think it was my phone. I tried on my iPad and that seemed to let me in but crashed anyway so it must be the signal. I left you a message on the newbie post as I know you said you go on there. Again that crashed so I don't know if it worked! Whatever happens if this stops working I'll always leave a new message on Clare's newest post for you ok? So pleased for you 're yesterday and all the other milestones you have smashed. I'm always here and will never judge you. Whether you drink or not, I've got your back. You are only human. I'm not suggesting you do drink. Of course not. But do recognise 100% where you are at. Jason's book is full on I agree and he certainly says it how it is. I do find it a tad over the top especially as he drank for years but it's what you and I need to be reading right now. We don't need any wishy washy stuff. To the point is what we need to hear. He says be open minded and that's crucial. Pinch or bucket load of salt. It's super hot here today. 25 degrees this morning and that was at 8am! Hope you are having a lovely time where you are. Sounds lovely. So glad I have been a support for you. Ditto this end. I get heaps from our chats and you are a great support to me too. When the wobbles come, hear my voice 'YOU DON'T NEED IT!'. Our slavery to it is over. Have a smashing day my love. Mwah xxxx

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    48. Oh what a nightmare about the Wi-Fi but you got that in the end. Yes if we somehow lose touch on this blog we can either leave messages on Clares latest blog, good plan, or even email Clare to put us in touch with each other, I'm sure she wouldn't mind. And thank you about not judging me if I were to cave in but I am feeling very strong again and yes, however full on Jason's book is it's bloody good really, I do feel it's almost brainwashing though but who cares if it works! Glad the weather is so lovely there, we've had some lovely days but it seems to be changing now. Enjoy the rest of your break. And you're right, we are free, no longer slaves to that addictive poison, yay!! Take care my lovely friend xxxxx

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    49. Ps And as per SM's latest blog, we really are super heroes! Especially this week for dodging the plane's drinks trolley and my favourite pub!! Let's stick with this, all we can do is win now and we most definitely don't need alcohol ever again xxx

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    50. Hello my love. We go home today - fly back later this afternoon. What a week. It's been amazing. I hope you too have had a great time. Our first sober holiday - and we had them both at the same time? Don't you find that really spooky? In a nice way of course. Feel like I've had you on this holiday with me. You've definitely given me heaps of support. Hope you have a safe trip back and have enjoyed your time as much as I have. I've just posted on Clare's newest - we are sooooo the superheroes!! You take this strength to another level when you get home. You are the boss. You've run rings round the wine witch this week. Don't let her start nagging again. When she comes calling, show her the door! So proud of you. You show them!!!!! Chat when I'm home. Love to you xxxxx

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    51. Hi, glad you had such an amazing holiday and hope you had a good journey home. Yes it is spooky we had our first sober holiday at the same time and we absolutely nailed it didn't we!! I'm doing fine, not tempted to drink but not tempted to socialise either. Hoping the latter will pass soon as I've been avoiding social events and friends invited us to the pub tonight but I just can't face it but I need to snap myself out of this.
      Hope you are having a lovely weekend, big hugs xxx

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    52. Hello my love. First day back in the office and it all went crazy from the moment I arrived. What a day... ☹. I know what you mean. I've just declined a 40th birthday bash at the weekend. I can't be doing with that right now. The holiday was a big deal and one thing at a time. Hope you are doing ok? Xxx

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    53. Hello lovely, how are you? All fine here. I am still reading the Jason Vale book and feel like it's almost brainwashing me, I was in the supermarket yesterday and saw people buying alcohol at the checkout and I almost wanted to go up to them and say nooooo! don't buy it! Whereas I used to buy bucket loads myself, lol. I still find the weekends harder, I am quite relaxed in the week but do feel a bit on edge at the weekend. I heard the author Marian Keyes talking on the radio earlier about being an alcoholic and going into rehab and coming out and realising how much life has to offer and she never drank again and that was 20 odd years ago. It was very positive and uplifting and gave me a boost. Hope you are doing ok, big hugs xxx

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    54. Hello my lovely pal. How are you doing? Sorry it's taken an age... you can always tell I'm back in the office. I don't get chance to do anything as it consumes my every waking minute!! I know what you mean. Jason's book is full on and it does give a 100% 'booze is a no go, not missing anything, vile substance'. And makes you look at it in a whole different light. I guess that's the objective and it certainly does leave you thinking that way. I'm still in two minds about it all. I miss it of course but what do I actually miss? I don't miss how it used to make me feel and the depths it took me to - and I don't miss how it played havoc with my body. It's a tough one. But I also know that in this transition period, I'm changing. For the better! And the cash. Honestly Meggie I'm saving a packet and the weight is really coming off now that the sugar cravings have buggered off! I didn't know about Marian Keyes having issues with alcohol. I read her book Rachel's Holiday years ago. I found it a funny read back then and didn't connect that she may have been writing about her own experiences. Radio 4 had something on the other day about people and secret drinking but I can't remember what programme it was. It does seem to be in the news a lot more these days and people packing it in. Sorry to hear that weekends are leaving you a bit edgy. I PROMISE you it will get better. Trust me on this one. I've had my moments these last few months but wouldn't dream of drinking now. Can't imagine what it would be like. I'd be hammered after one glass! And worse for it. Probably make me sick. As well as the mental aspect of ditching it, our bodies have been doing a great deal of 'repair'. It wouldn't thank me..... really hope you are ok - you are never far from my thoughts. Let me know your news. Love to you Jxxx

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    55. Hi Jacqueline, good to hear from you. All fine here apart from my dreadful sugar cravings, thankfully I exercise a lot otherwise I would be as fat as a house! I am addicted to cake but have never liked cake before. Well odd. I keep buying Danish pastries, erm why??!! At least it's not alcohol I guess,things could be far worse.
      What do you mean in your last message about still being in two minds about it all, do you mean Jason Vales book? It is good but a bit severe and I'm not at the stage where I can honestly say I wouldn't enjoy a few drinks with friends like I used to and I do feel a bit deprived at times, but I'm not going there as I know where that would lead. I'm supposed to be going away with a friend soon but haven't firmed up a date as I know it just won't be the same, we normally meet late morning, lunch with a couple of bottles of wine, teeny bit of shopping then to a pub for cocktails all afternoon, some kind of food then crash out in our hotel room then spend the next morning feeling pants and trying to piece together the last night's events. It's always such fun (til the next day that is) and I know our trips away just won't be the same again and I can sense she's not keen going while I'm not drinking, she just thinks it's a phase I'm going through. But in the scheme of things it's nothing really, will have to find somewhere a bit more healthy to go like a spa!! But then I've had hangovers there too, hopeless!! Hope all is well with you my lovely sober buddy (I have only ever had drinkung buddies before) and take care xxxx

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    56. Hello my love. Yes I used to eat cakes like they were going out of fashion. I couldn't help it. But after about 3/4 months I snapped out of it. It became too habitual and I knew I didn't actually need it. The two minds thing is yes, Jason's book. In terms of how he views it all and how I do. Like you I used to love the initial getting drunk with my pals. Loved it. And had some amazing times. But I can now see how present I am in real life. I've never had such a clear head in all my life. I can think things through right to the conclusion instead of thinking about things for a bit and then blocking out the rest with a bottle of two of wine with the view that I'll think about it again next week. You will see as more and more time goes on, and the wine witch becomes less and less vocal how much you change as a person. The daily stresses are still there but you handle them so much easier. The pink cloud hasn't stopped since the holiday and life is really good. I feel elated. My life is changing for the better and although the invites for nights out have dried up, don't feel I'm missing out on anything. I don't know what to suggest re your weekend. I think if you go you'll surprise yourself on what a great time you will have. How do you really feel about it? Will it be too much too soon? How long are you AF now? You must be coming up for 100 days? You are doing so damn well and believe me you will get over the wall really soon. You know the field with bunny rabbits that Clare talked about? I'm there waiting for you!!!! Big hugs xxxx

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    57. Hey, good to hear from you again. I'm on day 84, not that I'm really counting now, had to check my app. £500+ saved and over 400 drinks not consumed so all good. Thanks for your support, I'm sure I will be with you in that field of bunnies soon! I'm really glad you are feeling so positive, it's spurring me on and I do remember you questioning yourself a couple of months ago when we first started messaging each other and I think you were where I am now if that makes sense. I feel absolutely great most of the time it's just missing those few drunken nights with friends but I've picked up a lovely couple of new friends along the way ❤ (you and a friend from an evening class who both understand me). I feel I'm losing contact with a couple of friends too but so be it, this needs to be about me right now and I'm not caving to a 'friend' who keeps inviting me out for a nice cold vino!! Another positive of being AF is that I can actually have phone conversations with people in the evening and be coherent and remember them! I used to dread people ringing after about 7pm in case I was a bit slurry, god how bad was that. So, thinking about it, it was all pretty bad really. I do remember the good times but when I think in detail about the self-loathing for drinking too much AGAIN, the hangovers, spending hours feeling rubbish and trying to piece together the previous evening... It's a no brainer really. Just annoyed with myself for wasting so many years on that downward spiral.
      Are you still doing couch to 5k? I'm so loving my running at the moment, how the heck did I ever run feeling muzzy headed before? I did, often! I think I will leave my weekend away with my friend til September, the summer hols are tricky anyways and I will be super strong by then. Take care and have a fab weekend. And thank you. And see you in that field of bunnies very soon!!!! xxx

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    58. Hello lovely. Ah thanks so much for saying what a lovely new friend I am to you! You are to me! And it's lovely that you've also met another friend who understands and supports what you are going through. All your relationships will change for the better and some of those friendships will fizzle out. It does become clearer and clearer what friendships will survive and what friendships were based purely on booze. A lot of my friends have come round to the idea now. They respect that I'm nearly six months in instead of trying to get me to drink. Even if I wanted to I know they would stop me if it happened now. And 84 DAYS!!! AWESOME!!! sooooo proud of you. And yes you are right. Read my old posts of when I was thinking what's the damn point in this and I didn't know who I was anymore. When I think back to that it feels weird that I would feel like that. It seems like it was ages ago but you are right, it wasn't all that long ago. You were good answering the phone in the evenings. I never even bothered. I'd just sit there watching tv or cooking - boozing my way through all of it. When I think of the money I would blow on nights out. Restaurant bills used to be through the roof. And the bar bills. Never remember half the evening and like you, would feel terrible the next day. I'd always get an uber home as I could never be bothered with the tube. Then I'd tip them a ridiculous amount (because it seemed like such a good thing to do at the time). It's no wonder I have loads more money now. It's brilliant you've got all that cash you've saved from ditching the booze. You should treat yourself to something. I haven't run since Italy but there are some changes at work happening so I'm going to be working from home more which will make things a lot easier. Then I can go out during the day so plan to get back out there. I do like running. I ran the London marathon many years ago and I was so fit back then. I might go in for a 10k or something later in the year. Good plan to have your weekend away later in the year. You will feel different by then - just take your time. It's all going to come together. We can both have regrets about how many years we spent drinking. But there's no point to it. The point is that we saw the light and broke free! You are doing AMAZING Meggie. Huge respect to you. Have a great weekend. See you in the field..... mwah xxxx

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    59. Ps. What you said made me look at my first post on here. Gosh I was really down wasn't I? And I was nearly 100 days in. I'm fact on my 100 day post I was particularly stressed. The time has gone so fast - I didn't realise that we've been chatting on here for nearly three months! Hasn't that gone quick!

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    60. Hi again, yes it has gone so quickly, hadn't realised it's almost 3 months we've been chatting. And it sounds like you've saved an absolute fortune so you should definitely treat yourself too! Your friends seem much more supportive than mine, would they really stop you? Mine would rub their hands in glee and pour me a large one! I do have some lovely friends but they just don't get it. Or don't want to get it. And you are so right, we don't need to have regrets about how long we've spent drinking as we are now free from it forever, yay! I do know somebody younger than me who died from alcoholism (and I'm ashamed to say I actually felt a bit jealous when they got help and went into rehab, although sadly it didn't work). I also read in the paper today about a mum who killed herself after causing the death of her son. She fell asleep on the sofa after a few vinos and had left a candle burning which set the house alight, god I've had a lot of near misses when drunk and thank my lucky stars nothing like that ever happened to me as it so easily could have done.
      I'm so glad that you are where you are now, it gives me hope that in say another month or two I will feel as positive as you are and be so resolute about never drinking again. I don't want to drink again but I still have the odd pangs. I didn't tell you this as I was ashamed but I actually bought a couple of expensive bottles of wine before half term as I thought I might treat myself... Obviously it couldn't just be one bottle. I think I felt a bit like SM pouring a glass of wine at about day 90 and just looking at it and feeling guilty when her husband came in. I hid them in my car as I didn't want my husband to see them (old habits never die!) and do you know what, they are still there! I know I don't want them and it's almost like I don't want to touch them and don't know what to do with them, I just felt a rebellious streak in buying them. We have friends round for dinner soon so they can drink them but they probably won't taste nice having sat in a warm car for the last month, hey ho, serves them right for being drinkers!! Part of the reason for not drinking them was that I didn't want to have to tell you I'd caved (but I know you would have been supportive even if I had) but you being there has really helped me. Thank you.
      And you're right, 84 days is bloody awesome and I really do think it's down to Clare and her book which kick started me. Although it's obviously taken a lot of hard work too. Just hearing her on radio 2 talking about drinking made me think 'that could be me', and I feel so lucky. How did you hear about the book?
      Right, I'm off to bed now for a lovely sober sleep. Take care my lovely friend and see you in that field of bunnies very soon xxx

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    61. Sorry, that really was a bit of a long one! Am on my own this weekend and obviously have too much time on my hands!! xxx

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    62. Don't apologise!! I love our chats. I'm honoured you feel you can confide in me. Do you know that? If I told you some of the things I have done when drunk, it would shock you. It still shocks me. That's what booze does. It removes any kind of reasoning. It removes who you really are and you become someone else. But as Clare said, you cant dwell on what has passed. Does no good at all to beat ourselves up on how we have behaved whilst under the influence. I read that story today about the woman who took her own life. Tragic doesn't even cut it. God what she must have gone through and how she must have felt. And obviously her poor son. So very sad.

      I don't see a lot of my pals these days partly because all the hosting was done at my house! (Yes let's all pile round to J's and get on it) and partly because I've stopped going out (to a degree). I just don't feel the need anymore. But I 99% know that if I ordered a drink they'd most likely ask me what the hell I was doing and I'm not going to think any less of you because you bought a couple of bottles of wine for your holiday. Whether the thought of telling me you'd drunk them or having to tell yourself you were going to drink them, the important thing is you didn't have them. If you had then we would have crossed that bridge together. What you need to do now is get that booze out of your car. Remove it from your thoughts. Stick it in the garden shed or in a cupboard and forget about it. View it as drinks for when people come round as you say. Don't associate it with your holiday just gone or the fact that you bought them for the reasons you did. Clear your mind. I have a ton of the stuff in my house, still from Christmas but I look at it that it doesn't belong to me. It's just there for others. Don't be ashamed of your feelings. I'm sorry to hear about your friend that died. That must have been such a shock. And that's the harsh reality of where that stuff can take you/us. And as I've said before I know you friends will love you but deep down may envy your strength and the decision you have made. What you and I are doing is one of the toughest things ever. Whatever happens, drink or no drink, we will work it out together. As I've said I'll never judge you - you can tell me anything. I'm here to listen and support you. And you are strong. You're stronger than you think. I know from reading your messages that you're not going to thrown in the towel. You will see this through and come racing out the other side. Beleive in yourself. It felt good reading my initial messages to you today - seeing how far we've both come. I really was in a bad way at the end of last year and was even more hammered than usual because it was christmas. Drunk and not enjoying life at all. I knew it was the end but I couldn't see a way out. Then I saw an article about Clare in the Daily Mail about her life with wine and ordered the book. I took my last ever alcoholic drink just before midnight on 31 Dec 2017 and I haven't drunk since. I didn't have a clue what was to come and took it day by day. Then I found this blog and you and the rest is history. Believe it or not my friends haven't actually asked me a great deal about it. Some of them don't know what to say or just don't bother. But as time is ticking on now, they have become used to the idea that I am serious about it and there's no going back. At first they probably thought it was some crisis that I'd snap out of. People don't know how to react and also people don't think the same way you do. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Have a super nights kip my lovely. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. How come you are home alone? Big hugs to you. You're doing great xxxx

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    63. Ps now it's my turn to apologise for the long post!!! Take care you xxx

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    64. Hey maybe we should trade drunken antic stories one day but I'm not sure where to start, there are so many! Lots of very funny ones but some very grim ones too. I really don't think you could shock me that much honestly! But you're right, we shouldn't dwell on the past and just be thankful that we are at this place right now.
      And I will remove the wine tomorrow, we have a cabinet with a lock on it and I shall put them there, out of sight out of mind. It was odd as I really don't know why I bought them as I wasn't having an urge or anything, perhaps it was just a rebellious streak to my clean living! In a way I'm happy to associate it with my holiday as firstly I was strong enough not to drink them, I didn't even unpack them (thry're still hidden under the passenger seat with a coat, lol!) and also I beat my demons in my fave pub that week, a bit of a milestone as you know. And you nailed it in Italy, we are superheroes!
      I went to a friend's remote cottage by myself this weekend, heavenly! She had asked us to check on it while she's away and my family didn't want to go so I went by myself and stayed over as it's quite a distance. Last time I went there I got hammered alone, this time I read, drank tea, walked and slept, perfect.
      Glad your friends are so understanding. I think you are right, my friends are probably envious of my decision to go AF and my strength of sticking to it. I do have one friend who lost a shed load of weight and at first people were really encouraging but then when she got skinny and looked amazing she felt they got jealous. Must say I was always jealous of people who could easily go without a drink for say 2 weeks. I would struggle in making 2 days. But not now hey. So I'll just carry on keeping a low profile about it.
      Thanks again for all your support and advice my lovely, it means a lot xxx

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    65. Hi, me again. My husband wants to book another holiday and said he'd like to go to Pompeii, spooky! Any tips about where to stay, where did you book your trip through, was it a package hol or did you book the flight and villa separately? Any advice would be v welcome and I hope you are well xxx

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    66. Hello my love! We stayed in Ravello and I booked this place called Villa Casale on booking.com. Lovely quiet villa overlooking the sea. In the past I've always booked hotels but we went to New Zealand last year and stayed in apartments as there aren't that many hotels. Soon realised how much more space we had and I've booked villas/apartments since. I always use booking.com. So much easier. I booked the flights separately and the villa organised a taxi for us at the airport. Pompei you will really like and we also went to the top of Vesuvius. I think I told you that. There is lots to do along Amalfi and you can also get a boat over to Capri. We're off to Croatia in August. Done the same for that. Villa and separate flights. I save loads doing it this way. Ravello is lovely and quiet but you can jump on a bus or in a cab and go anywhere. We booked the Pompei tour before we got there but you can book it up out there. All good this end. Work is manic but other than that.... I'm just knackered!! Try the website - there are loads of places on it and it's all rated. You'll see my rating on there for the villa!! Xxx

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    67. Hey lovely, thanks ever so for that info, its really helpful. I'm going to sit down and look at it tomorrow as I've been out tonight. Wow NZ sounds fab, what time of year did you go? We were thinking of doing Australia next year but it would have to be in the summer hols and it's their winter isn't it. I know its not exactly cold but can get chilly. Glad you are ok and hope you aren't too knackered. All fine here, had a lovely lunch with a friend, the one I said who is about the only other person who understands me apart from you. Well I say understands me, I mean doesn't try and encourage me to drink like my other friends! She's one of those people who can take alcohol or leave it and hasn't had a hangover for about 10 yrs, what on earth?!! But when I explain why I stopped and that I was on that slippery slope she's been really supportive and even drank lime and soda with me today, bless her! It really wouldn't bother me if she drank wine but I can tell she just doesn't need it. I'm nearly at 3 months AF, yay!! I really believe I won't go back to it now whereas I was having nagging doubts before. Take care xxxx

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    68. Ps I saw my sister today (for the first time in a while) and told her I'd quit alcohol (and taken up eating cake instead!) and she was quite surprised. Then she put some plants in my car for me and moved the coat and saw those 2 bloody bottles of wine and laughed when she saw them! Do you know what, I couldn't even bother to start to explain! If I'd been quick enough I could have said they were for her and offloaded them, durhh xx

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    69. Hey my love. You are most welcome. Have a good look on the site and see what jumps out. I used them for all our NZ and Hong Kong. We did a stop over on our way out. Another fab place. New Zealand was awesome. Stunning. I'd live there. Depends where you go in Australia. The gold coast and Brisbane are always hot I think. We went to NZ in February last year so it was their summer. The weather there is the same as us. Bit temperamental. Thats also where the hole in the ozone is. They dont sell anything under factor 50 and you can burn in an instant. We tied in half term and a couple of inset days. We've never taken our daughter out of school before and as we also had a wedding and it was her last year in primary, the Head authorised it. You can't go somewhere like that for a week or two. We hired a car and toured the north and south island. It was fantastic. She is just finishing her first year at high school so we wouldn't be able to take her out now. Australia is on our list too but will probably wait until she has finished school for that. That's fab that you had a lovely day out today. I bet you really enjoyed it and no pressure from anyone. She sounds really positive for you. And no hangover in 10 years! How? That will be us soon enough! And you at nearly 3 months AF!!!!! That is AWESOME. So chuffed for you. And it's great you feel you won't go back. I truly believe you won't too. Chat soon my love. I'm off to bed. I think I'm getting a cold. Or I'm just tired. The tubes are so packed and hot right now. It was 27 in London today. Not that I notice it in the office. Everyone has manic hayfever and its all a bit muggy...Speak soon my love. Big hugs xxxx

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    70. As I posted that I saw your next message. OMG how funny. You couldn't have planned that could you!! Great that you've told her. Great that you are telling everyone! Tell the world!! Proud of you xxx

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    71. Arghhh, wrote a really long message before and lost it!! Durhh! Here we go again..
      Thanks a lot for your travel advice and NZ sounds fab. And how are you feeling now , hope you didn't go down with a full cold in the end.
      All is good here and I've hit 3 months AF now at last, yay. I'm really enjoying not having to think about drinking all the time. We went to a show last week and normally I would have taken some G and T tinnies in my bag and would be racing to the bar at the break wondering if I could manage to get 2 rounds in. Instead I felt relaxed drinking my water and eating some yummy nibbles. Was supposed to go to a big do last night but dipped out of it and really didn't care. I spent a lovely chilling evening sitting in the garden with my family drinking becks blue. The old me would have got lashed and then I would have spent the next morning feeling pants and trying to piece together the previous evening, hating myself and feeling anxious whereas I woke feeling refreshed and went for a run. Loving life, happy, happy, happy!! Hope all is well with you my lovely friend and hope that you are having a good weekend. Take care and biggest hugs xxxxx

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    72. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to my fab pal MEGGIE on her 100 day AF!! so so proud of you. I really hope you are well and continuing to smash this!!! You sound very happy and long may it continue!!! What show did you go and see? So glad you are feeling positive. Chat soon my love and one again, well done!! Biggest biggest hugs to you xxxxx

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    73. Cheers my lovely Jacqueline, I am celebrating with a couple of chilled Becks Blue and am loving life! We went to see the comedian Lee Nelson so as you can imagine it was full of adults drinking. But not me! Hope all is well with you my love and see you in that field of bunnies soon ❤ Take care my lovely and big hugs xxx Ps have you had an AF birthday? That is my next hurdle but I know I can smash it too xxx

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    74. Yay Meggie. Fantastic. I'm bursting for you. Such an achievement. You sound SO relaxed and happy. Well done!!! Well done on the show and no I haven't had a birthday yet. Mine isn't until the end of December so I will be a year AF by then. But you know what, you will be absolutely fine. You have come a long way and now it sounds like you really are seeing booze for what it is - pointless. And you are also seeing just how great life is without it. You don't need it and socials and all that is to come you will cope, and enjoy them without the stress or pressure from yourself and others. You are STRONG and will not be beaten. So proud of you my fab friend. When is your birthday? Soon? Mwah xxx HAPPY 100TH DAY!!!!

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    75. Hi lovely Jacqueline, thank you for your lovely, positive message. My birthday is next week but it's not worrying me at all re alcohol but it will be interesting to see how others react. I bet my friends still buy me the customary booze related cards and fizz, lol I will have my AF fizz ready.
      Did you see the Daily Mail yesterday? My blood nearly boiled when I read the Steph and Dom advice page,wtf. Some poor lady wrote in saying she'd turned 50 recently and had given up alcohol a few months ago but had issues with her husband as he was still drinking. Doms advice was to start drinking again in moderation with her husband, noooooo!!! God giving up alcohol is so hard isn't it, it's such a long hard slog so to advise someone to re-start is so wrong. We all know Dom is most certainly alcohol dependant after his behaviour on Gogglebox so I guess an alcoholic is not going to advise someone not to drink but he's just so irresponsible and just doesn't understand. I'm going to email him and tell him what I feel, grhhh!!! Anyway, rant over. There's more important things in life.... like England winning the world cup. This is a first too, watching it sober! Take care my lovely friend and thank you for being so lovely. Guess you have just celebrated your 6 months AF? Well done you!! xxxxx

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    76. Hello my love. I've just been on the site to take a look at the article. It's disgusting!! What flippin planet are they on!!?? It's beyond me. Maybe she's seeing the light about her husband and has only been with him all these years because she was drinking? Alcohol masks many an issue - as we both now know. God these people....they should be on Jeremy Kyle. Anyway back to you. Happy birthday for next week! I'm sure you will still get all the fizz cards etc. It's all that's in the shops I've noticed! Have a super day and I hope you get spoilt rotten! And all AF, super sober!!! God the world cup. Last night's England game - I couldn't watch it after the 90 mins when Columbia got that last min goal. I had to go upstairs and ended up watching American Dad! Left my husband and daughter to it and she came up screaming we'd won. I couldn't cope with the pressure. I thought, here we go again - that's us out!!! I've watched a lot of the games. It's been brilliant football and the first thing I thought of this morning was all the hungover people from last night. I'm so glad I don't have to put up with that anymore!!! We had our Summer Ball last night but I didn't go in the end. I know they had big screens up at the venue for it. Free booze all night I bet everyone was hammered, esp as it went on for so long. Few sore heads in the office today! We have a wedding Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it. For the first time since going AF, I'm really excited about getting glammed up. I've now lost 2 stone!!! I have been watching what I eat and once I'd got the sugar cravings out of my system, have found it quite easy. Booze was always my issue and now I don't have to factor in the calories from that, bingo!! I pulled out some dresses from the wardrobe that I haven't been able to fit into for years. One was from my honeymoon - and they all fit!!! Always a silver lining...... have a super weekend my lovely pal. Keep up that fab, happy, positive energy that is glowing off you!!! Heaps of love xxxxx

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    77. Ps yes, into my 7th month AF!

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    78. Pps who the **** would have thought it!! I never did!!!!

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    79. Wow, 7th month AF, 2st down and able to fit into honeymoon dresses, whats not to like about this lifestyle?!! Glad you are sounding so positive and happy and I never thought I could get this far either, who woukd have thought it hey? Not that I am anywhere near as far as you have got but I feel clear of it now and so happy in myself whereas a few weeks ago I was getting the odd urge. I must say I think I will always miss it a bit, those drunken, funny and sunny afternoons with friends however I don't feel particularly deprived or miserable. And God did I feel miserable sometimes when alcohol had a grip of me and those hangovers were so dreadful. I know I won't go back now and I know you won't either, you'll be at a year before we know it. I just love waking up every day feeling fine!! I saw a dreadfully hungover friend on Sunday, she had been on a 12 hour bender and looked absolutely horrendous. I sympathised and I felt sorry for her. And I felt a little smug!! And yes I bet lots of footie fans felt dreadfully hungover on Wed and that so would have been me. And you from the sounds of it. Glad you are really looking forward to the wedding, bet you get lots of compliments about how great you look. Go girl, you rock!!! xxx

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    80. Ps it does make me giggle that there are nearly 120 comments on this blog whereas most others just have 20-30, people must think 'Sober Easter holidays' was a really popular subject!!

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    81. PPS and a friend who has continually been trying to encourage me to drink is going on an all inclusive holiday tomorrow and has been bragging how she can't wait to drink what she wants when she wants and says she can then stop as soon as she gets home as she is in control. Hmmmm.... She made me smile as I tried explaining to her why I've given up but assured her I'm not trying to make anyone else quit but I reckon she just can't give up herself and is a teeny bit jealous. I know I was jealous of people who had quit and I didn't want to admit to people that I had a problem so I will leave her be. But I will smile quietly to myself....

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    82. Oh Meggie your posts do make me laugh and bring a smile! Always!! It's so freshing. Isn't it the best thing ever when you see someone hanging, knowing that you are no longer in their shoes and totally free! You've done all the hard work and put in amazing effort and now you are feeling on top form. That is your reward my girl. I couldn't imagine having a drink now. I hear you about the boozy lunches and the laughs, sitting around talking any old rubbish. But for me it always went beyond that. I'd carry on drinking way after they'd all left and would feel lost and out of control, hating myself. Hungover and depressed the next day I'd be drinking again by lunchtime to get rid of the crippling hangover - and before I knew it, it would be evening and I'd be pissed again. What a merrygoround. I remember the all inclusive holidays - drinking from morning til night, eating everything in sight. I always think that if people don't have a problem about something, they don't go on about it. It's when they try and justify something to themselves that you know that they know that something isn't right. So you keep smiling away to yourself. You've done an incredible thing. And stop saying you are nowhere near down the line as I am. You are! Days/months - it doesn't matter. What matters is you are in a good place and going from strength to strength. You've always been with me on this. Somehow you were always meant to. I don't know how I would have managed without you. I may even have buckled. Who knows. I can't thank you enough. And yes someone is definitely going to think Easter hols is popular! Do you think Clare checks all of these? Should we get her involved and swap email or phone nos? If you don't want to that's 100% completely fine - no pressure. I am more than happy to keep chatting away on here. Love you to my little star!! Xxx

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    83. Ps. People will be jealous of someone who can do something that they do not have the strength/willpower to do. Whether it's envy in admiration or otherwise. It's human nature.

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    84. Hello lovely, glad I make you smile and I'm pleased you feel I've helped you through this although you have always sounded so very determined to me even when you were feeling down. You have helped me so much, it's so nice who to have someone who totally understands me and doesn't judge me. God I can so identify with that merry-go-round of getting pissed, having a dreadful hangover, hating myself then I'd be back on it to make myself feel better; bloody Groundhog day. But we are now free of that FOREVER and we are SO strong and amazing!! And yes, those with a drink problem will be envious of us, I was always envious of people who could take or leave alcohol. And yes, let's get in touch with Clare and swap mobile numbers, that will be fab. I'm best on WhatsApp as we have pathetic mobile coverage here. Shall we both email her say on Sunday night so she gets our emails about the same time? Not sure when you will read this as I know you are busy with the wedding this weekend. I know Clare's v busy so it might take a while for her to sort it so best to continue here in the meantime. I hope you have a super time at the wedding and enjoy watching others getting wasted and making idiots of themselves and then suffering the next day, lol!! And I bet you will look and feel amazing, have a ball, you've worked so hard for this and you deserve every happiness sobriety brings you ❤ Biggest hugs my lovely xxx

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    85. Hello my love. Yes that would be brill and I use WhatsApp all the time so perfect!! I can drop her an email Sunday evening. She can send it on to you. I hope she doesn't mind doing it. I know what you mean about friends. I'm having a bit of a tough time with a couple of my close friends right now. We have known each other for donkeys years but some things have happened over the last year and in the days of the booze, would have put up with it and the treading on eggshells, people pleasing (to a point) and all that. Since I've ditched the drink, am seeing and feeling things 100%. I no longer want to do the pattern that has been in existence for such a long time and can't help but create a small but increasing distance. They are quite frosty with me now although I've done nothing wrong. For the first time since I was a kid, I'm discovering who I really am. Decades of drinking stopped that and I feel I do need a lot of space. Having to face problems from start to finish without reaching for the bottle and with a clear head, I'm still learning you know? But I think for them, I no longer meet their needs and feel they see me as some kind of weirdo. It's very sad. I saw one of then recently and she was saying how stressed she was over something. I told her she shouldn't worry about it and it will all work out fine. She said to me 'oh yeah, you don't get stressed anymore'. I should have asked her what she meant by it but could see she was gearing for a confrontation. She asked me what I was up to and I told her all the things we have going on and she said 'I'll see you next year then'. I was hurt by that. Before giving up I'd always be doing the socials or helping out - anything. But now I'm putting myself and my family first, it doesn't seem to be going down well. I know friendships do sometimes just drift apart and what I'm doing isn't personal. And I am changing. How I view things. I feel like I've been watching my life at full speed - and now I've hit the pause button. Looking in for the first time. In all honesty they haven't changed at all. They are still the same. It's me that has changed and the boundaries are changing on my part and they don't seem to like it. My husband has told me I am so much calmer now and the mood swings have all but gone. I used to blame it om PMT, work, you name it. It was never the booze. It goes way beyond just getting drunk. That stuff has so much to answer for. Thank you again Meggie for everything. You too, give me a boost and never judge me. You are a breath of fresh air! Have a super weekend. I will post the email to Clare - let's see what happens!!!! I will let you know on here the antics of what the Wedding brings!! I can watch with my bottle of Becks Blue, and drive home!!! Heaps of love to you my pal xxx

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    86. Hey lovely, I hope the wedding went well and hope you got to see the footie, what a fab match! I really do believe it's coming home.
      I'm sorry that your friends are being a bit mean and are upsetting you. I think it probably is us who are changing rather than them. Have you explained to them fully why you had to quit? And the true extent of your drinking problem? Maybe they are finding you much more sensible and they are probably a teeny bit envious too? I have had problems with friends, will explain a couple of issues I've had with them when we WhatsApp as I don't really want to put it here. Like you my priorities are shifting, I can see what is more important in life and that's my family. I also feel that I am losing a couple of friends, but am also gaining others along the way, you and a lady from an evening class whom I've never drunk with, it's more a social lunch or coffee with her and not getting hammered which is the norm with all my other friends. I mean 'was' the norm. But I feel happier than I have for a long time, healthier, look better and feel more at peace with myself and I never, ever want to go back to where I was. And I know you are the same. I feel so lucky we have met as I feel you so understand me whereas no-one else really does. Hope you have had a fantastic day my lovely friend and take care xxx

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    87. Ps I have just emailed SoberMummy and asked if she would mind passing on your details to me so just email her when you can and let's hope she doesn't mind �� xxx

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    88. I don't think my fingers crossed emoji worked!

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    89. Hello my love. I've emailed Clare! Let's hope doesn't mind! Yesterday was lovely. Firstly because my daughter won the outstanding achievement award for her year at her graduation day. I could have burst!! And joint secondly, because we won the football and the Wedding was fab!! This place was charging 4.85 a bottle for AF Heineken!!! Unreal. But it was really good and everyone was drunk at the end of the night. I people watched like anything and everyone was in total admiration that I've given up and commented on my weight loss no end. Some people I hadn't seen for a year and they were so taken aback. Yes good idea. Let's chat about friends on WhatsApp. Like you I can see a future and am so happy without the drink now. I'm calmer and focus on what's important. I've always said of friendships, if they are hard work, i.e one sided and difficult, don't have them. Friendships shouldn't be difficult. I'm so so happy for you Meggie. That you are feeling so good. I always knew you would get to that point and I'm so you are there now. Of course we will both have our moments but these will be minimal and short lived. Not at any point last night did I feel I was missing out or tempted to drink. I laughed like I always had and genuinely enjoyed seeing everyone. You don't need booze to make you happy. I've got no hangover today and can enjoy this glorious weather for what it is, instead of staying in bed so day feeling like crap. Have a lovely day my fab pal. Next time we speak, it maybe on our numbers!!! I'm excited about that. Mwah xxx

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    90. Ps sorry the text doesn't make any sense in places. I type so fast and didn't check it before I sent it. I'm crap at that! Xx

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    91. Pps HAPPY BIRTHDAY for this week!!!!! Have a super day xxx

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    92. Hey lovely, I'm just doing a test message as I posted one to you on Sunday but I've just gone back in and it's not there, grhhh as it took me ages!! I dunno where it went?! Will just make sure this posts before I start again xxx

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    93. So, I messaged you on Sunday and I'm positive it posted. Then I kept checking the number of comments and they hadn't increased so I assumed you hadn't replied then I noticed today mine wasn't there and my blood went cold! so I did a test one which didn't post so panicked and wrote one on SM's latest but then came back to this one and I can see the test one I posted earlier has gone on, phew!!! Hope this all makes sense?! Am going to post this now then continue as I'm paranoid I'm gonna lose it xxx

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    94. Phew, that worked. After a time.
      Can't wait to WhatsApp, think that's much safer! Oh wow about your daughter winning the achievement award, bet you were SO proud, good for you, you deserve it. And I'm glad the wedding was good and that you enjoyed it AF and I bet you felt fab when people noticed your weight loss. And we won the footie too, yay, fab results all round!! I'm really glad you had such a lovely time at the wedding and didn't miss it at all, I must say I socialised recently and enjoyed it being AF, I made more of an effort to hold a proper conversation whereas before if I had been drinking I would have been pissed and yapped away aimlessly or if I had been driving I would have been on edge as I wasn't drinking. But now I feel past all that now, I just don't need it, I still can't believe I am where I am! And you are clearly in such a good place too. I know we shouldn't look back but I so regret being such a slave to the booze but at least I've kicked it into touch now. Take care and fingers crossed for the footie tomorrow. And fingers crossed this posts!! I probably posted my last message somewhere stupid, lol. Biggest hugs my lovely friend xxx

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    95. Hello my fab pal! What a nightmare the posts were not going on. That's exactly what happened to me while I was in Italy. I thought we had maxed out the message. Whatever happens we'll always go on Clare's latest post like you have just done. Yes ditto. I keep checking my gmail account. I never use it and it's full of marketing crap. I always normally use the work one. Yes the Wedding was fab and everyone was pissed. I had a great evening and everyone was in admiration that I've stopped and saying they that they wish the could. It's an amazing feeling isn't it? I'm so glad you went out and enjoyed it as I know that was something you haven't relished in the past. Is absolutely bloody fantastic that we are both where we are now. Totally free. And don't ever look back Meggie. It's wasted energy. You plough that energy into your new fab life. What's important is that we made a stand. Not a sacrifice. Looking forward to sending you a WhatsApp very soon!!! Will think of you when the football is on tomorrow. Becks blue I think!!!! TTFN big hugs xxxxx

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    96. Ps yes i would have talked all kinds of rubbish at the Wedding if I'd been drinking, been the last one there annoying everyone...Or like you said, if driving I would have been miserable and felt deprived all night. What a life I am so glad to be free of.... I LOVE saying I don't drink now when people offer me one.

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    97. PPS. I can't take this football match tonight. ITS TOO DAMN STRESSFUL!!!

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    98. It was very stressful wasn't it!! I was very sad we didn't win but it's not the end of the world hey? Will message again properly tomorrow as I'm really tired and have had a hell of a day at work. Take care and big hugs xxx

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    99. Hello again, thanks for your lovely messages. Life is great (despite losing the football and and having a v stressful day at work yesterday) and I'm so glad we have reached where we are, free of alcohol forever and at last I feel able to socialise without feeling like it's a sacrifice and that I'm missing out. And you clearly can too. A few weeks ago I was still thinking what's the point and does this have to be forever and I remember your blogs months ago when you were feeling a bit low too and we've pulled each other through it, we are amazing, yay! Thank God we weren't both faltering at the same time, lol! I know I never want to go back to where I was and that keeps me positive. Am loving this pink cloud and fields of bunnies! Take care my lovely friend and thank you for being there xxx

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    100. Mate this will so make you laugh. SM says we should treat ourselves now and then so I treated my car to a wash and valet while I went to the supermarket. I got back to find they had put the contents from under the seats on the back seat. And guess what was there, a bloody bottle of wine I'd forgotten about! God I laughed my way round the shops and it still makes me giggle as I type this, lol! Wish we were on WhatsApp and I could have sent a pic to you, it really made me smile! xxx

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    101. Hello my love. That wine is haunting you!!!!! That's so funny. You really do need to get rid of it!! I've just seen your other post on Clare's newest and have replied to you. Thanks so much for mentioning me. Was and am very proud to support you. You have done so so well and it's good in a lot of ways that we can reflect on how we felt and what this journey has been like. When I read my post of 100 days I was in bits. You on the other hand are so positive at 100 days - it just goes to show that no two people are the same and that we are all different in how they feel about packing up the booze and killing the wine bitch. Shame about the football - I knew when they scored so soon that it would go the other way. Call it sixth sense. But they've given us a brilliant run. So what happened at work? Everything ok? I know, shame we are not on WhatsApp but I'm sure she will get in touch soon - either to say yes she will or no she won't!! I'd be tempted just to put my number on here but that just wouldn't work. You don't know else is watching our chats and I'd probably get tons of messages all calling themselves Meggie. Then I wouldn't know who was who!!! What are you doing weekend? Anything exciting? Have you got any hols booked up? Big hugs xxxxx

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    102. Hi again, I've just put another message on SM's latest saying I hope she puts us in touch soon so fingers crossed she sees it and acts! Will explain about work when we text but all is ok now thank you. And no don't put your number here just in case. It crossed my mind too but I think it's a bit risky, we just have to be patient (which I'm not good at!). I did think about setting up an email account and posting it here then asking you to email me Then once we were sure everything was ok give out our mobile no's by email but maybe we'll just wait and see if SM answers. I can't imagine anyone else is reading this as it's hard to find and most people would just look at the latest comment not trawl back. I'm sure they would be very bored by all of my inane drivel by now, lol!!
      Re holidays, we just have a cottage booked in the UK and then need to book something else, must do it this weekend. When are you off to Croatia? Has your daughter broken up now?
      I'm running tomorrow then going to London for the day on Sunday, what do you have planned? Hope you have a fab weekend.Take care and fingers crossed about SM seeing our emails soon xxx

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    103. Hola! Yes I've just seen your post. Maybe she will see our emails soon after that. I think putting anything on here might be risky. You might get people emailing you saying that they were me... I'm always a bit wary of that kind of thing. Hence I'm not on social media at all. This is about the only thing I use. I did have FB years ago but hardly went on it and my mail box was stuffed with notifications so I threw in the towel. I just never had the time. That's lovely with the cottage. With all the weather we have been getting you'll have a great time. We are off to Croatia August 4th and I've just booked Malta for half term next year. Our daughter packs up school next Friday. I can't believe that's a year done already. You weekend sounds good. I could have come and met you in London! But having said that would have had to put details on here again so that wouldn't have worked. Well done on the running- I haven't been out for weeks. I must get back into it. The weekend for us is not a great deal tomorrow but off to a VW show on Sunday somewhere in Kent. My husband is going so I might tag along. Have a super weekend. It's going to be hot!!! Xxx

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    104. Hello lovely, another hot day today and another hot one forecast tomorrow and I bet it will be even hotter in London. I'm guessing you don't live a million miles away from London. But don't say where til we text and it would be fab to meet up sometime, I'm sure we will, that would be such fun! A VW show sounds a good day out, I used to have a VW camper van which was fab. Still no email from SM which is a shame, I'm itching to say a few things to you which I don't really want to post here. I really doubt anyone else reads it but you can't be sure I guess. Shall we give it a couple more days then perhaps set up temporary email accounts then we could somehow have a question I could answer about you to verify things or vice versa. And hope we don't get some weirdo impersonating one of us! Went for a fab run early this morning, saw some fox cubs and a hare, beautiful, whereas in my old life I would probably still been in bed nursing a dreadful hangover. I was flicking through the sober diaries yesterday and came across the field of bunnies bit and I suddenly cottoned on I'm there which is why I wrote the comment on SM's latest. I checked my app and I am now on day 111 and what with you on 6 months+ we bloody well rock mate!! Hope you have had a good day and enjoy whatever you do tomorrow. Big hugs xxx ps we've been chatting on here for about 3 months, wow that's gone quickly! xx

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    105. Meggie!! Clare has emailed you my number. I haven't got yours. Clare said she had passed mine to you so will await your message!! Yay!!! Xxx

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  15. Day two...is it naΓ―ve for me to feel really, really excited?? Started reading your lovely, thoughtful and tender book (with drink in hand)on Friday, took my last drink on Saturday, finished the book this morning...so many ahas and laugh out louds and tears...THANK YOU for outing your story...inspiring and so many similarities! Ordered Jason Vale's book and am ready to take on the obstacles, PAWS, cravings...just discovered your TEDx Talk and can't WAIT to watch...enjoy Ibiza and wishing you traveling mercies!!THANK YOU again - and we absolutely all need a secret handshake!

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  16. I wish I'd read this on Thursday instead of waiting until today! I feel bloody GRIM. All because of fermented grapes. I'm gonna try for the 100 days - something's simply gotta give. Have a nice break x

    youboozeyoulooze.wordpress.com

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  17. Good luck xxx

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  18. I started the year sober and went a whole six weeks. I felt great. I lost weight, was more productive in work, slept better and was loving it but then I went away for the weekend and all my hard work went to pot! I’m back to my worst, I feel rubbish, anxious and tired again but I’ve realised that like you, I can’t drink in moderation. I’m scared to start my sober journey again and keep putting it off. Reading your book helps and I know I will but meanwhile there’s a half empty bottle of red which is too good to waste!!!!

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    1. Hi, well done about doing 6 weeks AF and you clearly reaped the benefits. You know how good it made you feel so can you try and be really strict and do it again, you clearly want to. A new day, a new start and all that. It's so hard but it will be worth it.
      Good luck in starting your AF journey xx

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    2. You'll do it next time, because the trick is in knowing that moderation isn't an option, and it sounds like you've got there! Hurrah!

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  19. Hello all, reading these posts reinforced what I achieved in January, I did 32 days AF and felt so much better more time, money, energy and happier- so why did I then think I could have 1 since then I’ve stopped and started several times going 17 and 10 days AF. Reading SM and Jason Vales book I realise now that I don’t need a drug in my body to cope with life, it might be hard but things are clearer without alcohol. So last night I sat down with my husband and had 3 very large gins, felt utterly rubbish this morning but glad I’ve now said good bye to it. I can now concentrate on my family as my youngest is going to have to move from a lovely flat in London and find a flat to live in on his own he needs us to be on the ball not self centred. Today is my day 1 I will read the posts each day to keep me going. Xx

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    1. You can do it Mary! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain xxx

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  20. Hope you are ok Mary and survived day 1 and please keep going x

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  21. Thanks �� both of you, last night was good soda with lime and ginger and an olive to make it special. All I have to lose is weight and to gain, time, money, freedom and a healthy body xx

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  23. Hi again it’s me, so I’m really going for it this time, today is my new Day 1 I feel empowered and relaxed , I will treat myself well not get down and stay positive. Hubby and I are off to France on Friday to stay with his brother in law for a few days away and to look at properties . A change of scenery is what I need. Love to all xx

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  24. Hi there, might not blog for a few days as off tomorrow ✈️ but will try to have a look each day not sure on Wii fi as will be on the country keep going xxx

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