Saturday, 30 December 2017

Oh, The Irony!



Just like back in the drinking days, I have insomnia.

It's 3.45am, a time I know well from when the nights were dark and full of terrors, when I'd wake up dehydrated, sweating booze and hating myself.

Only now, it's not booze keeping me awake, it's adrenaline.

The last two days, since I sent my book, like a fragile Chinese lantern, out into the world, have been a rollercoaster.

Since I posted yesterday, the Daily Mail article telling part one of my story (part 2 is out tomorrow) went to the 'most read' top position on the Mail Online and my little book climbed up and up the Amazon chart.

I wasted hours of the day constantly refreshing the Amazon bestseller list, unable to tear myself off the laptop. Once an addict, always an addict.

By the end of the day, I'd reached the giddy heights of #35 in 'all books'.

Even more extraordinary, for a while I was the number one bestseller in the 'raising children' category.

Oh, the irony! The one thing I have never, ever pretended to be is an expert in parenting!

Anyhow, as you probably guessed, I couldn't stop myself reading the Mail Online comments.

Some were, as you can imagine, pretty awful. One of my favourites was 'If I had a wife like her, I'd be drinking a bottle of wine a day!'

However, there were some pretty incredible comments too, and the 'most liked' comment of all was a lady who just wrote 'I can relate to this.'

And that's all I ever wanted to do - to tell my story so that anyone out there who is in the pickle that I was in can relate, and then see the way out.

Also, I discovered that all the wonderful messages from you guys and from friends and strangers far and wide via Facebook, text and e-mail, created the most magical, troll-proof armour.

I felt so surrounded by love and support that absolutely nothing bad could get through. So THANK YOU!

Now I really have to try to sleep, because this is only the beginning. On Tuesday morning I'm on Woman's Hour live, then there's more TV, radio and press coming thick and fast.

Things are changing, my friends. Remember how difficult it was to confess to quitting alcohol? All that stigma and shame? Well, no more.

Because 2018 is going to be the year of SOBER, not as a badge of shame, but a positive, aspirational, lifestyle choice.

VIVE LA REVOLUTION! And a very happy New Year to all of you.

To find my book click here. To go to the SoberMummy Facebook page click here.

Love SM x

30 comments:

  1. My book arrived yesterday. I just have to finish few chapters of a current book and then will be delving in. Can’t wait! I cannot put into words what a fantastic role you have provided to this community and your family must be immensely proud - as should you. I know it must be addictive to check and read all the comments but please - no head room to any negative there may be as they could not possibly understand or are just completely ignorant. A very happy new year to you and your family And I predict a very successful one. Thank you once again x

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    1. Thank YOU, Izzy, and Happy New Year!

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  2. Remember when you said ages ago that you’d always dreamed about writing a book. You had put the book in a drawer and forgotten about it. Well you have done it! If that’s not inspiration for getting sober I don’t know what is. Have a Very Happy 2018 Clare x. Women’s hour though I am very impressed:)

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I have to say that I wasn’t imagining the book would be one about being a terrible lush, but there you go!

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    2. Ha ha, No it’s hardly a children’s bedtime story. Always strange how life turns out - it’s what makes it interesting!

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  3. Oh reading DM comments must be a special kind of hell!

    Before you let any of the negative ones get to you, remember that some people will be defensive and in denial, some will be jealous because you are educated and in the papers, and some will just be people who get their kicks from being nasty anonymously.

    I've read quite a few and there are so many who clearly have been stuck in that awful drinking shame/despair cycle who are relating to you and you story, and this might be the start of their new happier life too!

    I'm loving your book. I've read dozens of sober memoirs, and yours is the one that's hitting closest to home- we are the same sorts of ages, careers, family profile, I think I even lived around the corner from you until 2008! etc. I literally feel like my inner thoughts have been put down on the page. And you are flipping funny! I'm even reading the book openly,despite the ILs still being around for christmas. MIL asked me what I was reading and I said breezily;'Oh this great memoir by a woman just like me who gives up booze..... sounds like it could be a plan!'.

    You are fab Clare. Thanks for putting your life and words 'out there'. x

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    1. So glad you like it - thank you! I’m hoping that it’ll be talked about enough for people not to feel embarassed about being seen reading it! At least it’s in hardback so they can always take the cover off! Big hugs x

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  4. I think you are an incredibly brave lady, I wouldn't like to have to lay my drinking exploits bare. Maybe in the future I will feel able to. I'm sure that your story will help and inspire lots of people. Well done xx

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  5. I love it. Reading it whilst having a glass of wine on holiday (what better excuse?). I read your blog from the beginning and pre ordered the book. I have set a date for the new me on my return. Congratulations Clare, you are my hero x

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    1. Thank you, and have a fab holiday! Xxx

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    2. Just to let you know that I have started the new me already, whilst on holiday! I was so sick of feeling sick. Almost at the end of Day 2... Once again thank you.x

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  6. Well, you know me, always up for a revolution. Just bring it on! Guess what, I won it!! I won the Soberistas Book of the Month. Lots and lots of people are talking about it on Soberistas, relating to it and enjoying the wit too. Your book might be said to have taken on a life of its own SoberMummy, Love Nana xx

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    1. Nana, if anyone deserves a free book it’s you! Did you spot your name in the acknowledgements?!?

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  7. There will always be people who write comments like that, they get a kick out of being rude.
    I think you are incredibly brave. Well done!

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  8. We truly are beginning a Sober Revolution! I’ll be wearing my Sober Warrior t-shirt from https://therestishistory.co/shop/the-sober-warrior-womens-tshirt when I read your book, which I hope will be available in the US soon!!

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  9. Your sober tribe here loves and deeply appreciates everything you write! Love you!! Thankyou and can't wait to binge away on the book xoxo

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  10. Happy New Year! You are one amazing woman! And funny! You deserve all the good things happening for you! You have been such an inspiration for me and have brought a smile so often! I think collectively we are all just so proud of you!
    Xxx

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  11. Dear SM,
    I found your wonderful blog on day 3. I am now on day 53. I made it through the holidays thanks to you. Ordered your book, can't wait to read it. YOU are AWESOME. Happy New Year. xx
    AF and PROUD!!

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  12. I quit drinking April 1,2016. You and your blog helped me greatly. For that I will forever be grateful. Don’t let the trolls grind you down!

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  13. Totally bloody brilliant, well done for everything you’ve achieved. Things can only go from strength to strength. x

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  14. Clare your book, blog and everything you have done to support and encourage us all is amazing!!! Ignore the bad and focus on the good! Have a fab new year and 2018 will be the year for all of us, woo hoo!!! Xxx

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  15. I cannot say how moved I have been by your book. I too have up a high flying career and I too spend the hours after school drinking in the kitchen cooking macaroni cheese (yum) pretending I’m engaged with the kids just because I’m physically there. I can go days without booze but I LOVE it and I always take it several notches above where it should be. Like you say some of us weren’t made for moderation and I love funny and hate the mundane. Seeing all this in you has made me realise I could do it too ... I need to see the glory in all else around me! So thank you - dry January here I come. PS are you still refreshing reading comments? I so would be!!

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  16. I agree. I think 2018 will be a great year to be sober!
    Anne

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  17. You've inspired me, Clare. I'm halfway through your book and totally get it. I'm determined to see 2018 through without a drop and you'll be a big inspiration throughout. Thank you! x

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  19. Sorry Clare (predictive text changed your name to Clarence!!), for some reason my first comment didn't publish. Ignore the comments on Daily Mail, you are an inspiration to people. I read recently an article on Davina Mccall and was expecting to see all sorts of lovely compliments in the comments section but just a lot of hate! It is shocking. I wish you and your family a wonderful 2018. I, too, had breast cancer in 2014 and haven't managed to quit drinking although have cut down substantially. I will do the dry January and see how things turn out. And I will order your book which sounds great, congrats!! xx

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  20. Congratulations Sober Mummy!
    You have been such an inspiration through the years. I was lucky enough to stumble upon your blog during one of my own 3 a.m. booze-fueled insomniac attacks towards the end of your first sober year, and I have been a steadfast fan ever since. You were putting words to everything that I was feeling. I was a silent lurker for so long while I was immersed in my own inner struggle of wondering if I was an alcoholic, and am still currently sorting out said struggle. Your blog has always been the relatable, brilliant, witty light glowing from beyond the bottom of the drinking darkness. You manage to embrace that darkness and despair without being overly depressing and conquer it with love, humor, and a realness that is tangible. Thank you for always being that beacon of light.
    Congratulations for being recognized for all your hard work you have done for the sober community. xo.
    ~ Mrs. Breaker

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  21. Dear SM,
    I bought your book on 2nd January after a Xmas family visit - nigh on 2 weeks of continuous drinking and again thinking " I need a new favourite drink that isn't wine". I devoured your book - funny, witty and honest!
    The last few years had very few days in which I didn't have at least one or several glasses. Every stress-induced situation called for a drink in order to "take the edge off" as you put it. At some point I realised I couldn't really get through more than a couple of days without "needing" a drink. Then you realise how much of your facebook posts and whatsapp are peppered (and salted) with jokes about drinking, wine etc. and that seems to be what life has boiled down to. A friend and I even came up with the word "wangry" (maybe others did as well but this was our claim to drinking wit fame). This is when you desperately need a glass of wine. I also invented wironing to get me through the tedium of ironing but that's another story...
    After reading your book something clicked - I have had a drink since then BUT only with friends/birthday and I was able to stop after 1 or 2 drinks. I can't explain why the craving on every other day disappeared it but I would like to say a massive thank you to you for writing that book. Even if I don't decide to go teetotal I feel that I have got my life back under control and I am so grateful.
    Thank you for baring your soul and good luck in everything you do.
    PussInBooze

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  22. I have just finished reading your book and I'm feeling really imspired by this fabulous read! I'm on day 3... I've a party this weekend and I'll be 'faking it' ... I have a long way to go, but I know I can do it. Thank you for writing the book, I now have months of your blog to plough through.. which I'm very much looking forward to reading X

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