Friday 29 December 2017

What Happened Next....

Blimey, what a rollercoaster....

My book launched two days ago, all over the world.

It was much like giving birth, although painful in a very different way, and not half as messy.

For months I'd been creating and nurturing this baby of mine, and then it was out into the world, fending for itself and meeting strangers, many of whom have (very kindly!) cooed all over it, but some (I'm sure, although no-one's said as much yet...) think it's a rather noisy, smelly little thing.

The night before the launch I didn't sleep at all. I was terrified. I was scared that no-one would buy it. I was scared that people would buy it, but then hate it.

I felt horribly exposed, like one of those nightmares where you end up walking into a crowded room naked, by accident (anyone else have those?)

Then, the morning arrived, and it was actually okay. Better than okay.

I had hundreds of messages from people (including you guys on this blog - THANK YOU!) saying how much they were enjoying reading my story, but also - crucially - how much it was making them think.

(Many thanks to Laura Willoughby, Lucy Rocca and Penni Moussa for letting me share the news on Club Soda, Soberistas and Recovery Buddha, and to their amazing communities for all their support).

Most importantly, I've also had many messages already from people saying you are describing ME! I'm so pleased I'm not alone. And those are the ones that make it really worthwhile, because that's why I decided to do this in the first place, because I still remember how alone I felt, back on Day One.

I became glued to the Amazon book chart, of 6 million titles, watching my baby climb up to #1000, then #500, then #300, and - incredibly - it's still going up.

We're on holiday in Scotland, and on the afternoon of the launch we had a long drive to do, to a family gathering. So, I downloaded the audio version of the book, so we could listen to it with the children.

(I figured that they had to know what was in it, and this way, anything that bothered them we could all discuss together rather than them fretting in private).

It's very odd listening to an actress being 'you'. Karen Cass does a brilliant job. In fact I liked her rather more than myself and am wondering whether she'd take the job on permanently.

Then we got to the first scene with the husband, and discovered that the voice she’s given him doesn't sound like him at all! The children thought it hilarious.

I had my finger constantly on fast forward so I could skip over any mention of things like being the tooth fairy, or Santa Claus or - god forbid - the husband and I having sex.

(My eldest came across a sex reference when leafing through a proof copy and hurled it across the room screaming aarrrghhhh! No child should ever have to see THAT! And now I can NEVER UNSEE IT!)

So, last night I went to bed early, hoping to catch up on some sleep after the excitement of the last two days.

I woke up at 4am and made a terrible mistake. I looked at my phone. There was a message from a friend of mine in Australia (where it was coffee break time) saying YOU'RE IN THE DAILY MAIL!

I knew this article was coming, but we'd expected it sometime next week, not today.

Then I made my second mistake. Everyone had told me never read the comments on the Mail Online, for that is the land of the troll.... 

Now I'm never going to be able to get back to sleep. Bugger.

I've put the Mail article up on the SoberMummy Facebook Page. Click here.

Listen out for Radio 4's Woman's Hour on January 2nd!

If you'd like to read the first few chapters of the book FOR FREE, then go to my Amazon page, here, and use the 'see inside' option.

Thank you all for making such a safe haven here where I can retreat to and offload. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Love SM x


  1. Wow! That's quite a long article. You look fab. Most of the comments are really positive. Don't give any headroom to negative comments - you have done an amazing thing. I am sure many more people will be helped and encouraged by the book. I am just about to order a hardback copy (this is a big deal, as I usually only buy books from charity shops!)

  2. Your book arrived in the post yesterday. I am reading a ‘month’ per day, so today I’m on April. It is SO GOOD. I was with you on the blog in those early days, and you inspire me to get right back on track, and to sort myself out once and for all, if I can. Thank you. Annie x

    1. So lovely to see you here, Annie! have you started up your blog again?

    2. Hi, I Just read your book in 3 days, I couldn’t put it down :) loved it thanks very much (7 months af) 😊

  3. I always read the daily mail online (it's my gulity pleasure... well, that and the real housewives...) and your article is first up! You look amazing and it reads so well. Don't read the comments as they are always full of trolls! Most of them are from people saying that they recognise themselves in what you're saying which is great! That is what it's all about. You've already helped me and so many others and now you're going to reach many, many more! Well done you! Don't sweat the small stuff! Have a lovely new year and a fabulous time in bonnie Scotland xxxx

    1. Thanks EH! Do you fancy a trip to St Boswells on Jan 31st? I'm doing a book event at the Mainstream Trading Company and I'd LOVE to meet you!

    2. Do you have a list of your book tour? What time are you reading? I'm going to try and come.....

  4. Well Done You!!! Your book is a triumph!!! Have left a review on Amazon (Mrs J) .... Happy Happy New Year!!!

    1. Thanks SO much for the fab review, Jacs! I really appreciate it!

  5. Awww, Sober Mummy, you are doing great. I’m halfway through the book and I LOVE it. You are brave and strong and kind for sharing your story with the world. You have brought thousands of people hope by doing so. That is huge!! Ignore any haters out there. It’s their bitter issue to deal with, not yours.

  6. Dear Clare,
    After 30 years of very heavy drinking (yet still "high functioning") and all the rest, my drinking had only increased more. I knew alcohol (particularly wine) was making me miserable. I had lost my spark, even thought the world might be better off without me. However, I could NOT imagine how life would be possible without without alcohol...could not even consider it. Wine was my "super fluid", or so I imagined.

    Then, in Spring 2016, in sheer desperation, I came across your blog. To say it changed my life, would be an understatement. I read your journey, and I could relate to you....learning what you went through, how you overcame, and how you later enjoyed things more....well, I cannot overstate how that reached me to my core. You gave me hope, and a road-map. Maybe I could do this, after all.

    Then, I did the one thing I thought I could NEVER do.....I gave it a go, thinking of you the whole time! It was hard in the beginning, but I kept thinking back to your journey...I knew I wanted that, what you achieved....and reading your story gave me hope of the possibility, that I, the woman who loved alcohol (always the life of the party...blah blah blah), could indeed live life and be happy as a sober person. Now, this was the one thing I really never thought I could do. But you showed me how.

    Now, over 18 months later, I am shocked at how much better life is. I never thought I could go to a party or even spend a Fri night without a bottle of wine. You gave me a model to follow. I know, I just know, I wouldn't have even entertained the idea without your story. I may not even be here now writing this.....

    Don't you pay one second of attention to any negative comments in the DM. Some people just show the depths of their own ignorance in the comments section there.(in that whole paper).

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your sharing your story, I would not even have attempted this journey--the best thing I have ever done in my life. I never thought I would type those words....but you showed me your story, I could see literally changed my life. Thank you!! I am 50 years old, living in the states and send you love and hugs across the pond.

    1. OMG you’ve made me cry. Thank you. I can face any trolls when I read comments like yours. ❤️❤️❤️

    2. Think this speaks for all of us on here

    3. Absolutely. So well said. Thank you again Clare. X

    4. So so true xx

  7. THANKYOU.....I picked it up at the airport after thinking need to cut out the alcohol in jan, I have nearly read it on the plane , didn’t watch one film, couldn’t put it down

    Sooooo honest and motivating, related to almost all of it, Mum of 5 early fifties, life’s been busy

    Time to look after my health now

  8. I ordered your book at it arrived on new years eve. I cant stop reading it. (And im not a reader). Its as if you have written it about me. Its very funny and inspiring. My 2 new years resolutions were to read more and stop drinking. You are helping me do both. Thankyou xxx

  9. I saw your book on the OR page of FB - yes an OR House 2 - over 40 but slightly younger I think..... I am loving your book and setting it as my next Bookclub book. Whether you are addicted to drink or not there is so much to take away from it..... I have just read the chapter on drinking alone and I’m slightly confused.....
    does this mean that one shouldn’t drink at home unless someone else is drinking with you or just never alone..... my husband doesn’t drink and can also be away for three weeks at a time.....
    I need my Friday night wine glass - my kids love it and so do I.
    PS I buy the small bottles from Waitrose - that I decant into a carafe, chill and light candles.... that glass is special...!!