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!
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,