ONE YEAR

Well who would have thought it? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

On the 17th November 2019 I woke up, realised I had a serious problem and made a massive decision to change my life. After promising myself I would not drink that weekend and subsequently downing a bottle of red wine the evening before, it was painfully apparent I was unable to moderate my alcohol intake. I found the app that counts the days, hours, minutes without a drink and I started it. Day One of sobriety.

I have no words to describe this past year for me. I was a total mess. I wasn’t living, I was surviving. Just. I wasn’t aware of how I felt, I had no control over my life and I was the unhappiest I had ever been in my life.

When people tell you giving up alcohol is the greatest gift you can give yourself it’s hard to believe it. I just didn’t understand how or why that would be. For me it hasn’t only been the greatest gift I have given myself, it’s the greatest gift I could have given my family and friends. My mum told me the other day, she and my Dad feel I have returned to them. They thought they had lost me. God that makes me cry just thinking about it.

I am not going to lie. It’s been the hardest thing I have ever done. Not because I miss it particularly or because I wish I was able to drink again. It’s been hard because it has forced me to shine a light on myself. I have had to examine why I hid behind wine. I have had to uncover the β€˜real’ Claire and discover things about myself and my life that I never knew existed. This has not been easy. It’s still a process and is far from over. There have been days, and sometimes weeks, when I have felt anger and fear, loneliness, anxiety and depression. I have wondered why I am restricting myself and wished I could just lose myself in a bottle. But, and this is a big but, there have been many many days where I have caught myself feeling true joy. For no reason. Just deep down inside. There is a peace and calm on some days that I can’t ever remember feeling. Those days of joy, calm and peace keep me going. I want more of those please.

I started my blog just a few days after my Day One. I have met many amazing people in this blogging world. People I now consider friends and people I care for deeply. So, newbies to this world, if you are reading this and wondering if you should start a blog or write a comment. My advice, for what it’s worth, don’t think, just do it. Engage with this community. It has brought me so much unexpected happiness this past year. Without a shadow of a doubt, I would not have reached this phenomenal milestone without the love, support and advice of my sober tribe. I have formed friendships I hope stay with me for many years to come.

Approaching the year mark has thrown up all sorts of questions and some worries. I honestly never thought this far ahead. I didn’t think this day would come. I focused one day at a time and never said β€˜forever’. I have decided this is how I intend to continue. I am a work in progress and I don’t know where I will end up. I will take this one day at a time. I will carry on peeling back the layers. It’s exciting to discover that I am liking what I uncover!

Signing off at 365 days; 52 weeks; one year.

Off to treat myself to fish and chips and chocolate to celebrate 😊

Love Claire x

42 thoughts on “ONE YEAR”

    1. Thanks SVM … it is worth it. It’s like finally releasing the pressure from a pressure cooker. I was holding on so tight but I didn’t even realise. I can now have a bad day, let it all out and get over it. Before I gave up, bad days would just add to an already overflowing cup of angst. Being able to let go and move on is a blessing and phew πŸ˜…, a relief. Keep going. You got this xx

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  1. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW ❀ CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE ❀ I can't believe it, 1 year! Welcome to the club, it's a whole different world here ! No, Just kidding ^^ it's the same, same baby steps. Same unclear future. Same unfeeling the layers, as you beautifully put it. For me, I stopped counting the days after 1 year, because reaching that mark was part of instituting a "new normal". Now I just think of all this as "I'm just me now, no need to hide behind drinking", not "I am not allowed to drink." And for now, that's enough. Weird. Anyway, I LOVE the ladder image, it's so 100% perfect. Also, thank you for being here on WP. Like, deeply, thank you, Claire. Your presence has been such a tremendous help to me here (sorry for making this celebration about me LOL), and I wanted you to know how important you have been to someone else in the world, even if you've never met them in person. Your sensitivity, intelligence, openness and generosity shine through in all your posts and comments, so thank you Claire. It brings tears (of gratitude) to my eyes to write this ! (also, I've never mentioned this on WP, but my mom's sister, who lived in England, died of alcohol poisoning before age 50 a few years ago, leaving 3 severely traumatized teens -my cousins- behind. Every time I see that name "Claire47" I have this crazy impression that your profile is an hommage to what could have been, had she taken the path we've chosen to walk on. I don't even know if Claire is your real name, but it doesn't matter: one human life was sadly lost to alcohol, but another has "returned" to her family thanks to sobriety, and that is a truly precious gift. (Not to say that your situations were comparable in any way beyond the name coincidence! Please don't get me wrong) But again, your kids are so lucky to have you, and what you've accomplished is huge. Not everyone has the courage to accomplish what you have. I hope the fish and chips were delicious. I miss fish and chips, it's been years since I've had any! Big big hugs and huge congrats ❀ xxx Anne

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    1. Thanks lovely Anne. Your comment means so much to me. More than you know. I too will stop counting now. It feels the right thing to do. I’ll always note the anniversary date and celebrate on that day each year I maintain this. That’s amazing about your aunt. I am truly glad I have given myself and my family this opportunity to live this life. So, here is the deal. When we can travel again, you much do a trip over and we can have fish and chips and a cup of tea. πŸ₯°πŸ€—❀️ xxx

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  2. So, so amazing, Claire! You did it! A whole year. Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you and so glad I got to meet you. You’re the best! Thank you for all of your kindheartedness, generosity, and loving support. πŸ€—β€οΈ

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  3. Congratulations!
    It truly is a gift.
    Year 2 is its own interesting and eye opening experience.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Although we are all far apart, this is a true community.

    Stillness and peace
    Anne

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  4. Wow! What a beautiful post. So much of you wrote sounds familiar. I hope I am where you are in one year. I’m very happy for you and encouraged by your experience. Congratulations! πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽˆ

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    1. I’m pleased you feel encouraged. I don’t want to put people off by saying it’s hard work. It is, but it’s really valuable and lovely work too. You will be here one day. Take it in small steps and congratulate yourself on every step xx

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  5. Congratulations, dear Claire! This is a great post. I love the part about sobriety being a gift to ourselves but also to our family, and what your mom said… Healing hearts. Getting to know yourself again or maybe for the first time ever. Doing the hard, brave work of showing up and being clear and present through all of it. I’m so glad we are on this journey together. You and our WP community make life so much brighter. Sending love and a big high five! πŸ’•

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    1. It’s so true Collette. It can be hard at times to be present and start to know yourself but if you don’t learn how to do it you miss the fantastic moments. Sobriety doesn’t remove the tough times or the crappy days, but it does mean we recognise and value the good days and the the small stuff that brings happiness. Alcohol just made it all the same. One long life of dissatisfaction. I’m glad you are here with me too xx❀️❀️

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  6. yay claire!! woot! you did it! gosh i remember when i first met you on here and i wasn’t yet to one year..so , i can now say ‘i knew you when”.. the one year post is so important- you better book mark it now! i still go back and read my own….no matter where i am at with things it gives me perspective. Now go eat that comfort food and enjoy every bit!

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  7. Claire- I was never in doubt! You’ve done it girl- massive congratulations and well done. You’ve smashed it on so many levels. It’s not just about the booze (ooh I like that and may rename my blog!) you have discovered so many other things about yourself now that being sober has lifted the veil. So pleased for you- enjoy your fish and chips and chocolate- you really deserve them! Jim X

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    1. Thanks Jim. I would never have started this blog if you hadn’t given me a little push and I certainly would not have succeeded without you by my side! You have been so supportive and caring throughout … my little ⭐️. Yep … that’s a great name for your blog. Go for it xxx

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  8. Woo Hoo!
    Happy happy one year, Claire!
    Just wonderful!
    πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ° πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ’ƒπŸ»β€οΈπŸ°
    xo
    Wendy

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  9. Congratulations dear Claire! I have been a silent reader here among all these amazing people and your blog has always been very special for me. I stopped drinking on November 15th in 2019 so I have also celebrated my first year πŸ₯³ I am so glad that I didnβ€˜t drink in these terrible Corona-times. I can Image it would have been much worse… so lets go for year number 2! All the best from Berlin πŸ’₯ Nic

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    1. Oh wow Nic, that is fabulous and amazing that you have been reading the lists. I’m touched that you felt my blog was special and huge congratulations on a year! If I’d been drinking through lockdown I would be in a terrible state now I think. Thanks so much for commenting. Hope we hear your voice more xxx

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