‘It’s so heart-warming when you read about people who have found freedom, and had an actual transformation, and through The Sober Club I’ve been able to watch people as they arrive in the group, often an emotional wreck, they can have a time of euphoria when all seems good, only to have a wobble as life throws us curveballs.
One of our members Sue Reed has been a joy to watch, its been like seeing the layers come off as she works through yet another thing and comes out stronger. Sue has found not only sobriety and peace of mind, but a whole new purpose in writing. Watch out for her forthcoming book.
I invited her to share her experience in her own words
Sue Reed Writes….Six Months Sober.
When I look back to my life six months ago, it does not make pretty reading. I was in therapy, my marriage was in tatters, relationships within my family were a mess, I hated myself and I hated the world. My mental health was in a shocking state, but so was my physical health, with weight issues, borderline diabetes, and fatty liver disease. I had been a heavy drinker since the age of eighteen when I left home and used rebellion as a method of escape from pain and trauma. Trouble is, I got stuck in that rebellious groove, and alcohol became a huge part of my life. It is only since becoming sober, that I have been able to see with clarity just what a destructive force that was.
It was after bumping into a friend in the town centre, who was telling me how great she felt having given up alcohol, that the seed was planted. I went home and listened to Janey Lee Grace’s podcasts and her TED talk, Sobriety Rocks and I joined The Sober Club and made the commitment to ditch the booze. The first four weeks were amazing! I was not prepared for just how ready I was to give up alcohol. They talk about fluffy pink clouds and rainbows – I had all of these. It felt as if my brain had been flushed with clean mountain spring water. I found I was much kinder to both myself and to my husband. I no longer woke up hungover with a sense of dread of how I’d disgraced myself the night before. I began to like myself, a little.
I started to use a journal and write ‘Morning Pages’ as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, ‘The Artist’s Way’, and used this to write down my feelings. I also started to write a gratitude list at the end of the day of five things I was grateful for that day.
Christmas came and went, I did not drink, and I felt proud of myself. It was the first Christmas I had not gone to bed in tears having rowed with my partner. I discovered whole new world of alcohol-free drinks and made some wonderful mocktails over Christmas. Then I hit a wall. Six weeks in and I felt dreadful, depressed and wondering if I had made the right decision. This was tough. I reached out to The Sober Club and was surrounded by virtual arms around my shoulder. The support from both the group and Janey Lee Grace has been amazing.
There have been wobbles along the way. Lockdown and missing my kids and granddaughter have been tough. I nearly caved, and as I watched my husband opening a bottle of wine, I fought with the wine witch. She had come right into the room, broomstick and all. Again, I reached out to The Sober Club, and Janey Lee Grace offered to phone me. Despite being a Sunday, and having her own family to see to, she spent a good while talking me down. I cried, and we talked, and she suggested that I took some time out of my busy day to ‘go within’. I realised I was so busy dashing around, pleasing others, cooking, writing, attending to my social media accounts that I didn’t leave any time for meditation or any kind of spiritual practice.
I discovered a free 21-day meditation course with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra which centres around ‘hope’ and has been helpful during these worrying coronavirus days.
The differences are many. My skin looks amazing, and I have energy. I am no longer depressed, and my liver function tests have come back normal. My family has noticed a difference in me. My marriage is saved, and we have found a love that existed all along. My relationship with my parents is gradually healing, and I have been able to face up to the pain and trauma of the past. I am no longer in therapy. I sleep a good eight hours every night and wake up refreshed.
I have started to read again and have embarked on an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. I want to learn the skills to write my story and hope that I will be able to inspire others through it.
I am only six months sober, but it is a great start, and if life feels this good, six months along the road, I can only say I am excited for the rest of the journey. You can follow me on social media at Sue Reed Writes, and on my website www.suereedwrites.co.uk
Thank you Sue, check out her fabulous blog, I especially low her description of how journaling has helped https://www.suereedwrites.co.uk/morning-pages-meditation/ (oh and you must check her recipes for wild garlic and nettle soups!)
Want transformation for yourself? Its about so much more than just ‘not drinking’
Join ushttps://www.thesoberclub.com/join-the-club/ in The Sober Club to focus on living your best life sans the booze