My Story

“Sober Really is Not Boring!”
Debi Dawson

My Previous Relationship with Alcohol

In 2012, I unintentionally embarked on my own sober adventure. My holiday read was chosen with little awareness of the impact it would have on me: ‘Mrs D is Going Without’ by Lotta Dann. Time and again, I unwittingly choose books that addressed a character’s relationship with alcohol in some way. My subconscious brain was drip fed these nuggets of information, resulting in an increased awareness of my own relationship with alcohol.

Alcohol had always played a part in my life. Sometimes hovering in the background and sometimes at the forefront.

I drank when I was stressed, to mask social anxiety, on holiday, to celebrate, when sad, because it was a sunny day, a rainy day, it was Christmas, my Birthday, my dog’s birthday. No matter what the occasion, I marked it with a drink!

There have been times when I drank every day, as my reward, to relax, as my adult time after being Mummy all day. I saw nothing wrong in this and why would I? Everyone I knew was doing the same.

In 2015, after three years of my subconscious being drip fed (yep it took three whole years!) I decided to moderate my drinking to just-weekends.

I spent my life looking forward to Friday when my wine time began! Sometimes the weekend began on Thursday and for most of the time I stayed within government guidelines. The problem was at other times my OFF switch decided to malfunction with absolutely no warning at all. Resulting in me going overboard, making decisions I would not usually consider, generally feeling horrendous and completely out of alignment with my authentic self.

So, for me there was no stereotypical rock bottom, nor was I drinking in the morning or even every day. But I just knew that I needed a break (still in denial here!).  I asked myself: would my life be better physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually without booze?

In 2019 I decided to go for it and complete Dry January. One whole month without booze and the first for many years.

I completely embraced it, listened to podcasts, read "Quit Lit", discovered Alcohol-Free drinks and continued to 45 days. I felt amazing!

I hopped out of my sober adventure on holiday in Thailand, where I am glad to say I drank far less than I would have previously on holiday.

Back home, I continued to tell myself “I have got this”, until again my OFF switch broke leaving  me stranded. Again, I found myself feeling horrendous. I started smoking again for the first time in a decade.  My monstrous inner voice was so loud, I gave her a name: Killer Kate. It was time for me to take control.

In 2020, I happily committed to 100 days with a view to having the odd glass with a meal (I Know! when will she get it?!).

With a sense of relief and excitement at being back in my safe and happy place on my sober adventure, I began. Ordering yet more quit lit, alcohol free drinks, chocolate, podcasts and an app to count my days and reward me with a teacup, I was ready and ARMED!

100 days came and went!

On day 114 during lockdown, I decided today was the day I would have that one glass with my meal. I nervously opened my half bottle and poured my glass, took a sip and it tasted awful (SHOCK!). This did not stop me. I drank it all and opened another, and even thought about smoking. My OFF switch had malfunctioned again, and Killer Kate had taken the wheel at the first opportunity!

Did the wine add anything to my evening? NO, definitely not. I felt moody, lethargic and hungover the next day.

I finally realised that when I am kind and listen to what my mind and body want, I feel amazing. When I give in and follow the societal norm, I end up feeling disappointed, unbalanced and unhappy.

I wanted to progress in my life and get out the cycle of yesterday. I knew I had to stop looking back at where I had been and be brave in moving forward to where I wanted to go.

That was me done with booze. Finished and free!

WOW! What now? Scary!

“You can paddle in now but drown in forever.”

Now, I find myself at 8 months on my sober adventure and I know in my heart I will not drink again. Why would I? Do I say forever? No need. I just live for the first time in my adult life truly as my authentic self.

Has my adventure had ups and downs?
Yes, but without doubt the ups outnumber the downs tenfold.

I have navigated my way around my husband continuing to drink, albeit considerably less. I am happy to report it can work and all is good. I have negotiated social situations and other people’s discomfort at my sobriety. These days, if I do not fancy going somewhere, I just don’t go. No guilt, no excuses. If I want to leave a party and go home, I go home. FOMO (fear of missing out) is gently transforming into JOMO (joy of missing out). There is no better feeling than waking up hangover free. I never ever regret or feel guilty or shameful about not drinking!

My sober adventure is hands down the best thing I have ever done for myself and the positive benefits just keep coming. My previously erratic emotions have calmed. My sleep has improved greatly. I feel safe and in control of myself at all times. I truly like myself (something I couldn’t say before) and the best thing is, “I have got my own back at all times.”

The late 80’s early 90’s saw the dance music revolution hit the UK and partying took on a new level. It felt big, special and I felt lucky to be a part of it. I have exactly the same feelings about the Sober Revolution that is taking place now.

I was the party girl, last one standing, every night drinker, moderator. I would shy away from sober people because they were boring! Never would I have contemplated or imagined myself Outing the Alcohol and becoming Sober. 

If you feel ready to try Sober, then I am proof you can succeed.

If my story resonates with you or you have your own and you fancy giving sober a try, SoBerYou is here to offer support, guidance, connection, and Sober fun. There is no judgement, nor will any story shock.

Together with all my professional experience and the knowledge and understanding obtained on my own sober adventure, I can offer you a comprehensive and effective program for whatever stage you are at. My sobriety brings authenticity, the ability to empathise and the knowledge that Sober Really is Not Boring!

So, let SoBerYou be part of your sober adventure.

Do I wish I had done this earlier? Of course, that would have been fabulous! Although without all my experiences, my mistakes and stumbles, I would not be able to offer the level of support, guidance and understanding that I do.

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