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Have you cake and eat it

I often struggle to believe that I had no idea what people actually did that wouldn’t involve drinking.

For years I wouldn’t have believed people did actually have lives that weren’t soaked in alcohol.

I had no experience of socialising without getting battered.

Weekend. Evenings. All free time was spent in pubs.

I didn’t know any different. So I blithely assumed that my way was the only way.
People must have been doing normal things around me. I was just too tunnel-visioned to notice.

If they weren’t up for getting pissed. Then they were of no use to me. So I ignored them.

When I’d had enough. Years after the fun has gone out of drinking. I wanted a different life.

I’d started noticing people who never drank. They were so fascinating to me. But I never really had the confidence to ask them about the intricacies of their lives.

What do you do with your time?

A simple question that could easily have gotten me started. But I was too afraid to put myself out there.
So I had no choice but to figure it out myself.

And I did. It took a long time. Lots of trial and error.
It broke my heart a bit more, every time I discovered that these new things I was trying, has been there the whole time. That I’d been missing out on them for so long.

That l would never get my youth back, to spend as a happy non-drinker.

But I’m here now. It’s all second-nature. I have the life I’ve always wanted.

And, more to the point, I can’t imagine ever associating drinking with any experience I have. Or any activity I undertake.

Any party I go to, I get to enjoy as a non-drinker without even thinking about it.

Every date I go on with my husband, we get to leave alcohol totally out of the equation, as a subconscious habit.

Every Christmas and New Year. Every Birthday and Holiday. All are spent effortlessly experiencing a full life.

This week I went for tea and cake with my mother. They wrapped our cakes up as presents.

This is what my life is like now that there is no drinking. Everything is a fucking gift. Even the everyday things.

Talk about having your cake and eating it!

It was so perfect. Such a wonderful moment. I had to share it with you.

I could be in a pub right now, drinking last nights hangover away. I’m not. Because I chose to live differently.

So did you.

How good are we??!


Perfectly stuck.

It’s been a while.
A really long while.
I know. And I’m sorry.
2017 has so far seen changes at a lightning pace in every aspect of my life.
That’s not really the reason I’ve held out on blogging though.
I’ve had a new website in the pipeline for over a bloody year now.
It’s much more reflective of what my work is about. And my personal beliefs on stopping drinking.
It’s got a proper section for my mini eBooks, of which there are a shed load.
Videos. Pictures. Blah blah etc.
It’s not even that fancy. It’s just taken the people I paid to do it, so flipping long, that I got engaged, got married and changed my name. And still this bloody site wasn’t done.
So I decided to do nothing. To wait.
Wait for my version of perfection.
Worst old drinking habit ever.

It’s ridiculous to go back to such an old habit of thinking, twelve years after stopping drinking alcohol. 
The habit of perfection. This concept that if I can’t be perfect, then I’ll just be nothing at all. It’s bullshit.
It leads to nothingness. A life devoid of personal development.
And I let it stifle me for a year. This out-dated concept of perfection.
This all-or-nothing mentality l’d managed to undo for so long.
Took me ages to work out what I was doing. And how “drinky” this behaviour was.
But when I did, I addressed it.
And I’m happy it happened.
Because as much as I unequivocally know I will never drink again.
I’m equally aware I’m either evolving or I’m stagnating.
And stagnating sober isn’t a very different feeling place than stagnating drunk.
And drunk is so average. So second-rate an existence, to me.
That I want no emotional links to a life like that at all.
What notion of perfection are you inadvertently carrying around that is making you stagnate when you could be flourishing?

Your App is Ready…

I’ve not been terribly active on the blogs this year.
I’ve been working on something else for you, instead.
For the past year, I’ve been working on an app to give you what I never had, but desperately needed, not just in the early days as a non-drinker. But whenever I needed a little boost.
Someone to pat me on the back, to tell me I was doing a great job.
To remind me WHY I was making this life choice-to STOP DRINKING permanently.

Because why the fuck shouldn’t we have someone sit us down, and remind us, not just daily, but several times a day, why this life of non-drinking is brilliant.
But I didn’t just want it to be airy fairy little messages on motivation. I wanted you to have tips! Actual practical tips, every damn DAY. 
Daily solutions to that question we all have: what the hell do l do with all this spare time I suddenly have, now I’m not getting rat-arsed all the time.

And I didn’t want you to have to have ANYTHING on your phone that gave away that this app had anything to do with non-drinking. 
Because whose business is it how you intend to improve your life?!

See? This is the app on my phone. Nobody would guess what it’s about.
And you don’t get notifications when a new inspirational update appears. So to get to control when you check in and have a look.
Because who wants personal notifications showing up for all-and -sundry to eyeball 👀?
Yes there are other apps out there. Dealing in the usual stuff. The woe is me. The sadness. The lack mentality. I’m sure they work beautifully.
But this is NOT what I wanted for you. I wanted HAPPINESS. 

I wanted you to feel and experience what life is like, 12 years down the line as a non-drinker without having to wait 12 years to do it.

With daily pictures of a nice life that you should expect as the norm. 
With little hints and tips that I love and that have worked so many times for the people who have used them when doing sessions with me.

I called it SO? Because so fucking what if we can’t drink, because when we start, we can’t stop? It doesn’t have to define us.

SO who cares if we now have to carve out the most amazing life for ourselves instead?

SO what if it’s different to how others seem to live?

Really and truly, these past twelve years have taught me, that the only part of Sober, worth bothering with, is SO.

I put everything I have into this app. Not just financially. But more importantly, emotionally. 
It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned so far. Of every conversation I’ve ever had, with you, and everyone else who ever put a question to me.
It’s the end result of obsessively searching for solutions to every recovery-based struggle I ever wrestled with.

It’s very simple: download the app and you will get two free updates every day, or five for the paid version, which is £2.99 for the year.
I recommend you try the free version first. It may be all you need.
From the day you download the app, your history page will store one month’s worth of updates for you to constantly refer back to.
The first update you get will disappear after your read it once. I don’t know why. No one knows why. 
But if you check back in for the next update, whether later that day, or the day after, then it won’t ever happen again after that.
There is no signup. I get so bloody irritated by apps that want a million bits of info from me. If you do too, then this will be a welcome relief…jut download and begin. It’s that simple.

It’s also not a forum. I’ve included two great interactive sites that are run incredibly well by folk who I like personally and trust professionally, if that’s what you are looking for.

This is one-on-one. Nobody else’s business. Just a few moments of inspirations. Several times a day. To help you build strong non-drinking momentum.

It works. That’s what excites me the most.

And if you want it, then you can download it here
To my chicas who were kind enough to test the app for me, then were so lovely with their feedback-I can’t thank you enough. You have given me the confidence to tell everyone else about it. And I’m so appreciative of you ❤️
(Also you’ll be hearing a lot more from me, now everything is up and running, thanks for sticking with me whilst I went off the grid and got this done. I’m really very grateful)
Carrie xx

The first step to becoming a sober girl.

How do you become a sober girl?

If it was as easy as just not drinking anymore, then we would only ever need one attempt at it.

I had a number of failed attempts.
Not loads. I thought about “giving up” drinking, constantly.

I had notebooks full of drunken crap I would write myself, about how I would like to stop drinking.

But I never invested heavily in any action, because my self-belief was so poor, I thought I would fail at anything I tried to do.

Nearly 12 years on. This is what I now understand.
To become a non-drinker. We have to believe we deserve a non-drinker’s life.

We have to believe we are worthy of all the nice things other girls have.

To know we are capable of living the lives they live.

There’s no difference between us and those other girls.

And you know the one’s I’m talking about.
The women who let a glass of wine go untouched on the bar table in front of them.

Who look happy. And perfectly turned-out.
Who have relationships with men who adore them.

Who laugh all the time.

Who have hobbies and interests that mean they barely have time to sit in a bar.

The women who make having a night in look more glamorous and fun, than anything else we’ve done all year.

The girls whose lives just seem to work. Effortlessly. Constantly.

Who are showered with love and adoration.

These creatures were so mysterious to me, in my drinking days, that I may as well have been an alien from a different planet to them.

I would never have dared compare myself to one of them.
I didn’t deserve to share the same air as them.

There’s no way I could have tried to be like them.

I wouldn’t have known where to start.
They had no struggle like mine. They didn’t need to learn how to be a sober girl.

Alcohol played such a tiny role in their picture-perfect lives.

How sad that I didn’t realise there was barely any difference between their own lives, and mine.

What a waste, to discover, years down the line, that if I had believed in myself.
Liked myself.

Concentrated on myself.

I would have morphed into one of those girls. Effortlessly.

Because those girls. Those ones with lovely  lives. Totally indifferent to alcohol. Filled with fun and excitement and positivity.

They are the only women I surround myself with, these days.

Because that’s what I deserve.
Nice things.
Great experiences.

They are what life is supposed to be about. I get that now.

When I was drunk and hated myself and my existence.

I thought people would like me more, if I put myself down.

Or had less nice things than them.
If I wore my self-hatred like a badge of honour.

What a weird thing to think.
That’s not how to be liked.

But, more more importantly:

No one can get sober from that frame of mind.

So, how do we become a sober girl?

First and foremost: we fill our lives and thoughts with nice things.

We go to the nice places.
We say and think the nice words.
About ourselves, and about others.

We leave the crap, bargain-basement mentality, in the seedy bar, and we walk into The light with our heads held high.

We force ourselves to experience beautiful things.

We say nice things to ourselves.
About ourselves.
Until we are so saturated in love and beauty.

That our actions reflect this love.

Because when we become love. It’s very hard to sabotage ourselves.

It’s almost impossible to put up with shoddy experiences, like drinking abusively.

And it’s far, far easier, to become a sober girl.

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Getting back in the kitchen 

My relationship with cooking was weird when I was a drinker.

I would get massively anxious about cooking. For myself was bad enough.
For other people? Awful. I could hardly bare it.

I hated everything about cooking. I felt useless at it.

I had no idea what to do. And no impetus to learn.

Plus being in the kitchen meant that I wasn’t in a pub drinking.

Or on my sofa, also drinking.

Two of the most important and worthwhile ways to spend my time.
I hated it. And never wanted to do anything to change that.

And had I kept drinking? That’s how it would have stayed.

Because that’s the thing about alcohol abuse.

Nothing ever evolves

But anyway, I did stop drinking. And almost immediately, I became obsessed with healthy eating.
Because I only knew how to engage in emotional extremes.

And then because I was physically very poorly, and decided food would be my salvation.

I would pour obsessively over recipe books. Even when I was too sick to get out of bed.

Even when I did eventually get my body back to a place it could stand and walk.
I was too afraid to eat most foods.

In case they were dangerous and made me unwell.

Food wasn’t really about eating, it was about a fantasy lifestyle where I could pretend to be someone else.

I became a militant vegan, because I based my new, faux personality on women who write cookbooks and blogs.

I didn’t know who I was, thanks to drinking my entire adult life, so I thought I may as well pretend to be them.

I was obsessed with my vegan lifestyle for years, yet barely ate.

Then I stopped all of that, and just ignored food for a few years.

Everything I bought was readymade. Or prepared for me by someone else, because I knew it was the only way I would ever be free from this prison.

Then. I simply waited.
Waited until I felt interested in making food for the pleasure it gave me to prepare it.

It took years.

But finally I moved into a home with a kitchen I loved, and people I really wanted to feed.
Finally I saw food as connection.
Connecting to my past, by using my nana’s decades old recipe book.

Connection To my present, by bonding with people during food prep together and the eating afterward.

Connection to friends and family by making them gifts in the kitchen.

Connection to myself by finally having the confidence in my burgeoning creative streak, to express it in the kitchen.

Now, I’ve come back to the kitchen.


I can spend a lazy Sunday morning baking cakes and buns.

Or a Friday night making a roast dinner for extended family and inviting them over.

I can nip in for 20 minutes, if someone is popping over, so I can feed them fresh scones.

Or spend quiet time at my kitchen table, reading, whilst the smell of baking bread permeates the air around me.

There are no rules to the kitchen now.

Whilst-ironically-I actually use the vegan cookbooks now that I just used to read when I wouldn’t eat.

I also use vegetarian, meat filled, or any others that grab my attention.

There are no labels. 

Just a lovely, bright, warm and inviting space that I love to spend time in.

A place that makes me so glad that I learned how to get back in the kitchen.

Coming full circle 

When I was a drinker. 

My houses were never homes.

Okay, flats. I always lived in flats as an adult. But they were never nice.

I had no idea how to make a home lovely.

How to create what I needed from a living space.

Mainly because it never occurred to me to ask myself what I needed from my home.

(My home now)

By default, the only time I was ever there was to drink, or to recover from a hangover.

That’s what I needed from my housing.

So that’s all I did. Sleep. Or drink. Or get ready to out drinking again.

Nice homes were for other people.

Not people like me, who didn’t deserve nice things, and wouldn’t know how to create them, even if I did feel I deserved them.

I stopped drinking, as we all know, or I wouldnt be writing any of this.
And when I stopped, gradually? The fog lifted.

And, over the years of non-drinking, I changed.

I changed every time a question came up in my own mind.

Little questions like “what do people do in their own homes if they don’t spend all their time drinking”


“How do people go about making their homes and lives lovely places? Do they learn it in a class somewhere?”

(I’d always felt like I’d be born without instructions everyone else seemed to already have read, so this was nothing new.)
We have the internet now. On our phones. Which is very helpful.
Most of the answers can be found on there.

If I’d stopped drinking now, instead of 11 years ago, I’d have just hopped on my phone and spent hours on Apps like Pinterest and Houzz.

I’d have stripped down my dingy flats, and made them into the homes I was discovering online.

(And then kept recreating them, because we change and evolve at a rate of knots when we become non-drinkers, so the stuff I thought was the height of chic 5 years ago, would be of no interest to me now. That’s how I know I’m doing non-drinking right, the sheer rate at which I still, even 11 years on, keep changing.)

By the time we stop drinking, our world revolves around alcohol. It’s our life. Our hobby. 
The only thing we truly feel anything remotely like enthusiasm for.

So of course the world feels full of drinkers and bars and happy hours.

Understandably, no other human appears to talk about anything else except getting pissed.

Because our world has become so tiny, that it’s all we see.

But the world is nothing like that.
Most people, are nothing like that.
And right now, in 2017, there’s never been a better time to let technology show us that.

11 years ago, technology was far less accessible.

So it excites me that I get to live vicariously through the women that come to me for lessons in stopping drinking.

Because they get to use these brilliant things I never had!

I’m not going to talk about the journey I made, that resulted in me caring about my home.

Not this time, next time I will.

And I’ll follow it on with the other things I replaced drinking with, how I did it, and then how my ladies use 2017 technology to do it now.

It’s all I have to offer these days.

Because I genuinely cannot be arsed to tell anymore sad drinking stories from my past.  

If alternatives are what you are looking for.

If coming full circle, back to a life that you know you had the potential to have.

Could have had, before drink got in the way.

Then stick around for the next few weeks.

Because that’s all I’ll be talking about.
If you are ready to come full circle with me, that is …

What do you want to talk about? The answer? Or the problem?

I do don’t interviews anymore.

I used to. 

Because I used to believe that shining the spotlight on a problem, would surely help the solve it.

But all people wanted to talk about was shock-value.

To list drink quantities. And terrible behaviour. Rake over past sins.

That’s not talking about alcoholism. It’s engaging in voyeurism.

When I acquiesced to being a talking head for addiction. I also chronicled my own experiences. 

But I stopped doing that too. A few years down the line.

I grew weary of adding my own voice to the legions of those, bellowing down the abyss, in the hopes of helping those trying to scramble their way up, and out of there.

I reasoned that l had talked about it enough.

That people wouldn’t have to dig far, to find my drinking credentials.

That I never had to bring up the past again.

I also stopped going on the news like I used to.

Railing against government policy and useless NHS guidelines.

The outrage didn’t suit me.

The unhappiness I felt in expressing it. 
It wasn’t what l wanted from the life l had worked so hard to rebuild.

I was (and remain), very fortunate to have such privileged access to the mediums of communication that so many organisations afford me, whenever I want them.

But I rarely feel the impetus to use them anymore.

Something felt deeply wrong. 

So I stopped talking on tv

I stopped writing in newspapers and blogs.
And I went back to basics.

In doing so. I realised that talking about the problem, was now the problem.

I had invented a way of eradicating alcohol abuse.

Yet I never got to talk about that.
Talk about the answer. The massively simple method I had come up with.

People, as a whole, just wanted to go over and over the problem.
I honestly didn’t know what to do about that.
Then I discovered the power of the individual.

Individuals would contact me and want the answer.

They too were tired of talking about the problem.

Singular people, would email in their droves.

Then apply the solution I had come up with, to their own drinking.
100% successfully.

Every single one of them.

And then.

These individuals, would tell other individuals.

And that’s when I had to stop working as a TV presenter, and do this full time.

Because nothing was more important to me, than talking about this solution.  

 This answer.  

All day every day.  

Over and over.

All the while, watching people free themselves from this terrible prison of Alcohol abuse.

I’m the only person in the world who teaches it this way.

There are thousands of others who teach other methods  their way.

But there are millions who sit around talking about the problem.

You don’t have to do it my way.

Or anyone else Way but your own
But I beg of you.
 Ask yourself as many times as you can this week, when you engage in a conversation about non-drinking

Am l talking about the problem, or the answer?

Because only one of those things has the power to set you free

Making change in 2017

Happy 2017!

Whether you rocked the ProseccNo and are waking up with a clear head and conscience.

Or if you didn’t quite manage to stay alcohol-free last night. And feel sad about it today.

Perhaps you decided to get shitfaced last night, to start dry January as you last ever “day one”.

Or maybe you feel like you drank last night so you’ve no choice but to drink today.

Thing is, it doesn’t matter where any of us are starting from today.

And, more importantly, it doesn’t matter where anyone else is starting from, at all.
2017 is all about us.

It really can be our year.

No more using other people’s yardsticks to measure our own progress.

If you are stuck for a resolution, then just resolve to make 2017 all about you.

We can’t ever tell from the outside, the truth of someone else’s life on their inside.

We can only go off what they are telling us, using their words.

And we’ve all bent the truth with words, let’s be honest.

In 2017, no one else’s progress is any of our business.

In 2017, no one else’s beliefs are any of our business.

This year, we can move mountains in our own lives, if we simply stop wasting time staring at other people’s vistas.

Doesn’t matter what any of us did last night.

Only today can take us closer to, or further from, where we want to be.

Only we can decide what happens next.
The new year is going to happen, regardless of whether we decide to become a new version of ourselves.

Today just so happens to be an international day of deliberate change.

And whilst it’s irrelevant what anyone else decides to do with their new year.

Harnessing the mass energy of the biggest day one of the year, is an excellent use of deliberate momentum, if ever I heard one.

Happy New Year to you. I wish you the best of all things xx

What my Christmas words are, now.

I love my Christmas tree this year.
I waited until this weekend to get one and put it up.
I wanted something that reflects the way the world feels for me, now.
So I went with the same theme as the Christmas cards I sent out:
Peace and Joy 

That’s what Christmas is about for me, these days.
I shudder to imagine the words I would have bedecked my tree with, back in my drinking days:





Save me

All the while, smiling on the outside. Putting on a santa costume (it’s a tradition where I come from.) and drinking the season away.

Telling myself it was normal to feel like this.

That life was hard, and everyone is unhappy. That’s what being an adult is all about.

I’m on the other side of all that, now.
The darkness is over.
I wake up everyday in a lovely safe and warm home.

A place I am always comfortable in.
I get to spend the holiday season with friends and family.
I get to do things I didn’t even know I enjoyed. Like baking and cooking and making my home beautiful.
All ready for loved ones to come and spend the holidays here.

In this place of Peace and Joy.
At night, I get to curl up, onesie on, cup of tea in hand.
And watch the Christmas films that made me so happy as a child.

Nothing about Christmas now, resembles the shambles that it used to, back when drinking was the dominant feature.

And I’m so grateful for that. I can’t even put into words what it means to me. To not have that struggle, anymore.

I wish you so much peace and joy, this season.

On your tree and in your home.
Lots of love,
Carrie xx

Fear and Self-loathing at Christmas 

I hate Bullshit.

So when people work within the “sober culture” industry try and make out that they get super-busy with clients at this time of year. I find it annoying.

It’s lies.

Truth is, the overwhelming majority of folk do not want to sort their personal shit out at Christmas time.

They want to feel like they can do what they feel like.

And of course, anyone that has a drunk problem, feels like going out and getting drunk, whenever they can get away with it.

And Christmas is an excellent time to get away with it.

There will be the exception to the rule. 
There always is.

But these people are few and far between.
Individuals who are in that really specific point in their quest for a happier life.

Who reach that tiny knife edge.

Realising they won’t be missing out if they don’t drink.

And so just need instructions to get them through the holiday season.

(Which means they’ve hit the jackpot with good timing because all sobercoach-types are slashing their prices for December so you’ll get sessions with them for around £50 like I’m doing. Cos we’ve nowt else to do til after Christmas cheer is over. Absolute bonus, is that.)

But, honestly, you can’t force that epiphany. It will come in its own time.

So. If you are one of the humans who isn’t at epiphany stage yet. Who will be using Christmas as an excuse for one last month of binging.

I want you to listen to me very carefully.

It’s okay.

It’s fine that you are going to do that.

You aren’t beyond hope.

And you shouldn’t use this month of excess as an excuse to hate yourself.

Don’t waste the time you aren’t soending drinking, obsessing over what you drank.

Participate in life.

Don’t hide in your bedroom with a hangover and miss the magic that will be going on around you.

The world will still turn.

Children will still be excited.

There will be continue to be reasons to feel happy and feel love.

It’s the fear and self-loathing. The overreaction and obsession during hangovers that are often the most dysfunctional part of problem drinking.

I’m not going to demand you stop drinking before Christmas.

If you aren’t ready and don’t want to, then you won’t. It’s as simple as that.
But I’m not going to let you get away with thinking you have to hate yourself for it.
Because it’s simply not true.

Love yourself, fully. 
Embrace yourself, as you are, right now.
Tell yourself to leave the hungover drama and obsession at the door.
And just do the best you can, this month.
It’s all any of us can do.