My Second Chance

Hello, Emma here!

I’m a 33-year-old. Living in London, United Kingdom.

It can be said that alcohol dependency can be isolating. For many of us struggling with drinking, it can feel lonely. When it comes to developing a new relationship with alcohol. I believe that we as a community must share our feelings and connect with each other. Community is essential for maintaining and enjoying sobriety.  It helps us to avoid feelings of isolation, rediscovering self, and connecting with others, who understand what you’re experiencing.

I’m wanting to share my journey (with a little trepidation). I hope that by opening up, and discussing my sober journey, I can help others.

Almost a year ago my body decided quite simply ‘no more vino’!

After unexpectedly being faced with a mirage of health challenges. I realised that it was time to deal with my drinking and my relationship with alcohol.

When I first started my sober journey, I realised I couldn’t remember how to socialise, de-stress or even have fun without a drink. I had relied on alcohol for almost every emotion. I was now facing the world, my problems, worries, and feelings all without the help of a drink.

I knew I was drinking too much but somehow, I trained my brain to believe the excuses. That I was functioning! I was paying my bills on time! I was allowed to enjoy myself … right?!  Wrong! I knew the effects of alcohol from a young age, but not enough to stop me. I didn’t understand how anyone could have fun without drinking. Society today seems as if it is advertising alcohol in every possible way. I’m now wanting to show what the real effect of alcohol looks like, not the glamourised picture it portrays.

To give you an idea of my drinking patterns, I started to drink in my late teens. When I was out with friends on the weekend, then after work drinks and in the end drinking indoors . I was always able to manage a full-time job. However, slowly, my productiveness started to decrease at work  too.

I joined Hello Sunday Mornings four years ago. I always wished I was brave enough to try and be sober sooner.

 I was always putting it off! Often, when I was lying in bed on the weekend with the worst anxiety and beer fear possible. I would make the commitment to get sober. I would say to myself that I was 100 per cent not drinking again. However, by Tuesday – I was back! Buying a bottle after work to complement my dinner (a dinner which I probably would never eat anyway).

It’s been one year since I last had a drink. Something I genuinely didn’t think would be possible.  My health is improving. It has been challenging at times! I haven’t been as social as I was before. I find certain places still triggering for me, but I’m learning as I go.

Please do ask for help if you feel drinking is becoming a priority. I’m not a sober specialist or expert, but I am human, and I can be honest. I first-hand know it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere or you’re not feeling any benefits once you stop. Keep going! I promise the sober world is beautiful. 

Good luck and keep well.

Emma

The ways that have helped me so far:

 ◦    Reading real-life stories and learning each day from someone else’s perspective

◦    Hello Sunday has amazing support

◦    Keep a tight circle of friends or family you can trust available to talk

 ◦    Breathe and breathe again

 ◦    Think forward and enjoy every sober moment

20 Comments

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  • Thanks Emma

    By Gerald
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Great to hear stories of clear minds and strength.
    From my experience (about 10 years af) the social impacts were/are the most challenging. It’s as if there is an obligation or duty to attend functions. I go if I feel comfortable. I arrive and leave at my leisure. I’ll drink tea out of a porcelain cup. I don’t care. Nor should others. Thanks for your story Emma🙂

    By David
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Wow great read. Thank you for sharing your story, I can definitely relate. Inspiring. Regards Johl

    By Johl
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • I’m so proud of you my beautiful cousin! You throughly are an inspiration. I know your story will help many others. Lots of love now and always xxx

    By Natasha
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    November 26, 2022
  • Well done girl , keep it up , we’ll proud of you .

    By Mac
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Thank you for sharing Emma.

    By Kaylene
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • encouraging narration of the real challenges and simple solution. i am also on the course right now.

    By prabin dey
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • I am soooooo proud of you Emma! Wow just wow, I can imagine it’s been a journey and you have had other challenges but you have victoriously pushed out through! Cheering you on all the way, super proud!

    By Naomi Kamana
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Thank you for sharing your story Emma and congratulations on your year of sobriety. I’m now almost one month sober. Last night I had my first girls night out without alcohol. As I haven’t been drinking my anxiety levels have already dropped and so I wasn’t feeling too anxious about being out socially. I told my friends in advance that I wasn’t drinking and they were pleased as I offered to drive. I didn’t feel that I was missing out as I had my tonic water served in a large wine glass with ice and Lemon. I felt in control, not blurry and still had a laugh. I’m excited to be discovering the real me. Someone who I don’t really know as I’ve been using drink my entire adult life for every situation and to numb every emotion. My friends were surprised at my decision to stop drinking but could all understand. One of them feels inspired and wants to do the same. The more we share our stories the more others can see that they are not alone in their drinking habits. Many of us have similar stories. I’m done with drinking and I gain encouragement from people like you sharing your story and by listening to alcohol free podcasts. Thanks again Emma.

    By Rachael
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • So proud of you x

    By Amanda
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Emma thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. Congratulations on reaching the one year mark that’s an incredible achievement. It was so uplifting to read your journey thanks for sharing. Norah

    By Norah Byrne
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • That was really good.
    Thanks for sharing sweetheart xxxx

    By Meti
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Well done Emma. We are so proud of you. You are a beautiful person & thank you for sharing your story, hopefully it will help others out who are just beginning or thinking about being sober. Stay healthy & keep up the amazing work xx

    By Louise
    |
    November 26, 2022
  • Huge congratulations on your one year Emma. Like you when I started I never believed I could make it to a month little alone a year. So happy for you and what you’ve achieved and gosh do I not miss ‘the fear’ or the hangovers!

    By Kaija
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • It’s a horrible cycle I’m trapped in it can’t break the habit

    By JMac
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • You could turn this experience to write a book Emma. Your clarity, honesty and unveiling of the myth alcohol is ok needs to be heard.
    What a journey you are on and one millions of people trapped in self medication with alcohol will benefit from. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    By Michele Lambert
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • Thank you Emma. I am on the journey to reach sobriety too. I know how much I need to and I know how easy it is to ‘reward myself – I’ve earned it’ and have a drink. Then I hate myself. Thank you for sharing your story. I will keep trying

    By Christine
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • Thank you, Emma, for sharing. What you say really resonates with me and gives me encouragement and a sense of not feeling so alone. I appreciate you for writing it. Also, your one year of sobriety–an inspiration! Thank you again for sharing.

    By Ann
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • Hi Emma,
    thank you for your honesty. Yes – you are right here, I think – to get sober, to enjoy this “new life” the exchange of lived experiences is very, very important. It also helped myself incredibly to hear from others what difficulties they got with alcohol … and how they solved them. I experienced a lot of help and support in my “separation process” from my oh-so-loved “friend” alcohol.

    You write that you are not as social in your sober life as you used to be. I felt the same way while travelling to sobriety. Maybe it’s just that one IS a little less sociable and it’s more one’s own and someone’s real nature to take it a little quieter. I think when you cut out the alcohol your real self tends to come out more clearly.

    I often think sociability changes for yet another reason as well – and this involves one’s social environment. Alcohol drinkers usually love the company of alcohol drinkers. If you were one of them and then suddenly you’re ordering Coke, soda, or ginger ale all evening, you may find that company more and more boring. And the reverse is probably true as well.
    Sociability may first have to emerge new and grow again, and it may be that you need different people for this than you used to. At least that’s what I’m experiencing myself, and I’ve been Alc-free for just under three and a half years now.

    Anyway, your story sounds like you chose the right path for you. Your body apparently spoke a very clear language here. I think you can be a little proud that you heard this voice and did not ignore it.

    All the best to you, Emma…

    Tom

    By Tom
    |
    November 27, 2022
  • Thanks for sharing your story. A few years ago I took a year off the booze and learnt that it is possible to have a fulfilling social life without alcohol. That said, after my hiatus, I found it was a slippery slope to fall back into old habits.

    By Bob
    |
    November 28, 2022
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