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My sober pandemic: Michelle

August 24th, 2021 Interviews

Gorgeous chocolate labrador

“I used to be tightly wound, and used alcohol and isolation to cope with my feelings of overwhelm.”

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Michelle: I’m pretty cool about it honestly, but that’s only because my husband and I can still work remotely. Also my son is still quite young, but old enough to do his own school work (with a bit of convincing).

Michelle: I used to be quite tightly wound, and I used alcohol and isolation to cope with my feelings of overwhelm. When lockdown started I was honestly relieved. I really slowed down. Although work was still full on, removing the stress of driving around and getting so many things done really helped with my anxiety. I wasn’t drinking during the first and second lockdown, but I was earlier this year. This time round we have a 6 month old puppy so there’s still stress, just on a different level!

Michelle: I have been sober for 51 days – yay! I actually had been sober for 3 years and then relapsed earlier this year, I convinced myself I could moderate, but that quickly turned out badly. Luckily my husband and counsellor helped me get myself out of the cycle again.

Michelle: For me, alcohol just adds a problem to a problem, so it was adding to my stress and overwhelm, all the while I thought it was my release from stress. I am so so glad I don’t have to worry about whether I have enough alcohol to get me through the lockdown! I have enough to worry about I don’t need that as well.

Michelle: Honestly I haven’t. It’s early days for me so the last time I drank is still fresh. It makes me sad to think that if I drank I’d be totally checked out from life, my family and myself. Alcohol spells loneliness for me, and that’s not something I want.

Michelle: I try to get outside and take the dog for a walk. I also use a lot of apps on my phone like Mentemia, 24 hours, and of course logging into Living Sober always makes me feel connected. A bath always does the trick, online window shopping, Netflix, wardrobe organisation, a bit of alone time helps regenerate me.

Michelle: Working mostly, talking care of the dog and our son. I’ve been unwell so a lot of sleep!

Michelle: It takes a lot of courage to admit you’re struggling. If you’re asking yourself whether this is a good way to live, consider if you are willing to do what it takes really live – even if that means being uncomfortable. Change is hard because we don’t know what’s on the other side, but it can’t hurt to give a different way of living a go for a while and see if it’s better

Michelle: That’s Coco Bean our chocolate lab. He burst into our lives and we haven’t been the same since. He even has his own Instagram!

Michelle: I have struggled a lot, over the past few years, with acceptance. I cannot drink normally, as much as I’ve tried, it’s my thing and I need to manage it. I’m not ashamed of the number of times I’ve tried to be alcohol free. Even if it takes a million tries it’s worth it.

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