Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series, today I’m chatting to Rose! I chat to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
Rose is based in London and is a good friend of mine. She’s been a massive support on my journey to an alcohol free life and I couldn’t have done it without her. I loved this Not Drinking Diary interview and her answers made me chuckle more than once.
She’s a petite lady, single and working in social media as a freelancer. Her friends describe her as having two sides – the highly logical and pragmatic side and the feelingy spiritual emotional side.
She’s recently started a sober tinder dating blog – she’s much braver than me – which is a great read.
Read on for her not drinking diary …
Name: Rose Scanlon-Jones
1.Tell me a little bit about yourself …
I find it hard to talk about myself unless given specific questions, or if I’m asked about my point of view on something. I’m the daughter of a anti social Irish man and a overwhelmingly emotional cockney mother. Enough said.
2.Tell me a little bit of your drinking story …
I started drinking when I was 13 but only recreationally – there wasn’t much to do in the countryside when you’re a teenager but get drunk in fields with your friends (L’s note: this is v true!).
Alcohol is a staple part of english uni and teenage culture so I’ve drank my fair share of glens vodka straight from the bottle. When I hit 21 my hangovers lasted more than a day, that’s when I knew I was getting old.
3. What led you to think differently about drinking?
I started to see the effect it was having on my health – the casual and binge drink culture the UK has is literally poisoning our body. And we call it ‘letting lose’ or ‘unwinding’.
I spent the christmas of 2016 drinking quite a lot – lots of hot toddies and mulled wines…and then around a few days before New Years eve I felt my body telling me ‘holy christ what are you doing? Stop treating me like a piece of shit’. So I spent new years with my sister, sober, wrapped in a blanket watching our neighbours fire works… it was the most blissful experience ever.
Since then i’ve discovered that alcohol doesn’t help me ‘let lose’ or enjoy things more….it numbs me and disconnects me from the moments i’m using it to enjoy.
4.How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
Right now i’ve gone back to quitting drinking – after my cousins wedding where for the first time this year I threw up because I drank too much I need some time off. And honestly alcohol the day after makes my body feel like a sack of potatoes and I love to feel confident in my own body.
Right now alcohol and I are on an indefinite break.
5.What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
Mostly it’s been seeing the friends and loved ones around who drink (in my opinion) too much. It makes me often uncomfortable to see rational people around me turn sour and nasty after a few drinks.
Another huge challenge has been dating without drinking. Christ dating is weird without drinking…but doesn’t that say a lot about what we consider ‘normal’?
6.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
Three key things
1 – Your body really needs your respect
2 – Alcohol poisons your body and your mind
3 – I don’t need alcohol to experience life to the fullest.
7. What benefits of cutting down on alcohol or stopping drinking have you experienced?
I feel awake and ready when I wake up on a Saturday or Sunday. Sundays are now my most productive days.
But also my body – mixing yoga, lots of water and not drinking has shrunk my stomach and thigh size.
8.Are there any resources that have helped you to cut down or stop drinking? (Skip if a no)
Yes – LAURIE HELPED ME. She introduced me to the wellness / sobriety movement and I’ve not looked back since.
I’ve met some amazing people who’s lives have done a positive 180 because of not drinking. These examples and support system are incredible.
9.How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
I kind of have a routine. Most days I lollop out of bed and get straight onto my yoga matt (which is pre rolled out at the foot of my bed in front my bedroom door so unless i’m bursting for the toilet I get straight onto the mat)
Other days I shower, maybe eat something at home and before I leave I honestly look into a mirror – stare myself down and think my mantra for the week through … which is quite serious so i often follow that up with a clicking finger guns and say to myself ‘you got this!’
10. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Hand cream, nail maintenance and hand massages. I like to have moisturised hands all the time, and well kept nails. It’s not like i’m getting gels done all the time but if I can spare a half hour I do get them done.
Something about clean well kept nails helps me feel calm.
11. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free & not drinking) at the weekend?
Depends on the weather – I live near London fields so if i’ve got not plans I just go there with my book (currently reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami)
Or I do these little illustrations which I like to do at the weekend – I gather my thoughts over the week in my phone and at the weekend I sit quietly and draw them out. And obviously seeing friends.
12. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
For my birthday I got two books on intro’s to chakras – so every two weeks I work on focusing on a different chakra. I’m really good at picking up new ideas / projects and dropping them….so I’m working really hard to stick to this one.
Because I got crazy drunk a few weeks ago I’ve gone back to the second Chakra (sarcal chakra) and i’m going through different exercises to help me connect with it and balance it out.
I’ve also learned that I internally stress my body out when i’m stressed or anxious..so some people outwardly express these things but one thing I do is internally pressure myself. I’ll frown really hard, or grit my teeth or gather lots of pressure to my forehead which over time gives me migraines and builds up crazy amounts of angry energy which never goes away. So i’m working on this.
I often close my eyes, breath slowly and imagine my third eye (centre point in my forehead) opening up and black mist is being sucked out. And as I breath in golden light fills my body and head …. breath out and the black mist is sucked out.
13. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
Being self aware, keeping on top of my bad habits, and ensuring everything I do comes from a place that’s truly serving myself and my well being.
Standing in my truth and keeping connecting with those I love strong is very important to me right now.
14.Any go-to people we should follow for inspiration? (Health, Fitness, Life, travel you name it!)
Honestly I don’t follow many people – I’m trying to do this journey by my own rules and learn from my own experiences. But Yoga with Adriene is my go to yogi online (yoga in london aint cheap yal so check her out)
BUT in saying that I really insist people check out this app ‘A soft murmur’ its an ambient noise app that allows you to mix the sounds. It’s wonderful.
I also use the ‘sleep with me podcast’ when I can’t sleep. It’s a real treat.
15. And finally, thinking differently about your relationship with alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
Make a little list of reasons why you’re doing it. And if you’re feeling isolated or like you may pick up a drink just go back to the list and remember that because you made that list in the first place you KNOW FOR A FACT you wanted this.
Also find others who are doing the same as you. Also practise saying ‘no i’m ok thank you’ when asked if you want a alcoholic drink.