I love Dawn’s blog Sober Fish and I am so excited to be talking to her today! Dawn gave lots of time to this interview and it contains lots and lots of inspiration.
A little more about Dawn before we dive in …
On 27 November 2016, I became alcohol & smoke free & decided to write about my journey. The Sober Fish Story tells it all.
Dawn share’s her story below, read on for her not drinking diary …
Name: Dawn aka Soberfish
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself …
Hi, I’m Dawn aka Soberfish, single, no children, retired party animal, work in accounts by day & write by night.
2.Tell me a little bit of your drinking story …
I started drinking in my mid-teens .. the usual cider/Blue Wkd/Liebfraumilch combo .. and ended my career drinking fine wines & spirits, by the bottle.
I thought I loved drinking but towards the end, it became like a slow torture rather than a pleasure.
After numerous attempts of temporary sobriety & moderation, including Dry January, Sober for October, setting myself curfews & drink limits, I finally decided to experiment with a year off the sauce, a decision which ultimately changed my life.
3. What led you to think differently about drinking?
I was spending far too much of my weekend feeling shocking and being sick. The bad side of alcohol started to far outweigh the good. I had started to avoid making plans for a Saturday night if I was drinking on Friday night, as knew I probably would probably be too hungover to do anything. I was very overweight and very unhappy.
Something had to change and that was me.
4. How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
I hate it. I hate what it does to people’s lives. I think it is an expensive poison .. a home wrecker ..
I hope that one day alcohol will become as unpopular as smoking, that instead of attractively advertising it, it comes with Government health warning. That’s my dream.
5. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
I have always had a very active social life. I was the ultimate social butterfly. But since Soberdom, I have struggled with night time social events where people are drinking heavily.
These days, I prefer breakfast or lunch dates. If I do venture out after dark, I am usually home by 10pm, before the going gets tough.
6.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
I have learned so much! That life is far better without hangovers. That meaningful conversations are so important. That the sober tribe is a beautiful one. That I am not the over-emotional person that I (and everyone else) thought I was. That I don’t need to argue & cry & dramatise everything. That I have empathy. That writing is my thang. That I am not alone. That I’m actually quite a nice person. That sleep overrides Sauvignon any day of the week. That I am more introvert than I thought. That alcohol affects far ore of us than I ever could have imagined.
7. What benefits of cutting down on alcohol or stopping drinking have you experienced?
I have lost over 3 stone in weight, my eczema has almost disappeared, my hair is thicker & less dry, my eyes are clear and bright, my skin isn’t dry, I sleep well & wake refreshed, I am more productive, I don’t smoke, I don’t drunk text, I don’t have regrets, I don’t have arguments, there is less drama in my life.
8. Are there any resources that have helped you to cut down or stop drinking?
I also read books such as The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Grey & The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley (L’s note: I interviewed Clare Pooley, read it here) aswell as Dry by Augusten Burroughs. My advice is to flood your brain with as much information as possible to drown out any thoughts of drinking.
9. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
Despite being called Dawn, I have never been a morning person. Until now.
My whole routine has changed since becoming sober. I now wake naturally, 7 days of the week, at about 5.10am. I get up straight away … on a weekday … and make a coffee & a small snack & then post to the blog.
At about 6.15am, I get changed, plug myself into a book on Audible and walk for at least 5 miles depending on what time I need to get to work. I get home between 7.30 & 7.45am, get ready for work & leave between 8 – 8.30am.
On the weekend, I laze around much more but essentially the routine is the same but features a snooze.
10. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
I make time for walking & writing & blogging. Without them, I’m not sure where I’d be now.
11. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free & not drinking) at the weekend?
In case you hadn’t guessed, I love walking! And eating! 18 months on, I still get a buzz when I wake up hangover free with a whole beautiful day ahead of me rather than hanging onto the toilet bowl waiting for the storm to pass! In the summer, I love going to the beach.
12. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
Good question! I think I’ll always be working on socialising with drinkers but have kind of resigned myself to the fact that perhaps I just don’t enjoy the party scene anymore.
13. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
I am obsessed with sobriety! I bloody love it and all that comes with it! I love talking about it, writing about it and living it. It really is the best.
14.Any go-to people we should follow for inspiration? (Health, Fitness, Life, Travel you name it!)
I’m a bit of a quote-aholic & love what Brene Brown & Cheryl Strayd have to say!
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?
You are not alone!! When I decided to go public with my story, I had no idea how many people were in the same boat!! No idea!! My other golden nugget is ‘f**k what they think’. We worry far too much about other people’s opinions of us .. just worry about yourself! Its your body, your life, your health. That’s all that matters.