I’m Claire, The Soberholic. Originally from Newcastle, I now live in North Wales, with my husband and our 2 young sons and my cocker spaniel, Woody.
I created The Sober Goals programme, as a result of my own personal struggle with alcohol and the subsequent discovery that a sober life has so much more to offer.
Being sober is energising and revitalising and I’m definitely having more fun.
I worked hard and for years, I thought of alcohol as a release, drinking 100 units (10 bottles of wine) a week. I enjoyed a party lifestyle, in which alcohol played a big part, but I was trapped in a vicious cycle of drink, regret, repeat.
I did ask myself at times, “am I an alcoholic?” but as a successful businesswoman, with 12 properties and a young family, I dismissed the idea. To me, I didn’t fit the profile, so the label of ‘alcoholic’ kept me in denial. I was miserable. I was turning to alcohol to try and keep it together, but while it was masking some of my problems, it was creating even more. It was robbing me of my sleep, my energy and my mental capability. I wasn’t functioning effectively in my business, or as a parent; I was anxious, guilt-ridden and unhappy.
Watching my friends health decline, aged just 52, was my wake-up call to re-evaluate my own situation and give up drinking. I was shocked though, at how hard I found it to give up. In the media, alcohol is portrayed as synonymous with having fun. It’s joked about in a way that other drugs are not; for example, on birthday cards, posters, mugs, coasters and now even on the covers of popular parenting books!
With even more references in social media to ‘wine o’clock’ and ‘prosecco girly fun,’ the alcohol intake of women is increasing.
Having experienced for myself the benefits of being sober, I was keen to turn the tide of popular opinion and ‘rebrand’ sober life. I had previously worked as an employment coach, so I took a course in life coaching, so I could support people in their journey to becoming sober.
I created my Sober Goals programme, to help women like me to turn their lives around and to take their power back.
I introduce them to exciting and challenging outdoor activities that provide stress relief, social interaction and fun.
I am also building a community of like-minded women, who can also offer each other mutual support and encouragement.
I’m happier than I’ve been in years and I want to help other women to achieve that feeling too.