Updated: Mar 20
Today I was lucky to be a guest speaker in a lovely online community I have been a member of for the past few months. This group was founded by an amazing online coach and inspiring individual I stumbled across whilst networking in the online space.
Shelle Fantastic Empowering Women Group is growing week on week and is now full of women from across the globe who I get to 'hang out' with on a Saturday lunchtime.
We are all very different united in a common goal of learning more about others and ourselves. It really is beautiful.
When I was drinking all the wine all the time - I had no clue these things took place.
I was wrapped up in my own world and not open to learning from people I did NOT know. Now I feel like the world has opened up and I am excited to be part of such an amazing platform.
Women today need connection - think back to when we were living in mud huts and relying on each other for support and guidance, this community of women are here to help each other through all the changes and stages of life, women from all walks of life who can share and learn from one another. The online space is so noisy and within the click of a button, you can be in a different group or space, spending your time and sharing your message.
Today I talked about empowerment and I shared the vision I have for my business.
I also took my client Louise along to share how proud I am of her and how she has inspired me over the last year too.
I support ambitious women to change their relationship with alcohol, after quitting myself I am passionate about my mission to help women uncover the truth about alcohol and teaching others the benefits of giving up alcohol, you can learn other ways to
Cope with LIFE
Connect with others
You can get all this information online, right?
You can simply go to the Drs and be supported through this?
However, hearing it from a real-life person who can share with you a similar experience or timeline makes it way more valuable and relatable.
So let me explain, I was drinking over 100 units per week usually at home in my prosecco princess pyjamas surrounded by fridge magnets and birthday cards that told me I deserved it. I was the girl you bought the Baileys Bubble Bath and Gin & Tonic candles for as I was always full of tales from my latest drunk escapade.
It was all just such a LAUGH... or was it?
It's true, at the moment I enjoyed a glass of wine - I thought it was great, like many women I couldn't imagine my life without it.
However, since I have quit this is how I now know alcohol really made me feel...
* Out of control - this scared me once I stopped doing it
* Greedy, I couldn't get enough of it - I had no off switch
* Blackouts, shame, regret & embarrassed
* Weak & pathetic because I could not go without it - I broke EVERY rule I made for myself
* Worried about my mysterious bruises, aches and pains - I remember wishing for a health scare to make me STOP
* Irritated - I hated how angry I was, I blamed EVERYTHING but the wine
*Over promising and underdelivering, unmotivated and underachieving
* Glum, utterly miserable and fed up with my life
Can you relate? It is time for us to STOP blaming ourselves.
Look I knew I wasn't the only one with this problem and I doubt it's just the two of us...
Read more about my thoughts on this
I was sick of feeling powerless, yet once I stopped I was faced with a new set of problems I felt misunderstood, alone and like I was about to be cut off from all my friends - it's a lonely place and it would have been so easy to slip back, stay 'safe' and ignore that I had discovered sober was better or I could shout about it from the rooftops and inspire others to try life sober for a while.
Louise was one of the first clients that I worked with - she is a family friend; we got talking at a party and started to spend more time together chatting about how we both wanted to change things in our lives. Louise had been told to quit drinking alcohol. She had suffered from panic attacks and anxiety and the medication she was given was not suitable to take with alcohol.
When we met for a coffee Louise explained that she had been given a tel number for Talking Matters and was waiting for a call.
After a few weeks I contacted the head of the service to find out what support was available for Louise, I was put on to The head of Drug & Alcohol Service, she invited me to attend the County Council Strategic Partnership meeting and deliver a presentation about my idea.
It was an amazing opportunity for me I was nervous, emotional, upset and REALLY determined to get my message heard.
I knew I had to prepare well and get it right Michelle Rose marketing was the first person I spoke to about the presentation, I had met her at a networking meeting, she had some amazing ideas on how I could bring the presentation to life and create a big impact in the very short 5-10 min slot they gave me. I had to work hard to get it right. I met with Suzanne Milbourne at OceanZen in Whitley Bay she coached me over the phone to overcome my nerves and to ensure I was able to deliver something worth listening to.
I felt supported and encouraged from all the members of the business group I was part of in The MINT business Club.
I managed to hold it together and got my point across with only a few tears lol.
They loved it and the best memory of the whole experience was a lady from NHS Liver unit who came to me afterwards in the car park, thanked me and shook my hand. She explained that she works first hand with people who are at the end of life due to alcohol damage. She was most impressed and welcoming, she has since used my video in her training with staff members and I was invited to attend a conference to share my story with 300 NHS staff.
From this meeting, I was introduced to Maggie Martin who founded The Wild Women adventures, she was working in a community role and her enthusiasm for my idea just took it to a new level. I couldn't wait to get started and plan some activities together.
We started planning with a chat and a walk on the beach. We hung out together and got to know one another, we share common dreams and I knew spending time with someone with so much life in her would inspire me. She did and it was on this walk that she stopped me mid-sentence when I was getting ALL fired up and passionate and she said - Claire I can hear you speaking on a stage one day about all this...
Thank you, Maggie. It is NOW on the vision board. You saw it before I did. I won't ever forget that.
Today was an amazing day in my journey attending a meeting and taking Louise along to share what we are creating was just simply the best.
What could you do, be or achieve? Let's find out.