Category Archives: Thank you

Alcohol-related cancers projected to rise – can mass media campaigns help?

cruk-university-of-sheffield-logoThis was published by Alcohol Policy UK in December regarding alcohol-related cancers.

Increasing recognition of the risks of alcohol-related cancer has been a priority for a number of health organisations, with recent research identifying limited levels of awareness and projected rises in incidences.

report released last month commissioned by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) attracted significant media coverage of its findings that alcohol-related cancers could cause around 135,000 deaths over the next 20 years in England. The modelling was carried out by Sheffield University and analysed figures under a number of consumption forecasts, and also provided updated estimates of the potential benefits of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP). A 50 pence MUP could reduce all alcohol-attributable deaths by 7,200, including 670 cancer deaths over the next two decades, reducing alcohol-related healthcare costs by £1.3 billion.

The report follows findings released earlier in the year by CRUK stating the understanding of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer was “worryingly low”; only 13% identified cancers as a possible risk when asked to identify alcohol-related health conditions associated with drinking too much. Recognition improved when prompted with possible cancer types, but those such as breast cancer had far lower recognition than less prevalent alcohol-related cancers. See here for a CRUK alcohol and cancer page.

Data used from the report though has just been published in BMC Public Health journal revealing significantly higher awareness of the links in the North East region, where Balance North East has been conducting media campaigns including TV and #7cancers Twitter activity.

Media campaigns: a question of behaviour change?

Health groups though tend not to want to see health campaigns in isolation owing to the limited impact on behaviour. Indeed similar debates have taken place with regard to the awareness of the revised drinking guidelines and the limitations of their impact on consumption.

Ealier this year Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies attracted controversy for suggesting drinkers should think ‘Do I want the glass of wine or do I want to raise my own risk of breast cancer?’ each time they drink. Whether any significant number of people have taken on the CMO’s advice – or indeed deliberately rejected it – will remain unknown, but based on the evidence of the complexity of behaviour change it would seem unlikely.

As such health groups, including CRUK, not only wish to see media campaigns and improved information through mandatory labelling, but also action on price, availability and marketing. Such levers have considerably stronger evidence to support an impact on drinking behaviours, but are of course opposed by those who may support informed individual decision making but not the Government in influencing it via regulation.

As for the near future, momentum may continue with a general trend in increasing awareness of alcohol health harms. Whether this will be supported in England by legislation to ensure mandatory labelling on containers, or indeed change environmental influences, is uncertain. In the meantime, alcohol-related cancers are likely to rise before they fall, even should consumption fall further.

estimated-trends-in-annual-alcohol-attritubutable-cancer-deaths-following-reduction-in-consumptionA picture paints a thousand words ……

And edited to add this small celebratory footnote: Voted  Top 100 Addiction Blogs Winner from thousands of top Addiction blogs in Feedspot’s index using search and social metrics.  Ranked 53rd based on Google reputation and search ranking, influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, quality and consistency of posts and Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review 🙂

A conversation with Jean: Interview on The Bubble Hour

So I have been a long time fan and follower of both Jean at Unpickled and The Bubble Hour.

For those who  haven’t yet discovered the wonderful resource that this is here is how they describe it:

The Bubble Hour is co-hosted by Ellie S., Amanda F., Catherine M. and Jean M. – sober women who are dedicated to breaking down the walls of stigma and denial surrounding the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism effects more than 50% of American adults, either directly or indirectly, and yet it still remains a “taboo” topic and is still mostly misunderstood by the majority of people (even those effected by alcoholism and their loved ones). The Bubble Hour seeks to inform, educate and help people identify with the stories they hear, the conversations and interviews with people who are just like they are, and let people know they aren’t alone. Nobody can take the first tentative steps towards sobriety without first getting past denial, but even once they are past denial the stigma surrounding alcoholism is so strong that people are reluctant to seek help. The Bubble Hour would like to change that stigma. Our Co-Hosts, and the vibrant community of sober people they know, will be recording and downloading this show for anyone to listen to for information, community, empathy and understanding. We are so grateful for the sober people who came before them to help them find this path; this is one way they feel they can give back. Please help us spread the word about this website and the pod casts; you may be helping someone you know well but don’t even know they have a problem. Alcoholism thrives in the dark. Together, we bring light. And hope.

They have interviewed and recorded over 200 episodes that you can find on iTunes or BlogTalkRadio.

So how excited was I to be interviewed for their 202 episode!  We had a wonderful conversation and it felt like two old friends catching up.  As I say in the discussion Jean was one of the first sober blogs I discovered in my very early days and I am so grateful to her for leading the way for me 🙂

If you want to hear me talk about my drinking (we lived in France for 6 months not 1 year – nervous brain fart moment!), my recovery and all the things I’ve been up to since I stopped 1214 days ago you can do so here:

Supplementary links to the discussion should you be interested to read further:

The Conscious Parent is written by Dr Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist.

Attachment theory where I talked about secure and insecure attachment and omitted a very important word in the insecure categories! I should have said insecure anxious-avoidant and insecure anxious-ambivalent.

Alexithymia which I described as emotional constipation!

The groundbreaking work of Dr Dickon Bevington and team: Adolescent Mentalization Based Integrative Therapy (AMBIT)

Thank you so much Jean for hosting me and I hope you enjoy listening in 🙂

Edited to add: 20th January 2017.  I didn’t mention running in my conversation with Jean which I should have done as part of my sober toolbox.  It set me on the road to sobriety when I trained for the London Marathon in 2011 and has been a vital decompression tool ever since.  Which ties in nicely with this clip from T2 Trainspotting which is released next Friday and boy I can’t wait to see this film.

Renton is so right – be addicted to something else ……

Judge rejects appeal against plans to introduce alcohol minimum unit pricing

one-thousandSo this post is a double celebration.  One major victory and one minor achievement 🙂  The major victory is by the Scottish law courts and their battle with the Scottish Whisky Association regarding the implementation of minimum unit pricing.  Those of you who have read this blog for a while will know that I have been banging the minimum unit pricing drum at every given opportunity and you can read all my posts here on the subject.  I am so pleased and proud of the Scottish for not giving up on this and putting the public health of their nation above the profits of the drinks industry which is as present in Scotland as anywhere else.  That said the industry have 28 days to appeal from the ruling on the 21st October which expires in two days time.  This may not be over just yet!

Over to the Scottish Herald who shared the good news:

Judges at Scotland’s highest civil court have rejected an appeal against plans to bring in minimum pricing for alcohol.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh refused the case, which had been brought by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and others, saying that “the grounds submitted in the appeal were not well founded”.

They made their final ruling after considering whether the infringement of European trade laws that minimum pricing would bring are justified by the benefits to public health – and if this could be achieved by any other means.

MSPs passed legislation at Holyrood in 2012 to bring in minimum pricing, which would initially be set at 50p per unit.

But implementation of the policy stalled after the SWA and other European wine and spirits producers took legal action, arguing minimum pricing would breach European law.

The ruling has been welcomed by groups including Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).

Dr Peter Rice, SHAAP Chair, said: “As the heaviest drinkers in Scotland have switched from drinking in pubs to drinking at home, and from whisky and beer to vodka and strong cider, doctors and health professionals have seen the impact on our patients.

“We are satisfied that the Scottish courts have concluded that MUP is legal, as we have argued for many years, and we now call for it to be implemented without delay.

“During the years when the SWA and its backers have prevented implementation, front line staff have seen hundreds of deaths and thousands of lives damaged. Much of this harm would have been avoided if MUP had been in place.

“We now call for the SWA to step aside and allow this life saving measure to go ahead.”

Alison Douglas Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said: “This is a great day for Scotland’s health! Minimum pricing is widely supported by doctors, social workers, children’s charities and many more who want to get rid of the cheap vodkas and super-strength ciders that cause so much damage.

“Scotland has been waiting more than four years to implement this policy which will prevent thousands of hospital admissions and crimes, and save hundreds of lives. We hope that minimum pricing will now be put in place as quickly as possible so we can start seeing the benefits.”

The judges said the previous Court of Session ruling “correctly concluded that whatever arguments may be deployed against it, there was evidence which demonstrated that the alternative of increased tax, with or without a prohibition on below cost sales, would be less effective than minimum pricing”.

SWA chief executive David Frost said the organisation will now consult with its members before deciding on any further action, which could see the case taken to the UK Supreme Court.

Holyrood’s Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell hailed the “landmark” verdict from the Court of Session.

She said: “I am delighted that the highest court in Scotland has reinforced the initial judgment in our favour from 2013. This follows the opinion of the European Court of Justice, which ruled that it was for our domestic courts to make a final judgment on the scheme.

“The Scotch Whisky Association represents some of Scotland’s finest whisky brands, and while they were entitled to raise this action, they and the wider drinks industry must now respect the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament and the ruling of the Court of Session and enable this life-saving measure to be introduced.

“This policy was passed by the Scottish Parliament unopposed more than four years ago.

“In that time, the democratic will of our national Parliament has been thwarted by this ongoing legal challenge, while many people in Scotland have continued to die from the effects of alcohol misuse.

“Today’s ruling is a landmark one, and should mark the end of the legal process, allowing this important policy to finally be brought forward.”

The Scottish Government has consistently argued minimum pricing is the “most effective mechanism” for tackling alcohol misuse and reducing the harm it can cause.

But the SWA claimed it would be ineffective in its aims, penalise responsible drinkers and was beyond the powers of Holyrood.

Judge Lord Doherty initially rejected the challenge at the Court of Session in 2013 but it was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg the following year.

Last December, an ECJ ruling said the plan would breach European Union law if alternative tax measures could be introduced.

The court concluded a tax rise on alcoholic drinks ”is liable to be less restrictive of trade” than minimum pricing.

The ECJ said it would be for the Court of Session to make a final decision after determining whether any alternative measure could equal the stated public health benefit while being less restrictive of trade.

Mr Frost said: “We regret the Court of Session’s ruling in favour of the Scottish Government on minimum unit pricing (MUP).

“We continue to believe that MUP is a restriction on trade and that there are more effective ways of tackling alcohol misuse.

“However, we of course remain committed to working with all partners to address this problem so that the long-term trend of declining alcohol-related harm in Scotland continues.

“We will study the details of the judgement and consult our members before deciding on next steps, including any possible appeal to the UK Supreme Court.”

The opinion, delivered by Lord President Lord Carloway, said the “targeted objective” of the MUP policy is “the consumption of cheap alcohol by those whose health is most likely to be adversely affected by it”.

It said: “In practical terms, the measure achieves the targeted objective by setting a floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold. Alcohol will not be sold for less than 50p per unit. Those who currently consume cheap alcohol at a harmful and hazardous level will not be able to switch to another product to maintain their consumption levels.

“The true area for debate is whether modification of taxation, within the permissible bounds of EU law, can achieve similar results in targeting cheap alcohol as is undoubtedly achievable with minimum pricing.

“Here, of course, the elephant in the room is the fact that the Scottish Government has no power to raise taxation on alcohol. That is a matter reserved to the United Kingdom Government.

“Conversely, the UK Government has little responsibility for the health of the inhabitants of Scotland; that being a devolved matter.”

It also said a “fundamental problem with an increase in tax is simply that it does not produce a minimum price”, adding that supermarkets have in the past “absorbed any tax increases by off-setting them against the price of other products unrelated to alcohol”.

Increasing tax could also have “a disproportionate, undesirable and unnecessary effect on moderate drinkers, who do not generally represent a significant problem in societal terms”, according to the ruling.

It added: “It is reasonable to conclude that alternative measures, including increases in taxation, are not capable of protecting life and health as effectively as minimum pricing, while being less restrictive of trade.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who took minimum pricing legislation through Holyrood when she served as health secretary, said she is “delighted” the policy has been upheld by the Court of Session.

She tweeted: “Minimum pricing is a vital public health measure with strong support from those who work in frontline of alcohol misuse. It will save lives.”

The ruling was also welcomed by academics at Sheffield University who carried out research for the Scottish Government on the likely impact of minimum pricing.

Professor Petra Meier, director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, said: “Our analyses of minimum unit pricing have consistently shown that the policy is an effective and well-targeted approach to reducing the harm caused by alcohol.

“Increasing alcohol taxation is also an effective approach but large tax increases would be required to achieve the same effects as a 50p minimum unit price. This is because minimum unit pricing targets the high-strength and low-cost alcohol which is disproportionately purchased by heavier drinkers.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Donald Cameron said Tories had backed the policy “on the condition it would be legally sound and could be dropped if found not to be working”.

He added: “It’s taken the SNP a considerable length of time to get to this stage. But now it’s happened, we need to monitor the results closely to see what impact it has on Scotland’s damaging and complex relationship with alcohol.”

Scottish Green Party health spokeswoman Alison Johnstone said: “The big drinks firms stalling this sensible piece of public health legislation are copying the historic behaviour of the tobacco industry.

“Let’s hope the Scotch Whisky Association gets the message and allows the Scottish Government to get on and implement this urgent public health priority.”

Hear hear!!

Research conducted by experts from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group (SARG)1 at the University of Sheffield have been influential in providing evidence to inform policy which now paves the way for the Scottish government to implement the new plan, passed by MSPs in 2012 (source)

And further coverage from Alcohol Policy UK:

Scottish Courts approve minimum pricing – but further delay still possible

The second more minor achievement is that yesterday was my 1000th blog post.  I would not still be here without you so I now owe you 1001th thanks! 😉


1000 days & sublimation :)

1000 daysSo here we are from day 1 to 10 to 100 to 1000 🙂

This is equal to 2 years, 8 months, and 27 days, 142 weeks and 6 days, 714 weekdays and 286 weekend days, 24,000 hours, 1,440,000 minutes or 86,400,000 seconds since booze passed my lips (intentionally!) or I awoke with a hangover.

And the word sublimation came to mind which means:

  1. Psychology. the diversion of the energy of a sexual or other biological impulse from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use.
  2. Chemistry. the act, fact, or process of subliming (def 9).
  3. a purification or refinement; ennoblement.

According to Wiki:

In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defense mechanism where socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are unconsciously transformed into socially acceptable actions or behavior, possibly resulting in a long-term conversion of the initial impulse.

Sigmund Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity (indeed, of civilization), allowing people to function normally in culturally acceptable ways. He defined sublimation as the process of deflecting sexual instincts into acts of higher social valuation, being “an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic or ideological, to play such an important part in civilised life”.[1] Wade and Tavris present a similar view, stating that sublimation is when displacement “serves a higher cultural or socially useful purpose, as in the creation of art or inventions”.[2]

These definitions fit for me how recovery feels.   Plus I love the word sublime as it is so descriptive and not as over-used as many other words of exquisiteness which is what it means to me.  And it describes both the act of stopping drinking and the feeling engendered by overcoming the obsessive compulsion to drink.  OK so my desire wasn’t sexual as in Freud’s interpretation (although it did lead to perhaps unwise events of that nature when I did drink!)  My drinking displacement has resulted in this blog, my e-bookresources and courses which I hope has served a higher socially useful purpose and I do consider them my unique inventions and creations of sobriety.

And that’s looking externally.  The biggest refinement or enablement has been internal – both within my immediate and close family and within myself.  Just thinking about writing this sentence makes me start to well up with tears the change is so profound.  Only last night we had a sleep-over for my daughter & I was present both during the evening, overnight (they didn’t settle until gone 1am!!) and this morning.  I commented to MrHOF that in my old life booze would have been an easy way to soften the edges of a potentially stressful event & all the noise & mess.  But what if something had happened overnight?  Or how would I have been the next morning with a hangover?  All of these are thought experiments as they no longer apply to me or my life.

I have changed so much as part of the recovery process.  As the quote at the top indicates 1000 clear and present hangover free days meaning no more looking around with worry about what I might have done under alcohol’s influence, looking back in fear for past misdemeanours  or looking down in shame and guilt ……  I only look forward with anticipation, excitement and contentment.

1000 days deserves not one tune but two!! I’m a different person and I couldn’t have done it without MrHOF <3

Over to the Shapeshifters  😀

And no more time warps for me – although this song and it’s joy remains one of my fav’s whether I’ve been drinking or not 😉

And I can’t even begin to count how much I’ve saved (and I’m not just talking about in terms of my dignity and self-respect!).  When we drank and smoked we were spending £10 a day so by that calculation it’s £10,000 but that was with old pricing.  It’d be more like £15-20 a night now which makes it probably closer to £25K and change conservatively 😮

Finally  I need to thank ALL of you.  Every single one of you who reads and comments or lurks.  Thank you for being here, for supporting me, and if you’re reading this and wondering if you can achieve this too – to you I say abso-bloody-lutely.  If I can do this you can do this! 🙂

Friday Sober Jukebox – Gratitude and thank you

circle of gratitudeIn a circle of gratitude I want to thank this person for sharing this with me 🙂

Hello I’m ….. and I am an alcoholic … or am I ?

I really don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that my drinking was way out of control and needed to be addressed.

I had been drinking heavily, VERY heavily for many years I was physically, and emotionally worn out with it . I wrestled with the concept of sobriety for two years before I finally fully accepted that this was the only way forward for me. Over the two years I spent thousands on therapy with various different therapists all with different views and treatment plans finding out why I drank and ways to help me moderate my drinking in the hope that I could put an end to all this misery. I knew all along that in my heart that I was killing my self with drink but knowing that and accepting that are two very different things. Alcohol was my best friend and worst enemy, I really didn’t have any clue on how / where to start to live without it.

It is such a scary place to find yourself and I was genuinely shocked to have found myself in this place. I considered myself to be a strong person surely I could take this on ?

Once I accepted that sobriety was the only way, I felt relieved, I stopped arguing with myself and decided to start taking action rather than just thinking about it. In December 2014 I set my sober date for January. I completed the Udemy course hangover free life by Louise Rowlinson which was great and gave me lots of tools and information . I subsequently had the follow up telephone call with Louise . Louise was fantastic, she was so understanding and most importantly believed in me and my ability to get sober . She helped me formulate a plan and emailed me every day to see how I was coping . I have to say although it hasn’t been easy it really has been life changing . I have now been sober for one year, although initially I found stopping drinking hard it is something that has become second nature. In the last year I can honestly say I have got my life back. It’s a very different life but a far far better one. I’m still in the process of finding out what I like to do hobbies etc but I’m being kind to myself. Reconstruction of my life has been an exciting time and so many thing have improved, my relationship with my children and partner, my anxiety, appearance. I am truly grateful for not only Louise’s help but also her belief in me at at time when I didn’t believe in myself. Although a stranger to me at the time she turned out to be a person who I will never forget!

So to riff on the theme of gratitude I’m going to continue to offer my Udemy course at it’s discounted price of £60/$89 until the end of January when the price will increase to £99/$149.  You can access it via the image to the right of this or via this link Udemy online course.  I am so grateful that 500 of you have signed up for this course so far and want to continue to help as many others as possible 🙂

Plus you can still sign up for my How to Quit Drinking workshop in London on Saturday 30th January here.

And now a tune 😉


Sharing success

As you know earlier this year I teamed up with Club Soda to launch and run a How to Quit Workshop here in the UK.  It is based on my Udemy online course material and this week-end we ran our fourth one of the year 🙂

club soda advertOne of our attendees at the first one in May (who wrote the lovely review entitled ‘Wonderful Stop Drinking workshop’ to the right hand side of this piece on the website) came back and joined us again for the September workshop sharing with the attendees their story.  She has very kindly given me permission to share her success and what she said.

I am here today to share my success story after doing this workshop earlier in the year.
Firstly a bit about my drinking history.I have always been a heavy drinker. I never allowed myself to drink during the week but I would cram it in at the weekend. It felt like ground hog day on Monday morning waking up hungover ,depressed and tearful. I would often take my daughter to school then go back to bed as there was no one around to witness it.Whereas over the weekend I had to put on a brave face and carry on even though I felt awful – it was exhausting .
Another problem that went with the hangovers was binge eating . I would wake up and find wrappers of stuff I had forgotten I had eaten and because I was hungover I would binge on crap all day.
I knew I wasn’t a normal drinker as I was always the first to finish my drink,trying to slow down in case people noticed or pouring an extra glass in secret. Towards the end of my drinking I would share a bottle of wine with my husband but have an open bottle of wine in the garage to have an extra couple of glasses as half a bottle wasn’t enough.On Sunday I would persuade my husband to eat out so I could have more wine because  if we stayed in he would felt it unnecessary to drink wine if we had been drinking the night before. I would come home Sunday afternoon have an extra couple of glasses in secret then collapse on the sofa missing out on valuable family time.Funny thing is my husband doesn’t think I have a drinking problem he just thinks I am a bit greedy with wine.My heavy drinking friends also tell me there’s nothing wrong with my drinking. My closest friend said she preferred me when I was a drinker as I am quieter now and go home earlier when they start to sound pissed. It doesn’t matter if I am told I am a normal drinker as they are not the ones in bed on Monday crying.
I am not sure if I am an alcoholic but even if I am the label doesn’t matter. Also when or how much you drink doesn’t matter – if it feels like a problem then it is a problem.
My aunt has one glass of wine a day but says she could never have a day without . To me one glass is nothing but she is still alcohol dependent so maybe she could be classed as an alcoholic – who cares ?
In the past I have tried to moderate my drinking by only allowing myself a couple of drinks or just drinking beer etc.but nothing worked. I found the amount of head space it took up very draining.I have read books and even done Allen Carr’s Stop Drinking Workshop twice ( £299 a day now) but still went back to drinking. At the end of his workshop they do a bit of hypnotherapy telling us we are now non drinkers. When I asked about follow up support he said I won’t need it as I was now a non drinker and that was that!
However after doing Louise’s workshop I feel different this time as if something has clicked into place – the final piece of jig-saw I needed.
I found it a good balance of medical information and psychological support . I had a follow up chat and I emailed her daily on my first boozy holiday with friends. I also think becoming a Club Soda member has been fantastic,I regularly read blogs and look at their Facebook page. I have a Club Soda Buddy who I email regularly. I don’t feel abnormal anymore.
I feel so much happier and have more energy at weekends to live a full life with my family. I have started a bit of jogging ( fast walking ! ) and lost some weight which is a bonus.I still have times where I want a drink but it really helps to play the tape forward and remember how I will feel the next day. I have to be aware of my triggers- the worst for me are pre-dinner drinks .
My 24 year old daughter spoke to me a few weeks ago and said how proud she is of me. I feel guilty as I have encouraged her to drink with me in the past so I won’t look so bad.  What a terrible example. She is having September off drinking and said she is feeling fantastic and that I was her inspiration. I felt emotional and proud of how well I am doing.
I don’t feel a victim to my old drinking and want to move forward. I thought about going to AA but feel they are stuck in the problem depending on meetings but you have to do whatever works for you.
Thank you Louise and Laura you are life savers – literally .
It seems only appropriate to share this today as it is also the one year anniversary of the launch of my Udemy online course which has now had over 450 people sign up.  I am so pleased with its success to date and have all of you to thank for that 🙂  Thank you!

Friday Sober Jukebox – Ten Storey Love Song (in thanks) :)

So the lovely Binki over at the FB SWANS group on Wednesday bought to my attention a piece on After Party Magazine called The 20 Best Recovery Blogs.  Well blow me down with a feather – I was on that list!!!!  I came over all Happy Days 😉

happy daysAnd this is what they wrote:

This is a cool blog wrapped in a super cute package. Maybe it’s my adoration for the British POV but Lou, who is virtually anonymous in the majority of her posts, is just an upbeat sober lady who loves being sober and likes keeping it simple. She offers a lot on her site: news stories, personal blog posts, how-to guides, workshops, interviews and other great resources for the sober community. Since I (and ever other sober person dating a normal drinker) am always looking for fun, non-alcoholic alternatives to enjoy with my bourbon-swigging boyfriend, I especially love her section on mocktails—complete with photos and recipes!

So firstly thank you Danielle Stewart and After Party Magazine!  To be listed by you is truly an honour – and such a lovely review too  🙂 And among such heroes of mine  – Veronica Valli, Magz @ Sober Courage, Chris @ Since Right Now, I Fly At Night, Hip Sobriety, Laura over @ The Sobriety Collective, the lovely Lotta, aka Mrs D, and Amy @ Soberbia to name but a few other sober rock stars *blushing*

So as a way of showing my gratitude for your kindness a tune in return.  A Ten Storey Love Song for a top 20 recovery blog listing ……  The Stone Roses – a British band through and through.  Thank you again and if I can ever help you out with a Reader Spotlight then just ask! 😀


We owned the night!

Nike we owned it result

Well I’m just back from London Town after staying overnight post run.  We owned it!!

What a fabulous evening!  My running buddy and I went for Nando’s pre-race to pack some protein and that was a bad idea.  It made us late and too much protein too close to the race gave me a stitch pretty much all the way round – a learn for the next time.

The event itself was really well organised and there were 10,000 runners.  I tried to hook up with FitFatFood and we had plenty of text conversations but didn’t manage to find each other.  Again next time 🙂

As for my run time – well I didn’t make the sub 1hr but seeing as my last 10K personal best was 1hr 10mins my run time was pretty good.  Progress not perfection right? 😉

So run time? 01:05:43

As promised here is a picture of me having just crossed the finish line 🙂

Lou R owned it

So now you know what I look like, I’d better formally introduce myself.  My real name is Lou, but Lucy is a family nick-name so I’m just as happy to answer to that 🙂

We went for dinner afterwards at a fantastic restaurant called Bistrotheque where I had tomatoes, mozzarella & black olives followed by passion fruit and fennel seed mess served with a fine non-alcoholic cocktail called an Elderflower Spritz served with fresh mint.  My running buddy had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Did I miss booze & was I jealous of my friend’s glass of wine?  Not at all.  Not only was booze not required it felt like it wouldn’t have added anything to the evening.

We walked back to the hotel and collapsed into bed at 12.30, slept well and awoke feeling sore but refreshed.  A resounding success and another first as hotel stays in the past were typified by banging hangovers the morning after and struggle – but not this time.

I really enjoyed the whole thing and if there are other sober bloggers/readers who run, or who would like to start running, then maybe next year we could get a posse of sober runners together and all do it together.  What do you think?  I’m up for it if you are 😉

So thank you for the well wishes and sponsorship so far.  If you would like to thank me for my blog or sponsor last night’s run then you can go to and through supporting me support Alcohol Concern 🙂

We Own The Night


On May 10th I will be running the Nike ‘We Own The Night’ London 10K run.  I have teamed up with Alcohol Concern to raise funds for this important charity here in the UK and you can visit their website here.

Alcohol Concern is the leading national charity working on alcohol issues. Their goal is to improve people’s lives through reducing the harm caused by alcohol. They have an ambitious long-term aim to change the drinking culture in this country.


Lace up. Zip up. Light up the night. Join me for Nike’s #WeOwnTheNight 10k run: is where you need to go if you’d like to join me – running rather than drinking my time away on a Saturday night!  Please let me know if you do sign up so that I can look out for you at the event and say hello 🙂

If reading my blog has helped you and you would like to donate some of the money you’ve saved through not boozing, then please help Alcohol Concern via my Virgin Money Giving page.  You can donate anonymously by unticking the box ‘I’d like my name to be shown with my message’ on the donation page.

Please visit where you can sponsor me online.

Thanks in advance for your support and maybe I’ll see you running on the night!
L x

PS Until my 1 year sober-versary date I’ll have a ‘sponsor me here’ tab on the menu bar should you come looking for this post again!  If you find this post after I’ve run the 10K event and would still like to thank me for the blog then please donate to Alcohol Concern via the sponsorship link above.


thank you

Hi Lucy,

I stumbled across your blog, from mumsnet I think, about a month ago, and the first post that I read was this:

I wasn’t thinking about giving up alcohol and was utterly unaware of the phenomenon of “sober blogs” (I don’t normally spend much time online). I was worried about my drinking, have been for years between periods of sticking my head in the sand, so I guess just the title of your blog appealed to me.
As I read your list of how you used to moderate, I felt connection, amused recognition: yes, I’ve tried that, tried that, ooh, haven’t tried that, looks like a good idea. Because I hadn’t seen your blog before I didn’t get the point until the last line – and it’s impact was huge.
I genuinely never thought I could stop – I would always try to moderate because the alternative seemed too horrific for me to even contemplate, but I stopped three days ago and I have no intention of drinking again. I don’t know how things will turn out, I have so many fears and uncertainties, but something has changed inside me over the last month. I see myself and the problem booze differently now and I can’t go back to how it was. Part of that change is down to your blog, to that post – I found it at just the right moment, a moment of true serendipity.
So I wanted to say thank you – thank you.
PS – have signed up for Belle’s 100 day challenge and already have a new addiction – sober blogs!

Thank you for the thank you 🙂  So glad you found the blog helpful and that you have joined Belle’s 100 day challenge.  She was a god-send in the early days for me.  Please feel free to email me too if you would find that beneficial.  I’m at the almost 5 month mark and like you never thought I would be able to stop but I have.  It is possible and if my experience is anything to go by you will not recognise yourself or your life in a few months time.  Keep me posted as to how you’re doing and welcome to the sober blogging community.  They are wonderful and have been pivotal in me staying off the sauce.

Thank you again for emailing me – you have made my day as it makes my blogging feel of value 🙂


(Edited to add: MTM has started her own blog so you could always go visit and say hello :))

I love what sobriety has given me both internally and externally and I owe a huge thank you to the sober blogging community too, so thank you xx