No Hangover Club: Claire Lawson

My sobriety story began in February 2020 when I stopped drinking. I was at rock bottom. I was partying so much that life was being so negatively impacted in so many ways. My relationship was being tested, family relationships were straining, I started hiding my drinking from loved ones, I wasn’t taking my medication regularly so not only was the alcohol affecting my mental health but the irregular medication was impacting it too. My mental health is probably the main reason I stopped drinking. I have bipolar type 2 and alcohol was making my mood swings so much more intense! I was in a manic episode for 4 months and it finally came to an end with a big explosion of partying and not sleeping that led me to checking in to a psychiatric hospital for 2 weeks. This was a big wake up call about my alcohol use and how severe my mental illness was becoming. I have been sober for almost a year and have been taking my medication regularly, going to therapy, working on my relationships with my partner and family.
Sobriety is so fun! People may think it’s boring...it most certainly is not!! I have had more fun sober than I ever did drunk. I can remember the fun times from the night before, I don’t wake up feeling awful and doing things I regret (for me it was spending too much money). Other people can have drinks around me, I don’t care at all. I am stronger each day and can resist the urge to party even if others are. 
I urge you to consider rethinking your alcohol use. Reflecting is so important and I can guarantee you or someone in your life needs to think about their alcohol use and sees that it needs to change. We are so dependent on alcohol especially in Australia. 
People can be resistant to the idea of sobriety. People may even make comments if you’re sober or sober curious but you don’t need to justify why you’re sober. You don’t even need to tell them you are! If I’m not in the mood for a conversation about my sobriety, I just say “I don’t drink” then switch to another topic. 
The sobriety community on Instagram is a great place to explore sobriety and get support. Follow some pages you find inspiring and draw upon their life experience and knowledge. 
It’s daunting to think about becoming sober. Trust me when I say, your social life and relationships with others will only improve with sobriety. 
Pats on the back for all of you who are reading this and thinking about sobriety and it’s benefits. If you aren’t already, come join the (sober) fun side of life!
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