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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 151 > The shame of staying sober

The shame of staying sober

When Clare Poole, author of The Sober Diaries, realised she had a problem with alcohol, she gave it up for her health and happiness. An ugly side effect was the shame and judgement she felt at admitting she had an issue. She began writing an anonymous blog, and found hundreds of thousands of people were living ‘sober in silence’

Q Why do you think you were drinking so much? What did it represent for you?

It started off sharing a bottle of wine over dinner with my husband, and then it crept up so gradually that I hardly noticed it. I would turn to a glass of wine for a number of different reasons – to wind down, to celebrate, to socialise, to commiserate – just like everyone else. I didn’t feel I was an outlier – but, when you’re drinking for all those different reasons, it adds up, and the more you drink, the more tolerance you have. I was rarely drunk, but I could happily drink a bottle of wine and appear completely sober.

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About Psychologies

When we change our minds, we change our lives. This issue explores what happens when we do just this. What if you didn’t resign from a job, but could change the way you feel about it? Or what about finding a new way to open up to love? Or, what happens when we challenge the judgements we make about ourselves and each other? Read the astonishing life-changing effects of what happens when you think differently.   Change doesn’t always feel positive - you're made redundant, or your relationship breaks down, or we lose someone we love. And it's awful. Yes, we don’t always have control over what happens out there, but we always have control over how we react to it. This issue explores how to change our perspective to create the world we want.