Category Archives: How to be a Sober Girl


I’m really excited to tell you about the She Recovers conference taking place in NYC on May 5-7.
I’m really honored to be taking part in this event as one of the official sober blogger team members. There will be a reception and meet on greet on the Friday night so if you are able to attend I will get to meet you in person.
The line up is killer:
Gabrielle Bernstein
Elizabeth Vargas
Glennon Doyle Melton
Marianne Williamson

I know!!!!!!!!! Awesome, right!!!!!!

Tickets are selling out fast there are less than 80 left if you are interested you can purchase them here.

She Recovers is a community women who believe we are all in recovery for something and that we are stronger, together.

Dawn, me and Taryn

Dawn, me and Taryn

I met the co-founders Dawn Nickel and her daughter Taryn Strong for dinner last year, when they were out in New York planning the event. They are an awesome kick ass team and I love what they are doing for the recovering community. Dawn started She Recovers because she knew how important self care is to recovery.
She’s right. Self care is vital to recovery.
If you are free and you are able, we would love to see you at the event and meet you in person.

Recovery gave me back my health

by Rose Lockinger
roselpicBefore I got sober I had no idea what it felt like to healthy or live a healthy lifestyle in recovery. I had not idea what it was like to naturally be energetic or be able to sleep through the night. In active addiction I had accepted so many lies as the reality in my day to day life.

The funny thing about living in active addiction is the extent that you believe your own “truths”. For so long I thought that my eating disorder, drugs and alcohol had no effect on my appearance or well-being and, to be honest for the first honeymoon period, they had limited short term effects that sleep or eating solved. There were times when especially in regards to my body I convinced myself that my eating disorder helped and enhance my appearance.

This, however, was not the case once my relationship got “serious”. I was not misinformed about the impact that long-term drug use and alcohol use has on the body or mind. I knew anyone growing up in this day and age is made aware of “what drugs and alcohol do to you”. It’s part of our education in school. You are shown graphic images of livers and lungs that are diseased by smoke and alcohol. The thing about this is most people live in the belief that it will never happen to them.

When I was actively using I lived in a delusional dream state unaware of just how much I was affecting myself. I couldn’t see what others saw; like the swollen cheeks or scraped knuckles when I was actively bulimic. Or how after a night of hard drinking I oozed alcohol out of my pores regardless of the shower and perfume I used to try to cover up the smell.

Towards the end I was literally a skeleton, my face was hollowed out and gaunt, my eyes dull and lifeless were sunken with huge dark circles, my hair brittle and breaking, my skin dry, pale and thin stretched tightly over knobby bones. Yet at the end, I was so blind thinking that I was at the height of my attractiveness because I had finally reached a certain weight.

It wasn’t just the outward appearance that was starting to show the strain of addiction. Physically my body was feeling the toll, I was exhausted most of the time a bone weary tired that made me just want to lay down and sleep yet I couldn’t sleep when I finally could lay down. My heart would race a lot and at times I worried about how fast it was beating. I had constant stomach pain and there were days when my liver just hurt. My bones ached and most of the time everything just ached. It did not go away and alcohol and drugs just numbed it for a time. At the end, even they did not take it away.

When I finally went to treatment. I hadn’t really slept in years; I just passed out for a couple of hours if I was lucky and an hour if it was a particularly bad night. The thing I remember the most were my eyes. They were dead when I looked in the mirror I saw this empty shell of a human looking back at me.

My eating disorder during my active addiction was completely out of control. I had completely lost the idea or concept of what it meant to eat in a healthy manner. My body was so malnourished and weak when I finally went to treatment. For me, this meant that once I got sober I had a longer journey in finally starting to feel better.

So to tell you how sleep deprived I was I slept for the first five days of detox, I barely woke up to take meds or have vitals taken. It was the biggest blessing I had gotten in years. I had not slept like that for sooooo long. When I finally woke up I spent the next two days walking around in a blanket going to therapy appointments or trying to eat. Eventually, I was able to start eating and started to feel a little better. But I was still very weak and shaky. I didn’t have the experience that a lot of people do where you take away the alcohol and drugs and they immediately start to feel better after they detox. The first month was rough my body had a lot of healing to do.

When I got down to Florida I started to notice a difference. I finally started to sleep a little better at night. If I could fall asleep I could usually sleep through the night. I was no longer plagued by restless legs no longer tossing and turning the night away. My mind was starting to quiet a little, the racing thoughts were lessening but honestly, it was months before I was able to easily fall asleep and stay asleep. This was a gift as I had been an insomniac from a very young age.

Over the last 2 years, the quality of sleep that I experience has continued to improve. Upon falling asleep I usually stay asleep only waking when my alarm goes off. I never really slept during my active addiction, just lay there agonizing over not being able to sleep and getting more and more frustrated with my inability to go to sleep.

Physically I feel so much better!!!! I had to emphasize that statement. I no longer have the aches and pain or the bone weary fatigue that used to plague me. I no longer start my morning leaning over a trash can or kitchen sink because I can’t make it to the toilet to throw up. I have a morning routine that I treasure, I don’t wake up rushed and worried about my day for the most part I get to enjoy and drink my coffee. Taking part in my morning meditation, as well as a reading and simple prayer to start the day.

My appearance has improved significantly, in particular, my skin is glowing today with no breakouts and really smooth. It’s no longer pale and dry. It wasn’t until returning to Virginia and hearing the many comments from different people that I looked so good. I had no idea that I really did look very sick towards the end. I had not been able to see how frail I looked. I am always kind of taken aback by the compliments as I want to tell them that I really don’t I gained 40 pounds or are they really sure about that, instead, I say thank you. I try to appreciate that maybe they have a point if so many people are saying the same thing.

Perhaps for me, the most important one has been my eyes. I was terrified to look into my eyes during active addiction and even once I got sober it took time for the life to come back. For that gleam and luster to appear, that is lost when you are actively using. It’s the first thing to go, and the first thing I notice about anyone who is actively using. Their eyes are and lifeless. The saying “eyes are the windows to the soul” comes to mind as in active addiction you do begin to lose your soul. It slips away with every act you commit that go against your core beliefs.

Today I am slowly but surely learning how to eat in a healthy nutritious manner. This has not been an easy process and at times is challenging as I learn balance.

For me, sobriety has not only healed my body but slowly has started to heal my mind. On a deeper level, it is healing my spirit this whole process is slowly picking up the broken pieces and putting them back together. I have been just one body with which to live this life I intend to keep this one healthy for as long as possible. Sobriety has given me a second lease on life and I will be forever grateful.

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

How to get sober when no one understands

Image courtesy of photostock at

Image courtesy of photostock at

So you’ve taken the enormous step of stopping drinking. You already feel better, your head is clear and your life is less chaotic. You may look at your past behavior and shudder, glad that is the past and the future looks brighter. But what if you are beginning to enjoy your newfound sobriety, only to realize, that no one close to you understands why you stopped drinking in the first place?

What if your partner is angry with you for stopping drinking? What if your friends think you are going overboard? What if everyone around you is trying to convince you that you don’t have a problem?
It can be tough. The opinion of other people, particularly people we care about, carries a lot of weight with us. It can be persuasive.
We live in a society that has normalized abnormal drinking, where alcohol use is encouraged in every social situation. Drinking is a way of life, to the point that if you don’t drink (for whatever reason) you are seen as slightly odd.
When you choose to get sober you are going against the stream of the majority.

We all want to fit in, being liked and approved of by our peer group is incredibly important. But it is not more important than liking and approving of ourselves. Sometimes we forget that, we become so entangled with our partners or our peer group, that we value their approval over our own.

Once you have accepted that what you think of yourself, is more important than what anyone else thinks, then the second step is to understand that your sobriety may be uncomfortable for others.
And that’s ok. You are not here to make other people feel comfortable, you are here to feel comfortable in your own skin, by living with integrity. Sound easy? It can be a little more challenging in practice but gets easier over time.

You may be wondering, ‘but what can I say to make them understand?’ And I have the answer to that. In my experience, the best thing to say, is nothing at all. Let your actions speak for you, they will do a far better job of demonstrating why sobriety is something you want, then anything you could ever say. Answer questions politely and precisely (being precise with your words is a great life skill). But don’t lecture, explain or rant. It will get you nowhere.
Overtime, the people around you will see a difference and they may begin to acknowledge it. They may spend a lot of time (and breath) persuading explaining why it is not necessary for them to stop drinking. That’s ok, that’s their business, not yours. But I have noticed that when I change, it can have a positive effect on the people around me. So just wait and see what happens.
It’s important to know what you are up against. Don’t waste energy trying to get people to understand why you have decided to change your life. You will need that energy to meet the challenges of early sobriety. Because getting sober is a very personal decision and the only person who really needs to understand that is you.

The most important things I’ve learnt about recovery

Image courtesy of Prakairoj /

Image courtesy of Prakairoj /

On May 2nd 2014 I celebrated 14 years of continuous sobriety. This did not come easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I made some big mistakes along the way. But through these mistakes I learnt some vital lessons that have helped me stay sober and become the best version of myself that I’m capable of being.

1. Just when you think you’ve nailed it…..
More than once I’ve thought ‘I’ve got this!’ ‘I know everything there is to know about recovery and addiction’, ‘I’ve dealt with all my issues…. I don’t really need to do anymore work on myself’. Yep, that usually happens right before I fall flat on my arse.

2. The growth never stops…
Ever. I mean, like never, ever stops. It smooth’s out a lot, things are definitely less bumpy. But there is always more to know and if you think you know, all there is to know, then see above.

3. We teach other people how to treat us.
My behavior will instruct you on whether to walk all over me, abuse me or hurt me. Instead, I can teach you how to treat me, with the boundaries I protect and by saying what I mean.

4. Say what you mean, mean what you say…
People do not need to hear me waffling on about my story, they do not need excuses, they generally just need a truthful ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ my life became so much similar and calmer when I learnt how to do this.

5. I have to take responsibility for the experience I want to have.
By practicing the above I become responsible for the experience I am having right now. If events or circumstances are out of my control then I always get to choose my response. Therefore, I am responsible for my experience, in all circumstances, without fail.

6. If you don’t do the work, the shine will go off your recovery.
Being sober is just not enough. I need more than that. If I don’t put the work in, then I may stay sober, but I’ll stop feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’ll drift back to being discontent and fearful.

7. Give it away to keep it.
When my life came together in sobriety and my career and personal life went well I forgot to work with newcomers. Don’t do that. Giving of yourself is actually what fills your tanks.

8. Does it always need to be said and does it need to be said by you?
Not usually, I have discovered. Only give your opinion if explicitly asked, trust me, it saves a lot of time and trouble.

9. Exercise
Out of everything I have just told you, this is the most important one. Seriously, the benefits of exercising on your emotional well-being outweigh everything else you can possibly do.

10. Practice listening.
None of us listen well. Quiet the noise in your head and really focus on what people are saying. You will be amazed at what you hear.

11. It was never about you
OMG! The relief! It was never about me anyway. What YOU did or said, had bollocks all to do with my life. Everyone else is wrapped up in their own stuff too! Now I can stop worrying what other people think and get on with it!

12. Nothing is ever personal
See above. What other people do, say or think is always about them, not me. Even when it seems like it is, what other people do or say, always without fail, comes through the filters of their own experience, values and judgment. Therefore it is not personal to me but a simple expression of how they feel at that particular time. Took me a while to get that one.

13. The journey is joyous….
It was never the destination. We are always in a state of becoming the best version of ourselves. Uncovering who we really are, is the point of it all. All I ever had to do was just keep moving.

14. Love well
There was always much love here for me; I just refused to see it for a while. Always choose love, the chooses I have made in my life based on fear have never worked out. If I choose love, then things don’t always work out the way I want or planned but man, is the adventure a good one!

Recovery Rocks – Carrie Armstrong

Recovery totally rocks this week for the original ‘Sober Girl’ Carrie Armstrong. I met Carrie on Twitter and then began following her HuffPost UK blog.
I just love what this girl has to say. She has a fearless kick-ass attitude and is not scared of speaking her truth. She is just one of these people who strives to live authentically.
Everyone who gets sober feels like they have a second chance at life, well it’s doubly true with Carrie. Shortly after getting sober she was struck down by a virus that kept her housebound and in a wheelchair.
Instead of drowning in self pity she fought back and is now not only out of her wheelchair she works as a TV presenter for Gaff Tv.

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Sober (and vertical) for 8 years Carrie is a TV presenter, blogger, Geordie and SoberGirl. She runs two blogs and

Carrie and I are collaborating on the Facebook page ‘How to be a Sober Girl.‘ Our mission is to give just a little balance to the overwhelming coverage drinking gets. We feel sobriety gets a bad rap and is often painted as dull and boring. As we both know its not the case we wanted to try and ‘rebrand’ sobriety as the positive, fun, exciting, fulfilling, awesome experience we know it to be. If you are a Sober Girl and would like to join this mission, please click here.

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
I don’t believe in Rock Bottom as a concept. To me Rock Bottom is Actual Death not Near Death. I drank for 10 years. I was unhappy in every sense of the word. Then I stopped drinking. It’s why I don’t know my own Sobriety Date. It was such an anti-climax. So simple and uneventful I assumed it wouldn’t last so I didn’t bother taking note of it…

2) What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?’
I didn’t have one. No lightning bolt. No vision. No epiphany. I just knew that something was wrong. That maybe I did not have to live like this. That I might deserve better. So I stopped drinking. And I kept doing it. It’s how we all get sober and stay sober. We just use different words to describe it.

3) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
The first 10 months were exactly the same. I had this conversation with myself on a constant loop:
Me: Don’t drink this minute hour/afternoon/day.

Brain: Why not?

Me: I don’t know. Just don’t.

You can’t argue with that. It worked like nothing else ever had done. Not admitting powerlessness. Simply acting without justifying. I kept a journal for 300 days. And after 300 days of not drinking I was ready to admit I had a problem.

4) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?

My life is lovely now. I can’t believe how lovely it is actually. That I do deserve nice things. That I have lovely possessions. That I care about how I look. That I actually have wider interests than getting pissed or just surviving til it’s time to start drinking again. That I get to be one of those girls I always envied. Who have nice, ordered peaceful lives. I don’t have the constant lingering sickly smell of booze accompanying me everywhere I go. No more constant lies. Where I’ve been. What I’ve done. Am I sober. I live in a lovely place. I have wonderful people around me. I actually eat and sleep. And I like myself-I still can’t believe that one actually.

5) If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?
I do that all the time! Sometimes I go back to 15 year old me and say “Don’t drink. Don’t do it. Not even once. You will change the course of your entire life”
Or 21 year old me “You could stop now, it could still be ok. Get up. Get out from this awful place and this awful man and get help. Nobody has to live like this. Even you deserve better.”
Sometimes I just go back and I hold my own hand and I tell myself not to worry. Yes it does get bad. Very, very bad. But then it gets better. Very, very better.

6) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
I learned I have opinions on things. I care about people. People care about me. I deserve nice things. I’m worthy of love. I don’t have to hate myself. People are good and kind and brave. Life is beautiful.

7) What are your favorite recovery slogans?

“Don’t be someone else’s slogan because you are poetry.” Sandra Bullock 28 Days

8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’

Details. Small imperceptible details. Tiny ones. Baking a cake. Dancing in the rain. Telling someone you love them. Holding a friend’s baby. Having an actual conversation. Feeling safe. Feeling part of the world. Feeling hope. Just feeling. Being able to feel anything is worth getting sober. It is enough

How to be a Sober Girl

One of my favorite people I’ve met via Twitter is Carrie Armstrong. I’ve blogged about her here before.
As soon as I read her stuff I just knew she was my kind of women, frank, sassy and fearless.
We became e-friends and discovered that we were both equally frustrated by the culture that surrounded alcohol. We are both proud Sober Girls and we really don’t care who knows that.

Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich at

Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich at

Sobriety is not a grind for us. It is a new lease on life and an extraordinary way to live.
100% living.
Full throttle life.
Life in Technicolor.
Thriving not just surviving.
The kind of life we thought we would find in the bottom of a bottle. But never did.
We have the fulfilling, wonderful, exciting, meaningful, fun lives we always dreamt about. And we found them when we got sober.

We have been equally alarmed by the continued glorification of excessive drinking in the media.
We’re just not buying this brain washing. We’re not buying this celebration of inebriation as something to aspire to.
We are particularly concerned about young women.
There have recently been some stories about young women who have been raped or sexually abused when they are passed out drunk. Pictures of these girls were then sent around to all their friends, so not only were they abused, they were shamed, humiliated, bullied and judged.
Of course there are many factors to consider in these situations, cyber bullying, lack of empathy and male peer pressure being some of them.
But booze is the key factor. The girls who drink this way are not just making ‘bad choices,’ they are drinking to cope with how they feel. They deserve our support and our protection, not our judgement.

Sober Girl Veronica Valli

Sober Girl Veronica Valli

It alarms us, that the only images young women see in the media and social media are ones that glorify drunkenness and present it as aspirational. It really f***ing angers us that drunk girls are seen as objects that can molested, abused, pissed on, spat on and raped.

As if they didn’t matter. That a drunk girl is less of a person.

We want those young girls to know we care, we know what they are going through. We did those things too. We just did them in the age before the internet and smart phones so were spared their torment.
We want to show them that there is a safe place for them to go.

We also wanted women to see that there could be another way.
By representing binge drinking as the ultimate way to have fun, socialize and be connected; it implies that the opposite; sobriety and abstinence would be the opposite: boring, dull and lonely.
Well it’s not.
We are not here to judge, if you want to drink please go right ahead.

However, if you don’t want to drink for whatever reason, or if you have gotten sober (and we don’t care by what method, that’s your business).
Then we would like to invite you to our party.
Our Facebook page is somewhere you can come hangout, post pictures doing awesome sober things.
It’s a place you can show the world what a Sober Girl really is.
Carrie has also set up a blog ‘How to be a Sober Girl’ with tons of advice, suggestions and interesting things to read.

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

We are not going to hide anymore; we are not ashamed of our past or of what we are.
We are beautiful, shiny, awesome, courageous, funny, sexy, smart Sober Girls!
Would you like to join us?

If so please like our Facebook page here and Tweet this post to all your Sober Girl friends.
Another great resource for Sober Girls is the Addictive Daughter blog: Sexy, savvy self-help for 20 somethings.

Why Sober Girls matter.

I want to introduce you to Carrie Armstrong.

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair,, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair,, photographed by Yohannes Miller,,, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

We met, like most people these days on Twitter.
There are many interesting things to know about Carrie, but the most important, and only thing you really need to know is, she’s awesome.
Why’s that, I hear you ask?

Well, because she is a Sober Girl who is telling the world.

She is giving a face and a voice to sobriety.
Carrie is a TV presenter in the UK who also blogs for the UK Huffington Post.
She is also smart, funny, talented and gorgeous.

I got sober at 27 and there were no role models for me back then.
The people I saw who were sober, they were much older and I found it really hard to identify with them.
It never occurred to me that I was an alcoholic because I thought I was doing what everyone else my age was doing. Everyone I knew binge drank, partied or got wasted. It was normal, or so I thought.

We have created a culture that normalizes abnormal drinking.

I drank through the years of the ‘laddette’ culture – remember that? Girls who could drink the same as boys, who got up to the same antics and lived to tell the tale the next day on the radio/TV or in a magazine story.
These were my role models, they turned their ‘antics’ into funny stories, they made drinking seem so harmless and fun.
But here’s the rub; I was doing the same thing, I was drinking like the men, I was telling stories about my ‘antics,’ I was a wild party girl and it was awful.
I was miserable, I was scared, I most certainly wasn’t having fun. I knew something was wrong with me I just didn’t know what it was.

What I needed was someone like Carrie. Someone on the TV who was successful and fun, who was saying she used to be a party girl and it sucked. Someone who was proudly saying she was a Sober Girl. Someone who made sobriety look fun and attractive. What a mind blowing concept that would be.
More and more public figures are letting the world know they are clean and sober now. By doing so they are raising awareness of the issues relating to addiction and they are also being role models. We need this.

What Carrie is doing is re-branding sobriety. Away from the preconceived notion that ‘not-drinking’ is glum and boring. She is making it something to aspire to and for that I’m really grateful.

What Carrie needs is our support.
We can change this culture. We can show young women trapped in alcoholism and binge drinking that there is another way to choose. That being a Sober Girl is awesome.
I’m with Carrie.
Are you?

Carrie Armstrong is a TV presenter with Gaff TV and a contributor to The Huffington Post UK