Tag Archives: Carrie Armstrong

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, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, 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 www.lifeafterthechair.com and www.howtobeasobergirl.com

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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Sober Girl Caroline Armstrong, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, 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.

Must read alcoholism blogs

This week I wanted to give you a round up of some of the cool stuff on the web that relates to alcoholism and addiction. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Spirituality
Russell Brand talks about how yoga has helped change his life and fill the void that he used drugs and sex addiction to before. As usual, he talks eloquently and humorously about his addiction and how his spiritual journey has changed him. It’s only a brief video and you can watch him here.
Russell is also the patron of Focus12 treatment centre in Suffolk, England. I will be donating a percentage of the profits from my UK sales of ‘Why you drink and how to stop: journey to freedom’ to Focus12. I trained there as a therapist and can personally attest to the amazing work they do with addicts.

Recovery tools
Beth Burgess’s blog on how to deal with difficult people has some great strategies to use. She rightly identifies that alcoholics (drunk or sober) sometimes have trouble dealing with other people. Unless you want to go and live in a cave somewhere it’s a skill we have to learn. The most important takeaway being; ‘don’t take it personally.’ You can read more about what she has to say here.

Eating disorders and hating our bodies
I posted this on my Facebook page (if you click ‘Like’ you’ll see what I post in your newsfeed). I just thought it hit the nail on the head regarding women, food and body image. Nearly every female client I have ever worked with (and a lot of men) have had food issues to deal with as well as alcoholism/addiction. It’s so sad that so many women just hate their bodies. As the mother of a little boy I want him to grow up with a love of his own body and physicality as well as an understanding and appreciation of what a healthy female body is, i.e not half starved.

Alcoholism myths
I’m a big fan of Carrie Armstrong‘s blog on the HuffPost UK. I did a post about her a last week, if you missed it you can read it here.

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Carrie is carving out a niche for herself as a Sober Girl who challenges the myths and stereotypes around alcoholism and alcoholics. In her blog this week she challenges the story of ‘rock bottom’s,’ she argues that a rock bottom actually just means death. Because lots of people believe that to be an alcoholic things have to be really, really bad before they stop drinking and get help, this myth is then preventing people getting help. I also think the ‘inspiration to get sober’ or moment of clarity’ is a much more positive and empowering statement. I think she’s on to something. What do you think?

Why Sober Girls matter.

I want to introduce you to Carrie Armstrong.

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, my digital eye, makeup by Thamina Akther

Caroline Armstrong, Life after the chair, www.lifeafterthechair.com, photographed by Yohannes Miller, www.mydigitaleye.com, www.yohannesmiller.com, 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