outdoor bar table with non-alcoholic lagers

With growing confidence comes growing influence

Picture the scene: The sun is going down over the green hills behind a little white-washed Spanish town. Cool, grey shadows are creeping up the walls on one side of the street and I’m sat outside a little bar with my mum and dad, all drinking soft drinks: Jo describes how your confidence grows the longer you stay sober.
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elephant in the dust representing wisdom, empowerment and strength

Why me?

Jo describes how it can sometimes feel unfair when you look at other people enjoying a few drinks and you wish that you could do the same, about how it can sometimes feel like you're losing out because that you can't do this but that you don't have to feel this way when you recognise that life is all about making choices that work for you.
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silhouette of sober people jumping for joy in front of sunset to represent freedom and confidence

Why can't I live life like that?

When I was drinking, I used to watch other people enjoying themselves without alcohol and be jealous. I used to think that I was different somehow and that I couldn’t do what they were doing: Jo explains that living life happily sober is just a question of practice and you can do it!
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bottle of wine on its side to represent stopping drinking

What do you do with leftover alcohol?

What do you do with all the alcohol in your house when you stop drinking? What do you do when someone gives you a bottle as a gift? How do you cope with your partner/family drinking and storing alcohol around you? Jo explores some of the options around what to do with booze when you've stopped drinking.
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sunshine over daisies at the foot of a tree showing the importance of positive beliefs about life without alcohol

Life doesn’t have to be denial and deprivation when you stop drinking

Today I want to share with you some words from a sober blogger – I think some of what she says might make sense to some of you. Some of it struck a chord with me: Jo talks about the importance of believing it's possible to live life happily without alcohol and to willingly choose not to drink.
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person on camel in desert to represent sober travelling in morocco

Sober travelling: Morocco

Jo describes an upcoming trip and how liberating it is to approach it sober. Being free of dependence on alcohol (whether it’s physical or psychological) removes a barrier to experiencing life and gets rid of the waste of energy that goes into hiding that you have this dependence.
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a pale pink flower against a sunny blue sky to represent the clarity of sober living

The moment I changed my future

Jo describes how and when she decided to stop drinking and live life sober and suggests that when you use your imagination to conjure up the future sober life you want, you start to make it happen.
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snake facing camera with forked tongue to represent the lies alcohol tells

The empty promises alcohol made me

When I think about my life sober, there is a sea of realisations that wash over me one after another. But one of the biggest and most significant is this: life sober delivers everything that alcohol promised and then denied me. Jo explains how everything you want from alcohol is only attainable without it.
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empty bottles of alcohol lying on a patch of grass to represent living life alcohol free

Ten reasons (not) to drink

How many reasons did you have up your sleeve?I had many – these are just 10 of them: Jo shares 10 reasons for reaching for alcohol and exposes how drinking doesn't solve the problems you think it will, in fact it makes them worse.
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a couple sitting by a lake surrounded by dramatic mountains to represent living your life sober the way you want to

Putting your energy into alcohol vs putting your energy into life

Jo explains how, when you stop drinking and as you learn to navigate your way through life sober, you start to put less and less energy into thinking or worrying about alcohol and more and more energy into living your life the way you want to.
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musical instruments in beer garden to represent enjoying pub gigs sober

Surrounded by pints and wine

So, today I went with my boyfriend to a pub garden about an hour’s drive away. He’s in a band (he plays sax and blues harmonica) and they were playing an afternoon gig. Jo describes what it's like to go to a gig completely sober compared to when you're drinking and reassures you that it's possible to have fun and enjoy yourself.
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lion cub rubbing against male lion's face to represent the power of belief when we stop drinking

Stop drinking your way

Today I read an online conversation between someone who wants to stop drinking and is researching the best way to do this: Jo explains that it's important to use the power of belief to help you stop drinking in the way that's best for you.
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row of uniformed men saluting to represent the importance of acknowledging our strengths when we stop drinking

Step 6 of the 12 Step Programme - defects of character

Jo explores the strengths and weaknesses of Step 6 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that for people who've developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and who don’t believe great things about themselves already, focusing on their “defects” could be damaging to their self-confidence and morale.
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a spade embedded in dry brown soil to represent the importance of self-exploration when we stop drinking

Step 5 of the 12 Step Programme - Admit your wrongs

Jo explores the strengths and weakness of Step 5 in the 12 Step Programme and suggests that reducing feelings of guilt and shame and developing a healthy relationship with yourself is important when you want to change an embedded drinking habit.
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a woman with arms in the air facing the sun to represent the importance of connecting with the natural world when we stop drinking

Step 3 of the 12 Step Programme - Surrender your will

Jo explores the benefits and problems with Step 3 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that it can be helpful to recognise your place and connectedness to the world or universe around you when you want to stop drinking but that surrendering your will might be a less-than-helpful concept.
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a dramatic night sky scene showing the power of a storm to represent the power within us to stop drinking and change habits

Step 2 of the 12 Step Programme - A higher power or power within?

Jo explores Step 2 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that it could be problematic for some people to believe that only a power greater than, or outside of them, can help them make the changes necessary to live life sober. She suggests there is a need to have different approaches that work for different people.
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steps leading through sunlit woodland to represent stages to changing a drinking habit

Five stages to changing a drinking habit

Jo explains the process you go through when you stop drinking and learn to live life sober. Having an understanding of this process gives you more confidence, control and power which all helps you to manage things better and makes it less likely you'll slip up and revert back to old habits.
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a booted foot squelching into a muddy puddle to represent going the reward of going through struggle to get to happy sobriety

Struggling through mud

Sometimes we have to struggle through mud to get to dry land: Jo explains how life sober can be enhanced by the struggle with alcohol that's gone before. We don't have to regret our past when we can appreciate how it's contributed to a better quality present.
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diagram of a comfort circle showing the benefits of stepping outside it and socialising sober

How to socialise sober

I’ve just spent the last week going out and about in the daytimes and the evenings with friends, family and strangers. I’ve visited historic buildings, and restaurants. I’ve gone on mountain walks, treasure hunts and kayaked across lakes. Jo describes how you can do all these things sober, with a smile on your face and laughter in your ears.
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sandy feet on a beach to represent the freedom of stopping drinking

Sober in the beer garden

Jo explains how it's okay to be sober and feel unhappy and bored in certain situations - learning to live life without alcohol is also about learning to yes to the situations that are going to entertain, stimulate and be good for you and no to the ones that don't. Sometimes you just have to sit with boredom and discomfort and discover it's not the end of the world.
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view of spanish countryside representing sober holiday fun

Sober holiday fun

I’m coming to the end of a holiday with my partner and my son and have just been reflecting on what a wonderful time we’ve had and how much messier and traumatic it would have been if I’d been drinking: Jo describes how much better holidays are when you're enjoying them sober
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shopping trolley showing a week's shopping without alcohol

Smug shopping

Just returned home from the supermarket with three big bags full of shopping. Total cost was €120 and not a drop of alcohol anywhere.When I was drinking, this weekly shop would have included at least four bottles of wine and a bottle of gin: Jo describes the beauty of sober shopping.
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person at top of mountain with beautiful view of colourful sky to represent the rewards of stopping drinking

Shifting boxes

I remember the days when brushing my teeth in the morning was a massive chore I had to overcome. When preparing and eating a breakfast was a chore I had to overcome. When making a phone-call was a chore I had to overcome: Jo describes about how much easier life is when you've stopped drinking.
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woman smiling confidently at the camera with bright flowers in her hair to represent sober confidence

Stop drinking and reclaim your self-confidence

Amongst other things, by getting sober, you reclaim your self-confidence.So many people tell me that the biggest surprise about being sober is how much they enjoy socialising: Jo celebrates how much your self confidence returns when you've stopped drinking for long enough
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lamp with shoots of blue electric light to represent having power over alcohol

12 Step Programme Step 1: Are you Power LESS or Power FULL?

I woke up this morning with a clear head. With excitement and energy, looking forward to what the day was going to bring. I felt totally in control: Jo questions whether it's more helpful to consider yourself power-less or power-full in your relationship with alcohol.
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a woman relaxing on a duvet with cup of herbal tea to represent feeling good at the end of a sober day

There's no better feeling

Jo returns home, tired, achey and zonked from a super-active day out. A day out with anxiety, nerves, excitement, physical activity, fun, sight-seeing, walking, chatting, shopping and train journeys. She describes the joy of experiencing everything sober and being totally connected with your body and mind...
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the back of a woman in an art gallery looking at three paintings to show the importance of painting a positive picture of life sober

Here's how to make life easier if you want to stop drinking

So, you’ve decided you want to stop drinking. Or, you’ve recently stopped drinking and want to stay sober. Jo explains that the picture you paint or the story you tell yourself about what living life sober is like is the reality you'll bring to life...
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calendar with date circled to represent setting dates for stopping drinking

Taking a break vs stopping completely

Jo responds to a story about completing a 30 Day Sober Challenge and ending up on a 2 month binge afterwards. She offers some insights about what it's like to stop drinking completely and why you have to be careful if you set yourself sober time targets.
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spanish mountain view

Learning to speak Spanish

Jo describes how her confidence with speaking Spanish has grown in the last six months and points out the similarities between learning a new language and learning to live life sober. She explains the importance of practice when you're learning any new skill.
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male lion representing courage

Sobriety gives you courage

Jo describes how living life sober helps you to get in touch with the real, authentic you and helps you to find the courage to face your fears. It opens doors to your potential and possibility.
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