The last few months have been amazing. Following the release of my first book The Sober Survival Guide the interest around living an alcohol-free life has been pretty intense. It never ceases to amaze me at the sheer number of people who are worrying about their drinking and when they find out about Be Sober they are able to join a welcoming community of people on the exact same journey, which is so rewarding. There will soon be over 10,000 people in the Facebook group, which is incredible.
The exposure from the book has provided me with an excellent opportunity to share more about the Be Sober Facebook community as well as giving practical advice about living an alcohol-free and I have been honoured to have appeared in a number of national newspapers and on several national radio programmes.
However, when I got asked to appear on the ITV Evening News it made me a little nervous to say the least!
Other than a small local TV channel I had never done anything on TV before and this programme is watched by hundreds of thousands of people – cue the nerves.
When I arrived at the ITV studios I felt pretty calm, which surprised me as I thought I would be fretting about making a fool of myself on TV. I had asked my wife to come with me for extra support and she was amazing as always. She is like an oasis of calm in my crazy life, my mind never stops racing and I am always having ideas and doing things impulsively all at the same time as whizzing around at hyperspeed (it is the ADHD). But she grounds me and pulls me into line whenever I need it, I am actually unsure how she puts up with it, clearly opposites do attract!
After we had made our way to reception we were introduced to the presenters Fred Dinage and Amanda Piper who were both lovely and seemed really interested in my story and finding out more about the Be Sober Facebook community. They really put me at ease and before long it was time to do the interview.
TV news interviews are generally quite short – 2-5 minutes – so it was going to be hard for a natural waffler like me to keep my answers concise, but I kept this in mind and tried my best not to stray off topic and give punchy responses.
It all went so well, I felt totally relaxed and realised that I had no need to worry, I know my subject matter and I am so passionate about sobriety that it tends to come across when I speak.
The interview seemed to be over in no time at all, then it was time for a few photos and we were on our way home. I was pinching myself for the rest of the day and wondering how I had gone from drinking daily to appearing on one of the biggest news programmes in the UK talking about sober living!
I mention my nerves because it has always been a real problem for me, but since I quit alcohol I have been so much more grounded and challenging situations that are outside my comfort zone just don’t phase me like they used to.
If you would like to watch the interview on ITV you can view it here, it’s not the best recording and I am hoping to get the original soon.
This weekend I am speaking at the Mindful Drinking Festival hosted by the awesome Club Soda. I remember a time when I couldn’t even manage a presentation in front of 15 people in the office where I used to work, but without anxiety I am able to talk to much bigger audiences without any fear and I would even go so far as to say that I actually enjoy the experience.
It is so obvious now, but alcohol was holding me back from being the best version of myself. It was limiting me from doing things, filling me with fear and anxiety. Now I am free, I have been able to see my full potential and do things that I never thought were possible.
If you don’t feel like you are being your best-self then maybe it is time to start thinking about how your relationship with alcohol might be impacting you.
Read through some of the older posts here on the Be Sober blog to find practical advice and strategies to help you move in the right direction.