Good old Freud was on to something

It was Freud (check me out), who came up with the concept of sublimination as a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are tools we use to deflect people seeing our issues/feelings or even to hide those issues/feelings from ourselves.
Being Freud he believed that sublimination was a result of deep instinctual sexual drives, and because these sexual drives were socially unacceptable, individuals would use sublimination to channel these sexual urges into succeeding in other more socially acceptable areas, maybe science or the arts, anything to distract from what was truly going on. So basically, you have a feeling that you don’t want to share or feel that its unacceptable, so instead you take up a new sport for example and put all that pent up frustration/desire/anger into that.
Now I like Freud but the man was pretty obsessed with sex, however when it comes to sublimination and subliminal messages I reckon we can apply freud theory to the alcohol advertisers of today.

Beware of the Ad man/woman

Advertising relies heavily on psychology, and finding out what makes people tick, from placement of products on  supermarket shelves, to super expensive adverts suggesting the perfect life of only you buy their product.

Let’s apply this to alcohol, we know its causes millions of pounds worth of damage each year, we know at the weekends in the UK the NHS and emergency services are under incredible strain from individuals being drunk. We know that alcohol is addictive and is a known carcogen. We know worldwide over 3 million deaths are as a direct result of drinking alcohol and is responsible for over 5% of the global burden of disease.


YET!


It is freely available and in many cultures actively encouraged.
Want fun? Add alcohol
Want to commiserate? Add alcohol
Want to be glamorous? Add alcohol

But if you get addicted and lose everything you are weak.

Alcohol advertising is everywhere, from daft signs that get displayed in houses and bars across the world to make us feel better about consuming a carcogenic poison to million pound beer adverts at sporting events.

I wonder what the signs would read if we were honest about alcohol?

Would we advertise class A drugs in the same way? ‘Want to chill out after a tough day a work’? Do some heroin or instead of wine Wednesday, let’s have crystal meth Tuesday. It wouldn’t happen. OK ok, I know these are illegal drugs, but a certain report by Professor Nutt, established alcohol as the most harmful from all the drugs they investigated, and part of its danger is becsue it is widely available and totally accepted by society.

Often advertising is seen as harmless, we don’t  think about it too much, but you can bet your backside, someone somewhere is being paid a bundle to think about it and how best to get into the potential customers subconscious.

Putting posion in pretty packages doesn’t make it any safer

Freud was right, and advertisers use subliminal messages to dress alcohol up, putting poison in pretty packages and use it as a distraction from the dark truth. 

The sober movement is gaining momentum but there is a long way to go, we sober warriors need to keep pushing back against the tide. We are regularly being sold a lie and this one is quite literally poison.

Till next time

Vicki xx

Exciting times!

Exciting things are afoot in the world of sunbeam sobriety.

I have decided to collaborate my counselling skills and knowledge, with the lived experience of my sober journey. I’m starting up my own business.

What exactly is a sober facilitator?

My role is to support you

Since getting sober, I have always wanted to give something back. I have waited for three years, not only until I achieved my degree, I waited until I was established in my sobriety, so I can ethically and professionally offer my clients the best possible service.


The sober facilitator service launches on Independence day, which feels appropriate. I can support you in claiming back your independence from alcohol

Check out sunbeam sobriety on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

I look forward to welcoming you

Till next time

Vicki xx

The Sober Traveller

Sunrise and sunbeams on the Brooklyn bridge

The money saving hack

In the two and half years since I have got sober, I have travelled more than I did in the decade leading up to 2017. This is a combination of having more money, energy and confidence to travel. Holidays in the wasted years were hard fought for, rarely could I afford to go every year and didn’t always get abroad. I do realise I am lucky to have achieved that, but the fact remains money was tight because of my drinking. In the two and a half years since I quit I have saved in excess of 8K! and that’s a conservative calculation. When I set up my sober counter app, I put down £10 a day ( 2 bottles of vinegary plonk for a tenner), I did’t include the fact I was smoking which essentially doubled my daily spend. I also didn’t include that I usually drank much more at the weekends, or on nights out, then there’s replacing lost items, phone screens, broken shoes. ripped clothes, days off from work, drunken take away’s, or carby hangover food, the list could go on, its safe to say the actual amount much much more.

the sober time app

That’s not to say I’m sat on a pile of money, I just know that I can afford to go away more, we have way more treats as a family now and I no longer have to buy everything from sale rails. (Still love a bargain, I’m from Yorkshire after all).

Forcing down the poison

One of our big holidays when I was drinking was to Mexico, it took us 2 years to save for that trip and quite frankly I had a shit time, I had a shit time because I was drinking. The 16 day trip is a blur . Being the classy bird I was, I decided to work my way through the cocktail menu and actually ended up having to force drinks down. Its all inclusive right? You have to get your moneys worth. Even then, that day forcing down god knows what ( they all tasted the same), it didn’t occur to me that maybe drinking wasn’t so much fun anymore. In fact I believed the myth that I needed to drink to have fun. That belief is so very ingrained in our culture I never even thought to question it.

Once I removed alcohol I actually discovered what fun felt like, well actually once I removed alcohol I actually discovered what it was like to feel anything.

Flying sober

The absolute worst thing about that Mexico holiday was the jet lag, it took me 3 weeks to recover, I was going insane with the exhaustion, it put me off long haul flights completely until…. well until I got sober. Looking back it could well have been a 3 week hangover on top of extreme jet lag, it was just horrible.

I don’t think I’ll ever be flying’s biggest fan, I’m quite small but I don’t like being cramped in spaces, and don’t get me started on seat recliners ( selfish bunch of b******* they are,) we’re all cramped dude, not sure why you feel your comfort is more important than mine.

But I’ll tolerate flying to keeping ticking off my bucket list

Dressed appropriately

Having just returned from New York, I have been pretty jet lagged, on top of the miles and miles we walked while there, I have managed to recover quickly, with much less drama than the Mexico holiday.

The best bit

The absolute best bit of sober travel is seeing the world through clear eyes, experiencing things that you would never have done when drinking, I have swam in an Olympic pool half way up a mountain, I’ve seen snow in central park ( I nearly cried), I’ve fallen in love with travelling by subway/underground/ metro, it feels so exciting every time I step into a station, I’ve jumped off cliffs (under supervision) into crystal clear waters, I’ve seen multi- coloured fountains dance to cheesy 80’s music and I’m just getting started. Do you know what I did on holidays past? I parked my arse nearest the pool bar and didn’t move for a fortnight.

New York subway

Barcelona baby

I went to Barcelona for my first sober city break and fell in love, I came home bursting with stories of my experiences and adventure. A friend of a friend said told me there hadn’t been that much to do when they visited a few years earlier (Cue Vicki’s confused face, Barcelona is pretty old, I’m fairly sure there’s always been plenty to do), turns out she meant there wasn’t much to do when you slept off your hangover for most of the day and then hit the bars.

Barcelona’s dancing fountains

Fresh eyes

Fresh eyes are an actual thing when you quit drinking, once the puffiness goes down ( its there I promise) the world becomes techni colour again, its exciting and wonderful, I often feel excitement bubbling up in my chest at the thought of brand new experiences, I’m like a child and I hope beyond hope it never goes away, I missed so much through drinking I feel like I’m trying to grab everything at once ….. patience is not my strong point.

Here’s to living

I started this blog saying I had travelled more in the last two and a half years, than the decade prior, its occurred to me that I’ve lived more in the last two and a half years than I had in the two decades prior. I used to get sad and angry about the years wasted but for whatever reason I wasn’t ready for my freedom until Sept 17. It hasn’t been easy but one thing I do is celebrate my sober wins, however big or small I do a little happy dance inside every time I achieve something that would have not been possible while I was drinking, and after the best part of two decades there is a lot. I made a choice not to remain angry or sad because that just means more time wasted on booze, its had enough of my life, its time for me to start living on my terms.

The joker stairs

till next time

vicki xx

NEW YORK BABY!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I made it! and I’m in love! I arrived on Saturday and it snowed. I love snow, so walking through Central Park on Saturday evening was a dream come true for me. I actually felt quite emotional and reflecting upon why…..its because I never thought I deserved to do amazing things like travel to fantastic cities. Luckily through sobriety, I have realised my worth and that life is for living.

My emotional journey continued on Sunday, wide awake at 5am we decided to explore the city and were out and about by 6am. It was magical, Times Square was empty so lots of opportunities for pictures, we found a diner that was open had pancakes and were at the top of the Rockefeller Centre by 8am. I blame jet lag for the early start, but thank sobriety for feeling great, while being awake at that time. This meant we were able to spend a magical few hours in the city without the crowds. Getting to the ‘top of the rock’ is also a massive achievement, terrified of heights for as long as I can remember, I shocked myself at not only getting up there but going outside and actually enjoying it

What a view

Sunday went from great to amazing

Then it was time to head back to the hotel to shower and change ready for a very important date I had at noon. The date was a little delayed by me turning up at the wrong restaurant and having to hail a cab (check me out), then racing 30 blocks to the right restaurant. This type of mistake happens to me more than I care to mention but I blame a super busy brain missing important info from time to time (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it).

Anyway back to the very important date… I was lucky enough to meet two wonderful women who are also on this same sobriety journey. An international sober social!

Connection is the opposite of addiction

Cathleen and Debra were my brunch buddies along with the lovely Brandi (Debra’s daughter) and my partner Richard. As with all the sober sisters I’ve met there was an instant connection and it was amazing, we talked like we had known each other for years and I felt so happy to be with some members from my tribe. I’ve met up with several wonderfully, smart, strong beautiful women through this sober path and each time is as fantastic as the last. Check out what Johann Hari has to say about connection being the opposite of addiction – its bloody true!

If you can be anything be a unicorn

It can be a lonely path sobriety, I prefer to think of it, like being a unicorn ( I would wouldn’t I). Its lonely because we are brainwashed from a young age to think that alcohol is the answer to all out prayers and that if you have a drink problem then you are weak! Which is when people judge. We’re not weak alcohol is designed to make us want more, its dangerous and thank goodness for this sober movement that people are pushing back against this drug. Anyway I digress……

To all the sober warriors I’ve been lucky enough to meet

Debra, Cathleen, Helen, Sara, Sharon, Susie, Rhoda, Joanne, Jenny, Louise, and Janice, its been a pleasure to meet you, and long may my sober travels continue, I hope I get to meet more of us on this path. Its a great reason to travel and I may have taken a sneaky peek at flights today (don’t tell Rich).

Magic does happen

Our stories are always unique to us but so very similar, drink stop us being who we were meant to be and through sobriety we have taken our power back. With the return of the power comes amazing things, like travelling 3 and a half thousand miles to meet your sober sisters, or getting to the top of the rock and not crying, or getting straight back in the lift back down. That power brought back my self worth and because of that I got to walk through Central Park in the snow holding back the tears because it was so bloody amazing.

till next time

Vicki xxx