Ever since I joined Instagram I've been thinking more about images I can use to promote recovery and illustrate my sober life. Instagram (features big photos with captions as long as you like) offers a slightly different outlet to this blog (words mostly), Living Sober (loads of words and interactions), Facebook (some pictures and words and links) and Twitter (links mostly, short words and some photos). Each online outlet has a slightly different personality in my mind.
I'm a social media slut for sure - but I don't care! I love being sober and I love sharing about my sober lifestyle. It's fun, it helps keeps me off the sauce and hopefully helps some other folks too.
Anyway, this past week ended up being very much about photos for me - I kept looking for images that I could use to illustrate my third sober Christmas.
I found myself snapping a photo at my Mum's house one evening last week and sharing it on Instagram with the caption: "The best chamomile tea in the world, candlelight, toffee biscuits AND Christmas cake!! Who needs wine? #notme #sobriety #recovery".
A couple of my sisters commented online that this teapot of mums was the 'best in the land'. That was fun (we only communicate via social media in our family ha ha). They're right - it is a magnificent teapot that pours brilliantly, for sure.
Then at my sister-in-law's house a couple of days later I spied a bottle of wine in a ridiculous 'costume' that had been gifted to her by a client - couldn't resist snapping a pic of it and sharing it with the caption: "Devil in disguise?! #sobriety #recovery"
I mean, honestly……
The next day I spent an obscene amount of money on limes and ginger because I'd decided I wanted to take full control of my liquids and was sick of sugary sodas. Another photo opportunity for Instagram! This one captioned: "Got my drinks organized for Christmas! $25 worth of limes. Bloody expensive but only a fraction of what I'd have spent on booze in the past. Squeeze half a lime into a glass of soda water, add a few slices of peeled fresh ginger and ice cubes - sorted! #refreshing"
Then I made the drink and shared a photo of that on Twitter (told you I was a social media slut).
Got loads of favorites and comments including one from my friend JJW (he writes awesome posts like this and this on Living Sober) which said "LIMES! You high roller". Yes Jackson, you are right, they were bloody expensive and I am a high roller.
At this point I was private messaged a photo on Twitter of one of our Living Sober members smiling broadly and holding out a glass containing a creamy mocktail. The message read "Having fun trying different drinks! Yay! #soberchristmas". Honestly the sight of her smiling face made me cry. I wish I could share it here but won't to protect her privacy, but imagine a very happy, healthy, proud looking lady holding a glass with a straw sticking out of it in one hand and a bowl of cherries in the other. This image made my day, no doubt about it.
Christmas Morning I decided to prep my drink ingredients to take around all the houses we were going to that day. Of course I had to take another picture to share (are we over-sharing here? Don't care, don't care!).
And look what a Twitter friend who goes by the handle @OhioSQ tweeted me back!!!
Ha ha, brilliant!!!!!!!! This made me so happy!!!!!! She's rocking the lime, soda, ginger combo too! See how great the online recovery community is? We all share, share, share and in doing so we feel connected and secure in our sober lifestyles. What's not to love…..
My online interactions through Christmas were going on left, right and centre. Living Sober was buzzing with people forging ahead with a non-drinking Christmas, the Members Feed there was full of grit, love, wisdom & support. (It bloody works that site. If you're not in there go join right now. It's free and you can be anonymous. You have to register to get into the Members Feed and that's where the amazing real-time support goes on.) Facebook - where I'd also shared a photo of my limes and ginger plus my Sober First Aid Kit - had a nice supportive feel to it with a few likes, comments and private messages coming in. Sober folks on Instagram were sharing pics that I was liking and commenting on and Twitter conversations were taking place. I'm sure all my relatives think I'm crazily addicted to the internet, truth is I was on-and-off the iPad a lot, but I still felt very connected to what is going on in the 'real world' and I think they appreciate how important my online world is to my recovery.
Last two pictures of the day - the bottle opener I won in my Christmas Cracker "#notveryuseful" ….
And finally me wearing reindeer horn hair-clips, eyes swollen from days of crying over losing a loved one, but smiling and happy. The caption read: "Feeling the Christmas love. Love my family. Love my friends. Love getting loads of scented candles! And most of all LOVE MY SOBRIETY!!!!"
Yes indeed. Hope everyone had a lovely sober Christmas. And if you didn't quite manage it this year, don't despair. Keep trying and you will get there eventually. You must - sobriety rocks. Really it does.
Love, Mrs D xxxx