The Day Ahead Is Yours

Waking up before anyone else in the house, creeping downstairs in the dark and putting the kettle on, with nothing coming between you and the universe as it stands, free from all the hustle and bustle of our busy lives; the heating kicking into action, in a house that’s otherwise still and silent; no questions or demands to detract from the settled state of mind that emerges after a good night’s sleep.

I’ve always been a morning person. I am at my most productive before lunchtime, when everything around me begins to escalate into a series of necessary chores and duties, each one taking on a life of its own and demanding my full attention. But first thing, as the sun peeps up above the horizon and the early birds begin to chirrup and tweet, that’s my time: calm and serene.


No calamities or disappointments have occurred as the sky begins to colour, becoming illuminated and alive after hours of darkness. No unexpected tasks have popped up to throw everything out of schedule. No unwanted thoughts and desires that turn our heads into a maelstrom of push and pull, an internal battle of wills that saps all our energy.

And most of all (and this is something that is very real and truly lovely, even after four and a half years of not drinking), the mornings are now fresh and clear instead of being muddied and sullied by the events of the previous night. The previous night, when things would take place that I did not want to take place, when I acted in a way that I would never normally do without alcohol in my system, when I poisoned my insides by drinking enough to pass out or throw up. When all of these things resulted in my first thoughts of the day amounting to how much I hated myself, and how much I hated my life.

These days, the sun comes up, slowly and majestically. And the weather is revealed, the wind or the rain, the leaves scurrying around on the ground and the clouds scudding overhead, racing against one another. Inside my mind it is peaceful. Inside my body I am in tune with the world, instead of fighting against it. The day ahead is mine. I own it. Yesterday hasn’t stained it, predetermined it, cast it in negativity before it even starts. This day is mine, to do with what I will.

Spiralling Out Of Control

This week has mostly been a foggy jumble of sinus-related illness, tissues too many to recall, and a fortieth birthday which somehow slid by barely noticed due to the aforementioned illness. BUT! Throughout it all I have stuck stoically to my commitment to staying sugar-free, and as a nice side effect I have lost two pounds.

Over the last seven days I have been increasingly more mindful of what I’ve been eating. It’s so easy to slip into overeating (especially junk food) and I confess to being the queen of chocolate frenzies; I have regularly scoffed entire giant bars of the stuff within a matter of minutes, barely registering what is going on until the empty wrapper lies before me and I’m filled with disgust at such a potent lack of self-control.

Beautiful Staircase Designs (5)

However, during the past week I’ve noticed a gradual but obvious reduction of cravings for sugar, a very significant lack of interest in sugary foods, and a small sense of pride in starting to overcome my addiction. It’s nice to know that I’m not a complete slave to the white stuff.

Another positive is that I have finally reached a point in my life where I feel safely able to ‘watch my diet’ without launching into obsessive and dangerous eating patterns, as was the case in my younger years. I’m not denying myself crucial calories in a bid to lose vast amounts of weight; I’m addressing an addiction to sugar which, when consumed in excess, causes us problems both physically and mentally. I read on all the time about an inability to control food intake and especially so in the early stages of becoming alcohol-free. This is a common problem, and one which many people beat themselves up about.

I was incapable, once-upon-a-time, of eating ‘sensibly’ without spiralling into a dangerous game of excessive control which resulted in losing way too much weight and becoming obsessed with food and how best to avoid it. I hated my body and used my restrictive calorie controlling as a means of exercising discipline in the rest of my life – where I clearly felt as though there was none.

This whole business of ‘getting better’ following a dependency upon alcohol is a very complex one. Personally speaking, my ‘issues’ manifested themselves in drug use, an eating disorder and heavy drinking, and I merely swapped between these three things (or engaged in all three simultaneously) for several years in an effort to channel my discontentment away from actually facing up to them. Anything but resolve my deep dislike of myself.

The thing that really began the ball rolling towards happiness and acceptance of who I am was stopping drinking. That act alone was enough to initiate a steady process of beginning to like myself. It provided the foundations for being able to deal with all of the negativity, and injected me with the inner strength to get to grips with everything that I was scared of facing for all those years.

Cutting out sugar may sound like a fairly insignificant lifestyle change. But for those of us who’ve found our demons emerging in so many guises including a warped relationship with food, being able to eat nutritionally well and to enjoy healthy eating in a normal manner without fearing food, is a massive achievement.

Something Worth Fighting For…

Nobody wakes up one day and decides that they fancy frittering their life away on drugs and booze. The drinking and the partying are just elements of what a person initially perceives as being fun and the more of it they do, the more it becomes acceptable. The lines get blurred. What was once off limits appears not so scary. The restrictions that prevented the bad stuff occurring are slowly eroded, and a wilderness fills the void – a barren landscape in which time is fluid and reality not certain.

Underlying my own alcohol and drug issues was a malignant desire to hurt myself. I relished in self-destruction, wore it like a badge of honour. The scars of my lifestyle were embraced and absorbed into my rebellious nature, it’s what I wanted to be. Dangerous. Free. Unconventional. Brazen. A warrior, fighting against my self, at war with my mind and inflicting neglect and suffering on my body. I liked it like that; there was a comforting familiarity to it all.

I think in the midst of this, I was frightened to acknowledge my future in a particularly honest way. I did not, for instance, fully accept that the chances of me developing cancer or liver disease were being significantly raised as a result of my alcohol consumption. Occasionally I’d be hit by a morbid fear, but there was always the drink to wash the worries away. I thought I liked who I was, and I never gave consideration to an alternative way of life. It was meant to be that way, wasn’t it? The time for casting roles had long since past and I was who I was, in my shoes, walking my path. Defined by drink and getting wasted. The one who would always take it a step further. And people who weren’t like that bored me to tears. I was a part of a tribe to which non-hedonists did not belong. I didn’t want anything to do with real life. Outside of my bubble of mind-altering substances, nothing interested me.


But if you give life a chance, sufficient time spent not under the influence of alcohol and drugs, it teaches you how to live it. Things become apparent and it starts to grow easier to exist. The demons that ate away at me in my teens and twenties have all been eradicated. I have a broader cognisance now, which has allowed stuff to fall into place. It isn’t necessary to hurt yourself to get your point across or to show the world just how different you are. There’s nothing unusual about getting out of your skull every day – people are doing it everywhere.

Conversely, this quiet acceptance, a real love for life’s minutiae as well as the major things that we exist amongst, self-awareness, self-compassion, reaching goals, being proud, having clarity, being calm, a ripple-free life, relationships on a plateau, less anger, more control – that’s different. That’s special. Being in tune with yourself as a human being, listening to your body and mind, and recognising who you truly were meant to be, that’s worth something. It’s worth fighting for.

2015 – The Year of the Soberista

I think we live in a topsy-turvy world, where it is seen as more normal to want to drink yourself into oblivion than it is to lead a healthy, alcohol-free life in which you are in control of your body and mind. On a daily basis, we are surrounded by messages of endorsement for a seriously mind-altering substance – one that is responsible for the deaths of 3.3 million people worldwide every year. We are bombarded by a collective validation for this addictive drug, the consumption of which is a causal factor in more than two hundred disease and injury conditions.


And bizarrely, we often find that when we choose to opt out of the merry-go-round of alcohol misuse, we are considered to be boring, ill or someone to pity. It is not always the case, of course, but there exists a great deal of stigma and hypocrisy when it comes to the way people in the West approach the issue of drinking and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, sobriety.

Until I ended up in hospital because of the amount of booze I consumed one night in April 2011, I lived a life that I would describe as one of a binge drinker. On many occasions I despised myself because of something I had said or done when under the influence; there were too many times when I lay alone in the dark considering suicide as a result of the depressive effects of alcohol. But I never regarded myself as someone to feel sorry for – I wasn’t a victim. I was simply unaware that my life would be vastly improved if I omitted alcohol from it. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees – there was no clarity, no understanding that I was, in reality, creating all of the problems in my life because I got drunk so frequently.

I firmly believe in an alcohol-free life now. It’s a way of being that has brought me nothing but positives, and one that has simultaneously eradicated much of the crap that dragged me down so relentlessly for years. I remember a boy at my secondary school who used to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Drinking won’t solve my problems. But it will give me lots of interesting new ones’. Oh the wit! That carefree and innocent perspective of this substance that most people share in their teens was one that I most definitely held – although one that very gradually became replaced with a great deal of wariness and, eventually, fear.

Many people will remain forever in denial that they actually have a problem with alcohol. For every regret-filled morning when with head throbbing, promises will be made to never drink again, there will be an untold number of nights of throwing caution to the wind and an abject refusal to accept that it is not really ok to be drinking to the point of blacking out. And on and on the negative cycle will turn, never to be broken.

But equally, many people are, I believe, now beginning to question this alcohol-fuelled existence as normal. They are pondering whether life without hangovers and booze-induced problems in their relationships and at work might be better, easier. I believe there is a wave building, a revolt against the mass acceptance we have all grown up with, of binge drinking and its place in society as an inherent element of everyday life.


Christmas and New Year’s Eve are times of the year when alcohol features even more prominently than usual – it can feel isolating and challenging to be a non-drinker in the midst of such widespread festive applause for booze. But there are far more people than many would imagine who are happily getting on with things minus any alcohol, and who aren’t missing it that much, if at all. I am one of those people. I couldn’t be happier than right now, free from the shackles that held me prisoner for so long and which turned me into someone I wasn’t – a loud, overbearing and self-centred person with a shallow existence and a multitude of regrets keeping me awake at night.

The more people who continue to turn their backs on booze, the more normal the teetotaller will become. I hope that in 2015 we will witness a big increase in the number of non-drinkers proudly emerging, and that as an expanding group in society we can make the case heard even louder for a life that’s lived in control, healthily and happily.

Happy New Year! Lucy x

Finding Out Who You Really Are; Life After Booze

One of the major things I have learnt about myself since stopping drinking in April 2011 is that I am a strong person. This is not something I say lightly, as prior to becoming alcohol-free I was of the mind-set that I was emotionally weak, vulnerable and scared. In a perverse way, I almost enjoyed the knowledge that I was perpetually ‘in need’ of being protected; I actively emphasised it in relationships, and frequently fell back on it as an excuse for everything that was wrong with my life. I suppose I was attempting to retain a child-like state, too frightened to fully spread my wings as an independent adult.

Before I became a dependent drinker, I experienced years of living with an eating disorder. When I regained my sanity in that respect and began to eat healthily again upon the discovery of my first pregnancy aged twenty-two, I mistakenly believed that the underlying unhappiness that had led to anorexia had been eradicated. It hadn’t – it merely shifted its guise and several years later was manifested in my destructive drinking habits.

For all of my adult life up until the age of thirty-five I was convinced that being weak and vulnerable as a woman were attractive qualities; that I was, in some way, quite tragic in a romantic sense.

But then I stopped drinking.

The bravery did not begin the second I put down my last glass of wine. For several months, perhaps a year, I was caught up in a turbulent period of emotions; guilt, self-doubt, wishing I was ‘normal’, regret, boredom, self-hatred, learning about the person I was, managing life without the convenient crutch of booze-induced numbness.

Gradually, however, I noticed that I was becoming emotionally self-sufficient, that certain situations no longer fazed me as they had once done. My desire to be protected from life was slowly diminishing, replaced by a strong sense of wanting to take on the world, of getting out there and making my mark on it. Over time, I stopped perceiving myself as someone who was, in some way, less than others, and recognised that we are all equal, with corresponding ability and potential to achieve whatever we want to, if only we choose to apply ourselves.

Lucy Harter Fell

After several years without alcohol, I have come to regard myself as a ‘normal’ person – normal in the sense that I am no longer frightened by such innocuous situations as speaking to a stranger when stone cold sober, or talking in front of a group of people or being proactive in chasing my dreams without being held back by an innate belief that I am not good enough. I just get on with things, and I know that I can do so without heavy reliance upon other people. We all need someone from time to time for a shoulder to cry on or to provide us with an objective viewpoint, but when you have no self-belief it’s all too easy to grip too tightly onto other people, using them like a lifeboat, convinced you will sink without them holding you above water.

I was wrong to think I was weak, but I would never have known otherwise had I not stopped drinking. For me, the subsequent journey of self-discovery has been monumental, changing the course of my life completely. We never know who we are capable of being until we quit drinking – this is something I genuinely believe to be true, for anyone who drinks compulsively like I once did.

Striving to Fill the Emotional Void

I don’t like the labels ‘alcoholic’ and ‘addict’. They don’t resonate with me or my experiences, and more than that, I think they are derogatory, loaded with negative connotations, and have the potential to prevent a person from fulfilling his or her true potential in life once the addiction to a particular substance has been overcome.

In the last few years I’ve thought a lot about addiction; what makes some people become dependent on a drug or bad habit? And of those of us who’ve struggled in this way, what exactly are we looking for? What’s missing in our lives?


When I first quit drinking alcohol, I considered religion in a way I’ve never done before. I am a devout atheist but was overwhelmed with a desire to fill up my life with a force much greater than I. The booze had obviously been satisfying a deep emotional yearning and without it, a vacuum yawned open leaving me hollow and empty and totally craving something. But what that something was, I don’t know, and I’ve still yet to find out.

I wonder whether this feeling I often have that something is missing is what propels certain people into addiction. There are many factors at play with regards to developing addictive behaviours, such as genetics and childhood experiences, those who we socialise with during the impressionable teenage years, and life events such as bereavement and divorce. But even taking these things into consideration, I have often thought that this emotional emptiness may not be experienced by all of humanity, and that for some reason, there are particular people who are more aware of it than others.

When I was a teenager I suffered from an eating disorder for many years. I smoked and took drugs and tried very hard to satisfy the inner hollowness, without much success. When I grew older, I put an end to those behaviours and concentrated purely on alcohol, continuing apace in my efforts to satisfy myself, to feel complete. It was only when I quit drinking that I became fully aware of just how much of a vacuum there was inside, and it was then that I began considering religion in a desperate attempt to feel what I thought others must feel – completeness, a sense of belonging and of being human.

I couldn’t get behind religion, although there are strands of Buddhism and Taoism that resonate with me and which I have found comfort in. My pragmatic side has tended to focus on fixing all that is wrong with my world in the hope that by living a more fulfilling life, that silent but ever-present emptiness will be eradicated. And for the most part, I’ve been successful.

However, every so often, a familiar sense of something missing arises, leaving me feeling deeply unsatisfied and emotionally hollow. And it’s then that I wonder, is this what it means to be ‘an addict’ (if we are to utilise that term)? Is there a special quality to those of us who have been drawn into substance misuse? Do we feel an emptiness that others don’t? We’ll never know what goes on inside other people’s hearts and souls – we can only surmise by talking and listening, by sharing our stories, and by opening up and being honest about the way that we feel. In that way, we can discover whether our own experience of being human is mirrored in that of others.

There is still the eternal optimist inside me, who believes that once I have happened upon all the correct components of my own personal life jigsaw and put them in the right place, the hollowness will disappear; at that point, I will feel complete. Maybe there is no such thing as the condition of being ‘an addict’ – perhaps it is simply that we are yet to get everything right in our lives, that we have still to work out what our individual recipes for perfection are. And when we get that right, the emptiness will vanish. For the time being, I am still choosing to believe in that.

From A Drunken Parallel Universe To A Life Of Contentment

What’s different about my life now that I am sober for every waking moment of it? The most obvious change is the disappearance of the car crash, relentless unpredictability that ruled my whole existence for twenty years. In a strange way, I was as addicted to that as I was the alcohol, and when I eventually decided to quit drinking I was terrified of the thought of a straight edge life that lacked the exciting drama I was so used to.

It’s taken a while to become accustomed to this new way which might be compared to drifting from stormy, turbulent waters into a warm, calm bay, where the seasons change as they should and nothing out of the ordinary jumps out to shake everything up. And while things are definitely different to the way they once were, I don’t miss my old life at all. I’ve become totally used to living in harmony with the world, which may sound slightly hippy-like but that’s how I see it all now.


When upsetting or annoying things happen these days, they do so because that’s how things have turned out, naturally. There’s a reason for the way events unfold, a reason that hasn’t been forced and manipulated by excessive alcohol. The way I used to drink was not how those do who often feel the need to defend their drinking habits (i.e. a couple of drinks here and there, without ever becoming drunk and out of control). When I drank, I only ever wanted to lose my mind.

It was escapism I was seeking, and escape I did on a regular basis, flitting between my real life and the parallel universe I inhabited when drinking. My thoughts and actions were not my own, I never knew where an evening would take me; where I’d end up and who with. I always had butterflies in my stomach immediately prior to a night out – I know now that this was because I was terrified of exactly what the pissed version of me would be capable of during the forthcoming evening.

But now, if a friendship gradually peters out it happens because we no longer have anything in common. If I argue with my partner it’s because there is a real underlying issue that needs resolving. If I feel guilty about something, it’s because I need to alter my behaviour in some way – MY behaviour, the real me, not the artificial extension of me that wine created. Days have a predictability to them; I’m up at the same time, I follow the same rules, I don’t lurch from one impetuous thought to another, or spend hours of my time scraping up the aftermath of yet another drunken disaster.


If you are considering an alcohol-free life, you should be prepared for a quieter and calmer life – but one that will be quiet and calm for all the right reasons. And when you feel the need to shake things up a bit, you can, on your terms and in control. That’s not boring; that’s contentment. Advent Reveal – Ask the Doctor

Today is the day of our second Soberistas advent reveal in the run-up to our re-launch on January 2nd 2014. We are introducing a new page on called Ask the Doctor, and this will enable our members to send in any medical queries, specifically related to alcohol, to Dr. Julia Sinclair who has very kindly offered her expert services for this purpose.

Ask the Doctor works in a really simple way – you send your questions to and Julia will answer as many of your queries as possible. The Q’s and A’s will then be published the following month on Julia’s page of If you wish to remain anonymous then please state this when you send in your question via email. You can read more about Dr. Julia in the following introductory article, and feel free to send in your questions from today (the cut off for this month is December 24th, so if you would like to see your questions answered in the January page of Ask the Doctor, make sure you send them in before Christmas Eve!).

Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dr. Julia for giving up her time, for free, for this purpose – we are thrilled to have you on board!

Lucy x

Dr. Sinclair


Dr Julia Sinclair

I am delighted to be starting the ‘Ask the Doctor’ page for Soberistas as part of the new website; to try and give some unbiased ‘evidence based’ advice about aspects of alcohol use, effects and treatments that Soberistas members  may want clarifying.

There is a lot of misinformation out there, and sadly many GPs and other doctors have had only minimal training about how to deal helpfully with alcohol problems. So they often miss it when patients come with related concerns (depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heartburn and the rest). This means they may give treatments for these symptoms (often for years) without ever addressing the underlying problem.

So who am I? I am a qualified doctor who specialised in psychiatry and then addiction. My main area of expertise is in alcohol problems particularly those complicated by anxiety and depression. I am based at the University of Southampton where I have a clinical and academic role involved in trying to ensure that we get adequate teaching and training on this subject for all doctors, as well as research into alcohol problems.

I run an NHS clinic at the General Hospital in Southampton (with my colleague Jules) which sees people with a full range of physical and mental health problems related to alcohol. We encourage people to feel that they can take control over their drinking and are often able to show them how quickly their health and wellbeing starts to improve when they have taken that first step. Sadly it is just one clinic and the estimates are that there will be about 4000 people dependent on alcohol in Southampton alone! We try to link people in with services locally, but these are under resourced, often not accessible to working people, and, as many on Soberistas have commented,  give people an identity as ‘alcoholics’ rather than ‘Soberistas’ and so they may not be keen to go.

I recommend to all my patients that they check out Soberistas, as a great place for support, encouragement and good practical advice. I have a huge respect for Lucy and all she is achieving and I am looking forward to contributing a small part to the sober revolution!

We look forward to hearing from you.


Be A Part of Something Big

In recent years there has been a notable rise of the Soberista, and I’m not just talking about Numerous celebrities have opened up about their decision to become non-drinkers and various media worldwide have picked up on the early indications of a wider sea change in people’s attitudes towards alcohol and whether or not they wish to consume it in the same destructive way, something that has become the norm in many parts of the world.

We are used to reading about celebrities who pop into an exclusive rehab for a few weeks after one too many shots of them being completely out of it have appeared in the tabloids, their car crash lifestyle spilled out for all to see and the subsequent visit to some remote clinic or other becoming common knowledge. But in the last few years there have also been stories in the press about people such as Zoe Ball, Norman Cook and Daniel Radcliffe who have chosen the teetotal lifestyle but who arrived at that decision with much less of a public display of alcoholic debauchery.

The younger generations (in the UK at least) are drinking less, and the idea of being seen to be openly drunk has lost its appeal for many. Are we beginning to see a shift in attitudes towards alcohol abuse, in a similar way to that which has occurred with regards to smoking?

I believe that for this shift to gather real momentum people need to concentrate on all the benefits of being alcohol-free; this lifestyle choice should never be perceived as ‘giving up alcohol,’ for in using that phrase we imply the denial to ourselves of something pleasant and the focus is fully on what we have lost rather than what we have to gain.

glass of water

There is only one way to successfully conquer your booze demons, and that is to gear your thinking towards the huge amount of benefits to be reaped by living an AF life, and to not give a further second’s thought to the notion that alcohol adds anything to your life. If more people take the bold decision to turn their backs on booze thus becoming ambassadors of AF living, then the commonly held perception of binge drinking being entirely normal and teetotalism being regarded as something only undertaken by oddballs or religious zealots will be increasingly challenged.

If society did not celebrate and normalise alcohol in the way it does currently, I wholeheartedly believe that I personally would have questioned by wine-guzzling habit many years previously to when I actually got round to thinking that perhaps all was not well in my body or mind as a direct result of all the alcohol I was imbibing on a regular basis.

Being proud of your AF status is an effective way to contribute to a change which I think has already begun (here’s hoping; now raise your glass of elderflower cordial in a collective toast to being a Soberista!).

Letting Go

The years I spent in between the end of my marriage and the start of my relationship with Mr Right (upstairs in bed) mostly took place in one district of Sheffield. In that area I lived in four different houses; two of them I owned, one I rented and the other was an ex-partners who I lived with briefly before we split up and went our separate ways.

This area is stuck on the outskirts of Sheffield which means that I never have cause to pass through it and only go there if a specific reason arises (i.e. picking my eldest daughter up from a friend’s house, which I did last Thursday).Bottle with cork

Anyway, I think I am reasonably happy at the moment; I’m in a good relationship – the best I’ve ever had – with someone I love very much, I have happily got on top of my booze dependency and I’ve got two gorgeous daughters who I love to bits. But as soon as I get close to this area of Sheffield where I lived through so much misery and heartache, I feel physically sick and can’t wait to get out of there.

The houses were thrown up quickly around the time of the Industrial Revolution and are small and grey, built in a grid structure for speed and best use of space. The end result is a rabbit warren-like web of houses, their small, dark forms creating an air of claustrophobia and gloom.

Driving along the other night I was overwhelmed with a feeling of oppression and sadness, with each turning I made bringing home a whole bunch of bad memories and regrets. It made me realise that I kind of ran away from that place, making the physical break but never really dealing with the mental fallout of who I was when I lived there. I recognised that somewhere deep in my conscience there lurks a truckload of baggage which I need to deal with if I am to reach my goal of being truly at peace with myself, and I can only do that if I practice forgiveness of self.

The AA’s 12 Step Programme includes the following steps;

  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  • Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

I’m an atheist and not massively drawn to the AA as a strategy for conquering a dependency upon alcohol (not to say that I disagree with the AA, but I don’t feel that it’s a good fit for me), and therefore these God-related points are not something that I can really attempt to adhere to. BUT I can see the benefit of trying to come to terms with how we’ve behaved when under the influence – of moving forward with a sense of having resolved past grievances and healing old sorrows.

I find it very difficult to distance myself from the past when I am in that area of Sheffield, my home during the my darkest years, or for the days that follow when the memories are still lingering like the pungent and unpleasant smells left by rotting vegetables hiding undetected at the back of the fridge. I don’t need God or anyone else to humbly remove my shortcomings or to remove the defective aspects of my character – I’ve done that bit by myself, thank you very much (well, it’s a work in progress but I’m getting there). It’s the past that I cannot let go of but until I do, I know I will always be able to taste that unpleasant tang of restlessness – unease with a few concentrated drops of shame in the mix.

Here then lies a new challenge in my search for serenity and happiness in 2013 – to finally let go of those miserable years and to accept that everyone makes mistakes – the important thing is to learn from them and not repeat them (too often!). Learning to let go of past mistakes is an important part of self-growth – rather than it being an exercise in letting yourself off the hook, forgiveness of self is actually a positive way to learn to forgive others, and to create a more peaceful existence for your future self. Acknowledge your past errors, apologise to yourself and make a promise that you won’t walk that path again. And remember;

Forgiveness of self is impossible until you stop longing for a better past.

The kindest and most compassionate thing you can do for yourself and for others is to forgive yourself.

You are still mortal and therefore you are going to make mistakes.

My final and favourite quote on this topic;

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility of our future.”

George Bernard Shaw