Sober Diaries – A Boom Community Book Club Selection

The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley is light, airy, truthful and funny as hell. Unlike many books on addiction and recovery, the “heavy going,” the “how to,” the “reasons why,” and “cautionary tales”, Sober Diaries speaks to the realities of actual drinking and actual recovery from an actual person who I could relate to so much. Reading Sober Diaries was like watching a romantic comedy after watching something dark and violent on Netflix.  Right from the start of the book, you get a feeling of the lively chaos in her household with three children and the dog howling when one of her kids plays the clarinet. It would make a brilliant sit com while being informative and sensitive too.

I love this book!  

What sticks with me from Sober Diaries is Pooley’s relatability. Even though I haven’t experienced life exactly the same as Clare Pooley, she writes in a way that makes me feel like she is describing my life. Here are a few passages that made me stop and say, “whoa – that sounds like me.”

On day 3 she says “ many an evening I’ve spent with a wooden spoon in one hand and a glass of wine in the other”, so she is now cooking in the morning ready to heat up later. Not a bad idea if you have a problem with this association ( like I did ).

My LOL moment, and the line that helped me “settle in” to the book is in p 27:

“A soft-play area with a chronic hangover is a special kind of hell.”

Omg. Now, I have had some incredible hangovers, but she gets it. Hangovers get substantially worse when they accompany shame.

Pooley reflecting on things “lost” in sobriety

“SMALL THINGS I’VE LOST: fear of cashiers, breath freshener, three o’clock in the morning, room spins, muffin top and Nurofen.” 

Pooley reflecting on how she has changed as a mother:

“I’m not constantly trying to get rid of them (my kids).”

Her honesty here floors me. I had to stop at that sentence and take a break because I had hidden a lot of those emotions. I’ve been sober for a significant period of time now (over 3 years), so it’s easier to forget those difficult parts. But, boy, I spent A LOT of time trying to get rid of my kids so I could drink more and alone. Her tone makes me feel like I am taking to a friend. 

I also loved reading of her experience with cancer and recovery. Like everything she writes about, this part of her story was relatable. To be going through cancer in early recovery was a huge blow but how well she handled it was inspiring! She tells us about the down days and moments. And the funny ones. And the sweet ones. She writes in a way that you can see yourself in her shoes. Her overall one year view was just so easy and helpful for me. She’s just a person. A person who did this hard thing and thrived. No matter what.

Join us for our Boom Rethink the Drink Community Book Club discussion on Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley – Open our Discussion using the blue links below.

The Sober Diaries – Assignment #1 Find the Funny
The Sober Diaries – Assignment #2 “Day in the Life”
The Sober Diaries – Assignment #3 “whoa – that sounds like me.”
The Sober Diaries – Assignment # 4 Your turn!

We are currently discussing Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget 

Come join the discussion here

Previous Book Club Discussions :

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – A Boom Community Book Club Selection

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