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Author, educator, truth-seeker. Writing my way to freedom or thereabouts. Talk to me @cjflood_author. www.chelseyflood.com/beautiful-hangover She/her/they.

The first part of breaking the patterns you were born into is recognizing them

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There’s a note in my diary I wrote around age 19.

I don’t know what to do about my social anxiety. I feel like I’m going to have to do something about it but what? Or maybe I can just become an alcoholic…

I was doing a degree which I absolutely loved and drinking a lot. Sometimes I got into trouble with booze but quitting was unthinkable.

Drinking unlocked my real personality. I needed it. And I loved it. I just sometimes drank too much.

Become an Alcoholic

My social anxiety was the only blight on the horizon. Luckily beer cured it. One…


Or how to live your best horizontal life

The artist as a potato

Full disclosure, right now my brain is fried. I’m defending against burnout. And so this post is really sharing tips from my settee. I hope that’s okay.


How I let go of internalized beliefs that made me deeply unhappy

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My parents taught me a lot, but not all of their lessons were healthy. Do you relate?

My mum is wonderful and hilarious and beautiful and hardworking. But when I was little, I saw her spend years of her life trying to change my dad. She wanted him to come home from the pub earlier. To dress more smartly. To work harder. To be more professional.

My dad was kind and funny and handsome and talented. But from my perspective his refusal to compromise cost him a lot. …


Or how I spent hundreds of pounds not solving my biggest problems really slowly

None of my therapists looked like this, but you try drawing from memory with aphantasia.

Nice white lady #1, 2015

Trigger: A friend pushed me to go to the doctor after I admitted to having suicidal thoughts. (Apparently, this is alarming. Who knew?)

I cried to the GP and was given a prescription for Citalopram and a number to call the Talking Therapies team. Three months later I sat in front of nice white lady #1, wondering what the hell to talk about.

It was CBT, apparently, but it felt aimless. I was horrified to find that I seemed to be leading the sessions though I had no clue what was going on.

It was strange being listened to. Getting…


A plea to donate to Shannon Ashley’s lifesaving operation fund and to reflect on how you use your platform

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Yesterday I donated to Shannon Ashley’s crowdfunding campaign because of an email from Tom Kuegler. The headline was: Chelsey, I should’ve done this last week, and I was intrigued, so I opened the message.

He shared Shannon’s crowdfunder and a generous donation appeared in her fund.

Good for you, Tom, I thought. But he was right. He should have done this sooner. Someone with so huge a platform, to whom Shannon is a colleague of sorts. It made me reflect on something I struggle with on this platform. Unacknowledged privilege.

Both of these writers have lots of talent, but very…


Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

I am thrilled to tell you that Megan Holstein has joined our editorial team. Megan has written some stellar pieces for Beautiful Hangover, and so it is really exciting to have her on board. So send us your best pieces, and please follow the guidelines, so we can publish more quickly.

We are all volunteers here, so please be patient too.

I’ve just written a new piece about two things I learned in sobriety that might have kept me drinking. I don’t want to put anyone off the good path, but the transformation can be radical. …


Five years of sobriety feels fantastic, but it wasn’t always this way

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

The further I get from my first years of sobriety the more I recognize how difficult they were. So much needed to change! And it happened sooo slowly.

The uncomfortable truth is that you are right to be hesitant about getting sober. It is a huge transition. You will, in the process, become a completely different sort of person. Is that what you want?

Who are you really? Underneath all that posturing and bravado? Are you ready to find out?

Naturally, the urgent question you have, before you quit booze, is: Will the effort be worth it?

For me, it…


What do you do when you don’t measure up compared to men OR women?

Illustration by the author

So many burns just for eggs and chips, how TF do people have dinner parties?

Autistic people are at high risk of suicide, and for women and girls on the spectrum, this risk is even higher. This is sad and shocking, but it doesn’t surprise me.

As an autistic AFAB (assigned female at birth) human I have experienced plenty of suicide ideation, and honestly it seems like a fair response to my experience of earth.

It’s hard out here for women.

1 in 3 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. 137,000 girls and women live with the consequences…


I’m ashamed to be a white English person. Again.

Photo by Anders Krøgh Jørgensen on Unsplash

The journey of the current English team through to the finals of the Euros has been a much-needed Good News Story in a year with so much death and suffering here that England drew the moniker of ‘Plague Island’.

Football has the power to bring us together. As philosopher Simon Critchley author of What We Talk About When we Talk About Football says, football can bring nations and individuals much needed “moments of transport and enjoyment”.

While we were winning, Euro 2021 did this in buckets. What a pleasure to watch the team support each other as they played, and…

Chelsey Flood

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