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

I found it hard to identify as an alcoholic, but easy to identify as a pisshead : D

The great thing about identifying as an alcoholic is that you can get help to quit drinking and get your life in order. Drinking is actually a really boring option, compared with what the world has to offer, I find. But maybe I just think that cos I'm no longer allowed at the free bar...

I have enough memories of drinking to last a lifetime, that's for sure. I am ready for the non-drinking memories. Long may they continue <3

Happy you're here, and thanks for reading my stuff too.

Chelsey x


You must harness the voice in your head if you want to succeed.

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Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

Before I quit drinking, I criticized myself endlessly. As a result, the first years of sobriety were primarily about developing a nurturing inner voice.

Ethan Kross talks in-depth about the importance of this in his new book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head and How to Harness It.

He writes about “the inescapable tension of the inner voice as both a helpful superpower and destructive kryptonite that hurts us.” The research is clear, he says: the way we talk to ourselves has the power to raise or ruin us.

So if you’re struggling with a toxic inner narrative, you need…


Beautiful Hangover is growing, and so I’ve recruited two extremely talented women to help me keep it running. Maria (she/her) has come on board as an editor and has been helping Gillian and I edit for a while now — check out her stories.

And I have invited Gillian May to be a columnist here, as her writing is really taking off on Medium and I wanted to highlight the work she is doing here as best as I can. Have a look at her recent story in Elemental, and keep your eye out for more.

Editing a publication definitely…


Your thoughts might turn to alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you have to drink.

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Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash

My dad died suddenly, and within seconds my thoughts turn to alcohol. It didn’t matter that I have been sober for years, my instinct was to drink.

When I sat through sobriety meetings in the early days, I promised myself I would drink if this happened. And if it had happened five years ago, I am sure I would have. But today, with four years of recovery under my belt, I am finding different ways to deal with my feelings.

I wrote this to share how I am getting through the death of my beloved father, without alcohol, because I…


In a society that uses alcohol to celebrate and commiserate, how can you tell if you have a problem?

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Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

High-functioning alcoholics drink much more than the government guidelines for alcohol consumption and function at a high level. Their lifestyle places untold stress on their bodies, psyches and relationships, and they work hard to ensure nobody notices.

High-functioning Alcoholics hold positions of power, raise families and do excellent work. They don’t get divorced. They don’t get fired. They don’t crash their cars. They are too careful for that.

The high-functioning alcoholic has turned themselves into a robot. Alcohol is the fuel they need to keep going. Although their roles are performed to perfection, their spirit may be dwindling. …


4 tips to help you navigate from heavy drinker to sober person.

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Photo by 30daysreplay Marketingberatung on Unsplash

If you getting sober appeals to you, then I recommend you do it. And if you’re afraid of what life would be like without booze, then I understand. I was afraid too. Now I have been sober for four years, it’s sometimes difficult to understand my previous perspective. Why was I so afraid?

After all, being sober, for this problem drinker, has turned out to be a vastly preferable way of life. But that’s not the same as saying it is easy. …


Don’t shame yourself for having low self-esteem.

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Photo by Artur Nasyrov on Unsplash

I’m visiting an old haunt for a job interview when my inner critic strikes.

You won’t get the job.

You’re not capable. Not competent.

For a second I nod along — I know! — then I catch myself. My inner critic is the most negative, frightened, damaged part of me. The part that laughs at tragedy and enjoys drama. The part that longs to destroy this body slowly, that’s had my ear since my ear could be had.

It’s hard to change mental channels, but I try.

I am useful and capable, I tell myself because I need to take…


Stop gaslighting yourself and regain control of your story.

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Photo by Zwaddi on Unsplash

I’m trying to stop drinking, but alcohol won’t let me.

It recommends itself using my inner voice, the advice of my friends and family, billboards, the radio, books, TV.

One drink won’t hurt!

You can just have a couple.

YOLO! ; )

It doesn’t care how desperately I want to change my life or be able to trust myself or fill my time with other things.

Alcohol is like a charismatic bad boyfriend with a PhD in Neuro-Linguistic Programming who has taken over my mind, fooled my friends and family, and refuses to let me go.

You’ll never meet anyone…


This is what it feels like to be ready to change.

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Photo by Roma Kaiuk on Unsplash

I decided a lot of times to stop drinking. Always on New Year’s Days, and often on the day after my birthday.

Swearing off drink was pretty common, actually. Almost as common as deciding to ‘just have one’. Mostly, I laughed off my plan to quit as easily I had made it. But gradually, over the years, it became painful not to be able to keep my own promises.

My desire to quit seemed to grow in direct correlation with my inability to do so. Soon, I’ll be five years’ sober — so what changed?

The short answer is that…


How are we using these slippery terms and who are they really benefitting?

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Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump from using the platform citing the risk of violent incitement. This move came partly as a result of Wednesday’s shameful horror show in Washington, in which white supremacists and conspiracy theorists stormed the capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people.

Earlier in the week, Rowan Atkinson trended on Twitter for likening so-called cancel culture to a medieval mob in an interview with the Telegraph.

A “medieval mob looking for someone to burn” he claimed. And reading it I found myself confused about where that left me. …

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