Meet Sober Coach Sarah.
Sarah has spent the last 12 years coaching and mentoring people who've struggled with their addictions and mental health, she knows that choosing to change your relationship with alcohol before you hit rock bottom is a powerful and positive choice to make.
Sarah is passionate about spreading the message that our lives can be joyful and fun on the other side of our drinking careers and there's no need to feel lonely, stressed or bored on this journey.
Dear Sober Coach Sarah,
I don't know whether to tell my friends that I intend my alcohol free start to the year into the Spring. What do you advise?
Thank you if you answer my question
Dear MLPC Member,
Thanks for your question
The first couple of times I went out after I’d decided to be alcohol free was to friends houses and I didn’t tell them about my choice as I wasn’t yet ready to chat about it. On those nights I acted as the bar maid and poured everyone elses drinks for them. When I was in the kitchen I just topped up my glass with tonic water and everyone assumed I was drinking gin and tonic. The next couple of nights out I made myself the driver as that’s always a valid reason not to drink and no one questions that!
When I was ready to chat to friends I was careful to mention it outside of drinking situations. If we were out for a dog walk, a coffee or at each others houses for a cuppa I chose to mention it then – It felt far less confrontational if neither of us had an alcoholic drink in our hand. I always made it casual and never mentioned the year long time frame I had in mind … I said Oh I’m just choosing not to drink for the time being and I’m feeing so much better for it. No one tried to change my mind and I was able to feel good about the choice I was making for myself.
As time went on I became more honest about my intention to be alcohol free for the whole year and it did then start conversations around… Oh but you’re not an alcoholic, you don’t have a problem, you don’t need to punish yourself like that, surely you can just have one or two drinks?
By then I was really feeling the benefits of my alcohol free experiment and these conversations became easier and easier to have. Yep, I wasn’t and am not an alcoholic, I didn’t have a problem with alcohol it just wasn’t offering me any positive benefits, I’m not punishing myself – I’m doing the opposite, I’m treating myself with great love and kindness.
At times I felt slightly uncomfortable because friends would tell me all the reasons why they were fine drinking what they drank and …
hey… no judgement here…. The point is… You do you and I’ll do me!
Whether I drink or don’t doesn’t come up in conversation much now once I was joyful and confident in my choice my decision just wasn’t questioned any more.
I hope that's helpful to you
Dear Sober Coach Sarah,
I'm considering getting sober but it feels and looks like it might be a full time job. What am I supposed to concentrate on - not drinking, yoga, journalling, getting my sugar cravings under control, meditation, running, writing a book...? I feel so overwhelmed by watching other people do all these amazing things. HELP PLEASE
This could have been a letter I wrote myself a few years ago!
One of the reasons I drank was because I was so overwhelmed by life. When I first considered stopping drinking I got interested in personal growth. I was experimenting with life enhancing practices like meditation and mindfulness. I’d become more committed to getting some exercise each week, either running, going to an exercise class or yoga and I’d also taken more of an interest in my nutrition, taking good quality supplements, making green smoothies each day and eating really well.
I decided to increase positivity in my life in as many different ways as I could, I stopped watching or listening to the endlessly negative news, I curated my social media feeds to show me only fabulous businesses and people, I chose uplifting podcasts and audio books to listen to and hung out in real life with people who were radiators of warmth and love. All of this was amazing for my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
I was starting to feel like a grown up but there was one thing that didn’t feel right…. I was adding stuff in and adding stuff in. Getting up early in the morning to meditate, to journal, to be grateful. I was making time to exercise, I was choosing healthy menu plans and all of this adding things in to my life was great but…
I needed to take something out. And I didn’t want to admit to it.
What’s the point of meditating if you’ve got a bit of a hangover and can’t concentrate properly?
What’s the point of running if you are overconsuming empty calories in your drinks?
What’s the point in taking fancy supplements when you are drinking a toxic substance?
Why would I keep doing all these good things and not stop the one really damaging thing?
At around the time all this was going around in my head I had a breakthrough thought and it was this…
Just take one thing out and concentrate on doing that exceptionally well. So I took drinking out (as an experiment and for a defined amount of time), I prioritised that over everything else and I promised myself I could add the bits that felt good back in when the time was right.
I didn't worry about any of the other stuff for a while.
I perfected the art of sobreity over a period of time, for a while I learned HOW to 'do' sober and then I learned how to 'be' sober.
Go gently on yourself, believe in yourself (and if you cannot quite manage that yet - find other people in brilliant communities like this one who can believe in you now).
Sober Coach Sarah
Connect with Sarah @drinklesslivebetter
Or on her website