52. My Basket of Tools – With Robyn Denny

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Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

This week my guest is someone I’ve known for more than a decade.  When I first met her and discovered she was “sober” I was intrigued.  How could you be “sober” but still be happy and having a lot of fun – was it really possible?  When I finally ditched the drink, Robyn became my role model – she is still my inspiration and has gone on to inspire many of our Tribe Sober members.

In this Episode

  • Robyn had been in a relationship with alcohol since before she was born – the Durban moms used to sometimes drink alcohol when they were pregnant as the dangers of foetal alcohol syndrome had not been highlighted back then.
  • Her mother and her grandfather had a problematic relationship with alcohol and Robyn found it heartbreaking to see her mother, who was a highly accomplished person, grow more and more dependent on alcohol.
  • Between the ages of 17 and 27, Robyn developed her serious wine habit. Like many of us, she began setting rules such as 2 glasses only but then she just bought bigger glasses!
  • She could sometimes keep to her rules but sometimes she didn’t. It was a constant push and pull and she spoke of it being such a relief that alcohol is no longer even on her radar.
  • Her turning point came when a friend of her mom’s came to visit her in London and noticed that Robyn was drinking a bottle of wine in less than an hour (which she did every night). She advised Robyn to try a trick that she had done to give up smoking.  Write a lipstick mark for every alcohol-free day – these visual reminders are so powerful and we use annual trackers here at Tribe Sober.  If you would like one just email a request to janet@nulltribesober.com
  • Robyn had a rock bottom at the age of 33 when she had to be carried off a plane at Dubai airport. This was during one of those periods when she had decided that she could “moderate”- yet one glass of champagne had led her to drink so much that she passed out. On her return to SA, she checked herself into rehab.
  • She now believes that the world is divided into two types of people:

– those who can drink a couple of glasses of wine to soften the edges
– and people like us, who need to ditch the drink and create a basket of tools (other than alcohol) to take the edge off

  • When we ditch the drink we have to replace it with something else – we need to create a personal basket of tools
  • Robyn shared some of her tools with us:-

-a hot bath at wine time

– yoga and meditation – body and breathwork

– nature – she’ll walk barefoot in the forest

– feel the sun on your face

– listening/watching/reading – get out of your own story by listening to someone else’s
listen to podcasts, read a book, watch a movie

– community – reach out to a friend/Tribe Sober

– sweets – not ideal but better than wine!

  • After 14 years of sobriety, the last thing Robyn would reach for in her basket of tools would be a bottle of wine
  • We talked about the “mommy juice” syndrome – although Robyn was already sober when she became a mom, she understands why many moms reach for the wine at the end of the day
  • We talked about how difficult socializing was in the early days and how we need to take it gradually – as Robyn said, the last thing we should do is subject ourselves to a 3-hour party in early sobriety – just don’t go!
  • We agreed that socialising will eventually become easier and be able to hold a non-alcoholic drink definitely helps.
  • Robyn finds “breathing exercises” an essential tool to change her nervous system and took us through two breathing exercises.
  • Robyn mentioned The Shala which is a wonderful yoga studio here in Cape Town. Tribe Sober members can book discounted online yoga sessions with the Shala so yet another reason to go to tribesober.com and hit that “join our tribe” button
  • To find out more about Robyn and check out some of her awesome paintings just go to her IG page RobynDennyArt and her website is robyndennyart.com
  • Joining Tribe Sober is a great way to start your Sober Curious journey – find out more on tribesober.com
  • We’ll put you on a 30-day alcohol-free challenge so you can test your dependency
  • Membership also allows you to find your people as we welcome you into our supportive community
  • Just go to tribesober.com and hit the “join our tribe” button to read more about the benefits of membership

More info

  • Subscription membership  – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email janet@nulltribesober.com
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email janet@nulltribesober.com

Episode Sponsor

  •  This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today.  Read more about our program and subscribe HERE
  •  Book a Discovery Call with me to find out if our membership would help you

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Thank you for listening!

Till Next Week

Janet x


The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!