Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!
My guest this week is Jon Turner, the founder of Soberpunks – he is a musician, a blogger and is busy helping others to ditch the drink.
He shares his personal recovery story and explains how he feels that not drinking is not only rebellious but it’s positively punk.
In this Episode
- Like many of us, Jon spent a decade trying to cut down – using those tried and tested “rules” that of course are useless once our drinking has crossed that line into dependence. Let’s face it, people who can moderate just do it – they don’t need to impose any rules
- We agreed that accepting that we cannot drink any alcohol at all is a key moment on the path to sobriety. “If you can’t have one – have none,” or as AA says, “One glass is too many and a thousand is not enough”
- Jon drank as a teenager and found that he quickly became the one urging the rest of his mates to drink more and more. We discussed the fact that for some of us the buzz of alcohol is more intense than others – and that’s one of the reasons we get hooked when others can take it or leave it
- It was love that gave Jon the impetus he needed to give up drinking – he met a woman who loved him but hated the person he became when he drank. She made it pretty clear that she would not be sticking around if he continued to drink – so he stopped – and they got married
- What I really love about Jon’s story is that he gave up drinking to please his partner – but after a few months of sobriety, he realized that his life was SO MUCH BETTER without the booze that he was motivated to continue sober
- Many of us give up drinking to save our relationships and our health but not many of us are expecting sobriety to be much fun. I for one was expecting it to be a grey and boring place but in fact it’s turned out to be the opposite for both Jon and myself. So, if you’re listening to this and you know you need to ditch the booze, just try it for 6 months. You will be amazed at the improvements in your life and the chances are that you will want to stay alcohol-free
- Jon eventually got divorced from the lady who convinced him to stop drinking. By then, he was hooked on his sobriety and had no intention of restarting his drinking career. As he puts it – “it would only make a horrible situation worse”
- That got me thinking about one of our recent Zoom Cafes – several of our members had been through a very tough time and three of them had recently lost a parent. They all said, “I’m SO grateful to be sober – I have the strength to cope so much better”
- I found that really interesting as I remember feeling relatively secure in my sobriety after about six months, but often wondering if I would turn to alcohol if something dreadful happened. So it’s lovely to hear that Lucy, Merleen and Lexi were not even tempted. Well done ladies
- Jon and I agreed that being present for the tough times is key to our emotional development – I remember listening to a podcast with Glennon Doyle when she describes alcohol as the “easy button” that we use to bypass the pain – but we are also missing out on an opportunity to become stronger
- Along with being present comes the importance of “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable” – sitting with our thoughts is part of the healing process and can be cathartic
- We talked about dealing with partners who drink too much and agreed that people have to want to do it for themselves rather than for anyone else. Although Jon had in fact given up for his girlfriend, he had been struggling for a long time and was pleased to get a concrete reason to make the change
- He did say that sometimes the partner has to decide that in order to protect themselves they will just have to walk away – which can be really hard but may avoid years of pain
- I asked Jon to list the benefits of sobriety and he had plenty!
- Weight loss and having more energy (stop drinking and start running was his advice)
- Reduction in anxiety – Jon used to have such a feeling of dread on his way into work that he was wishing his train would crash! Since becoming sober he is enjoying his work and is busy fulfilling his career potential
- That made me think of one of my previous podcast guests – Ken Middleton, episode 23 – he said, “even if alcohol doesn’t destroy you it will prevent you from reaching your potential” which is so true
- Jon feels sobriety is a journey of self-discovery and he is learning so much about who he is and what he really likes to do
- We talked about the joys of a sober community – about how we immediately understand each other and can have fun together. We agreed that ex-drinkers have been through a lot and proved themselves to be strong and resilient people – yes ex-drinkers rock!
- Jon is passionate about the fact that those of us in recovery must support others as part of our own recovery – that’s exactly what he is doing via his blogs and his FB group.
So if you want to join a community please check out tribesober.com and also take a look at the SoberPunkGang FB group. You can find Jon’s blog on soberpunks.co.uk
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Till Next Week
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