Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!
My guest this week is Soberfishie Dawn. Her nickname is Fish. Of course, she got the nickname because she drank like a fish!
For Dawn, her journey began back in 2016 when she decided to try an alcohol-free year. She blogged about her journey, decided to stay alcohol-free and is now a Sobriety Advocate with a membership and a large social media following.
I always enjoy talking to people who do similar work to myself and in fact, I had one of my “light bulb” moments during this conversation which I will highlight at the end.
In this Episode
- Dawn’s original plan was to do a Sober Year – she had done short stretches in the past but wanted to see what kind of results she got from a longer period. Well, the results were overwhelmingly positive which is why she is still alcohol-free 5 years later!
- So if you’ve done lots of Dry January’s and Sober Octobers but then went back to drinking with great enthusiasm then you’re missing out. You’ve done the hardest bit (those first few weeks are tough!) so now you need to keep going for a bit longer!
- In 66 days when you will have built a new neural pathway, you will not only find it easier but you will also experience more benefits – a win-win situation that may well result in your choosing sobriety as a permanent lifestyle choice.
- After all, there is nothing so exhausting and demoralising as spending your life jumping on and off the wagon!
- Dawn shared her drinking story – started at 14 years old when she discovered that she didn’t really have an off switch once she got started. She would pre-load her drinks before going out – in theory, to save money on drinks when she was out but she would drink as much as ever.
- We both agreed that there was a time when we would anticipate the week ahead and not arrange any activities for the day after drinking as we knew we would be feeling miserable and hungover.
- Inevitably Dawn set herself some “rules” to try to limit the drinking – she actually came up with one that I hadn’t tried – she set herself a curfew – a set time when she had to leave her event and come home. She actually managed this a few times but then found herself drinking when she got home! Maybe to celebrate that she’d kept to her rule!
- We both suffered from blackouts and agreed that we’d put ourselves at risk in this way.
- We also found ourselves at a bit of a loss when we first got sober – unlike “normal people” we had not built up hobbies or interests over the years because all our leisure time had been taken up by drinking! As Dawn put it we found ourselves wondering “what do normal people do with their time?!”
- Dawn got started on her sobriety journey by blogging and walking. She also “Saturated herself in Sobriety” to change her mindset. Like many of us, she needed to change her thinking about drinking! Unlike willpower, a different mindset will enable us to sustain our sobriety.
- We agreed that when we got sober 6 years ago sobriety had a definite image problem – it was seen as a dark and miserable place. Things are changing and just a couple of weeks ago I interviewed Susan Christina, editor of the amazing Hola Sober monthly magazine. This magazine is free and its busy making sobriety just as cool and glamorous as we all thought drinking was – you can access a copy HERE.
- Dawn talked about what she calls her “contentment line” – when we drink we are either on a chemical high or on the hungover low – we rarely sit “on the line” which is actually where we live when we are sober. The contentment line is a peaceful and happy place to be – when Dawn feels a bit low and knows she is below her contentment line she knows how to self soothe – without alcohol. In early sobriety, we zig-zag all over the line, the highs of the pink cloud and the lows of FOMO but hang in there because the contentment line will be yours after you’ve done the work and notched up a period of sobriety.
- So talking of “doing the work” that’s where I got my light bulb moment thanks to this conversation with Dawn.
- It hadn’t really occurred to me until Dawn said it but “the work” is different for each of us.
- AA talks about “doing the work” and of course, they mean working systematically through every one of the 12 steps but I prefer William Porter’s approach that we should see it as a buffet and choose what works for us.
- For Dawn and myself “the work” has involved sharing our stories, writing about sobriety, and leading a sober community – neither of us knew in advance that this was “our work” – we just did what felt right and gave us joy.
- So let’s think about sobriety as a journey of self-discovery – some of us missed out on creating hobbies and interests because we were too busy drinking – but now we have time and even a bit of extra money to explore – to discover what we really like doing.
- That’s why the Tribe Sober membership program offers yoga, nutritional advice, coaching, and different types of therapy – we want you to experiment and get to know yourself!
- I ended our conversation by asking Dawn to list her benefits and there were many!
- Quality of sleep, productivity, discovering work she loves, confidence – and specifically the confidence to go on two sober solo holidays! Holidays she loved and can’t wait to go on more.
- To find out more about Dawn go to her blog soberfish.co.uk and she is Soberfishy on IG. She is also a moderator on William Porters brilliant FB group which is called Alcohol Explained
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Till Next Week
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