On Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to meet some of the Soberistas community for real, and it was a fantastic day which I was thrilled to be a part of. It was only 13 and a half months ago when Soberistas.com launched but over the last year and a month, what started as just a small group has grown to be a very large community of truly inspirational people.
I think to all those who attended, Saturday’s meeting felt like a group of good friends coming together – there was no sense of us all only just having met one another, rather we slipped into hugs and conversations as if we had known each other for years. For me, being united in the flesh reinforced the notion that Soberistas is a community built on the foundations of kindness, love, compassion and solidarity.
What did I take away from me on Saturday when I left that very special group of people and ventured back out into the bright but cold January day? I took with me the knowledge that alcohol is one hell of a sneaky drug which can take a hold on ANYONE, no matter their background, personality or class. I took with me a reinforced belief in how the support of those who have endured the same kind of difficulties is the best kind there is. And I left with a warm feeling in my heart and a strong sense of belonging.
I also left the London Meet Up convinced that we are on the cusp of change. The fact that a group of women (and one man, thank you Dr Andrew Langford, CEO of the British Liver Trust) from all over the UK made the effort to travel far and wide to spend the day with one another, sharing their stories and strengthening the community spirit of Soberistas, gives me hope that many more people will come to realise what we already have; that alcohol dependency is a trap from which one CAN escape, and that life without booze can be a wonderful, eye-opening, fulfilling and exciting adventure which anybody can partake in if they are only willing to alter old habits.
I know there are many more Soberistas meet-ups scheduled over the next few months – I will be speaking at the one in York in March, and I can’t wait to meet even more of the fantastic people who have helped build Soberistas. I hope you can make it too.