Soberistas – New Website Coming Very Soon!

In a couple of weeks’ time, Soberistas.com will be re-launching with a completely new website. I can’t begin to explain to you how happy I am about this, as it’s what we’ve been working towards for a very long time and it’s finally about to happen! The Soberistas website as it stands was set up on a shoestring budget, and any of you who use it regularly will know what I’m referring to when I mention the word ‘glitches’! Despite this, we are thrilled that the community has grown to over 35,000 in the three and a half years of its life, and are bursting with excitement at the prospect of showing all our wonderful members the Big Reveal in the summer.

I began writing this blog in August 2012, just a couple of months before Soberistas was initially launched in the November of that year. With only a handful of followers back then, the number has grown to well over 6000 and I can honestly say that I’ve loved writing it and have so enjoyed communicating with all the amazing, inspiring people located all over the world who have regularly taken the time to comment on my posts.

Next month, the content of this WordPress blog will migrate across to the new Soberistas website where it will remain for anyone to view. This Soberistas WordPress site will no longer exist. I’ll still be adding new blog posts on Soberistas.com although these won’t be under the banner of my own journey in becoming alcohol-free and happy. I’ve reached the end of that epic expedition and think I’ve now told you everything there is to tell about it!

You may have noticed that I’ve been a little quieter than usual of late in terms of my WordPress ramblings. This is because I’ve been writing my new book, The A-Z of Binning the Booze, due to be published on September 10th 2016. This book is a manual, as the title would suggest, to successfully acquiring and then leading an alcohol-free life. I’ve been working on it for many months and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it when it comes out in the autumn. The book will be available on pre-sale on Amazon very soon.

In the meantime and before it finishes for good around mid-September, I will be using this WordPress blog to keep you up-to-date with news of the impending website, so if you are a member of Soberistas, I hope you’ll find this information helpful in the lead up to the launch. As usual, if you have any questions about the new website or about my latest book, please email me on lucy@soberistas.com and I’ll get back to you within a day or two. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below.

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So finally, a massive thank you to all you wonderful people who have supported and followed me, who have offered such lovely words of encouragement and understanding, and who have been instrumental in creating the amazing Soberistas community right from the off. A great big hats off to you all – vive la sober revolution!

Lucy Rocca xx

Happy 3rd Birthday Soberistas!

On November 26th 2012, Soberistas.com launched. Within a year, twenty thousand people had signed up to join this brave and determined community, all seeking a happier and healthier life without alcohol. Today there are almost 34,000 registered members and the site continues to flourish, providing a non-judgmental and safe haven for anyone with alcohol issues to come and offload, to seek support from a group of friendly and inspirational Istas.

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So where did the idea for Soberistas come from? I was a heavy drinker who mostly thought it was normal to drink myself into oblivion several nights a week, to fall into drunken stupors on dates, and to throw up noisily in pub toilets on a regular evening out with friends because I just couldn’t stop boozing once I started. It bothered me intermittently, this lack of control with regards to alcohol, although never sufficiently enough to make me stop drinking altogether. But it really gave me a kick up the backside one morning in April 2011 when I woke up in A&E covered in congealed sick (sorry for the grossness but it was, well, gross), and with a complete blank where my memory should’ve been.

Stopping drinking was easy. Deciding to stop was easy, but staying stopped and feeling happy about it? That was the tough part. Urrgh, become a boring teetotaller? Never get drunk and dance on tables again? No more sitting around in restaurants talking until the cows come home, with bottle after bottle of red on the go? No, that all sounded like my idea of hell on earth.

My discomfort in the idea of becoming a sober woman in my mid-thirties led me to a light bulb moment one day, when the idea came to mind of a social network website that brought together a lot of like-minded women (and a few So-Bros!) from all over the world, who would help one another feel less alone and not so desperate about the fact that alcohol had simply stopped working for them…I saw the website in my mind, as clear as day, and I still have a sketch of it on a scrap of paper, which doesn’t look a million miles away from how Soberistas looks today.

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So that’s how Soberistas came to be in existence, but it could never have become the inspirational and heart-warming place that it is without our members, the individuals who blog and comment every day, helping so many other people recognise and begin to resolve their own drinking issues, as well as working through their own relationships with alcohol – and learning to live without it.

As a thank you, we are holding a 3rd Birthday Competition – and the prize is a rather gorgeous Clarins advent calendar, a lovely pre-Christmas treat full of miniature Clarins beauty products. In order to enter, all you need to do is write a blog on Soberistas.com stating exactly why you love being a Soberista. There’s no maximum or minimum word length, but you will need to tag the blog ‘Soberistasbirthday’ (all one word please) in order for it to be included in the entries. The competition closes at midnight (GMT) November 26th 2015 and we will announce the winner during the following week. This competition is open to all our members worldwide.

The Perfect Storm

I love the rare occasions in my life when I get to think and filter out all the crap that seems to bombard me from all angles, day in, day out. There are the endless emails attempting to sell me things I don’t want or need, the multitasking that’s required to manage the lives of my daughters and me, and the shopping, cleaning and dog-walking. There are the efforts to keep up with the news, and the organisation of work and a social life. All of these things amount to a very busy schedule with few opportunities for peace and calm.

In the fast-paced existence of the modern world, it can be virtually impossible to find adequate space and time in which to put the brakes on, cogitate, assess and evaluate: to recover a precious few moments for processing the vast quantities of information that are entering our heads on a daily basis.

Writing has always helped me to achieve this goal – as a means of finding clarity and making decisions in my life, it’s unbeatable. When I initially stopped drinking, writing this blog became my soul support mechanism. I looked to my laptop as my friend and confidante, I poured out all of my thoughts and feelings surrounding alcohol and why I had drunk so much, how it had made me feel, and how I was coping with my new sober life. I opened up in my writing in a way I never could have done via speaking; blogging became a kind of semi-anonymous, safe, confessional obsession for me, a way to bare all emotionally and understand myself better. It seemed to fast track the process of acceptance with regards to my alcohol misuse and the switch to a happier, booze-free life.

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George Orwell wrote in his 1946 essay, Why I Write, of the “pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story”. I love the way words fit together, and how we can select from such a sweeping, comprehensive vocabulary. We can form precise meaning by the words we use and the order we put them in. We can express ourselves and record our experiences through writing. And we can share ideas and thoughts openly with countless other people, most of whom we have never met.

This last point is a powerful phenomenon to me – the notion that we can communicate honestly and without barriers with people from all over the world who might be looking for reassurance, confirmation that they are not alone in their particular struggles. How else can we achieve this other than through writing? The idea of Soberistas.com, a social network site for people with problematic drinking patterns, came about primarily because a) I had a booze problem and b) I loved writing. I recognised the restorative and therapeutic nature of blogging, and how it had helped me to work through my own drinking issues.

It doesn’t matter whether a person is a brilliant wordsmith or not. To me, the best blogs are the ones that evoke honesty and that other people can relate to. It’s the bridging of multiple minds brought about by the words of one that is behind my love of writing. When I read through the blogs on Soberistas, I see that other people are similarly seeking to resolve their various problems with alcohol by writing about them. A community of people brought together through a shared struggle and a compulsion to express and pool their thoughts. This formula works, in that writing on a public forum appears, for many, to be an effective method of eliminating the negativity that stems from a long time spent drinking too much.

For me, it’s the perfect storm.

Glass Half Full Available to Buy Today

I began writing this blog as a way of working through my feelings in relation to alcohol, specifically how and why I stopped drinking it. For a long period of my life I prioritised, and loved, booze above most other things (not that I was aware of this fact when I drank regularly), and the emotional chasm that opened up as a result of becoming alcohol-free was overwhelming.

At first, when I imagined never drinking wine again, I almost stopped breathing. It felt as though my soul mate had been ripped from my arms. In those early sober days and weeks everything fell away from me; lost and blank, the only possible course of action was to start my life all over again.

Over the course of the last year and a half, I have come to realise that my peculiar love affair with the bottle was not so peculiar after all, and that there are many people in the world who do not have the elusive ‘off-switch’ and who cannot therefore ‘drink responsibly’. Engaging with like-minded people through this blog and on Soberistas.com has accelerated my journey from bereft ex-drinker to happy, content and full of love for a life that doesn’t involve alcohol.

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If you have enjoyed reading my blog, you may be interested to know that it has been made into a book entitled Glass Half Full (published by Accent Press) which is available to buy in paperback or eBook now. I hope the book will provide people with the knowledge that it IS possible to live happily ever after without a glass to hand, as well as giving an insight into how I managed to wipe clear my booze-addicted brain, learning how to be happy by just being me.

Thank you for following my blog, Lucy x

 

Happy 100

This is my 100th post and therefore I decided to use it to celebrate all that is great about living without alcohol.

I wrote my first post in August 2012 and since then the Soberistas blog has had 39,254 hits. Wow.

On the Soberistas website last week, I posted a discussion entitled ‘Best things about being a non-drinker?’ which prompted a multitude of replies – here are just some of the amazing benefits of living without alcohol messing with your body and mind, as reported by the Soberistas community;

Tea and cake, rediscovering activities at the weekend (instead of wasting it sitting in a pub and/or hungover), happy children, better sleep, more money, no guilt, enjoying the true taste of food again, reading in bed, beginning a whole array of new hobbies including crochet, increased productivity, no anxiety, being able to handle anything that life throws at you, relaxing instead of vegetating, mocktails and juices, feeling hydrated, no more checking of your mobile for embarrassing drunken texts sent at 3 am and confined to the blackout memory bin, playing with grandchildren whilst free from obsessing about wine, normal human interaction, first coffee of the day with husband (minus the recriminations over last night’s arguments), no more depression, sweating or cringing when one’s behaviour from last night is discussed (behaviour that you hadn’t recalled) in the morning,  always knowing you are in control and getting to know yourself, finally, after years of hiding behind wine. BiTN Meditation

There are many more – you can find them here; http://soberistas.com/forum/topics/best-things-about-being-a-non-drinker?id=6534268%3ATopic%3A32659&page=2#comments

My life has changed immeasurably since giving up alcohol, and for the better in so many little ways. I was up for several hours last night cuddling the baby (poorly again!) and then up at 6:45 to get everyone ready for school/work. Am I feeling tired? No. Am I grumpy or stressed? No. I just get on with it these days, and when I look back at whom I was just a couple of years ago, I may as well be staring at a stranger (and not one who I would want to know!).

Giving up alcohol works – it makes life a million times easier. I will always be eternally grateful that I found the motivation to give it up once and for all, in April 2011.

Ps. Thank you all for following my blog and for the lovely comments that so many of you have written! Lucy x