Bringing you news, events, recipes, advice and interviews to support your changing drinking habits.
Authentic Relating with Drew Larson, Chris Gray, and Dr Margo Greenwood
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Dry July Down Under With Australian Experts Andy Moore and Shanna Whan
This week, for Dry July, we delve into last year's Mindful Drinking Festival archives to hear the fantastic conversation between Australian charity CEOs and sobriety experts Andy Moore and Shanna Whan as they discuss the problems Australians face when thinking about changing their drinking. From having personal experiences with alcohol that changed their lives to Andy becoming the CEO of Hello Sunday Morning and Shanna setting up Sober in the Country, their frank, informal discussion covers the rural and urban challenges both organisations help to address when helping people to change their drinking. Who is Shanna Whan? Shanna is the founder and CEO of Sober in the Country, a registered charity encouraging Australians to open up and talk about drinking culture and addiction recovery, especially in rural areas. Shanna describes herself as a recovered alcoholic, recognising her journey is still ongoing but she no longer needs alcohol in her life. 'I have a story of addiction', says Shanna, 'and so I decided to be the change and, to summarise it, our mission and our focus as the charity Sober in the Country is to teach Ozzy mates in the bush that it's okay to say no to a beer'. Who is Andy Moore? Andy is the Chief Executive of Hello Sunday Morning, a New South Wales-based charitable organisation that helps people to change their drinking habits, whether that's cutting down or stopping altogether. Andy is also one of the founders of the Daybreak App, a free app for Australians who choose the peer support platform to help change their drinking. Andy has personal experience in cutting down his alcohol consumption for his mental and physical health, and that's helped shape his passion for the work that he does with Hello Sunday Morning. Support the show (https://joinclubsoda.com/product/tip-jar-support-club-soda/)
Black and white thinking is a barrier to moderation - Stephanie Chivers
In this week's podcast, habit and addiction coach and long-time friend of Club Soda, Stephanie Chivers, addresses a long-burning issue within our community; why some people need to be abstinent and why some people are more suited to moderation. This issue often bubbles up within our Club Soda Facebook group, causing some division. But, as Stephanie explains in her conversation with Club Soda's Dru below, black and white thinking - one approach is good and the other is bad - is exactly what hinders success for both abstinent and moderate drinkers. Who is Stephanie Chivers? Stephanie is is a qualified Coach and Master Practitioner of NLP. Stephanie specialises in behaviour change and addiction as a 1-1 practitioner and in group work and has facilitated change for many people in many different addictive scenarios. She addressed her own addictive behaviours in her 30s and, as a result of her personal and professional insight, now gets a buzz from guiding others to lead healthy and fulfilling lives beyond the restrictive behaviour and black and white thinking of addiction. What is black and white thinking and what does it have to do with moderation? As Stephanie discusses in the podcast, black and white thinking is another way of describing an all-or-nothing mindset towards substance abuse. In this conversation, Stephanie and Dru consider the effect of a restrictive mindset on moderation - can you really be moderate if you believe that abstinence is the only 'good' way to behave? Does the trendy idea that alcohol free is the only way forward hinder people who only need to cut down? And how do we know that what works for us is the 'best way'? 'When you give advice or share, use your language carefully. I can share with you what worked for me take from that what you will.' The other point is that we should not be too all-or-nothing with ourselves. Just because a period of moderation may not have worked out for us in the short term doesn't mean that it never will. Our lives are full of circumstances that mean that our plans need to change or become more flexible, and so we should also allow ourselves flexibility to see how we feel, amend our strategies so that we can reach our goal, and not allow black and white thinking to derail our intentions. Give it some time. See how you feel. Make another decision. Other resources from Club Soda If you want to hear more about moderate drinking, check out our other blogs about moderation. In the end, the best way to know if moderation will work for you is to try it. Club Soda’s courses about mindful drinking teach you the skills you need to moderate your drinking - sign up today! Support the show (https://joinclubsoda.com/product/tip-jar-support-club-soda/)
Sunshine Warm Sober: Catherine Gray on sustaining long-term change
Sunshine Warm Sober is the latest book from acclaimed author Catherine Gray. Catherine's first book The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober was a roaring success, and we know you're going to love reading her new one. Catherine Gray is an award-winning writer and editor. She has worked for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, GLAMOUR and Fabulous, for nearly a decade. Catherine loves writing about psychology, travel, social trends and fascinating people. Assignments have included interviewing the people behind-the-cameras on Planet Earth II, running a B&B for 24 hours, anonymously reviewing European hotels, and talking 35 men into posing naked for a testicular cancer charity. She’s a contributing editor at TLL magazine and has organised and interviewed covers such as Joe Wicks, Binky Felstead and Holly Willoughby. Her first book The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober was published in December 2017. It combines memoir details of how Catherine quit alcohol in 2013, along with listicles, illuminating interviews with top experts, and cultural comment. Catherine has been sober for over 7 years now. While her first book explores the early stages of change and the learning along the way, this one provides guidance on long-term change. Sunshine Warm Sober: Unexpected Joy That Lasts is all about what comes next. She notes that many people can manager shorter stints of sobriety, but that many find the longterm change the struggle. This book inspires hope for a brighter future, where alcohol isn't centre stage. Catherine shares her own experiences and learnings, this is a refreshing and honest read. She encourages the reader to think beyond quitting drinking and look at the big stuff. What do we want life to look like? What boundaries do we need to set? If you are seeking longterm change and a life without alcohol, this book is a great tool to have in your kit. Buy Sunshine Warm Sober from Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon Canada / Amazon Australia. Support the show (https://joinclubsoda.com/product/tip-jar-support-club-soda/)
Clare Pooley on finding your passion through sobriety
Clare Pooley joins Club Soda's Dru Jaeger to talk all things journalling. Clare decided to change her drinking when she noticed how much her wine habit was affecting her life. She worked in advertising, and her job required a lot of socialising and wining and dining with clients. Drinking was affecting her as a parent, she was gaining weight, and she was struggling with insomnia. She knew that moderation wasn't going to work for her, and so decided to stop drinking. Writing about her experiences was an intrinsic part of her changing her habits. This was done via an anonymous blog for some time. Who is Clare Pooley? Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years working in advertising before becoming a full-time mum. Realising that her ‘wine o’clock’ habit was out of hand, Clare started writing a blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, which has had nearly three million hits. Her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published in 2017 to critical acclaim. Clare’s debut novel - The Authenticity Project, was inspired by her own experience of exposing the rather grubby truth about her own seemingly perfect life. Clare’s talks include a TEDx talk - ‘Making Sober Less Shameful’, a talk for Radio 4’s Four Thought, and numerous podcast interviews. Try our How To Journal course If you are interested in exploring more about journaling and how we can support each change, we're drinking Club Soda is short course How To Journal is available at join Club soda.com. If you sign up before the 11th of July 2021, if you can use the discount code journal50 to get the course for half price, or the discount code journalfree to get the course free of charge. How to Journal has been developed thanks to the generous support of Clare Pooley. Support the show (https://joinclubsoda.com/product/tip-jar-support-club-soda/)
What is the relationship between alcohol and creativity?
There is a commonly accepted idea that alcohol and creativity come hand in hand. When we look at many creatives who have been in the spotlight over the decades, it isn't uncommon to see problematic drinking habits linked to prolific creative output. In this conversation, creatives share how they changed their drinking, and the things they learned along the way. They all share their fears, and the sense of freedom to create that sobriety brought. We also discussed this recently with Kyle Ambition, a musician who took a break from alcohol and now moderates his consumption. Liz Horsman is a songwriter, producer, blogger and sometimes videographer. Her songwriting and production work feature on albums by artists such as Gabrielle Aplin, Rudimental, Emeli Sande, Rizzle Kicks, JP Cooper and Tom Walker. She hosts this discussion on alcohol and creativity. Sharon Walters is a London-based artist who creates hand-assembled collages celebrating Black women. The series, entitled 'Seeing Ourselves', explores under-representation in many arenas in particular, the arts and heritage sector and mainstream western media. So often blackness is represented as 'other'. Sharon provokes an alternative narrative of empowerment. Each piece is a reaffirmation of the right to ‘take up space’ even when you don’t see yourself in certain settings. Since graduating with a degree in Fine Art from Central St Martins (University of the Arts) in 2011, Sharon has developed her practice and continued her work with community arts organisations and museums, using them as platforms to explore and collaborate with the voices of those who are often unheard. The work encourages us to 'take up space', be seen and create our own spaces. You may know Chris Hamilton better as Ill Tone, a hip hop artist from Vancouver Island, Canada, where he's also a prominent member of the recovery community. Known for high-energy performances, he's toured in nine countries, appearing on bills with such acts as Tech N9ne, Xzibit, Talib Kweli, Rakim, Maestro Fresh Wes, Snak the Ripper, Merkules and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, among others. Support the show (https://joinclubsoda.com/product/tip-jar-support-club-soda/)
A wonderful companion to anyone looking to examine or change their approach to alcohol, no matter what that new approach may be (moderation, full abstinence, curiosity). Everyone has a space and a view here and no judgement on what anyone’s approach or goals may be. Great range of topics and guests.
Inspiring story on recovery
Thank you Kyle for your open and honest share on recovery, on anxiety and your journey!