Name: Leanne Franks
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sobriety date: 1/13/2019
Creative niche: Designer, Entrepreneur, Event Organizer
If applicable to your story, substance of choice: Alcohol
Sobriety story in a nutshell:
Looking back my drinking had always been erring on the side of problematic. I wouldn’t consider myself an alcoholic but I was someone that always wanted more. I’m what you’d call a ‘gray area drinker’. On the outside I was outgoing and comfortable in social situations. But inside I was constantly worrying where the next drink was coming from. Social situations were never about the company and all about the booze. So I cut out the middle man and resigned myself to night after night alone on the sofa drinking my weight in red wine. Drinking had morphed from a social activity to something that kept me isolated.
After several attempts at kicking the booze I committed to my sobriety on the 13th January 2019. I’d spent years stringing together a month here, two months there, but I never made it past the 3 month mark. I now see that the key thing missing from my sober toolkit was community and connection with other non-drinkers. Nothing beats the support and encouragement of the sober community.
I found that community initially through social media. Social media was invaluable to me in those first few months. When I wasn’t quite ready to go public about my problem drinking I set up an anonymous account on Instagram, followed as many sober accounts as possible and discovered a rich and diverse online community. However after a while I began to crave that IRL interaction and after trawling the internet for sober events in Melbourne, Australia (where I live) I came up with nothing. I still enjoyed socialising with my friends but didn’t want to resign myself to just hanging out in bars with a warm OJ. I felt lonely in these situations - like an outsider looking in on a world that revolved around alcohol.
I couldn’t find my tribe - so I created one. I decided to set up Rise Revolution, a meet up group for sober events in Melbourne. So far we’ve had a ‘Boozeless Brunch’, ‘Hangover-free Hike’, ‘Brunch Book Club’ and ‘Smashing Sobriety Break Room’ event. I’m also in the process of organising Melbourne’s first ‘Sober Supper Club’ complete with paired non-alcoholic drinks.
I’ve met the most amazing people through doing this - and i’ve even added a few fellow organizers to help me build and grow the Rise Revolution community. This is sorely needed this side of the world. For many sober people i’ve met in Australia they think the only option is to go to AA - and if you’re a ‘gray area drinker’ this may not be the right path for you. My hope with Rise Revolution events is that we create a space where sober people can come along to connect with like minded souls in a genuine way and the sober curious can experiment with the prospect of socialising without the need for alcohol.