So(Pro)

Leanne Franks

Name: Leanne Franks

Age: 33

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.


Top 5 Wellness Tools:

1. Sober Community

2. Meditation

3. Talk Therapy

4. Podcasts

5. Exercise


 
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Connect with Leanne and Rise Revolution

website: riserevolution.co
instagram: @theriserevolution
facebook: facebook.com/theriserevolution

Facundo Lucci

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Name: Facundo Lucci

Age: 29

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Sobriety date: 3/18/18

Creative niche (art, music, writing, entrepreneurship, etc.):
I'm a classically trained guitarist and own LUHV Vegan Deli at Reading Terminal Market.

If applicable to your story, substance of choice: Alcohol

Recovery/sobriety story in a nutshell:

It was Christmas time 2017. My partner had just ended our relationship, and I was devastated. My brother Gabriel noticing my pain and recommended I read "Adult Children of Alcoholics". The book starts off with a laundry list of traits, and I checked each one off. It was as if this little list was written just for me. Soon after, I started attending ACOA meetings and working the steps. It was the single greatest choice I've ever made.

Over the next few months of therapy and meetings I read over 27 books which was miracle to me considering I hadn't finished a book in ten years. It came to a point where I either recognized my narcissistic qualities and incessant need for approval, or continue a cycle of codependent and dysfunctional behavior. It was the first time that I felt truly ashamed of myself. However, it was a feeling I was not afforded the luxury of before. Because growing up I was not allowed to be anything less than perfect.

At this point in my post breakup depression, the last thing I wanted to admit was that I was an alcoholic. I convinced myself that if I practice moderation then it would prove I'm just like everyone else. I excitedly went to see my therapist and tell her about my new progress. She objectively informed me that I'm setting myself up. She then recommended the five minute rule –just to "see what happens". Basically as soon as your about to consume alcohol, just wait five minutes and see if the desire is still there. And keep waiting five minutes until the urge goes away. So I went to bar after work, waited five minutes, and ordered a seltzer with lemon and lime instead. This was the day after St Patty's day. After having felt so much shame for every drink I consumed, with the seltzer in my hands I suddenly felt power. Real power. Power over myself and no one else. I've been sober since then.

Now came the really hard part. A barrage of emotions flooded my day to day life. I started randomly crying. Just completely out of nowhere, until I realized it wasn't random. The tears were coming at times when I would have normally already been drunk. I couldn't believe how much emotion I was suppressing. So, going sober is a really bitter sweet victory. Learning how much of my life was wasted, being wasted, sucked. However, I now have boundaries, vulnerability, courage, and love. I unlocked the floodgates of pain but now it's flowing out instead of building up inside.

In a nutshell, I discovered my inner child through attending ACOA meetings. Which later taught me to love myself unconditionally. I realized, alcohol was the only thing stopping me from becoming the me I always wanted be. So it became a no brainer to quit drinking as soon as I felt the power I had inside all along. Now I'm on journey relearning how to live and love.


Top 5 Recovery / Wellness Tools *

1) Attend meetings

2) Find a therapist

3) Crying

4) Self-care

5) Seltzer with lemon and lime


Connect with Facundo + LUHV Vegan

Rebecca Szymczak

Bex Szymczak

Name: Rebecca “Bex” Szymczak

Age: 36

Location: Manhattan, NYC

Trademark epithet: Wellness Witch

Sobriety date: 4/15/2007

Creative niche: Tarot and Intuitive Healing

If applicable to your story, substance of choice: Booze

[Sobriety] story in a nutshell:

I identify as sober curious (big shout out to the leader of this movement- Ruby Warrington.) I began my journey in 2017 after struggling with severe anxiety and depression and using alcohol as way to numb the darkness. I utilized the Sober Curious method to examine my relationship with alcohol, which allowed me to experience longer and longer periods of abstinence. This combined with powerful plant medicine ceremonies and meditation have led me to a place where I no longer crave or consume alcohol.


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) Tarot*

2) Exercise

3) Meditation

4) Alcohol Free Potions

5) My Dog

 
 

 
 

Connect with Bex

website: www.badassbitchestarot.com
podcast:
@badassbitchestarot
instagram:
@cardsyB

Jessica Jeboult

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Name: Jessica Jeboult

Age: 33

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Sobriety date: 1/01/2009

Creative niche:
|Writer, blogger, coach, motivational speaker

If applicable to your story, substance of choice: Cocaine

 

[Sobriety] Story in a Nutshell:

Took me over 10 years to find the value in sobriety and recovery. Once I changed my mindset to not being allowed to drink or I'm lacking and restricting myself, to everything I was gaining, that changed the game. I came from a place of abundance and I got that. I started A Sober Girls Guide, blog, podcast and recovery community for women. I am a life coach for women in recovery and motivational speaker and soon to be author!


<<A snippet from Jessica’s dreamy Insta feed.>>


 
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Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Diet

2) Exercise

3) Mindset

4) Connection

5) Productivity


 
 

Connect with Jessica + A Sober Girls Guide

website: www.asobergirlsguide.com
instagram: @asobergirlsguide
twitter: @asobergirlsguide
facebook: @asobergirlsguide

Marnie Rae

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Name: Marnie Rae

Age: 50

Location: Seattle, WA

Sobriety date: 4/15/2003

Creative niche: Entrepreneurship, mocktails, writing

If applicable to your story, substance of choice:
Alcohol - Grey Goose Martinis (with 3 olives) and Black Russians to be more specific. Although a bottle of wine would do in a pinch.

nutshell

Recovery/sobriety story in a nutshell:

I started drinking as a teenager.

It progressively became the focus of my life, all of my friends drank (although most weren't addicted), every event was an excuse to drink. I thought I was having fun, we even laughed about the time I drank too much and ended up in the hospital. Somehow missed that burning bush :(

Finally, after 20 years of drinking, I had my 'rock bottom' moment. I attended an elementary school fundraising auction that I had been a big part of creating, got drunk with our friends before the event, snuck in alcohol at the event, made a fool of myself trying to converse with my children's teachers, and embarrassed someone I love very much - my husband (makes me cry to write this). I knew when I went to bed that night it was going to be the last time I drank (it was).

I had a friend that didn't drink, although I didn't know why. I walked right up to her the next day in the parking lot at school after dropping our kids off and asked her point blank why she didn't drink. I look back now and I have so much love for that scared young woman that was rude and awkward and desperate.

Thank God my friend had been in recovery for a long time and could see through the awkwardness. She told me she was in recovery, I told her I needed help. She took me to my first AA meeting - I am forever grateful for her and the people in those rooms. I did NOT finish all 12 steps and I'm okay with that. I'm sober, I'm happy, I am a work in progress, I do my best to be a good human, I'm okay with it.


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools:

1) Grace

2) Gratitude

3) Writing

4) Time by myself

5) Fear
Fear isn't really a 'wellness' tool but honestly, the fear of going back to that life is one of the things that keeps me sober.


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Connect with Marnie Rae

website: www.marnierae.com
instagram:
@marnieraec
facebook:
@marnieraec

Annie Grace

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Name: Annie Grace

Age: 40

Location: Evergreen, Colorado

Sobriety Date: 12/15/14

Creative niche: Writing

If applicable to your story, drug of choice:  Alcohol

Story in a nutshell:

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I was sitting at the train station deep under Heathrow airport in London. I'd been drinking vodka and O.J. before the taxi to the airport to take the edge off my awful hangover which was the result of a week of super late night drinks with colleagues. Returning to my husband and two young boys I realized that while they deserved the best of me I was, by drinking so heavily and staying out so late every work trip, giving them the worst of me. I wanted better and it hit me - that I had to find a way out of the alcohol maze.

I had tried to set rules (no wine until 5pm, or no drinking during the week) just to feel deprived and unhappy. Rules resulted in my obsessing about the next time I could drink, and instead of making alcohol less of an influencer in my life the rules made it more important, more powerful.

I knew I needed a way without rules. And in the tunnel that day I had a realization. That although I currently believed that alcohol was vital for enjoyment, relaxation and everything in between I didn't used to need alcohol to have fun or relax.

I formed this simple theory. That I consciously wanted to drink less (or nothing) the far more powerful subconscious part of my mind, the part subject to a lifetime of conditioning around the benefits of drinking, simply hadn't got the memo.

This launched me into a year's worth of research on how to undo a lifetime of subconscious conditioning around alcohol. I stopped trying to stop drinking and instead focused on learning. I created a list of every reason I drank, what all the 'benefits' were in my mind. I methodically went through every reason, looking for science-based external evidence into the validity of each. Once I'd gone through everything it was as if a fog had lifted. The beliefs that I needed alcohol to have a good time or relax just disappeared. I simply no longer wanted to drink! Talk about freedom.

I like to say that I drink as much as I want whenever I want; the truth is that I just haven’t wanted a drink in more than three years. I don't miss it, I don't think about it and I feel truly joyous and free!


Top 5 Recovery/Wellness Tools

1) Journaling

2) Eating lots of protein (to create essential amino acids!)

3) Exercise

4) Mindfulness

5) Online Communities - especially www.thisnakedmindcommunity.com


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Connect with Annie and This Naked Mind

website: www.thisnakedmind.com
website: www.thisnakedmindcommunity.com
website: www.alcoholexperiment.com
instagram: @thisnakedmind
twitter: @thisnakedmind
facebook: @thisnakedmind