Chatting to Eusebius about our Dry January Challenge brought in an extra R15,000 in donations!
Listen to the podcast HERE
Chatting to Eusebius about our Dry January Challenge brought in an extra R15,000 in donations!
Listen to the podcast HERE
I connected with another Soberista a couple of months ago via her blog which you can find on FaceBook @coinsinajar – do check it out.
I was so impressed with her approach and her commitment that I invited her along to a workshop to inspire the participants – and she did!
She was also kind enough to write about the workshop so if anyone is wondering exactly what happens at our workshops then here is Jo’s review:-
“I was lucky enough to attend World Without Wine’s workshop two weeks ago. It was held at Janet’s lovely home in Cape Town. What a relaxed and welcoming environment.
The morning started with a coffee as everyone started arriving. There were 8 of us in total (I think!) as well as Janet and Mandy obviously, who run the course.
What struck me straight away was how welcoming Janet and her team were. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but as I got chatting with the others, I began to feel more relaxed. After all, we were all there for one very clear common reason: Alcohol. And the negative effects it was having or had had on our lives.
We all sat around Janet’s couch where there was ample space for all of us to be comfortable. The first thing we did was share why we were there, our relationships and history with alcohol. Each story was different but equally as eye opening. I just felt so fantastic to be sitting with this group of amazing, like-minded women who understood me and me them. To tell others your story and you just see the click in their eyes- they get what you are saying as they too have had enough of alcohol running and ruining their lives. It’s that simple.
After the shares, we received some important facts about the dangers of alcohol. We all know how bad it is for our health but just how bad and to see it in black and white was a good lesson. I particularly enjoyed our “prac”, which was to pour into a wine, whiskey and beer glass, what we think were the safe limits of alcohol consumption per unit. Very interesting. I’ll just say that I was drinking a woman’s weekly limit EVERY night. Scary stuff.
After a lovely lunch and more coffee, we had a guy come and chat to us that had not drunk for a year, after attending the course. It was informative and inspiring. Listening to him was great as he seemed so happy and alive, without having drunk for so long- something we all want to aspire to. Obviously, as we all do, he has stresses and strains in his life, but has just chosen to not numb them with alcohol, focussing on his health and family instead. Janet also read us her goodbye letter to alcohol which was deeply moving and just resonated with me so much. Her words could have so easily been mine.
We then watched a video and got some really cool info in the form of a “Toolkit”, in other words, how to cope with going to parties etc and also on how to moderate for those who wanted to go that route.
Some tea followed and then each of us spoke of our action plans and what we were going to do going forward. Some chose to cut down or moderate and others decided it was time to say cheers to the booze forever.
At the end of the workshop we had some alcohol- free drinks in the form of “what to drink when you don’t drink drinks” and I was amazed at the variety. Non- drinkers really do have options. I particularly enjoyed the Duchess gin and the JC Le Roux champagne. There was also a nice beer but I forget the name.
Everybody was so supportive and encouraging and there was really nowhere else I would rather have been that day. I’ve already been in contact with some people from the course and being on the wattsapp group and private FB page is so comforting. Knowing that others are on the same journey as you are.
And by the sounds of it, it only gets easier and easier and more rewarding and it’s super awesome to be a non-drinker.
Well done Janet, you guys rock and the amount of people you help, inform and inspire is incredible. I would highly urge anyone who wants to change their relationship with alcohol to give this course a go. Nothing to lose. Just a better and healthier life to gain.”
It’s been a while since we asked Vicky to write something for us – it’s not easy to catch her in one place as she is such a globetrotter – Barbados, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua – and that’s just the last few months! She has written some beautiful pieces for us which you can catch up with HERE – and today you can read her views on Octsober:-
Why I didn’t do Octsober…
This may sound like heresy for a WWW audience, but bear with me!
Like many of us, I love a drink at the end of the day – and sometimes at lunchtime at the weekends. And yes, I do sometimes exceed the 14 units per week which is now the amount recommended by British doctors.
But I don’t feel the need to give up the booze for a whole month, and here’s why.
Everyone is different, so an addiction can be as little as the need to have one drink a day, or a whole bottle. Years ago a friend of mine, who drank no more than a glass every day, decided she was so reliant on it that she went into rehab.
My trick to maintaining my peace of mind is to have 2-3 alcohol free days per week. This is in fact the routine recommended by the Royal College of Physicians. Their reasoning is very simple: it takes the liver at least a day to recover from drinking alcohol so as long as you give it some free time you can keep it healthy. It is also reassuring to discover how easy it is to have alcohol-free days. My rule is that I never drink when I/we are home alone, but only when we go out. As this happens infrequently it is quite easy.
The benefits of giving up for a month (and for good) are extolled: better sleep, concentration, weight loss plus a reduction in cholesterol, glucose and fatty liver. Diabetes, linked to alcohol consumption, is an increasing danger as we get older, so reducing the amount we drink is important. I am not arguing against the benefits of not drinking at all…it’s just not for me!
Six and half years ago our daughter Louise died of an overdose of ketamine, and in 2013 I was diagnosed with a life-threatening soft tissue sarcoma, shortly after both parents had also died, and my husband had been operated on for prostate cancer. Luckily we are now in remission, whatever that means…but for me to punish myself by denying one of the remaining pleasures I have seems masochistic. This is not by way of excuse, just MY reasons why…
What is rarely mentioned is what happens when you start drinking again and go back to all those bad habits, where the norm is drinking every day. Soon all the benefits are completely wiped and you are putting your body under additional pressure after having cleansed it. As Professor Charles Bamforth of the University of California says, ‘Many people don’t realise that drinking in moderation has significant health benefits [you know that glass of red wine a day is good for the heart etc]. You are seriously mistaken if you think having a month without drinking will protect you from the effects of excessive drinking for the rest of the year. The best advice is to drink moderately throughout the year.’
For the record I did give up last January, because Janet asked me to! But I won’t do it again. Rather I will stick to my healthy regime of not drinking several days week. Because I know I can do it.
Many of us spend a fortune on “beauty treatments” not to mention gym membership and organic food bills but the quickest and certainly the cheapest way to get your freshness back is to ditch the drink…
If you need convincing then just check out Nicola in the photos – Nicola came to one of our workshops and as a result she quit drinking – she took a photo before she stopped and then again after just a few weeks of not drinking – they say a picture speaks a thousand words so I will say no more..
I will just post a quick listicle of how drinking impacts your looks…
We have more workshops coming up in September – make a booking and we will throw in a complimentary online support system called “Take a Break” which will get you through an alcohol free month – a great way to prepare for a workshop and find out how dependent you may have become.
If you don’t live in Cape Town or Joburg then just sign up for “Take a Break” – have an alcohol free month and get your sparkle back!
Just don’t forget to do that selfie at the beginning and end of your alcohol free month – send it to us and we will send you a WorldWithoutWine t-shirt.
This is my first blogpost for more than a year – not because I “fell off the wagon” but because I have been busy building my alcohol free life – and making it awesome.
I started blogging the day I stopped drinking and used it to track my first year of sobriety – first blogpost was May 2015 so if you want the whole story just click HERE
I hope this new post is reaching some of those kind people who encouraged me through those tough early months – would love to hear from you and anyone else who would like to leave a comment!
One of the best things about sobriety has been the opportunity to help other people via the worldwithoutwine workshops – we run them in Cape Town and Joburg and more than a hundred people have attended – about a third of those people have stopped drinking completely, another third of them have cut down and the rest did not reply to our survey so I have concluded that they are still “in contemplation”.
Contemplation is actually a vital part of the change process – my decade of trying (and failing) to moderate was definitely “contemplation” before I finally accepted that I would have to stop drinking completely.
My biggest learning as I begin my third year of sobriety is that putting down that last alcoholic drink is just the beginning. If you don’t make some serious changes in your life then you end up trying to live your normal life with a big hole in it – where the booze used to be. I certainly went through that phase, feeling depressed – and stuck because I couldn’t even chase away the blues with wine. I used say that I felt as if I had lost more than I had gained – but now I feel the opposite. Now I know that you need to fill that big hole with stuff that’s going to lift you up, connect you with others and broaden your horizons.
I have learned so much about addiction since I got sober so am planning to share some of those learnings, as well as some personal insights, via a weekly blogpost – please follow me if you’d like to get notification when I post.
Never forget that the opposite of addiction is connection.
I leave you with a quote from Mary Karr:-
“When I got sober, I thought giving up was saying goodbye to all the fun and all the sparkle, and it turned out to be just the opposite”
That’s when the sparkle started for me”.
Not everyone is a drinker by any means, and this social shift is welcome news, indicating that we’re striving to deepen (and actually remember) our tangible connections with others.
Join us for the first Recovery Walk in Cape Town which takes place on Heritage Day, Thursday 24th September 2015.
Gather at 14h30 at Green Market Square, cnr Burg St and Longmarket St.
The Recovery Walk begins at 15h00 (Approx 35 mins walk) Destination Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street.
Free Boerie roll and mocktail to the first 50 walkers!
Free Viewing of “The Anonymous People” courtesy of
the South African Recovery Film Festival which opens in the evening.
The Recovery Walk is being organised by a group of individuals in long-term recovery, or who are supportive of recovery, from addiction in its various forms.
The point of the Recovery Walk is to raise awareness of substance use disorders (drug addiction and alcoholism) and RECOVERY from addiction. It is to challenge the stigma and shame that surrounds addiction in all its forms and to show that there is a solution.
We walk to celebrate the achievements of individuals in Recovery.
We walk to acknowledge the importance of the work of the prevention, treatment, and recovery service providers in South Africa.
We walk to acknowledge local community groups that work with people suffering from the disease of addiction.
Bring banners and posters to further our visibility.
Celebrating its 26th year in 2015, September is International Recovery Month. As Recovery communities in the world we are encouraged to walk to be visible and show our support for Recovery from Addiction.
Recovery from addiction is a lived reality in millions of people’s lives.