Saturday saw the first of our monthly brunches, followed by a theatre trip to see End of Longing. After a year of trying out drinks in pubs across the country and evening events (including beer tastings) we have settled on Saturday lunches as a format to try out next. Sam, a member who organises some of our events, tells us how it went …
It’s difficult getting people together as we are all busy, and although there is a desire to meet in person, life can get in the way. A lunch on a Saturday allows those from outside London to come into the city for the day (so there are enough of us for a meetup) and fixes meeting new people around an ‘event’ where we can get to know each other better. If the noise around the lunch table was enough to go by that certainly worked. We will continue to pick nice but reasonably priced places to eat, and members can also just come along and have a tea/coffee or a pudding if they don’t want to eat a full meal; it is always flexible.
It just so happens there are a number of theatre plays tackling the issue of drink (this month The End of Longing with Matthew Perry, next month Wendy Hoose about drunk sex, and in June the award winning People Places and Things) so we are tagging these on as an option at the end of lunches. Drama and good company are great ways to support changing habits.
The End of Longing was really revealing as Matthew Perry’s battle with drink is public, and he plays a drunk in this self-penned play. It was almost self-confessional. So many times throughout the play he demonstrated perfectly
‘when you say yes to alcohol what are your saying no to’.
Booze rather than the girl, career or even happiness. His character, a functioning alcoholic called Jack, turns bitter and pitiful, full of fearful self-loathing as he contemplates life without booze …
“Life,” Jack/Perry wisecracks. “I never touch the stuff.”
… a feeling familiar for anyone struggling to redefine their relationship with alcohol. His belligerent and defensive manner hides the fact that he knows he has to do something and not sure what, and a yearning to be a normal causal drinker like the others. All too familiar!
“I want what you guys have,” he stutters — “thoughts that don’t drive towards drink; days when sobriety isn’t a struggle.”
The play really hit home a few truths about how us humans often choose alcohol over connection, life, love, happiness. After the play we had time to chat about how we felt about it, more tea and some of us had more cake! Always an excuse for cake.
I hope you can join us for the next few meetups – look at the events schedule on Facebook, the Club Soda website or Meetup page. Saturday was truly amazing, especially the chatting and relaxed atmosphere and lots of laughter. It was great to hear peoples’ stories and finally put names to faces. Getting out of my everyday life and connecting with new like-minded people is part of what keeps me on my sober journey and why I love Club Soda.
The next event is on Saturday 7 May to watch the Wendy Hoose with brunch beforehand. Hope you can make it, would love to see you!
Have a happy week!