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Laura Willoughby What I've learned from 10 years AF

Club Soda founder Laura Willoughby on being 10 years AF

We’re all familiar with Club Soda’s enigmatic founder, Laura Willoughby. What you might not have known about Laura is that this super inspirational woman celebrated 10 years alcohol-free this week. To celebrate, Laura joined co-founder Dru and a host of guests on Zoom to discuss what Laura has learned from 10 years sober.

It’s a very good opportunity for me to share my story and some of the things I’ve learned, and to let you know what 10 years might feel like for those of you who are still on the way and on that journey yourself. And to maybe know that the sky doesn’t fall in.

Laura Willoughby

Pour yourself your favourite AF drink (or a cup of tea – loose leaf tea fanatic Laura would definitely approve), and take a listen to her fascinating, motivational story, with questions from the guests.

More about Laura Willoughby

Laura doesn’t need much of an introduction here – this is her movement. Laura founded Club Soda, a social impact organisation, almost 7 years ago. It followed a disappointing interaction with a course about alcohol that left Laura frustrated and angry at the lack of help available outside of the medical profession.

I began to think: why is it that we join all these clubs for Weight Watchers and Slimming World but there isn’t something similar for changing drinking as well? Why does it either have to be some untested and evaluated unethical course, or you go to a local drug and alcohol service? That’s where the idea started emerging. And it started percolating in my mind, so within weeks of starting a new job, I gave up drinking. And so I was beginning to really think about not only, you know, what had worked or hadn’t worked around that course, and what was available and what wasn’t available, because that’s the sort of person I am. But also, the fact that I needed to work out what to do next with my life.

Laura Willoughby

Laura then and now

Laura’s journey sees her going from a heavy drinker to one of the top 100 influential people in drinks. This lifelong passionate activist also started a mindful drinking movement along the way! In fact, Laura’s journey over the last 10 years is also a part of your story. Without her, we wouldn’t all be here, as a mindful community, listening to this podcast.

I prefer the life that I have now. And I want to protect it. It’s incredibly precious. I prefer who I am now. And even though some days I don’t like who I am at all, I still have more days where I prefer who I am, now than I was back then living with all of that shame, that guilt, and that lack of energy.

Laura Willoughby

Don’t forget to listen to the end for some exciting updates about where Laura and the team are taking Club Soda in the future…

How to listen to more Club Soda podcasts

The Club Soda podcast is all the inspiration you need to create and sustain a life that doesn’t centre on drinking. Find the advice and support you need, whether you are cutting down, taking a break, or going alcohol-free for the long term.

The Club Soda podcast is available wherever you subscribe to podcasts. Find your platform here.

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