The act of making a change to your drinking habits can help you to reconnect with the things that are important to you. By harnessing the newfound energy that comes with your sobriety, you can really explore the things that spark excitement in you. This can help you to sustain your changes. As Laura says, there might be a whole range of different ways in which you can contribute to the world and reconnect with your values, and not drinking might open those up for you in a way that is really exciting.
This week’s podcast guest, the inspirational Jamie Klingler, started with addressing her discomfort with playing the party girl role. In actively avoiding numbing herself, Jamie found a clear head, an articulate voice, and a reignited passion to engage with her values and an ability to tackle issues that mean a lot to her. What resulted is Reclaim These Streets, a movement that started with a vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard and now protests against violence against women. Jamie is proving that you gain much more than you lose when you make positive decisions for yourself. And those changes don’t just affect you; those ripples can change communities for the better.
Who is Jamie Klingler?
Jamie is an American writer living in London. In 2020, at the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, Jamie decided to give up drinking for her mental health. Firstly, she focused on getting healthy, even signing up for Couch to 5k and starting a new clean eating regime. Friends and family started commenting on how well she looked, but for Jaime, it was about how well she felt. The mental clarity, re-establishing personal boundaries, active accountability, as well as energy and enthusiasm for life, Jamie was ready to reconnect with her sassy self.
But you’re more likely to have heard of Jamie for her recent journey towards activism. When Sarah Everard was killed in March 2021 near Clapham Common in London, close to where Jamie was living, she says she was outraged to hear the police’s response that women should stay at home in order to stay alive.
I was enraged, and I needed to handle that rage. I used the skills I had in an applicable way. I tweeted and then a couple of journalists were like, ‘Oh, local women are already doing this.’ We met that night. And instead of me being at the pub outside taking this important call, I was in my flat and had a clear conversation about what I could bring to the party. We joined forces and the rest is kind of history…it would not have happened if I was still pretending none of it was happening, like there was a warm, fuzzy blanket of rosé around me. And that’s why I am absolutely not going to drink again.Jamie Klingler
Jamie helped to found Reclaim These Streets, a social justice movement that speaks up on street harassment of women and girls, educates boys and men to take responsibility for the problem of violence against women and girls and works to challenge misogyny in the way laws are written and enforced. This was an opportunity for Jaime to connect with her core values in a way that may not have been possible if she was drinking. Being able to organise and articulate her feelings towards injustice allows her to make a real difference.
If I was ranting and raving and drunk and crying in the pub, nobody would want to listen.
Why sobriety and activism are close to our hearts at Club Soda
Once I gave up drinking…I was able to think through issues, and not just go, ‘Oh, my God, that sounds all too hard. I just need to have a drink, because I’m not sure where to go with this’. And instead, I was able to engage with issues and accept that I couldn’t change everything. But there are some things I could change, which I guess is where Club Soda has come from. We’ve been able to be activists in a meaningful way.Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda
At Club Soda, everything we do is underpinned by behaviour change science and fuelled by the power of community. If you want to change your drinking, whether you want to cut down or take a break, we’ve got an approach that works. Being a Club Soda member empowers you to discover how to change your drinking on your own terms. We’re not here to change the world, we’re just here to help you to change yours.
To learn more about Reclaim These Streets and how you can get involved as a volunteer, visit reclaimthesestreets.com. If you enjoyed this podcast and want to explore more of our inspirational stories, then visit the Podcast page or stream episodes wherever you subscribe to podcasts. Find your platform here.