The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Sarah Williamson From active moderation to alcohol-free

Sarah Williamson: From active moderation to alcohol-free

Active moderation is a hotly debated topic within our community: does it work, is it achievable, and how do people sustain moderation as a tool for problem drinking? The journey to changing our drinking can be different for everyone, and at Club Soda, we welcome everyone’s journey and everyone’s approach.

We’re excited to welcome guest podcaster and coach Sarah Williamson to our podcast this week. Sarah hosts her own brilliant podcast, Drink Less; Live Better, where she shares short snippets of wisdom with her listeners. She joins Club Soda co-founder Laura to talk about her own reflective and mindful period of active moderation, and why she ultimately chose sobriety as her personal path away from problem drinking.

More about our podcast guest Sarah

Sarah Williamson is the Drink Less coach, offering one-to-one support and coaching for women who have decided that they want to drink less, or not at all. She is the creator of the podcast Drink Less; Live Better, where she offers nuggets of advice, tips, and tricks to achieve active moderation. Sarah also offers group coaching programs and loves connecting with people via her social media channels. She’s also a wife, a Mum to two boys, and a dog owner from Surrey in England.

Sarah’s story is an important one to share. It’s one of being comfortable with your own level of success. She could have stopped her journey at active moderation as she was having good success for herself. But as we know, changing our drinking, and the stages we get to when we cut down is a nonlinear process. We all have different ways of making change happen. We’re all trying to get to a place where we’re happy with the amount of alcohol drink. For Sarah, active moderation was all about planning.

I used tactics. Like, if my friends were ordering wine, I would buy a G&T so that I couldn’t be involved in the topping up of people’s glasses from the bottle. And I would often volunteer to be the driver if we were going somewhere slightly further afield. And, whether it was the truth or not, I might say something like: I’m going for a run tomorrow morning. Or I’ve got to drive somewhere early. My friends just didn’t understand it. So it was a mixture of hiding a bit about why I was doing it and why I was choosing it and then using very practical techniques to be able to achieve that long moderation period.

Sarah Williamson

From active moderation to alcohol-free

When problem drinking has crept in, often moderating or controlling that pattern can be difficult. It’s not unusual, however, if you’ve cracked sobriety, to cling to it as your new identity. This is part of Sarah’s story. There was an almost accidental moment when she realised that moderation was taking up more brain space than going alcohol-free would.

I was chatting with a group of friends online, we were doing a piece of work amongst ourselves about nutrition. And we started to talk about what 2020 was going to look like for each of us. I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to say. I found myself saying, Oh, I’ve got it in my mind. I know exactly what my thing is. I was going to go 2020 without a drink. And I very much framed it as an alcohol-free year experiment in my mind, because I didn’t know if I was going to stuff it up. I didn’t know whether I’d be capable of doing it. And I went into it, I suppose, with curiosity, some tools in my armory. And I’ve never gone back to drinking.

Sarah WIlliamson

Listen to more inspiring stories from the Cub Soda podcast

Each week, join Club Soda co-founders Laura Willoughby and Dru Jaeger to take a deep dive into the subjects that matter. Join them to discover amazing alcohol-free drinks and hear from experts on sober and mindful living. Join us for in-depth interviews or lively discussions on active moderation or going alcohol-free. The podcast has something for everyone, bringing you news, events, advice, and interviews to support your changing drinking habits.

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