I have been Sober Curious for around 10 years, which is at which point in my life it became impossible to ignore the link between my ever-increasing anxiety levels and my drinking. Something in my world wasn’t right, and I had to quit confusing things with booze to work out what it was. It wasn’t a clean break for me. I didn’t go to rehab, call myself an alcoholic, and work the 12 Steps. Rather, I committed to questioning everything about my how and why I used alcohol – the answers to which decade-long journey of self-discovery has led me to a place where today I no longer feel I “need” alcohol, or have any desire to drink.
This path is documented in my 2019 book, Sober Curious, which has spearheaded a global movement for people everywhere questioning their drinking—even if they don’t necessarily meet the criteria for “problem drinking” to a casual observer. This suggests to me that my journey reflects a shift away from alcohol as our drug of choice, as it simultaneously becomes more socially acceptable to talk about our feelings and the state of our emotional and mental health. Part of my goal with Sober Curious has been to remove the stigma that has existed until now (and still exists) around sobriety—and to open this up as a conscious lifestyle choice for anyone and everyone.
Many people use alcohol to relax, and one question people have when they get Sober Curious is: how do I switch off without a drink? Personally, I think the only answer to this question is to address head on whatever is stressing you out in the first place! Simply quitting is also a sure-fire way to reduce your anxiety, as it really improves your sleep. But sometimes you need a “quick fix”—and I know a lot of people use CBD for this. I don’t use it often myself, and find a 20 minute meditation, a brisk 15-minute walk, or even a 60-second cold shower (seriously!) can have a similarly calming effect on my nervous system.
It’s been interesting to see reports about alcohol sales going up during quarantine, and people on social media “joking” about drinking at breakfast since they don’t have to go to work. But I know from years of personal experience that drinking to pretend things are more “fun” than they really are (are we on vacation or in the middle of a global health pandemic?) always catches up with you in the long run. I predict coming out of this that a lot more people may be Sober Curious, and feeling a lot more confident about this pause being a catalyst for positive change as a result.
If you were a plant, what plant would you be and why?
An Aloe Vera plant. I’m an introvert and can come off a bit prickly if I’m not in the mood, but inside I’m all about the healing.
When life gives you lemons, you…
Enjoy the zest.
One memory that instantly makes you smile?
Sunset on Salinas Beach in Ibiza.
What is your daily wellness ritual?
20 minutes of TM meditation first thing when I wake up.
To you, what is astrology? Where does this facet of knowledge fit? How can it help us to navigate modern life?
Astrology is a language of symbols to help us communicate with our inner life. For me, it’s an invaluable tool for staying to connected to who I really am and what I really need in a world that is constantly trying to manipulate these aspects of myself.
What makes you feel most human?
Missing other humans.
In what ways are CBD and drinking similar in terms of their usage in social situations and relaxation? Where do they differ?
Both can be used to ‘take the edge off’ when we’re feeling anxious or burnt out. Both help switch off the thinking mind and drop us into feeling mode. But alcohol obviously comes with some pretty nasty side-effects (hangovers, addiction, accidents, death), which CBD does not!
A three-word poem foreshadowing post-COVID energy?
Wow, what next?