"Everyone and welcome to Mentally Yours. Doing things a bit differently at the moment. We're recording three episodes a week and we're also according from home. We're also going to be chatting about things around the corona virus generally because obviously we're living in some quite strange unusual times at the moment so anyway I'm evatt and today I'm chatting to Janey Lee Grace. She's a presenter and author who runs the superclub on Podcast alcohol-free life I'm going to be shutting to her about the challenges of avoiding alcohol. During these Weird Times Hi Janey welcome to mentally. Yours thank you. I'm glad to be here so just to start off. Was there a particular thing that happened to lead you to set up the SOBA club annual podcast yet? The podcast is called alcohol-free life I think what led me to do it within the in the first few months after I ditched the booze. I didn't actually tell anyone. I went for three months without telling anyone. Well one person when I look back now realize how daft because I could have made it so much easier for myself. I could have got support. I could have felt connected and I didn't do any of that. I I literally actually felt ashamed bonkers but I but I did. I felt chimed but what I did do was I immersed myself in the quit. Lit expression goes quit literature. Books about stopping drinking. I immersed myself in the books and I listened to loads of podcasts. I absolutely devoured. The podcasts have listening to people who had been there done that. Got The t shirt so there were further ahead to me and it. It just made feel possible for me so when I always feeling like. I just can't do this anymore. I've listened to a podcast where someone was describing exactly that kind of stage and I thought. Oh my goodness right okay. I know I can't do it and I will carry on and so what happened to me was when I then did eventually come out and share my story I was. I was actually amazed at to find. Just how many people really just reacted the way? People reacted was incredible. People sort of said. Oh my goodness but I wish I could do that. That's that's that's me and I suddenly realized that this gray area drinking problem in inverted commas is so much bigger than I thought so. I started the podcast first alcohol. Free Life and again. I didn't really Kinda just throw it out there and thought you know people I want to interview so as to be worth just getting them on the podcast. I did it sort of for myself in a way that people seem to love it and so that's been going now for kind of coming up to fifteen months or something and then I started to sober club last September because I realized that there was a lot out there for people who want to ditch the booze want to sort of go through the process of challenge and and give up drinking a quit or maybe just stop for a while moderate but there wasn't very much for the what next feet I focus very much. Okay we made that decision. You have either already ditched the booze or you've made a decision that you're on that path but what else is there fee so because of my kind of background in everything. Connect with heuristic living. That's what I want to focus on the wants. People stopped drinking. They often want to look at their nutrition and their fitness in their relationships and their purpose and everything else. Did you turn to alcoholics anonymous? Any part of this or did you find them not quite for you know I think Right at the beginning when I well in fact for years before I even stopped drinking. That was actually one of the reasons. I couldn't stop drinking because my perception was that if I went to alcoholics anonymous which we think of as most people think of as the only support available I would have to label myself an alcoholic and as I've already said I didn't mean don't consider that I was ever at rock bottom. I didn't put myself in that bracket of being alcohol dependent or needing that kind of support. I didn't believe I was an alcoholic and I still don't believe that I ever was an alcoholic. There's a whole thing around language there with alcoholics anonymous. I think they do an absolutely amazing job in supporting people and the sense of community. Some people thrive on being able to meet face to face with with with others in the same position so I think their work is incredible but the concept of having to accept that you need to surrender that you that you are not empowered. I don't accept. I don't accept I was ever an alcoholic. I am someone who drink alcohol. I no longer drink alcohol. I was able to to stop because I wasn't clinically dependent. Of course it would be dangerous to just stop. If you're but I wasn't. I was a gray area drinker. What's called a normal drinker? Actually I was absolutely able to empower myself to quit the base. I think it's good to know as well. There's lots of other things for people out. There who are icee area. Drink is like the drinking bitter too much but don't want to necessarily today. I'm meeting because I think mainly works for some people some reasons and then further as they may sort of be on board with the whole sort of higher power thing. Whatever reason it is that Tell me a bit more about the superclub and what you actually do with the shore so I mean just to add to that. You're absolutely right. I I really don't care how people come to this. It doesn't matter to me. If you go to af you you just drink aware this smart recovery. There are so many ways now of getting to the place she wants to be. And that's where some absolutely amazing but the me with the sober club. My my aim is to provide was to enable if like a community where people can find amazing resources around optimum health and wellbeing so with focusing on everything else all the stuff that we want to add in the so the really good nutrition and particularly. If you're in the early stages of ditching the booze. It's really important to remember that. Your brain chemistry can be all over the place. Suddenly have the dopamine hits the Gaba the Serotonin and it can really mess with you physically and emotionally but there is stuff that you can do you can put back really good nutrients you can do a little program of saying this the so many things you can do in terms of nutrition obviously exercise. It's a time when a lot of people for the first time they think you know what I might actually start running or I might do. Yoga and meditation and Mindfulness. I've got a whole load of resources. Sort of hypnosis audio's meditations asking people to focus on their self care which is critical at this time so all of those things are are available to the sober club members. In addition we have a an exclusive community. Where we you know we. We support each other. And that's amazing really that you know. This phrase isn't the opposite of addiction as connection and and it really is so true that if people feel connected. They're far more likely to go back to their old habits. Are you and your members maintaining that connections but she joined this difficult time well? Fortunately everything's always been online anyway. I do have some some retreats booked that I don't know if they're going to happen and that will be that'd be really really really disappointing. But meanwhile actually were were using this time to focus on what we can do again similarly you. I tell people not to focus on what they can't drink. Focus on what you can in this amazing alcohol-free alternatives and it's just the same with this we. Okay we can't do certain things but what can we do? Could we use this time to learn a language? Do something creative start. Meditating one of the main reasons people say they don't do meditation because they don't have time and so now it's a fantastic time to put in place so you know it. It really does make an absolutely huge difference. Obviously we're living through his McGuire strange and challenging times at the moment finding life at present in terms of staying alcohol-free yeah this is one of my biggest fears for myself. I'm really solid and strong in my sobriety but I do feel that this time. People are in a state of fear and anxiety and it can be so difficult because that can be a time when people really revert back to old habits when you're in that state of fear it's a it's a fight flight or freeze mode and so I'm really trying to encourage everyone to to step away from the fear you know perhaps not have the news on twenty four."