The Sober Revolution
Since I started blogging almost six years ago about sobriety and my efforts to crack my longstanding booze issues, there has been a massive growth in online support for those looking to become alcohol-free. It’s something that I almost take for granted these days; that I can scan Twitter, Insta, Facebook or sites like Soberistas.com and draw on the wisdom, creativity and insight of literally hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe, all sharing their perspectives on a non-drinking life.
This couldn’t have happened without the Internet, and while I’m not a massive fan of social media in all its guises, for anyone who needs help and inspiration in switching from being alcohol-dependent to releasing themselves from that awful prison, it’s bloody brilliant!
Here are 6 more pieces of evidence that the Sober Revolution is definitely building…
· Yesterday I was on Sheffield city centre and walked past at least 3 billboard adverts for the new 0% Budweiser – this would not have happened five years ago. It filled me with delight, even though I’m not sure I would like the stuff.
· In the run up to Christmas, I saw so many posts (including my own on Insta) about Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit. Lots of people are loving this and buying it, even though it’s pretty steep (I don’t mind the price actually because I think it adds to the feeling of it being a treat) and so it’s gaining prominence in the shops. This in turn is making it more normal to treat one’s self with a non-alcoholic beverage. Good indeed.
· Charities and research groups such as the Institute of Alcohol Studies are churning out fabulous studies highlighting the link between alcohol and cancer, and the normalisation of binge drinking among parents in the UK; these are gaining a substantial amount of coverage in the press. In addition, in 2017 the Scottish government finally won its battle in the courts to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing. People are hearing the message that alcohol is a danger to public health and the old mentality of consuming bucket loads of the stuff is (thankfully) beginning to change.
· Last week, I filmed a piece for ITV’s Lorraine (to be aired next week on January 18th) on how good life is without alcohol. I’ve done a fair bit of TV over the years on this subject but this feature really made me happy because it’s so positive, really focusing on the benefits of NOT drinking, rather than the old, “grit your teeth, one day at a time, yarda yarda, you must have alcohol in order to be fun/sexy/cool”. None of that. Just the fabulous Denise Welch, another member of Soberistas, a gorgeous 25-year-old woman who’s already got the sense to quit drinking, and me – talking about sobriety and the fact that it’s amazing!
· More than 3 million people signed up to Dry January this year. I know it’s not all a bed of roses because there are a bunch of people who think it’s a terrible punishment to cut out booze for a month, and who then go and get smashed as a reward on February 1st. But there are also lots who learn tons from their AF January, who feel much better for being sober and who then decide to either majorly cut back or stop drinking altogether as a result. And it brings the issue of alcohol being bad for us into the public consciousness, which can never be a bad thing.
· Following the launch of The Rest Is History at the end of December, loads of people have bought T-shirts, hoodies and keyrings bearing our positive, alcohol-free slogans and thus promoting the notion of alcohol-free living being cool and of the moment.