A 33-year-old woman who went sober last year has set-up a group for sober socials in Cirencester.
After noticing that there didn’t seem to be many events in her local area, Bethany Blackburn, who lives in Cirencester with her husband, decided to create a group for sober socials.
The first event took place at the start of the month at the Luxe in Cirencester and ‘went really well’.
“It was so nice to meet other like minded people,” says Bethany Blackburn.
“Alcohol unleashed something in me that I had no control over”, she says.
“It made me not only lose my inhibitions but lose my value for life.
“When I was drunk I didn’t care what substances I put in my body.
“Alcohol has taken so much from me over the years. I have lost friends, boyfriends and jobs.
“I remember when i was in my 20s I would regularly call in sick to work.
“I once called in and left my boss a voicemail at 3am with my mates laughing in the background, declaring I wouldn’t be in tomorrow as I was “sick”.
“I have drank for almost 20 years, and it’s only in the last couple of years I’m starting to see that there are other options.
“I am now almost 6 months sober and I am back to where I want to be.
“I am happy.
“For me, sobriety is a lifestyle change. It’s getting rid of something that was no longer serving me.
“It can be hard, people don’t always get it, there is temptation, there is doubt and there is judgment.
“But sobriety opens up a whole amazing community of people. I have met and connected with people who get me more than alcohol ever did.
“Now when I laugh, I know it’s authentic, and when I’m sad it’s okay.
“I find sharing my journey really helps me and I have had people reach out to tell me how it has also helped them.
“I am someone who loves to get out and about and get stuck in and have some fun.
“So I have been going to various sober events in London which have really helped me feel included and meet like minded people. What I have noticed is that there aren’t many sober social groups in my local area.
“I have created a Revived and Sober Socials group on Facebook.
“This group is for the sober/sober curious who want to meet like minded people and get out and have some fun!
“This is a new group, so all activity suggestions welcome.
“It would be great to connect over mocktails, lunches, dance classes, book clubs, comedy nights, anything people fancy.
“It’s important to note that this group is not in place of professional support around substance use. I think there is such a stigma around stopping drinking.
“People think you are boring, when in reality I am way more fun that I ever was when I was drunk (and a lot less annoying).
“So that’s what I want to show people with my journey.
“Life doesn’t end when you stop drinking alcohol, it really just begins.”
The Facebook group can be found here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/966257777383729/?ref=share
The next event is on June 11 – it is a Pole fitness clash and lunch at Inspire Studios, Cirencester.