Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast

Sarah Rusbatch and her incredible journey!

January 28, 2024 Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb Season 3 Episode 66
Sarah Rusbatch and her incredible journey!
Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
More Info
Not Drinking (Alcohol) Today Podcast
Sarah Rusbatch and her incredible journey!
Jan 28, 2024 Season 3 Episode 66
Isabella Ferguson and Meg Webb

Embarking on an introspective expedition, we're joined by the insightful Health and Wellbeing Coach, Sarah Rustbatch, who shares a candid narrative of her personal evolution from the grips of teenage drinking to the liberation of sobriety. Her story is set against the backdrop of Northern England's culture where alcohol is woven into the fabric of social bonding, from school years to the professional world. As we traverse Sarah's experiences, you're invited to contemplate the profound impact of cultural expectations on our choices and the courage it takes to break free from them.

With raw vulnerability, Sarah unfolds the chapters of her life that led her from being the life of the party to a beacon of hope as a sober coach. The conversation journeys through the landscapes of London's demanding corporate scene to the life-altering move to Perth, where the challenges of starting a family and isolation catalysed a pivotal transformation in her relationship with alcohol. Sarah's revelation and subsequent path to sobriety are not just her story—they reflect a silent struggle faced by many, offering a beacon of hope and a roadmap for those navigating similar crossroads.

Concluding our episode is a celebration of Sarah's triumph in authorship, "Beyond Booze: How to Create a Life You Love Alcohol-Free," a testament to the rich, fulfilling existence that awaits beyond the haze of alcohol. Her book embodies the essence of self-discovery and personal growth that sobriety can ignite, especially when faced with a partner who drinks or the pursuit of joy and purpose in the sober life. Sarah's journey—echoed in her words and in her book—is an invitation to all listeners to explore the depths of their own strength and the beauty of a life unchained from societal norms.

Website: https://sarahrusbatch.com/
Insta:  https://www.instagram.com/sarahrusbatch/

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embarking on an introspective expedition, we're joined by the insightful Health and Wellbeing Coach, Sarah Rustbatch, who shares a candid narrative of her personal evolution from the grips of teenage drinking to the liberation of sobriety. Her story is set against the backdrop of Northern England's culture where alcohol is woven into the fabric of social bonding, from school years to the professional world. As we traverse Sarah's experiences, you're invited to contemplate the profound impact of cultural expectations on our choices and the courage it takes to break free from them.

With raw vulnerability, Sarah unfolds the chapters of her life that led her from being the life of the party to a beacon of hope as a sober coach. The conversation journeys through the landscapes of London's demanding corporate scene to the life-altering move to Perth, where the challenges of starting a family and isolation catalysed a pivotal transformation in her relationship with alcohol. Sarah's revelation and subsequent path to sobriety are not just her story—they reflect a silent struggle faced by many, offering a beacon of hope and a roadmap for those navigating similar crossroads.

Concluding our episode is a celebration of Sarah's triumph in authorship, "Beyond Booze: How to Create a Life You Love Alcohol-Free," a testament to the rich, fulfilling existence that awaits beyond the haze of alcohol. Her book embodies the essence of self-discovery and personal growth that sobriety can ignite, especially when faced with a partner who drinks or the pursuit of joy and purpose in the sober life. Sarah's journey—echoed in her words and in her book—is an invitation to all listeners to explore the depths of their own strength and the beauty of a life unchained from societal norms.

Website: https://sarahrusbatch.com/
Insta:  https://www.instagram.com/sarahrusbatch/

MEG

Megan Webb: https://glassfulfilled.com.au
Instagram: @glassfulfilled
Unwined Bookclub: https://www.alcoholfreedom.com.au/unwinedbookclub
Sober Socialising workshop at Seadrift Distillery: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/confident-and-cozy-alcohol-free-socialising-for-winter-tickets-934198341387?aff=oddtdtcreator

BELLA

Isabella Ferguson: https://isabellaferguson.com.au
Instagram: @alcoholandstresswithisabella
Free 5-Day DO I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM? Clarify and focus series: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/doIhaveadrinkingproblemwithisabellaferguson
Alcohol Freedom Small Group Challenge - Register here: https://resources.isabellaferguson.com.au/alcoholfreedomchallenge
The Alcohol Revolution 6-Week Program (Online or Podcast): ...

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome. Today on the podcast, I'm speaking with Sarah Rustbatch. Sarah is a Certified Health and Wellbeing Coach, an accredited grey area drinking coach, a motivational speaker, and Sarah is now also an author. Welcome, sarah. Thank you so much for having me. Sarah, can we start by you telling us how you've gotten to where you are today?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely so. I grew up in the north of England where it was pretty common to start drinking at 13, 14,. Go fill up your soda stream bottles with whatever you could find in your parents' drinks cabinet, this concoction of Southern comfort and Ginzano and Martini and a bit of vodka, and then you'd top it up with some lemonade or some cola and you'd go down the local park you'd drink this disgusting concoction, maybe you'd have a little snog with one of the local boys and then maybe you'd go home, you'd throw up somewhere and then you'd do it all again the following weekend and that was kind of just the norm of this kind of indoctrination to teenage years and having a social life and doing all of those things. And the more I share that story, the more people go. Yeah, me too. Me too, we used to do that.

Speaker 2:

I think it's quite common, because I don't know about you, meg, but I grew up in a house where alcohol was quite present. Mum and dad drank I wouldn't say more or less than any other parents. They didn't have a problematic relationship with alcohol, but it was certainly present and my associations, my beliefs around alcohol I can see kind of, having done all this work on myself now, looking back, started at quite a young age, which was alcohol is what parents do to have fun. Alcohol is what makes my mum and dad laugh a lot. Alcohol is what you must have when you socialise and when you spend time with other grown-ups. So therefore, from a very young age, for me it was just like well, yeah, when I'm old enough to drink alcohol now, no, 14 is certainly not old enough to be drinking alcohol but that was kind of what people were doing at my age and that's what we all started doing. And so I think from a young age it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when and in the social setting I was in, that meant it started fairly early and I also, kind of, looking back, have realised that I'd gone to five different schools by the time I was 13,.

Speaker 2:

I'd moved around a lot. I'd had this kind of association of Sarah the new girl, sarah having to fit in, sarah having to make new friends, and that was quite exhausting. And what I realised when I drank alcohol was that very first time I can remember thinking, ah, I fit in. I'm one of the girls I'd moved from Scotland to England.

Speaker 2:

At this point at the age of 13, which is quite a difficult time to move, and from this quite kind of like standard comprehensive co-ed school in Scotland where you didn't have a uniform. It was a bit rough. And then I went to this really posh all girls grammar school in Manchester where I had this really strong Scottish accent. I had this terrible perm, I was a bit overweight and spotty and there was all these girls that played hockey in the cross and they were all so glamorous and so sporty and I just didn't feel like I fitted in whatsoever. And when I drank alcohol with those girls, for me that was when all the walls came down and that was when I felt like, ah, I'm one of the girls I fit in now.

Speaker 1:

I can see you nodding a lot.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if that's something that you resonate with as well.

Speaker 1:

Totally starting with the parents. Like my parents weren't big drinkers, like they didn't. My memory is that my dad would have a beer after work. To me it was ah, that's how he relaxes. Mum might have had a wine, but when they had friends over, definitely there was alcohol. Same thing they didn't drink, more or less, I don't think, than anyone else. It was just the norm and you don't really think about that growing up until you kind of look back and go yeah, that was an influence, because society tells us it's normal and not only normal. You can't actually socialise without it. So I totally relate and I only swapped. I swapped schools three times, but even now, only recently, I realised that had an impact on me because I always felt like an outsider. So I absolutely do relate and that's why my head's been nodding.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah and so and I think from that moment on, the associations 14 year old Sarah made were when I drink alcohol I can quickly make friends. When I drink alcohol I'm quickly accepted into the group, and so alcohol became the conduit for me to make friends, meet new people in any new situation I was in which was going to university, where of course, it's a very big binge drinking culture, especially in the UK, where you leave home at 18 and Freshers Week is just about the first week just getting as pissed as you possibly can. You're meeting all these new people. So that was university. Then I moved straight to London after graduating and got a job in London and my fourth interview.

Speaker 2:

I got a job in recruitment and the fourth stage of the interview process was going to the pub to do shots of tequila to see how well you could handle your booze. This was 1998 and this was kind of what the London was like. You know, this is what the culture was like in those days. You would never do that now, right, but that was. I can remember one girl having her fourth interview where instead of doing tequila they were doing flaming sandwiches and the whole of her like upper lip, caught fire while doing these and that was her interview process and I can clearly remember everyone sitting around the table the next day kind of going oh I don't know if we should offer her the drink, we should offer her the job. She didn't seem that impressed about the flaming sabooka. I don't know if she's going to be enough fun for us. It's interesting isn't it?

Speaker 1:

I think they'd go to jail these days.

Speaker 2:

I know like HR would never approve that. Nowadays 1998, again, I found myself in a ridiculously fun booze like work hard, play hard environment. It was like an extension of university, where it was 300 graduates all working in this company, where the only difference to uni was you had to be at your desk at half past eight. You worked until half past six, so it was a 10 hour day. You didn't get a lunch break and then there was always someone to go to the pub with that night, and so it was a very, very much a work hard, play hard, binge drinking culture. But you know, in your 20s I just like wore my ability to drink and then get up and function the next day as a badge of honor. That was like, look at me, I'm amazing, I can drink the same as the boys. I've always been so proud of my drinking ability. It was always something to kind of be like yeah, yeah, I'm not a lightweight girl, I can drink. You know, match, the boys drink for drinks, and so that was kind of my the way things were in London.

Speaker 2:

Then I went traveling for a year, of course, traveling around the world, around Southeast Asia, all the full moon parties I did, the East coast of Australia, from Kansas to Sydney, doing all the backpacking hostels. Again, just every night revolved around boozing. I remember being at the doctors with such a bad liver infection and I was like and I said to my friend I remember emailing my friend in England and going yeah, the doctor said I haven't been drinking enough water because every time I'm thirsty I keep having a soft drink instead of water. So I've just got to make sure I drink more water. I never thought I'd do that I need to drink less because I'm probably having 15 units a night. Like that didn't even occur to me. It was just I've got to drink more water and less Coca-Cola and so, like there was my analogy for that. So drinking had been big. I'd been a heavy drinker. I'd been a consistently big drinker.

Speaker 2:

I was Sarah the party girl, but it wasn't problematic, like it didn't cause me. Looking back, my memories are fond memories. They are their memories of a girl who didn't really have true self-connection. I didn't really know myself that well. Alcohol, I think, keeps us disconnected from who we truly are at that soul level. But I was Sarah the party girl. I had a great social life. I met my husband.

Speaker 2:

We finally felt pregnant after, you know, quite a long time of trying to get pregnant which I do believe my partying lifestyle played a big part in and then, after we had our son, my husband's from New Zealand. He said I don't want to bring up our son in this environment. I want us to move to the beach, I want us to have that outdoor lifestyle at its time and we'd always said at some point we would probably go to Australia. So in 2010, when my son was nine months old, we made the decision to move to Perth and I didn't really anticipate how hard that was going to be in terms of leaving behind my family or my close. I had a really core group of close girlfriends that were like family to me. Then there was also like I wasn't didn't have a job. I'd had this job in London that had been very successful. I'd worked for the same company for eight years. I was a director. They were like family to me and all of a sudden I was on the other side of the world.

Speaker 2:

I felt pregnant again with my daughter as soon as we got to Perth and then very quickly found myself with two under two, with no friends, no family, no support, no sense of identity because I wasn't working. My days were spent going to monkey music and baby rhyme time and purée and carrots and changing nappies, and I was so lonely, I was so homesick and I was really sad and I didn't want to tell anyone because it was like I'm living the dream. I've moved to Australia. Look, we live by the beach, I get to go to the beach every day and I felt like I was being a bit disloyal to my husband if I shared that I wasn't so happy and I felt like I should be happy because on paper we were living this dream life, but inside it wasn't what I wanted, and so I drank, because that was when I realised. That's when my drinking changed from being something I did to socialise, to make friends, to have fun, to something that I did to soothe my pain. And the problem with that is, if you're not dealing with the root cause of the pain and all you're doing is drinking, then you're never gonna deal with it right. And so drinking then escalated for quite a few years from there.

Speaker 2:

And then, finally, 2017, I had a couple of incidents where the drinking had got really bad. I'd gone to a party, I'd fallen over, I'd landed on my face, I'd cut my lip open. You know all of those little moments, those little rock bottoms, that kind of just make you go. This isn't sustainable. So I took a break from alcohol. But this is 2017, there weren't a huge number of resources available then. It wasn't like today where you've got all the podcasts and the books and the sober community. You know Facebook wasn't what it is now. You know all of those things.

Speaker 2:

And so I remember reading this Naked Mind and just going oh, wow, like it really, really impacted me and I did a hundred days and then I was like, oh, but I can't never drink again. That would just be weird because, like, I'm still with a party girl, now I'll be okay, I've got a hundred days, I clearly don't have a problem. Now I'll be a normal drinker, now I'll be able to moderate. And went back to drinking and within a couple of weeks I was back to the same levels as before. And two years then of just taking breaks, going back to drinking, taking breaks, going back to drinking, fighting so hard to moderate, thinking it was I had to try harder.

Speaker 2:

I was weak because I couldn't moderate like other people could. There was something wrong with me. I had to find more inner strength to be able to moderate, which I now know with absolute rubbish and your neural pathways. Once they're created, moderation is very rare and impossible. Until, finally, I realized there's no moderation for me. And then I've done enough reading. I'd read Alcoholic Spray. I've done all the extensive reading and so, finally, April 2019, I made the decision that that was it and that was the. My last drink was the 27th of April 2019. So, coming up to five years sober now, and then I retrained as a health and wellness coach, retrained as a gray area drinking coach, and then, since then, I've been working with thousands of women all over the world to support them on their journey to sobriety.

Speaker 1:

Amazing. I relate to so much of your story. It's not funny. I traveled vice versa. I went to England, so, going back then, I know exactly what the partying lifestyle was like. Exactly the same. And I feel like, like you, I kind of drank for this unhappiness because I didn't. I knew I was meant for more, but I just didn't know what that meant and so, like you said, the pain drank to sort of push that down. But even our time, our timeline, like 2017, I was 2018 when I decided to have a break. I found Rebecca Weller at that point I don't know if you've heard of you know, Rebecca.

Speaker 1:

She's lovely, so I found her cause, did a bit of AA like you, thought I can moderate, spent the next two years sort of getting worse than I was before and I'm probably I'm three years behind you because congratulations on five years. I'm two, but it's that journey that you've got to go through, you know. So I totally relate to everything you've said and it's you know. Good on you for getting to where you are it is. It is really hard being a mum as well, and you've come to Australia where mummy wine culture is huge. I don't know if you ended up joining a mother's group, but for me that was a really enabling kind of not from them, but it was again expected that we'd go and blow off steam by drinking because we're mums, you know. Did you have mum friends after a while in Australia?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and I was probably more of the ringleader because you know, I was definitely the one that probably drank more than most. At the same time, I do think that grey area drinkers tend to navigate towards others that drink like they do. Because if someone, if I worked out very quickly that someone was a one glass of wine a night kind of girl, I was like, well, she's not my girl. So I would actually form friendships and make decisions about people based on whether they would drink at the same level as me. And you know, the friendship was many times the friendship had way more substance than just whether someone drank the same amount as me. But it definitely was a factor for me because I didn't want to spend time with people who would judge my drinking or wouldn't drink at the same level as me, because that made me uncomfortable. So I wanted to find that and then I would be the ringleader Come on, let's go down the park, let's take a bottle of wine.

Speaker 2:

We would do play dates at the park where we would take champagne at 11 in the morning. I remember my going to like a first birthday party, which was a 10 am first birthday party, where everyone was given a glass of champagne as they walked in the door, like alcohol and motherhood seemed to just go hand in hand. And then, everywhere you looked in social media, in advertising, everywhere was just telling us that that was the norm, that was okay, it was something that was to be expected, there was nothing wrong with that, and that's the issue I have is, I don't judge anyone. Anyone wants to drink at 10 am at their kids' first birthday party. Go for it. But let's start actually like pulling apart some of the facts about women and alcohol so that people can make informed decisions, instead of simply having this constant messaging being thrown at them that you deserve it. You must drink because you're a mother now. This is your only way of relaxing and getting a reward at the end of the day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I totally agree and, like you said, I was the ringleader. My lovely friends. You know, exactly like you, I picked the people that drank more, but I definitely kept that going. It's very interesting. I go out with them. We're still really good friends and all of them have naturally slowed down drinking. I couldn't do that, but it's. You know, you see all the memes online about mums and it look. I so agree that we need to get the word out that. You know it doesn't have to be normal. People worry about stigma or losing friends. I mean, what's happened with your friendship circle now? Do you have the same friends or did you lose some friends?

Speaker 2:

So I've got a lot of the same friends and some friendships. I wouldn't say that we made any decision to go, let's not be friends anymore, but certainly some friendships. I see less of those people because our values perhaps are less alive. We don't actually have as much in common as I thought when you take the alcohol away, but all that has done has allowed me the space of some people leaving, has allowed space for new people to come into my life and I've now got a lot of sober friends who actually want to do. You know, and how we know each other is through Kim, who's one of my great sober friends here in Perth, and through meeting Kim.

Speaker 2:

You know Kim's always up for doing anything and it's like let's go do a nice park, let's go do a hike, let's go do a 35 K coast trek walk in Margaret River, like she's up for adventure. And that's what I find with most sober women that I meet is we don't want a mediocre life anymore, we want to go and do fun things, we want to challenge ourselves, we want to get okay with being uncomfortable with doing hard things, because once you've removed alcohol from your life which is freaking hard in an alcohol centric society it makes you kind of feel invincible and it makes you go, well, yeah, if I can do that, I can do anything. And that's where my life has got way more interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, I love that and it's all about adventure, and I think you're right. So many people on this journey who have stopped drinking are just looking for amazing things to do. You know, and I love that, I wish I was in Perth. I do all those things you just mentioned with you and Kim. So, sarah, you've now written a book, which is amazing. I couldn't do that if I tried. So I totally have the utmost respect for you. Can you take us on a bit of that journey, how that came about?

Speaker 2:

So I'm an avid reader and someone you know. If you'd have asked me when I was a little girl what do you want to be when you grow up, I would have said I want to be an author and I want to write books, and so it's been a lifelong dream of mine to have a book written. So it's amazing that this has happened. And I have read, you know, probably nearly 90% of the sober books out there, all of which have played a massive role in my journey to sobriety in terms of the books about how to get sober, the memoirs of, you know, catherine Gray and Clint Hawley, and some of those incredible books. But what I realized was missing was that wasn't a book. There's lots of books about how to get sober. You know how to get sober, what you do in those first months, those first couple of months, but there weren't any books about how to stay sober, about what it actually takes to create a life you love, so you don't want or need to drink. And in the coaching programs that I do with the women that I work with, I do alcohol free programs of how to remove alcohol. But I go to stage two, like I think there's three stages of sobriety right. The first one is the fit let's get over the physical cravings for alcohol. Let's just stop that habit or whatever it is, the addiction, and get through that, maybe the first couple, two or three months. But then I feel like the second stage is well, let's get to discover who we really are with alcohol. And I have a group coaching program called rediscovering me and I could see that that was pivotal in women staying sober. So there were a lot of women who were doing my challenges but they were going back to drinking, whereas the women that did rediscovering me and that went into the deeper work, they weren't going back to drinking because I was giving them the tools, the resources, the strategies to get to know themselves, to peel back some more layers, to really develop that self-awareness, to be able to get to know who they were without alcohol. And then I wanted to condense that into a book and so I've written a book called Beyond Booze how to Create a Life you Love Alcohol-Free. It's named at women.

Speaker 2:

The majority of I would say 99% of people I work with are middle-aged women aged between 40 and 60. We now know the statistics are that alcohol use disorder in women has increased 80% in the last 30 years and it's damaging and it's dangerous. And in the book I talk about some of the reasons we need to address this and there's a lot about the physical side, about how alcohol impacts women differently to men, about the impact of alcohol when we're going through perimenopause, and so there's a lot of information about that. But then the last five chapters are the what do we need to do to create a life we love? So I address that.

Speaker 2:

One of the topics that comes up so much is what do I do if my partner still drinks? And there's a whole chapter in the book around navigating relationships. That was something I had to navigate with my husband, and so there's a chapter on that. There's a chapter on socializing and friendships and how to navigate that stage and that process. There's a chapter on what do I do for fun how do I actually start to discover what I do for fun now that I don't drink.

Speaker 2:

The chapters on discovering your purpose and how to create a more fulfilling life. There's a chapter on managing stress, because I find that most of the women I work with, one of the key reasons they're drinking is stress. So we need to start managing where that stress is coming from, and developing a toolkit of other things outside of alcohol that help us to manage stress. So it's really like and it's got a lot of my story peppered through the book as well. So it's part memoir, it's part coaching, with tools and strategies and resources to support women to do that deeper work, to create a life where they don't need alcohol as a crutch come five o'clock every night.

Speaker 1:

That sounds amazing. I love that you're going into the next stage in the book because, like you, I have pretty much probably listened to and read every quick lit book out there, so I'm really excited to read yours. It sounds amazing and they're just common things that people worry about, like you just said. You know having a partner drinking is incredibly hard. I mean, does your husband drink? Now, how did you manage that?

Speaker 2:

So the first three times I did extensive breaks from alcohol, he still drank and it changed our relationship in many ways because we've both been massive drinkers. We met because he was the tour guide I did on a bus trip from Perth to Broome. He was the Kiwi tour guide, I was the English backpacker. My chat line was do you want to come and play my drinking game?

Speaker 2:

And so it was kind of like the writing was on the walls from day one as to what our social life was going to be like. So we did drink a lot together. So when I stopped drinking that first time, when I did that 100 days, I was like, oh, we don't really talk to each other anymore, and when he goes and drinks after work, I avoid him because I don't want to be around him drinking, whereas before that was our moment of connection. He would come home from work, I would go and open a wine, he would open a beer. We'd set outside in the garden, we'd maybe have a cheeky fag behind the washing line. We would catch up and connect oh, how was your day? Whereas when he was coming home from work and going and having a beer or I don't want to be around him drinking I didn't mind him doing that, but I just didn't want to be near him in case it was a trigger for me. So what happened was we started to get further and further and further apart and so finally, when we when I finally quit in 2019, he actually quit as well, and we then ended up in couples therapy because we were just. We didn't have a point of connection anymore. We were both so separate.

Speaker 2:

Going on this journey and you know it's such a personal journey when you remove alcohol and then I into therapy at the same time I started peeling, really peeling back the layers of who I was and what had been at the heart of some of the traumas that I've had in my life, to create the version of me that I was today and what help I needed. So I wasn't getting triggered anymore. And when you do that you have to almost just press pause. We had to press pause on our relationship because it was about me.

Speaker 2:

I had to do the work on me before I was ready to do the work on us and that meant that our relationship was a bit shipped for a while and we were like two ships in the night where it was kind of like who's picking up Scarlett from swimming, who's taking William to rugby? That was kind of the extent of our conversation. And then, when I was ready and when he was ready, it was kind of like we're not in a great place and we probably need some help. And we went to couples therapy and it saved our marriage like it really did, because she gave us tools of communication, how to check in with each other, how to ask the other person how are you doing? What do you need right now? Are you feeling okay, which we just hadn't been doing. So, yeah, there's quite a lot in the book about that.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. I love that and it's you know, it is such a personal journey, but it's to support someone else on that when you're just learning about yourself is so tricky. But you know that'll be so interesting to read because I know a lot of my clients do have that issue of their partner still drinking. And I have split from my partner. But back when I did my you know, a few months on and off here and there, he actually got on board with that. So that was great at the time, but I did notice that having just me work on everything wasn't going to be long term for him. So it's look, it's a messy journey, isn't it? And it sounds like you've come out the other side and therefore you know you can help other people, which is amazing. And, like I said, I can't wait to read this book. It sounds incredible.

Speaker 2:

I'm excited for it to come out and I feel like that it is a point of difference to most of the sober books that are out there. It's got a different message and goes quite a lot deeper into that deeper work that we do on ourselves to be able to truly change our relationship with alcohol.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's brilliant and it really I tell people. You know there is work involved in this. It'd be great if we could just make a decision and never look at it again, but or ourselves again. But it does involve the work. I really enjoy it doing, you know, working on myself.

Speaker 1:

I know some people don't, but my theory sort of is well, you can have the discomfort of not changing and going on how you were, which for me, was leading to some pretty dangerous I dare not think about where I was headed or the discomfort of making the change, and it can be uncomfortable feeling those feelings that we've buried for so long.

Speaker 1:

But I just know that the books helped me so much. So for anyone that sort of wants to just get started somehow, I say, dig into the quick lit and, like you said back then, even though it wasn't that long ago, there wasn't heaps out there. I didn't listen to podcasts in 2018. Definitely, on Audible, I had the books and then I did discover any grace a bit further along and, like I said, rebecca Weller was really awesome, but there's so much more now. So I'd encourage everyone to check out your book, especially people that have, you know, given up and just stuck in that, not knowing where to go next, because a massive part for me has been finding my passion and purpose, and I keep for you to and that's the thing I think, meg, is that everyone thinks that I have an issue with social media, sometimes with the portrayal of sobriety being all you have to do is remove alcohol and then your life will be amazing, and that's simply not true.

Speaker 2:

Removing alcohol is 10%. 90% of the work is actually in going on this deeper journey of self discovery. I listened to this amazing podcast at the weekend where the guy was saying most people will only ever have an average life because you can't have more than an average life if you're not prepared to go into discomfort, because it's when you go into discomfort that you grow and you change and you evolve and you actually go on to create amazing things. And if you actually want to have an amazing life, I do believe that an incredible, amazing, fulfilling, purposeful life comes from being okay with being uncomfortable, and most people just aren't, but that I think that getting sober is the first step to that, because you have to sit with the discomfort of cravings and choose not to drink, and so it's your first lesson in choosing discomfort for the longer term gain. And when we start to do that, we're starting to teach ourselves. I can do this.

Speaker 2:

My 14 year old son asked me a really interesting question the other day. He said to me I'm like mom, what's the best feeling in the world? I love the questions that kids ask and I sat down in the car and I thought about it and I said I actually believe the best thing in the world is when you do something you don't want to do but you get that feeling of achievement and accomplishment afterwards. And most people want the easy option. So they never get the best feeling in the world because they don't go into the discomfort that allows for the incredible feeling afterwards. And I said to him never be afraid of discomfort, never be afraid of what the challenge will be, because it's in the challenge that we grow the most as humans. And on that note, that's another part of my sober journey is being. The discovering of me has allowed me to parent my kids and have conversations with my kids that are so very, very different to what drinking Sarah's conversations would have been like as a mum.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's incredible, isn't it? And that's just beautiful. I love what your best feeling in the world was, and I absolutely agree. I have never lived so much out of my comfort zone that I have than I have now, but it's got me to where I am and I'm so, so happy at 50. I'm 50 now to finally have got the pieces of the puzzle coming together on what my purpose and passion is, and I was scared of living an average life or the way I was going. It was pretty below average, to be honest, and it's not.

Speaker 1:

Once you get out of that comfort zone, you, like you said, the payoff is so big and it's so worth it. You want to just keep doing more. Yeah, so you know, and I love that. I can pass that on to my kids too, and because, like you said, it's when you do that I mean that that builds a confidence in you, some pride. It's such a. It's a great tool as well. Apart from that, you just discover things about yourself and incredible things in your life that you we might never have tried. Have we not gone on this path? So, yeah, exactly, exactly, totally agree with that. But so, sarah, where can our listeners find you? I will put everything in the show notes, but just let us know.

Speaker 2:

So I'm great active on Instagram at Sarah Russ batch. My website is Sarah Russ batchcom. My book comes out on the 30th of January and it's available from all booksellers Amazon, booktopia, dimmicks and I will be in Sydney for a book launch in February. I'm not sure when this podcast will go live, but that's just in a couple of weeks from now. So yeah, but the best way is follow me on Instagram. I have a free Facebook community which has over 15,000 women in it from all over the world, called the Women's Wellbeing Collective, where I share lots of tools and tips and strategies, and it's a great supportive community. So come find me wherever you hang out the most, that's amazing.

Speaker 1:

So this will go on here before your book launch. So can people go to that? Are there tickets or available?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So go to my website, sarah Russ batchcom, and you will see that it's an event in Sydney At the Alcohol Free bar up in Brookvale Sea Drift Distillery. So that will be an awesome. It's a women's only event and it will be just all sober and sober, curious women coming together to celebrate an alcohol free lifestyle.

Speaker 1:

Amazing and I will see you there, and it's a great location. I'm really excited and I'm so grateful for you coming on today, sarah. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for having me, and you can pre-order the book and have it delivered, or you can purchase it for immediate release on the 30th of January.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. Thank you so much. Thanks Meg.

Teenage Drinking and Socialization
From Party Girl to Sober Coach
Creating a Life Without Alcohol
The Importance of Self-Discovery in Sobriety
Sarah's Book Release Excitement and Gratitude