DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE EXISITING AS OPPOSED TO LIVING?
BREAK FREE FROM THE SHACKLES OF PROBLEM DRINKING
Do you often drink more than you want to?
Embarrass yourself frequently at social situations?
Wake up unrested, thirsty and full of anxiety?
Are you worried about how alcohol is affecting your goal setting?
Is your drinking affecting your relationships?
Do the rapid ageing affects of alcohol worry you?
If you've answered 'Yes' to any of the above, it sounds like you might be struggling to break free from the cycle of problematic drinking.
That's about to change....
I'm Jo O'Connor, a certified Alcohol Freedom Coach, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, Founder of the Sober Sofa community, Author, Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Former Specialist Probation Officer, Accredited Treatment Facilitator, Mum of Two, Wife and a Sober Advocate.
Sounds like I've got my shit together, right?
I have, now.
This time back in 2020 I still looked like I had it all, but I was living a lie.
I was drinking up to three bottles of wine a night, on the sofa of my lovely four bedroom house whilst my children slept upstairs. We were in lock-down and much like the rest of the country, my drinking had escalated out of control.
I was fine, until I wasn't.
WHERE IT BEGAN...
I had my first taste of being ‘drunk’ at eleven years old. I stole the alcohol my father had in decorative miniatures around our sitting room. I was with a friend, and we still talk about this memory now. We drank until we were paralytic, to the point I fell down the stairs and knocked myself unconscious. My mother was besides herself, but that didn’t matter to me –
what I’d learnt was so powerful it superseded anything else, alcohol = escape.
My teenage years were marred with alcohol and substance misuse.
I was known as a 'wild child,' always in trouble with the Police, always looking for the next big adventure.
People described me as ‘rebellious’ when the truth was I was just lost. Chasing that feeling of escape, of reward, of excitement.
By the time I was sixteen, I had a chaotic presentation and rarely attended school. I lived life on the edge and was more concerned with immediate gratification than anything else. Something shifted when a teacher told my mother;
"Don't bother sending her for her exams, she'll fail them all anyway"
Despite the shape of me, this woke something in me and I locked myself away in my bedroom to begin studying.
I passed every single one of my GCSEs, despite the fact I was still living life chaotically.
I made a decision there and then that I was going to help people and I committed to this in my 'Record of Achievement', writing that I wanted to become a Social Worker.
Fast forward twenty years and I’d been successful in education, graduating with honours in Psychology and Criminology and then a second degree in Criminal and Community Justice. I’d also been successfully selected to train as a Probation Officer and had moved to a big city to ‘cut my teeth' where I met lots of young professionals all looking to work hard/play hard.
I quickly became known as a party girl, always the last to leave, always looking for something after the after party
A good time girl, with lots of friends and a city centre flat, surrounded by pubs and clubs.
Although I'd moved away from substances by this point (I couldn't reconcile the criminal aspect of drugs with my profession) I was still sinking wine most nights through the week and then 'out out' on the weekends.
Most mornings I was hungover, tired, depressed, ashamed, confused and perplexed as to why I was doing this to myself
I had a good job that involved supporting other people – many of whom were in active addiction themselves. I advised Courts on sentencing, I advised Parole Boards on risk, I advised Children’s Services on safeguarding matters and I did it all really well.
In time, I relocated back home, got married and had my children. My beautiful house was always clean, my children well taken care of. I remained a classic ‘unseen drinker’ – no one, not even those closest to me would’ve guessed the depths of despair I sunk into, how I dreaded each and every morning, even before my alarm had gone off.
I’d swear to myself every morning that I wouldn’t drink that night, sometimes I’d be successful, but most of the time the ‘wine witch’ would start calling around 5pm
By 7pm, we’d again be firm friends. I always made sure there was expensive wine in the fridge. Clean 'nice' glasses in the cupboard. I never drank in the day. These details mattered, they kept me (and my drinking) safe.
I'd often set a firm resolution that I'd only have 'one or two'
just like the actors on the TV I was watching.
You know, a couple after work to unwind. I chose to ignore the reality that after 'one or two' the logic of needing to go to bed early for work would disappear and I'd often stagger up to bed way later than planned.
I’d wake early (as soon as my body had stopped processing the alcohol) cursing myself for ‘doing it again.’
Mornings often started with an anxious check of my phone. Who did I text or call last night? Did I post anything on Social Media? What was the last thing I watched on TV?
Paracetamol and coffee became my day time friends. I fawned illness more times than I care to remember, yet I continued to excel at work, even achieving a promotion and several accolades.
I often wondered how many other people were just like me. If there was anyone like me.
I frequently took quiz's like "am I drinking too much" and "am I an alcoholic?" Missing the point that the problem was inherent, by virtue of the fact I was taking these quiz's in the first place.
There was a strong sense of incongruence between who the world saw, who I was and who I wanted to/knew I was supposed to be. I also hated the example that I was setting my children, that alcohol was the answer to everything, just as I'd learnt when I was eleven.
In August 2020 I made the decision to quit alcohol for a month
- then extended this to 90 days.
I’d had many day ones and even a dry January under my belt, but it hadn't stuck.
People around me were both amused and horrified in equal measure. I took the photos on this page 90 days apart and I was astounded at the difference in my eyes, skin, hair and energy levels.
I knew I wanted to continue and I set another challenge to continue for one year.
I quickly established that me going sober challenged the drinking behaviours of those around me. As soon as I mentioned I wasn't drinking, people would question it and then reference their own drinking patterns. It was an uncomfortable dialogue that I wasn't equipped for. I told people I was doing an alcohol free challenge - which was true, but I never told people the real reason why. Not even my husband who would've supported me unequivocally.
The truth was that I wasn’t ready to own my sobriety, so instead I turned to books.
I read any and everything about alcohol and it’s affects. I qualified as a Coach and a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming. I qualified in EFT (tapping) to finally release some of the emotions I was holding within my body. I lent into the sober community (albeit through 'pseudo profiles') and found like minded others. I realized I wasn’t on my own after all and I learnt from those around me.
I began using coaching techniques on my cases at work and the results blew me away I
knew I was onto something, but I wasn't ready to walk away from my career. I continued practicing the skills on those around me and myself.
I became my own coach and set about becoming the most authentic, best version of myself, the real me - without alcohol
I made the long overdue decision to quit my job and I re-trained selling Life Insurance. For those who don't know, there is a ton of money to be made selling life insurance - but it wasn't aligned with the authentic version of me.
I retrained again as an online travel agent, I've always loved travel and helping families create those special memories filled me with joy. I loved this role and the flexibility of being able to work from home, but that innate desire to help others wasn't being fulfilled.
No longer shackled by problematic drinking or the rules around social media whilst being a serving officer , I decided to come clean with my sobriety
I 'came out' to friends and family and set some pretty strong boundaries. I was no longer concerned what other's thought of my journey and became focused on only being surrounded by those who would respect it - and this meant giving others a choice to walk away from me. This was one of the most empowering points of my journey.
In 2022 I re-certified as a Holistic Alcohol Freedom Coach specialising in working with women who are in the shoes I once walked in.
I shy away from the term 'Sober Coach' because for me, being sober is just where this beautiful journey starts. The freedom we get to experience when we leave behind alcohol once and for all, is where the true magic happens.
This time back in 2020 I still looked like I had it all, but I was living a lie I
was drinking up to three bottles of wine a night, on the sofa of my lovely four bedroom house whilst my children slept upstairs. We were in lock-down and much like the rest of the country, my drinking had escalated out of control.
I am now almost three years sober, thriving in every single aspect of my life and supporting incredible and brave women all over the world, to do the same through bespoke 121 and group coaching programmes.
This unique and affordable group coaching programme enables me to support more women in discovering the life changing, transformative secrets to breaking free from problematic drinking - than I'd ever be able to reach through one to one work.
This approach is changing lives - don't just take my word for it - read what our members say...
Welcome to the 'one stop shop' for women looking to challenge and change their relationship with alcohol.
Consuming more alcohol than you want to?
Drinking to meet an emotional need such as to relax or unwind?
Finding it difficult to stop - and stay stopped minus FOMO?
Struggling to experience the joy in every day life?
Fed up of waking up full of anxiety and regret from the night before?
Tried other programmes, but nothing has stuck?
CONNECTION IS THE OPPOSITE OF ADDICTION
For the cost of one bottle of wine a month, this group
provides access to a community of incredible women
all committed to challenging and
changing their relationship with alcohol.
IT'S WHERE WE DO - 'THE WORK'
If you've managed the odd break from alcohol here and there but 'somehow' ended up right back to where you left it, or are remaining sober but crippled with FOMO the likely explanation is that you've skipped THE WORK.
In The Sober Sofa Subscribers group, members do THE WORK. They address the core beliefs that support alcohol and develop strategies and systems to replace them. They also identify and release unwanted thought and feelings, before moving as a collective to a life that we no longer want to escape from.
In the 'Guides' section of group, you'll find a ton of regularly updated resources, including workbooks, journal prompts, exercises from NLP and EFT to tackle entrenched limiting beliefs that are usually correlated with problematic drinking.
In addition to all of this, members of the Sober Sofa Subscribers group get the following benefits:
😍 Weekly live training or guest experts (additionally available on catch up)
😍 Fortnightly Sober Circles hosted by me, where we can share, listen and support each other
😍 Peer led Sober Circles and an opportunity to support other women
😍 The entire content from The Sober Sesh programme (worth £97)
😍 An opportunity every single month to win a free one hour coaching session (worth £100)
😍 Daily motivational/accountability posts
😍 A community of women committed to achieving freedom from alcohol
😍 A complete guide to Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping)
😍 Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) exercises
😍 Workbooks and journals to support your journey
This group was created with the help of the women from this community, women like you and and me so that none of us have to do it alone.
I've poured all the resources into it that you need to challenge and change your relationship with alcohol, for good!!
I'm confident that you'll find the support you're looking for here and you'll have a whole 24 hours to settle in. If you change your mind within that timeframe, I will refund 100% of your money back to you. It's not actually happened yet, but the promise is there.
You can also cancel your subscription at anytime.
£2.50 a week isn't going to change your life, but this intervention just might....
See you on the inside,
All my love
(someone who's been there)