My (Not) Drinking Diary, Laura Willoughby

Welcome to my The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I’ll be chatting to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.

Laura runs the awesome Club Soda, a movement to support you on your drinking journey. Club Soda’s MO: Cut down on alcohol, stop for a bit, or quit. We’ve got your back. The Club Soda online site enables you to set goals, track your progress and get their weekly blog email – I have written a few bits for CS & particularly love their super supportive FB group so check it out if you need a boost. Laura is super inspiring, and a fellow tea lover, read on and enjoy!

Quick Bio

Name: Laura Willoughby, MBE

Location: London, England

Bio: Laura is a campaigner by heart and whilst trying to find a way to help people to change their drinking seems to be building a movement.

1.What led you to think differently about drinking?

I knew I had to do something all my life. Drinking killed my dad and like him I could pack it away. But something just clicked when I was 38. I knew it could not go on, I knew I was ruining my life. I set a date, told friends, quit with someone else. I seemed to have by accident created a perfect storm. now I want to help people do that too. 

2. How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?

I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I would lose to much. Do I want to drink moderately? Whats the point of just one drink – see some things don’t totally change 😉 

3. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted? 

 Living life in high definition. I am staggered about how I consider myself a kind and sensitive person but that I totally stunted my only emotional growth and resilience by using alcohol for such a long time. Feeling life sober is transformational and often very hard.

And I am still clumsy and forgetful. I thought that would get better 🙂 

4. What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?

You have so much more time. Drinking and hangovers are just a waste of time. I have also learnt to trust my gut instinct. It is hard to do that when you feel guilty and tired.

5. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?

 There is so much time in the mornings when you get a good nights sleep. I am trying to disrupt my morning routine at the moment – I will do exercise, I will do exercise …

6. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?

 I have become such a tea snob since giving up drinking. Not bad for someone who never drank tea till 3 years ago. I love my Matcha tea in the morning. 

7. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free) at the weekend? 

I love the theatre and one great joy of changing my drinking is remembering the second half. I normally find something arty to do at the weekend. Culture needs concentration and energy. 

8. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?

Starting a business is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am quite focused on gaining the skills to make that work. But I also realise I need to learn to make time for myself, so this year I am focusing on that too.

9. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?

 Beginning to rekindle my passion for walking and considering the benefits of long-distance. 

10. And finally, thinking differently about alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this? 
You will feel discomfort. When you are on your own, when you get pressure from other people, when you do your first party sober. But it does get easier. Like a broken limb that painful feeling will slowly subside and being without alcohol when everyone else has a pint will begin to feel more natural. You may not even notice that switch. Ride the discomfort. It won’t kill you and it will be worth it in the end.
Follow Laura & ClubSoda on Instagram Twitter & check out the Club Soda website here!
Insta & Twitter