Lucy Rocca is part of a revolution that is happening in the UK. With binge drinking accepted as normal Lucy realized there was really nothing that offered an alternative to alcohol saturation. When she woke up to the fact that alcohol was ruining her life and became alcohol-free she also realized that there wasn’t enough support out there.
Lucy started the UK based site Soberistas.com which provides support and connection for anyone wishing to be alcohol-free. Lucy’s passion lies in helping others escape the misery of alcohol dependence, and in reducing the stigma associated with addiction. She is the co-author of The Sober Revolution and Your 6 Week Plan, and the author of Glass Half Full, all published by Accent Press. Since getting sober Lucy has rediscovered life and loves running, reading, the cinema, spending time with my two gorgeous girls and fiancé Sean, and of course writing.
1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
In April 2011, I settled down one Wednesday evening with a bottle of white wine and a magazine in the apartment I shared with my daughter (who was staying with her dad for the night). After about an hour the usual panic set in because I had almost drained the contents of the bottle, and began to worry about having to spend the night sober. I walked up to my local supermarket and succumbed to a buy-one-get-one-free offer on wine, buying two bottles instead of the one that I had intended.
Fast forward three hours and I was lying on the ground outside my apartment block, unconscious and vomiting. My dog was standing nearby, her leash hanging down by her side. Luckily for me a friend drove past on his motorbike and discovered me there in the dark. He took my dog home and called an ambulance, and the next thing I was aware of was lying in a hospital bed under glaring white lights, the stench of my own vomit all around. It was 3 am.
I vowed there and then never to touch alcohol again and have stuck to my promise.
2) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
I was absolutely mortified about what had happened on the last night I drank and was consumed with shame and self-loathing. I didn’t leave the house for several days as I was so frightened that I might bump into someone who had witnessed me whilst unconscious. After a few days I began to feel the first glimmer of hope that life might actually be easier minus the booze I had drunk so regularly and in such volume for the previous 20 years. I liked waking up fresh and with no memory blackouts. My anxiety lifted and I felt more aware of my surroundings. But there were moments of abject panic, when I desperately wanted to buy in some wine and numb my emotions again – I didn’t, however, because I was terrified of the consequences, and of having to go back to the beginning of my recovery process.
3) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?
Never being depressed or having panic attacks, both of which seriously affected me as a drinker; being a much better parent and partner with none of the guilt I used to experience when I drank alcohol; I look a million times better; I notice and absolutely love the small things in life in a way I never used to – the birds, the trees, the sun rising and setting. I love how much time I have in the evenings, time that I have utilized writing my books and running Soberistas.com, as well as spending quality time (that I remember) with my children and fiancé. Life is a million times better without wine – there’s nothing I miss about my drinking days.
4) If you could go back in time to you when you were drinking/using what would you tell yourself?
Alcohol isn’t helping you cope with your problems – it’s causing them.
5) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
I have found out who I am – I had no idea who I was when I drank, I was a completely different person. I’ve learnt how to be true to myself and I understand my needs and emotions in a much more intuitive way now that I’m not messing up my head with booze. I have learnt to like myself, and no longer feel the need to run away from life.
6) Tell me about something wonderful that happened to you recently that never would have happened if you had been drinking.
Becoming a published author was pretty amazing. I have always wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl but I never got beyond a few chapters as a drinker because alcohol always got in the way of everything. I had such little self-belief when I drank alcohol but getting a publishing contract really helped restore my faith in myself.
7) What are your favorite recovery slogans?
Change is a process, not an event.
Live life on life’s terms.
8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
Recovery rocks for so many reasons – mostly it’s because being sober allows you to be as you were intended to be. I feel as though I understand the world so much more without alcohol fogging everything up, I get what life is about and how I can make the most of my time on earth. Along with that awareness comes all the benefits that being more in tune with yourself bring – a happier family, more productivity, closer friendships, self-fulfillment. When I drank I was half the person I am today, and I never looked further than the end of the day when I could legitimately crack open the wine without looking desperate – I wasted so much time worrying and recovering and drinking. The gratitude I feel to be alive and for everything I have in my life today is enormous.
Who would sacrifice that in exchange for a life half-lived?