Meet a Club Soda Expert
This is the second installment of our series introducing Club Soda’s expert members. Today, we talk to Louise Rowlinson, who has been running our popular series of “How to Quit Drinking” workshops, helping our members cut down and quit drinking alcohol. You can read more about Louise on her website A Hangover Free Life.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a general nurse who trained over 20 years ago. I’ve worked in both hospital and community settings, which included caring for alcoholic liver disease patients, plus the last 2 years I’ve worked in public health. I like study too so I’ve a degree in psychology and am currently studying a Masters pathway at the University of Cambridge in child and adolescent counselling. I’m a wife, mother to two primary school age children, and enjoy running. Volunteering as a Samaritan led me to run the London Marathon for them and currently I volunteer one day a week at a local drug and alcohol treatment centre. Meditation has become an increasingly big part of my life in the last 6 months too.
Tell us about your relationship with alcohol? Snog, marry or avoid?
I used to be married to booze but in September 2013 we divorced and so now I actually have time for my real husband! We decided to stop drinking together because the love triangle between us and booze had gone on for over 12 year and it was time for it to stop. Now I don’t feel the need to avoid as any love for the substance is gone.
What does “changing your drinking” mean to you?
‘Changing your drinking’ to me means using behaviour change tools to address issues you may feel you have around drinking. It’s the approach I used when I stopped and it worked brilliantly. I went from being an unhappy drinker to being a happy non-drinker as so much of stopping is about your emotional frame of mind not just putting down the drink.
What can you offer to Club Soda members? How does it help members?
I run the Club Soda ‘How to Quit’ workshop where I share all that I have learned professionally in the last 20 years and personally in the last 20+ months since I stopped drinking. The thought of trying to change your drinking can be really overwhelming so to have someone talk you through all the knowledge and tools you can use to help you achieve your goal is really helpful. If you want to see how some of the people who attended the first course are doing drop into the I Quit forum on Club Soda where you can see how they’re getting on ☺ If you can’t travel to London or would prefer to study at home I also provide the full workshop content online via a platform called Udemy where you can access all the same information and skills via downloadable presentations and handouts. It has lifetime access so you can study over as long a period as you wish matching the content to where you are in your journey to change your drinking. These are how to quit drinking hacks that do all the leg work for you so you can save yourself the hours of having to research the subject independently. It also means you are more likely to cut down or quit successfully because the hints and tips are tried and tested. I also write a daily blog over at ahangoverfeelife.com.
Why Club Soda?
Club Soda provides not just a virtual community but organised opportunities to meet other like-minded people in real life. Stopping drinking can involve a reassessment of how and who you spend your time with so having the option to meet others who are looking to change their drinking is invaluable. Having a supportive community is critical to successful behaviour change and one that is both virtual and accessible in real life is a bonus!
What’s your favourite non-alcoholic drink?
My favourite non-alcoholic evening drink right now is Blossom Cottage Morello Cherry Cordial. I like Amaretto Almond flavoured coffee in the morning and drink gallons of decaf and herbal tea the rest of the day!
Book your place on Louise’s upcoming workshops in 2016 at Kingly Court, 49 Carnaby Street, London, W1F 9PY.
To join Club Soda (for free), click here.
Thinking about doing a month off booze? Join the MOB for support & inspiration.