Sarah Connelly turned her back on alcohol over a year ago. She hasn’t given up drinking; she has just turned to alcohol-free drinks.
As she says herself, “life is too much better without it.” When she made the switch to zero-alcohol products, she didn’t know the avalanche of benefits she was gaining and is now so delighted with her choice and so clearly better off for it that most of the people around her have switched or are sober-curious.
Give us some background on yourself
I am a 47-year-old mother of 2 boys. Originally from the UK, I’ve lived here for 21 years. I am the Director of the Australian Product of the Year awards and my coaching business. I am passionate about helping others, especially in the areas of personal growth. I love learning and, aside from 23 years in Sales and Marketing, I am a qualified coach, yoga instructor, mindfulness coach and have studied counselling and psychology for many years. I love to be active and creative. Writing is a passion as well as my @sober_sommelier page and website soberupside.com.au reviewing alcohol-free drinks.
Why have you decided to move to non-alcoholic drinks?
I quit drinking 12 months ago for my mental health and to live a more fulfilled life. In November last year, I had my first girls weekend away as a non-drinker. I really wanted to feel included and to enjoy the weekend so I researched my options. At the time, I found one place online where I could buy decent alcohol-free options. I stocked up and took a case of alcohol-free champagne with me. It gave me the chance to really relax and enjoy my time without feeling excluded. I also found that I got the same experience of drinking something nice and sophisticated without the downsides of drinking alcohol, so I haven’t looked back. Since then it’s amazing the growth in this sector. I now have my own wine rack and drinks cabinet, all great quality and all alcohol-free.
What were the benefits you gained from lowering or stopping your alcohol intake?
So many. Number one is really liking myself again. I hated feeling disappointed in myself, so it was the best motivator for me to change. I also now have the huge benefit of clarity and perspective. I know that everything I do and the choices I make are done with absolute faith that the person in charge (aka me) is fully present and invested in the consequences. I can’t hide or numb myself anymore, and I find that there is real power in that. All my relationships have improved, especially with my kids and husband. More practically, I am so much more productive, I sleep well, I eat well, I exercise most days, my skin is better and I wake each day feeling great. It’s quite addictive!
Do you still drink alcohol sometimes?
No – I don’t judge anyone who does, but it’s not for me. Life is too much better without it.
How have people reacted when you decided to drink non-alcoholic beverages?
I would say at least 70% of my friends are now drinking alcohol-free, at least during the week. It’s hard to keep quiet about how great life is for me without drinking but I hope not to be too evangelical! I don’t talk about it a lot but people ask, all the time! People see you can still have fun without it, and lead a great life, so they become curious. I’d even dare to say that everyone around me now drinks less. And my kids are delighted and proud, which is the icing on the cake.
Do you have a partner in sobriety? If yes, who?
Not one person but the Instagram/Facebook community is incredible. I love seeing new people pop up every day who are taking charge, making changes and sharing their journeys. It’s inspiring and re-affirming that I’m not alone.
What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?
Where do you usually enjoy your non-alcoholic drinks?
I always take a bottle of alcohol-free with me when I go to dinner or to a friend’s place. I also enjoy a glass during the week from time to time. Sunday afternoons my husband and I often cook with a wine or two ( me AF and him the real stuff!).
Finally, to whom would you recommend making this choice
Anyone who feels alcohol is not serving them well in life.
Hard not to be inspired by Sarah’s story, right? Order your first crate of alcohol-free drinks from Craftzero, we have something for everyone’s taste, and start your journey towards becoming healthier, happier and prouder of who you are. Who knows, you might even become the inspiration someone else needed to improve their life!