A London Lockdown Conversation with Emily Syphas, Founder of Sober & Social

A London Lockdown Conversation with Emily Syphas, Founder of Sober & Social

Sobriety is NOT boring!

Sober and Social, who would have thought these two words could ever work together? Well, they do and all thanks to Emily, who founded an alcohol-free movement in London called Sober & Social. Since I started my sober journey I was always looking forward to places like this. 

Whether you are looking to learn more about sober options, meet new sober friends or simply give a sober night out a trial run, Emily’s parties are perfectly suited and welcome for all. 

I’ve also enjoyed her mocktail making insta-stories and cannot wait to attend the next party post lockdown. I was very curious to learn more about Emily, her sobriety journey and what she has been up to during this lockdown in London.

I asked, she answered…

Hello Emily, how long have you been sober for? Sober birthday?

I have been sober for two years and about one month. My sober Birthday is the 6th April.

What was your drink of choice?

Lyres Vermouth Rossi and Aromatic Fevertree tonic water

Three words that describe you prior to getting sober?

Chaotic, messy and unreliable.

What was your rock bottom?

I didn’t have a massive rock bottom but I did have years of the same destructive cycle that led me to feel very depressed and anxious. As an all or nothing person I very much never knew when to stop which became unmanageable by the end of my drinking.

Who/What inspired you to get sober? 

I went to therapy, read various books including Annie Grace – The Naked, Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober by Catherine Grey, William Porter Alcohol Explained and Jason Vale How to Quit The Drink easily. Exercise became my night out I would regularly go to Barrys bootcamp and do yoga to keep me on track and really invested in my daily meditation. I also set up Sober & Social which really gave me the accountability I needed to stay on track.

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This page isn’t just how fucking fabulous being sober is (although it is FYI) but it’s also about being honest 🙌 . .This choice is by far my proudest achievement and the best decision I have ever made but at times it’s REALLY hard🤘🏻 . .I drank for 16 years of my life and it’s how I taught myself to deal with my emotions. Feeling stressed? Glass of white wine.Feeling happy? Glass of champagne? Feeling lonely?Beer. Feeling bored? Red wine. Feeling lost?cocktail Feeling sad? Rose🍷 . .I still have difficult emotions and sometimes having to sit with them and not being able to escape the moment, the situation and the feeling can be difficult 🙂 . .I handle this by doing the below👇🏼 . .Knowing our emotions are temporary and they will pass💥 . .Meditate EVERY morning🙏 . .Exercise – this is so crucial I wouldn’t be sober without it. It makes me feel better and clears my mind🏃🏼‍♀️ . .Phone a friend – speaking about how we are feeling with someone who loves us to help us make sense of things and give some perspective 🤗 . .Today I am 1 year and 8 months sober and wouldn’t have it any other way🍸 . .In the words of Billy ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ 💪 . .📸 @hannahf_london

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“I also set up Sober & Social which really gave me the accountability I needed to stay on track.”

What was your greatest challenge in the first year of sobriety?

Learning to be with myself and doing everything for the first time without a crutch.

How did you deal with PAWS?

I didn’t have massive withdrawals but I do remember feeling more tired and using cigarettes to help me through the early months of being sober.

How did former drinking buddies react to your sober journey?

I was really lucky with my friends that there were very understanding and supportive.

What advice do you have for those among us that are sober curious?

That any amount of sobriety is good sobriety. By not drinking for any period of time you will feel benefits and hopefully this will encourage you to explore for longer each time you do it. I feel there we can always learn about ourselves and there is no better space to do this then when we stop drinking.

What excites you now that you never would have imagined would excite you before you got sober?

Just getting out of bed every morning without a hangover. I don’t dread the day which is truly magical.

What advice do you have for anyone who has recognised that they are perhaps drinking a little more than usual during lockdown and would like to get sober?

To get a strong morning routine in place which not only gives a reason to get up in the morning but means you have done something good for yourself before the day has even started. Getting this in place will hopefully discourage you from drinking as much if you know you have something non – negotiable to do in the morning.

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Monday Motivation💥 . .Today our founder @emilysyphas is TWO YEARS SOBER. We asked her to answer some questions for this milestone💁‍♀️ . .WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING SOBER? The fact I get to wake up every morning being the best version of myself. This doesn’t mean every day is easy but it means every day is truly my own. I feel more aware of myself and am able to make better decisions for my life💥 . .WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR SOBRIETY? Feeling my feelings before I would escape from these and in sobriety I have to face them and when life gets difficult it can be really tough just to sit with them. That’s why meditation and running have become so important to me so when the going gets tough I have some positive outlets to fall back on💥 . .WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGH POINT OF THE PAST TWO YEARS? Starting Sober & Social and finding something I’m truly passionate about and believe in. I genuinely believe cutting out or cutting down alcohol makes us healthier and happier humans and want to encourage others to explore this as much as possible. Holding a 200 person sober event @boxsoho with @dj_fattony_ and @seedlipdrinks 💥 . .WHAT HAS BEEN A LOW POINT OF THE PAST TWO YEARS? New Years Eve 2019 was one of my lowest points mentally. Life certainly isn’t smooth sailing just because you’re sober but it is better💥 . .TOP TIPS FOR ANYONE WANTING TO START ON THEIR SOBRIETY JOURNEY? .1) Read books – check out The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober @unexpectedjoyof The Sober Diaries @clare_pooley Untamed by @glennondoyle We Are The Luckiest @laura_mckowen Quit Like A Women @holly Recovery by @russellbrand Alcohol Explained @alcoholexplained The Naked Mind @thisnakedmind The Inner Fix by @motherheart and @persialawson 💥 . .2) Find a sober community – this could be from traditional methods such as AA @intheroomsofficial , joining @joinclubsoda, attending sober events @morninggloryville @dybrkr @love.sober.co @sobergirlsociety @soberdave @janeyleegrace @proudandsober💥 . .3)Find some accountability- this could be getting up for an exercise class,checking in with a sober friend, going to therapy or a meeting💥

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“Any amount of sobriety is good sobriety.”

Last question, how are you staying sober and sane during this lockdown period?

By starting my podcast Sober Sips and doing my morning routine –  I like to meditate, read a chapter of my book, 20 minutes of yoga and a 20 minute run.

Thank you for the lockdown conversation, Emily!

Learn more about Sober & Social & don’t forget to follow Emily on Instagram

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Sober Sips podcast!


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