Lucy Rocca was a heavy and regular binge drinker for her entire adult life up until the age of thirty-five. Disguising an ever-growing dependency within the realms of acceptable social drinking norms, she did not consider her problem to extend to one of being ‘an alcoholic’ but knew, nonetheless, that she was not in control of alcohol. After a particularly heavy binge that landed her in hospital she decided to quit drinking altogether, and went on to found Soberistas.com in November 2012 – a social network website aimed at women with alcohol dependency issues. In the last three years Lucy has written four books on the subject of alcohol dependency, and now works full time as editor and director of Soberistas. She lives in Sheffield with her two daughters, and is a keen runner. She has been a happy Soberista for four and a half years.
The barriers that prevented me from addressing my alcohol dependency for twenty years - And how Soberistas.com seeks to address these
A major barrier that stood between me and seeking help to put an end to a twenty-year long period of heavy drinking was that I never perceived myself as an alcoholic. I was just a normal woman who ‘enjoyed a drink’. Except that I had no off-switch and I almost always ended up passing out or experiencing blackouts whenever I drank.
I set up Soberistas.com, a social network website aimed at women with alcohol dependency issues, eighteen months after I quit drinking because none of the help that was on offer at the time appealed to me. Core elements of Soberistas are its non-judgmental and non-prescriptive ethos, its non-religious stance and its positive approach towards being a non-drinker.
Research into the efficacy of Soberistas has been underway for the last few months – we have been working in partnership with Dr. Julia Sinclair of the University of Southampton in an effort to identify the factors that are behind the appeal and success of the website. With 34,000 registered members, we are witnessing a large number of people drawn to Soberistas, and many of these have quit drinking alcohol as a result of their interaction with the online Soberistas community.
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