Hola Sober OCTOBER


Ann Dowsett Johnston is the bestselling author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. Now a psychotherapist, she also teaches her online memoir-writing course. https://www.instagram.com/anndowsettjohnston/ https://twitter.com/anndowsettj?lang=en https://www.facebook.com/ann.dowsettjohnston

So, where is the good news? With the pandemic has come a revolution in modern recovery. Women—and men--are recovering out loud, beyond church basements, eschewing anonymity. For me, as I am about to turn 13 in sobriety terms, the sisterhood is strong—witness Hola Sober. I will close with a story. A few years ago, in the autumn, I was in Thailand for an alcohol policy conference, staying at a ritzy hotel. To be specific, The Four Seasons—thanks to a dear friend. The attentive hotel manager knew I was celebrating a birthday that was important to me. She checked my passport, and realized it wasn’t my belly-button birthday. She had her staff google me. They came up with the cover of Drink. That night, post dinner, they presented me with the elegant cake pictured above: possibly the best birthday cake ever. So, this is my birthday wish, as I blow the candles: let the adult conversation begin about women’s drinking. Let’s name it for what it is: a tragic epidemic in a pandemic, a marketing manoeuvre gone terribly wrong. Let’s not go quietly into that good night, numbing ourselves at kitchen tables, isolated and alone. Let’s link arms. Let’s call out the pinking of Big Alcohol. Let’s recover loudly, rescuing our sisters from dying quietly. Happy birthday, Drink. And in the words of the immortal Maurice Sendak: “Let the wild rumpus start!”

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