Hola Sober April 2024

The power of touch and of our senses is something I have underestimated until my life in sobriety. A little something to have and to hold took on a whole new meaning to me as I started navigating my new life without alcohol. Touchstones, having something simple and small to touch, to see and feel when the stresses of the day arise, have been such a comfort for me. I began making bracelets for friends in 2022 to express my love and support, wanting to remind them that they are never alone with whatever unfolded over the day. In the beginning I would stamp little messages, bead short sayings in morse code and make special charm bracelets for soberversaries. We say here at Hola Sober there is no such thing as coincidences in life. Well, I believe this to my core. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting up with Susan when she made her whirlwind trip across the United States. I wanted to make her a special bracelet that represented Hola Sober and all that the community means to me. I created the Roots bracelet and gave it to her the day we met for coffee. It is a moment I will forever hold in my heart. Susan shared with me a story from her plane ride over sitting beside a woman who found comfort in her. Really, this is no surprise to any of us! Much was shared between them, but that is her story to share. However, towards the end of their flight, the woman wanted to give Susan a token of her appreciation. She pulled out a Tree of Life charm - the very same design as the button I had placed on the bracelet.

Talk about goosebumps and tears welling up! It was at that very moment I knew I was being nudged to create touchstones for those in sobriety and recovery. AB Touchstones was formed and introduced at the first Gathering in Dublin. It was such an honor to share one of my first creations with the women there. To feel the love and support from so many of my sober sisters, whom I consider my family, is truly an unforgettable experience. I am so grateful for this community and the amazing women who inspire me in my daily walk. Hola Sober and everyone here will forever hold a special place in my heart and with AB Touchstones. I am so very touched and honored to be able to pour my love into the touchstones you wear. Love Annette Bowen x. ( Susan’s Additional Note: There was a woman next to me who boarded the plane very intoxicated on my long haul to the USA last June. She was causing a disturbance and even argued with the flight attendant. Initially, I kept to myself, but she started talking to me, and something unexpected happened. I suggested she drink some water and try to rest, speaking to her with a gentle tone as if she were my child. After she woke up, she ordered more alcohol, and I offered to have coffee with her telling her I was sober whereby she broke down and explained to me that all she wanted to be was sober. She had tried and failed and so I then shared Hola Sober with her and it was magical. I now call her my Tree of Life lady )


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