No Labels: Clare Freeman | OYNB 104


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Does making one big change make other changes easier to make? For example, can changing your relationship with alcohol also make it easier to make other healthy lifestyle choices? Can it give you the confidence to follow your passions professionally or personally? In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Clare Freeman. Clare has reached 775 days entirely without alcohol at the time of this podcast recording. She’s also built a successful business and hosts a popular podcast of her own.

In today’s interview, Clare talks about where she was just three or four years ago. She describes herself as just drifting and existing amid a turmoil of stress, grief, heartbreak, and exhaustion. While she outwardly looked like she was doing well as an award-winning BBC producer, but internally, she was making unhealthy choices like drinking excessively and overeating to avoid her feelings. She’d even begun to ask herself if she was an alcoholic.

“What I was stuck with was I knew I wasn’t an alcoholic, but I knew there wasn’t something right.”

Clare concluded that she wasn’t an alcoholic, and she decided that a group like AA wouldn’t be right for her. She believed that alcohol was part of her problem, but she didn’t want to be labeled as an alcoholic for life and she didn’t believe that the AA approach would be useful for her. She attempted to moderate her drinking, but she didn’t feel as if that approach would work for her either. Then she found One Year No Beer through Catherine Gray’s book, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. She explains that the difference she saw in the ONYB community was that the people were really moving forward, thriving, and living their best lives. Clare believed that that was the kind of community that she could do well in also.

Clare shares how she felt when she reached the last day of her 365 day challenge, and why it wasn’t the grand event that she expected it to be – but also why she felt driven to keep going. She also talks about how she handled challenges to her sobriety, and how those challenges still present themselves, even after close to 800 days of being alcohol-free. She goes on to talk about her work and even explains how she came to give her podcast consulting business its distinctive name, A Small Furry Bear Productions. Listen in to the episode to learn more about Clare’s journey, life, and work.



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