While drinking is regularly celebrated in pop culture (Drunk History anyone?), there is a percentage of the population whose celebration has somehow morphed into a combination of brutal hangovers, anxiety attacks and fear-riddled thoughts of both quitting drinking and continuing to drink. If this is you, don’t sweat it! While learning how to live without alcohol and/or drugs is not the easiest thing you will ever do, you are also very lucky to be facing this issue in 2017, when the olive branches for help are essentially full-grown trees.
Allow Me to Introduce You to Noelle
If you are a woman and you don’t know who Noelle Van Vlierbergen is, you should. She is not only a writer and a sober example of feminine strength and inspiration but she is also the force behind Sober Moxie—a community for women (sorry fellas) that offers group and individual support along the journey of recovery. And for those of you new to the sober game, “journey” is not meant in some evasive or new age-y way; all we really mean here is that getting sober is the first step in recovery but the really amazing stuff happens (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) over the course of a lifetime.
People often think that there has to be some grandiose or catastrophic event, some kind of impossible-to-ignore “bottom,” to justify quitting drinking. But for Noelle, the decision to “stop the crazy” just happened one morning when she woke up with yet another debilitating hangover. She didn’t seek out rehab or 12-step groups; she made the decision to quit on her own terms.
Was this successful? Noelle puts it this way: “If you ask me what my first six months of sobriety were like, I have no recollection. It feels like lost time.” What she does remember is that she somehow learned to take baby steps, starting with getting past 6 pm every day without having a drink. But things began to get better once she found relief through a combination of community, physical activity and daily action, which helped quiet her mind and open up her up to a happy and peaceful sober existence.
She’s Bringing Supportive Back
Through her experience, Noelle realized that what people who are facing big life changes really need is support—a fierce and personal advocate as well as a community of peers to walk beside them on their path towards physical, emotional and spiritual balance. While medical attention is sometimes needed when recovering from alcohol and/or drug abuse, there is a huge component to staying sober that is fed by personal development. Noelle noticed that there was a very real lack of non-clinical support for people in different stages of recovery. She knew she needed to take action.
Sober Moxie was born out of Noelle’s understanding that collaboration paves the road of recovery. People often need the help of others to bring about positive changes in their lives and set goals for their future. Noelle decided to work exclusively with women because she intimately understands the dilemma of having to put yourself first in order to heal. But she also knows first hand how powerful the transformation can be once the fog of addiction begins to lift.
As a recovery coach, Noelle takes a very hands-on and holistic approach to recovery. “I believe wholeheartedly in the mind-body connection and that we’re in constant search for balance,” she says. “My clients are typically looking for this alignment and aware that how they get there is entirely up to them. That willingness is everything.”
This Sounds Amazing! How Do I Get Involved?
Women who sign up to be part of the Alliance on SoberMoxie.com receive an exclusive invitation to join its closed Facebook group—a fiercely supportive place where bold women can meet to share thoughts, experiences and triumphs in recovery. Members of the Alliance also receive a monthly newsletter that provides them with the latest tips and hot topics in the areas of self-care, lifestyle and, Noelle’s favorite, bold inspiration!
Debuting in 2017, Elevate Intensive is Sober Moxie’s extensive curriculum that is based on Noelle’s upcoming book, slated for shelves this spring. Designed for women who are interested in gaining more awareness, perspective and practical daily guidance, this program will help them unlock the mystery of the sensitive soul. Elevate Intensive aims to teach women how to recognize and process feelings, become present in their bodies, dispel old thoughts and behaviors that keep them stuck, explore what predisposes them to addiction and introduce the Credo—12 core principles that are the backbone of Noelle’s coaching practice.
Her Passion, Her Vision
Noelle is fired up about the work she does with Sober Moxie but she knows it’s just the beginning. And so she works every day towards building a bigger, bolder and more powerful community of women who will change the face of recovery. Her vision is to help create an event for women in recovery that celebrates who they are and their journeys while also providing a forum for learning and sharing their power and wisdom. “I definitely have a vision,” Noelle says, “and the ideas continue to percolate!”
In addition to her recovery-oriented blog on Sober Moxie, Noelle is the creator of Sadies’s Spark, an inspirational resource that encourages women to ignite their lives. Her book will be released in 2017.
Photo courtesy of SoberMoxie