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Period Story Podcast, Episode 18: Mandy Manners, Respecting My Body Has Been Part Of My Sobriety

On today’s episode of Period Story podcast, I was so pleased to speak with Mandy Manners. Mandy is a mindset and recovery coach who coaches women to harness their decision to go sober, to pivot from surviving to thriving in all areas of their lives. She’s also a co-founder of Love Sober, a hub for one to one coaching, workshops and community, and hosts The Love Sober podcast with Kate Baily.

Mandy and I had a wonderful conversation about the impact of alcohol on women, the role the menstrual cycle plays in alcohol addiction, and of course, Mandy also shared the story of her first period.

Mandy shared the moment in her thirties when she felt she really learned about her period and the effect this change had on her.

Mandy talked candidly about the impact going sober had on her period and menstrual cycle. She also shared fascinating research around the points in our menstrual cycle where we will potentially be more triggered to drink alcohol. Have a listen to hear Mandy talk through an insightful example of a woman who planned her alcohol recovery treatment around her menstrual cycle.

Mandy talks about the steps women who are struggling with their alcohol consumption can take to get a better sense of control. She says that support and community is so important, as well as having an open mind about changing their habits and I completely agree!

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MANDY’S BIO

Mandy is a mindset and recovery coach. She coaches women to harness their decision to go sober to pivot from surviving to thriving in all areas of their lives, she also works to raise awareness and to destigmatise experiences of trauma, mental illness and substance use disorders by telling her story.

A mother of two, fluent in both English and French she works internationally and online. 

Mandy is the Co-founder of Love Sober and the Love Sober Podcast with Kate Baily and their first book Love Yourself Sober, A Self-Care Guide to Alcohol-Free Living for Busy Mothers will be published 04/09/2020 by Trigger Publishing. Love Sober is the hub for 1-2-1 coaching, courses, workshops and community.

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SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Le’Nise: On today’s episode, we have Mandy Manners. Mandy is a mindset and recovery coach who coaches women to harness their decision to go sober, to pivot from surviving to thriving in all areas of their lives. She also works to raise awareness and to destigmatise experiences of trauma, mental illness and substance abuse disorders by telling her story. She’s a co-founder of Love Sober, a hub for one to one coaching, workshops and community, and also hosts The Love Sober podcast with Kate Baily and their first book, which is very exciting, Love Yourself Sober, a Self-care Guide to Alcohol Free Living for Busy Mothers will be published in September this year by Trigger Publishing. Welcome to the show.

Mandy: Thank you for having me. It’s a timely conversation, I think, so I’m excited.

Le’Nise: So, let’s start off with a question I ask all of my guests. Tell us the story of your first period.

Mandy: Well, I got my period quite late, I think I was 14, I’m pretty sure fourteen or fifteen. I remember it feeling very, very late in comparison to my friends. And I was away from home, I was staying with some friends that I used to go and stay with in the summer in Kent. And it was quite funny because it was that summer of, like lots of things happening. I remember having a conversation with my friends beforehand and they both had their period and we were talking about sex. And I was like, so if I haven’t had my period, granted, I’d never kissed a boy at this point, like if I haven’t got my period and then I can have sex and not get pregnant. And they’re like, yeah. And I was like, oh, my God, I’m like, totally just going to have all the sex, even though I’d like, not kissed a boy. And then I got my period and I was really disappointed. Oh, man. And then I kissed a boy and then I got boobs all in that summer. So, I kind of came back to school and ever was like, wow, what happened? You know, that kind of transformation. So, I was really excited. I was ready and I wanted it to happen. And then, you know, after I had it, I was like, oh, it’s not that great. I’d never had any really bad kind of PMT or period pains or anything, I was quite lucky, really. So yeah, that was my first one.

Le’Nise: You were away from home for your first period. How did you know what to do?

Mandy: Friends. I mean, luckily, I was with two friends and they were sisters and they just sorted me out, you know, gave me some pads and their mum was quite open so I talked to her, they just helped me out with it. And I mean, everyone else had had their period, so I’d seen everyone and I’d kind of had sleepovers where people had leaked and, you know, the trauma of all that so I was pretty well prepared. I mean, I didn’t talk to my mum about it. I think being that age, that bit later, I was kind of already shut off to those conversations with my mum. So, I remember she kind of asked me once and I’m like, yeah, it’s fine and that was the end of the conversation. Bless her I mean, I think she would have loved to talk more openly, but I was closed to that conversation.

Le’Nise: You having had your first period, and gotten the support from your friend’s mum, then how did you carry on your education around menstrual health? What did you do?

Mandy: Well, that was it. To be honest, I mean, I had no sort of education around menstrual health up until I’d say, my 30s. I had the basic information from my friends. I read a bit on the back of packets of tampons about, you know, how to use them properly. It was a big shift for me from going from towels to tampons because I really didn’t like sort of external bleeding and I was really ashamed. And also, I had two older brothers. So I had that kind of rhetoric within the home of like, oh, it’s gross and like, you know, so I kind of just shut up about it really, and didn’t have any connection with my menstrual blood or anything until I switched to cups when I was in my thirties. And I think that was when I really learned about periods, really.

Le’Nise: What made you make this switch, so you started with towels and then you went to tampons and then you switched to a menstrual cup, which even now is still a bit unusual?

Mandy: Yes, it was. Well, because I had two kids and I just started to kind of feel tampons and it just didn’t feel very nice. And I had a conversation with a friend, I live in France, and she was like, “oh, you know, I switched to a cup” and I’d seen them, you know, and been intrigued. But she’s really tiny, I mean, she’s a size 6 and I was like, I’m sure it works for you but… and she was like, “No, no, no, I actually have quite heavy periods”, so I think that’s kind of an assumption we make about people. So, she’s like, “Just give it a go” and she gave a really brilliant piece of advice, it was like, just stick with it because it will take about three months. And I’m really glad she said that because at the beginning it was quite kind of messy and I wouldn’t get the position right. And, you know, and there were moments where I thought, oh, God, I’m just gonna give up with this. But I’m so glad I stuck with it because, well, A, I don’t pay for any kind of sanitary pads or anything anymore and it’s good for the environment and I really like it. And I actually really like that connection with my cycle, and I thought I had so much more blood than I actually do. And I probably only have two days where I have to kind of change it really regularly. Other than that, I can change it twice a day or something. So, yeah, it’s been a great change. And I’ve actually recommended it to quite a lot of my friends and I’ve got four friends now that have switched to cups, which is great. And we’re having more conversations about it now, so, yeah, I definitely recommend it to people, but just, you know, it takes a bit of time and work, you know, to kind of get it right.

Le’Nise: Yeah, it definitely does take time. I’ve been using a cup for probably about five years. And I remember when I first started, I was just like, how am I going to do this? I don’t know how this is gonna work for me. And then there were lots of accidents. And at one point, I was just like, should I switch back to tampons? But using tampons never really sat right with me. And I actually noticed that when I actually properly stopped using tampons and really gave the menstrual cup a go, my periods actually got better because I used to have really, really painful periods. And I think that, you know, sometimes with the tampons, some of the cotton, you know, you see it coming out afterwards. And I think that was having a really negative effect on my periods. I mean, this is all me hypothesising, I don’t know for sure, but yeah, I definitely agree with your advice of just sticking with it because it can be really life changing. Financially, you’re not spending so much money on tampons and pads and just in terms of changing menstrual health, it can make a massive difference.

Mandy: I’m so glad I did. I mean, it’s difficult because my daughter’s now 13, so maybe we’ll talk about this a bit more. But, you know, so she’s going through that experience and it’s difficult because, I mean, I think she’s too young. I mean, I don’t know. Do you have any advice for young kind of pre-teens, sort of that age group? I want her to be comfortable and I want it to be easy. But certainly, for me, using towels was the worst because it was just like I just didn’t enjoy having that exterior blood all the time. So, I don’t know. I mean, what do you have any advice?

Le’Nise: I don’t have a daughter myself, but if I think about the other women who’ve been on the podcast with daughters and the other women I’ve spoken to with daughters, have a conversation early and often, you know, let them be really familiar with what’s going on with you. You know, talk to them about your menstrual cup, talk to them about your experience of having a period, but also let them know that about what’s normal and what isn’t normal, because what I’ve seen so far in doing this podcast is that, if women have a period that is what they think is normal but isn’t actually normal, so really painful periods, really heavy bleeding, then they pass down that idea of normality, quote unquote, to their daughters. And then we perpetuate this cycle of thinking that periods are supposed to be painful, they’re supposed to be kind of like a horror show. And it doesn’t have to be that way. So, you know, I guess there’s a couple of people who’ve come on the podcast who talked about giving their daughters like a little gift to celebrate their first period. One woman, she had a period party for her daughter. So, yeah, definitely starting the education early and then just making it not a taboo, you know, removing that idea of shame and just having normal conversations about it, just like you would with any other health issue.

Mandy: Yes. I mean it’s interesting ’cause we live in France and her kind of sex ed at the moment and it’s taken from a very biological point of view. So, they’ve been studying the body and the changes of the body and part of that is periods. And so, she’s had about two weeks of talking about periods which she’s found very uncomfortable. You know, and the boys are making jokes and that whole thing. And they’ve even had kind of exams about it. And she was just like I don’t understand why we have to go into so much detail. You know, everyone has talked about it. And know it’s like I get it that it feels embarrassing right now, but you definitely will feel grateful for this information later and you’ll feel grateful that the boys know about it, too. It just ties in with that time in your life where you’re very self-conscious. So, it’s like, I get it, I get that you’re self-conscious but actually, this is all really good learning. Yeah. I mean, I’m just so glad that people are talking about it more because there’s nothing shameful in that. You know, Sharon, London Artist is my friend, so I listened to her episode with you and that, you know, that shame of hiding tampons up your sleeve and that whole thing that we do, it’s just like, yeah, enough. I wonder from a kind of feminist point of view, I wonder if there is something tied with that patriarchy of, you know, you get to do the thing we can’t do, which is produce life. So, we’re going to make it this whole shameful thing. I don’t know.

Le’Nise: I think definitely with younger people, there’s less shame because the conversations are more open. I mean, we can’t speak for everyone, but certainly the women I’ve spoken to in their 20s, they really left that idea of shame behind and, you know, it is what it is. And so, what if someone sees your tampon, you know, or your pad. Why is it a big deal?

Mandy: Yeah. Long may it continue.

Le’Nise: So, let’s talk a little bit about how your journey from drinking alcohol to becoming sober and what effect that had on your period and the quality of your menstrual health.

Mandy: Yeah, well, it’s really interesting, the cycles of change within women can be very kind of trigger points for maladaptive behaviour with alcohol and there’s so little data. You know, the first research was done in the 1990s of, you know, how alcohol affects the women’s body, which is just incredible, you know and because of periods because I was reading about it this morning, because beforehand, you know, we were seen as unstable data resources because we had such fluctuation in our change of emotional state. And so, they just disregarded women from studies about alcohol and just focused on men. And, you know, now, there’s so much in that, there’s the fact that now the research is mandatory, so we have a bit of data. The fact that, women on the whole, drink to change their mental state, whereas men drink for social bonding. So actually, the reason why we use alcohol is very different. There are periods within your cycle where you will be more triggered to drink than not because they call oestrogen the gas pedal for substance use because it influences the neurotransmitters in the brain and so dopamine, GABA, glutamate, which is all kind of related to alcohol use. So actually, I think it’s actually the luteal period which is when you’ve got more progesterone. That’s actually kind of a better time for women in terms of being able to stop drinking. I mean, there’s never gonna be the perfect day so, you know, I always say to people there will always be another party and another wedding, so do it today. But certainly, you know, in terms of triggering or relapsing, I don’t really like that word, but in terms of going back to re-learning is a nice phrase to drinking alcohol again and then stopping again.

Certainly, you know, before ovulation is a really bad point for women. There’s so much about that we’re learning about the craving brain and stress that modern women have, and that’s a lot of reasons why women are drinking too much. And also, we have generally more fat in our system and less water and so we have more likeliness to get dependent on alcohol than men because they have more water to kind of break down the alcohol in the system or so we don’t have an enzyme, or very little of an enzyme called dehydrogenase, which is what breaks down alcohol in the system and women have very little of that and men have much more. So actually, when you start getting data on women’s drinking, it’s extremely bad for women’s bodies.

And so how has stopping drinking affected my menstrual health? Well, I’ve had to learn different tools to look after my stress responses and my moods. You know, I don’t numb out my emotions with alcohol anymore. So that kind of self-awareness and using healthy strategies have helped. I certainly don’t get any menstrual pain anymore. I made the switch to cups since I’ve been sober so I think that that shows the way that I treat my body and what’s in my body and how I feel about respecting my body has been, you know, part of my sobriety and I feel very strongly, it’s been a massive journey of self-compassion and me letting go of shame, of, you know, past mistakes, me facing trauma, me looking after my mental health, because a lot of my drinking was to do with an underlying anxiety and depression. And so, all of that has had a positive impact on my body and so because of that, my menstrual health.

Le’Nise: So, you said so many interesting facts there. So, you said that oestrogen is the gas pedal for substance abuse. And that’s really interesting because if we split our cycle into two parts. So, the first part where the bodies really focused on conception, we have more oestrogen than we have more testosterone. And typically, this is actually the time when it’s a good thing to start something new because, you know, we’re more confident during this phase of our cycle, we’re more social, we’re more open to change. And so, I can see how that can be a negative as well, in terms of, if you have a tendency towards addiction or substance abuse that rise and that, we call it that kind of exuberance, can be a really negative thing.

Mandy: Yeah, I mean, they call it the party period. So, you know, it’s a part of that excess exuberance, etc. Whereas, I think it’s the second phase when you’ve got more progesterone in the system, it’s called the brake pedal because you’ve got increased GABA. So, you’re more relaxed and you’re more poised.

And actually, I was talking to a woman yesterday who said, using her own language because I don’t like to label people, she’s a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. And when she went into treatment, when she finally wanted to stop, she went in specifically for two months to have a full menstrual cycle, because, I mean, this is back in the 90s. She’s been sober for 18 years, but she felt like she binged, or she went to exccess, you know, within her cycle. And so, it was really important for her to have that two months in order to go through that full cycle, to be able to cope with all those parts of her period, which I just think is incredible insight. And again, it comes back to how we’re treating addiction and mental health in the fact that, as a woman, we need that time, so a program that’s a month long, it’s not going to be particularly accessible or useful. And it’s absolutely fascinating.

So, yeah, I mean, I think there’s a link between progesterone levels and neuroplasticity. Like, we’re more open to changing within that period as well. So, again, all the data’s really, really new but it’s certainly an area that I’m really interested to investigate more. And again, with the menopause, it’s it seems to be a very key point where women are drinking more because of this massive change. We have so much in our lives which is impactful and traumatic as women. Just giving birth is hugely traumatic. And if you look at the brain in the areas that are affected and susceptible to alcohol use disorders, you know, a brain that has any trauma is much more susceptible as well as a brain that has any kind of mental health issues. So, if you’ve got post-natal depression or you had a traumatic birth and then you’re kind of lonely and you’re stuck at home and you’ve got this whole change in your social situation and hormonally, you know, you’re extremely susceptible to alcohol use disorder. And this is a point where marketing and alcohol industry is like, drink wine, have pink gin, take strong alcohol. I think back in the day, I don’t think anyone realised it’s like smoking, no one realised how impactful it was. But certainly, you know, alcohol producers now know how detrimental it is to women’s health. And they still target us, which is why I guess part of being sober is that activism. And that’s what I love, because it’s like actually, I love myself enough to make good choices about my health. 

Le’Nise: You mentioned that the one woman you spoke to who, when she went into recovery, she built in her menstrual cycles. Do you build that way of thinking into your work with other women?

Mandy: We’re in the process of writing Our Sober School so that the first three months to help women with the change and part of that is looking at where you are in your female experience, and especially as a mum, are you a young mum with young kids or are your kids leaving home? And so, you’ve got that kind of, what do I do now? Are you perimenopausal? all of these things are impactful. So certainly, it will be part of the programmes that we’re building.

And I mean, the frustrating thing is, is there’s so little information out there. So, you know, every day I read something and I’m like, oh, my goodness, like, this is another thing. You know, what’s great about it is that we will keep having these conversations. But for sure, it’s hugely important. And for women to know that, okay, like watch out for this, like your oestrogen levels are rising and this is gonna be difficult for you, this part of your cycle. So maybe don’t go to that party that weekend, you know, just sort of go in your woman cave and stay in bed and look after yourself. Be mindful living of choosing when and what you want to do. And so much of women’s drinking is social anxiety and because we’re introverted or we’re highly sensitive and, you know, we’re putting ourselves in positions to be social when actually it’s not the right moment. And, you know, you can feel it. And one of the great things about when you stop drinking is that you become more connected to yourself. And you know you’ve got that feeling in the pit of your stomach of I don’t really want to go, but we ignore that, we ignore all these red flags of I’m too stressed or too tired or I’ve got period pains or whatever. And then we drink because we don’t really want to be there anyway. And when you really want to do something, you really want to do it. There’s no doubt in it, it’s just like, yeah, because it’s people that you love and its people that you trust, and you know you’re going to have a great time. And especially when you’ve got kids, we’re tired and it’s okay to be tired, we’re not we’re not 18 anymore and that’s okay. And the things we did when we were 18 were age appropriate but doing it when you’re 35 or 40 and a parent and responsible for others, it jars with our values, it’s like I know that I shouldn’t, I don’t want to be hung over because that’s not cool. You know?

Le’Nise: What you were saying about the alcohol marketing, and I think culturally in the UK there is a real link between alcohol for women and having a good time and then there’s also this connection with wine o’clock. So, you have kids and you’re just looking forward to that time when it’s culturally appropriate to have a glass of wine and that’s when you can start your drinking. And it’s been really interesting for me since I stopped drinking, to shift away from that, that idea that I need to use alcohol to tamp down my experience of having a child because having a child is so traumatic that I need to drink and moving away from that. You said something about alcohol being really detrimental to women’s health. And I think that’s a really important message because, we talked about hormones, but our livers are where we detoxify our hormones. And when we’re drinking, our body prioritises getting rid of alcohol over all of our liver’s other functions. I see this with my clients where when they actually reduce their alcohol intake or stop drinking altogether, it has a dramatic effect on their health, their hormones, their periods. So, I think it’s really important for women to really take a look in detail in the kind of cultural messages that they’re taking in and really ask themselves, well, why do I need to have a drink because it’s wine o’clock? Do I really want this?

Mandy: Yeah. I mean, people can do whatever they want, I’m not an abolitionist. Well, I don’t think the world would be a worse place if alcohol didn’t exist, but it is here. But it’s about having an informed choice, you know. And we don’t have that. And especially for women, people don’t know this stuff and even stuff I’ve read this morning, I’m like, oh, my goodness, I did not know that. I knew that we weren’t involved in the experiments about alcohol on the body before 1990 but I didn’t realise it was because we have periods and because that makes us unstable subjects, and who knows that? I mean, I read books about sobriety every day but the average person.

And what you said about the social messaging about it being a treat, it’s really, really important and, I’m quite lucky that I grew up, I’ve lived in France for the last 12 years where alcohol advertising is actually really heavily monitored and they can only advertise, it’s called the Loi Evin law, there’s no advertising on sports events for alcohol. And you can’t advertise alcohol to be aspirational or romantic or in any way seen as a treat or part of a social structure. The only thing you can advertise is, you know, where the wine comes from and the vineyard and the heritage of it, that’s all. You can’t use it in any way aspirationally. And so, when I come back to the UK, I have that comparison and my kids say, we’re on the tube and they’re like, oh, my goodness, Mummy, alcohol’s everywhere, and it is and we’re not immune to that kind of messaging. And since I’ve been talking with friends in France about the UK and the US and what’s going on with alcohol for women, they’ve said that they’ve started to notice how much drinking there in American series, people are watching TV and they’re having a glass of wine and you just don’t have that in French culture.

Not to say there aren’t problems with alcohol, there definitely are because it’s a drug and it’s addictive, so it’s still there but certainly the messaging and you know, mummy needs wine and I mean, I saw something yesterday which was for a tin of wine, and it says for your purse, for your desk and for the good days and for the bad or something, and it was like, that’s really wrong. You’re advocating using alcohol to self-medicate. So, there’s a lot of work to be done. But, you know, I really love that you’re interested in this. And, you know, I’d love for you to come on our podcast, because, I mean, it is hugely important for women to see that it does impact on their menstrual health, another good reason to be sober really.

Le’Nise: What would you say to a woman whose been listening to this podcast and she’s starting to question some of the messages that she’s internalised about alcohol and starting to think, oh maybe it is having an effect on my period and the amount of pain that I’m experiencing, what would you say a logical next step would be for her?

Mandy: Be a detective really, take an investigative point of view and just go day by day and go, right, okay, I mean, I will caveat that if someone thinks that they have alcohol dependency, if they are drinking a lot every day, if they struggle to go a day without alcohol, if they have got physical symptoms like shaking, if you are in any way concerned you should see your doctor because there could be withdrawal, it could be very severe for someone that’s dependent so you need help. If you associate as what we call a grey area drinker, so you drink, you know, at a wedding and never think about it between times but you’re not kind of drinking heavily throughout the day, for example, then take a day and see how it feels. Take another day. See how it feels. And just keep that going. If you try and project, right, I’m going to stop for a year, it’s incredibly intimidating. So just take it day by day and just go, oh, how does this feel, write a diary from the start date, how do I feel today? What was hard? What was good? And keep going. Get support, I mean, we have a free community that people can join. It’s really, really helpful to hear other women’s stories and be in connection with other women and then just keep going day by day and just recognise that the first month you will be detoxing, so it’s not the nicest period. So, keep going, after two months, how do I feel? What would three months feel like? And just keep that investigative spirit and note the changes really see like, oh, my skin looks better, my eyes are brighter, I don’t have as much pain when I get my period. That’s how I would approach it. Get support, document the changes and just have an open mind about it.

Le’Nise: What do you think about things like Sober January or Stoptober?

Mandy: I have mixed feelings. I mean, it’s very good because it’s a good excuse for people to say, oh, I’m doing dry January, because it’s quite hard to sort of start. It’s very good in terms of inquiry, like, how easy is this? How hard is this? You know, can I do it or not? And those are all indicators of perhaps where you are on the dependency scale, because, you know, alcohol dependence, it’s not just black and white. You could be very high functioning, doing really well and still have a drinking problem. I mean I, and I don’t class myself as an alcoholic, but I certainly had a problem with drinking and I certainly drank. I binge drank and I drank, to numb my emotions, etc. I think the difficulty in the kind of problem with month challenges is that people tend to just white knuckle it and, you know, just rely on willpower and then they get to the end of the month and it’s kind of like, oh, I’ve done my goal and then you just go back to exactly the same habit and that’s coming from personal experience too because I definitely did that many, many times and then it was like, oh, I don’t have a problem and then I just go back to how I was before. So, I think certainly it’s a good way of having a bit of inquiry but look at it as your first milestone, not a goal to achieve because when you achieve a goal, then you just go back to the same sort of behaviour as before. Whereas if it’s a milestone, it’s kind of like doing a marathon, you know, you’re like, yeah, one mile, keep going, two miles, two months, whatever, keep going. It’s good and bad and certainly some of the marketing around it is slightly interesting, especially Stoptober I think, which is for a cancer charity, and then you’ve got these messages which don’t talk about alcohol and cancer at all. Anything that gets people to investigate and ask questions I think is great.

Le’Nise: What you’re saying is they need to go into it with the right mindset and really look at it as an opportunity to change their habits rather than just thinking of it as one month of white knuckling it, as you say.

Mandy: Yeah, 100%. Yeah.

Le’Nise: Tell us a little bit more about the community that you founded, Love Sober.

Mandy: Kate and I are both coaches, so we work with one to one. I tend to work with people that have already stopped drinking and now it’s the what now question, it’s like I’ve done this, but then it’s, I want my life to represent this change. We’re writing a programme for a sober school which will be very much that sort of mindset and habit change which will be available midway through this year. We have the book that’s coming out in September, which is kind of a quick flip book for mums, because I think we’ve recognised that mums have a lot of stress, a lot of overwhelm, we’re caretakers, we’re looking after everyone else and we lose the ability to look after ourselves or never had it. And so, it’s a key area for women with their drinking. And then we have a free Facebook group, which is great. There’s about 250 women all around the world and we focus very much on positive sobriety. So, you know, it’s not about abstinence and this being really hard, it’s about, what do I get? So, you know, we have treat Friday. So, it’s like, okay, you know, what are you going to do as a treat today? Like have a nice bath or, buy yourself some fresh flowers or, meet a friend for coffee or go to bed early, change the sheets, clean your bed, have a nice cake, whatever. It doesn’t have to be that your life is miserable because you don’t drink. It’s about finding other things to add in. We focus on yoga and health and mental health and just peer support, you know, helping each other out, telling our stories, there’s no shame. It’s for sober and sober curious women. So, if you haven’t stopped drinking, but you think you want to then you’re most welcome to come and blog and we do a daily check in. So, for some people it’s day one again but you learn something, you know, what did you learn? Let’s crack on again, it’s fine. And I couldn’t count how many day ones I had., I had so many. I first stopped drinking when I was 25 and I’m now nearly 40. I stopped before I got pregnant with my first child. Then I stopped because I had a very bad period of depression and burn out from work when I was 32. And then I finally stopped when I was 37. So, you know, it’s not a path that is linear for many, many people and that’s fine because you keep learning and you keep just doing the days and you keep understanding something about yourself and you can always come back and try again.

Le’Nise: And so, if listeners could take one thing away from what you’ve been saying, what would you want that to be?

Mandy: Just that we have one precious life. There might have been things that suited you at one point in your life, but they don’t suit you anymore and that’s okay and we’re allowed to change, and you can change and, but you need support. So, whatever that looks like, it might not be our group, that’s fine, there are so many groups on Facebook. Go on Instagram and follow #sober or #soberlife or #lovesober and reach out and connect with people. The impact on your menstrual health will improve. I’m so happy that you’re sober and it’s helped you, so that’s amazing.

Le’Nise: So where can listeners find out more about Love Sober if they want to join the Facebook group, how do they do that?

Mandy: It’s probably easier just to go to the site so it’s www.lovesober.com and then there’s a click link to the community. You can join our newsletter. We just do one newsletter a month, which is just a little pep talk and then kind of what we’re up to, who’s on the podcast? We have a lot of guests on the podcast. I’m on Instagram @mandy_love.sober or our main page is @love.sober.co so you can just send us a message there.

Le’Nise: Brilliant. Thank you so much for coming on the show today, Mandy.

Mandy: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you. I really value what you’re doing and I think it’s amazing and I really, really hope this resonates with people and I’d love for you to come on the podcast and talk a little bit about the female experience and the female body and how what we put inside our body can impact on our menstrual health, I think it’s fascinating. Thank you.

Le’Nise: Thank you.

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