For our October Newsletter we sat down with Wendy Slaughter – a Maryland native, and the founder of Elevate Real Estate Brokerage. And the mother of twins!
Wendy found her own path to give up alcohol. She heard about Annie Grace’s thirty day alcohol free program where each day participants receive two motivational videos and are placed in a Facebook support group. In this program, accompanied by Annie Grace’s book Naked Mind, she learned the “different layers of why people drink”. At the end of the program, Wendy just kept resetting the timer.
Our founder, Beth Harbinson, met Wendy through a networking group but encountered Sobar at a Howard Community College event where she was in “a phase of my life where I was sober-curious, but still drinking alcohol” Ultimately, Sobar fulfilled our mission that night. Wendy realized she “could be out and not be drinking alcohol.” When I asked her what her first reaction was to one of our mocktails, I received a warm smile. “I couldn’t believe how good the drinks were.”
Wendy joined the sober community in 2019, at the start of the pandemic and her story is truly inspiring. We all know the pandemic amplified the need to drink, and she was no different. At the time, she was dealing with a stressful family situation. She knew she needed a clear head. She never thought she had a problem, but in her words: “I wanted to drink less but I couldn’t.” She describes her reliance on alcohol as a “spiral of awfulness.”
I asked her how she stays on her alcohol-free path and learned that she turns to books written by sober women and Instagram. She was excited to provide her recommendations that include Russel Brand’s Recovery which is a modern take on Alcoholic Anonymous’ twelve steps, Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington, and Laura McKowen’s, We are the Luckiest. She also loved Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker.
But why books? She started by saying that “we need to be open with one another with the path that works for each person.” Most of the books she reads focus on the science behind why we crave alcohol and the dirty marketing behind drinking. She admits that sometimes it “felt easier to want to be drunk, but the truth is when you play the tape, you’re still sick, tired, and after that hour you still have your problems.”
To end our interview I steered us towards how recovery has changed her life. Wendy began with a relatable grievance. “Not drinking is still not normalized. If I told people that I wouldn’t do cocaine anymore, people wouldn't ask you why but when you don’t want to drink, people always ask why.” I think that captured one of the main challenges of recovery - the judgment and negativity around not drinking.
Wendy, now three years sober, has dramatically changed. A few weeks ago, she drove to a wine store to get great alcohol-free mixers, saying “but I deserve something special too.” She fell in love with mocktails through our Sobar in a Box kits. “They made me more comfortable in a social scene. Everyone else is having something pretty so I'm going to have something pretty too.”
And Wendy’s advice?
“Have confidence to know if you need to change the path, but don’t question your intuition… You are the only one who knows.”
A little bit about the writer
Hi! My name is Jasmine Sonpar, I am a senior at Mount Hebron High School. I have a parent who is a recovered alcoholic. I grew up going to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, hearing many in recovery share their story. I remember learning about the importance of choice, and how being in recovery is hard – especially in our society - which often tells us drinking alcohol is part of becoming an adult.