Personal Story: Anna Sudbury Sober - from frazzled, snappy mum, to sober, and happy

Personal stories involving alcohol have a unique way of captivating our attention, don't they? They often offer a glimpse into the complexities of human experiences, vulnerabilities, and growth.

In a culture where alcohol is deeply ingrained, like in Ireland with its reputation for excess, sharing personal stories about a person's breakup story with alcohol can be particularly powerful. It challenges the norm, breaks down stereotypes, and helps to normalize choosing not to drink in a world where it can sometimes feel like the odd choice.

So, allow me to introduce you to Anna Sudbury, a remarkable sober coach on a mission to support moms in navigating life without alcohol. 

anna sudbury sober coach in a pink shirtI’ve always been a drinker. My parents drank, my mates all drank. I’d had a couple of stabs at quitting, and even made it through Dry January once (praying every day for February to start!). But nothing ever lasted for long.

In May 2019 I was sitting on a plane with my family coming back from a weekend with friends. It had been a big, boozy weekend, off the back of a big boozy week at work. Working in advertising meant lots of drinks and socials. It was fun - but it was exhausting. I tried to sleep but the chatter on the plane was too loud. I couldn’t focus on my book because I was worried about how I’d cope with the week ahead on a terrible hangover, on the back of bad sleep, and with crippling hangziety. There was no distraction from the voices in my head saying I had a busy work and family week ahead, and I wasn’t in a fit state to deal with it.

I decided then and there to stay off the booze til the following weekend. A few days off the drink would reset my sleep, give my anxious brain a break and give me space to hang out with the kids, right!? It seemed like an obvious quick fix to the problem, and I was sure I could lay off the white wine for a few days.

And I did it. I made it to Friday alcohol-free. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that hard either. I started to sleep better, with no inner voices waking me up at 3am. I went for a run, no longer putting it off because I was too knackered…. and moving my body felt really good. I played with my kids - down on the floor, building Lego, doing funny voices at story time proper play.

It’s so easy to fob your kids off when you aren’t feeling great, and I’ve never been that mum who adores hands-on play with her kids. But I found it easier, more fun, and hugely rewarding to do it without the booze. And they LOVED it. 

They were so excited that I was hanging out with them in an active, engaged way. They were easier at bedtime that night, because I’d given them the attention they craved.

So it made sense to stay dry that weekend, and when that weekend was behind me - with less anxiety, better sleep and strangely, my face starting to look less puffy - I committed to doing a month alcohol free. What had changed from my previous attempts? I wasn’t desperately waiting for the end of a sober month, ready to dive into some Chardonnay. Instead I was staying curious, not overthinking it, and leaning into the benefits - enjoying morning workouts, Sunday morning pancake breakfasts and nights that I fully remembered.

sober coach Anna Sudbury in front of a green plantWhen I hit a month, I pushed on for 100 days. There is real magic in of 3 months free of booze. It gives your organs time to recover. It allows your sleep to reset. Your skin looks better. But also, you just kind of know yourself more. You’ve had time to see what alcohol brings to your life, and what it takes away. You’ve had some big firsts - nights out, perhaps a wedding, maybe a holiday. You’ve established a whole new way of being - and you can choose to continue, or to go back to how you were.

Because when you give up alcohol, you don’t give up for life. That’s too big and long for my brain to process. I ditched the booze day by day, and continue to do so. Choosing that means I’m choosing peace, and rest, and happiness, and joy. I’m choosing to be present in my life, even in the messy bits. It’s a full life, and a happy one. I’d love to show you how to get here.

How to reach Anna: 

Instagram: annasudburysober

Substack: annasudburysober

Facebook: annasudburysober



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