I met the founder of Sober Culture at an awesome inspiring photo shoot put on by (hopefully) one of my future interviewees Ericka Murdock of Shapely Louise. Christine had this light that was just undeniable. She was funny, inviting and just a dope chick! Once I got to know her I just knew I had to interview her. Then I found out that she is a founder of an organization out here working to actively make a positive impact and was “introduced” to her VP Natalian. Their story of overcoming and wanting (and making) a difference locally.
Please introduce yourselves and give some background as to how you met and decided to launch Sober Culture.
Christine Lee, President of Sober Culture. I have struggled with alcohol abuse for about 10 years. I have been sober now for 2 years. It was a fight to get to where I am and now I know my purpose, to help others who feel defeated with substance abuse.
Natalian Johnson- Vice President of Sober Culture. Alcohol abuse is something I struggled with for many years. I became Sober in 2012. The journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I saw Christine’s story on Facebook and I messaged her to let her know how Proud of her I was. She came up with idea of Sober Culture and asked me to Co-found it.
What was the process of you creating this movement together?
We met on many occasions and had so many ideas of what we wanted Sober Culture to be. We knew we wanted to reach the youth and young adults. Substance abuse starts early for so many.
What is your definition of living your best life and how does that tie into the mission of “Sober Culture”?
Christine- Living my best life means literally living life to the fullest. Enjoying every moment and person in my life. Sober Culture helps our youth to find the light again in the dark place they may currently see themselves. We want them to enjoy life in a healthy manner and avoid some of the mistakes we made. If they are currently struggling with substance abuse, we want them to understand they can beat it and still live their best life.
Natalian- For me, living my best life means being healthy, happy, and full of joy. I’m able to do that now that I’m alcohol free. I want people to know that you can still have fun while being sober!
How do you define success for this movement that you have created and explain how this entity developed?
Success means having an impact on one person at a time. Helping someone who can never repay you is a grand feeling for us. We know what it is like to feel lost or out of control. We want our youth to feel alive again and to have not just hope but true victory. This entity developed quite easily because we both have a common goal and that is loving our youth. I like to call Natalian and I meeting a divine connection. God joined us together for this purpose.
Sober Culture seems to be antithesis to the dominant culture how do you “sell” this idea to generations of people groomed to think differently?
The thing about Sober Culture is that when people hear our message or mission, it taps into a void that is within our culture that no fad or trend can fill. No matter what nationality, religion, financial status a person may achieve, substance abuse doesn’t discriminate or care. There are so many people hurting and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope that we MUST show them a health alternative to dealing with their problems. We also MUST show them a healthy alternative to having fun. Being sober does not mean you are boring.
What are some of your short-term and long term goals?
Short-term would be to continue to cater to the needs of the youth and help them develop a healthy lifestyle and fight against peer pressure.
Long term would be for Sober Culture to be National! To be able to travel near and far to tell people about our stories and how if we overcame, they can too!
What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned starting “Sober Culture”?
It takes a lot of work! It’s not something that just happens overnight. We have wanted to give up sometimes, but then we think about all the people that need us. The people who need to hear our stories! That’s what keeps us going.
Christine I know you recently wrote a book, can you explain the journey to becoming an author?
I wrote the book within a couple of months. Actually putting out the book took me a couple of years because of pure fear. I was terrified at one point to put my story out there. I was afraid to be judged. I was afraid of what people would think and say. Once I put the book out there I felt so free. It was so therapeutic for me to put it on paper and get it out to others who I knew could relate. I have received so much great feedback. Now I know that I did the right thing. At the end of the day, people still have negative things to say about my past but my concern is on all the people it has impacted in a positive manner.
Where can one purchase your book?
I work independently so I accept orders through paypal. paypal.me/domestiquechic/15 Their shipping address can be added to their order with this site.
How can someone support this movement? What are the two or three things you need right now?
If anyone would like to connect with us, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and our social media info for FB and Instagram is @soberculture. We need likeminded individuals who would like to help with our mission. Mentorship, activities and fellowship is important to us. If anyone believes they can contribute in these areas, they can contact us.
Aren’t they GREAT challenging our status quo and working to not only save lives and empowering youth and others to change their lives. Please support!