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Ep 15: Exploring Alcohol and Family: The Power of Storytelling
Episode 1525th April 2024 • The Big Drink Rethink • Anna Donaghey
00:00:00 00:50:05

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In this episode, Anna has the pleasure of speaking with Helen Jeffery, an incredibly talented writer, performer, director, and creative facilitator who uses the arts to challenge and provoke debate around our relationship with alcohol. 

Helen’s play, ‘Buckled’, explores navigating sobriety in a world that revolves around drinking. The play focuses on three characters with different relationships to alcohol and centres around an impending wedding. It raises questions about why so many social interactions revolve around drinking and challenges the societal norm that not drinking is abnormal. The play is not preachy but aims to spark conversation and make people think. Both the play and Anna & Helen’s conversation, explore the importance of self-compassion and kindness when trying to change drinking habits. It emphasises the need to approach sobriety with a mindset of personal growth and emotional sobriety. 

The discussion also touches on the challenges of navigating social situations without alcohol and the importance of supportive relationships. The play 'Buckled' is highlighted as a powerful medium for raising questions and fostering empathy around alcohol addiction. The next steps for the play include upcoming performances, potential streaming options, and the possibility of a national tour.

Here are the Highlights:

00:00 Introduction and background

06:19 The relevance of ‘Buckled’

07:09 Navigating sobriety in a world of drinking

10:49 Dependency on alcohol affects characters' relationships differently.

14:43 Advising balance and boundaries, addressing generational alcohol issues.

16:35 Genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and social patterns

21:08 Son struggles with his mother's alcoholism and change.

24:14 Children of alcoholics cope with shame and hope.

25:48 Addressing shame and regret

29:09 Addiction is not your fault, but your responsibility

31:35 Advocate for self-forgiveness and personal motivation

36:13 Navigating social situations without alcohol

36:38 Focusing on percentages helps in stopping drinking.

41:21 Navigating social interactions after giving up drinking.

44:04 Personal growth and changing relationships

47:58 Theatre, education, raising questions, more to come.

50:48 The future of 'Buckled'

About the host Anna:

Anna is a certified Alcohol Mindset Coach, trained by Annie Grace of This Naked Mind. Drawing on her own journey out of alcohol addiction, she now helps others explore and control their drinking. With a career spanning 25 years as a Strategist in the Advertising industry, she combines her own lived experiences, with great insight into what makes us tick and what influences us to behave the way we do.

Connect with Anna:





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About Helen Jeffery:

Helen is a writer, performer, poet & graduate of the Playwright’s Programme at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. She has had several plays produced including, ‘The Brink’ and ‘Gun Metal Blue', which won the Blink.Theatre Award for New Writing in 2017. In March 2024, Helen’s latest play, ‘Buckled’ opened at the Shakespeare North Playhouse Studio and she is a featured artist in the UP NEXT FESTIVAL at Unity Theatre, Liverpool next month.

Alongside playwriting, Helen has been writing and performing spoken word since 2018 and has performed at various events in the North West including ‘A Lovely Word,’ and ‘Give Poetry a Chance.  In January 2022 she published her debut poetry pamphlet, ‘Journey’ and is currently working on putting together her first full poetry collection. Helen also works freelance as a creative facilitator, leading writing workshops with children, young people and adults from a wide range of communities. 

Link to tickets for Buckled on 3rd May in Liverpool:

Connect with Helen:








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