Daily Archives: 09/07/2014

My sober heroes

I was running today and thinking about sober role models and who mine are.  For me it has to be Zoe Ball and Norman Cook, aka FatBoySlim.

zoe ball


A couple of reasons really:

Zoe typified the ‘ladette’ culture here in the UK that was so prevalent when I was in my 20’s and 30’s and the picture above pretty much summed it up.  Hard living and hard partying that was me too.

zoe and fat boy

I am also a huge fan of her husband, who is world famous for his DJ work, and he is also a big raver – as was I (back in the day!)

These two people both together and individually were part of my cultural identity and happened to live in the same city as me, and me and MrHOF would see them out and about in the bars and clubs.  I saw us as like them (I wish!!)

But together in 2009 they decided to get clean and sober.  So if they could do it why couldn’t MrHOF and I?  They both struggled with alcohol and have been open about their struggles and their story just resonates:


“I wanted to give up drinking because my body couldn’t tolerate it any more and I didn’t really know when to stop and I hated myself for half the week.

“I’d wake up hung–over after a night out and think, ‘Oh God, what did I say? What did I do?’ It got to the point where I would drink a bottle of Sancerre and become the crazy, ranting woman.”

With the help of a therapist Zoë came off booze and three months later husband Norman went to rehab with the same intention. That was five years ago and they have both been sober since.


I get a completely different buzz nowadays. In rehab they taught me about euphoric recall.

‘When I’m in a situation where everyone is “having it” I have memories of the past coming back to me.

‘I get a natural high from remembering those times.’

Hell if they can do it I can do it.  Who’s your sober hero or heroine?

74 days to go