Healing Charlotte Podcast: Molly Ruggere, Counterculture Club

Molly Ruggere is on the podcast today speaking about her work as a Certified Life and Alcohol Freedom Coach as well as the alcohol-free social community she has created, Counterculture Club. It’s a global alcohol free community based in Charlotte that includes a monthly membership for virtual events 2x a week, in person events, and group coaching. Local members meet several times a month for events such as yoga, Whitewater center, dinners, etc. All of the events are alcohol free and are not limited to women who are sober or alcohol-free. Many of the members are looking for alcohol free spaces and can give those who are curious a way to dip their toe in and see if it is for them or can prove to themselves that they can socialize without alcohol. Member have found excitement by getting through events outside of the club without alcohol and realizing it was a crutch. Molly started the group in 2019 after she was in her sobriety, put tools together for herself, and done the inner work. After all of this she was lacking the like-minded community of women. During the pandemic, she opened up membership to include virtual events and saw membership increase quickly as well as members from all over the world. Alcohol consumption increased during the pandemic and especially for women making this group so important as a resource.

“It’s very hard to exist in a society as a non-drinker when everyone around you in drinking and we are getting these messages constantly that alcohol is what makes you fun and sophisticated and sexy. So we have to do a lot of mental de-programming to see our relationship with alcohol honestly and do some inner work.”

As an Alcohol Freedom Coach, Molly helps people work with their mindset to address their relationship with alcohol. She has found that people have found the impact alcohol has on their health and their relationships. She believes that this coaching and therapy can complement each other well. Coaching is more future-focused with actionable steps.

“Coaching is a partnership. I’m not coming at it from an expert perspective. I’m more of a person that’s here for accountability and to help you step-by-step pull out what you need to do so that it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming and it doesn’t feel like a lonely journey of accomplishing your alcohol-free goals.”

Molly loves working with people who are ambitious, creative, curious, out-of-the-box thinkers, and open to change. For self-care, she utilizes really listening to herself and being honest about her needs. She has ever-evolving tools to take care of herself including journaling everyday. She has found that she can tune in better to herself without the influence of alcohol. Molly wants to heal Charlotte because she grew up here and has enjoyed seeing how collaborative and supportive the city has become. She is inspired by 2 local healers; Rebby Kern who is a Yoga Instructor and Social Justice Warrior and Sam Diminich with “Your Farms, Your Table” for his work in employing people in recovery as well as creating a community for service industry workers in recovery called “Ben’s Friends.”

“It {alcohol} doesn’t even come up because it’s not relevant. It’s not what we are focused on. We are really just focused on having fun and connecting with other people. That’s the message and mission behind it.”

For more resources on living alcohol-free, Molly suggest the book “Sober Curious” by Ruby Warrington or to visit Counterculture Club website. Molly is also a writer for many publications on living alcohol-free.

If someone attends an event in your home that is choosing not to drink, Molly suggests the following:

  • have non-alcoholic drinks available, not just tap water
  • don’t make a big deal about it
  • don’t pry or ask for more information

You can stay up to date with Counterculture Club by visiting their website, Instagram, Facebook, or email countercultureclubclt@gmail.com.