#241 – Fear, Breast Cancer and Alcohol with Lucy Rocca


Lucy Rocca from Soberistas joins Veronica to discuss how she got through the fear of her breast cancer diagnosis. She shares how exercise, mindfulness, and meditation helped her keep the fear at bay and how she made a choice to respond to cancer from a place of empowerment.

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about this episode

“I felt really lucky that I’d got this whole array of tools that I was able to tap into because of sobriety. They kept me afloat in a very difficult period.” – Lucy Rocca

Lucy Rocca is the founder of the social network website Soberistas.com. After quitting drinking alcohol in 2011, she realized there was little in the way of help and support for people who are perhaps best described as “grey area drinkers” – alcohol dependent on a psychological and emotional level but not physically addicted. After launching Soberistas, Lucy went on to write 5 books on the subject of women and alcohol use disorder, all published by Hachette. She now also works as a life coach and sober coach and has helped hundreds of clients over the last five years to better understand their relationship with alcohol in order to adopt a sober lifestyle. Lucy is committed to breaking down the stigma associated with problematic drinking patterns and is passionate about sharing her story to help others.

In this episode, Lucy and I discuss:

  • How the conversation around sobriety and alcohol has changed over the past ten years
  • The normalization of not drinking and the increased awareness of mental health
  • Shifting drinking culture among younger generations in the UK
  • Why Soberistas transitioned into a charity and its vision for the future
  • Lucy’s breast cancer diagnosis and the importance of mindfulness and meditation in managing her mental health.
  • Staying positive and emotionally resilient during breast cancer treatment
  • Mind management and emotional wellness
  • What a healthy reaction to a cancer diagnosis looks like
  • How people often use alcohol as a coping mechanis
  • The complex link between alcohol and breast cance
  • Being present, expressing gratitude, and finding peace despite challenges
  • Support lines for breast cancer
  • What the future looks like after finishing treatment

key highlights

Soberistas: From Private Company to Charity

Soberistas initially started as a private company to maintain independence but recently decided to transition into a charity due to the economic climate and the benefits it brings in terms of investment and funding research projects. Over the next ten years, the goal is to reach more people through Soberistas and invest in technology to make the platform more accessible and intuitive.


Lucy’s Battle with Breast Cancer

For Lucy, the decision to stop drinking played a significant role in her ability to cope with her cancer diagnosis. Luckily, her cancer was caught early and was localized, allowing for the tumor to be removed without the need for further surgery.

Lucy reflected on the irony of her worries about breast cancer when she was a drinker, only to be diagnosed with it later on. When she was drinking, it was easy to lie to herself and neglect important health appointments. In sobriety, mindfulness and meditation were crucial tools that helped her stay positive and manage her fear during the difficult period of her treatment.


The Link Between Alcohol and Breast Cancer

Certain types of breast cancer are more linked to alcohol consumption and the risk increases for those who drink three glasses of wine a day or more. However, the relationship is not as clear-cut as with smoking and lung cancer. It’s important not just to focus on alcohol but also to maintain a healthy lifestyle overall, including exercise, weight management, and not smoking.


Coping Strategies and Support Systems

Lucy credits therapy and the support she received from breast cancer helplines as key pillars that helped her to cope after her diagnosis. She found comfort in talking to people who had gone through a similar experience and could understand her feelings. The week after treatment is often particularly difficult as the survival drive mode drops and the fear intensifies. Lucy admitted that she fell apart at the end of her treatment, more than at any other point during the six-month journey.


Empowering Yourself in Your Health

Lucy’s experience highlights the importance of choosing your response to difficult situations. Her story is a testament to the power of sobriety, resilience, and the importance of a supportive community and her journey serves as an inspiration to all those facing similar battles and underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

resources mentioned

Connect with Lucy Rocca


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