Sobriety & Motherhood: A Virtual Panel

Friday, May 07, 2021
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
On the Soberocity Zoom

About this Event                        

Sobriety & Motherhood is Soberocity’s way of honoring all sober Moms for Mother’s Day. This raw panel will dive into each panelist’s journey to sobriety and how it not only enriched their lives, but the lives of everyone in their families.

This virtual discussion is hosted by Randi Newton, journalist and writer for Vice, Playboy, and Soberocity. Our panelists include: Model, Television Personality, and Private Investigator Sarah McSweeney, Author, Harm Reduction Specialist with The Sidewalk Project, and Host of the Sober Mom SquadJen Elizabeth, Michelle Smith of Recovery is the New Black, Founder of Out Loud Recovery Martha Duke, and Erin Ranta of REVA Recovery.

Please send your questions to be asked to the panelists during this Zoom seminar in advance to by 7pm EST on Thursday, May 6th.

Key information

  • Tickets are free for anyone who RSVPs, you will receive the Zoom link on the day of the event
  • You will need to be able to access Zoom or a telephone line to attend this virtual event 
  • Please email us at should you have any accessibility requirements for attending this event

The Panelists

Sarah McSweeney: Sarah is an international model, chef, brand ambassador to MTTM - a feminist clothing brand, an art director, and a mental health and addiction activist. Her claim to fame was being featured on The Real Housewives of NY while her sister Leah was a main cast member on the show.

She was born and raised in New York City and has lived on both coasts of the US as a successful fashion model working for a long list of brands on campaigns, catwalk and editorial. 

Having learnt life's lessons the hard way Sarah now gives no f---s and expresses herself through her body and imagery as her heart pleases. 

During the 2020 pandemic, Sarah worked with her Mother, Bunny, to ensure anyone struggling with their mental health had access to resources and treatment. They also collaborated on a public forum with her sister Leah, to which Sarah moderated, for an open discussion on mental health and addiction. This evolved into a weekly mental health check in Zoom session every Friday at 3pm. 

The Zoom session is free to all and serves as a support group for anyone struggling during these trying times. To join the support group, send a direct message to Sarah on Instagram @lilmcsweeney.

Jen Elizabeth: If you were to ask me when my addiction started, I would tell you it began the day I was born. Many people try to argue which is the gateway that leads a person down the road to a life in addiction. My gateway was childhood trauma. The key to the gate… my shame.

My addiction was an abduction disguised as freedom. Freedom from the shame that had consumed me ever since I can remember. I am a daughter of madness. Growing up in a home that was suffocating in mental illness and sadness. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

I was taught silence. I was shown darkness. And I grew to hate myself for it all. I don’t think anyone sets their sights on drowning in addiction when they grow up; homeless and hopeless, wandering the streets like an animal without a home. But that’s exactly what happened to me. That’s exactly what I became.

In 2011 I came face to face with the nothingness of my existence. And a tiny spark ignited in my heart that finally believed I was worth more than dying that way. Today I am silent about nothing. I stand tall as a speaker and an advocate, a writer and a published author. I became a mother and woman of honor. My purpose is to show what a healing woman looks like; to leave a lighted path for anyone who may be searching for a way out of their own darkness.

We are not alone. We are worthy. We can heal. I love you.

Michelle Smith: Michelle is an author, TEDx Speaker, Podcaster, host of Sober Mom Squad, and founder of Recovery is the New Black, a digital community for moms in recovery. As a wife and working mother of two, she fell into the "mommy juice" drinking culture. Michelle found a way out and has been in recovery from alcohol abuse since 2016. As a certified addiction and mental health counselor, she provides services to other moms who are seeking supportive alternatives to a boozy culture that tells us alcohol is an accessory to motherhood. Michelle has 20 years of experience in the field of addiction medicine and behavioral health treatment.

Martha Duke: Founder of Out Loud Recovery, Martha Duke is three years sober from alcohol. A single mother of two raising her boys in Manhattan. Out Loud Recovery isn’t just a blog, but a mission to break the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery. Through sober meet ups, Instagram and podcast appearances Martha shares her story of surviving childhood trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence to come out the other side sassier and stronger than ever. Being a Sober Mom is among her greatest joys. With an obsession with ice coffee and her favorite artist Prince she breaks the sober stigma by remaining true to herself with the motto “sober not dead”. 

Erin Ranta: Erin, who currently lives in NYC, is a native of Seattle. She grew up dancing ballet and modern dance, and has been a Pilates Instructor for 13 years. Erin has been sober for 5 years, and has recently began a new career as a sober coach, and is co-founder of REVA Recovery Support (a supplemental movement/meditation/coaching program for people in any stage of sobriety, looking to level up in all areas of their lives).

Erin is on mission to help people, when it comes to sobriety. Her story became quite extreme after 20 years of drinking and drug use, she ended up with extreme liver disease in 2015. In and out of the hospital 12 times, frightening people in AA meetings with her yellow eyes and skin hue, and coming to terms with the priest who came into the hospital room to discuss death with her, she finally obtained long term sobriety starting 2/9/2016. After the damage she did, she was told she would never have children. A few years later, at age 42, Erin became pregnant and gave birth to Lucinda, her now one year old.

Erin supports all methods of recovery, and is here to share her story about liver disease, to share that we are not immune, but we can heal. We can heal. Erin co-created REVA (with Adrienne van der Valk) to offer support in order to assist healing.

The Host:

Randi Newton: Randi Newton's work has been featured in publications ranging from Newsweek, LA Times, Playboy, LA Weekly, The Temper, Soberocity, and TheFix to Good Housekeeping. Newton has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, as a panelist on Fox's The Strategy Room, and is a contributor on Radio Andy XM. She enjoys This American Life, Serial and The Judges of History. Newton is an advocate for addiction and recovery issues and a certified recovery assistant. She enjoys long walks on the beach, streaming movies, and loves iced coffee no matter what time of year it is. 

About Soberocity

Founded by Michael Lohan in 2017, Soberocity’s mission has always been clear: we want to connect people living a sober life with like-minded individuals through online meet-ups, live streams, and more. We want to change the perception of what it means to live a sober life and make it achievable and attainable for everyone suffering, or who has suffered, from addiction. Soberocity also believes in helping our community to stay sober and to pursue a sober life by offering sober resources and a unique opportunity to connect with other sober individuals. For us, sobriety is a spectrum and we fully embrace all looking to join our community, for together we are infinitely strong.

Soberocity is for anyone with an interest in retaining or gaining sobriety worldwide, including:

  • People who are sober curious
  • Anyone who is new to recovery
  • Anyone who has been in recovery for a long time
  • Sober companions, sponsors, and counselors looking to learn more about the sober community
  • Anyone looking to be surrounded by the sober community and be uplifted by it

Privacy Notice

Please note that this panel discussion may be recorded and shared online after the event. We may also use photos and screenshots from this virtual event to be used both internally and externally for learning, marketing and promotional reasons.

If 'dialing-in' to this event by telephone, your number will be visible on the Soberocity Zoom screen. You can dial '141' before the number you want to call to 'withhold' it.

Any views, information or opinions expressed by third parties during this panel discussion are the speakers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Soberocity or its affiliates.

If you have any questions, please email

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