After Michelle Flynn stopped drinking, the anxiety that had dogged her since childhood slowly started to subside. She grew more energetic and got new compliments at work: “You’re such a go-getter.” “You’re a natural-born leader.”

Still, there was a nagging problem, one that was bad enough to sometimes keep the Naperville real estate agent up at night. How could she find friends who fit her alcohol-free lifestyle?

As it turned out, Flynn wasn’t the only one asking that question.

When Flynn, 52, reached out via a Naperville-based Facebook moms group, she was deluged by support: No, members said, they didn’t know of a group for sober socializing in their area. But if such a meetup existed, they would really love to join.

Five months later the group that Flynn formed in response, Dry Naperville Social, has 560 members, an estimated 30% of whom are in recovery from alcohol addiction. There are also women who abstain for religious, cultural or health reasons; women who don’t particularly like to drink; women who are allergic; and drinkers who enjoy the clarity and sincerity of alcohol-free socializing.

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