I was lucky enough to attend Tribe Sober’s workshop two weeks ago. It was held at Janet’s lovely home in Cape Town. What a relaxed and welcoming environment.
The morning began with a coffee as everyone started arriving. There were 8 of us in total (I think!) as well as Janet and Mandy obviously, who run the course.
What struck me straight away was how welcoming Janet and her team were. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but as I got chatting with the others, I began to feel more relaxed. After all, we were all there for one very clear common reason: Alcohol. And the negative effects it was having or had had on our lives.
The Simple Yet Vital Act of Sharing
We all sat around Janet’s couch where there was ample space for all of us to be comfortable. The first thing we did was share why we were there, our relationships, and histories, with alcohol. Each story was different but equally as eye opening. I just felt so fantastic to be sitting with this group of amazing, like-minded women who understood me and me them. To tell others your story and you just see the click in their eyes – they get what you are saying as they too have had enough of alcohol running and ruining their lives. It’s that simple.
After the shares, we received some important facts about the dangers of alcohol. We all know how bad it is for our health, but just how bad and to see it in black and white was a good lesson. I particularly enjoyed our “prac” which was to pour into a wine, whiskey and beer glass what we thought were the safe limits of alcohol consumption per unit. Very interesting. I’ll just say that I was drinking a woman’s weekly limit EVERY night. Scary stuff.
Connection with Others in the Same Boat
After a lovely lunch and more coffee, we had a guy come and chat to us who had not drunk for a year, after attending the course. It was informative and inspiring. Listening to him was great as he seemed so happy and alive, without having drunk for so long – something we all want to aspire to. Obviously, as we all do, he has stresses and strains in his life, but has just chosen to not numb them with alcohol, focusing on his health and family instead.
Janet also read us her goodbye letter to alcohol which was deeply moving and just resonated with me so much. Her words could have so easily been mine.
We then watched a video and got some really cool info in the form of a “Toolkit”- in other words, how to cope with going to parties, etc, and also how to moderate – for those who wanted to go that route.
Some tea followed and then each of us spoke of our action plans and what we were going to do doing going forward. Some chose to cut down or moderate and others decided it was time to say cheers to the booze forever.
At the end of the workshop, we had some alcohol-free drinks in the form of “what to drink when you don’t drink drinks” and I was amazed at the variety. Non- drinkers really do have options. I particularly enjoyed the Duchess gin and the JC Le Roux champagne. There was also a nice beer but I forget the name.
Everybody was so supportive and encouraging and there was really nowhere else I would rather have been that day. I’ve already been in contact with some people from the course and being on the WhatsApp group and private FB page is so comforting. Knowing that others are on the same journey as you are.
And by the sounds of it, it only gets easier and easier and more rewarding and it’s super awesome to be a non-drinker.
Well done Janet, you guys rock and the number of people you help, inform and inspire is incredible. I would highly urge anyone who wants to change their relationship with alcohol to give this course a go. Nothing to lose. Just a better and healthier life to gain.