Published On: November 3, 20201038 words5.2 min read

A five-year milestone calls for a new conversation. This one is about ditching the drink. Being sober for 5 years requires a new way of talking about alcohol and living without alcohol. It depends on finding the right tribe. So, let’s change the conversation about drinking. Let’s look a bit deeper at new buzz words like ‘sober curious’, ‘almost alcoholic’ and ‘moderate drinking’. 

Conversations with Janis invites you to chat frankly about Living Without Wine. How does it feel? Are you coping or not? Are there definite pros and cons of sobriety? Who is supporting your, or not?

Giving up the booze comes with its own truckload of highs and lows. Let’s discuss your good days and your bad days. Is a Tribe Sober a drama, comedy, thriller or absolute horror story for you? Did you win friends and influence people or are you in hiding from all those who still drink?

Buzz Words and Labels

In my blogs, I will I touch on my own experiences as we discuss whether alcohol will ever rule the world. Or whether we are recovering addicts or former alcoholics. Or is that former addicts or recovering alcoholics?! Maybe we are all “almost alcoholic”? Maybe we are none of these labels at all!

I personally stay away from that word ‘alcoholic’ and think of myself now as a non-drinker. Even talking about ‘being sober’ and ‘sobriety’ is too much for me. It is what it is, right? At least we are all trying to stop the booze messing up our lives. 

For many people struggling with their drinking, it is not easy to find an affordable online recovery coach. Like Janet Gourand. Janet has been around now for as long as I have been sober – 5 amazing years!  

Sharing our Stuff

Janet has brought all of us together on this unique platform. Conversations with Janis will delve into juicy subjects trending around the themes of abstinence from alcohol and whether moderation works. We will peep into the sober curious buzz and what it means to be an almost alcoholic. I will also explore how the rich and famous treat alcohol addiction – and why so many celebrities are binning the booze. 

But best of all, we will be in conversation. I look forward to your honest feedback about my blogs and how best to tackle the relevant issues in your life. Engage with me, chat to me about the content and how it makes you feel. We are team members seeking a common goal – ditching the drink.

More about Me

I found Tribe Sober at the right time in my life. I had to get sober, I wanted to get sober and, unbeknown to me, hundreds of other women were in the same boat. Then along came Janet Gourand. She too was in the same boat, but she was the captain of the boat! I jumped on board and even today, I wonder if I had alcohol use disorder or if I just drank a little too much? I never once considered that I was an alcoholic like my mother. She drank daily, bottles of cheap ‘Tassies’. Unlike her, I was able to take breaks from drinking for days and weeks if need be. I was also super healthy, despite the booze, and controlled the amount of wine I consumed daily. 

This all changed. One day, I knew that I had to stop drinking. Luckily, I reached out to Janet Gourand and the then very new Tribe Sober. It was meant to be. I am proud to say that I was 5 years sober on 26 December 2020. 

Joining Janet

I first met Janet when I spotted her photograph and story in the Business Times of the Sunday Times more than 5 years ago. I hid the article away in a drawer. A few months later, I attended the second Tribe Sober workshop ever. I was feeling terrified of life without wine – but excited about being forever sober.

The early Tribe Sober (Tribe Sober) reflected Janet’s new path – she too was newly sober and trying hard to make her new business work. The first few workshops took place in fancy hotel venues, in board rooms! We all needed the orderly programme and schedule. We all needed to be there and to be shown what to do! Today, Zoom meetings and workshops dominate the way we all communicate. The website too (and this blog) is a strong tool we use to gather our fans and keep them reading and learning and sharing.

Reflections and Predictions

Reaching 5 years without my daily wine glass brought back many memories, many realisations and many awkward moments for me. I had the best of times; I had the worst of times. The biggest realisation for me is that drinking alcohol permeated my life. It affected my decisions – unwise decisions based on confused choices. 

Some of the crazy things I did under the influence include: choosing boyfriends who did not love me, driving drunk often, crashing 3 cars, having unprotected sex a few times, making rash decisions about where I wanted to be in life, and hiding away from reality and big decisions.

I know that alcohol-free living is for those who want to make a change. For their own sake. Change the conversation now, right here, right now.

Listen to my Podcast here.

The Work is Never Done

If you are a recovering alcoholic or drinker, keep striving to be sober. Keep connecting: the opposite of addiction is connection. Connect with like-minded people, read as much as you can about the pros of abstention from alcohol, and take charge of your daily life. 

Some tips from me:

  • Find a new hobby that fills your days (I did a Kids Yoga Course and can now teach)
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise! Choose something you love and do it daily (I walk and do yoga)
  • Take your vitamins: Vitamin B, C, E, D, magnesium and calcium. 
  • Detox your liver and body (I took Milk Thistle for one month and love Dandelion)
  • Find sober friends and see them regularly
  • Say NO to social events when you feel stressed or triggered. I do!
  • Help others – giving of yourself is humbling and fulfilling.

Janis x


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