55. Missing Madonna – with Clive Vanderwagen


Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

This week my guest is Tribe Sober member Clive Vanderwagen.  Clive is a business and leadership coach who is also a wine expert!

In this Episode

  • Clive’s father offered him a taste of wine at quite an early age in an effort to make it “less exciting”. But looking back, Clive feels this was a bit naïve and if he was ever a parent he would probably share with his kids that he had struggled with alcohol himself and that it should be treated with caution.
  • Educating our kids about alcohol is SO tricky but one thing is for sure – it’s easier to do it if we don’t drink. It’s no good saying one thing and then modeling another as we open our nightly bottle of wine!
  • Like many of us, Clive felt invincible when he was younger and the fact that he became dependent on alcohol took him by surprise. Alcohol dependency tends to sneak up on us over the years and it’s only when we try to cut down or give up that we realise we have a problem!
  • That’s why regular breaks are so important – if you want to try 66 alcohol-free days with online, community and audio support then just sign up for our challenge
  • I could really identify with Clive when he said he went to AA – to see everyone chain-smoking and talking about their rock bottoms – and he just felt as if he didn’t fit in! He just didn’t feel like an alcoholic because he wasn’t drinking in the morning, crashing cars, losing jobs, etc.
  • The thing is we don’t have to wait until we hit “rock bottom” before we make a change:-

  If we worry about our drinking or if we drink more than the low-risk limits we should make some changes. At the very least, take a break just to test your dependency…

  • Like most of us Clive tried “moderation” and we agreed that our “drinking neural pathway” will always be there – so once you’ve crossed a line with your drinking, moderation is no longer an option.
  • Clive talked about being triggered by a sunny day and the thought of drinking Rose. He has a sensible approach to his triggers: he just recognizes them, gets a bit curious about them, and then lets them pass without acting on them.
  • One way of dealing with those triggers is to create another ritual to replace them. For example, if Clive started enjoying a glass of AF bubbly every time he sat drinking in the sunshine, then his subconscious would gradually create a new and less harmful trigger.
  • Clive’s Madonna Story was a classic example of how we expect alcohol to enhance our experiences – in Clive’s case he ended up almost blacking out and missing most of a concert he’d been looking forward to for months!
  • Clive has made the joyful discovery that “Clive doesn’t need alcohol to be Clive” – he can still be the life and soul of the party when stone-cold sober!
  • 11 months into his sobriety Clive feels he’s regained control of his life and reduced his anxiety – he feels strong and is proud to be alcohol-free.
  • Clive ended our interview by reading his stunning Goodbye to Alcohol letter which he found a powerful and cathartic experience – his letter is very moving and if you would like to read it along with some others just hit this link.
  • We start our annual 66 day challenge – called Sober Spring here in South Africa but it can be your Sober Autumn as well.
  • Membership also allows you to find your people as we welcome you into our supportive community

Just go to tribesober.com and hit the “join our tribe” button to read more about the benefits of membership.

More info

  • Subscription membership  – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email janet@nulltribesober.com
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email janet@nulltribesober.com

Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today. Read more about our program and subscribe HERE.

Book a Discovery Call with me to find out if our membership would help you.

 Help us to spread the word!

We made this podcast so that we can reach more people who need our help.  Please subscribe and share.

If you enjoyed the podcast then please leave us a 5-star review on Apple podcasts, take a screenshot of your review and DM it to Tribe Sober’s Instagram page – we’ll send you something special to say thank you!

We release a podcast episode every Saturday morning.

You can follow Tribe Sober on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join our Tribe Sober Club on Clubhouse – we are on Clubhouse every Sunday afternoon at 5 pm SA time so come join the conversation.

You can catch our FB live on Saturday mornings (11 am SAST) and you can join our private Facebook group HERE.

Thank you for listening!

Till Next Week

Janet x


The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!