Published On: October 7, 2021663 words3.3 min read

 

Tribe Sober founder, Janet Gourand, talks about the Sober Spring Challenge (66 days) and shares her own story with Sara-Jayne King.

  • The Sober Spring Challenge offers an opportunity to take a break from alcohol and improve your health
  • It’s an initiative launched four years ago by Tribe Sober
  • Founder, Janet Gourand, says they’re on a mission to inspire more and more people to experience the joys of alcohol-free living.

Could you take a break from alcohol for a month or even 66 days?

Why not try the Sober Spring Challenge, launched four years ago by Tribe Sober.

Sara-Jayne King finds out more from sobriety advocate and recovery coach Janet Gourand.

The Tribe Sober founder finally quit drinking herself in May 2015 after three wake-up calls.

Gourand relates how her first wake-up call came at the age of 25 when she woke up in hospital after blacking out the night before.

I was in my flat, we were partying… I locked the door and got into the bath, blackout drunk at the time… About half an hour later my flat mates knocked on the door to say good night… and got no response… so they called 999 [in the UK]… sure enough I was under the water, I would have drowned…

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

Gourand says she didn’t take the incident seriously enough and carried on drinking. She was still in denial when she later underwent treatment for breast cancer, her second wake-up call.

The only thing that I did was I switched from white wine to red wine because I’d read in some magazine that it was good for you.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

Now that I understand so much more, I realise that my decades of heavy drinking led probably to that breast cancer because the link is fairly well-proven now.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

Seven years ago she had her third and final wakeup call, Gourand says.

During a weekend away with friends, it became clear that she had lost hours of the previous day, with no recollection of what she had done.

It was the kind of weekend where the bubbly would be out for breakfast… I woke up on the Sunday morning feeling absolutely dreadful… I announced that we should walk up to the next village… They said to me ‘We did that yesterday afternoon and you were with us’.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

For some reason that really frightened me because I thought: I know I’ve been harming my body all these years, but I’m actually harming my brain as well… That’s when I decided I was done with alcohol.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

Gourand says Tribe Sober is for people who worry about their relationship with alcohol, ignoring the little voice that tells them it’s time to take action.

“We have all these limiting beliefs around alcohol. We give it far too much credit and you end up with this terrible internal conflict which actually makes you want to drink more.”

We really encourage people just to take a break because alcohol is so insidious – it just creeps up on you over the years.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

20% of social drinkers will become dependent over the years and it’s so important just to test your dependency. If you can get through 66 days without alcohol and not even think about it much… then that means you’ve got a really healthy relationship with alcohol.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

But if you’re listening to this and thinking ‘this woman’s bonkers’… then you probably do need to make a few changes. We help people make those changes.

Janet Gourand, Founder – Tribe Sober

“Connection is the opposite of addiction,” she says.

You can sign up for the Sober Spring Challenge and find out more about the support and activities offered by Tribe Sober on their website tribesober.com.

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview with Gourand.

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