Good Morning Canada – with John Rishmore


Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

My guest this week is one of our loyal Tribe Members – John Rishworth is from Canada and has just celebrated 8 months of sobriety.

After drinking heavily for years, John got some counselling to help him come to terms with the reality that he would have to make some changes. But as he says, it was joining the tribe that gave him the connection and support that he needed to put these changes into practice.

In this episode

  • John was in sales and marketing and describes the work hard/play hard culture which prevailed – I think many of us have worked in corporates that have encouraged long hours compensated by drinking sessions sponsored by the company.
  • He was surrounded by heavy drinkers and used to suffer colossal hangovers.
  • He talked us through one of his Friday night drinking sessions which could easily escalate into 20 units – a lot when you think that the low risk limits are just 14 units – a week!
  • He always would have described himself as highly functional but looking back he realises that he was not operating at full capacity.
  • As we always say, even if alcohol doesn’t destroy you it will prevent you from reaching your potential.
  • The sad thing is that when we are drinking we get used to feeling below par – we always feel tired in the mornings (due to poor quality sleep).  I used to think it was all part of getting older – but now that I am older and alcohol-free I realise it was the alcohol that was wearing me out!
  • That’s why so many of us get quite evangelical about sobriety – its been years since we’ve felt so happy, healthy and energetic!
  • When John realised that the only thing that would alleviate his all day hangover was a drink, he began to realise that he needed to make some changes.
  • But the real clincher was a hospital stay which involved some liver tests, resulting in medical advice to give up drinking completely.
  • John was distraught after hearing this advice and I think many of us can identify with that feeling he experienced on the hospital gurney – that feeling of life being over if we can’t drink…
  • That’s an indication of the stunning job that the alcohol industry has done to convince us that we need their toxic product to enjoy our lives!
  • And that’s why it does take “work” to reverse these limiting beliefs – which is exactly what we help people to do at our regular Zoom workshops (go to – services for more info).
  • After his hospital scare, John did stay off the booze for a few months but then the doctor told him that his tests results had improved so he could have the odd glass of wine. So John had to learn the hard way that he had already crossed the line with his drinking and there would be no going back…
  • On Fathers Day 2021, John decided that he was going to stop drinking – and that he would find a way to do it – and shortly after that he found Tribe Sober.
  • The biggest step of all is to accept that you are alcohol-dependent and then to reach out to get some help – then the HOW will get clearer.
  • Many people eventually get to that stage when they know that they are “done” with alcohol – they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you feel that way then don’t despair because it’s a good thing – now you just need to find the HOW. You need to find other people on the same path.
  • John explained that when people are struggling with alcohol they tend to isolate – I think this is because society expects everyone to be able to drink “normally” which means that the 20% of social drinkers who do become dependent feel that there is something wrong with them!
  • Women especially have to walk a kind of tightrope – if we don’t drink we are “boring” but if we get drunk that’s not cool either!
  • That’s why a sober community helps so much – we meet other people who are struggling (so we can ditch the shame – its not just us!) and we can meet people who have ditched the drink and are enjoying their lives. Whereas most of us tend to mix with “normal” drinkers who can take it or leave it or heavy drinkers who will assure us that we are fine!
  • John explained that being in the tribe connected him with like-minded people and gave him a place to go where he could share his ups and downs and hear about tools that could help him.
  • Helpful tools for John have been quitlit and podcasts as well as the Alcohol-Free drinks.
  • John made a conscious effort that he would still drink in bars with his friends and still be fun even though he’d be drinking alcohol free. John is a natural extrovert so this was not too difficult but for some of us we may need to “fake it until we make it” but it will get easier with time.
  • We heard about his first Sober wedding when he experienced some mental anguish beforehand – (would he or wouldn’t he drink on this occasion)? This was an issue he raised at one of our Zoom Cafes – eventually he make up his mind that he would NOT drink at the wedding and he would find a way to manage, however hard it was.
  • This is important – if we go to an event thinking that we will decide whether or not to drink when we get there it is almost inevitable that we will drink. So just as John decided that he would stop drinking and find a way to do it – he decided he would not drink at this wedding – and find a way to do it.  This approach saves a lot of mental anguish!
  • We talked about recovery and the fact that it is never linear and of course different for each of us. Reflecting back on his 8 months of sobriety, John remembers the early days when he was hyper-focused and used all stickers and trackers to check off every single alcohol-free day whereas these days he tends to count months rather than days as sobriety becomes the new normal.
  • Of course, like all of us, he occasionally questioned his decision and had the urge to pick up the scotch but he used his toolkit – connected with the tribe and played the movie forward..

Johns top 3 benefits:

– no more hangovers, no more wasting time and not functioning at full capacity
– he’s much more honest with himself these days

-being part of the tribe where he enjoys the authentic connections and inspiration.

Tribe Sober’s Spring Challenge starts on 20th March

66 alcohol -free days – supported by daily emails and 66 mini podcasts.

It’s great fun as we put everyone on the Sober Spring Bus on Day one and they all travel through the 66 alcohol free days together – its always a great vibe on that bus as everyone encourages and supports each other – so don’t miss the bus.

Sign up today – just go to and click on Sober Spring 2022

If you’d like copy of our PDF “Sobriety Battleplan” – packed full of trackers and charts to get you started and keep you on track just email

More info

  • For an affordable monthly subscription you can join Tribe Sober – read about the benefits of membership and sign 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
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email

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 7-step program and subscribe HERE

Book a Chat with Sue to find out if our membership would help you – email her on

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.

PS   How to leave a rating/review in Apple Podcasts (on an iOS device)

1. Open the Podcasts app. EASY.

2. Choose “Search” from the bottom row of icons and enter the name of the show (i.e., “Recover Like A Mother”) into the search field.

3. Select the show under Shows (not under Episodes).

4. Scroll down past the first few episodes until you see Ratings & Reviews.

5. Click “Write a Review” underneath the displayed reviews from other listeners. You’ll then have the option to rate the show on a 5-star scale, and write a review (you can rate without writing, too but it’s always good to read your experience).


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!