Week five: Leaving the edge on

Millie Gooch | April 2022 | 6 minutes

Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society, brings us some brilliant tips on tackling Sober Spring - the three-month sabbatical off alcohol.

They say that diamonds are created under pressure but if that’s true, then why are so many of us using alcohol to ‘take the edge off’ a stressful day? The truth is many of us find sitting with any kind of emotion (good or bad) actually very difficult, painful even. So, whether it’s scrolling on social media, working around the clock or drinking copious amounts of wine – we all have our own ways of avoiding doing the very thing we were built as humans to do – feel! One of the biggest hurdles you might face over the coming months is knowing what to do when you can’t turn to alcohol in times of discomfort. Luckily, if handled correctly, this time can be a real period of growth and could perhaps result in you uncovering the potential of your own inner strength. Here’s some key pointers:

Feel your feelings

You’ve probably heard this saying before but how can you do it in practical terms? Well, writing in a journal is a great place to start because it’s an easy way to identify what you’re feeling and why you might be feeling it – that way you can start to untangle the thoughts in your head. Notice what’s coming up for you and interrogate it. You can write in streams of consciousness or choose a journal with daily prompts.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

This is the bit where diamonds are made because learning how to make it through discomfort without turning to alcohol is one of the biggest lessons you can take from this experience. Meditation is a great way to get started with this practice because it literally involves sitting in the discomfort. Lots of apps such as Headspace and Calm can help you through the process as a novice.

Use the lessons for growth

Every time we make it through an uncomfortable situation without the aid of alcohol – we learn from it and ultimately, we become stronger and more equipped to tackle our emotions in a healthier way. You might even find that Sober Spring boosts your mental resilience and that you are able to apply this to other areas of your life too.