Week six: Hump week

Millie Gooch | April 2023 | 7 minutes

Hurrah! We’re almost halfway through and whilst this is absolutely a time for a celebration, it’s also commonly the time where both complacency and a desire to turn back to alcohol can start to creep in.

I’m Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society, here to bring you some brilliant tips on tackling Sober Spring – the three-month break from alcohol.

Thoughts of ”I could have a few” or “I deserve a mid-way treat” might be starting to pop up and although you’re not legally contracted to carry on, I highly suggest you do because I honestly believe the best is yet to come!

So, what do you do when the wine witch comes calling? Here are my top tips:

Using the HALT technique

There’s an acronym in sobriety circles used to help tackle cravings and that is H.A.L.T – standing for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. The idea is that your hankering for a cold pint might really be the result of an entirely different feeling so checking that you have met all the needs above first can be helpful. Eating, calling a mate or having a nap might give you the solution you truly need instead.

Remind yourself of the staircase analogy

If you do have a slip-up, try imagining Sober Spring as a very steep staircase you have painstakingly climbed. One drink might mean going back one step but what you really don’t want to do is follow this up with a guilt-ridden three-day bender where you end up toppling all the way down to the bottom. It’s much easier to start climbing again after a small step back, slipping up doesn’t erase your progress or what you’ve learned over the last few weeks.

One day at a time

Although widely used in AA circles, the one day at a time (ODAAT) mantra can also be helpful to anyone taking a break from alcohol. I’ve also got a friend who uses ‘just for today’. Both sayings encompass the idea that all you really need to do is focus on getting through the next 24 hours without drinking. Don’t look too far ahead and start worrying about the next six weeks – just focus on what you can do, to get through today. Then do the same tomorrow.

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