Week two: To tell or not to tell

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.

Now that you're well into your second week, now might be the time that you’re considering whether to divulge your participation in Sober Spring to those around you. While this might not be a problem for some of you, most people do admit to finding the idea of approaching this subject a little daunting and might prefer to actually avoid it altogether. While you absolutely need to make the right decision for you, I’ve seen first-hand how telling people about your booze break can do wonders for helping both you and them.

Here are my top tips around sharing your Sober Spring story:

1. Consider the benefit

A Pinterest quote once told me that ‘Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result’ (which means it must be true, right?). Consider the fact that by telling others, you might just be making that extra commitment and may even be giving yourself another reason to make it to the finish line.

2. Opt for a traffic light system

I once heard the ladies from Love Sober talk about their traffic light system of disclosure when questions came to them about not drinking. Essentially, this involves assigning people a traffic light colour, based on how you think they will perceive your decision. Green is reserved for the ones you know will pull out their pom-poms and immediately start cheering you on, amber for those who you don’t believe will necessarily understand the decision but will likely, albeit reluctantly, get on board and red is for those who think the idea of a booze break is a laughable concept. How much detail you divulge to each person will vary on the colour you’ve assigned them. Reds get a one line answer, because that’s what reds deserve.

3. You never know who you might inspire

Since I’ve started talking about binning the gin online, I have been inundated with messages from people that I’ve met over the course of my lifetime to say how much my openness around the subject has made them question their own drinking habits. From random work colleagues you only bump into in the kitchen to people you match on Tinder, you never know who sharing your Sober Spring journey with might help.

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