About Go Get Sober
Go Get Sober is a website that offers support and guidance to people who are struggling to stop drinking or struggling to stay sober.
We offer support in 3 ways:
- Articles offering advice, guidance and tips in the Advice and Lifestyle pages
- Private one-to-one coaching support sessions with Jo
- A supportive online community of non-judgemental and wonderful people who understand what you're going through. You get access to our Support Forum when you sign up for coaching sessions
The Go Get Sober Story
It’s Saturday morning and my son has rugby practice.
I wake up to a rhythmic thudding in my head. I’m in the back bedroom of my little Victorian cottage with sun streaming through the gap in the curtains onto the pale blue walls and the floral Kath Kidston bedspread. Outside, I can hear quiet and comforting neighbour noise close by: a car radio, tyres on gravel; laughter over clinking crockery; dogs barking.
As I slowly surface into consciousness with stale alcohol fumes hot in my breath and emanating from every pore of my body, I remember flashes of last night. I feel the familiar wave of shame and dread crashing through me. I can’t remember going to bed and I can’t remember what I said or did or who I spoke to. I’m certain I embarrassed myself and have every reason to fear the conversation with my boyfriend later on.
My brain and body feel crushed and battered. I’m foetal and almost rocking under the duvet. My hangovers these days don’t involve simple physical symptoms like nausea and headaches, they cripple me with mental and emotional ill health – panic and anxiety attacks like I’ve never known before.
Worse, though, is knowing that I have to face the day. I have to get up, be normal, chat to my son, behave like a happy weekend parent, be there for him, be the responsible adult. I can’t bear the thought of letting him down. If I don’t drive him to rugby practice, I’m a terrible mother (for putting my needs before his). If I do drive him to rugby practice, I’m a terrible mother (for driving when I’m not fit to and putting our lives at risk because I’m still over the limit). I’m already feeling ashamed for getting myself into the state I’m in and being so out-of-control.
This dramatic and soul-crushing start to the weekend is totally normal for me: it’s the routine - it’s how my weekends go. I have an unhealthy alcohol habit that’s getting in the way of my life.
On this particular Saturday, I manage to get myself up and I drive my son to the school where the rugby practice is happening. I drive through gritted teeth and shallow breaths, white knuckles gripping the gear-stick. The car windows are open to make sure the alcohol fumes aren’t too obvious – if I can’t smell it, there’s less of a problem.
I consciously concentrate on every minute manoeuvre I make.
I put on a good, light-hearted conversational show and pretend I’m fine, all the time counting the landmarks and seconds to when I can drop him off and get back home. The effort and energy it takes to do this is monumental and draining – it takes every ounce of self-control I have. Luckily, he’s meeting friends after so I have the rest of the day to recover.
And, that’s exactly what I spend most of my precious weekends doing – lying in bed, recovering. Not meeting friends, not keeping appointments, not getting fresh air, not being productive, not having fun with my son, not even good old-fashioned lazy relaxing. Just lying in bed, waiting. Waiting to start feeling better, waiting in vain to fall back to sleep, and waiting for a respectable six o’clock to arrive when I can start drinking again and relieve my symptoms.
For decades, I nurtured an unhealthy relationship with alcohol that kept me in this cycle. Drinking to relax, de-stress, unwind, socialise, laugh, feel uninhibited, feel more confident, enhance my joy, drown my sorrow, reward myself, console myself, celebrate, relieve boredom, fit in with other people… you name it, I always had a reason to drink. I drank to get drunk and then I would feel awful. So, I would drink to stop feeling awful. If I wasn’t drinking, I was thinking about drinking, recovering from drinking and counting the hours till I could start drinking again.
Now let’s fast forward to this last weekend when, if you’d have taken a stroll in one of the meadows down by the river in Sudbury, Suffolk, UK, at about seven o’clock on Saturday morning, and if you’d wandered peaceably by the woods under the warm blue skies and rising sun, you might have been puzzled to come across me, standing stock still in the undergrowth behind a tree, trying to hide behind the trunk at the same time as trying to save my bare shins from the thigh-high nettles.
The reason for this bizarre behaviour was that my boyfriend had phoned me unexpectedly at the crack of dawn with an impromptu invitation to join him and our dog, Arly, for a bit of early morning “man-trailing”. This is a new game we’ve recently discovered which is loads of fun for us and, even better, great mental stimulation for Arly. The game is super easy - we take it in turns to be hunter and hunted. One of us runs and hides while the other stays with Arly and waits before giving him a command and letting him take the lead, using his nose and all his scenting powers to track the other person down.
I feel like an excited seven-year-old when I play this game. It gives me a real adrenalin rush as I run away from a highly excited, barking, lunging dog, through fields, along muddy tracks, weaving through woods, trying to rummage about in the undergrowth for a good hiding spot. I feel like a character in a movie. It’s good healthy, clean fun – a mixture of cardiovascular exercise and nature therapy that gets me out-of-breath and pink-cheeked in minutes. It’s physical, it’s energetic, and it’s therapeutic. It’s also joyful – there is nothing quite as happy-hormone inducing as being licked all over by a wagging dog when he finally finds you.
After the excitement and adrenalin of the man-trailing, we took our dirty, scratched and sweaty selves to a local café where we sat outside in the sun and treated ourselves to a pastry-heavy breakfast while we people- and traffic-watched and planned our respective days quietly and happily.
By mid-afternoon, I had been shopping, I had spring-cleaned most of the house (a proper cupboard-shelves-and-window-ledges clean) I had written some more of my book and I had recorded and posted a video for my Facebook group. I felt that smug satisfaction you only get when you’ve made a plan and stuck to it – when you feel like you’ve earned your treats and rewards. I’d accomplished more than I’d set out to do and that made me feel good. I relished the prospect of an evening free to relax, cook, enjoy some good food and generally do whatever I wanted.
Saying yes to a spontaneous and unexpected invitation to a bit of man-trailing fun at seven o’clock on a weekend morning and being generally productive and busy with my weekend time might not seem like a huge deal – for a lot of people this is just how they’ve always lived - but it is enormously significant to me because it demonstrates just how much my life has improved since I changed my drinking habit.
I’m now in control: of my time, of my decisions, of my mental health, of my fitness, of my life. Instead of spending my weekends lying in bed waiting and recovering, thinking about drinking, I spend them getting things done or taking time for myself to relax. I look after myself and the people I care about. I am content.
It took me decades to finally knock the drinking on its head and change my alcohol habit for a healthier sober one.
Had I disclosed to any medical professional the amounts I was drinking, the pattern of my drinking, the effects of my drinking… had I filled in the SEVERITY OF ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE QUESTIONAIRE (SADQ-C) honestly and had my doctor assessed my drinking, I would have been classed as having an alcohol disorder of “severe alcohol dependence.” I would have been told I needed “assisted alcohol withdrawal” and would have been signposted to detox/withdrawal support and my local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Group.
I did none of these things. I didn’t disclose my fears about my drinking to a doctor, I didn’t fill in a questionnaire and I didn’t get any kind of diagnosis. When I finally decided I was going to stop drinking, I knew I didn’t want to go down traditional and medical roads to sobriety.
There were a couple of reasons for this:
- I didn’t want to have anything to do with AA or give myself a label like alcoholic or addict;
- I was a qualified Life and Leadership Coach and Master NLP Practitioner. I had spent the last two decades supporting, leading and coaching people to transform their lives and had all the resources, tools and techniques I needed. I knew it was possible to change my drinking habit into something healthier and to do it in a way that was positive, uplifting, joyful and liberating.
So, I spent a lot of time online hunting, researching and investigating – looking for the kind of support that was effective, evidence-based and would fit with my belief system.
When I didn’t find what I was looking for, I decided to create it myself.
I did three things:
- I used the knowledge, skills and expertise I had at my disposal, stopped drinking and changed my unhealthy alcohol habit into a much healthier sober one - I did it happily and healthily and haven’t looked back since;
- I created a website specifically for people who wanted support and guidance to stop drinking with useful guidance and tips in easy-to-read articles, delivering coaching support to people who wanted a helping hand
- I set up a Facebook Group, called the Go Get Sober Support Forum for people who are learning how to live sober the Go Get Sober way and want to be part of a supportive, encouraging and non-judgmental community.
I created Go Get Sober as something accessible and motivating. Most of all, I wanted it to show that anybody can stop drinking and, with the right mindset and approach, they can stop drinking more easily than they might expect.
The driving ethos behind Go Get Sober is that when you stop drinking, you free yourself. Using the Go Get Sober approach means you get to experience stopping drinking and staying sober as liberating, positive and joyful.
Life doesn’t stop when you stop drinking, it starts.
If you want a helping hand to stop drinking and stay successfully sober...
If you want to feel motivated and positive about your alcohol-free life...
If you want to enjoy and feel liberated by sober-living...
AND to do all of this happily and healthily...
Find out more about Coaching Support with Jo.
Stop drinking. Stay stopped. Be free.
Not your average forum
This isn’t just an online community for people who want to master alcohol-free living, it's for people who want to enjoy and feel liberated by their sober lifestyle. It's for people who want to live better, happier and more fulfilled lives. It’s for people who want greater health, wellbeing and freedom.
The Forum provides mentoring and support to people who want to get sober and stay sober but we also support people who might have moved through that phase and who want to focus on other areas of their lives, like fitness, career, wellbeing, relationships, decision making, etc.
This is not your average forum. This is a forum with a purpose... a forum which guides, supports and coaches you into the kind of freedom and joyful living that only the right approach and mindset to sobriety can give you.
The Support Forum is for people who
- are determined to do things differently and to live life better, whether that’s gaining confidence with living life sober or improving their overall quality of life
- recognise that they have the power to change their behaviours and create the life they want but want some help to do it
- want to learn and grow
- are ready to do some work to become the person they want to be
- are open to new ways of thinking
10 things you get from the Support Forum
- support from a non-judgemental and understanding community
- connection and belonging
- a place to share
- a place to learn
- a place to feel safe
- motivation, inspiration and positivity
- tips, advice, suggestions and information (that's the mentoring part)
- questions, challenges and strategies to help you think things through and come up with your own solutions (that's the coaching part)
- tools to help you make the changes you want to make in your life
- tips on developing the kind of mindset that sets you up for success whether that's in living life sober or any area of your life
Hi! I'm Jo, the founder of Go Get Sober
I'm in the Forum to:
- Answer your questions
- Moderate the group and check in regularly
- Respond to your #mentoring and #coaching posts when you tag me
- Challenge and support, mentor and coach you
- Share valuable resources and techniques with you
- Share my learning with you
How you use the Forum
- Post your challenges and struggles
- Post your successes and achievements
- Ask questions
- Celebrate your own and others’ progress
- Ask for help when you need it
- Tag me in your post if you want me to respond
Use either #mentoring or #coaching to let me know if you’d prefer a mentoring or coaching style response
#mentoring means I’ll respond in normal conversational style, giving you tips, advice or suggestions.
#coaching means I’ll respond in coaching style with further questions, thoughts or strategies designed to challenge you, help you think deeper and come up with your own solutions and actions.