Kate's Blog

Do Not Do This! 10 Ways To Sabotage Your Sobriety

I used to be an expert at sabotaging my own sobriety. A real ‘specialist’. 

I spent years mastering the art of NOT quitting drinking 🤦‍♀️
I thought it might be helpful for me to share some of my, ahem, ‘pro tips’ in today’s blog.
That way you can make sure you’re not repeating my mistakes…

10 Ways To Sabotage Your Sobriety:
1. Set an unrealistic goal, like quitting ‘forever’. This is nice and overwhelming
2. Decide that stopping drinking isn’t enough – you’re also going to put yourself on a strict diet too. (More overwhelm!)
3. Buy books about sobriety, but don’t actually read them properly. Skim read a few chapters and look for all the ways your drinking is different.
4. Do not spend any time planning ahead for wine o’clock or working out some alternative coping mechanisms. Just cross your fingers instead.
5. Spend some time romanticising alcohol and thinking about how you’ll never, ever have fun again.
6. Crowdsource opinions on your drinking from friends who love booze.
7. Google the health benefits of drinking wine. You’re sure there are some… (there are not).
8. Decide that sobriety is too drastic and that moderation will probably work this time.
9. Realise that moderation still doesn’t work.
10. Convince yourself that you’re a hopeless case because you still have no idea how to stop drinking and make sobriety stick.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


44 Responses

  1. I have done every one of these! I would also buy wine “for cooking” and guess what, it ended up in my glass too. Not any more tho – I am almost 6 months alcohol free after taking your January class!! Giving up acohol has totally transformed my life and my familys too.

    1. I tell myself everything week im gonna stop but i have a shop below me and I’ve done it again 🙁

        1. Alcohol addiction (like any other) is a coping mechanism for underlying issues. Since I’ve understood this, and started working on the real problem, I was able to stop. Almost 5years sober now. No regrets. No struggle.

          1. I feel the urge to add drinking to things that are exciting and when I am happy. I end up not happy though and regret drinking. I have to figure that out and find my underlying issue and why I feel the need to drink even when I am already happy.

          2. Do not underestimate how alcohol changes your brain and body. It takes.much more time to turn them around and some of it may be there for ever. However to be aware and accept them are the 1. steps. Then act upon it. There is always HOPE for a better life.

    1. No alcohol has touched my lips for 5 weeks ! My eyes and skin are much brighter ! No headaches and sleeping for 7 / 8 hours solid I only drank at weekends but it had slowly crept up from a couple of glasses to a bottle. I still convinced myself compared to everyone else I didn’t really drink that much ! I’d tried all the things you mention Kate little bottles, moderating didn’t work. Sadly I had news that a women I knew has passed away at the same age as me .I knew she liked a drink but she always worked and looked healthy and happy ,sadly she had cancer .I Started googling how to reduce cancer risks and Alcohol is right up there ! So I set myself a goal at least 3 months .I went away on holiday, I was really tempted as I’d said I would stop drinking at home but could have a couple when out, it was hard but I drank alcohol free Preseco lol..which was actually nice .So I’m staying focused and following you Kate .I just wanted to say a big thank you ! Everything you say makes perfect sense to me X

      1. Wow congratulations Jackie – what a brilliant thing to do for yourself and take back control over your health. Well done. I’m wishing you many more alcohol free days ahead!

      2. I read your book Kate early on in my journey (nearly 3 months AF now) and it was full of helpful info. I also enjoy the AF Prosecco if I feel the desire for the ritual of sitting down to relax with a drink. Something inside me has clicked and not drinking feels so right. I don’t ever want to go back to lying and sneaking around and feeling like a bundle of nerves constantly. I find reaching out to others like me is so helpful!

  2. I spend a few days a week caring and staying with my mum. Now, she loves a glass of wine and loves to share it with someone. So I tell myself I’m making her feel better by having a drink with her. So really I’m not drinking because I want to!!! but just because it will make my mum happy oh dear

    1. Well done for spotting the way you’re thinking about that. I wonder if what your mum is really craving is company and connection? That might manifest itself in, “let’s share some wine” but actually, wine is just a vehicle for getting what she really wants, which is quality time with you! You can have that quality time together, no matter what’s in your glass.

  3. Tell yourself that you’re just too tired at the moment to put the effort required in to stopping drinking

    1. I remember telling myself the same thing. The sad thing is that drinking is what makes you tired in the first place…

  4. Hi Kate I wouldn’t buy 3 x mini bottles and kid myself that at least it’s not a full bottle so that’s grand

  5. Not sure how you reconcile #1 and #8. If moderation doesn’t work but quitting forever is too much, what option does that leave?

    1. Great question Et. The best way forward is to take a break from drinking for a defined period of time. Give sobriety 100% for at least 6-8 weeks and then make a decision from there. You need to have a break of at least that length in order to find out what sobriety is all about and get past the awkward early weeks. But the way you create safety in that process is by knowing that at a set point you can stop, review and decide what to do next. You’re in control. This ‘take a break’ strategy is what I’ll be covering in detail this weekend. Are you signed up to that? You can get more details here: https://thesoberschool.com/masterclass

  6. My mistake was allowing myself to drink when my sister in law was visiting. We were sitting outdoors on a beautiful evening and I thought “why not, this is a special occasion”! Woke up with a headache. Hadn’t had one in months. Ugh, learned my lesson!

    1. Next time a great question would be, “Why do I need a toxic, mind altering, cancer causing drug to help me celebrate a ‘special’ occasion?” The moment is already wonderful, just as it is. It sounds like you’ve learned a lot from this experience Katy 🙂

  7. I sometimes look at the clock so I can go to bed then carry on drinking my wine until it’s all gone it’s then rather late and the next morning….

  8. Thanks Kate. I have been sober now for 71days but last Friday when my neighbour came round for her usual Friday night drinks I bought a bottle of alcohol removed sparkling wine. It was quite nice but the next day I was craving a glass of wine. I was saying to myself, noone will know I will just have a glass . I very nearly sneaked out and bought some. Luckily I didn’t but it has scared me. I am over Friday nights and don’t look forward to them. I have been drinking sparkling water on Friday nights which is better and will not buy that pretend wine again.
    I have signed up to your master-class Kate, I need it.

    1. Louise I have had AF Prosecco a couple of times since I stopped drinking (84 days now) and I like the taste however I am not sure it’s the right thing to do. It’s like pretending and I don’t want to play any mind games. Drinking was such a habit. It feels somehow like it might play tricks with my state of mind.

      1. I agree Carole. Well done on 84 days, so similar to me.
        Drinking was a habit for me too and I don’t want to replace it with another. Herbal tea and sparkling water from now on.

  9. All of the above ….and more!
    Crazy how so many people who have problems controlling their drinking are so bright and capable in other areas of life!
    Alcohol robs all clarity and reasoning…
    You justify drinking when every part of you knows it is the wrong thing to do….This time it will be different..and then everything becomes chaos again…
    I love myself when I am sober.

  10. Hi … 53 days now with no alcohol and growing in confidence that this time I won’t go back to all of the above …. I love waking up every morning to the feeling that I didn’t have a drink the night before…. it’s a great feeling and all thanks to finding your sober school website….. thank you ….. heading for the 100 days

  11. I’ve done most all of those things. I’ve tried so many times to quit for good, and failed. This has been the longest that I’ve been alcohol free, 5 months. I’m feeling so much better then I have in years, but it’s still so hard when certain friends try to push the wine glass in my hand. Usually they’ve already had a few drinks by this time, and want company. So far I’ve been able to say no thank you and mean it. Does it ever get a bit easier?

    1. Of course it gets easier – sobriety would not be that much fun otherwise 🙂 What mindset work are you doing? I can’t really tell from your post. It’s really important to keep examining your thoughts and looking at what it is that feels ‘hard’.

  12. Totally relate to the selection of ways to fail at giving up alcohol. It really is a minefield of slip up factors!
    I would love to take part in your free master class this weekend. How do I join Kate?
    Many thanks.

      1. Hi
        I,have tried to,give up so many times. The worst thing is waking up,the next day and not remembering what I did the night before.
        The little bottle thing is a classic with me, 3 but then I may go out and get another 2.
        I defintly will try your masterclass I can’t carry on as I am.

  13. I did dry January and felt amazing, physically, mentally and even lost half a stone.
    Then as a giant pat on the back ….. well you guessed it I treated myself to a bottle of wine on 1st Feb… now I’m back to square one again ! Every night again. I’ve gained weight, and feel rubbish.
    Every Monday I wake up and say . no more…. I’m gonna definitely stop again this week.
    I’ve literally done everything on that list, and more ….not going to the same shop everyday…. putting a couple of empty bottles in the neighbours wheelie bin so mine isn’t so full….. only putting 3 glasses of wine into my weightwatcher app !
    I know I’m just kidding myself…I’ve started the masterclass and I’m on the list for the next course in July

  14. I enjoyed reading this and can so relate. Alcohol and I have a love/hate relationship – the alcohol loves to make me hate myself. Alcohol free and currently present in life. Present for ALL the feelings. Turns out the good does outweigh the bad, if you or I mean I can stay AF long enough to reap the reward.

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