I know so many of us will be relieved to see the back of 2020.
It’s been a challenging year in many ways. But at the same time, 2020 has also brought some important life lessons with it.
In fact, when it comes to booze and sobriety, there’s been a heck of a lot to learn from the past 12 months.
So before we rush to wave off this strange year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 6 things 2020 has taught us about alcohol free living.
1. We adapt to a new normal pretty quickly
Who’d have thought we’d get used to social distancing and wearing face masks? If you can find a new normal in the middle of something horrible like a global pandemic, then you can find a new normal in something amazing like sobriety!
2. We learned that drinking really doesn’t change anything
Drinking didn’t make coronavirus less scary. It didn’t make lockdown pass quicker or the US election less stressful. Booze is a favourite coping mechanism for many people, but 2020 has shown just how useless and unhelpful it is in the long run.
3. We really value freedom
When these restrictions lift, it’s going to be wonderful to do what we want, travel and meet up easily. So make sure you aren’t accidentally creating your own version of lockdown with alcohol. Don’t let booze keep you chained at home, in a way of life you don’t like.
4. Gin distilleries can make hand sanitiser
At the start of the pandemic, some gin distilleries switched to producing hand sanitiser because they already had the key ingredient: high strength alcohol. This was helpful, but it should also be a wake up call. We’re not meant to ingest something used for killing germs.
5. We’re more resilient than we think
I know you’ve had 101 things to cope with in 2020. I know it’s been tough. But look – you made it. You can do hard things. So don’t tell yourself this nonsense about how you’re ‘not strong enough’ to quit drinking. You are awesome!
6. We remembered what really matters
Not being able to see and hug the people we care about has been so hard – especially during the holiday season. It puts everything into perspective. So let’s remember what really matters at this time of year… because it isn’t the contents of your glass that counts.
Ready to make a fresh start in the New Year? If you’re looking for help to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.
Thank you for helping me get help. I am 14 days sober after 19 years of drinking every single day. This site has helped me admit I need help and encouraged me to get it.
Thank you so much ive been nearly 4weeks sober
Hi. Thanks for all your info. Point number 3 really struck a cord with me, being at home just means easy access to drinking and little inclination to do anything else. I’m only 8 days into this, but (yet another) health scare has really got me determined to kick the booze this time. I’ve never joined a site like this or commented before, so I’m really hoping it has symbolised a shift in me!
Hi Jo, we are so glad you are here in this wonderful space of women with a common goal: SOBRIETY!
I found Kate last September and enrolled in her online course in October. That one decision changed my life.
I too had a health scare this year. It was easy to research how alcohol eventually destroys the body. For me, it was my heart. Scary stuff.
Be proud of your eight days and celebrate each day you make the decision to say no to alcohol!
Again, welcome! Kathy
Thank you, Kathy. Mines my pancreas and liver. I have other separate health issues as well, and of late have just taken to drowning myself in wine to avoid dealing with any of it. It’s so mentally unhealthy too.
Glad you hear that you’ve had a successful journey, and thanks for your reply. I’m finally looking forward to healing from many things, but most of all being a better mummy to my son.
That’s fab Kerry. Well done
I am 4 months sober and I’m in love with my new life. I don’t want to waste another minute of my life hung over or in regret.
What an insightful blog! I’m almost 2 years sober now and feel completely confident about it nearly every single day but this sort of article is such a brilliant reminder of why I decided to ditch the booze. Number 4 alone is enough to reassure me I made the right choice! Thanks Kate Xx
Day 8 for me and I am feeling so good. I was looking forward to your email today and it was so encouraging. Thank you Kate.
Wow ! Brilliant points ! Had a couple of real lightbulb moments there . I’ve been trying to keep Wolfie Booze on a leash but largely unsuccessful .I’m now thinking of what extras in life I could enjoy as a sober being and actually wanting to try those as they seem just ..better …More fun…less expensive ..And less destructive….less isolating . Thank you, Kate.
Kate, I just want to thank you for doing what you do and celebrate being two months sober as of today! I was feeling ready to give up my daily wine when I came across your little book, How to Go Alcohol Free, at Barnes & Noble in Boulder, Colorado. It gave me good ideas, affirmed my experience, helped me look at this change as really positive even though it was difficult at first, and made me feel less alone. Thank you, I’ve never felt better!
Congratulations on your 2 months Kristen! I’m glad you came across my book at just the right time 🙂
Kate this list is a great one.. So glad I have passed three years thanks to you!
Rarely do I even have an AF beer as substitute anymore..
This extraordinary choice I made was the best one for these extraordinary times and beyond..
Merry Christmas to you!
Thank you Jean and congratulations your 3+ years! Wishing you all the best for 2021 🙂
45 days – the longest time for about 15 years!
My dad went to rehab and I realise that I have an addictive personality too – it’s a horrible thing to admit even to myself
I’ve learned that I can live happily without alcohol and that if I relapse, I can get right back up again. I spent the entire summer living with my son and his family, awaiting the birth of his second son. We vowed to ditch alcohol for this time and we did it. It was a lovely time. I relapsed, but I’m ready to do it again because I know I can.
1. I can only control what I do. Keeping myself safe is up to me. That applies to distancing, wearing masks, and what’s in my glass.
2. This is a patience game. Staying safe for the past 9 months won’t matter if I do something foolish now. Staying sober for the last year will be wasted if I delude myself about moderation and go back to it.
3. Baby steps. Get through each challenge or situation with whatever tools I have to work with- it’s not all going to get solved at once.
4. Plan, prepare, manage each situation. I use that in managing weight too- manage hunger.
Awesome comment. Going to be taking these on board 100%
That so good. I’m not sure if I’m strong enough yet. I’m so tired of being tired and sluggish though. I am coasting through work. It’s a massive struggle.
Donna, sign up to kates course in January. I started last January and I’ve kicked my life into the living zone now. I have loads of alcohol free buddies who I text in a group everyday, and I have the power of kates private Facebook group for the graduates of her course. You need connection to get you through this, January is a difficult work time for me but I didn’t use it as an excuse last January. I’m so pleased to be sober. No one ever regrets not drinking.
Donna, I agree with Lucy- sign up for January course. I quit alcohol over a year ago, then took the course October 2020, so did it on my own for 10 months. The course made it all so much easier- it all made sense. No need to figure the hard stuff out on your own- Kate and the other ladies will help you through it.
Glad i’ve read this tonight 22 days sober and going through a marriage break up,
to day i could reach for a bottle or two of wine to numb the pain, i know it won’t help just keep remembering why i gave up in the first place
Tomorrow i will wake up fresh with out regrets
Well done Piper, it’s ok to feel sad, use it as an indicator that you need some self care as you are managing so well. Life will get easier, keep going and sign up to kates January course if you can’t get through Christmas. Booze masks lots of things, I’m pretty sure unhappy marriages are top of that list. Good luck, you have this x
Year of COVID coincided with first year of sobriety for me (day 343 AF)
The pandemic taught me how much senseless rushing around busily could be dropped from my life. I spend a lot more time in quiet reflection now and live by the motto “less is more”.
I am two weeks sober and have never felt better. I have energy in the mornings and am ready to tackle the day. I am way more productive and efficient at work, I am much more patient with my children and husband. I’m on track with eating right and exercising….. I have to be honest, though. I am very scared about slipping back into my old ways. Does anyone have any advice for how to stay on track when you get that urge?
It’s true, this has been one crazy year! But for me it’s not ALL been a bad one! It gave me 3 positives: 1-my beautiful granddaughter, 2-a wonderful family vacation with all 3 of my children and all 4 of my grandchildren., and 3- MY SOBRIETY! I’m today 124 days AF. My life has changed so much for the positives. So 2020 was actually a wonderful year for me.
That’s so wonderful Beth, and thank you for sharing!! This year has been more of a blessing then a curse… In the beginning, when i was drinking way too much, it was hard to see the positives to this pandemic! I feel that if it weren’t for COVID, i wouldn’t have made the choice to stop drinking. Being around friends and in those social settings are what really drove me to drink. then it turned into drinking at home by myself…. So thankful for sobriety and excited for the next chapter in my life!!!
Its been 8 months since I drank alcohol and during this time, I’ve been focusing on what I want in life, feeling all of my feelings , rather than numbing them with alcohol.I’ve been having a wake up call and seeing things for how they really are and feeling so much more at peace within myself and working on more self love and caring for me.Not abusing myself with poison.I’ve lost weight and feel great
Hi everyone after a year and 6 months I relapsed this summer , I thought to myself I’ll just have a wee drink no one will know & I’ll be fine , well that “wee” drink set up the compulsion in me & turned into a couple of months worth of drinking , trying to hide it , lying , going to different shops to buy it , decanting into water bottles , the list goes on , the madness resumed , and of course my family did find out , so you can see where that wee thought took me , if you’re here now you’re where you’re ment to be and are making the right choice , you can do this , take it one day at a time , one moment at a time , there’s nothing alcohol can do to make “things” better , and if a thought comes in it WILL PASS and you’ll be so glad you didn’t act on it as I can tell you it’s so not worth it !!! I wish you all well on your journeys xxx
I am So happy to read Kates messages and your comments. This community is So encouraging. I am 53 days sober now and I love it. My anxiety is mostly gone and I am learning to live my feelings through without numbing them.
Thanks Kate. I’m really looking forward to the course in January. Just seeing these comments here makes me realise that a group of like-minded people to support and be supported by is exactly what I need to make this change for me in 2021
Absolutely… we’re not meant to do the hard things in life alone! I’ll be sharing more details about the course at the end of this month 🙂
Thanks Kate, I’m fed up of trying to do this on my own so can’t wait !
I am so ready to give it up. I struggle every single day with the negative impact of alcohol. No.one really understands. When I listen to you Kate and all these responses it makes me realise thete are people who under and and who are in the same place as me… just willing for support and help to change my life. I will be joining the online course in January. I know I need support in this….
Such a great blog Kate . I gave up drink during lockdown as I just felt terrible both mentally and physically every single day and just wanted a better life . After just one day , I felt fantastic, so I thought right , another day then , and I just kept feeling better and better , the best I have felt all my adult life . I’ve just hit six months and never ever want to go back to that old life . No dilemmas . And no guilt.