Very few people quit drinking overnight. Most of us spend a long time wondering whether it’s the right thing to do.
Even when we decide we are ready, there can be a lot to figure out, and things can feel hard.
I call this the ‘messy middle’.
It’s that frustrating stage when you’re not where you want to be… but you’re not quite sure how to change.
You’re in the thick of doubt, discomfort and uncertainty.
If this sounds like you, please don’t give up.
Here are three things to remember when you’re finding sobriety hard:
You’re doing something amazing right now
One of the reasons I love coaching women to quit drinking is because I get to spend time with incredible people, who are brave enough to rock the boat a little and decide they want something different.
I get to work with women who want to change, improve and grow. They’re willing to ask themselves the big questions and do what it takes to create lives they feel really good about. And guess what? I’ve got a feeling you’re one of those people too.
If you’re reading this blog, then you’re already questioning whether alcohol really is everything it’s cracked up to be. It doesn’t matter where you are in that shift, or how much work there is left to do. The fact is, you’ve stepped into the arena.
I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past
It’s rare for anyone to be an ‘overnight success’. When you think about the people you really look up to, who you admire and respect, what kind of history do they have? It’s rarely ever easy. There’s nearly always been some kind of struggle there.
It’s the hard times that make us. When you’ve been through a few storms, you tend to be more aware of what really matters in life. You’re more accepting of yourself and others. The struggle you’ve been through always gets put to good use.
Screwing up is ok. In fact, it’s kind of vital
When we’re learning how to walk, we don’t give up as soon as we fall over. When we’re learning to spell, we accept our mistakes because after all, we’re learning. If we fail our driving test, it doesn’t mean we’re any less of a person, does it?
In most areas of life, we have a pretty healthy attitude towards mistakes. Yet with sobriety, we tend to come into it convinced there’s something wrong with us, so if we don’t ‘get it’ straight away, our sense of failure increases.
Consider this. What if there was no way you were going to get sober without first making some monumental mistakes? Just to be clear – I’m not giving you permission to give up on your AF goals. But what I am saying is this: sobriety is rarely a smooth path from A to B.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison
Screwing up is part of you figuring out what works and what doesn’t. It’s how you realise what you really need – whether that be community, accountability, extra support, advice, strategies… you don’t know what you need until you take action.
Don’t give up yet. The chances are, you’re on the verge of a massive breakthrough.
If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.
Thanks Kate. When I took your course last year, you said that the first few days and weeks were the hardest, and you were right. Knowing that it was going to get easier and better if I kept going, spurred me on. You were right. Life is great now!
Perfect timing on this article, Kate. Thank you!
Well I’m pleased you trusted me and went for it! You only get to find out what sobriety is really like if you do it, and keep doing it for at least a couple of months. It’s such a different experience, as you’ve discovered. Congratulations on your sobriety Lucy! 🙂
I so need help with my drinking habits, it’s like when i do have a drink like a bottle of wine i drink it so fast like i have to get it down me as quick as poss then when it’s gone, i’m thinking it’s ok there are beer’s in the fridge!! Ive missed so much out of an evening as i fall asleep as i get drunk to quick. i’d really like to get to the stage when i go out as i’m always on my gaurd as to how much i drink when i’m out!! It’s funny but the thought of a life with no drink is quite scary if you know what i mean
It’s really normal to feel that way in the beginning. If you’d like some help to quit drinking (and feel good about it) I am happy to support you. Here’s how we can work together: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Wishing you all the best Angela 🙂
I’ve signed up for this website and I hear about the course people have taken
How do I actually tKe the course?
I get emails right now only
Thanks for your help
Hi Diahann, the next class will start on April 6th. I’ll email you when registration is open (around a week before) with all the details you need and information on how to register for the 6 week course. I hope you’re able to join us!
I’m looking forward to starting the class! I’m on waiting list for April start. I’ve used the daily affirmations and blogs to start on my own. Wise wisdom in so many ways for me. So thankful for this type of forum for women. I happened upon it as I was researching programs.
Playing the movie forward is working for me. I don’t know what I’m going to do in the long term, but I know what happens when I drink. The movie always ends the same way and I regret it.
Thinking through the drink – and forcing yourself to imagine what will inevitably happen – is always really powerful. Keep going Elizabeth! I know what it’s like when you’re doing this alone, so if you need any more support, I’m happy to help. The best way for us to work together would be via my online course: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Kate…thank you for the PERFECT timing…loneliness is my enemy with the WW…I’ve stumbled more times than I can count BUT feel like I’m getting closer, learning about yourself after all those toxins is indeed a journey. Day 3 and liking myself!! Thanks for all you do!
Ps love the book!!
Thanks Teri. Well done on your 3 days! Keep going 🙂
Thanks very much , 2 things stick out for me in this. 1) Teddy R quote …powerful
2) point 3 nothing is successful first time so I will keep trying
I’m pleased to hear you’re going to keep going Deborah. As the saying goes, “you haven’t come this far to only come this far”. This is just the beginning!
So delighted to have found this site. I identify with every comment.
Day 44 for me today. I’ve succeeded in stopping before but was always struggling. I never felt comfortable with AA and went to please everyone else.
I am reading this today because I want to and it really helps .
I’m so glad you’ve found a resource that resonates with you Angela. Congratulations on your 44 days, that’s brilliant! 🙂
I listened to your videos in January and decided to “take a break from alcohol” for 80 days. I’m on day 42 and feeling better than I have in years. I really didn’t think I could actually do it and it felt like I was losing my best friend…but here I am sober and happy. I’m not sure what I’m going to do after the 80 days, but I do know that I will never go back to the relationship I had with alcohol before. Thank you for your inspiration.
Congratulations Terra! I’m pleased to hear you’re on track with your goal and well on your way to 80 days! Did you know I’ve written a book too? It’s called How To Go Alcohol Free: 100 Tips for A Sober Life. I mention it because I think the book will help you plan your next steps and answer the ‘what do I do after 80 days’ question.
18/days now and I feel so much better in myself. I ask myself daily and hourly why am I doing this it wouldn’t hurt if I just have a drink so up and down. You have been a big help and encouragement to me and I thank you very much.
Well done Lynda – keep going! I wrote a blog last year that I think might resonate with you, during those moments when you’re tempted to have a drink: https://thesoberschool.com/trying-to-moderate-10-things-youll-need-to-be-ok-with-first/
I hope that helps 🙂
Thanks Kate, I see now that the accomplishment of 6 wks AF is just the beginning, I need to temper my expectations on how much the new me can accomplishment and keep my goals manageable. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all I want to accomplish. I think I must still be adjusting physically and emotionally.
It’s great that you’ve got such big goals Cheryl! But you are right to slow down a little and take it all one step at a time. Quitting drinking is a pretty massive achievement all on its own… everything else will happen in time. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be right now 🙂
Kate I haven’t taken your classes but I want to share with you that you inspired me enough without joining. I’m now 7 weeks sober with no problems at all – all thanks to you in my opinion. Thank you
Congratulations Linda – that’s brilliant. Wishing you many more alcohol free days ahead! 🙂
Thanks Kate for your inspiring blog. I was on your October 2019 course and it changed my life. I still have not made any huge changes yet in my life, but at least I have eliminated alcohol from holding me back, now I know it is just me that’s holding me back, and that is confronting too, but at least I know I have no excuse now to live the best life, its up to me, I have the control now, and alcohol has lost its control which in itself it so liberating. I’m still getting used to it! thanks again
Quitting drinking is a pretty huge change in itself! It’s ok not to rush into any changes just yet. You are exactly where you need to be right now. Everything else will happen when it’s meant to 🙂
Hi Kate – what perfect timing. After going AF for 57 days, I drank 6 kraft beers last night and woke up feeling like crap, and beating myself up. There was no trigger, just thought I would have a relaxing beer at a brewery on a beautiful day after a hike with my husband. I wish so bad I could be an occasional drinker. I know I can’t moderate, but really struggle with forever. I don’t know why because I felt amazing during my 57 AF days. I couldn’t do the January class due to my work travel schedule. I think I need it, and absolutely love you inspirational blogs. It’s the best one out there. Thanks for all you do!
Well done on the 57 days you achieved Janet – that deserves some acknowledgement, for sure! I would really like to help you identify what it is that’s pulling you back to alcohol and making you yearn to be a moderate drinker. On the course we break down all the ‘benefits’ to drinking and examine them one by one, so you can see what’s really going on there, and feel genuinely good about not drinking. I’ll be running another class starting on April 6th – perhaps you can join me then? 🙂
I am crying – have not cried for at least 3 years – not that much then even when my husband died – he was ill and difficult for many years before that I now realise . I love the Roosevelt quotation , I have to be strong but it is hard alone – as I have always had to cope on my own in reality , finding this time tough
I’m thinking of you Tish and sending you positive thoughts. Keep going 🙂
I have tried one other course online that didn’t work for me and I’m back to drinking everyday! I am pretty much a health nut, being vegan and working on getting my high blood pressure down after having a heart attack. I feel really good about my diet, my commitment to following Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen, going off horrible medications, yet I continue to drink wine every night. How is your program different from others?
Hi Barbara, I don’t know what other programmes you’ve tried so I can’t comment on that.
I recommend watching these (super inspiring!) videos of my graduates talking about the course: https://thesoberschool.com/reviews/
And you can find out more about my next class here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I hope that helps 🙂
I know I don’t want too drink anymore and I know it’s now a real problem. Just reading and realising that I am not the only one out there helps hugely. It’s 5am and I’ve had the best sleep in a long time.
You’re definitely not alone in feeling this way Emma. Keep going 🙂
Hi Kate and all you wonderful women. I’m 79 days AF and stay on track by enjoying all the positives of not drinking: a healthy body, flatter stomach, softer skin, $$$ saved, no more living for happy hour, productive evenings and no morning regrets. I enjoy a 00 beer in the evening, and when socialising, I always have a non-alcoholic drink in my hand. Playing ‘the movie’ in my head is the best strategy ever. I know what would happen if I had a drink and there’s no way I ever want to go back there. Finally, and most importantly, I get so much help and inspiration from Kate’s weekly blogs. Thank you so much for helping to change my life! Vicki
What an inspiring post. Sobriety clearly suits you Vicki – congratulations on your 79 days! 🙂
This email is perfect timing. My day 0 started on 24th Jan 2019. I reached Day 10, then day 3, then Day 4, a couple of Day 1’s, I am now on Day 5 and feeling a lot stronger. Test for me today as hubby is out this evening. I have booked a late hot yoga class to help me get to day 6…feeling a little nervous, but also a little excitement (if that’s the best word?) that if I can do this tonight a am a step further on the AF journey…thank you Kate
Well done for sticking with this Niki. If you need some support to make sobriety click for you, please do check out my online course: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I think this blog may also resonate with you: https://thesoberschool.com/being-good-monday-thursday/
Hi Kate don’t know where to start my husband died from alcohol in 2005 and after watching him pass you 5hink I wouldn’t drink but know the opposite, I was drinking 2 / 3 bottles of wine a night and Ltr bottle of brandy at weekend, then on February 13th 2018 I stopped for 18 month’s don’t know how felt great lost 4 st which was great for me as my weight is big issue with me , then I went into menopause and my weight started to pile on I got so fed up so started drinking again ,finding it so difficult at the moment especially at wine oh clock I’m currently 2 days free this week . So sorry for long message x
It sounds like you’ve been through a lot Nikki and it’s great that you’re continuing to work on this. If you need some support to make some lasting changes (and feel great about being AF) I’d be happy to help you. Here are some details of how we can work together: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I haven’t started my journey yet. Each morning I think tonight will be it but then wine oclock arrives and even if I start with a non alcoholic drink I then move onto the wine…..thinking one glass won’t hurt but one becomes two…three…four and more. Reading the blogs provides inspiration and that feeling that I am not alone in my struggle along with the knowledge that it can be done. I have registered for the course in April but hope that I can start to become AF before then
Thanks for sharing what’s happening for you Shirley. I look forward to working with you in April – in the meantime, you might like to check out my book, ‘How To Go Alcohol Free – 100 Tips For A Sober Life’. You can find it on Amazon. I hope it helps 🙂
Thank you Kate. I have ordered the book
Hi Kate, I am new to the Sober School and I love your gentle approach and responses to all of us. On day 5 of my no-alcohol trip (that was yesterday) I went to my local pizza place and started off with ice cream and pizza, then finished with 3 glasses of wine. Surprisingly, I had major nightmares about booze everywhere and me trying to run away! Maybe my problem is bigger than I thought. I am still motivated to reduce my daily wine intake. THIS ROAD IS GOING TO BE A BIT TOUGHER THAN I THOUGHT … wine is everywhere!!!
Hi Erna, it’s good to have to have you here! It can be hard, figuring this out on your own. If you need any extra support and accountability, please do take a look at my online course – I think it could be just what you need: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Hope that helps 🙂
Thank you, Kate. I am also on the waiting list for the course starting on 6 April.
Hi Kate, I’m not finding it too difficult, I hope that keeps up, I have tried on different occasions and have failed, I feel that this is my time, I’m happy than ever, and so clear in my mind and your course was very different from what I’ve tried and I loved it, it really makes sense. Thank you
I’m really pleased you got so much out of the course Louise. Wishing you many more amazing, alcohol free days ahead! 🙂
Thank you, Kate. I really needed this today.
Thanks Kate I’ve had a stumble so this was great to wake up to this morning