Kate's Blog

5 Annoying Things That Happen When You Quit Drinking

Quitting drinking is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. 

Alcohol free living is amazing, but I can’t pretend it’s all been sunshine and rainbows…
There are some really annoying things that might happen when you stop.
I thought I’d talk about how I’ve handled this stuff, in case it happens to you too. 

Key points:

1. Some friendships may change

Most drinkers end up surrounding themselves with other drinkers. Your decision to quit might make your boozy buddies feel uncomfortable or self conscious about their habits. Remember that a true friend will want to spend time with you, no matter what’s in your glass. 

2. Some people will pressure you to drink

It can be hard when someone says, “Oh you’re not going to leave me drinking on my own, are you?” This kind of pressure is all about the other person – you’re not responsible for their feelings. Someone who is truly comfortable with their drinking won’t care what you’re doing. 

3. Some people will say stupid things

There’s a bit of a theme here: other people’s reactions say everything about them and nothing about you. When I first quit drinking, I wanted the ground to swallow me up whenever something like this happened. Nowadays I genuinely don’t care.

4. You might feel like an awkward teenager

After years of using alcohol to numb the edges of life, sobriety can leave you feeling as if you’re walking around naked. Remember that this discomfort is temporary. When you start showing up as you – and you discover that people still like you – it’s a massive confidence boost. 

5. You might not be catered for

When I first quit drinking, I seemed to go to so many events where there were just two drink options: red wine or white wine! I always remind myself that it is completely ridiculous for there not to be any other options. So don’t hold back when it comes to asking where the alcohol free drinks are. 


The challenges I’ve mentioned here are nothing compared to the horrors of drinking too much. If you’re strong enough to deal with horrible hangovers, you can totally handle this stuff. Sobriety is so, so worth it!
Looking for help and support to create an alcohol free life you love? Click here for details of my online coaching programme.


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. 


41 Responses

  1. Hello
    I’ve been AF for 42 days. I am enjoying the hangover free-dom . The closest I’ve come to drinking was yesterday. I joined some friends by the river which is a place where I have always drank in the past. It was really tempting but I managed to not do it. I think this is going to be the most challenging part for me.

      1. Hi I have been AF for over 6 weeks now. Since I did your week long free coaching. I had tried many times to give up with willpower, which didn’t work and I read a book and that did help but I never thought it had changed me. I’m loving not being hungover ( I never thought I had hangovers) my kids love it and my face has changed. I have also lost 10lb, I’m delighted about that. Thank you so much for your help. I still follow and read things all the time.

    1. I think the most annoying thing and probably a reason why I have not attempted this before is that a lot of alcohol free drinks are overly sweet or fizzy. I quite like tonic or ginger beer but don’t like coke or sweet lemonade. I would be interested in other choices that aren’t sweet or full of fizz.

  2. Yep, went out for a happy hour with friends. Almost got a drink, but thought about how I would feel bad about the decision and not giving in to the ” drink” voice in my head.

  3. Thank you, Kate, for freely giving your tools for sobriety. I went from blackout drinking almost on a daily basis to not drinking at all. I credit you with helping me to do that. You know, I don’t count the days. I haven’t announced to anyone that I’ve quit. I mostly don’t even think about it, other than to sometimes remember to be grateful; grateful to you, and to myself, and to the universe for placing you in my path.

    1. That’s great. I love the fact that you don’t even think it about it now. A powerful reminder that alcohol free living does soon become normal life! 🙂

  4. So today is day 9. Unfortunately I had a really bad fall, not alcohol related but I ended up with a broken nose and bleed on brain. Was in hospital from Saturday to Friday and didn’t even want a drink, so decided now is the time. It is hard particularly when my husband is drinking.

    1. Well done on your 9 days and I’m sorry to hear about your fall. It must have been quite a shock for you there. Make sure you have plenty of support and people you can talk to about this. If you need any support from me, my online course would be the best way for us to work together. Here are some details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

      1. Day one of no drinking for the first time in years. Let’s see if I can get through day 2. I used to have a couple of glasses after work every night.

        1. Thank you so very much.
          I think you may have just saved my life.
          You have “hit so many nails on the head”.
          I have just listened to the pep talk.
          It won’t be easy, but I am not going to drink tonight.
          It’s day one.

        2. Kate, your free input is worth thousands of dollars to those like me who appreciate how you have the ability to put feelings and concerns about our AF walk into words. Thank you so for your much-needed communications!

  5. I’m on day 11 of my new, free, sober life.
    Your videos are inspiring, empowering, and smart. And, your phrases like, “boozie comfort blanket” make me lol but are spot on.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for putting yourself out there. Your words and videos are keeping me strong and focused.
    Thanks again!!!! You are much appreciated:)

  6. I’d like to try. I’ve done it before for 7 months from the first lockdown so here we go again, day 1 today!
    I’ll try not to replace it with chocolate this time!

    1. Well done Louise. Make sure you work on the reasons that led you back to drinking. There’s bound to be plenty to unpack there 🙂

  7. Oh yes! When I stopped drinking I found that any drinking family members or friends that I told, immediately went on the defense. While they are all heavy drinkers (just depends on the day), most remarked with, “well if YOU can’t moderate, the yeah, YOU should do something about it”. Ironically I drank less than any of them. It was so annoying! Instead of feeling supported I felt shamed, but I stood firm in my decision for a healthier lifestyle. Alcohol is toxic in any proportion! My attitude became, I don’t care who supports me or doesn’t… I’ve got shit to do! Because the other thing is, we’re not necessarily “supposed” to want the same things forever! It’s OKAY to give ourselves the space to change our minds.

    1. Well done for standing firm! It can be really tough when people respond in that way. I’m glad you’re doing what’s right for you… and seeing that their reactions are a reflection on them, not you.

      1. Thank you so much, Kate! I wouldn’t be where I am now, without your course! I’ve really leaned in and it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life! 40 days AF today! Wooohooo!!

  8. My friendships and my lifestyle have changed dramatically and for the better since I quit drinking. I am discovering the real me, somebody I have not known very well for most of my adult life. I am finding a best friend in myself. I don’t miss hangovers, who would? Alcohol free living is the most precious gift you can give to yourself and to those you love.

    1. I love what you wrote here – “I am finding a best friend in myself.” You’re so right… it really is the most precious gift 🙂

  9. Thankyou Kate my first week after a lifetime of Alcohol abuse to myself and feeling so ill , you are helping me so much Thank Alison

  10. A great talk, thank you! I never found moderation much of a problem when out, being more of a drinking-alone type.
    Alcohol-free when out, now? If the driving explanation won’t wash (because I’m next door or something), I say, “Oh, it just wrecks my sleep/joints/skin.” That’s all true, and usually turns the conversation to the other person’s sleep/joints/skin problem. They’re bound to have one or another problem, and I’m genuinely happy to listen until we find something else to talk about.

  11. I wish to thank you for your time & advice in helping me see that alcohol is no good for me. I have widened my view & regard alcohol as a bad drug.
    I own a bar and now I see people differently after they have consumed alcohol and realise that alcohol made me a different person. I laugh with and listen to people with more interest now. I’m only 48 days in and I have promised myself to get to January. I still use a posh glass and drink AF fizzy wine and AF G&T
    But no talking rubbish, can deal with my taxing day ahead and I don’t feel ill. Thank you Kate, big hug

  12. I have drank vodka most nights for many years and what I worry about is the withdrawal symptoms because you get told you can’t just stop you need help

    1. Hi Chris, the best thing is to check with your doctor. They’re the only person who can really make an assessment here. They can let you know whether you need medical support to stop drinking.

  13. This was a great thing to hear right now! I listened to a few people last night defend their choice to drink while I just said I feel better without!

  14. What about your partner continuing to drink, that’s the hardest for me. Everything we do involves alcohol, and I have remained sober for lots but it’s hard.

  15. Two months in and not looking back. The relief is monumental! I am realizing how annoying and downright obnoxious drunk people can be!! No awareness of subtle cues or other people’s energetic boundaries…just barrelling through conversations with loud self-importance. I’m trying to maintain a sense of humor and gratitude that I am able to be present and aware with whomever I’m talking to. I pride myself on my sensitivity, and am recognizing that this incongruence between drunk me and sober me was a source of some of my morning after shame. Thank you, Kate, for your honesty, support and humor!!

  16. I am day 9 and really enjoying it. I have has a stressful fortnight but decided there was always an excuse not to stop so I went for it. My pattern is water and fruit at 4, then a glass of milk after dinner. I also got some nice soft drinks to fall back on. I want to get away from mindless drinking, it starts with one then before I know it I can’t remember conversations. My first full weekend was a worry but I stuck to my plan and really enjoyed myself. If I can just break the cycle of drinking because that’s what I’ve always done, then I’m taking a step in the right direction for my health and sanity.

  17. 90 days sober today! During the last 3 months I’ve attended a wedding, parties, dinners with friends and been on holiday. It has been a little annoying and outright ridiculous to notice that drink-free options are not always readily available, but the small inconvenience cannot even begin to compare to the sense of empowerment that I’m doing this for myself.
    I’ve noticed that big drinking friends on the whole do not want to discuss my reasons for quitting drinking. Like Kate says it takes time for people to adjust their perception and I am happy to share as much of as little at this point. My default answer if I get asked is that I got bored with drinking. Who wants to live their life in a perpetual Groundhog Day anyway? Surely that’s inferior to facing life sober?

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