Kate's Blog

Before You Hit The F*** It Button, Try This

It may only be the first week of November, but at this time of year, there are two types of messages I start to see in my inbox:

“What’s the point of even trying to quit drinking now? It’s going to be too hard – there are too many parties and tempting things coming up that I won’t be able to get through.”

“I’m newly sober… but I’m pretty sure I won’t make it through the holiday season. So why am I putting so much effort in now? I may as well drink already.”

If you’re in one of those two camps and you’re tempted to say “F*** it, what’s the point…?” then this week’s video is for you!

Key points

If you’ve already stopped drinking, read this bit

This is for you if you’ve got a few days or weeks of sobriety under your belt and you want to continue that, but you’re feeling wobbly about the upcoming holiday season. Get a calendar and work out how many days there are left between now and the end of the year. If you’re watching this on Monday 6th, we’ve got 55 days left of the year.

Then multiply that number by three, because there are three parts to each day: morning, afternoon and evening. It’s rare that you will have an event on the calendar that’s going to challenge your sobriety all day – from dawn till dusk. Your work Christmas party, for example, is probably just an evening thing, so one section of the day.

Work out how many events you have coming up. Then calculate the percentage of time that’s going to be genuinely challenging for you in the coming weeks. I think you might be surprised by how low that number is! Even if 15% of your time is going to be challenging, that still means that 85% of your time is just going to be normal, regular life.

⭐ Side note here… I’m working on something to help women who’ve already quit drinking have a better sober December, despite all the festive craziness. Are you interested? Let me know here

If you want to quit, but aren’t ready to stop yet, read this bit

My top tip for you is to start getting really curious about your drinking. Most drinkers are terrible at this and will say things like, “I have no idea why I drink, I should know better!” Or, “I don’t know why I drink, I guess I just need more willpower.” Conversations like that close down an opportunity for learning.

Ask yourself this question: Why does my drinking make sense in this moment? Write down what’s happening and why you feel tempted to hit the fuck it button and drink. For example, “I feel inferior to my friends, so I drank during our lunch together to try to feel better.” Or, “I’ve been stretched thin all week and by Friday night, wine seems the easiest way to wind down.”

This is valuable information. If we’re going to take alcohol away, we need to understand what alcohol has been doing for you. You always drink for a reason. Once we understand what that is, we can look at how else to meet that need and what inner work is required.

In the examples above, we’d need to look at why you don’t feel as good as your friends, or why you don’t give yourself permission to slow down earlier in the week. That’s the kind of work we can do on my Getting Unstuck course – but it all starts with you being curious about your drinking and being willing to explore why it happens.

Want some help to create an alcohol-free life you love? Click here to learn more about my Getting Unstuck course.

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. 

Comments

30 Responses

  1. I am 9 days AF. The holidays are a concern. The idea of figuring out the percentage of time that I may be struggling during the holiday season is brilliant! My percentage is very low! Thanks for this strategy Kate!❤️

  2. I’m a habitual drinker for many years. I love wine o’clock. Just because it’s so nice. But in recent years, I’ve had to deal with so much. Death of parents, bullying in two jobs, early retirement as a result, more recently the death of my brother in June and being the only one to deal with it all. Now my husband is displaying signs of dementia. I’m exhausted with having to be **dealing** with everything for so many years. I know I must give up my emotional addiction but this is yet another mountain to climb. I feel so alone in this, it’s just easier to drink and feel better. I wish it wasn’t like this

    1. My approach is to make the process of quitting drinking fun and empowering, not adding yet another job to a never ending to do list. I help women to stop drinking and feel great about it. 🙂
      If you hate the idea of missing out or feeling deprived, I can show you how to have fun, relax and be confident without relying on wine o’clock to be your only reward. Why not have a listen to my free pep talk at that time instead: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk There is another way of doing things. We only get one life so don’t let something like alcohol hold you back.

    2. Dear Ceri
      I hear you and totally emphasise with your situation having had a similar time of it myself, but I started dry January and managed to stay AF until after Easter, with the help of Kate and similar sites. My head constantly told me “go on have a drink, you deserve it with all this sh*t going on”, but I resisted and really think being sober helped me get through the first part of the year. But it meant I had to deal with the raw emotions which was very difficult. I did lapse back into drinking in the late spring summer. Then my world went even more pear-shaped. But I found that the sober foundation I had built earlyier, help this not get out of control and I am now AF again since September 31st. So long story short, hang in there, and give dealing with it AF a chance. It will surprise you. My virtual support and love go out to you.xxx

  3. You could not have timed this better, thank you…it makes so much sense.
    I’m already hoping for a healthier November xx

  4. Wanting to stop so this is useful I think I am drinking mostly as a reward for a long day and to help me unwind. I am sure I can find other ways of doing that!

  5. My percentage is none existent ,my job is remote so no party there(helps) It’s amazing how drinking socially defines us ( one minute Dr Jekyll),one of the girls great laugh! Fun loving ,will do anything for a laugh. .and then a tiny bit too much to drink and hello ‘Mr kickoff Hyde’ Oh the remorse.!must have spent half my adult life apologising for stuff I cant remember….so NO! I want to get past that ugly me because the sober me is ok.As for getting through Christmas well my family are treating me as a leper since I ‘outed’ a month ago( I come from a long line of boozers,no invite anywhere)But do you know what I I’ll do this for me, Anyone who says your boring F#@k them!!!! Because in the the greater scheme they’re terrified to invite you because you’ll remember sorry for rambling on xxxx

    1. This reminds me of the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote ” what other people think of me is none of my business”. Your decision not to drink is also none of their business, so go your own way and be happy and healthy!

    2. Brilliant well said !!! You do you I’m alcohol free 1 month and feeling great this is a life decision . Hang in there sounds like your doing great !!!

  6. I have been dabbling with sobriety for many years.
    I don’t drink anywhere near the amount I used to in my 20s, 30s and 40s ( shameful) I feel so much better when I’m completely sober, yet cave in after a few days, weeks, months. I’m actually sick to death of the head space and time alcohol consumes. I don’t want to do another dry January, I want it now and to feel rested, calm and proud during the Christmas holidays. Thankyou so much Kate for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, you are truly inspirational.

  7. The longest I’ve intentionally gone sober in YEARS was several months back when I got to around 12 days. (terrible – I have forgotten the exact number already!). I felt so different and it felt like a fog had lifted. But the second weekend felt too hard and too long and I started drinking again. Worst of all, my drinking then increased quite significantly as well. I realise this is progressive and has to stop. It’s difficult because my husband also drinks and we seem to influence each other. Most of the time, drinking is a habit but it also helps dumb down my mind. I can be an anxious person and an over-thinker. Right now, I’ve never felt so lost and have various things I’m struggling with. Alcohol seems to numb all those feelings…. But only until the next day. For the most part, it causes a lot more problems than it solves in the short term. I’m in the camp of not feeling I can stay 100% sober yet… Especially at this time of year…. But still hopeful I could start clocking up more and more sober days and seeing how I manage there.

    1. Natalie, we are conditioned to think we can exercise control over alcohol, but it’s a drug and an addictive one at that. Why should we be able to control our intake, when after a few days the cravings start screaming loudly in our heads for more? It’s a very common reason why women stay stuck in this ‘trap’ of not being able to envisage life without alcohol but also suffering from the side effects of drinking – lose, lose. This is why I recommend taking a break from drinking for six weeks whilst educating yourself around the truths about alcohol because there are a lot of myths and illusions that are unhelpful. My six week online course will help you change your mindset and empower you to find freedom from this never ending cycle you seem to be in. Find out more here:https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  8. I can SO relate to this. My unfortunate accident last month laid me up with recovering from surgery. I’m just starting to heal, and I’m already thinking about drinking wine, red wine to be specific. ‍♀️ and yes the holidays! My family thank god aren’t drinkers so I don’t hav e to worry about that but for me the holiday season and wine just go together. I can relate to all of the posts. I live alone, I have personal struggles, etc. life is so hard right now and alcohol may make me “not so tense” for a bit, but the sleep and next day just completely suck! I’m joining the class in January. I’m holding out as best as I can. I really don’t ever want that taste in my mouth again. I don’t want to feel so sick and riddled with anxiety! I like the calendar idea, I’m going to print it out and try it for the next couple months.

    1. It’s quite surprising (and also reassuring) to discover how little time is going to be truly centred around drinking. When you break it down on the calendar, I think you’ll be encouraged and that makes planning how to manage them a little easier. If your family aren’t drinkers, take your own alcohol-free drinks to family gatherings. No one really notices what’s in your glass anyway, so it’s a good strategy at any event or party. Give it a try Sheri and start the New Year on a high! ❤️

  9. I’ve been on and off for years now. I’ve tried AA about 5 times and it just doesn’t work for me. Hangovers make me so depressed for days and I then binge eat so my health goal post always seems to be moving away from me! I’m on Day 1 and listening to hypnosis and practicing gratitude and all the things haha. I feel safe and hopeful when sober and like some haggard witch when I’m hungover. I fall in the camp of the successful friends you mentioned. Alcohol numbs the low self esteem and at times shame. But I can see it for what it is when bright eyed and bushy tailed and can see it changing as become more productive. I really want to kick the old wicked witch out of my life and step into Glenda the good witch LOL! Rant over haha! Thank you for your video loved it ☺️

    1. I use the same analogy in my head because that’s how I feel – like a haggard ol witch when I’m hungover! When I feel fresh I’m like a completely different person.

  10. thankyou Kate for another inciteful video. For me this is very important and as I live with a heavy drinker and all my family are drinkers. Our Christmas day starts of with champagne breakfast, followed by lunchtime drinks, then aperitifs before we hit the wine with our Christmas dinner. And that isnt even mentioning the rest of Christmas and new year or the pub sessions with friends in the build up to it!!!
    I am determined to come out of Christmas rested and chilled after such an awfully stressful year with family and work, but my husband is going to struggle with that idea and will likely get even more drunk as he consumes my half of the bottles of wine and champagne as well as his own. So I am very concerned about our relationship if I attempt to continue not drinking over the holidays. I worked out my % as a very high 29% because I know that once we finished for Christmas it will be an all day struggle till I go back to work. But I still intend to give it a go.

    1. Hi Sandra, we can’t control what others do or think but YOU can control what YOU do. Making decisions about what YOU want to drink, which events YOU want to go to, and how YOU want to feel. It’s quite empowering when you realise all those choices are at your fingertips. You deserve to feel rested and chilled after Christmas.

  11. It’s surprising how being sober helps to clarify whether you even need to attend various functions as there is nothing worse than being at a party with a load of drunk people (read obnoxious/loud/groping) demonstrating a side to their personalities that you’d rather not witness, and no doubt I was once in that camp!!
    I’m more selective about which events to go to, and of course, I’m always so sober so a quick getaway is simple to execute if required.
    Here in NZ it’s summer so it’s more than a couple of weeks of Xmas party season!!

    Ceri, I truly feel for you <3.
    My last few years have, notwithstanding covid, been pretty crap, culminating in the recent death of my 94 yr old father. My mother died before I became sober-curious (curiosity is endless…) and the two experiences were so different. This time I experienced far more grief because I wasn't masking my emotions with booze, and I think some delayed grief for my mother, however, this has now changed to a far better sense of myself – it was hard at the time but now I feel so much better. The grief hasn't gone but it's now tempered with love and happiness, and happy memories, for my late parents.
    My sister has terminal brain cancer and this is another journey better travelled sober. I'm there for her family in a way that I couldn't have been when drinking, not least because my emotional availability is far greater now.
    I'm also better at looking after my emotional well-being, including staying away from that same sister when she treats us like crap!!
    She's always been like this since before the cancer, but now I can cope with her idiosyncrasies and resume our friendship without acrimony.
    I started a new job 2.5 years ago after years of a stressful job, including dealing with extreme bullying and constructive dismissal, and I work for a great team, am flourishing as I am there sober (never hungover) every day, growing and developing in my role and self, even at the age of 60!!
    I mentor people of all ages to reach their best work in their roles and I love it!!
    Could I have imagined this over 4 years ago before doing Kate's course?? NO!!

    Never underestimate your abilities and the power of sobriety!!

    1. Hi Anna, I agree sobriety allows us to choose exactly what we want to do or attend. Life will always send us challenges. Being able to deal with and process them sober is so much better in the long run rather than masking and delaying. Thank you for sharing your experience here.

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