The Problem With ‘Being Good’ Monday To Thursday

The Problem With ‘Being Good’ Monday To Thursday

Back when I was drinking too much, but I didn’t know what to do about it, I tried hard to ‘be good’ from Monday to Thursday.

I could get my head around staying alcohol-free during the working week. But a sober Friday, Saturday and Sunday? That was not going to happen!

Because I wasn’t ready to quit completely, being good during the week seemed like the next best thing.

What I didn’t realise is that there’s a big problem with ‘Monday to Thursday sobriety’.

In fact, there are actually 3 different issues…

 

You’re teaching yourself that you can’t quit long term

If you’re only ever sober during the working week, what you’re really telling yourself is that alcohol-free living is only ever possible when you’re at work, in a routine and not doing anything fun. Basically – you’re treating sobriety like a strict diet.

Not only are you teaching yourself to believe that you can’t stop properly, you’re also reinforcing the idea that sobriety = hard and boring, whereas drinking = joy. Long term, successful sobriety happens when you realise that you can live a full and happy life without alcohol, no matter what day of the week it is.

 

You never get time to do the all important mindset work

When you’re only ever stopping for a few days, all you can really do is cross your fingers and hope for the best. You’re not giving yourself enough time to get clear on why you’ve been drinking, tackle the root causes or find some sober tools (i.e. alternative coping mechanisms).

To be happily alcohol-free, you’ll also want to work on your mindset, tackle your limiting beliefs and educate yourself about alcohol. Doing all that stuff takes a little while, and you deserve the time and space to make a proper go of it.

 

You never, ever get to the good bit!

If you’re only quitting from Monday to Thursday, here’s what you’ve got to know: you’re forcing yourself to repeat the hardest bit of sobriety again and again and again. Seriously – the early days are some of the hardest! So why keep putting yourself through it?

It takes time to find your sober feet, overcome a few challenges, smash some sober firsts and gain a bit of momentum. Studies show that you need 66 days for a new habit to bed in – so it’s hardly surprising that taking four days off here and there isn’t enough.

 

What to do instead:

You don’t need to quit forever (that’s way too intimidating). But you do need to be able to experience sobriety properly and see what it’s REALLY like. And that means taking a break from drinking for two or three months. That’s when you start to see what it’s really all about.

Taking alcohol off the table for a defined period of time means you can give sobriety 100% and throw yourself into it, whilst feeling safe in the knowledge that at a set point in time, you will stop, review and decide what happens next. What’ve you got to lose?

If you need support to stop drinking or take a break from booze, click here for details of my online course.

 

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40 Comments

  1. Thanks Kate love ur emails a great help x

    Reply
    • Hi Kate – I’ve been alcohol-free since 1 Oct last year (kiwi #1) and loving it. Thank you for showing me a better, bigger more fulfilling life sober without having to sign up to AA groups (something I would never have done). Best wishes.
      Kiwi#1

      Reply
      • It’s great to hear you’re doing so well Kiwi#1! I hope life is good 🙂

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        • Hi Kate.!.. I’ve been alcohol free for 4 days.!!! Still in the struggling stage, hoping I can stay strong

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          • Off alcohol 23 days . If you like sparkling water arm yourself with this .one in the fridge with some fresh limes and one in your room . Your looking for that fizzy hit.after two weeks you will start to feel clearer.

        • Hi Kate and all,
          This is such a good point! (Thanks to your course, I quit drinking October of last fall as well). One of the reasons I listed for wanting to be AF is that I wouldn’t be spending the majority of the time thinking about drinking, when I get to drink again, and how much, etc. Without deciding to be sober for an extended time, I was still tied to the big weight of thinking about it.
          You have developed a system that really worked for me, a million thanks!
          I still enjoy your blogs.

          Reply
          • Thanks Annette, it’s lovely to hear from you and see you doing so well! I’m delighted 🙂

    • Thanks Morvern 🙂

      Reply
    • Totally agree re the emails/blogs etc.
      I stopped on 2nd September 2017 and still check in and read them.
      I can honestly say as time goes by it gets easier and easier. (It was my second attempt at stopping.) The revelation for me is that I can’t now actually understand why I drank!
      I get the comments re socialising; I still go out a lot but I normally drive so I can leave when it all starts to get messy.
      Good luck everyone xx

      Reply
      • Thanks Minnie well done on your 6 months!! I’m scared of the socialising part all of my friends drink ….. Thankfully my partner isn’t a big drinker at all he can take it or leave it .

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    • I’d like to say thank you. Your storey resonates. I did 87 days of the first 100. My god did people question me. I just said a friend had did it. Then it was my Bday. And I had a drink. I’m annoyed with myself. But I have to say it didn’t give me the same buzz as before. I’m back on 100 days.

      Reply
  2. I think I actually love you. You speak so much sense and I have never found anything like this. I don’t want to admit I have a ‘wee’ problem but I think I do. Its more of a weekend binge, sometimes midweek which in turn ruins my work, my mood and bank balance. I am going to study your website and get my head around it all. Thank you so much for this x

    I am too embarrassed to comment on FB posts incase friends and family see so this is a great way for me to communicate.

    Reply
    • I’m so pleased this resonates with you Suzanne – I think you’ll find yourself in good company here. I wrote another blog about signs that we’re drinking too much, which I think you might find helpful, as the ‘clues’ aren’t always quite what we expect: https://thesoberschool.com/do-i-need-to-quit-drinking/
      Keep going! 🙂

      Reply
    • Totally with you on this Suzanne! I used to live for Thursdays as that’s when I generally allowed myself to have a drink and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday followed drinking wine and Prosecco. Monday would come around, I would feel like shit, not achieve anything generally until Wednesday and it became a vicious cycle of feeling down and depressed the first half of the week, followed by 3 days off drink to get myself back into a good place, then the whole merry go round would start again on Thursday. I’m 38 days sober and have never felt better!

      Reply
      • Sara I’m the same exact way, that’s why I have to totally be Alcohol free. I have done and said horrible things to my husband that I would never say sober. So I know now it’s time. Keep it up! I’m looking so forward to Kate’s course

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        • God yes so have I and the worse thing is I can barely remember some of the horrible things I’ve said to him! The fact he’s forgiven me every time speaks volumes about him x

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    • No excuses for me not to attend a club with my child tonight. Finished work, made a lovely dinner and off we went. No excuses, no hangover, no reaching for the wine. Feeling good but very wary it’s only day 3

      Reply
  3. Hi, I have done the whole not drink during the week and that never works, before I knew it I was back to drinking a bottle of wine a night and on the weekends more. I’m now to the point i don’t remember things, become sloppy and I’m always feeling guilty. So I have decided to stop all together. I’m a little under a month with no alcohol and I’ve noticed I’m open for support and AA was not for me.

    Reply
    • Congratulations on your one month sober Leann! You’re off to a great start, well done. Keep going – it keeps on getting better 🙂

      Reply
      • I am desperate for help. Been drinking wine most nights (I live alone with my daughter but have a partner I see at weekends) I get nasty when I drink wine. When I’m out, not at home. I kicked off at my boyfriend last week but don’t remember any of it. So ashamed. He is saying he can’t handle it anymore. Please help me. I’ve done 3 days af now but feel so low.

        Reply
        • Hi Sara, I’d be happy to help you. I’m not taking on any 1 on 1 clients just now, so the best way for us to work together will be via my online course. The next class starts soon: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

          Reply
  4. I’m so thankful to have opened this. I had already started to negotiate with myself. I told myself I’ll just have wine on Friday and Saturday. Even with feeling so good today, my 3rd day not drinking. I cant promise forever but I want to feel good. And these mornings waking up have been easy. Getting my son ready in the morning wasn’t as hectic. So thank you. Your post stopped my negotiations for the weekend. I actually stopped read it. And realized how good I felt.

    Reply
    • I’m really pleased this helped shift your mindset around the weekend! I wrote another blog specifically about why alcohol free weekends are so good and worthwhile – you might like to read this if you need any more motivation 🙂
      https://thesoberschool.com/reasons-not-to-drink-next-weekend/

      Reply
  5. I really needed to read this. I’ve been sober for 3 weeks now. I’ve gone without alcohol cold turkey many times and I’ve never made it past 1 month and a half. For some reason I feel accomplished and in control at that point,!and that I can start drinking again. I’ve started antabuse recently which FORCES me to not drink because I’m deathly afraid of the consequences. I’ve tried other medications that are supposed to supppress the desire to drink, but they never worked for me. So my psychiatrist upped the ante and gave me antabuse to scare me into not drinking, and I am grateful. Today’s blog resonated with me because I realize I can do 1 month on my own, but 1 month is simply not enough. My Psychiatrist recommended at least three months and you Kate have recommended 2-3 months as well. My last drink was Feb 25th, and I’m going to continue this three month path and give myself a real chance.

    Thanks for this timely post!
    -Ash

    Reply
    • Many congratulations on your 3 weeks Ash – I’m really pleased to hear you’re aiming for 3 months. You will be so pleased you did it! A lot is going to change in that time 🙂

      Reply
  6. I’m 85 days without alcohol and life is so clear, so good and ultimately so manageable. Once you realise alcohol holds you back it’s great living without it. And let’s face it sober is the new cool way to be. Sober not Coma
    I’m now offering a friend a hand and ‘The sober school’ is a great tool!

    Reply
    • I love your comment – “sober not coma” ! Great work on the 85 days SJ 🙂

      Reply
  7. Hi Kate, I’m in a relationship where my BF is a daily drinker. I love him and I have told him many times that I want to stop drinking for awhile. He is always proud of me and I know he wants to quit too. In his case, it should be supervised for sure. I just have to SAY NO to myself EVERYTIME the thought of drinking enters my mind…Thinking about a glass of wine “NO” (loudly), going out for dinner, have to have wine with everyone else? NO !!!

    It really helps to jog the brain.

    Reply
    • In an ideal world, it would be great to have a partner who is on exactly the same page as us, but life rarely works like that. Well done for deciding that you’ll do what’s right for you 🙂

      Reply
  8. Absolutely!
    Living a fully sober lifestyle brings all the happiess and benefits of not drinking, that just scraping through 4 days at a time will never bring.
    Plus, weekends are way too precious to just give them away to booze.

    Reply
    • I so agree… losing your weekends to hangovers is just the worst. Our free time is too precious for that!

      Reply
  9. Thank you so much for this! I just said to my husband this morning after a horrendous Sunday hangover that I am going to try to not drink all week until the weekend. But reading this has made me realize I am doing myself an injustice by only stopping on the weekdays. I’m just not sure I can do it. Thank you for at least making me think.

    Reply
    • I’m glad it made you think. If you need some help to stop for longer, my online course could be a good fit for you. It’s designed specifically for women who can stop for a few days or weeks, but struggle to stick to longer term sober goals. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

      Reply
  10. Hi Kate,
    I tried all kinds of ways to moderate my drinking and could not do it. I signed up for the Sober School (January 2019). Best thing I have ever done. Haven’t had a drink since January 1st and I feel great. Thanks again Kate!!!

    Reply
    • Yay, so pleased to hear this Cathy! Many congratulations! You rock ❤️

      Reply
  11. Good morning Kate
    Your blogs are amazing
    ! I’ve been researching how to quit for ages and I have tried the stopping Mon-Thurs but it always feel like I’m punishing myself for 4 days.
    It’s time to really give sobriety a go !!

    Reply
    • Thanks KJ! If you need some help to make sobriety stick, my online course could be a good fit for you. The next class starts in a few weeks: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

      Reply
  12. I have had a few attempts at stopping, and my drinking falls into the ‘normal’ ‘middle class’ range, ie half a bottle of wine on the weekend each day, and maybe 2 glasses on 2 week nights. But I feel like my drinking is holding me back and it is problematic for me, even if no one else thinks it is.

    I want to quit. When I feel motivated, it takes a couple of weeks of slog, and then the world opens up. I am much h happier without it.

    But something happens around 6 weeks in, and I go back to it. I get a strong craving out of no-where and I can’t seem to push through.

    Reply
  13. Kate, you are so on point with this. I went alcohol free all week and then last night (friday night) i went happy hour crazy. Drank too much, behaved poorly and woke up ill. What fun!
    Today is day 1 for me. So over all of this nonsense. Thanks for all if the great info. It really helps.

    Reply
  14. I used to do this. After I got things straight I realized that on those days off I was really still hungover. Physically on Monday then mentally on Tuesday,Wednesday,and Thursday. So you’re really still a drunk. Just not a drinking one.

    Reply

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