Before I quit drinking, I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without booze in it.
How would I cope with a bad day at work without drinking?
I couldn’t imagine going out at the weekend sober, or celebrating something special without a glass of champagne.
Because I couldn’t picture these things, they felt impossible.
So then I’d wonder: what’s the point in even trying to quit?
If your mind is getting stuck in a similar thought loop, this week’s video will help you untangle it all.
What we can and can’t imagine doing changes all the time.
Before I quit drinking, there were so many things I couldn’t picture doing without booze. Nowadays, drinking is the thing I can’t imagine doing! I look back on the way I used to drink and it seems crazy now.
Tips for getting over the “I can’t imagine it” trap
1. Bring awareness to this pattern of thinking. Start noticing it when it comes up. A big part of quitting drinking is learning to manage your mind and that starts with paying attention to your thoughts.
2. Think about all the other things in your life that at some point, you couldn’t imagine doing – or not doing! I suspect your life is full of things that seemed unthinkable at one point or another.
3. Seek out women who’ve already quit drinking. Find out what their lives are like and use that as inspiration to know that you can do it too. You can hear from lots of women who’ve been where you are right here.
4. Give sobriety a chance. You’ve given alcohol so many chances over the years – now sobriety deserves the same opportunity. You need to do it (and keep doing it) for at least 6-9 weeks so you can get to the good bit of sobriety and experience it properly.
If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.
Imagine the things you thought you couldn’t do. FIRST THING.. I left my abusive husband 25 years ago. And it just now popped in my head when you said that. I went along with this for years because i couldn’t imagine what else I would do with me and my kids. Well, I finally did it and woohoo what a life I’ve had. Kids are well and that though is what you said today. I can’t imagine, but I did.
What continues to hold me back from giving up alcohol is looking forward to getting together with friends , involving happy hours or dinners together.
I don’t overindulge with them, but nine times out of ten, it leads me right back to overindulgence later- I will usually stop and buy a bottle of wine to take home and HERE I GO AGAIN
Ooof, it sounds like some serious myth busting needs to be deployed here! It sounds a bit like you think alcohol is necessary in order to have a good time? That’s a thought that will hold you back if you don’t hold it up to the light and look at whether it’s really true. I’ve written a lot about this over the years… including this: https://thesoberschool.com/no-fun-without-alcohol-myth/
Oh Jeanne, that is so me. Completely in control publicly but had always stopped on the way home and kept things going when home alone. Next day regretted it.
That is my biggest hurdle, not starting so I don’t have to fail at stopping.
Thank you so much …I seem to manage 6 days then start again and have a bottle of wine 3or 4 nights on the trot …then stop for 10 days then start again …then stop again…beating myself up so much …I am going to practice point 4 this time and give sobriety a chance ..today Im on day 3.
That was an amazing thing to do for yourself and your kids Pamela. You’re stronger than you think!
This really spoke to me today. I am working on number 4! I have done 30 day AF stints before and gone as far as 39 days. My goal is to go at least 60 days(hopefully longer) so I give sobriety a real chance. I did Dry January, drank on some weekends in February but I am back on track again in March. I feel so great when I am AF. Thank you, Kate for your videos of encouragement and support. They are very comforting to me.
All resonated- tip one I’m going to pay particular attention to today as it’s my thinking that needs to change.
Then tip 4- sticking at it to give it a real chance! It’s so tough!
Sticking at it is the most important bit – otherwise you’re repeating the hardest first few weeks over and over. If you need help to take a break and feel really good about it, my online course would be a great fit. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
9 week’s sober and I feel amazing! Holidays have been on my mind lately. I can’t imagine being sober all holiday. But that’s probably because ive never done it before!
I’m definitely giving sobriety a chance this year. I have never felt so healthy!
Exactly – a holiday is just another sober first to experience. I think you’ll love it! Congratulations on your 9 weeks Rebecca 🙂
Take it one day, one afternoon, one evening or even one hour at a time. Have a strong back up Plan A & Plan B to not drink alcohol. Enjoy your down time & be strong for you! Holidays end. Your peace of mind goes on. I’m at 100 days now. Its been worth it. Hang in there!
Thank you for the tips I’m definitely going to talk to some other women who have given up drinking and I’m certainly going to give sobriety a good go, I need to do this.
Go for it Alison 🙂
When I was in school to be a medical assistant I could not imagine drawing a real person’s blood. Now I’m a nurse and I don’t even have to think about it. I just do it, without looking sometimes! I’m going to keep those things in mind this weekend when I can’t imagine myself at this birthday party and not drinking
Hi Kate….you are a shining example of a wonderful women who has taken control of her life by giving up alcohol. I will always be grateful to you for helping me give it up too ! I am coming up to 3 years sober in a couple of months.
Here is to all you lovely ladies on this special day…..you can do this xx
Wow, 3 years already Eileen! That is incredible. It’s lovely to hear from you and I hope all is well xx
I did 100 days alcohol free from November, 2013 into February, 2014 and then started back up drinking again. I remember when I was reading all the sober blogs all those years ago (yours was one of them, Kate), some writers talked about how long it might take to get back here if we returned to drinking. Well, it took me 7 years to get back! It’s easier for me this time (2+ months AF) because I gave myself a chance at every single type of moderation there was out there — never drinking home alone, by myself; not drinking during the week; only drinking 2 glasses of wine at one time — and NONE of them stuck. They were painful efforts to do something I did NOT want to do. If I can give my habit of ingesting poison so many chances, I can certainly give sober living a real chance of success by changing my thinking. I know I can do anything at all without wine because it’s my mind that tells me whether or not something is possible and my mind is renewed by all the information people like you, Kate, and others are out here providing for us. Thank you! This is now the thing I want MOST to do – stay alcohol FREE!
Thanks for sharing your experience Linda – I’m so glad you’re back on track now! Keep going – the best is yet to come 🙂
All of the tips make sense but giving sobriety a chance is the main one for me. I don’t drink Mon -Thurs but from Friday night onwards its like I need a Gin & Tonic to deal with the stress of the week, one leads to another and another etc
Today on waking I felt so bad I thought thats it ! I need to stop and today I really mean it but I’m already think ahead to Friday thinking how will I cope without drinking ! 25 yrs ago I couldn’t imagine not smoking now I cant imagine ever smoking again I know its a habit and I just need to break it. I will be 60 in a few months and I want to be alcohol free!
I am so humbled to read your story, Pamela. You show such courage.you can do it Jane!
I,m in the same boat here. My looks have changed drastically due, to smoking and alcohol. Can,t stop. Am desperate. How are you doing
Hi Jane, have you had a look at my course? This is exactly the kind of situation we tackle there. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I also suggest you read this: https://thesoberschool.com/being-good-monday-thursday/
Every day I start with the resolution that I’m going to do it and every day I fail. I do the’ just the one’ and have just finished a bottle. I’ve kicked smoking and biting my nails why can’t I crack this one. I think I’m strong and capable but just heard my son call me a highly functioning alcoholic.
Hi Sarah, it sounds like you could do with some support? At the moment it sounds like you’re here: https://thesoberschool.com/figure-out-how-to-quit/
If you’re looking for help to break out of this cycle, my 6 week coaching programme will be a great fit for you – here are some details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Hi Kate, I’m giving my sobriety a chance 44 days today. Thank you for this blog. It speaks volumes to me every bit. This weekend will be another first a visit from my brother and brother In-law they would normally or is it normal? Arrive with oodles of bottles of wine to have over the weekend imagine that not happening, well it is they are in charge of bringing a mock tail we can make together and enjoy with our dinner. I’m so happy they are supporting me on this new and wonderful journey. It’s the trained brain telling me at this early stage and many first occasions I just can’t imagine no alcohol for this occasion, but guess what brain there will be no alcohol because I’m watching the movie till the end. Thank you again Kate.
Congratulations on your 44 days Ela. Keep tackling those sober firsts!
I deleted the email from you and then went back to find it. So glad I did, really needed some accountability. For me it’s just giving sobriety a chance. So tired of waking up fuzzy. Making my life so much harder than it needs to be, essentially halving the functioning time of my day. I’m on to it. Giving sobriety a crack.
Go for it Sascha. You literally can’t judge sobriety – or know what it’s like – until you’ve got at least 50 consecutive days under your belt. I think you deserve to find out what it’s all about.
Thanks Kate. Day two, journaling for a bit more commitment. Not getting ahead of myself, enjoying today alcohol free:
well now I’m tearing up because I still grab that bottle at night. I am drinking some right now and I get anxious if I don’t grab it. what am I going to do. I still work and clean my house and help my mother and children. But at night this is what I look forward to. I don’t understand it. A friend of mine had a husband she called an alchoholic, and she said he was a funtioning alchoholic, is that what we are?
Pamela – it sounds as if you really need some support with this. Are you on the waiting list for my next coaching programme? Here’s some more information: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Let’s help you make some positive changes and let go of the booze. Happiness is not at the bottom of a wine bottle.
I took your January 2021 class & now have zero desire to drink. Did I ever think I’d get to this point-absolutely not. But, I did. And it’s true that I’m not missing out on a single thing. Alcohol used to be like a magicians trick to me but now that I see through the illusion, I just have zero interest in it.
So glad you’re seeing through the illusion Jennifer! Congratulations on your sobriety. I’m so pleased to hear that class helped you 🙂
Happy International Women’s Day Kate Bee and to all the brilliant and dedicated women who made a choice to invest in themselves by joining The Sober School! I’m a graduate of the January 2021 class, and I ‘m proud to be alcohol free for 60 days! It’s a lifestyle choice now and I’m enjoying my time immensely! Thank you for creating this program, Kate, you’re helping many!
Thank you Deborah! I’m proud of your 60 days too. Well done! 🙂
I’m one week sober today! Iv tried many of times and failed around the 4 week mark even though i have felt healthier and happier! A social even will creep up and I think I can just have one. I never can once I start I can’t stop.
I have frank since the age of 13 I’m now 32 I don’t raally know who I am without drink. I just know I’m a better person.
I’m worried as Iv always worked in pubs and clubs and a lot of my friends associates are drinkers but they can stop when they have had enough. I feel if I’m around any of them I get the water to drink so Iv cut people off and now I’m lonely and night time is a struggle. I’v changes my routine at night and make sure I have tea earlier (as when I’m full I don’t have cravings) also bathe later. But then find mys ld puahing go bed at 8pm to sleep as I don’t know what do with myself!
I really want alcohol out of my life. I really hope I continue this path. I just need learn who to do it and still live oppose to hiding away x
Well done on your first week Becci. Keep going, as you deserve to get to the 50/60 day mark, where you really start seeing the benefits! There are lots of tips for you in my blog videos, and of course, if you want extra support to change for good, there’s always my course too.
Thank you can you send me info of your course please x
Please keep going Becci. It will be worth it. 57 days ago I could not have imagined going without alcohol. Try and do Kates course. It is not only a great way to keep going but you can learn about how alcohol is controlling you, about yourself and what will help going forward . I am 30 years older than you and wish like mad I had found Kates course when I was your age. It may be a bit late for me but not you. Go for it. X
Thank you so much for your kind words I’m going try my best! And please Tracey it’s never to late to start again! All my love and support x
Tip1&4 are what I will try to concentrate on I was a person who never drank never found a drink l liked and it never bothered me and then I discovered wine a couple of years ago and it has roller coaster from there like other people I only intend having a glass and don’t stop until bottle is empty and sometimes start on second bottle problem is I don’t function for couple of days afterwards I really want to stop this pattern as I feel my mental and physical health is suffering
I’ve struggled with drinking majority of my life. I quit when I became pregnant. I swore I’d never go back to the old me. My oldest daughter passed away and I started drinking and smoking again. It’s been eight months and my drinking is worse then it’s ever been. I don’t know what to do. It’s the only way I sleep and feel somewhat ok.
I struggle with my thought process as the evening draws in , I argue in my head that no I am not going to drink and the urge takes over and I find myself being temporary happy and into oblivion I go not a care in the world, I say to myself you know that your going to have hangover in the morning and have anxiety attacks , but my mind set wins . Saturday was my last drink and spent yesterday in bed hungover , today is Monday and I feel good , I am going to battle with my mindset tonight as whether to have a drink , it’s largely lonelyness and of recent the passing of my mother I just want to stop , I am doing an online course , I have a guitar that I should be taking on line lessons , but the drink gets in first , I can’t wait for this course to start as I need help to do this or back up to steer me in the right direction and keep me on the right road to sobriety