Today I’m celebrating 6 years of alcohol-free living. Six YEARS!
I’m so pleased that back in April 2013 – for some unknown reason – I finally decided to pay attention to the voice in my head that had been wondering whether I’d be happier sober.
Initially, my plan was to stop for 100 days as an experiment. I promised myself I’d give it my all and see how I felt afterwards.
Back then, I had no idea that I’d fall in love with this alcohol-free lifestyle 😀
It’s hard to measure the impact sobriety has had on my life over the past 6 years, but in this blog I’m trying really hard to do just that!
I decided to get out my calculator and work out a few key stats… and the results are pretty mind blowing, if I do say so myself…
Amount of wine not consumed: 1458 bottles
The hardest part of writing this blog was working out how much I actually used to drink, because it varied so much!
Sometimes I’d be good for a few days and then drink two bottles of wine a night. Other weeks I’d have a few glasses after work, night after night after night. Sometimes I didn’t drink wine – I switched to gin and tonics. Or strong cocktails.
So calculating some kind of average is tricky. But having read back through some old diaries, I decided – for simplicity – to account for 2 large glasses of wine a night (250mls of wine per glass). But as I said, it was often more than that.
1 bottle of wine = 750 ml
2 large glasses of wine a night = 4.6 bottles of wine a week
730 glasses a year = 243 bottles a year.
243 x 6 years = 1458 bottles!
Money saved: £8,748 ($11,405 USD)
Pretty amazing, huh? That’s £1458 a year. And the thing is – I know that figure is wrong. It’s a massive underestimate.
To calculate this I stuck with the formula I used above, i.e. 2 glasses of wine a night. A bottle of supermarket wine costs around £6. But obviously, wine purchased in a restaurant or bar costs waaaaay more than that. Things like cocktails, prosecco and spirits are all very pricey too.
I haven’t even attempted to work out how much money I spent on taxis home, late night takeaways, and the cost of replacing missing keys / phones / train tickets etc, all of which I was very good at losing!
Calories saved: 919,800
Wow. That’s not far off a million calories! One glass of wine contains 210 calories. So two glasses of wine a night means 153,300 calories a year.
Now of course, it’s not as if I only drink water these days. I enjoy lovely alcohol-free cocktails, and the occasional AF beer. Obviously those drinks contain calories too.
However, the liquid calories I consume nowadays are nowhere near what they once were. And alcohol-free drinks never, ever make me crave stodgy, calorific snacks in the way that booze always did!
Time saved: 2190 hours i.e. 91 days
This was another tricky one to calculate, because sometimes I’d be able to power through my hangover – I’d go to work and get the job done, even though I didn’t feel great. On other days, I lost hours and hours.
I wasted so much time being drunk, hanging out with people I didn’t like that much, getting into stupid arguments and watching movies I wouldn’t even remember afterwards. And I can think of plenty of weekends where I had to cancel plans because I was too hungover.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to allow 1 hour a day for all that drinking and recovering afterwards. That’s 2190 hours saved over the past 6 years i.e. 91 days. Heck, even if you halved that figure to just 30 mins a day, we’re still talking about weeks and weeks of my life!
Sleep gained: 312 nights
Even a few glasses affected the quality of my sleep. I’d wake up at 4am, tired but somehow wide awake. I’d often toss and turn until 6am, before finally going back to sleep just minutes before my alarm went off. That was very annoying!
When I was drinking I was more inclined to stay up late too – even if I was just home alone, watching trash TV. When you account for going to bed late, and then losing a few hours around 4am, you very quickly end up in a big sleep deficit.
I’d say I easily lost 8 hours – one night’s sleep – a week. Multiply that over six years and you’re looking at 312 nights. That’s not far off a year!
Memories gained: millions
Ah, I’d love to be able to put an actual figure on this! When it comes to sobriety, there’s a lot of important stuff you can’t actually calculate: e.g. memories and opportunities gained, increased self confidence, self worth and overall awesomeness. You simply can’t measure that stuff.
As a drinker, I regularly blacked out, which means there are pockets of time I do not remember. There are other times that I kind of remember, but not with much clarity. And that’s such a shame because I’m talking about weddings, holidays, parties and special moments that should’ve been very memorable.
Nowadays, I love knowing that I’m showing up fully for my one and only life. It’s not slipping by, blurry and forgotten. We only have one shot at this thing called life… so why not be fully present for it?
Congrats on 6 years! I’m at 100 days. Thanks to you and The Sober School!
Thanks Nan – and congratulations on your 100 days!
I am one of your recent graduates from your January class and today I have 93 days! Your course changed my life – for 15 years I tried so many things to stop drinking! The course did what I really needed however – a complete change of mindset around the toxic wine I was pouring down my throat and the toll it had been taking on my life.
Looking forward to 100 days next week – then more and more after that! Thank you so much! Kate Berry
Awww that’s brilliant Kate! I’m really pleased to hear that. I hope you have something nice planned for when you hit the 100 day mark next weekend 🙂
Enjoying AF forever!!!
Everyday life gets better and better!
Stay the course to all who are on the sober road. It’s a beautiful journey.
Kate. CONGRATULATIONS and thank you! I am on day 89 since graduating from class in February. These numbers really speak volumes.
Congrats Kate! I’m from October class and have had a few slip ups but feeling so much better A/F! My sister joined me for Sober School in January (Rose Foster) so now we are the sober sisters, thanks to you!
I love the fact that you’re both sober now! Keep going Karen, you can do it ❤️
Hi Kate i am 90 days alcohol free and feeling great. I dont want to ever drink again,i hope i can achieve this.
Well done Jean! 🙂
Congratulations Kate. I will be at my hundredth day on April 16 thanks to you. I am so glad I decided to take the hundred day challenge and I feel great. When I complete my hundred days I’m going to opt for another hundred days!!!!!!
That’s brilliant! Bring on another 100 days 🙂
Congratulations! Your course really helped me and I’m celebrating 100 days AF this weekend. Thanks, Kate. Your blog is always inspiring and helpful.
I’m so pleased to hear that – congratulations on your 100 days!
Congratulations on 6 years alcohol free. I am happy to share your special day, I am 100 days alcohol free today! My energy has returned, I enjoy wonderful nights of restful sleep and all round I feel amazing. I doubt I would have taken this step if I had not come across the Sober School Kate, heartfelt thanks to you. Tips for the next 100 days?
This is inspiring stuff thank you!! I’m just over the 90 days mark. I don’t want to stop but I do struggle because Im dealing with all the stuff I never dealt with ya know. BUT will be worth it☺
Congrats Kate and thank you for the reminders! I’m almost at 1 year . I’m reading Glennon Doyle “Love Warrrior” . I suggest this book strongly for anyone struggling with self-love and addiction. Many thanks to you!
Congrats Kate on 6 years! Wow, that’s amazing! I am 9 months AF and very thankful that I found you and the Sober School. Keep up the great work!
Thanks Cindy. I’m so pleased to hear about your 9 months!
Congrats Kate for the boldness.Amen.
Thank you! 🙂
Well done Kate. I have been following you for nearly 2 years now and kept thinking about giving up alcohol. I am so pleased to say I am now AF for 86 days and I am loving the way i feel, i hope to give up for good and each day i don’t drink each day i feel better and stronger. Thank you for all your blogs of inspiration.
That’s wonderful to hear Jackie. You’ll be at the 100 day mark before you know it. Well done!
Congrats, Kate. You are an inspiration. Day one for me. The lost memories really hit home. I dont want to waste any more time being wasted. Thank you for sharing and motivating.
I have learned so much from you & your course and you have written so many wonderful inspiring helpful answers, tips and ideas for all of us I kind of “forgot” that you were once were in “our shoes”. Thanks for posting your 6 Key Stats – they are certainly very thought provoking. And a huge Congrats on your 6 Years. And for Guiding us through our own journeys. ❤️♂️. ( I’m at 9 1/2 months thanks to you!)
Massive congratulations Dana on your 9+ months! I’m thrilled to see you doing so well 🙂
I’m glad this resonated with you Anna 🙂
Well done, Kate Bee!
Thank you Cathleen! 🙂
Congrats Kate!! You sober rock star warrior! Very inspiring blog post, as usual.
: ) JaneM from Toronto
No one’s ever called me a rock star warrior before… I like it! 🙂
I am on day 98…..two to go to the big 100. Feel amazinf and very proud of myself! X
Brilliant – bring on 100 days Lindsey! Congratulations 🙂
Thank you for making that decision 6 years ago and then choosing to bring us all along for the ride! Your course and support group have truly changed me- for the best!
Thank you Margaret, I really appreciate your kind words 🙂
Kate I am so thankful for your decision. You have provided a great Public Health Service in helping so many. I will be forever grateful to you for my success of 3 years
Mary – it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. I’m so thrilled for your 3 years! 🙂
Thank you for sharing and congratulations! Your A/C free life has also positively supported thousands of other women! Cheers to 6 years and now off to your 7th!
Thank you Gail! ❤️
Congrats, Kate! You are an inspiration.
Thanks to you I am now celebrating 2 years alcohol free! And … so much better for it!
Congratulations on 6 years Kate! I’m coming up on 6 months 😀 Sober School has been SO helpful for me to get back to sober living (which is awesome btw) I’m so thankful I found you!
Congratulations on your 6 months Michelle! ❤️
An inspirational post Kate. Congratulations & thank you!
Thank you Jackie 🙂
Congratulations, Kate!! And thank you for helping so many of us discover the joy of AF living! I imagine the number of lives you’ve dramatically changed is an equally impressive count.
Thank you Bee – I really appreciate your kind words.
Congratulations Kate, you are an inspiration!!!!!! Wishing all of us many more years of sober success!
Linda, July ‘17 graduate
Here’s to many more amazing, alcohol-free days ahead! ❤️
Congrats on 6 years, Kate! These statistics are quite a reality check. I’m on day 125 thanks to your tools, inspiration and support. Well done and keep up your great work!
Massive congratulations on the 125 days Lynne – that is fantastic!
Congratulations, Kate! I celebrated three years this week thanks to you. If anyone out there is hesitating on the course, I say go for it. You won’t be sorry. It changed my life. Much love to you, Kate!
Thank you so much Lisa – it’s a real pleasure to see you hitting the three year mark! ❤️
Congratulations on six years Kate! I will be starting your course on April 8th and am excited. I feel like I now have some control over my drinking.
Yay, I look forward to us getting started on Monday Angela!
Hi Kate, Jan 19 Grad here 🙂 Approaching 100 days minus a couple of slip ups which were actually valuable in reminding me just how much better my life is without booze in it. Onwards and Upwards! Congratulations to you for a huge achievement! 🙂
We’re definitely best off without the booze. Keep going Rosie – you’ve got this 🙂
21 days tomorrow for me! Much like you, I don’t know why I picked March 18, 2019 to quit……but I am amazed at how different I feel. Sleeping better, working better, just better-better! Thanks for the nudge!
It sounds like alcohol free living suits you! Congratulations Lucy 🙂
Congratulations Kate Bee! You’ve changed not only your life but so many others as well!! Thank you soo much!
Thanks Megan! 🙂
Congratulations Kate on your 6 years, thank you for creating The Sober School and helping so many people. October 17 graduate.
Thank you Sharon – it’s always lovely to hear from you ❤️
Kate, congratulations on staying AF for 6 years! Your stats are amazing! You are such an inspiration to me and so many other women. I will forever be grateful for having found your course and learning the truth about the lies and myths I had believed for many years about alcohol. I’m happy to say that on April 9 I will celebrate 9 months of sobriety! 🙂
Woo hoo, 9 months! That’s brilliant Leslie. You’ll be at the big one year mark before you know it! I’m so pleased for you ❤️
Thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom. Without a doubt, you have saved my life. Congratulations and keep on keepin’ on!
Wow well done Kate, what amazing facts looking forward to joining you on this journey os sobriety.
I look forward to us getting started on Monday Sally 🙂
Congratulations on six years! I actually woke up today just feeling really tired of drinking and deciding to take a three month break, give it my all and then see how I feel…basically exactly what you said about yourself in this post. I just feel like I shouldn’t feel so tired at 26 years old and turning 27 in July I just want that to start out better. That lead me to google searching and now devouring your website.
Go for it Taylor – you won’t regret it. Wishing you all the best with your break 🙂
Congratulations Kate and well done . I’m staring ur course on Monday the 8th April I’m excited but very scared that I’ll fail you.. but iv tried myself so many times to be af but always fail .. so here’s to Monday xx. Newme
We always feel nervous about the things we really care about – and it’s good that you care about this! I’m looking forward to us getting started tomorrow 🙂
Congratulations Kate! Sharing your journey and starting the Sober School has been such a blessing and positive influence on my life. I was part of the January 2018 group and could not be where I am today without you and the class. Hearing you on the Bubble Hour changed my life in so many positive ways and I am forever grateful!
I’m so glad I did that Bubble Hour podcast! Congratulations on your sobriety too Sharon ❤️
Kate, our Rock Star!!! Congratulations for your clear eyed 6 years!! I am one of your January 2018 students and I am so grateful for what you have given me!!
In the face of adversity and torment, I do not think I would have made it without your course. Losing job, Shoulder replacement surgery, financial changes did not make me go back to the alcohol. You and our tiny Rat Pack of friends helped me get it done. Thank you!!
Sounds like a tough time for you Jean – which makes your sobriety all the more impressive. I hope you and the rest of the rat pack gang are well! ❤️
We are doing well! Congratulations Kate on six years! I just feel a little sad now for people who are still drinking, I wish they could experience AF living, it just gets better and better. 15+ months and never going back. Our Rat Pack thinks of you often. Thank you again for showing us the way!
Another Rat here to congratulate you on 6 years Kate! I guess the best thing that could have happened to me is you quitting drinking 6 years ago. So thank you! Like Jean & Ellen, I am from your January 2018 class and we are going strong!
463 days, 1,388 glasses of wine not drunk, $6,939 saved, and 167,938 calories.
Thank you Ellen and Suzy! It is lovely to hear from you both and see you doing so well 🙂 And Suzy… those are some impressive stats too!
Amazing – and always sharing . Alcohol Free= free! Simple as that
Yes… it’s all about the freedom! Thanks Felicity 🙂
Dear Kate You are amazing and I’m so happy I found your course in January 2018. I started out thinking 6 weeks would be good to stay off the booze and then I went to 100 days and eventually a year and now around 450 days. I don’t have a goal anymore I’m just happy and alcohol free. But I never would have done it without your help so thank you for giving me my life back.
Ah… I love it when that happens! That’s basically what happened to me. I crept forward with lots of small goals until I got to a point where it was such a no brainer, AF living was too good to give up. Congratulations on your 450 days Lilian! ❤️
Congratulations on 6 years Kate! Thanks to you I am nearly 2 years sober and loving life. Everything you say about alcohol is true it robs you of your time, money, self respect… the list goes on! I would recommend your course to anyone, definitely the best thing I ever did, I got my life back! Congratulations and thank you
Thank you so much Janice. It’s been a pleasure seeing you go from strength to strength ❤️
Congratulations Kate!! Those statistics really make you think!
I was over 90 days sober and loving life but a couple of weeks ago I allowed myself to be talked into having some wine with friends and that was it, back to drinking every day. I’m so disappointed in myself! On a positive note I’ve signed up for your course starting tomorrow and I’m excited to get started
I look forward to having you on the course Shell! 🙂
Well done everyone! I’m starting the course tomorrow and really hoping I can achieve something. Those stats are remarkable.
Excellent. I can’t wait for us to get started!
Congrats on 6 years! Today is my 138th of sobriety. Freedom!!!
Many congratulations on your 138 days Jodie! 🙂
Congratulations Kate on 6 years AF! Although I have not taken your course your blog was a huge inspiration and encouragement when I first made the decision to stop drinking. I will be six months AF on the 15th April. Feeling so much less anxious and sleeping so much better. Just need to quit eating the cake and chocolate I have used to replace wine now! Any tips from others on how to do this gratefully received
Congratulations on your 6 years Kate that’s amazing – thank you for helping us and inspiring us – you’re awesome
Congratulations Kate! I am another January 2019 graduate and will have 100 days April 6th. Dealing with the question ‘what next?’ but pretty sure I have the answer. Thanks for all you do.
Congratulations on those 100 days. Bring on the next 100!
Im hoping to try your course soon. Thanks for helping so far
Congratulations Kate! You’re an inspiration to me (and I’m sure many others). I’m celebrating my 1 year today and it’s just fab. So 1 year ago I was logging in to the course, nervous, wondering what to expect and here I am one year on leaner, fitter and healthier (physically and mentally) looking back at those diaries wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. You changed the course of my future without a doubt. ❤️
I’m so happy to hear this! Congratulations Jenny – what a long way you’ve come in a year. Well done ❤️
I LOVED this post! After struggling for the past year to make it to 3 days without booze, something has clicked and I am 7 days sober. I just spent my first weekend sober and slept amazingly. I am aiming for 100 days and taking your advice to not think about giving up alcohol forever as, agreed, too daunting. Thank you for your inspiring blog!
Kate, this blog post was most defining for me to get real with my habit. I went 9 days AF then I thought why not buy one bottle of bubbly to see if I can discipline my drinking, well, nope, that wasn’t the case. So the next 3 days (weekend) I drank a bottle a night, actually 2 on Friday thinking I won’t drink Sat and Sun what a fool I am. I couldn’t afford your school this time around but if I don’t get a handle on this by reading your blog then I’m hopping on the next round. Cheers.
I made it to 100 days on April 1st! That’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day and, I’m sure, many other events where your “supposed to” drink. I have learned that NOTHING is better with alcohol!! In fact, everything is better without it. I feel better, I look better, I sleep better, I eat better, I think better and I LOVE better! Thank you so very much!!