Kate's Blog

Don’t Let Your Excuses Hold You Back!

Do you keep promising yourself you’ll do something about your drinking – only it never seems like quite the right time?

Back when I was thinking about quitting (but not actually doing anything about it) my thoughts went like this:
– I’m too busy to figure this out right now
– I need to wait until that party / birthday / holiday is over
– I’m probably overreacting anyway…
– My friends won’t want me to quit
– I never stick at things like this, so what’s the point?

Those issues felt so real, genuine and true at the time, it was hard to see them for what they really were: excuses!
If you’re worried about your drinking – but you’re struggling to actually do anything about it – check out my video below. 
I’m sharing two tips to help you move forward and stick to your sober goals!


Make a list of all the reasons why you can’t tackle your drinking right now

Write down everything you can think of and take your time over this. Next, analyse whether these reasons are genuinely true or not.
For example, you might well feel too busy to tackle this right now, but just think about how much time you’re losing when you’re drunk or hungover and feeling sluggish. Alcohol is a massive time thief!
Imagine if you had to stop drinking because your life depended on it, or you were being paid to do it. Would you let your excuses hold you back? Or would you push yourself to find a way through?

Reframe discomfort

Change makes us feel uncomfortable. Trying new things and stepping into the unknown is tough, so it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone… right?
Wrong! Drinking might be what you know – and it might feel safe and familiar – but it’s also causing you quite a bit of discomfort right now. Hangovers, shame and regrets are NOT comfy or pleasant.
You are going to experience some discomfort if you stay stuck and carry on drinking. And you’re probably going to feel some discomfort if you take the leap and give sobriety a whirl.
So… if you’re going to be uncomfortable no matter what you do, why not take a risk and try something different? You might just stumble across a new way of living that makes you feel really good 🙂

Let me know…

What’s been holding you back from taking action? Is there an excuse you’re committed to letting go of? I’d love to hear about it 🙂

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. 


56 Responses

  1. Watching this made me realise that I’ve been using my hubby’s drinking as an excuse. I’d really like him to stop drinking too, but he’s not interested. I’ve got to stop blaming my drinking on him, or waiting for him to change his mind. My sister was reminding me yesterday that I quit smoking 5 years ago (whilst he was still smoking!) so I know I can stick to my guns when I put my mind to it!

    1. It’s great when you do get the support of those around you, but if you don’t, that’s ok too. I think you’ve already proved that you are your own person Yvonne – you’ve got to do this for you!

    2. Hi Yvonne,
      I have exactly the same situation, my husband is a very heavy drinker and just loves to be the barman constantly topping me up! I have been blaming him for my drinking for a long time, but actually have realized I can drink faster than him! I desperately want to give up, I fear for my health and I know my son and daughter worry about how much we both consume. I would love my husband to stop but I know there is no chance of that. I have decided I must be the leader and hope I am an example to him. I do fear it will change the only thing we seem to have in common, drinking and chatting, but then we don,t remember what we said or ate the next morning. We both need to be strong in the face of adversity and do right by our own bodies and the people who love us, obviously your sister is concerned for you. Good Luck let us be strong.

    3. My excuse is that everything will not really change. I have had periods of sobriety and I cave in to some ridiculous idea that ” it doesn’t matter” I am ready to get some help. Previous support groups have brought only shame and hopelessness.

      1. Oh Kate ?? my heart pounds for you. Trashing yourself isn’t going to help – the best lessons are made from mistakes- we just pray the mistakes we make are not life threatening. In this cause yours are lessons, your shift will come, it’s out there, in the mean time read all these comments, ask for support where you can. This journey is yours and yours alone only you can make decisions for yourself. Imagine you in the future, the end result. What I’ve learnt from Kate Bee is experiment with situations try going without alcohol in different situations when you succeed from one event to another you will have more alcohol days and weeks. I’m 35 days free I don’t know when I’ll have another, maybe soon maybe not, for me I plan to make better choices. I’m an irresponsible drinker – when I do it’s over the top and that’s what I’m working on. I love the feeling of achieving a short term goal of not having a drink.
        Step by step, day by day, be kind to yourself, sending a cyber hug

    4. This is spot on for me. I struggle but I WANT to change so badly… my husband doesn’t. I think in his heart he does, but he doesn’t talk about it. We almost divorced over it 1.5 years ago. But he fell back into it and I did too. Now I want to quit again, and he isn’t supporting me. It’s hard when he is drinking every night… But I have also quit smoking and he hasn’t and i CAN do this! Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this video and I’m hoping today starts a week of sobriety for me. My main excuse is I don’t know how my friends and family will act of I’m not drinking with them and I actually think it helps me cope, i know that’s not true though. This is so hard but I want it so bad. Thank you again.

  3. Vacation is coming up-what a time to quit! Happy hour is a time my husband and I talk after a long day, too. It scares me to think about how not drinking will affect this time together, but that’s on me-he’s supportive. I DO know that a vacation without hangovers would be glorious, though!!

  4. I’ve been following Kate and the sober school for a good while now – I downloaded her free survival guides and enrolled in a summer boot camp all the while still thinking about quitting drinking and still drinking alcohol! I’m on day 59 of alcohol free life and EVERYTHING she says is true!! I haven’t committed to forever just keep setting the small goals and being sober for one day at a time – the weekly emails and videos really do help – to all thinking of quitting or taking a break just give it a go you won’t waste time not drinking you really do gain it all back x

  5. I also really enjoyed this video, it really does make so much sense to me. The excuse I want to let go of is “I didn’t drink last night, so I can make up for it tonight”. I feel so pleased with myself after one alcohol free night that I feel I deserve the “treat” of a glass of wine, which usually turns into 4+. This of course is then followed by a bad night’s sleep, horrible hangover and unproductive day at work, or a wasted precious weekend day with my family. This blog is really helping me. Thank you Kate xx

    1. Alcohol is such a horrible “treat” when you think about it: it’s a cancer causing, toxic poison. Ethanol is used to fuel planes. It’s put in paint stripper and disinfectant! It shouldn’t go in our bodies – you deserve SO much better than engine fuel Charley.

  6. I am 50 days sober today!! Never thought I would ever say that but it’s true and it’s my reality now the biggest excuse that I used was I was over reacting to my drinking, sure wasn’t everyone drinking like me it’s completely natural and normal but the truth was they were having only one or two glasses where I was having one or two bottles!! They are only excuses and the longer you are sober the clearer that becomes. I would take sober over drinking any day now and again I never believed I could say that and mean it. Thanks Kate you have really helped me to get to this point and I look forward to your weekly post as it keeps me motivated and so thankful for choosing sobriety

  7. I have just started following Kate and the sober school and really hope this will help! I can never just have one and have found myself drinking most evenings and all weekend. I’m absolutely sick of it and yet still can’t stop! Baby steps for me at the mo, just going until Friday for me without is an achievement. This weekend is a family weekend away where everybody drinks. What do I do?? I just know I will be bored stiff if I am the only sober one bit I’m so tired of this circle I am in.

    1. Sobriety is a great filter for your life – I always think it’s better to be sober and bored, than drunk and numb (or unsure or whether you’re truly having a good time). After all, we only get one chance at life, so it’s important to know what we do and don’t enjoy doing. If the real you (i.e. the sober, non drugged version of you) is bored being with these people, then that’s good information to have as it might influence your choices in future. With that said, you might well be surprised at how things turn out. Go there with an open mind and see what happens!
      Good luck Clare – if you need any support to make sobriety stick properly, a good next step for you might be my coaching programme. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  8. Hi I’m on day 1 the excuses I would youz would be my husband stresses me out as he’s out of work at the moment another is I’m working and have 2 kids how will I now destress oh n I have a wedding coming up n how would I explain I don’t drink to friends n fam oh god my excuses are endless but I’m tired of feeling this way I need to change xx

  9. Ive been wanting to quit drinking for years now but always have an excuse. My actions when drinking sometimes have been disgraceful & leave me feeling embarrased & depressed the next day. Even watching the video, i was coming up with excuses as to why NOW isnt the right time. Keen to keep trying though. Sue

    1. Hi Sue, it sounds as if you’re a bit fed up – I know how frustrating it is if you’re not making progress! When you’re trying to do this on your own you often end up doing the same thing again and again, and going round in circles. If you need some support to break the pattern (and actually feel good about being alcohol free) I’d be happy to help – I have a six week coaching programme which could be perfect for you. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  10. Mine is simply ‘but I like it’ My chilling out time is, whilst cooking dinner, sharing wine with my other half, music on…perfect! Only, we get swept away with the alcohol, lose concentration on cooking and dont end up eating until ridiculous O’Clock by which time we’ve drunk too much, and then feel awful and stressed again the next day. 7 days AF today and except for a cold, feeling good

  11. Thank you for the tips Kate. I’ve looked forward to a drink or two, or 3, 4, 5….at the end of the day for quite some time now. My partner drinks almost every night (apart from the 2 night shifts he does per wk) and has no intention of ever stopping. He’s told me.
    I want to stop completely now before it’s too late. I’ve tried before but always end up drinking with him. Not any more though. I’ve realised that I need this kind of encouragement to help me. I’m onto my 2nd alcohol free day and I’m already looking forward to not having a fuzzy head in the morning! I’ve treated myself to a pear and raspberry fruit drink and sipping it with my evening meal instead of downing a bottle of wine!

  12. Thank you Kate. I like the concept that I am already out of my comfort zone so if I feel like drinking I can see that it’s a choice between 2 different discomforts. I’d rather be sober and uncomfortable with my true feelings than drunk and oblivious yet unhappy with my drinking

    1. Exactly! And the truth is, sobriety is only truly uncomfortable in the early days, when it’s new and different. It’s a bit like learning to drive a car. In no time at all you won’t even be thinking about it. Sobriety is definitely worth the effort and discomfort of the early days 🙂

  13. Hi Kate, in day one and not sure what I’m thinking, really enjoyed your article and it gave me a lot to think about…..
    Not my first time to start was sober for six months last year with the help of your weekly emails, stress I thought made me start drinking again, for my health and my family I hope I can do this, need to get my head together, thanks for all your help and emails

    1. I’d advise you to put your effort into really analysing and understanding the stress myth; once you get your head around the fact that alcohol actually makes stress worse, it’s a total game changer. This is just the kind of thing we cover in my online coaching programme. My next class starts in a few weeks: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  14. Kate! I love this video. I didn’t think of it that way, but my excuse I guess was “why do I have to stop, but all these other people can just keep drinking??” This video, along with listening to Alcohol Explained today clicked. In AE, in short, he says that he used to play Playstation all day and really enjoyed it, and he used to have a 2 bedroom house that he loved. He thinks about those from time to time, but he does not want to go back to them as they DO NOT WORK FOR HIM in his life anymore. I am simplifying hugely, but basically it is OK to admit that this is just not working for me anymore. I have tried to approach it from several different directions, but in the end, drinking is making me deeply unhappy and I don’t want to go back to it. Day 2 today. Thanks Kate!

    1. Exactly – when alcohol stops working for you, it’s time to let go. It’s no different from quitting gluten or smoking. You’re just raising your standards. Keep going Jen! 🙂

  15. Hi. I’ve been subscribing to this for a couple of months since my sister put me on it. I’ve been drinking embarrassingly large amounts of alcohol for a while now. I had a moment of sobriety last year, but reached my ‘goal’ and started drinking again :/ My excuses have been that I have both ‘nature’ (my biological father died of cirrhosis of the liver) and ‘nurture’ (come from a family of high functioning alcoholics) against me. It took living with someone that drank regularly to turn me from a social drinker to a regular drinker (don’t think for a second that it is his fault; as I keep saying to him, he didn’t hold me down and pour the wine down my throat). I knew it was bad, but it would be ‘tomorrow’ that I’d cut down/go to the gym/start losing weight etc. I read your blog posts with a feeling of shame, but would still stop off for the the wine on the way home.
    My moment of truth came about 2 weeks ago when I had a grand mal seizure (yeah… I’m also epileptic. Love that Russian Roulette!). I had the seizure at work; I’ve had to have a week and a half off doped on Valium to ensure that I didn’t have another seizure as a consequence of going cold turkey, had to get a letter from my doc that I could do my job (which involves supervising teenagers in a workshop), may lose my licence for an extended period of time, and still don’t have my brain back (it has taken up to a month before to be fully cogent all day). Not sure why I’m pouring all this out – maybe because my ‘excuses’ led to a situation that, as my 14 year old daughter put it, “If you had been using a machine you could have died”. Maybe also because this is my way of taking the step to fully interact with the site. I’m not one for the ‘kum-by-yah’ groups and I’m lucky enough to to have a very supportive home environment. And I now drink a lot of herbal tea 🙂

    1. Wow, I hope you are still doing well Kate. I’m only on day two but this has been so much harder for you as you sound like you had hit rock bottom. there’s no reason I can’t give up and I won’t need the Valium so I’m luckier than you and taking one day at a time, I need to do this for myself. I’m trying to lose weight so I’ll use that excuse as friends can be judgemental, probably because no one will ever admit to drinking too much. This blog and this community will hopefully be my saviour in all this as religion wouldn’t do it for me. Thanks Kate for helping us all, I’m on for the next course in January. Hopefully I’ll meet some more of you guys there xxx keep on it ladies xxx

    1. I too enjoy the taste of alcohol, as well as the relief it provides from stress.
      Can anyone come up with a list of healthy mocktails?
      It’s so hard to drink water all evening when everyone else is enjoying alcohol.

      1. Irene, it sounds as if you’re falling for a nasty myth there about stress. (Alcohol has been scientifically proved to make your stress worse). Don’t let this nonsense hold you back – I wrote a full explainer of this myth here: https://thesoberschool.com/manage-stress-without-alcohol/
        As for mocktails, you’re spoilt for choice these days, there are hundreds of options to choose from! The alcohol free drinks market is booming, so there’s no excuse to make do with water! Google ‘easy mocktails’ and it will bring up lots of options. This could be a great research project for you.
        If you need more support to stop drinking (it can be super hard on your own) take a look at my coaching programme. More details here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Write a list of all the perceived benefits… and then analyse whether you’re really getting that. It would be a shame to suffer all the consequences of drinking, if you’re not really enjoying it as much as you think.

  16. My excuse is & always has been that maybe I won’t be fun anymore & no being the most confident person this terrifies me … my hubby hardly drinks my daughters only when they go to a nightclub..
    They all hate me drinking & so do I but I’m afraid – I desperately want to stop & watching this video has made me realise that I’m the only one stopping it..

  17. Ive been watching your videos for months now and find they make so much sense to me. My husband and I have stopped drinking together this weekend and I really want it to work. We will be looking here for inspiration

  18. Fell off the wagon in dramatic style yesterday.
    This video is just what I needed to get me to dust myself off and try again at sobriety.
    Thank you x

    1. Go for it Jo, picking yourself back up and getting straight back on it is so important. You won’t regret trying again 🙂

  19. Hi Katie, I did this for a long long time, i am day 30 now of being sober. I went to a Christening on Sunday just gone and accidentally picked up the wrong Lime and Soda (this one had vodka in it), immediately I felt the effects and wanted another drink, I did actually buy some more drinks and was fairly drunk within a short space of time, however, my point is that even though I drank, I am back on my programme and it has only reinforced the dangers of this addiction and power it holds over me. I am not counting it as it was not intentional and I am taking the positives out of it, that being stopping drinking when I got home, not kicking off, not wanting another one, not wanting to go down that road again, the strength I have not to think “sod it” I may as well drink again. Your blogs and weekly emails are so helpful thank you!

  20. My excuse is that I’m tired after a day of work and cooking supper is easier and more enjoyable with a drink in my hand. Other excuses include, it’s sunny, it’s summertime, it’s whatever season, etc. Yesterday I made the commitment to my self to just take a damn break. I made a couple of casseroles yesterday morning and put them in the freezer for later this week to take a bit of time away from my stressor. It’s funny though because I actually really like cooking and doing so sober…but that gotta get it done feeling after a long day at work leads me to hitting the bottle. Please wish me luck that I can just get through this week and then through the next and the next. I signed up for a race in 6 weeks so it is my goal to refrain from drinking while I train. Thank you for this supportive site Katie!

    1. Playing the movie forward (and remembering what really happens when you have that one drink) will be really key for you Michelle. You can do it 🙂

  21. I just want to thank you all. I stumbled upon this site and have lived the stories and advice. I have been thinking so much about quitting because of my health. Now, at least, I am finally trying.

  22. I have many excuses and one of my main ones is the stress of my job. If I have had a bad day then I must deserve wine o’clock and it is such a culture within my work environment to say well you will enjoy a drink tonight. This stress also bring out all the other negatives in my life. So instead of dealing a wine it is. I have been making small and steady progress in having a night off and obviously wake up the next day feeling fantastic and ready to face the day.

  23. I use every excuse! It’s summer, the holidays are coming, my birthday, his birthday, vacation, work, on and on! I’m starting to get concerned! I will skip a day here and there and I feel so good but never fails…it’s like I reward myself with drinking for not drinking the night before! Ugh!

  24. Wow. That really hit home with me Kate – thank You! Especially the part about how our ‘comfort zone’ isn’t actually comfortable or pleasant even!..so yes, stepping outside of it will also be uncomfortable, but a lot more rewarding and amazing once we reach the other side…

  25. I have no excuses. I’ve known I’ve had a problem with alcohol for a good number of years, increasing over the last 30 years or so. I had a long “talk/prayer” with myself last night about all of this….trying to understand where/when I “blocked out” participating in my life, and why? I have signed up for a “Health Coaching” class starting next week. I am calling myself out today, as my last day of drinking FOREVER. I hope I can do this. I need to clear my mind and my heart and my body. I’m hoping being here with “The Sober School” will also aid me in my goals. Thank you.

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