Kate's Blog

“Drinking Is My Reward At The End Of A Long Day.”

Work is over. Dinner is made. The kids are in bed. 

You finally have some time to yourself and you deserve a reward, right?
When wine is your ‘me time’ the thought of quitting drinking can feel very depriving.
So how can we change this? That’s what this video is all about.

Key points:

You deserve a reward

You deserve a break and you deserve to be taken care of, but alcohol isn’t doing that. It doesn’t care about you. Start making a list of all the different ways in which drinking is not a reward at all, e.g. the hangover, bad sleep, regret etc.
‘Me time’ shouldn’t make you feel awful the next day. It’s obvious really, but the reason we overlook this logic is because we’re constantly told that drinking is self care. We hear this from friends, adverts, social media and cultural messages around alcohol. 

Sober rewards are right under your nose

What do you currently do whilst you’re drinking? Are you watching TV? Reading a book? Having a bath? Chatting with your partner, catching up with friends? Listening to music or enjoying some peace and quiet? 
The chances are that you’ve paired a lot of relaxing activities with drinking. But because you were drinking, you’ve given alcohol credit for the pleasure you’ve got from them. Those activities are all great in their own right.

You need some down time

Being sober doesn’t have to mean being ‘on’ all the time. You need time to rest and switch off at the end of the day. You can still ‘numb out’ from your life and your problems by binge watching Netflix if you want to. 
When you switch off and reward yourself with something other than alcohol, you start the next day feeling fine. After a good night’s sleep, the stuff you wanted to escape from might seem a tiny bit more manageable… and making long term changes feels much more doable.
Looking for a step by step guide to creating an alcohol-free life you love? Click here for details of my online 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. 


48 Responses

  1. I smiled at this because before I took your course I would NOT have believed I could unwind with just a bath. Or just TV. Or ‘just’ anything! Everything had to include alcohol. I somehow missed the fact that when I was drinking, I was always doing a ton of other relaxing things at the same time. Nowadays I can’t believe how much I love the simple things. I do things like jigsaw puzzles!!! Lol. My husband thinks it’s hilarious. It may not be that cool but I love it. And I’m 6 months AF!

    1. Ha ha, who would’ve thought you’d be turning down wine for a jigsaw?! But I get it – that kind of thing is actually very relaxing! I have loved seeing you create a new and happier life for yourself Ali. Congratulations!

    2. I felt the same way when I tried to quit smoking. I associated having a cigarette as a reward and treat after a job well done or socializing with friends. Needed to change my habit of the mind. So, will reflect on when and why I wanted that drink to then concentrate on diverse activities or substitutes for the same satisfaction.

  2. Thank you so much Kate this is just what I needed to hear today,that we can numb out in healthier ways without poisoning ourselves at the same time, and then suffering the consequences…

    1. Thank you so much. I really needed this light bulb moment!
      I’m starting November on the right foot with the right mind set.
      My drinking has to be gotten control of.

  3. I’m starting my journey towards sobriety, I need to hear these guides as I absolutely KNOW it’s right but need something to remind me and it is good to have the reminder. I’ll keep going.

      1. This is just what I needed tonight. I’m so tired of hiding my drinking from everyone. I feel so ashamed but yet I can’t seem to stop. I know how it feels to be sober and it’s great. I just want to go back to those days I never even thought about alcohol.

    1. Hi Kate! I so love listening to you! I took your course in January of 2020 and have been sober ever since January 21 of that year! I NEVER would have believed that drinking was not relaxing me until I realized that it didn’t! But, it took a long while to get there and I am still learning everyday! Now, I still look very much forward to my down time because I need it but have found other things that truly relax my mind and body and the next day I wake up feeling good and positive which I never did while drinking! I don’t have it all figured out yet but my life is just sooooo much better now! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do! I continue to listen and read from you and still learn!

      1. I’m so touched to hear that Mitzi. I’m thrilled to see you living an AF life and truly loving it. Wonderful 🙂

    2. Thank you Kate I love all you talks its given me strength
      I’m feeling much more happier and confident without alcohol

  4. I found your video very good I want to try not to have a drink all week and maybe just one at the weekend I will see how it goes thanks

  5. For me it IS that psychological addiction that is the problem …… that it is a treat and a way of numbing the pain of certain issues. I will keep this message in my head every evening!

  6. The ‘pairing’ of alcohol with enjoyable things is so true! My downfall is red wine and I associate this with warmth, good food, open fires & cosiness especially this time of year. I have all those things – I just need to learn to disassociate and leave out the wine !

    1. Exactly. Give yourself time to practise having this experience without the wine… and be curious as to what could happen here. What if winter nights got better without wine? What if they became more cozy and more enjoyable without the red wine headache looming on the horizon? 🙂

  7. Very true! The evening wine is my downfall after the kids are finally in bed I feel like I “deserve it” end up regretting it the next day = a bad cycle.

  8. Love it! I’m starting today…had almost 4 years at one time so I know what you are saying is true. Nothing good ever came from my drinking. Thanks for this

  9. Totally agree with what you say. I’ve been AF now for 76 days. Doing a 100 day AF challenge. Think I’ll keep going with the AF life once the 100 days are up. Was a difficult first few weeks. I associated all the relaxing things with a glass of wine. Have discovered I don’t need the wine to enjoy good food and spending time with my family & friends. I’ve found your blogs and book very helpful.

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that Rosemary. Congratulations on your 76 days! You’ve made some very valuable discoveries there 🙂

  10. Thankyou so much for sharing this Kate. I have just completed 31 days sober for October- and now I’m aiming to do 100! I’m laid in the bath whilst listening to this blog and thinking I would have done this with a wine normally! But I am able to enjoy it without. Your blogs have got me this far and I’m so grateful for them. Thankyou, Melissa

    1. That’s fantastic Melissa! Huge congratulations on your 31 days – a 100 day goal is a great one to be aiming for. The best is yet to come… this will keep feeling better and better 🙂

  11. New to the Sober School today – first day done! Everything I read on your website and in your blogs is sooo true and exactly how my life has been for much too long now. Thank you

  12. I have to say… my reward is no longer alcohol. Since I’m currently a part of The Sober School’s course, October-November, 2021. My relationship with alcohol is non-existent. Instead! I reward myself with AF drinks (soda water and a variety of juices is my fave), a candle lit bath with lots of fragrant bubbles, reading “quit lit” (a new term to me), enjoying a cup of tea and some dark chocolate, watching my favorite tv shows or some Netflix, enjoying conversations with my Mom. Journaling, looking up and researching how TOXIC alcohol is. It all seems simple but it’s certainly not boring to know I’m rewarding myself in a healthy way. Mostly, I’m rewarding myself with peace of mind! Enjoying being present, and not putting any pressure on myself. Doing whatever feels right, even if it’s nothing much. I’ve been AF for 32 days now and I look and feel like a new and better version of myself. There’s no doubt about it!

    1. That’s a pretty fabulous list of AF treats right there, LaDuska! It’s a pleasure to see you go from strength to strength on this journey 🙂

      1. I could not have done it without you Kate, and taking this course! It’s as simple as that. I am so well educated at this point, and still learning more! (Week 5 out of 6). The biggest take away is that I cannot unlearn the truth. The fabric of all that is presented has fully enveloped me in the most positive and inspiring ways. This time and going through this work is one of the greatest blessings of my life. You have truly set me up for success. There is no denying that. I am literally, eternally grateful. Hallelujah 34 days AF and no desire to go backwards. I am determined and have the tools I need to keep going. I am wiser, stronger and more courageous every day. Sincerely!

    1. Well done Laura. Keep going! Those early days are some of the toughest… which is a good reason not to keep repeating them 🙂

  13. My first day sober done. Thank you Kate your messages are so true and relate to me using alcohol as a treat that is never going to help me!! I plan to continue November and beyond AF so I can look back and see that I can do this and it is the right choice for me. The money I plan to save as a result is my focus too for future holidays in the sunshine. Here’s to more days like this … Thanks

      1. Thanks Kate just listened to your pep talk and found it really useful to remind my self what I’m looking to achieve out of being AF and to tell myself I can do this. I’m making it harder by kidding myself that I need a drink when I know it’s going to undo what I’ve already achieved in my first two days being AF! You pep talk helped me get in the right mindset for the evening, I will keep using it Thank you

  14. I just can’t do it. I enjoy drinking way too much. Yes I hate the way I feel the next day and I say I won’t drink tonight then i do. I have an odd night off mainly because I feel so awful from drinking the night before. Now it’s darker nights it’s worse…

  15. Hi Kate,
    Thankyou for sharing, once again your words are so powerful. You seem to make sense of my muddled thoughts and ideals about alcohol.
    I went to bed early to read and ate a little chocolate, the benefits are that I woke this morning feeling happier and lighter than I have for sometime.

    1. Good idea. I love an ice cold alcohol free beer, or some grapefruit juice and tonic water mixed together with lots of ice 🙂

  16. Thanks Kate. I enjoyed listening to your video. I am five months and one week AF and loving the new me. Sounds strange but it’s like actually getting to know myself for the first time in 40 years. I needed to hear that video tonight. Thank you x

  17. Hi Kate , I’m 14 days sober and determined to stay this way everything you say makes so much sense I’ve got more energy and im more positive without alcohol I’ve given alcohol so many chances !! Being sober and happy is my way forward nothing in me wants to drink I know I’ve made the right choice !! So excited for mine and my kids future x

  18. Really really needed that video
    I get all wound up inside why can’t I have a drink working all theses hours !!
    Horrid feeling why ?? And flustering ,will try harder thank you

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