For the longest time I couldn’t get through Friday night without drinking.
Each week looked something like this:
Monday: Vow to quit forever. This is IT!
Tuesday: Still thinking about that last hangover
Wednesday: Gosh this week feels long…
Thursday: Perhaps one drink would be ok?
Friday: You *have* to drink on a Friday night!
Back then, being sober at the weekend seemed unthinkable.
Nowadays, I love my alcohol free Friday nights.
Today I want to show you how I shifted my thinking about them:
Why being sober on a Friday night matters
If you only ever quit from Monday to Thursday, you keep repeating the hardest bit of sobriety (the beginning) over and over again. You never reach the good bit of alcohol free living. You’re teaching yourself that sobriety is only possible on certain days of the week.
Identify what you’re looking for in alcohol
What is the pleasure, benefit or service that you believe booze is going to provide for you? Be really specific. Do you believe it relaxes you? Do you view it as a treat? A celebration? Journal on this if you need to. Take your time – your answers are important.
Plan an alternative way of meeting your needs
Now you know what you’re looking for in booze, it’s time to work out how else you can give yourself what you need, without using a drug like alcohol. So if wine is your way of giving yourself permission to relax, how else could you do that? I give some examples in the video.
Romanticise being alcohol free on Friday night
Stop the ‘poor me’ thoughts and put your brain to work on finding thoughts that are going to make you feel good. Start using your mental energy to get excited about everything you’re going to gain from staying sober. Write a list and keep adding to it throughout the week.
Ready to shift your thinking around alcohol for good? Find out more about my stop drinking class here.
Love what you said here about giving yourself permission to relax. I am beginning to see that I have used wine for that for a long time – drinking is the only time I let myself stop and do nothing. I am planning on doing your course in July.
143 days sober for me, and Friday nights aren’t a big deal on the booze front for me anymore. I can happily mark it with some AF beers instead. I won’t pretend it’s all plain sailing, my brain still questions things and has desires that I have to work through, but since I’ve taken them off the table they really aren’t as hard to work through as I’d have thought. Really can’t credit this course enough for getting me there, or myself for making that push to get there.
Huge congratulations on your 143 days Jo! That is fantastic. It’s great to hear you’re working through this stuff and reminding yourself of what you now know to be true.
Today will be my first sober Friday in a 10
Year long struggle. Thank you for ideas on getting over this sad lonely lifestyle I’ve been living. I plan to go ice skating!
That’s great to hear Miranda. Remember that you don’t need wine in order to stop and relax – you can give yourself permission to stop and relax whenever you want.
I always LOVED my Friday “me” nights. Friday’s were my drink alone, as much as I like (cuz what a long week I had I perfectly justified to myself), watch tv, and do nothing but watch Dateline kind of evening. So the thought of facing them without alcohol honestly scared and saddened me. I thought for sure Friday’s would never be the same. And the first couple of Friday’s felt odd not to be drinking. So I changed it up, bath, lessons, read instead of tv and the sofa. I redefined my Friday nights. I was always seeking to relax, but going about all wrong by thinking alcohol was the answer.
I eased back into my tv, sofa night watching Dateline with a new mindset.
143 days sober now, and many Friday nights later, I can honestly say I love my Friday nights even more!! I still have my cozy night in, on the sofa with my TV. But now it’s with AF choices in the fridge. Its also the one night I don’t sweat the calories from treats/snacks either. I actually relax more than I ever imagined. I look forward to my AF Friday night “me” time so much, I do my best not to make plans. I also go to bed earlier, which sets me up for a beautiful weekend.
Kate is so right…give living AF time, more than a few days or weeks because It just keeps getting better!! Thanks Kate:)
Thank you Kelly – this is a great reminder of how change is always more possible than we think… and it really can turn out better than expected! Congratulations on your 143 days!
It so resonated with me when you said, think about what I think alcohol does for me. You were so spot on with those reasons, too, so simple and yet makes so much sense. I will dwell on what I can do instead because actually alcohol doesn’t deliver on any of those things that go through my mind for that Friday night drink.
Thank you Kate for these video you share with us .. I am a January 21 graduate and I am happy to say that I am doing well in my AF life .. but sometimes those thoughts about romanticizing alcohol come up and I especially like the tip about romanticizing the hell out of Af!!!
I’m glad this resonated with you Marisa. Keep going! 🙂
This was especially good. I need a boost. I stopped for 65 days and started again. I don’t know why. I am stopped again and these tips will really help. Thank you
No problem Kathleen. If you’re looking for help to stop drinking for good – and feel good about it – here’s how I can help you: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Really enjoyed your share Thankyou
I had 14 years sobriety and picked up last year in lockdown after moving house where I had no family and friends just my husband in the army and my two daughters
I am AF now for 10 days I feel like me again – I keep trying everyday and I appreciate your approach as I can identify with your way of thinking x
Well done on your 10 days Emma. Keep going 🙂
Thanks Kate, this does resonate with me as every Friday night my neighbour comes round for wine. I stopped drinking 37 days ago, which includes 5 Fridays. Although she still drinks, she drinks less and goes home earlier. I then enjoy a herbal tea, chocolate and a good movie that I watch all through without falling asleep.
I am determined to live a sober life for ever but do need to keep reading and listening to your posts to keep me on track so thank you.
Well done for making that choice for yourself – I bet you feel fantastic in the morning too. Congratulations on your 37 days Louise, and all those Fridays! 🙂
Wow! That would be a really hard get together to change for many people, well done!
In the first weeks, not drinking on Friday nights was the biggest challenge. I swapped it for having a bath with a favourite YouTube channel and a Ginger beer at 5.30pm. I started really looking forward to that every Friday, instead of ripping the top off a bottle.
I was going to bed sober on Friday nights feeling excited and very happy with myself, feeling clean, relaxed and sparkly, knowing I was going to have a peaceful sleep and feel fresh on Saturday morning ready to start the day.
I did Kate’s course during Covid in April/ May 2020. I’m still sober. Its a journey, it lifted a veil I wasn’t aware was hanging there and I started seeing things differently – I can honestly say the 6 weeks was more exciting and interesting, rather than hard and miserable and now, its just my life, I hardly think about it…after a while, my husband stopped drinking. He said he saw the changes in me and he wanted that too..
If you’re wavering, thinking you really want to, but don’t think sobriety will work for you, you won’t have fun any more.. just give it a nudge for 6 weeks…you’re missing out on something far greater right now. Good luck, what have you got to lose?
Thank you Monica – it’s great to hear from you! I really appreciate your thoughts and advice here… you are a good advert for sobriety 🙂 Thank you for all the positive feedback about the course!
Hi Kate, all your videos resonate with me. No matter where I am with my alcohol free journey I always find them very helpful & reassuring. Thank you so much x
I’m so pleased to hear that Maureen. Keep going! 🙂
Woke up on the sofa at 1am this morning after giving in to the wine witch. Very very disappointed with myself. Have just watched this video as I have a get together planned for Friday evening and am actually worrying how to do it without drinking. After reading all the comments I’m determined to start AF living rather than 3 or 4 days AF here and there. Hate feeling like this , such a waste. Thank you for your advice and upbeat videos x
No problem Kaza. I know it’s hard to navigate this stuff on your own – if you’re looking for support, my online class could really help. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course
Didn’t get to bed until 4am. Friday 21 was my birthday, so drank ton alcohol, made a mess and ruined next day, gee great celebration? Wish I read this blog when it came out instead of putting off. Going to be paying better attention to the blogs and give it a serious try. Thank you Kate. Time for change!