Do any of these sound familiar?
“I just can’t be bothered to carry on with sobriety, it’s too much effort.”
“One drink isn’t going to hurt.”
“I was probably overreacting, I don’t really need to quit.”
“People like me don’t change, so I may as well give up now.”
If you’re thinking along these lines, then I know you’re seriously considering drinking this week. Or maybe even tonight.
I used to be an expert at talking myself out of sobriety and slinking off in defeat.
So this week I’m bringing you a blog with a twist… it’s all about the, ahem, ‘benefits’ of giving up on alcohol-free living and going back to drinking. (I hope it motivates you to keep going!)
Reason #1 – Give yourself the gift of a hangover
You planned on having one glass of wine, but somehow, one turned into two and then three… and before you knew it, a whole bottle had vanished.
You wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and a mouth like the sahara desert. You didn’t clean your teeth or take your makeup off last night. You look (and feel) grim.
Best of all, it’s only 4am. You’re sooo tired, yet somehow you’re also wide awake. The day has already begun.
Reason #2 – Make a fool of yourself in public
You’re at a party and feeling nervous, so you knock back drink after drink. All of a sudden, you’re talking loudly and telling jokes that you find hilarious.
You escape to the dance floor as your favourite song comes on. Your moves quickly attract a few stares. Wow, you think. I never realised I was such a talented dancer…
Reason #3 – Get into a random argument
You wake up to discover your partner is really, really pissed off. You know you argued last night, but you just can’t remember what it was about. You rack your brain for answers.
It must’ve been serious because you’re getting the silent treatment now. You want to make amends, but what can you say when you just can’t remember what it was about?
You spend the rest of the day scrolling through text messages and trying to figure out who you called, what you said and what you posted on Facebook.
Reason #4 – Feel incredibly unhealthy and ditch all your fitness goals
You’d love to be ‘beach body ready’ but it feels impossible to find the time to exercise or eat healthily. How on earth do other people do it?
You’re always tired. You, carbs and caffeine seem to be in a serious relationship together. Just getting through the day feels like an achievement, never mind cooking healthy food and going to the gym.
Your new year goals (get fit! run a marathon! lose a stone!) feel like a distant memory.
Reason #5 – Reduce your free time to zero
It remains a mystery how some people get so much done in their free time. After drinking on a Friday night you spend Saturday recovering, whilst feeling bad that you aren’t doing all the things you promised you’d do.
Drinking again on Saturday seems like a good idea because a) it’s the weekend and b) you’re feeling rubbish anyway. You promise yourself you’ll start over next week… right?
You arrive at work on Monday morning and a colleague asks what you did over the weekend. “Oh nothing much,” you reply, wondering where the time went.
All jokes aside… don’t give up!
I hope this list helped you play the movie to the end and think through what really happens if you give up and have ‘just one drink’.
If you need a reminder of why alcohol-free living is so awesome, check out this blog post here.
I for one am very glad not to be drinking today, or tomorrow, or anytime this week, because I think sobriety ROCKS.
And if you need any help making the shift into a happier, alcohol-free life, check out my online course here.
Let me know which of these reasons resonates with you the most. What so called ‘benefits’ have I missed off my list?!
Ah, Kate! Thank you, your timing is impeccable! In spite of all my great efforts, the little voice was doing its best to “justify” just one little glass of wine. For myself, probably your last gift was most meaningful. I knew I wanted to work outside today but if I was hungover or just tired, I wouldn’t get out there. Bottom line, no wine and I’m going out in a few minutes to plant those veggie seeds AND feel great (and pretty proud of myself)! Thank you, Kate!
I’m pleased to have helped keep you on track Jill. Now get out there and plant those seeds! 🙂
I can relate to all of this! Another ‘reason’ for drinking I would add to your list is to feel majorly stressed out and anxious. Drinking made my anxiety ten times worse. I’m 63 days AF today and feeling good!
Congratulations on your 63 days Charlotte! I’m pleased you’ve noticed a difference in your anxiety – alcohol definitely makes that worse. Keep going 🙂
Sadly all of those reasons are so very accurate..its virtually the cover story for my last week..one glass turned to one bottle..one bottle turned into two, spirits, drinking before/during AND after family get togethers.. continuous drinking throughout the day and night, regret, lack of sleep..ive been awake since 1am, the thought the gym repulses me since I’ve been on the binge and I had been going almost daily, I’ve eaten terribly.. ..if you’re ever tempted by the worst thought that can ever pop into your head ‘one little drink..what harm can it do?’..try ANYTHING to avoid turning to it
Well done, Charlotte! That’s awesome.
I just have to find the off switch still…:(
Perfect timing for. Started at day 1 again yesterday and already felt myself battling as to whether I’d have a drink
The first few days and weeks are the hardest, so keep going Jill – you owe yourself that. Otherwise you’re constantly doing the hardest bit over and over again! Stay clear and focused on why you’re doing this 🙂
I am at day one today. Withdrawal is horrible. I had 10 months. My Mom passed away and I fell apart. Trying to keep some fluids down. Rough.
My heart goes out to you.
My significant other (my soulmate from God) passed on May 31st. It was sudden and was not at all expected. I am having a very hard time coping with the pain and on top of that my mom has had to go into a retirement home, which she hates.
I too, have found myself in a fallen apart state. I pray God will give you the strength to make it through everyday… He is the only one, I find, that is able to help me get through in the long run.
Let us pray for one another and see God’s healing power. Sound good?
Thanks Kate. I’m still AF but a vacation weekend had me really thinking about the proverbial “just one glass…”
These reminders are so helpful because I know one is too much and 10 isn’t enough!
Yep, it’s never really just one! Keep going Tracy, you’ve got this 🙂
Kate. It had been a year since I last had a drink. It has been a year since I downloaded your survival guide in the middle of the night and made the choice to live my best life yet. Not just for me but for my husband and my boys. It was a year ago that I had to last asked myself ‘How will this story end?’And it has been a year since your blog changed my life.
I can’t Thank you enough for all that you do and all the lives you’ve touched. Your voice and support is alway with me, especially when I need a little nudge back in the right direction. Between you and Annie Grace (This Naked Mind,) I have taken my life back and can’t wait for what the next chapters hold. Be well and keep up the good work! All the best, Shanti
Thanks Shani, I’m delighted to hear how well you’re doing, congratulations! It sounds as if alcohol-free living suits you! Wishing you many more happy, hangover-free days ahead 🙂
I just have all this extra money to spend! I don’t really need to save for a house, car, childs education etc…. or pay off my charge cards or any other debt.
So true. You never realise quite how much money you waste on booze until you quit!
I agree wholeheartedly with the list. The benefit of not feeling shame for going against my values is tremendous. Further, my life is less chaotic-drinking complicates everything, e.g. Sober rides, moderation, goals, etc.
You hit the nail on the head there – drinking really does complicate things. Sobriety is just simpler. Easier. Happier 🙂
Kate it has been 800 days today since I had any alcohol. Sometimes when the just one won’t hurt message broke through I would tell myself I don’t want to go through the first week again. Sometimes I would say if I start again that’s it I’ll just be a drunk, sometimes I would say. You are worth more than that, most times I would ask God to get me through. I am so great full for you and your program every day. Today I am enjoying a glass of mojito ice tea on my sun porch. AF of course❤️
Mary, it’s always so good to hear from you. I just want to say a massive congratulations on your 800 days, that is fabulous news!!! Enjoy your alcohol-free mojitos… they sound like a perfect way to celebrate 🙂
I can relate and agree to all of the 5 reasons about alcohol in Kate s blog and really admire all the people on here who have managed to stay alcohol free . The thought of giving up for good fills me with fear . I just don’t feel ready or able to quit alcohol yet . I’m lucky if stop for 2 nights at the moment . I will keeput reading your blogs kate and hopefully I will feel ready to quit soon . Good lUck everyone x
Hi Karen, the best way to avoid the ‘giving up for good’ overwhelm is to take a break instead – ideally for about six weeks to 100 days. Give alcohol free living your best shot; educate yourself, open yourself to new opportunities and get plenty of support. The only way you know what sobriety is really like is if you do it and keep doing it for a while! With a break, you can always go back to drinking at the end. If you need any support with stopping drinking (and actually enjoying it) my online course would be a great fit for you. Here are some details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Hey Karen I know how you feel I feel the exact same – I felt a bit depressed that I would not be able drink! The truth is we are extreme drinkers – heading for the cliffs. Someone told me this and it’s helping – he said ‘you can do anything you want you just can’t have that first drink, don’t forget, you can do anything you want in the world except that one thing! When you think about it, it’s freedom. The narrowest life I’ve led is the one with a relationship with wine – I’m ready to open my horizons again and wake up every day without dread or remorse. I’m at the beginning of this new episode same as you – we can all do it together if we keep talking and supporting each other. Good luck x
Hi I found your web site 8 days ago and today are 8 days I don’ t touch Any wine. I ‘ m 39 and red wine has been my best friend for years! But only in the last year I realized I had a problem. I could no longer control how much wine I drank and I felt like a failure because I could not control myself and be inclined to addiction. Moderation is not for me and only now I understand that drinking at all is so much easier! I did not think to do it but as soon as I realized it was easier not to drink …. I did not just drink! I understood that alcohol does not define me as a person and that I am a better mother without. there will be hard times but I am determined to stay sober and happy like I ma now , thanks kate, Thank you so much!
Well done on your 8 days Val – keep going!
I hope this isn’t too much information but I would add peeing all the time to that list. I always thought I had to go because I drank plenty of water and was just really well hydrated. Funny enough, I’m on day 45 and I would say a week or two ago I noticed I no longer feel thirsty all the time and therefore I’m not constantly going to the bathroom. Yet here I am more hydrated than I was before.
I think a lot of people notice that!
Hiya Kate! Thank-you great post! Well, it may sound extreme but this was my rock bottom – ending up in the emergency room after falling down on a busy road after drinking for about 4 hours! I had an MRI and was totally fine – except for ongoing dizzy spells – but I am sober now. What a wake-up call. Day 1116 today! : )
Day 1116 is fantastic! 🙂
I am Day 10 AF and have just survived my first weekend AF all of those excuses crossed my mind on Friday afternoon! I am so ready to be alcohol Free and I am feeling great and definitely don’t want to go through the first week again ! Thank you Kate
Absolutely, the first few days and weeks are the hardest – so if you only ever stop for a week or two, you’re constantly repeating the toughest bit! Well done Amanda, keep going 🙂
Wow, timely email! “Are you thinking about drinking?” Yes and yes. The wine sirens were signing to me tonight after 9 days sober. Come on you can have one, you deserve this…after 9 days of not drinking. The seduction of wine was pulling me. It is hard but I have to remind myself that it will serve no purpose. I no longer want to lead a half life; a life of disengagement. Being sober = peace and hopefully joy.
Well done on your 9 days Denise – keep going. Good days are ahead! 🙂
Morning . Only read this blog today lol … i can so relate. Been sober 147 days now and yes there have been a few days when i have thought ONE DRINK wont hurt or IM SURE I CAN CONTROL IT NOW. But each day i remind of what i am NOT MISSING from my drinking days. im feeling my feelings again not just going through the motions, no hangover , no morning after regret and my teenager kids are happy with me, im sure sometimes they do probably wish Mom wasnt SO PRESENT and involved!!! i may not also be a carefree and free spirited as i was when drinking (that isnt my natural personality anyway) but im happy and im learning to LOVE life this way. I have lost a couple of friends and party invites along the way , my relationship is a little bit strained at times course i am not a push over anymore. This is actually a topic i would like you to look into – “relationships when one party animals stops drinking”
I feel that when i was drinking and partying with my partner , issues never got resolved , it just got covered up my lets have a drink n talk 🙁 Or i would be too hung over to stand up for myself or put my view point across . Sometimes i would just have a drink or two or three just to not be agro about last nights argument …. and maybe that led my partner to think everything was ok because i wasnt saying otherwise . Not sure if anyone else is experiencing a similar issue.
Happy Tuesday .
The best thing for me about not drinking is remembering what’s been said and done in a conversation or disagreement . When drinking I used to stay silent afraid to sound drunk or stupid . I knew I wouldnt have things straight in the morning so I didn’t bring things back up . Sober I have found my my voice and feel comfortable speaking my mind . I truly know I have done the best thing for myself and all that I love.
For me was the opposite… I used to argue a lot and maybe I spoke too much and with anger … and the morning after I didn’t know anymore if I was right …. or not ….. and neither remembered all conversation..
Well also this thing push me to choose sobriety. I wan’ t to argue and to discuss with my mind lucid! And for me is not easy because my husband drinks…. I always have alcohol in my house…
@Valentina – yes i have the same issue. My partner stopped when i stopped but it only lasted a month and now he drinks again and it makes it a little harder for me , i feel like there is not support from his side … also the smell of the alcohol turns my stomach it makes me terribly nervous when he drinks
We have to stay strong!!!
Wine doesn’t help to relax … we will feel more nervous if we will drink again after so much days without doing it!
I love your blog so much Kate – so true that AF living is the best – had a super bank holiday weekend totally hangover free spending gorgeous precious time in the garden painting & playing with my daughter – seemed like I had so much relaxing time 🙂 so you have any tips for AF dating? Xx
Hi Caroline, if you look at the ‘blog’ section of my website, there’s one I wrote earlier this year about dating. Good luck!
Perfect thank you so much Kate! 🙂
ALL of these are terrific reminders! I am on vacation in Italy with friends and family with whom I have partied (with alcohol) extensively in the past. In Tuscany, we’re surrounded by the best wines and food – but also the best mineral water! We are always well stocked with San Pellegrino! And I’m in good form for tennis in the AM.
I’ m italian and I was in tuscany last week end and I ate my first Fiorentina steak without alcohol but only mineral water !
I am thankful for this post. I had decided that it was finally time to life AF and I stopped for 83 days until I found myself thinking that maybe I could drink just now and then and it wouldn’t be so bad – well 2 months have gone by with that thinking and I’m right back to where I was drinking way more than I want, dealing with the guilt and hangovers, not exercising or eating well. We are set to go on vacation for 2 weeks in a few weeks and I thought I should wait until after that to stop drinking again but I’ve decided I don’t want to wait that long – I want to stop now. I want to go on vacation and relax, have fun, sleep well – all the things I don’t do when I’m drinking.
Great post, Kate! Love AF lifestyle. Getting so much more done and this holiday weekend was so relaxing.
Wow, in reading this and other blogs I’ve come to wonder what is it with us women and wine?? I know, there’s an occasional male in the group and they are not immune to alcohol. BUT there is some very insidious relationship women seem to have with have with wine. It affects all demographics; age, location etc. I’m 63 years old and my relationship began 20+ years ago. I’m no different than the 35 year old in Norway or the 72 year old in England. I read about myself in all of these blogs.
We all know we can’t have just one, right? It’s just not possible. I think the sooner that reality sets in for me the better. I am 11 days sober and pray that I have 100 more and than some.
Denise !! I hope all of us can keep going…. only one glass it’ s not possibile for us … I think that the difference between man and woman is that man feels less guilty and inappropriate… this is a woman thing.. If a man wanna drink… he drinks , if he wanna smoke.. ho smokes… doesn’t think so much about ! My husband can drink a lot but can moderate more than me
I am reading all these positive comments on this forum and am wondering how on earth I am ever going to be AF permanently. I can’t manage more than a few days at a time, as there are certain triggers in my life which are unavoidable (family) and wine always takes the edge off at the time to cope with this. I’m constantly going back to day one to try again and my disappointment and self loathing is increasing.
Hi Lucy, it sounds as if you need some new coping mechanisms! (Drinking is actually making your stress worse, not better – search for ‘stress’ in the search bar of this site and you’ll find an explainer about that.) I’d be happy to help you with this – it sounds as if taking a break would be a good step for you (much less overwhelming than quitting ‘forever’). If you’d like some support, do take a look at my signature coaching programme, Getting Unstuck. This is an intensive six week course hosted in a private online classroom. You can find out more about it here: https://thesoberschool.com/course