Kate's Blog

How Are You Describing Sobriety? Why Your Words Matter

How do you talk to yourself about sobriety?

Exactly what words and phrases do you use? 🤔

The language you choose is important, because it sends a subconscious message to your brain about what alcohol-free living is like.

Our words matter. They can set us up for success or struggle… so let’s make sure your head is filled with the good stuff.

Check out this week’s video to learn more.

Key points:

Here are some examples of words and phrases that won’t support your sobriety:

  • “I need to get back on the straight and narrow.”
  • “I must start being good again.”
  • “I’m going to knuckle down and abstain.”
  • “I’ve got to give up drinking.”

Notice how all of these phrases and words have an element of restriction and hard work within them. There’s a sense of doing the right thing or doing your duty, but feeling deprived at the same time. That’s not good, because no one can sustain that long term. This language primes you to find sobriety hard. And what we believe to be true tends to become true.

How does the language you use around alcohol compare? I suspect it’s quite different! You might describe drinking as “letting your hair down” or “treating” yourself because you “deserve” it. Maybe you’re “getting a bit merry” or “a bit tipsy”. It sounds so much easier and better, right? And your subconscious picks up on that.

The truth is that it’s not sobriety that’s restrictive – it’s drinking! After all, alcohol-free living doesn’t deprive you of your freedom, peace, happiness, sleep and good mental health. It’s alcohol that takes all of that. When your life and your joy is dependent on the liquid you’re going to pour in your glass – and how much you’ll have and where and when – that isn’t freedom. That’s plain old restriction.

If you can convince your brain that a punishing neurotoxin like alcohol is going to bring freedom, joy, fun and pleasure… then you can also do the opposite. You can learn to change and you can see the truth of what’s going on. Words matter, so watching your language is a great place to start. Start noticing when you’re reinforcing an unhelpful story, even when you don’t mean to.

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. 


19 Responses

    1. Oh yes, I see what you mean. The sunlight was so stunning that I seized the opportunity to use it as a scenic backdrop 🙂

  1. Thank you Kate! After 3 years out of the blue I will feel a tug! And I remember what you said in this video from when I was in school… and it completely changes my course of thinking. It’s almost physical haha

    Thank you Forever and ever!!!

  2. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol this year, in fact, now doing the maths I realise it’s 141 days af, and it’s all thanks to you for changing the way I think about alcohol… I realise now how much of a lie we’ve been told about alcohol!!

    I’m living my best life, in a much clearer head space, more positive and happier. So much more accepting and kinder to myself (I used to constantly beat myself up).

    This new me (well actually the original me before I got stuck in a world of haze), has seen the world through authentic goggles, my relationship with my husband has blossomed, I’m present and experience every emotion. And the best part is having the energy to deal with the not so good emotions and the challenges that life throws, because I know that I can make sensible decisions and make the right choices.

    Thanks to you Kate, you are such a special person, and I truly appreciate what you do

    1. Thank you for the kind words, and congratulations on 141 days! You’ve put in the effort to attain an authentic life, free from the haze of alcohol, as you aptly described it. ❤️

  3. Bad day. Almost 2 years AF :). My brother was getting on my nerves.
    Sister too. When I was drinking I would usually relax with a drink to calm myself. So proud ….had a salad and a full glass of sparkling water. Not going to ruin my almost 2 years! P.s 6 girlscout cookies also lol

    1. Well done, Cheryl, your sobriety is too valuable to be compromised by others’ irritating behaviour. Although sobriety doesn’t solve every problem, it certainly strengthens our ability to handle life’s challenges.

  4. I’m currently taking your Sobriety School course. What a difference the last 4 weeks of being AF is!!! I am finally sleeping throughout the night without any booze or sleeping aids☺️. I’m incorporating the Think, Feel, Do lesson daily (or more often). So many, many benefits from this! I’m no longer craving alcohol as an escape, pick me up or whatever other excuse I used. My relationship with my husband, other family and friends has improved in a myriad of ways because I’m content within myself. I’m not hungover or cranky. My health has vastly improved, as well as, my disposition to others. Thank you so very much for your compassion, wisdom and support!

    1. It’s great to hear that you’re reaping all the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle. It’s indeed a lifestyle upgrade and also a way to save money – a double whammy! 🙂

  5. Thank you, Kate for this latest wonderful video from a beautiful locale. It really spoke to me. Today is my 28-month Soberversary, hurrah! I love my life now, mainly thanks to you and the Sober School. I agree that like smoking, drinking is something I “used to do” (for 46 years, argh). I haven’t craved alcohol in ages, or a ciggie, but I know that could change in the blink of an eye. All it takes is one little taste to fall down the rabbit hole again. So, I watch all your videos and read the comments to keep myself focused and accountable. Thank you again for everything, dear heart. Enjoy every moment of your well-deserved holiday!

    1. Hi Annie, It’s great to hear how much you are loving life, congratulations on your 28 months that’s fantastic!

  6. Hi Kate, It’s lovely to see you against the sparkly ocean.
    It’s 8 weeks without alcohol fir me now now and what a difference in every aspect of my life.
    I’m having fun experimenting with different mocktails to enjoy in the early evening.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Bernette, It’s great to hear how well you are doing and how much your life has improved too. Well done on your 8 weeks, it just keeps getting better and better.

  7. I must stop drinking
    Let’s have no more until the weekend
    I’m never drinking again!
    Why do I do this?
    I’m having a month off (rarely happens)

  8. Hi Kate
    Does it help to set a date? Does it help to state you’re not going to drink at a certain occasion or celebration? I can do this. What I struggle with is not drinking at home. It’s also the place where most of my over drinking occurs.



    1. Hi Joanne, Yes, taking a break from alcohol for a set period of the time allows you to fully experience what alcohol free living can be like for you. Without that you have no way of knowing what you are choosing between. I can guide, support and coach you to do that via my online coaching programme: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

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