Kate's Blog

How Long Have You Been Worrying About Your Drinking?

How long have you been worrying about your drinking? 

Can you remember the first time you thought, “Ok, perhaps I should do something about this?”
It might be further back than you think. 
This kind of information is really important, but we’re very good at misremembering it.
In fact, I recently discovered I’d been getting this wrong too…

Key points:

Why we get this wrong

When it comes to alcohol, our brain wants to tell us that our drinking isn’t really that big of a deal. We want to believe that it’s not bad enough for us to stop; that it’s not the right time yet. That way, we don’t need to change or take any action.

Why this matters

If you’ve been quietly worrying about your drinking for months – or years – you will have lost hours thinking about it. You’ll have spent days beating yourself up and wondering if you should change. That matters. The cumulative effect of that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Getting the date right

Look for evidence – when was the first time you took a small step to tackling your drinking? Perhaps you bought a book about alcohol free living. Can you work out when and where? If you follow my blog, how long have you been receiving my emails for? Is it longer than you think?
Ready to take a break from drinking and create 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. 


39 Responses

    1. Thanks for such an honest post Maxine. The truth is that alcohol keeps you stuck in a life that’s boring. It makes depression worse and in the long run, it steals your confidence. You’ll be so much better off without it! If you need any help to side step those excuses and stay on track, here’s some information about my online course: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

      1. Hi Kate, well that really struck a cord. I think it’s been, no, I KNOW it has been 20years. I remember going to an AA meeting after a big, embarrassing night at a friend’s wedding. Then again 10years later I tried AA when I moved to Sydney. It might be time huh?!?

    2. To be honest, my first time noticing was 2 1/2 years ago 3 I’m Jan 2022, me and my partner where away to Glasgow over night with my parents to see a gig and me and my boyfriend went to have a cocktail or 2 (was definitely no more then 2) but we had a few drinks in the room while getting ready first. I get drunk too quick on alcohol something I’ve ALWAYS been aware off but didn’t think about have wine in tge room the cocktails, we went for a meal first before the gig and I was wasted due to the cocktails and wine mix combined. I made a slight fool of myself at dinner and through the night I should have been sleeping, anxious and couldn’t sleep and felt so self conscious. My drinking was genuinely put on track until lock down last year where I’ve drank most nights snd gain 1 & 1/2 stone and look awful and huge and its got me soo oooooooo down

  1. Hi, this really struck a chord with me! I have almost a full bookshelf of self-help/stop drinking/bin the wine habit books.
    I found your website just this weekend, after a binge (when I was never drinking again) on Friday night.
    Finally, I find help I can relate to. Thank you.

  2. This video resonated with me. I bought Allen Carr’s book on the easy way to quit drinking in 2008! Started my break from boozing this year.

    1. Well done for starting your break this year! I’m so pleased you stuck with it. Hope you are enjoying an alcohol free lifestyle 🙂

  3. I quit for 90 days over the winter of 2013/2014. Naturally that proved to me that I COULD quit so there was no problem, right? At some point after I’d returned to drinking my beloved wine, I found your blog, Kate. I have no memory of exactly when that was — it might have been a year or two out, when I was lurking the sober blogs, wishing I’d stuck with it. Forward thru another 7 years to December 2020 when I stopped again, this time to support my younger sister who almost died from alcohol poisoning. Truth is, I’d been longing for sobriety and her medical crisis gave me the determination to reach my goal. I found you again, Kate, and you’ve been a voice in my head during these almost 9 months of sobriety. I have to work to keep from beating myself up for not quitting long ago but denial is a strong opponent. I’m so happy to be where I am now! Thank you for all you do. And sister is also alcohol-free these many months later.

    1. I’m so glad you came back to it in the end! The most important thing is that you’re doing it now. Congratulations on your sobriety Linda.

  4. Signposts, that’s what you provide so well! I struggled with not wanting to quit, being scared of quitting, rationalizing not quitting, making contracts with myself to moderate a hundred different ways that never worked. Oh that I had seen this video years ago. That said, your course has helped me overcome all that nonsense now, thank goodness. 900 days sober this Wednesday, and I know for sure I would still be bargaining without your course. Thanks Kate!

  5. Thank you, Kate, for all your help. I credit you with my stopping drinking. I have handled it all very well with your help, but I foresee a problem. I go to the beach annually with a group of friends. (Next trip is August 2022 so it’s a year off, but I’m still concerned.) We all drink, but I have discovered that I can’t drink just one drink. What do I do? Do I cancel going to the beach with them? I could without a problem, or If I decide to go, then how do I handle not having that one tiny, seemingly innocent drink that I know is anything but? (Oh, and I must tell you that I feel so good and so happy now that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.)

    1. No, don’t cancel the trip – work on your thoughts instead! The question to ask yourself is: why would I want to ruin a lovely trip to the beach with a glass of ethanol? What do I think this mind altering, toxic drug could add to this special? Would it matter if I had a different liquid in my glass? Why do I want to drink this toxin when I’m with my friends doing something that’s enjoyable in its own right? It’s your thoughts that need to change here, not your trips to the beach 🙂

      1. I knew I had (have) a problem when I could feel the wine “turn on me” after a couple glasses. All of the sudden irritated and emotional about everything. I’ve been dabbling with sobriety for a year now. Now I’m trying to stick with it for good. It’s easy in the morning. Harder in the afternoon as we all know. It will never go back like it was in the beginning. If wine is so great, why do I dislike it so now?

        1. Keep going Amanda – the hardest part of sobriety is the early days. So all the more reason not to keep repeating those tough first few weeks 🙂

  6. Before January this year , long before , I knew I had a problem. However I was only quietly worrying about it and doing just as you say Kate, staying in a repetitive pattern. I looked at your course years before but fooled myself it wasn’t so bad. Truth is only now post Getting Unstuck, that I can actually recall thinking about my drinking when I was expecting my second child !!! So so scary. She’s now 30. Only now can I think straight and acknowledge how stuck I was. Another reason to stay with it … thanks so much

  7. I’m trying not to comment on every post but they all ring so true, and especially this one! Searched my inbox … there you were, 2019! I remember making a pros and cons sobriety list when I worked in London in my early 20s. I am now 47. I have done sober months, a 3 month “reprogramme” (not yours) and a 10 month stint when I felt so liberated and elated I was certain I would never go back to drinking. Every time I did. One tricky customer. Following you and remaining happily AF at the moment.

  8. Hi Kate I drink most weekend and I thought I enjoyed it realising actually it’s habit because my friends do it and when I go out even tho sometimes people say I haven’t even drunk much I always fall asleep and I don’t like myself because everyone makes fun of me I have not drunk in 14 days I rarely drink in the week Do you think I have issues with drinking thank you for the emails they help me lots Sandra

    1. If you’re drinking more than you intend to – and that’s making you unhappy – then it’s a sign to change and do something different. We don’t have to wait until things get “bad enough”. Well done on your 14 days Sandra!

      1. Everthing you have said Kate and everything everyone has posted I have either felt or done but when it got to hiding bottles under the bed and seeing that I always ended up arguing with my new partner with drink in me ,I knew it was time to quit for good so I luckily saved all your emails and im gòing through them.Im still arguing with myself in my head like Do I really need to give up ?? Really ??? but know deep down I do. So ! only day 2 for me today long way to go and many hurdles to jump

  9. Hi Kate!
    Your message today is spot on for me. As I listened I started to remember al the years I gave up alcohol for Lent and New Years. And then I said I would only drink wine because I was more of a beer girl. Then guess what, I suddenly became a wine girl! Then I tried telling myself I’d only drink beers I didn’t like, the super light ones. Rationalizing that if I drank those I’d only want a few and I would be able to moderate or control my drinking. When I first graduated nursing school in 2015 I started drinking more than when I was in school because I had the free time to do so. Then it got to be too much and I said I would only have ONE DRINKING DAY a week. Well there was always a reason to make an excuse for this one extra day because it was such and such occasion. Fast forward to the lockdowns of 2020 and I was now passing out while it was still light outside. Doing some really stupid things. And I again vowed I would address my drinking habits and change it for good. Went on a vacation shortly after that in June 2020 and stayed probably 50/50 sober. No major incidents. Came home from that trip and slowly got back to bad times. Long story short, it has been at least 6 years for me that I have been worried about my drinking, and your message today told me “*&%$ or get off the pot”! Thanks for being there Kate xo

    1. This is a really good summary of all the things you’ve tried so far – I hope you screenshot this Brandin and keep it somewhere you can refer back to. You’ve spent a long time researching and practising ways of cutting down and it hasn’t made you happy. Now… it’s time for something different. If you need any help taking a break from booze that feels good, I can help you here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  10. Years ago. I knew I had to quit and did about 7 years ago. I was fine for a year but then slowly got into it again. I’ve now quit and restarted so many times I’ve lost count. And it’s so hard to do this each time! I forget that it is so addictive.

    1. It’s great that you’ve got that experience of stopping in the past Val. I suspect there’s something in your thinking that’s pulling you back to alcohol each time – something that you think it does for you, or you’re missing out on. If you want any help unpicking that and working through it, this is exactly the kind of thing we cover on my course. Here are some details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  11. I’ve been a problem drinker since I was a teenager. I quit for some periods of time in my 30’s {on my own accord} and in my 50’s {with AA} and now I am back- in my 60’s struggling with alcohol again. I recently cleared out my house in Louisiana to put it on the market and came across some books I just could not part with. One of them is titled “Under The Influence-A guide to the myths and realities of Alcoholism” and said to myself- Well I still have that problem and packed the book with the others to ship back to my home in California. When I got home I started to read it and told myself- I know this stuff and put it down. I’m still struggling – I am my worst enemy. I was close to signing up for your course this past July but I had been sober for 3-4 weeks – on my own accord- and my mind said I could do it without help. NOT TRUE. I’m back on the roller coaster, feeling scared, embarrassed, abandoned, disgusted and a dozen more useless emotions and feelings that do nothing but make me want to drink more. I got to get off this roller coaster.

    1. Hi Mary Jo, I’m glad you’re still working on this and still committed to changing your drinking. I hope to see you in the October class!

  12. Let myself down again went and did a run for charity and went drinking afterwards my kids were with me and I started swearing just in the air on the train with my sister my kids hate me drinking ive done it a couple of times I really want to stop I’m a good mum just get carried away I don’t need to drink I just have one and get carried away feel so bad I’ve got to stop !!!

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