Kate's Blog

“I Deserve A Glass Of Wine Tonight…”

“I deserve a glass of wine tonight!”

As soon as the thought popped into my head I knew I’d be in trouble. 
When I was drinking, I always felt I deserved wine after a tough day. And if I’d had a good day? Well, I still deserved wine.
If I was busy or bored or tired – or whatever, really – I could always find a reason why I deserved a glass. 
Only it was never really just one… 🙄
This video is about how to shift the “I deserve it” thought into something useful:

Key points: 
“I deserve a glass of wine” is a thought that’s quite hard to resist, until you start unpicking it. We’ve got to be willing to examine our thoughts – that’s where the real work of sobriety is. 

What is it you really deserve?

In the moment when you’re telling yourself, “I deserve a glass of wine” what is it that you’re really wanting? Is it a treat or reward? Relief from a negative emotion? Happiness and pleasure? Or distraction, relaxation or something else?
Once you’ve identified what you’re really craving, then you can look at how to give that to yourself. There are so many other ways you can meet that need without alcohol. Think about how you’d look after a child in this situation.

Flip the script

Remember to ask whether you “deserve” all the side effects too. So the thought “I deserve a glass of wine” needs to be answered with, “but do I deserve a hangover? Do I deserve to break my promises to myself? Do I deserve to feel bad tomorrow?”
Drinking wine can feel like self care but it isn’t. You don’t ‘deserve’ a toxic, cancer causing glass of rotting fruit juice. You just don’t. 

What do you deserve in life? 

In the grand scheme of things, what do you really want? What do you believe you deserve? Maybe it’s a great relationship, a better job or more time to yourself.
If all you ever tell yourself is “I deserve a glass of wine” then that’s all you’re going to get. Drinking will keep you stuck, tolerating your problems instead of working through them and making changes. 
If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, 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. 


78 Responses

      1. Hi Kate, thank you for sharing your video, it was so helpful. When we first went into Lockdown 01, I was working longer hrs from home and felt I deserved a glass of wine at the end of the day to help me unwind. I got to the point where I would look forward to a glass of wine every night. I didn’t feel at the time I was doing anything wrong as many other friends and colleagues were doing the same. Every Sunday evening I would promise myself I would start a new week with no alcohol. By Monday afternoon I would start thinking “how will I get through the week without it” and end up having a glass of wine with my dinner. I would be so annoyed with myself for not having the willpower to fulfil my promise. I started day 1 today alcohol free and I’m so pleased with myself. I do suffer from health anxiety and i continually worry about the long term affects after drinking alcohol daily. Hopefully my anxiety and negative thoughts will subside. Thank you for your help and advice.

        1. Well done on getting started Sally! I know it can be hard doing this alone when friends are behaving the opposite way. If you’re looking for support to make sobriety stick (and feel good about not drinking) I’d be happy to help you. Here’s how we can work together: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

        2. Hi Sally
          I hope you have made it this far without wine.
          Well done for making a change anyway because the thought to stop is there and that’s the main thing.
          Stay positive and take care

      2. I really liked this talk! Especially the question but do I deserve a hangover or to feel like a disappointment in the morning or to wonder how stupid I was last night so yeah thank you Kate

        1. I really enjoyed listening to your video it did me relize there is more to life than drink . I feel I like people life pull me down and I turn to drink but than afterwards I relize am letting them people win by doing this to myself thank you for your advise xx

    1. Hi thanks so much definitely a knew way to look at things never would have thought a that one .hope a can help maself X ☕lol

      1. I really enjoyed listening to your video it did me relize there is more to life than drink . I feel I like people life pull me down and I turn to drink but than afterwards I relize am letting them people win by doing this to myself thank you for your advise xx

      1. I deserve better skin
        Lose the wine weight
        And a better mood.
        Thank you. I needed to come across this today.
        Let’s face it, we’re probably all just using lockdown as an excuse now. Its become a baaad habit that I need to get out of!

  1. Hi kate, what an encouraging film..thank you. Like most, during this particular lockdown booze has crept in…and it hasn’t been a friend. It doesn’t rule me but it’s becoming part of my day to day which frightens me. I want to go back to the place where I would only have a drop of cider or champagne when it was because I was celebrating something…not ‘just because’. Your input is going to get me back on a healthy, even path. Thank you.

  2. Thanks kate great advice and so true. I could have found any reason to have a glass of wine. I am now 15 days drink free. Not easy but you are helping

  3. Great pep talk, thanks soooo much your sooo right, going on 5 weeks feeling better but still have a lot more work!! Love your videos. Myra

    1. Very word taken on board you have put it so simply making me ask why have I not looked at ‘deserve’ in this way before. Wine is so accessable eg in supermarkets years ago my ‘deserve’ item was a magazine and bar if chocolate what happened.

  4. That really stopped me in my tracks and made me think! I definitely need to think twice every time I see a glass of wine as a reward. Also thinking how I would comfort my child was very enlightening.

  5. I’m on day 23 of my recovery and learning all about self-care in IOP. I really appreciate this thought of identifying what I REALLY deserve and how to give that to myself. Thanks Kate!

  6. Hi Kate,
    I’m new here and have found your blog tips videos inspiring. I had been drinking since the age of 13 only social there were a lot of social on the weekends for for 40 years it’s socially acceptable. The last 5 years went downhill to drinking wine everyday I was functioning but missing out on many aspects of my life. My kids my grandson . I timed my drinking not to interfere with family or work. It was awful waiting for family to leave so I could drink myself into oblivion in just a couple of hrs there is not just one glass for me . Like you said Wake up in the middle of the night fell like crap push myself to work feeling guilty everyday saying to myself. What the he’ll am I doing ok today is the day I’m going to stop I’m killing myself. Did not happen for 5 years until 3 weeks ago 23 days sober today . I had no intentions of quitting that day . I was browsing on my phone mindlessly and of course hungover feeling guilty . I texted a friend whom I work with she has been sober 15 years I reached out to her that I have a problem with alcohol and I can’t go back to that dark place would she help and guide me . She called me within 10 minutes we talked for 2 hrs. I’m so thankful she came into my life a few years ago. I know it’s not going to be easy but everyday that I don’t drink alcohol is a good day even if it’s a shitty day it will be better than going back to the dark dark days of drinking. I already feel so much better physically and emotionally and yes I deserve that. Happiness before pleasure because pleasure from that first drink that will turn into may as well be 20 drinks is not going to bring me happiness and peace.
    Sorry for the long post it helps to talk about it.
    If anyone is interested please comment on my post.
    Thank you again

    1. Good on you Ela! After 5 weeks, I’m
      Already feeling the benefit. It’s not always easy though, especially when I feel I am missing out. I just try to distract myself and these moments always pass. We can do this!

    2. Well done Ela. Have you listened to my pep talk? I think it will help you in those tough moments if you can’t contact your friend. The link for the pep talk is just below the blog post 🙂

    3. Way to go Ela!! Stay strong! It will get easier with time, just hang in there. I’m so glad you had someone to reach out to, as I believe that really helps.

    4. That resonates so much for me. I did sober October November and Christmas and new year then stupidly told my self I could just have one but oh no not me one is never enough. Going through a divorce at the moment and moving house is causing me so much stress and anxiety and I know wine just makes it worse so here i am today back at day 1 again again. Well done for sharing your story and on your 23 days you are doing amazing ❤

      1. Lynn, my excessive drinking also started progressing 8 years ago when my husband of 34 years decided he was leaving me for a 27 year old I was 51 at the time. What a kick in the face that was. So I know what you are going through. We feel worthless and reach for that first drink of pleasure and then it’s downhill from there. We can do this, don’t be hard on yourself if the only thing you do today is not drink it’s a good day.

  7. You are always here, right when I need to hear what you have to say. This one, particularly, resonated with me. I have a point #4 to consider, “Why don’t I think I deserve to be happier, healthier, more satisfied?” Because if at the root, someone is harboring negative thoughts towards themself, they are likely not to feel they “deserve” anything better. Thank you Kate for inspiring so many and living a better life so that we may see the light at the end of our journey.

    1. You deserve a great life Kathy. You deserve so much more than the bottom of a bottle. I’m glad this resonated with you 🙂

  8. this is so me – you hit it on the head! I will think about what I truly deserve and what I really want. Thank you for the insight into my thinking.

  9. I found this very interesting to listen too and could totally relate to what you were saying. A glass of wine had become my treat everyday, especially during lockdown, with nothing to hurry to get up for, it made it more appealing. My Husband and I have been retired for three years now, so our alcohol consumption had slowly increased. We don’t want to give up drinking altogether, but just moderate it.
    I am pleased to say that last week we both had three alcohol free days and feel very proud of ourselves. We plan to continue having alcohol free days and see where it takes us.

  10. Great post, Kate! It’s such a trope to see (usually) women hit the wine hard in movies + TV shows when things are challenging. It’s used often for humour, relatability or to show just how stressful the situation is.. We never see the aftermath of a day spent in the washroom vomiting, or nursing an 8 hour headache. In the days of early sobriety, I would find that triggering – I deserve that big glass of red! Nope, I deserve a good life! : )

  11. Video so resonated with me ! Reminded me of something I say quite a lot, both to my kids and in my work, why do you think you can keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. So i need to ask again what do I want . However, this time now I am AF -just finished January Getting Unstuck-think I might come up with better answers, no weird mantras anymore. I deserve a better life.

    1. No more weird mantras! You totally deserve better Tracey. Well done on finishing the class and choosing this awesome alcohol free lifestyle! 🙂

  12. Thank you Kate. Such a great reminder. For me, alcohol has been like boiling a frog. From a few times a week, to a deserved glass or two often turning into a bottle every night. I have committed to a 100 day plan and I’m 36 days in. I hope I never go back. You’re right I deserve better than this. Thanks so much for helping me change the script in my life.

  13. As always you make us see the obvious… nobody deserves to feel bad after drinking, nobody deserves a hangover. But, it’s just our thoughts that need to change, nothing more! Thank you Kate

  14. Thank you Kate and to everyone else who shared their struggles and successes. It is really comforting to know I am in good company. Every day I put a check on my calendar as an AF day I know is a day closer to getting my life back.

      1. This was so helpful Kate. I stopped drinking on NYE and was doing really well until yesterday when I suddenly felt really down about lockdown. As a result I had that thought of ‘I deserve a glass of wine’ and unfortunately gave in and had two. I felt so disappointed in myself and ended up with a low grade headache before bed and when I woke up this morning. I’m back to no drinking again today but next time I get the ‘I deserve a drink thought I shall try your ‘flip the switch technique – I definitely don’t deserve that headache again!

        1. Good plan. Because did drinking change anything? Nope! It just made you feel bad afterwards. You deserve better, for sure!

    1. Just starting out “again” on trying to say no to the mini wine woman in my head after a good day, bad day, celebration or commiseration day! Great blog x

  15. Not had a drink since 7th Jan. don’t miss the hangovers, but still find it hard. Wine is everywhere, still in the house as husband drinks. Trying to find what I want to replace it with. It’s been so long drinking but trying my best to change.

  16. I’ve been reading your inspiring advice for many months Kate . I know I deserve to start caring for myself ( and not with alcohol ) It’s a temporary fix .My mother was an alcoholic, I should know better . But I’ii be reading the link daily to constantly keep me on track . Hope I can ( its only day 2 ) Thank you

    1. Hi Mary, well done for getting started! I know it’s hard when you’re doing this all on your own. Have you looked at joining my course yet? That’s the best way to get help and support and be coached by me directly. Here’s the link with more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Hi Kate
      I gave up alcohol for 100 days last year during Covid would you believe I gave up through one of the toughest times not just because of covid but also because of the breakdown of my 30 year relationship . I moved country and have started life again but I started drinking again also and was literally drowning my sorrows . I started a new relationship with a man that doesnt drink and after 4 months I realised that my drinking was causing arguments not the drinking but how the drinking made me argumentative etc He never said a word but just told me he loved me no matter what . I knew then that I couldnt run the risk of losing a great relationship so I have stopped again its day 5 and very hard . I have watched all your short video clips and they are helping me understand the excuses i gave to drink heavily a lot to do with squelching emotional trauma . I will be honest I actually enjoy drinking and I actually love red wine but I dont like the whole movie . So on my hopefully road to full sobriety this time . Testing times ahead as the social aspect of drinking is quite powerful . But……….its got to be done

  17. Good advice, recognizing what it is that you are deserving of and really wanting. Takes some thought. Made me do some soul searching!

  18. I have had a few days recently where I thought I would have a glass of wine tonight. Then I remembered I was AF it was a passing thought but it made me realise how often I turned to wine. The last time I had this thought it was a particularly emotionally draining day. I came home and did my usual routine but replaced the wine with AF drinks. I chilled went to bed earlier and felt so much better the next morning. I think for me a lot of it was yes I deserve but also habit. The routine I think is ok but by replacing alcohol the outcomes are so much better.

  19. I have recently stopped drinking after many many years of heavy alcohol abuse I felt something had to give, I am a very Christian person and have prayed for help with my drinking issues and here you are like a little prayer answered I saw this whilst scrolling on help with staying sober. think of myself as a weak willed person but today I am strong and hope with the help of your website this month off alcohol will turn into years of sobriety.

  20. Thank you so very much for this Kate, it resonates so very much with me.
    Right now I feel like I have been thrown a life line, which I needed so much years ago and just wasn’t there.
    I only came across stigma and disapproval or dismissal.
    You talk so much common sense and put it in such a positive and empathetic way.
    How on earth did I never think about my drinking in this way before?
    I will most certainly be watching many more of your videos.

  21. This was very helpful. I was talking myself into a ‘reward’ of a glass of wine {bottle} as I felt I ‘deserved

    1. Once we understand that drinking alcohol is not an act of self care (in fact the opposite because it makes us feel worse), the opportunities to really take care of our human needs becomes possible. We often need food, drink or connection instead and that’s much more enjoyable and rewarding.

  22. I have just started listening to these talks and so much resonates with me. It’s painful to step back and see what I’m doing to my health but necessary for the change that is so clearly needed. Thank you Kate x

  23. Thank you Kate. You sound so normal and you’ve really encouraged me. I have no willpower when it comes to stopping my alcoholic treat! I realise at the end of the day when I pour my large gin and tonic while clearing the kitchen in order to make dinner (& the kitchen dirty again) actually what I want is to just sit down and rest. I’m worn out. Thanks for helping me challenge my thoughts and getting me started. Good luck everyone x

  24. Until the age of 55, I only drank occasionally , at a party, dining out, or family get togethers. It was never a problem and I never felt I was missing out on anything.
    After my 4 children were on their own, I was in a new relationship and we were drinking cocktails before dinner and wine at dinner every night. It was new and fun. I(not as dramatic as “The Days of Wine and Roses”) And I never felt it was a problem.
    Fast forward to age 68. I was truly enjoying a glass (maybe glasses) of wine while preparing dinner, and maybe a cocktail before dinner, and wine with dinner. And suddenly (not) I noticed: the next days seemed harder, my hair was becoming brittle, and my skin was so dry! And I blamed it on getting older.
    Fast forward to now, age 72. The mornings are extra hard, I am actually forgetting the morning after, I am anxious in public settings. So I decided it was time to stop drinking Alcohol.
    I’m on day 6 and I can not believe how hard it has been. I know the benefits. And I do like waking up without a dry mouth. But evenings are so hard. I did enjoy the feel and taste of cold white wine. And I’ve had headaches and been irritated at everything.
    I know I just need to commit to “today I will not drink alcohol “ and Today I am not going to drink alcohol. Im looking for cold refreshing drinks to put in my wine glass….and a lot of chocolate.

    1. You have described a familiar pattern of the escalation of drinking over the years that many women experience Ann, so you’re not alone. Alcohol is an addictive substance which we sometimes forget, so it’s a perfectly normal response. Our tolerance to the drug increases over time too, so we need more and more to get the same buzz – it’s a vicious circle.
      If you’re tired of feeling hungover and fed up of trying to figure this out on your own – you’re in the right place. At The Sober School we help women to stop drinking and feel great about it. I recommend taking a six week break from booze whilst I educate you about what alcohol can and cannot do for you and debunk many of the myths that we’ve grown up believing about the most glamourised drug on the planet. Join me in April for my Getting Unstuck course, details here to join my waiting list: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  25. Thank you so much for taking the time to make this. I’m enjoying your advice and am putting it in to practice. By the way, I deserve to remember what I did last night!

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