Kate's Blog

I Never Believed I’d Be Able To Do This Sober!

What do airports, planes, holidays, restaurant meals and sunsets have in common?

They’re all things I thought sobriety would ruin for me. Seriously. I never believed I’d be able to get through them without drinking.

Or if I did somehow manage to resist, I couldn’t imagine actually enjoying any of those things without alcohol.

They wouldn’t feel as special, right? It would seem as if something was missing.

If you can relate, this week’s video is for you. I filmed it a few days ago, during a trip to Costa Rica…

Key points

We all have one – a list of things we just can’t picture doing without wine. For me, that list included things like flying, going on holiday, restaurant meals and even enjoying a beautiful sunset. For years, I’d associated those activities with alcohol and I just couldn’t imagine skipping the booze.

Perhaps your list is the same as mine or perhaps it includes something else that you’ve never believed you could do without drinking. Every drinker I’ve ever worked with has some kind of mental list like this, so you’re not alone!

Just because you can’t picture yourself doing something without alcohol – or enjoying it, sober – doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it when the time comes. Not being able to imagine something means nothing. Seriously, nothing at all.

The mistake some people make is they turn, “I can’t imagine doing that…” into, “I’m definitely going to fail at that, so what’s the point in even trying?” For example, “What’s the point in me quitting drinking when I’m going on holiday soon? I can’t imagine being able to stay sober for that, so why bother even getting started now?”

If you’re on Day 1 of sobriety, that means you’re thinking about your life with your Day 1 brain. There’s a lot you don’t know yet. By the time you get to 50 days, or 100 days, your perspective on alcohol-free living and on what’s possible for you will be completely different.

And to be honest, you don’t know how something’s going to go until you actually do it! Until you’re there, in the moment. So instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, why not focus on what might go right? And what might actually be BETTER without booze?

I bet there are plenty of other things you’ve done that, at some point, you never believed were possible. Perhaps you’re a non-smoker now but once upon a time you couldn’t imagine giving up. Maybe you’ve lost weight and you’re wearing clothes you never dreamed you’d wear. Perhaps you found the courage to leave a relationship or job, even though you never pictured being the person who would just walk away? But you did.

Your brain doesn’t like uncertainty. It much prefers having everything figured out in advance. But sometimes, you’ve just got to move forward without that certainty. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and trust that things will work out as they’re meant to. I’m really glad I did.

Need some help to create an alcohol-free life you love? Click here to learn more about my Getting Unstuck 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. 


29 Responses

  1. This weeks talk about facing situations that one has always associated with alcohol, is timely for me as, I’m due to go away in a couple of weeks to our favourite hotel. I’m very nervous about doing this sober. I am trying yet again, having failed numerous times to get sober. How come I managed to quit smoking over 30 years ago yet struggle with drinking. I think it’s because I associate drinking with having a good time. Whilst I am away I shall revisit your video for encouragement and inspiration. Thank you. Angie

    1. Alcohol-free holidays really are an upgrade for free, so give yourself this gift Angie. You will have the best time experiencing everything the hotel and resort have to offer without the headaches or lethargy and have more energy to try out new things 🙂

  2. You are so empowering! Thank you for breaking this down to one day at a time alcohol free vs. the thought of the rest of my life alcohol free. I need to be that just for just today and that will be a win! Tomorrow is another new day. I also loved the way you asked us to look back on our life journey to reflect on the other hard, seemingly insurmountable events of life, that are now accomplishments! That was huge and inspiring! Thank you!!

    1. We can do hard things, even if we can’t visualise them right now. Life is too short to let something as underwhelming as alcohol hold you back…

  3. Every single thing you say in your blog is so true Kate. I am now 1 year + A/F and loving ❤️ life. I wanted what you had achieved and now I have and am so so happy. Every first I’ve experienced in the last year has been so worth it sober. I’m off to India in 4 weeks time and , its not my first A/F holiday( I conquered that in 2023 ) but it is my first time travelling outside of Europe and I am so looking forward to it . Thank you Kate for showing me the way to be ‘A/F’ ❤️x

    1. I’m so happy for you Susan, you’re smashing alcohol-free living! You’ll have an amazing time in India and make incredible memories that will be crystal clear. 🙂

  4. You’re so encouraging and positive and your videos so reassuring, thank you for all you do Kate. Mine is thinking about a friend’s upcoming hen and wedding..

  5. This is really helpful Kate. I’ve been alcohol free just over three months but am a little worried what my holiday will be like this year. For the first time we’re going all inclusive and my hubby said I can drink as much as I want to make the most of it but he doesn’t really understand how much I want to stay sober. I really want to do experience a holiday like you’ve just explained, it sounds a wonderful and real possibility!

    1. I do recommend having an alcohol-free holiday so you have some comparison. After all, you can always decide to go back to drinking next time. You deserve to have the experience you want. The all inclusive drinks applies to mocktails, AF beers, wines and spirits so you won’t be missing out on anything but the hangover!

  6. I’m terrified about being AF after 4 years I tried but ended up in a MH unit for 6 weeks. I’m going to try Sober School as AA wasn’t for me

    1. I recommend Kate over and above AA & a Mental Health Unit. Kate’s approach is very fresh and aligned to today’s ways of the 21 st century (similar principles but a fresh and realistic for today’s attitudes). We’ll it worked for me and keeps me inspired to continue .

  7. Thank you Kate. Everything you’ve mentioned resonates with me. Last week I was AF and felt great. Sleeping was bliss! However, I went out for dinner with my husband and had 2 glasses of wine – which did not taste good. Then Sunday a stressful situation arose – alcohol – Then Monday- alcohol. Both nights terrible sleep.
    I will be going to a 60th birthday party on Saturday and I know I’ll drink. Again the rules begin, drink only socially, dont drink at home!!
    I am at least goi g to remain AF for the rest of this week.

  8. Thanks for the pep talk, Kate. I did quit smoking 6 years ago. At that time, I couldn’t imagine getting through the day without a cigarette, but I did. I’ll keep that in mind as I work on becoming AF.

  9. I knew it was time to quit drinking when I vacationed at an all inclusive for 10 days and couldn’t catch that happy holiday feeling. Even at an all inclusive all I could think about was my next drink. When we got home I realized I drank more at night after work, than I did all day on vacation at an all inclusive. How is that even possible? I said goodbye to my last glass of merlot on March 5, 2022. Every vacation I have taken since has been an upgrade. 100%. I sleep better, enjoy long walks, read more books, eat better, everything tastes better, and most importantly I feel content. I am in Costa Rica right now too! For two weeks! Working on the writing I kept saying I wanted to do but didnt because it interfered with my drinking!

    1. Hi Jonelle, it’s lovely to hear how well you are doing. What a coincidence! Have a wonderful time, it’s so beautiful and I am sure will inspire your writing. Sober holidays are the most relaxing, recharging experience.

  10. I can’t seem to find a blog or space where I fit the rules. I have been AF for almost 4 years in my daily life. I drink (not to oblivion) with my husband on holidays. Why do I feel guilty about this?

  11. I really relate to this- I feel that life will be so much harder without my wine buffer but I know it could be so bad for my health, finances and so much more

  12. I’m just adding to my holiday list of things to take and I’ve crossed out wine that I put there a couple of days ago!! I’m early on in my sober journey so still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase but also know I can keep coming back here if my resolve starts ebbing away! In fact Ill be checking in even if it doesnt! AND there are lots of interesting looking AF drinks out there now which helps!

  13. Thank you – perfect timing! Just back from an overseas holiday with my daughter. I read this before we went and decided to swap the usual cold beers and fizz for alcohol free versions. I held on to your words about experiences not being defined by what’s in the glass and cherished every moment. We had a lovely, happy and chilled time and the sleep was amazing!

    1. Hi Rebecca, Sober holidays are just the best aren’t they? I am so glad you got to experience it fully and came home chilled and relaxed.

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