Kate's Blog

If You’re Doing Either Of These Two Things – Stop!

I want to highlight two things that might be making your life harder right now.

Particularly if you’re in early sobriety – or you’re trying to quit drinking at the moment.
It’s all about the way we talk to ourselves… and what we do when we’re feeling unmotivated.
If you’ve ever muttered to yourself, “What the hell is wrong with me?” I think you’ll get a lot out of this video.

Key points:

Stop shaming yourself when you make mistakes

Imagine a child came to you and said they’d failed a test at school. Would you say, “Oh my god, what’s wrong with you? You’re such a failure! I’m so ashamed of you.” You wouldn’t say that, right? Instead, you’d help them figure out what to do next.
In sobriety, many of us say the most horrible things to ourselves and it’s totally pointless. You can’t shame yourself into quitting. A better approach is to look at what went wrong. What can you learn from this? What help do you need? What will you do differently next time? 

Stop waiting until you feel motivated

Are you putting off sobriety because you’re waiting until you feel motivated? That isn’t the approach we’d take with our kids if they didn’t feel like doing their homework or going to school. We wouldn’t let them skip school until they feel like going again. 
Feeling unmotivated isn’t a cue to give up. Instead ask, “Am I willing? I might not feel motivated, but am I willing to stay focused and keep going with this? Am I willing to do this right now, for the version of me tomorrow who will be very glad that I stuck with this?”
For help and support to make sobriety stick, click here to find out more about my online coaching programme.

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. 


24 Responses

  1. This really made me think about the way I speak to myself. I would never talk to my kids like that. I have been struggling recently and get so angry with myself.

  2. Wow! You struck a cord there. I should be kinder to myself.
    I’ve struggled with drinking since 1987 when I was a publican married to an alcoholic. Then I had to have some control because one of us had to, for the sake of our children. It took me 5yrs to give up drinking but started again after 4yrs AF when my marriage completely broke down.
    Since then I’ve remarried and my children have grown up and left home and I’m in a much happier place…. So why was I drinking more? I don’t know.
    I failed Dry January so have stopped for February and hopefully…. NO I will not drink again. I did it on my own before, this time I’ve found you Kate and your brilliantly inspiring blogs I know I can do it again.
    Thank you so much.
    AF from now on

    1. It’s great that you’ve recommitted again Sue. It sounds like an important part of your sobriety will be looking at why you went back to drinking in the first place. Getting really clear on that will be the key to success in future – and not repeating the same patterns 🙂

    1. Time to start being a bit kinder to yourself Sam. If beating yourself up worked, then you would have stopped already 🙂

      1. Thank you Kate. How true this is. I have beaten myself up for so long it had become my default setting. Yesterday I was 5 weeks sober and amazing things seem to be on the horizon … and because I am no longer hating myself I’m daring to hope and even believe I can achieve them.x

  3. It has made me really think about what i think about myself i am worried as my son and sister were both alcoholic i want to try to and at least reduce my intake x

    1. Hi Lesley, I recommend taking a complete break from drinking for a defined period of time. That’s much more effective that trying to reduce how much you’re drinking. When you take a complete break, you get to find out just how amazing alcohol free living really is 🙂

  4. Yes, this hits the nail on the head, I get really angry with myself, I even look in the mirror and say nasty things to myself, I have been successful it most everything I try to do, but have felt totally useless at trying to go without, and no I’m not motivated to stop but I want to, I want to look in the mirror and say “hey, I’m proud of you” I am 1 week without a drink and happy with myself, I have not been nasty to me all week, I like this.

    1. How about you start looking in the mirror and being proud now Libby? You can proud of your one week and celebrate that 🙂

  5. Thank you for your weekly messages. I am redoing the course and into week two and I have a different mindset and these weekly messages really help. So far, I don’t feel deprived like I did last time. I am so happy I signed up for your Sober School, Kate. It’s great to be able to look back through the lessons and get new motivation in these messages.

  6. I’m so thankful for these words today. I’m just 6 days sober, working on a dry February. For some reason, I had intense cravings last evening. No idea why, but I got so frustrated with myself! I didn’t drink (no alcohol here), but I ate like a starving wolf. Then of course hating myself all the way into today. Aarrgghhh.

  7. I am on day 1 yet again, seem to get to 8 weeks and then back to square 1 and can’t figure out why, I work in a pub so temptation at every corner, but don’t like seeing drunk people, yet I do it to myself.

  8. Your message is clear and really makes you think in a logical way rather than beating yourself up.
    I have struggled for years and even after a hospital stay and over 3 months of not drinking the temptation is there even though I know there is damage already! I want to love but need to sort the – you don’t need to drink to have fun socially! I am on the wait list for the April course and hope I get on it – so should have done this years ago when I tried all those numerous times to give up
    Sue x

  9. Got a scan later on today. Confessed to my GP how much I was drinking, will be 60 in April if I carry on like this I won’t see 61. Really want to give completely!

  10. Wish I’d watched this yesterday evening when making dinner with the first glass of wine in my hand. I’d had a lovely day full of exercising and sorting out jobs I needed to do, but the wine o clock gremlin wouldn’t disappear so I ‘treated’ myself to ‘a glass’ that ended up being a bottle and a half, then woke up angry at myself … again … I’m going to use this video to be a little bit kinder to myself now and remind myself that I don’t need to be motivated, just willing. Thanks

    1. I can completely get that as I’m very much the same I can go the whole day but as soon as the evening comes and my kids are put to bed I feel I have to have a glass of wine but it doesn’t stop there sadly and I continue until it’s tired me out

  11. I so relate to what rose said. I am subscribed to u kate but didnt get this blog in my in box last Monday? Really enjoy your blogs

  12. Hi Kate, I know I’m drinking too much and yes same as others I look in the mirror and hate myself. My partner was diagnosed in dec 2021 with throat cancer and this us all for 6, he’s been through such a rough time and I’m watching all this and it’s really upsetting. I started drinking more even to the stage where I would have a drink in the morning just so I can get on with the day. I have signed up for your course which is in July as I feel I could do with extra help. Will try to look at myself in a different light and keep reading all you blogs. Feels nice to send this email to know I’m not alone.

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