Kate's Blog

Lessons In Sobriety From Kate Middleton’s Cancer News

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the news that Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has cancer.

It brings to an end weeks of wild online speculation about her.

But what does all that have to do with alcohol-free living? Well, quite a lot actually.

There are some key takeaways for all of us here and I explain what they are in this week’s blog.

Key points

Kate Middleton’s surprising news – after weeks of scrutiny  – is a reminder that whilst we might think we know what’s going on in someone else’s life, we don’t truly know. This comes up so often in my work, when I’m coaching women to quit drinking. Clients will confidently tell me that everyone else they know drinks normally… and they’re the only person who can’t moderate. I will always ask them: “How do you know that for certain?” So many people are just great at restricting themselves in public.

It doesn’t matter how rich or royal you are, health is everything. And whilst there are so many health issues that we can’t control – it’s often just bad luck – there are the factors we can control. I don’t very often talk about the health risks of drinking alcohol, but here’s a reminder: drinking is dangerous. We’ve been socially conditioned to treat alcohol so lightly, but its impact on your mental and physical health is huge.

Before Kate Middleton’s announcement on Friday, there were some wild conspiracy theories about her on social media. A lack of facts created an information vacuum which got filled with rumours and speculation. When it comes to sobriety, it’s worth checking – are you in an information vacuum? If you’re spending a lot of time wondering what it might be like and speculating on what might happen… the chances are you’re going to be really wrong about a lot of it!

You can’t figure out sobriety from the sidelines. The best way to get out of that speculation trap is to start taking action, follow a proven plan that works and get the support you need to do this the right way. That can change everything for you. And that’s exactly what I can help you with at The Sober School.

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. 


30 responses

  1. Wise words indeed. Thank you, I enjoy your emails. You have been an enormous help. It’s two and a half weeks now since my last drink, and I have successfully managed a couple of social occasions.

  2. Oh my gracious! You hit the nail right on the head! Not many, if any, really talk about the health risks of drinking. I was “on the sidelines”. My rational was that, “Well, I don’t drink as much as So and So or as long” So,my health risks are low because they don’t have any symptoms. Boy, was I wrong! I started drinking “late” on life; in my late 30s. I used to joke that I was “making up for lost time” with my drinking. But, the joke was on me…now I’m battling with severe GI issues that alcohol worsens which interferes with my daily activities. Plus, I’ve been diagnosed with a fatty liver. Seriously!? My 1st thought was, that’s for Skid Row drinks…denial. That’s not me! But actually, apparently it really is me. Once again, alcohol is not my friend. It has and will steal my relationships, health and monies. It’s a manipulative thief. My battle for health reasons is very real.

    1. Exactly Tamara, alcohol steals happiness from tomorrow. Alcohol is recognised as a carcinogen and linked to 7 different types of cancer, but that fact is rarely talked about.

  3. So right you are. I was unbelievably worried about my drinking. I would do just that, go on a work business meeting/evening and have a soft drink or one small glass of wine with colleagues/clients and then buy a bottle on the way home, drink all of it on my own before bed!! I thought it’s only me, why can’t I get control. My self loathing and fear weren’t enough to stop me!! I then find out one of my closest friends had hit rock bottom. She appeared together and grounded and healthy. She was stopping in laybys on the way to work in the morning for a swig of gin from the bottle she was topping up with during the day. Luckily she found sobriety within rehab. We really don’t know what other people around us go through. Thank you for your emails, really useful and informative.

    1. You are definitely not alone Kit. I’ve worked with thousands of women who carefully hide their drinking habits until they reach out for help. We are conditioned to think we should be able to control alcohol which is crazy really as it’s an addictive substance just like nicotine. But we tend to overlook that fact when trying to quit. When we find it difficult to stop, we blame ourselves for lacking willpower! I wrote a blog on this subject a while ago that you might also find helpful: https://thesoberschool.com/control-drinking/

    2. Thats brilliant.. well done. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I wonder if it was due to my years of drinking. I’m clear now after op & radiotherapy and am still struggling with my alcohol when I know this is a chance for me to keep healthy after recent events .. I do feel completely stuck

      1. Hi Linda
        Like you I think my drinking probably caused my breast cancer. I quit drinking 18 months after finishing my poison, slash and burn treatment. Now gratefully alcohol free for nearly 3 years.
        Not sure what this has to do with Kate Middleton, but wishing you success if you decide to quit

    3. Wow I get you.. I would drink at home.. less out with friends then come home & sink a bottle of wine.. I’m quite a greedy drinker and every day is the same hamster wheel of fear, guilt and shame and I’m currently in remission for BC.. I should be doing better x

  4. A relative has pancreatitis and it’s serious. I’m just not the sort of person to have half a glass of wine at a party – I do everything to excess , often good things too like marathons , business stuff
    Driven, creative people often should avoid even one drink. Sober since 9 sep apart from 1 small rum and coke ( accident) – I’m not even wanting alcohol with issues now – running and meditation help and good coffee!

    1. The easiest drink to turn down is the first one. Well done on being sober since September Debbie, running and meditation are much healthier coping mechanisms 🙂

  5. I can relate to all of these emails. I didn’t drink any think since Jan 25th then just got drunk 2 nights ago after hearing about Princess Kate. My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year it been a difficult year I feel for Prince William . I am back on track no more wine for me it wasn’t worth it
    Thanks Kate

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Kath, alcohol does not alter or resolve any problems and the issues that prompted you to drink will remain the same sadly. If you need some help getting back on track, my online coaching course would be a great fit for you: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  6. My mother was an alcoholic who died of oesophageal cancer at 62 when my youngest was just four. My mother was a smart, intelligent and well-spoken woman. Those who didn’t know about her drinking would probably have been astounded to learn she would stagger around drunk at home, breaking china and once even setting fire to the chair she was sitting in. She’s been dead over 20 years now and I still feel desperately sad about those wasted years.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother Tracy, 62 is very young to pass away. We never know what goes on behind closed doors or how people are feeling, which is why it’s so important not to fill the void of information with rumours and speculation. You can’t change the past, but you can make healthy choices for yourself to honour the life that your mother gave you. ❤️

      1. Thanks Kate. For most of my life, I’ve been pretty sensible around alcohol (seeing the awful damage it does really helped). I’m here because I moved abroad five years ago to a country where the wine is cheap (and good) and the wine culture is so ingrained among expats that I found myself drinking far more than I’d ever previously done. 50 alcohol-free days and I feel fantastic with no intention of going back to it.

  7. Dear Kate, I took your class 3 years ago and this year, on April 3, 2024 I will be 3 years sober! I tried many times in the past to quit drinking and nothing worked until I took your class. My drinking habits came on very slowly. A glass of wine on Friday night after a long work week, became a bottle of wine every night! I also hid it very well and could control myself with my family, friends, and co-workers. I will forever be thankful for you and your class. Keep up your amazing work and helping others. I am now a very healthy and active 73 year old grandmother who knows I will see my grandchildren grow up and be a positive role model for each of them. ❤️ Kathie

    1. So lovely to hear that you are thriving in your sobriety Kathie. You’re an inspiration to others that it’s never too late to take care of your health by quitting the booze! ❤️

  8. I’ve been diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst after a ct scan with contrast. Seeing a surgeon on 2nd of April as my mother died of pancreatic cancer. I’ve lied to my GP about the amount I’m drinking as ashamed and I know I need to stop

  9. Enjoyed walking with you in the beautiful park area and looking at the daffodils during this very very insightful blog! Health is one of the biggest reason for my AF life and joining you. Thank you Kate. ( here in the US Kate has been all over the news for weeks. I wish her the best for her recorvery sad news )

  10. Valuable words Kate and very true. When I was drinking was aware of how it would effect my health but always pushed it at the back of my mind I now 5 weeks sober and although I’ve been into a pub for a meal I thought this is going to be hard but there is so many other drinks to have that are non alcoholic

    1. Five weeks is a brilliant start! The range of alcohol-free alternatives has expanded significantly, offering better quality due to increased demand. Enjoy the process of experimenting to discover new and delightful options that you like. There’s no need to settle for dull drinks at a pub simply because they’re non-alcoholic.

  11. You mention social conditioning. We are all hoodwinked into thinking it’s ok, great, glamorous, fun to drink. I’m currently on a cruise and the booze has been flowing. It appears that everyone on this ship is drinking non-stop! I’m on holiday, I should be feeling fantastic but my alcohol intake means I’m not, so what is great and glamorous about that? I need to change and I found you on one of my 4am (alcohol induced wakey time) google searches. Wish me luck and thank you in advance.

    1. Alcohol has become such a social norm that it’s often the only drug you have to justify not consuming which is crazy, right? What many consider to be the key to a fun and relaxing holiday can actually impair the creation of memories and the enjoyment of experiences. These and other common misconceptions are tackled in my online course, ‘Getting Unstuck.’ Here are additional details on how you can join: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Hi Sally…I’m on a cruise too,at this very moment..I’m on P&O Arcadia’s World Cruise,and have been since the 6th January !
      I agree about everyone around you seems to drink alcohol, but I have remained alcohol free for the entire time,as it must be awful for those drinkers suffering with terrible hangovers and missing out on special moments not being fully present or being able to make the most of every precious moment on shore.
      You can do it !!! We certainly don’t need alcohol stealing away our fun and spoiling our holidays.

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