Kate's Blog

Numbing Out From Life’s Simple Pleasures

Alcohol is such a blunt tool.

If you’re drinking to take the edge off the day, you’re not just numbing out from the stuff you’re trying to avoid. You end up taking the shine off a lot of the good stuff too.

You numb the lows and the highs.

That means missing out on many of life’s simple pleasures… which is exactly what this week’s video is all about.

Key points

The subtle stuff you’re missing

When alcohol is driving a wrecking ball through your life, its impact is obvious. What I’m talking about here are the subtle consequences of numbing out a bit, quite a lot of the time. Feeling just a bit bad, a bit trapped and a bit obsessed with where your next drink is coming from.

Simple pleasures

In the video, I describe the pleasure of an alcohol-free holiday and appreciating the tiny things – from swimming in the sea, to eating great ice cream and enjoying the views. When I was drinking, I never got excited about little things like that, because alcohol stole so much of my attention.

The little things are the big things

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you never read in the evenings these days, because it’s too hard to concentrate after a few drinks? Maybe you don’t appreciate great food in quite the same way, because your focus is on the wine instead? What are the little things that you’re missing out on?

Fed up with missing out on life’s simple pleasures? For help and support to break out of the alcohol trap, 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. 


40 Responses

  1. This has caused come at just the right time I’m drinking every single night alone when everyone is in bed! I just lost my parents 7 months between them. I’m drowning in grief but also in alcohol! I want to stop so much I’m going to try Thank you for this.

    1. One year now & no alcohol. Experiencing “ organic joy” of summer swim in the St Lawrence River & watching a storm move across the lake.

  2. Hi Kate
    I have been fooling around with wine and drinking every now and again. But I realized I can’t do that. Moderation as you have said many many times doesn’t work and I have come to realize that. I feel so much better when I don’t drink. I feel engaged with the world and life. I went to a comedy club over the weekend and had a wonderful time with alcohol free drinks. I love getting your videos it reminds me that life is to be live to the fullest with what time we have left on earth. You are the best. Meg

    1. I’m on the wait list! Can’t wait to take your course. I’m so tired of struggling with this addiction!

  3. So
    I’ve realised that I rarely go out (unless it is to the pub )or do anything constructive in an an evening, whereas I previously did. But I tend to have a wine glass in my hand now instead, it is rather a vicious circle, or maybe spiral…

  4. Kate, I look forward to your videos as you have the knack of describing your topic (dealing with alcohol) in superb articulation and tone.

    1. Dearest Kate you hit the nail on the head again. I have been missing out on the simple pleasures for years.
      I would go to the beach to the woods go on outings etc… but l was always wishing l could hurry it up to get home and have a nice cold glass of wine in private.
      Now l have stopped although l had a blip for 2 days l know exactly what you are expressing.
      Now when l go to the beach l just relax l swim l Read l listen to music l watch happy families.
      I too now have the icecream as l can afford the calories plus l can afford to treat myself and not waste it on alcohol.
      There’s a beautiful world out there and l can see it now.
      I’m holding on for dear life as this is the life l want.
      Thank you Kate you’re a star

  5. Kate! Tomorrow marks 3 years of sobriety for me! You and your 6 week Get Unstuck class helped me through the hardest months. My life’s simple pleasures are traveling, bicycling, reading, and spending time with family and friends. If someone is thinking of going alcohol free, good for you because the stars have aligned! These days there are many people who have decided to not drink, so you will not be alone. And alcohol free beer and other beverages have come a long way and are very satisfying. Plus, you have Kate’s awesome class, blog, and resources to coach you alone. I’m over 60 so yes, I still wake up at 3 am. HOWEVER, gone are the days where I would hate myself like I did when I was drinking. And “drunk dials” and “drunk texts” are long gone! Most of all, I’ve lost and kept off my 10 lb booze belly. I punished my body with booze for 40 years. These next 40 will remain sober and satisfying.

    1. Congratulations Barb, your simple pleasures sound wonderful! Here’s to the next 40 years “sober and satisfying” indeed ❤️

  6. I’ve just been on holiday and drank every day as I felt I couldn’t cope with stressful parenting without a drink to look forward to. By the end of the week the drink gave no joy or buzz, I felt tired and slightly depressed. I now wonder how much more energy I would have had and if I could have enjoyed those simple pleasures a bit more! I’m focused now on trying to realign myself and try and do the things that make me feel good and happy! A run is on the cards in the morning, and those nectarines sound good 🙂

    1. Sobriety is the ultimate in self care Kali and gives you much more energy and sparkle. Sleep well and enjoy a morning run, your reward of nectarines will be all the sweeter!

  7. Thankyou I’m bout 2 months sober and I was sat painting my gate the other day a bright colour – in the sunshine, it made me so happy. Then I remembered in the past I would’ve been sat drinking alcohol and wishing I’d find the time to paint that gate…it made me smile – I had a lovely time, doing such a simple thing. It is good to find fun things again that don’t need booze…

  8. Hi Kate
    The best things for me are being able to get into my car every day without worrying about being over the limit.Having such simple fun and laughter with my adorable grandchildren. Walking my dog through the woods and really enjoying the whole experience without a headache. Waking up in the night and not feeling anxious about what I have said or done the previous evening. I feel I can cope with my life much more easily now. Still get the feeling it would be nice to share a bottle of wine with my husband, but the thought of where it might lead puts me right off!

  9. I am one of the, accidentally found your website googling, stop drinking etc, only found it yesterday. I miss laughing about silly things with the kids, in the day when. Yes things might be funny when you have had a couple, but the next day, I am less patient, tired, hungover, feeling guilty and yet thinking about later/chilling with a drink. I know I miss out on them

      1. I did so well and 9 months sober but then thought I could control it and sometimes could
        It crept back – last night a free bar at a works for left me in bed all day with a hangover and I had to tell my daughter it was the rich food – so gutted
        But I remember early morn walks by the sea and the smell of pine trees

  10. HI Kate, I have just completed my first AF week in …well forever!! Over the weekend I went to a yoga retreat with friends and mentioned I was trying not drinking for a bit, they were really supportive so that gave me a real boost. I thought they would think I was boring but turns out they think I m brave!?! It has been a complicated week but the highs have significantly out weighed any lows… I even realised one of my cravings I thought was for wine was actually because I was just plain thirsty. Waking up with a clear head, not negotiating EVERY night ‘should I / shouldn’t I drink’ has been such a relief. I feel free and motivated to keep going – thank you and the team for your support so far it has been immeasurably valuable.

    1. Congratulations Michelle, sobriety is true freedom for sure. We often mistake that ‘wine o’clock’ craving for thirst or hunger. Carry on respecting what your body really needs and reaping the benefits 🙂

  11. I’d love to learn more about the “poisons” in wine. The other day I bought a lower-priced bottle of red wine to go with an Italian dinner. The label claimed, “only naturally occurring sulfites, no added ones”. I did the typical justification, “one glass won’t hurt.” I was lethargic and achy the next couple of days. I haven’t had a drink since. And I think it’s time to expose the additives that hurt our minds and bodies. I love your site Kate, it is helping me to overcome!

  12. Your video Kate, reminded me of recently splashing about in a swimming pool with our grandchildren on holiday and being brave enough to go down the water slide, which was so much fun. I have not given myself permission to enjoy such things for so long. I am two months without alcohol and I feel so much better and more in control of my life. I really look forward to your videos to keep me focused. Thank you.

  13. Hello Kate,
    Thank you for this great post and thank you for your course. I took your course in April of 2018. You may never fully know the positive impact you have had on my life, but you enabled me to retire in 2021! How? you may ask….well back in 2018, I knew…and my partner knew…that if and when I would retire I would slip into the person who was justifying having a drink at 4pm, then 3 pm, then 2 pm….you get the idea. I knew drinking and not following a strict schedule would be a disaster for me and the relationships that mean the most to me. My partner is beyond thrilled and grateful we could retire together and enjoy life. (Reading, bike rides, walks with our pups and fun little getaways are what we enjoy most) Equally important, I am reliably, consistently, calmy there for my parents who have many physical ailments and my mom is now struggling with dementia. I would never have been able to be the strong support I now am for them if I had continued on my former path. I am proud of myself and forever grateful to you for providing exactly what I needed to leave alcohol behind. Thank you for giving me back my life!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Megan. I am honoured to have been a part of your healthy and happy retirement. It’s so true, we have to take care of ourselves first before we can help others ❤️

      1. I have just had my first AF holiday! It was amazing enjoyed every minute of it from morning till night.No waking up wondering how I would get through the day.
        Thankyou get it is well worth it!
        I have had one ot two blips along my 3month journey but you realise you feel so terrible next day and the things you have planned to do have to be put to one side, it is not worth it

          1. I have just achieved 5 months AF and my first alcohol free holiday EVER. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to the beach early and sober to enjoy snorkelling in the Greek sea, coping with the heat just fine without a hangover, really tasting my olives, pitta breads and dips for lunch rather than focusing on the wine, and getting exited about which ice cream to choose each afternoon rather than being obsessed with what time I can start drinking! The days are longer and way more fun without booze 🙂

  14. I still am not drinking, yet when I was I remember a lot of experiences I could not enjoy because of drinking. I could not go for walks because I was afraid of tripping. I could not drive to the store because I was frightened I would get pulled over. I couldn’t work out at the club because I was afraid they would smell the alcohol. Days I don’t miss

    1. Absolutely Cheryl, drinking restricts our life so much and there’s a whole wide world of experience and joy to be found in simple pleasures…

  15. Hi Kate, I had my last drink on 27 July. Not quite 2 weeks sober but I’ve been struggling with alcohol since I was in my early 20’s. I’m now 54. On 28 July I woke up for the second morning in a row not being able to remember if I’d eaten dinner let alone what I’d had if I had eaten. I could write a book here but for now I’ll just focus on what I’ve found joy in over the last couple of weeks.
    Ironically I’m a bit of a fitness freak and am very health conscious – figure that one out – but I’ve been enjoying my morning gym sessions and I’m starting to feel positive about my training for the first time in a very long time. I’ve got the energy to work hard. I’m sleeping like a baby – I’m eating clean – I’m not only staying awake throughout but am able to remember the programmes I watch with my partner in the evenings. I feel generally happy as opposed to a bit down. Most importantly, I’m enjoying feeling in love with my partner again and I can see that changes in me have made a big difference for him as well. I can’t explain any of this except to say that it’s like a switch has flicked in my brain. I really hope it doesn’t flick back again.

    1. Thanks for sharing Kerry, beautiful words. ❤️ Sobriety isn’t a sacrifice, it’s an upgrade and you are enjoying life as it should be, not blurred at the edges or numbed out.

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