Kate's Blog

But I Just Really Love Drinking Wine

“How can I quit when I like wine so much? And cocktails? And gin and tonics?”

I used to ask myself this question a lot.

I knew I needed to stop drinking and trying to cut down wasn’t working… But part of me hated drinking and part of me loved it. 

Can you relate? If so, this video will help!

Key points:

The problem with repeating a big statement like “But I just love drinking wine” to yourself over and over is that it’s very vague. It closes down the conversation. It says everything and nothing all at the same time! It shuts off the curiosity that you need in order to truly figure out your drinking. We need to understand exactly what it is that you love about drinking.

Loving the taste is – dare I say this? – a convenient excuse. It’s a socially acceptable reason to drink and more sophisticated than just wanting to get smashed. Most of us had to work quite hard to acquire a taste for alcohol. Didn’t it make you gag to begin with? 

If it really was just a taste issue, you’d be buying alcohol-free versions of your favourite drinks. Nowadays, alcohol-free wines taste just as good as the alcoholic versions – the market has completely transformed in recent years. The range available and the quality of it is impressive. 

“If I wasn’t drinking alcohol, what would be the uncomfortable feeling that I’d have to deal with?” It might be something that you’re embarrassed to admit. Perhaps you drink because you’re lonely in the evening. Or bored. Maybe you spend all day wondering if you’re good enough and when you get back home you want to block out that self-doubt. 

Maybe you find parenting tedious or the company of your partner in the evening isn’t fun… and drinking helps you avoid that discomfort. Maybe you have a hard time transitioning from work into home life, and drinking seems to smooth things over. Perhaps drinking is the only thing that gives you permission to just stop and relax.

Once you understand what you’re really trying to avoid, then you have a path to change. Then you can start to figure out the skill you need to develop in order to start taking care of things yourself. Your drinking is simply highlighting a skills gap. Right now you’re using alcohol to plug that gap.

This is where the real work of sobriety is. It’s doing that inner work, so you can learn to manage your mind and take care of yourself without needing alcohol to step in and do the heavy lifting. Most of us weren’t taught these skills – but you can learn how to have your own back. This is what I teach inside my Getting Unstuck 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. 


37 Responses

  1. This topic really resonates with me! I am slowly discovering that I want to disconnect with the stressors in my life by mid to late afternoon. Or at least numb myself. It’s difficult to address daily chronic physical pain. Add to that my husband has recently become more and more reliant on me becoming his health aid. This was unexpected for both of us. We are both processing the very potential possibilty that this will become a permanent case. I’ve discovered I’m battling with depression and anger that I haven’t wanted to address.

    1. It resonates with me too, but can’t really work out what I can do to deal with such a deep-seated habit. For me, very early evening is a lightly boring no-mans-land. I need to figure out what I can do about this.

      1. Habits are changeable, and imagine the possibilities of your early evenings without the buzz or lethargy from alcohol. Listen to the experiences of former students from my ‘quit drinking’ course and discover how their lives have transformed now that they are free from that burden: https://thesoberschool.com/success-stories/

      2. This is a habit that luckily can be easily changed. I did the Sober School last year in April with Kate and we really tackle this topic. I already stopped drinking alcohol just by doing the free webinar and then decided to go on to the 6-weeks course. I am sober now for more than a year, never have touched a drop of alcohol since. I can highly recommend Kate’s coaching and there is always an amazing group of women in this circle. Go and give it a try with the free webinar, you might love it!

    2. Life is seldom smooth sailing, yet we have the choice to manage our reactions and emotions to the various situations we encounter. Eliminating alcohol can be incredibly beneficial for both mental and physical health, enabling us to deal with life’s curveballs with reduced stress.

  2. yes – I am glad I have come back as this speaks to me and has reminded me of the value of all you share Kate.

  3. This does sound like me. I only drink after dinner and if I stop what would I do with that time?

    1. Exactly! Start thinking about what you could do with the extra time in the evenings when you have the motivation, energy and money to do what you want! 🙂

    2. Yes… suddenly so much time! I started reading books again, go for an evening walk, clean out messy closets and paperwork, call long-missed friends, paint, watch Netflix. ….just Love it!

  4. Thank you for this. I’ve ignored emails from Sober School until today. I have two little kids, a husband that travels all the time, work, commitments, etc. and I’ve been using alcohol to numb myself and just escape real life. I hate that alcohol has become such a social thing too. I’ll be looking forward to these emails from now on. Thank you again.

  5. Hi Kate
    Thank you for another great blog I’ve been following you now for 3 weeks and haven’t had an alcoholic drink in this time your blogs always seem as if they are just for me hitting the spot and really making me think.
    For me I don’t feel good enough all the time..
    I’ve now joined a fitness group and also this weekend gone was a big test for me to stay off the booze a I met up with my ladies that lunch group and I’m pleased to say I still had a fabulous time with them all and no hangover the next day was bliss.
    I also look forward to your Monday emails many thanks regards Carolyn

    1. Hey Carolyn, congratulations on the big win over the weekend! It just takes a bit of practice to realise that you can have just as much fun, if not more, without alcohol clouding the experience of social events. The added bonus is no hangover the next day, which means you have more energy to enjoy it all over again!

  6. Thank you. Today was another Monday morning lecture with myself that this needs to stop. As I was pulling out of my driveway I said that exact statement. But I love drinking and I love the taste of wine. You must have been reading my mind. This was so helpful.

  7. I’m very new to your emails and downloads, but me and wine have been friends for about 30 years.
    I don’t drink a HUGE amount; about half a bottle a night. And never during the day. But it’s the fact that I really struggle not to have those 2 or 3 glasses that worries me. I really do like the taste, and it does help me transition from being the one in the house who does everything, and always being constantly busy – to laying on the sofa for a couple of hours before bed, and switching off. I don’t like hot drinks, or soft drinks, or water. I’m having an alcohol-free beer tonight. Wish me luck!

    1. That’s more or less exactly how I am. If I know I can’t drink one evening, I get really fed up about it as the afternoon wears on. Like you say, that’s the worry, rather than the amount. Just FYI, I’m finding a brand of alcohol free beer really yum. Lucky Saint – excellent. It’s very useful to me at the moment.

  8. Yep I say this all the time!!! It’s how I justify drinking. Thank you for speaking to this issue.

  9. When I drink I become distracted from food. My weight has always been a concern even when I am only at 120 lbs. After listening to your talk today i think the underlying issue is more like I don’t feel like I can control things in my life. And I’m not good enough unless I’m as thin as I can be. I’m actually crying right now. I haven’t had a drink for 4 days and of course I’ve been overeating for the last 2 days.

  10. Agree 100% … numbing your heart and mind just postpones facing your truth: what do you really want?
    Thank you Kate for your guidance The Alcohol Terminator

  11. Low self esteem and lack of confidence has got worse since the menopause. I drink to comfort myself as I’m no longer working due to orthopaedic pain

  12. You are absolutely correct! I have already ascertained that two underlying drivers of my drinking are loneliness & stress. Unfortunately, I am not yet able to consciously identify these triggers in the moment when they occur & trigger a craving (which I often give into ) but I do analyse, as best I can, every time I drink, what was the unmet need I hoped drinking would fulfil. So far, these two things seem to be major triggers for me. I’m hoping I can learn to identify them more quickly in the moment, so I can make a different decision to NOT drink, in the near future, when triggered, as my numerous (failed) attempts thus far, have been undermined by these issues. Thank you for your insightful approach & content. It is most helpful.

  13. I drink in the evening to escape from myself and to give myself a reward and a break. I am constantly on the go, thinking, worrying, working, looking after family etc.

  14. Whenever I got stressed I always reached for a bottle or two of wine, but now when I feel stress I pick up one of my books and read a few chapters and then don’t feel so bad I’m now nearly 7weeks sober thank you Kate for your advice and tips on a alcohol free life

  15. Hi Kate:
    Does drinking AF beverages not really support the misconception that “I love the taste”? I would think drinking AF beverages might also be a mean brain trick (brain thinks it’s getting alcohol and when discovers not real you still crave alcohol)?
    I think understanding the pleasure centres (endomorphs) that alcohol stimulates and the cravings created is key to understanding the power alcohol can have over us.
    Your blogs are amazing!

    1. It’s often overlooked that alcohol is a drug, and a predictable consequence of regular consumption is addiction, accompanied by cravings. Alcohol-free alternatives do not activate the same pleasure centres in the brain, thus they do not induce cravings.
      Alcohol messes with the serotonin and GABA pathways which stabilise and enhance our mood. And of course, it steals the dopamine thunder of expectation so that other things like a chat with your best mate or completion of a difficult task bring less and less joy and satisfaction.

    2. I stopped 1 year ago and I am staying away from non-alcoholic drinks that remind me of my former favourite drinks because I read and am always a bit scared that I will be reminded too much of the old tast. Yes, I have to admit I do miss the taste of those old favourites lie red wine.
      If I would find a fantastic 0.0 alcohol-free version, maybe I would try it, but so far I have not found it yet.
      But no way I am going to put the toxic ethanol into my body again with it! So for the time being I just go with other AF-drink options.

  16. I have really tried to stop drinking every evening . Since my lovely husband died I feel so sad and lonely and I am using alcohol as a coping mechanism which I know is wrong bit I am trying to address this. I wish there was a group for widows and widowers to discuss the use and abuse of alcohol during grief,

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