Kate's Blog

When Is The Right Time To Quit Drinking?

How do you find the right time to quit drinking? 

Perhaps you’ve dabbled with alcohol-free living, on and off. 
Maybe you spend a lot of time thinking about stopping. 
You love the idea of waking up hangover free… and you know you’ll sleep better, look better, feel great and save tons of money.
You know you need to do something… and yet the moment never feels quite right.
This video is all about finding the right time to quit drinking:

Key points:

There is no such thing as the ‘right time’ to quit drinking

Logically, we all know this, because life is messy. But when we’re about to do something new and out of our comfort zone, it’s easy to drift back into waiting for the ‘right time’ to come along.

Perfect moment vs perfect perspective

We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our attitude, our actions and the perspective we choose. It’s the way you interpret what’s happening around you that really matters. 
For every person who thinks a global pandemic is a terrible time to quit drinking, someone else will look at the same situation and decide it’s the perfect moment. It’s all about perspective – so why not choose one that moves you forward?

There will always be a reason to delay

It’s easy to romanticise how things were before or how much easier things might be in the future. But the reality is that there will always be something. If you look for it, you’ll always be able to find a reason why now isn’t the right time.
Ultimately, if your drinking is making you miserable, or you’re worried about it, then this is the right time. And the secret to success? Start before you’re ready. 
If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online 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. 


70 Responses

  1. Hi Kate, great post! A lot of sober people, including myself, say they wished they had gotten sober a long time before they did – saved themselves oodles of pain and regret. While I love my life now, it would’ve been immeasurably better had I stopped when I knew I had a problem, 15 years before I actually stopped. Best to all! x

    1. Thanks Jane, you’re so right. I’ve never met a sober person who says “I really wish I’d carried on drinking a bit longer!”

      1. Great video. You are telling me things I already knew but did not want to admit. Scared to try and fail again never a good time etc.
        What really hit home was the bit about coming out of this pandemic having achieved something so here goes.

    2. Proud to say I’m almost 6 weeks sober! I’m reading a lot of books, blogs, etc. it helps me stay that way. I’m interested in your class.

    3. Hi Kate
      I found the recent time at home I drank so much less . Then a recent catch up with a girlfriend and I was swilling wine. This got me thinking.
      I’ve enrolled in your course because my perspective needs changing.
      Interestingly I had downloaded your info about a year ago but it wasn’t “the right time”. Cheers

      1. It’s great to hear you’re interested in the July course Margaret. I can see you’re on the waitlist – so keep an eye out for some more information at the end of this month about how to secure your place. I look forward to working with you 🙂

  2. I was in 12 step recovery for about 10 yrs. I had a love loss 10 yrs ago, I lost my sobriety. I can’t seem to stop drinking now. I lie to myself say I have to not go buy more wine, then I just do. I have not tried to go back to meetings with this virus now. I am at a loss and worried about health.

      1. Hi Kate, I don’t know if I’ll ever find the right time because my once a week indulgence (Usually Friday and/or Saturday night and usually a bit too much- can’t have just one!) is the pressure relief valve for me. It feels like I’ll be sad, mad and deprived if I give that up. Life has been very hard. I want to be alcohol free for the rest of my life yet don’t know if I can give that up.

    1. Very well said Kate! You have helped me along my journey, and this friday will be 90 days sober. Not that I even count anymore. Drinking is something I no longer think about, but I wrote it in the calendar when I started my journey. Every blog you send out really hits home and resonates in one way or another with me, and for that I am very grateful. Your an inspiration and I scrolled across your blogs at the perfect time! I know for sure I couldn’t have handled any of the pandemic craziness if I was still drinking. Thank you ❤

      1. That’s fantastic Jen – well done on approaching the 90 day mark! Wishing you many more alcohol free days ahead 🙂

      2. I have absolutely found that this is the perfect time to go AF. I just knew that I couldn’t cope with all that I had to deal with with a permenant hangover. More time at home has been the perfect time to quietly get the days under the belt and I am now 60 days AF. I am slightly nervous about coming out of lockdown and having to deal with people and new triggers but know that I have done the hard work already so can carefully deal with the new challengers and triggers going forward now x

        1. Congratulations on your 60 days – what a fantastic thing to have done for yourself during this time! Well done.

  3. Hi Kate
    It was a big step but I decided to go alcohol free last Tuesday and haven’t had any since. It’s been the first weekend not drinking in I don’t know when. I feel so much better. Have lots of energy and have got so much done. I don’t even miss it!

    1. Day 56 for me. Currently sipping tonic water with pomegranate juice and a bit of orange syrup. Yummers.

  4. Hi Kate! Great post and definitely true. I really want to take a break from drinking because I know I will feel better. Plus it’s sabotaging my efforts to lose weight. Thanks for sharing and being so encouraging!

    1. Just going in to week 5 AF
      In Lockdown I drank everyday with all the uncertainty and free time it’s how I got through it After 6 weeks I was able to get back to work and I haven’t had a drink since . I gave up really to help my weight loss journey and to become fresher more energetic AND more importantly to stop drinking alone at home ! I find listening and reading your material helps me on my journey Thank you

  5. 2 weeks not drinking. I’m not going to lie there have been days when it’s been really difficult but every morning I’m so glad I didn’t give in.
    Finding your blog during this lockdown has been the best thing ever.

      1. HI Kate, I’ve got to quit drinking alcohol period, 24.5 days alcohol free and a friend show’s up unexpected with beer..I chose to drink and had the worst hangover ever it’s just not fun anymore AT ALL you’re video’s and reading material helped me so much up until that day but I made the decision to drink and paid dearly, I literally have nowhere to go but up from here I’ll keep listening so please don’t stop talking.
        Thanks again.

        1. It sounds as if you’ve learned a lot from that experience with your friend – make sure you have a place in next time and anticipate how you might handle this situation if it occurs again. Keep going!

      1. Well done. You’re off to a great start. The first few days and weeks are the hardest, so keep going – then you get to the good bit 🙂

  6. Hi kate…I am on day 3 of my AF life…you have been a great help in my decision to stop drinking. Looking forward to your class in july.

  7. Although I have given in the booze, I still love hearing from you Kate. I agree there is not a perfect time to stop if you consider all ‘social’ factors that get in the way however I stopped on the 1st July 2018, a week before I started your course. I liked the fact it was half way through the year and on the first of the month. Somehow it felt tidy ‍♀️
    So that was nearly 2 years ago now. I needed your course though to give myself the best chance of staying stopped. I was 61 years old when I stopped and yes like some of your other comments I wish I had done it years before but hey at least I did it then and not a moment longer I hope anyone reading this, that wants a better life for themselves right now, will not postpone their decision for ‘the right time’ but take action now as it feels so empowering.

    1. Thanks Eileen – I can’t believe it’s nearly two years already! Always lovely to hear from you – and congratulations on your sobriety ❤️

  8. I questioned why I was still drinking during lockdown, I was Furloughed so no work pressures and I was feeling so chilled – so I just stopped and for me it’s been the best time as no social events, holidays cancelled and pubs closed. Your weekly emails are keeping me going- thank you !

  9. Thanks Kate, I relate strongly with this. I am a heavy drinker and always worry if I stop I will suffer physical withdrawal symptoms, so I keep drinking, making excuse after excuse for the RIGHT time, the time that will give me enough gap in social stuff to do it. Mind you I live remotely and go weeks without seeing anyone but my friend who I share my home with (who is a non-drinker). As I am writing this I am realising I need to stop drinking now. I have been listening to guided meditations,hypnosis and affirmations every night for the past 2 weeks but still end up drinking. I have signed up for your course.

    1. Hi Jenny, it’s great to hear you’re seriously thinking about changing your drinking. Please do check in with your doctor first, so they can give you the all clear and confirm that it’s ok for you to stop completely. Your doctor will be the best person to make that call.

  10. Hi Kate
    I gave up alcohol on 1st May. I do miss having a “proper” drink but I’ve been having AF wine, which is a reasonable substitute, as I dislike anything too sweet. I think drinking, for me, is mainly a habit – as in wine o’clock – and now I’m out of the habit, it’s easier. I would love to be able to just have a couple of drinks now and then like many other people do. I can’t understand why once I have one or two I have this compulsion to finish the bottle. Do you know why this happens to just some of us? I believe from what you say that you don’t think it’s a matter of willpower.

    1. Hi Carolyn, well done on your sobriety so far! It’s great to see you starting to do the deeper work of figuring out why you came to rely on this drug in the first place – this is where true freedom is. Here’s a blog post I wrote about why some people appear to be able to control their drinking: https://thesoberschool.com/control-drinking/

  11. Kate, THANK YOU for your posts and your pep talk. The sharing of trials and successes on your comment section really helps inspire me to step up my game and STOP. I really appreciate you and all of your followers.

  12. Thanks. Still struggling with the daily decision as to whether to drink or not. I can see there is no perfect moment. Looking forward to next weeks post.

  13. The daily will I won’t I internal debate is what is driven by me towards change. It is exhausting. I enjoyed listening to you Kate

  14. Hi Kate, I’ve been AF for 11 weeks now, decided the lockdown period was THE perfect time to do it. No invites out, no get together’s with Friends or family, so I could just hunker down and do it! Well, what a revelation, I have mostly loved this pause in life as we know it, I’ve read loads to aid my AF journey, meditated (tried!) No extra anxiety,either about drinking, or the pandemic. However, I’ve not been ‘Tested’ and the first test to my new found sobriety will be next week when my Sister’s coming to visit. She brings wine!! Will be interesting, as although I’ve hinted, I’ve not actually come out and said I’ve quit! Wish me luck!

    1. Many congratulations on your 11 weeks Hillary! Remember – you’ve come too far to only come this far. Don’t let anyone else derail you 🙂

  15. Ironic that I found this today in the inbox. I woke up feeling as though it would not be possible to hate myself any more than I currently do. I stopped drinking Jan 1st 2019 and managed 85 days. Someone made me very very angry and the trigger was pulled. I drank a bottle of wine and made myself very ill.
    Since then I have gone back to my old ways. It’s true what they say about moderate drinking not being an option. I have proven that to myself lock, stock and barrel.
    Feeling so full of remorse I decided that TODAY was the day. I re-set my non drinking app and begin my journey again today. Can’t wait for the lovely feelings of self respect I had during those 85 AF days to return………:)

  16. I did not drink 4 months before quarantine. I stopped drinking, but when quarantine began, a wave of anxiety swept over me and I did not know what to do in such a situation. And I just went to the store and bought alcohol. It was the worst decision, I understand it and I hate myself for it. But I can’t stop drinking. I understand that there is no suitable time to quit and I need to do it now. But hopelessness in the current situation makes me unhappy.

  17. This is the perfect message for me right now. I am on day 5 (Which is just a baby step)…. but I have family coming to stay next week and I have been worried that makes this the wrong time! Plus it’s beautiful outside, plus we have a new patio… plus plus plus. Argh. To your point, there will always be something. Thank you for the reminder today. And – for putting your finger on something that scares me. What if I try and fail? I have had a few false starts in the last year, but your blog is helping me. I just need to focus on the day to day. Hoping to join your next course. Thank you from Canada:-)

  18. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for this post – it’s something I always used to say – just not the right time, too stressed etc. Luckily I finally spotted that by choosing to stop, meant I would reduce my stress not add to it… I am very happily 15 days sober 🙂 (been tricky at times but I find chocolate and a relaxing bath very helpful at the dangerous 5pm time!)
    These weekly posts are helping me keep going and I also find I feel supported by everyone else’s comments too, Thanks so much

    1. Congratulations on your 15 days Kathy! And well done for realising the truth: alcohol adds to your stress… it doesn’t take it away 🙂

  19. I am so thankful to have found you Kate. I have been AF since June 8th, so today is day 9 for me. I haven’t been AF for this many consecutive days in years. I made the decision to “take a break” because it was time for me to take care of myself. Wine had sabotaged my weight loss plan. I calculated that if I change nothing else related to my food/fluid intake, that I would be able to loose about 20 pounds by the end of the summer.
    Both of my parents and both of my siblings were alcoholics. My brother refers to himself as a recovered “drunk”. Thankfully, he found AA many years ago and doesn’t drink. I hate the term “drunk”. I find that re-framing my thinking to say that I am “taking a break” takes so much pressure off of me. I feel much better now, and the witching hour isn’t quite so intimidating for me. I don’t feel the need to tell the whole world what I’m doing. Every day gets a little easier.
    I decided that drinking was adding too much stress to my life–always planning for that evening of indulging. Then, getting rid of the empty bottles or boxes without my husband (who doesn’t drink) noticing became incredibly stressful to me. Now I know what you mean by freedom when you are not drinking.
    The posts from each lady strikes a deep cord with me, and gives me strength to carry on without relapse. For the first time in many years, I feel that I can do this! Blessings, and I will continue to read the posts.

    1. Well done on your 9 days Kay – that’s fantastic! Wishing you all the best with your break from booze and your weight loss goals too 🙂

  20. Great post Kate. I’m 7 days in. I’m going AF for 100 days, after 100 I’m hoping I go hundreds and hundreds more. So excited to find this tool of support.

  21. I just past my 6 month sobriety date. Life has never been better for me. I have a new job that I love, I now live with my partner who is also gotten sober and my relationships have improved. The best thing about being sober is the freedom from the mental turmoil I was suffering daily. Best decision I have ever made for myself and my life. To anyone who is thinking about giving the booze away, I say.. Do it and do it now!! You will not regret it. Promise!! Xxx

  22. Hi Kate, I am new to this idea of sharing online, but I’ve found your posts and videos very inspiring. I’m on DAY 1! Yes, I’ve been putting things off. I realized yesterday, when I was planning a short break for my husband and I, that I was searching for hotels and wineries that we could visit while away, all within walking distance of our accommodation, and the only thing I could think about was how much drinking I could fit in. I can’t handle that seedy feeling in the morning, and the waking up at 2am, berating myself yet again. I’m ready. And the sooner I do it, the sooner I can start to debunk some of those entrenched beliefs I have regarding alcohol. I think I’ll subscribe to do the course in July.

    1. It’s great to see you taking action Maureen and deciding to do something about this now. Well done. Registration for the July course will open at the end of this month, so keep an eye out for all the sign up information and how to join 🙂

  23. When Is The Right Time To Quit Drinking?
    Now. That’s it. Now. I had my last drink some nine months ago and never looked back. Nothing good ever happened with me being drunk, so why go back?

  24. Well, I tried to give up last week. I really wanted to say “7 days sober yaaay” but in actual fact it was 4 days… And then someone shoved a weekend in my way and off to the shop I popped. I’ve subscribed to your course now Kate, because on a positive note, without your blog, I would never have even tried, let alone succeed for 4 whole nights xxx

    1. I can see you’re on the waitlist Cathy, which is great. Keep an eye out for all the sign up information nearer the time, so you can go ahead and secure your place as soon as registration opens. I look forward to working with you!

  25. I’ve been dabbling with AF since January – managed 40 days at most! I felt so much better in myself, more confidence, less anxiety & generally much healthier. I keep drifting back. I’ve just gone 14 days then, bang … right back. I’m disappointed in myself. I feel I need to crack it this year!

    1. It sounds like you’ve made a great start Vicky, but could perhaps do with some help to crack the mindset side of this? Generally when you’re stopping for a few weeks or a month here and there, it’s something about the benefits you think you’re getting from alcohol that keeps pulling you back. This is the kind of thing we look at in detail in my class – here’s some more information about the next one: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
      Keep going 🙂

  26. Hi Kate,
    I cannot tell you how much your videos have helped me. I find that reading everyone’s blogs makes me understand that I haven’t been alone in my attitude towards drinking. I find the stories on the blog have given me both strength in my resolve to continue on with my “break” from drinking. I think that by re-framing the thinking from not drinking forever to taking a break has been what has helped me the most. For now, my goal is 30 days AF. I’ve decided that when that day comes, I will toss out the half empty box that is still in my refrigerator–untouched! When that happens, I’ll set a new AF goal–maybe 3 months more.
    My last glass was 3 weeks ago tonight. I remember posting at 3 days AF, and reading blogs from ladies who had a few more weeks of AF under their belts, and they consistently said that it got easier for them ever day. I am thankful that I am free from all the planning related to my drinking has disappeared. Also gone is the stress related to hiding all the “evidence”. Such a relief. Physically, I’m feeling better. I don’t seem to have such a frog voice for half the morning. I’m also hoping that I will be able to stop taking my gastric reflux medicine. Tomorrow I’m seeing a new lady doctor who will help me get healthier because some of my blood work is slightly abnormal. There are a ton of reasons for me to remain AF. I haven’t shared my decision to be AF with anyone, even my husband. He doesn’t drink, and I know that he was annoyed before, but he really didn’t say anything. I’m happy to share my inner thoughts and feelings on this website.

  27. Kate:
    I serindipitously ran into a friend while walking today and she did you sober school program a couple years ago. I am 67, drink daily, have parkinson’s and a boatload of family issues. but i somehow feel your course can help me have a better life. october seems far away but i’m planning on it. thank you for your efforts to help others and change the world.

  28. I was sober for 3 decades. I returned to drinking a little over two years ago. It is not what I thought and I am drinking far more than I should. I try to create motivation but fail and need to find a way to stop for good. Moderating is not helping or working at all! I want to be proud of living a sober life again. I look forward to October and the course starting.

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