Kate's Blog

Are You Romanticising Sobriety Enough?

When I was trying (and failing) to quit drinking, I spent a lot of time romanticising alcohol.

I’d mentally replay all the good moments I’d had whilst drinking.
I’d torture myself with thoughts of all the things I was going to miss.
I talked about sobriety as if it was a punishment for bad behaviour… and then wondered why it was hard to quit!
If you’re guilty of romanticising booze, this video will help you change that:

Key points

A common mistake

We often talk about booze as if it’s the best lover we ever had. We romanticise alcohol – even when we’re trying not to drink it, thinking about the good times we had together, the things we’re going to miss and how hard sobriety is. 

Why changing your thinking matters

If you’ve ever met someone who’s several years sober but still craves a drink (I’m thinking of the people I met in AA) then you know they haven’t done this mindset work. We’re conditioned to view booze positively, but we can change this pattern of thinking. 

Romanticising sobriety 

If you’re going to romanticise alcohol, you need to romanticise sobriety too! Let’s give equal air time to the benefits of alcohol free living. We’re not denying your feelings about alcohol – we’re just turning up the volume on thoughts that might actually help you.

Journal prompts

If you’re not sure how to get started with this, here are the journal prompts I mentioned in the video.
Q – How does a hangover free Sunday compare to a hungover one?
Q – Who else in your life benefits from you being alcohol free?
Q – What everyday situations are easier when you’re not drinking?
Q – What are the tiny, subtle benefits to you being sober, that perhaps only you would notice?
Q – Describe one of your best alcohol free moments so far
Q – How much time does drinking and recovering take each day? Multiply that by 100 days. What would you love to do with that extra time?
Q – How might you feel if you set an alcohol free goal for yourself and reached it?

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. 


21 Responses

  1. I love it! Romanticizing sobriety: getting everything you want in what you wanted from the bottle – calm, confidence, easy joy, better relationships.. and the benefits: good skin, great sleep, waaay more money, great trips (in past and likely in the future), and pride in oneself. 6 years and counting – and it keeps getting better. Thanks Kate for another great post!

  2. Thank you for the video and again you are right – I need to stop romanticizing drinking- it’s ruining my life
    Is scaring for life my family
    I am on my own with our real friends because alcohol turn me in to someone nasty . A demon like .

  3. Some questions I can answer but not all , like best moment without booze!
    It’s been 3 days without wine , today, but getting nervous as I want some glass tonight , don’t know what to do or what think at this point ?! I’m seriously getting stressed !! But I really want to stop , one week , then two …
    Please please some advise

    1. Do it for today. Clean the room, throw away old stuff, call somebody, take a bath, read about addiction, google O’Hara on YouTube.Care of you. You can do it.

  4. I’ve been sober for 7 weeks using these videos and blogs and reading lots of books. Thank you kate!
    I’ve concluded that being open to the gains of not drinking rather than expecting only to feel deprived is a game changer. It’s got me a lot further than any of my other attempts! I have already discovered:
    1. I like myself more in evening social situations when sober! As someone with social anxiety this has blown me away.
    2. When sober I can notice emotional triggers- precursors of boozing. And acknowledge them, smile and move past it.
    3. I have enjoyed my drinking buddies’ company and laughed a lot whether they drank or not – while I was sober. They have been accepting and we have genuine friendship!
    4. I look SO much better.
    5. I’m better tuned in to what I really want and need so can bring those situations about. I don’t need booze to try to achieve a party mood when I don’t feel like it.
    This is what I’ve learned so far. Many of the promises on this website have been validated already. Wish you all the best

    1. I love these things that you’ve discovered about yourself Sam! Well done. Keep going, as the best is yet to come 🙂

  5. Had my last drink December 26th 2020. I think about drinking often but I’m living one day at a time and so far that has gotten me 8 months sober. I don’t always listen to your videos but I sure feel supported that they are there when I need them. Thank you so much.

  6. I’m going to start these journal prompts today. After a heavy night celebrating our anniversary, my reality today is laziness, fatigue and desperate need to sleep … instead of doing the 4mile training run I’d planned and taking the kids swimming. Massive Mama fail today. I so need to romanticise sobriety. Thanks for this.

    1. Take good care of yourself today Karen. And then stay focused on these prompts as a way to think differently. You can do it 🙂

    2. I feel your pain, I’ve wasted so many opportunities to do fun things as I’ve been wishing my day away to go back to bed!!

      1. Thanks guys.
        Good luck to you Liz. Productive day 2 so far to make up for yesterday… dropped dad at hospital, shopped, run, showered, done washing.. all by 10.30am. What a difference to yesterday. It’s these feelings we need to ‘big up’ x

  7. I have now been alcohol free for 3 months. I do romanticize wine, especially when I go to a restaurant where in the past I would always have 2 glasses of wine. Then go home and have several more. Also, watching Netflix. There are several series where women drinking wine is very romanticized. It is so nice that now, I can actually watch these shows and not fall asleep. Even if I didn’t fall asleep, the next day I could never remember what it was that I watched.
    Kate, your blogs definitely help me. I always look forward to getting them. Thank you so much.

    1. Congratulations on your 3 months Patricia! It’s really interesting to observe drinking on Netflix and other TV shows… they can have an impact on us. We just have to remind ourselves we’re only seeing a tiny part of the story.

  8. Today is my leap from the lion’s head (think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!), after years of trying to moderate – including AF months which always led back into daily drinking. I am so happy to have discovered your amazing blog, Kate. Although I’m 47 and thought I’d tried every approach, you shed new light on so many aspects of living an AF life. Instead of dreading it I am feeling excited (also nervous), and have signed up for a notification about your next course. By then I hope to be well on track, but it’s reassuring to know that support is there. I appreciate this comment is not exactly on topic, but I just wanted to say thank you for giving me fresh – and very real – hope.

    1. No problem Liz, I’m glad these blogs have shown you a different way of thinking about things. AF living is such a big upgrade – you deserve it 🙂

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