Kate's Blog

How To Make Sobriety Feel Less Awkward

When you first quit drinking, alcohol free living can feel a bit awkward.

It’s new. Different. Uncomfortable. 
You’re figuring out a lot of stuff you haven’t done before and trying to keep your head in the right place.
I know that sometimes, it can feel like a lot of work.
You wonder, “When does this get easier?” 
That’s exactly what this video is all about: 

Key points:

The secret to making sobriety feel less awkward

The key is to stop – and stay stopped – long enough for sobriety to become your new normal. If you quit from Monday to Thursday each week and then drink all weekend, you don’t ever do that. Instead, you end up repeating the hardest bit of sobriety (the beginning) again and again.

It’s a bit like starting a new job 

You wouldn’t come home after your first day and say, “I’ve tried it once and it was really awkward! What’s the point in going back and trying again?” You’d give yourself at least 3 months to settle in, knowing that it’s going to take a while to learn how everything works.

Why one month isn’t enough

If you always drink on a Friday night, then in a single month off booze you may only get to practice not drinking at the weekend four times. It’s hard for it to become your new normal in such a short space of time. You need a bit longer to adjust and feel less awkward.

Good goals

I recommend taking a break from booze for a minimum of 6 weeks – but 3 months would be better. There’s a lot of good that happens around the 90 to 100 day mark. If you need help to make that break happen, you can find out more about my Getting Unstuck course here.

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. 


26 Responses

  1. Thank you Kate, this really made me think. I am the Monday-Thursday person you describe here. I’ve stopped for a few weeks here and there and done Dry January before. But I’ve always done it whilst counting the days down until it’s over. Maybe it’s time to stop for longer.

    1. It sounds like you’ve been white knuckling things in the past? You can tell you’re doing that when you view sobriety as “being good” – that’s something people often do for a few days during the week. I think taking a longer break – and really doing the right mindset work to feel good about alcohol free living – would make all the difference here. I can definitely support you with that via my online course – here are some details about the next class: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Great video…I have a social on Friday…first one in a while…whilst happy to forego alcohol during non social times, I find this the biggest challenge. Will bear all your advice in mind. (Especially as husband may drink and I notice how it affects him)…

  2. This is so true. I have given alcohol so many chances – and last chances – over the years. But have I given sobriety a chance? If I was being honest, having watched this, I think the answer is no. I am going to sign up for your class.

    1. I gave alcohol a lot of “last chances” too. But if you just give sobriety a few more chances, it might just sweep you off your feet! I look forward to working with you soon Alexandra 🙂

  3. I am on day 53 which I never thought would be remotely possible for me!!! Lots of awkward bits along the way but what I have learned is that they pass. I was back at work today after 4 months of lockdown and I felt really nervous about it yesterday but the difference in my energy and confidence in work today was amazing. One of the things I was dreading the most was the “I’m really looking forward to a glass of wine tonight “ comments which did happen but instead of feeling like I really wanted one (or the whole bottle!!) as well, I felt absolutely fine with my decision to give sobriety 100% chance.

    1. Love this Lynda! Congratulations on your 53 days. It’s great to hear that you’ve noticed a difference… and that you’re willing to give sobriety a proper chance. Keep going 🙂

  4. Thank you for this post Kate. I am 32 days sober after half a bottle of wine every night. This post comes at the right time for me as I was literally wondering how long it would take for me to just live alcohol free naturally without working on it.
    You are right, Friday nights need more practice, whereas today, Tuesday morning I am still amazed at how good I feel and I did not even think about wine last night.
    I appreciate all your help with this journey, thank you.

    1. Our mind loves to race on to the next thing, or wonder why we haven’t totally “got it” yet! Congratulations on your 32 days Louise – keep up the great work 🙂

  5. Thank you for these videos I have done two periods last year one of 12 weeks one of 8. I can say the second time I felt the benefits sooo much more as I enjoyed the feeling of sobriety rather than feeling like such a challenge. It’s always that getting started that is the hardest, then the first two weeks, after which it does get easier. Wanting to live a life alcohol free and not keep going back to day 1.You are very relatable and inspire me that I can do this

    1. The beginning really is the hardest. It sounds as if there’s something that keeps pulling you back to drinking Amanda? On my stop drinking course we tackle the things that you may feel you’re “missing out” on when you’re sober. If you’re looking for support to take a break and make it stick this time, you might want to check the class out: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  6. Hi Kate
    I can really resonate with everything that you say here. Although starting a new job is not an addictive substance like alcohol is and it’s so difficult to take that first step. Thank you so much for your inspiring and knowledgeable videos.

  7. I trying to get mind ready to stop. This really help me thank you Kate for always delivering in such a lovely way xx

  8. Great video by the way – I would like help to “moderate” my drinking – there are no forums or groups out there which help people to cut down and live with alcohol in moderation – I know what my problem is but I don’t know how to deal with it – these groups are all “go tea total” which is something I really don’t want to do. Once I start drinking alcohol (beer is my thing I’m afraid) I can’t seem to enjoy just 1 or 2 beers like my husband can – I want to be that person that enjoys 1 or 2 beers on a Friday night and not finish the whole case off. I have set myself a goal to “go sober” until a girls weekend away in Brighton 26th Jun so that is 6 or 7 “friday nights” to practice – watch this space

  9. This resonates with me for sure. I am drinking most nights as is my husband. We seem to have gotten into a habit. One that is providing difficult to break.
    I’m glad I listened in this morning. I hope I can be strong and be alcohol free ❤️

  10. I have loved receiving your emails since New Year and have tried a few times since to go alcohol free. The longest I managed was 13 days which is a massive achievement. I am trying again and have just done 15 days and feel sooooo much better. Thank you for all your encouragement and advice and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

  11. It is amazing, I have found that all of your talks, are truly right on. I had just started to feel like I can do this, after not drinking for 5 months, during our partial lockdown, but since our lives have started opening back up, it’s been almost like starting over at times. This is where your last video on what to say when someone offers you a drink really helped me a lot.
    You are so right, the feeling I have waking up every morning now is undiscribably so much better than those many mornings that I woke up hung over. Thank you!

  12. Hi Kate!
    I was in your Jan class. I’m currently at Day 132!
    It does get easier as I go.
    Your class gave me the tools to succeed. Thank you!!

  13. This definitely makes a lot of sense to me. Do you only coach women? I’ll be needing something soon. Mark

    1. Hi Mark, I do only work with women on my coaching programme, but you are welcome to make the most of all the other resources on the website 🙂

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