One of my clients said to me the other day: “Pouring a drink is just so EASY. It’s the easy option after a bad day.”
Can you relate? I can. I totally understand why she believed that to be true, because I remember feeling the same way.
And at first glance, pouring a glass of wine can certainly seem like the easy option… but the reality is actually the opposite.
Not convinced? Don’t worry – I explain more in today’s video.
Why drinking can seem like the easy option
If you’re comparing pouring a glass of wine to going to the gym, heading out for a walk or arranging a massage, then yes – of course, opening a bottle is going to seem quicker and easier. But when you make that kind of argument, you close yourself off to a lot of other truths. By focusing on one “truth”, you’re missing the bigger picture.
Why drinking is actually the hard choice
Starting the day with a hangover is hard. Not getting enough sleep and worrying your breath smells of alcohol is hard. Waking up with alcohol-induced anxiety is hard. Beating yourself up for drinking more than you planned to is hard. Battling with yourself about whether or not you’ll drink tonight is hard. Wondering how much to buy, whether you have enough at home, whether you hid last night’s empties… these things are all hard work.
Racing home so you can have a quick drink before your partner gets back? That’s hard too. Having to pretend that you’re sober when they do get home? Hard. Trying to juggle cooking and the kids’ homework when all you want is another drink? Also hard. Seeing the look of disappointment in your partner’s eyes? Not one of these is the easy option!
Making wise choices
In the early days of sobriety, when not drinking feels hard and unnatural, remember this: you’re choosing short-term discomfort for long-term comfort. In the grand scheme of things, quitting drinking will make your life easier. You won’t start the day feeling stressed and on the back foot… which, in turn, means life won’t feel so unbearable by the end of the day.
It’s a bit like going to the doctor’s for an injection. In the moment, the easy option would be not to go. But most of us will go. We’ll suck it up for a few minutes, because we can see the bigger picture. We know that getting those bloods done, or getting that jab, will be beneficial in the long run. Exactly the same principle applies to sobriety.
Looking to create an easy, sober life you love? Click here to find out more about my Getting Unstuck course.
This totally resonated with me today.
Drinking is hard because you have to hide it from your son when you are trying to set a good example because he just turned legal drinking age.
The reasons you listed are exactly why I stopped drinking. It’s far harder to sneak around than it is to simply endure the stressors. The day after an evening of drinking is much EASIER when you don’t open that bottle of wine the night before. As far as the gym, once you get there you’ll feel all of the benefits that alcohol cannot provide.
I meant the evening after not drinking -lol!
It’s the disturbed sleep that is hard and then feeling crap in the morning because I’ve not had proper sleep. I very rarely miss booze now however there are a few times a year when i fail to ignore the triggers and have a couple of G&Ts – don’t get drunk and i am always left wondering why I did that. Hopefully i will move past this phase.
I am now 4 months without alcohol. Yourvweekly pep talks really help reinforce my commitment to not drinking so thank you. Todays has really clarified why drinking became something that I no longer wanted in my life. It is hard once it starts to take over your everyday life and thoughts. As you put so clearly 11 o’clock on a Monday night, just why??? I hope I never go back there for all the reasons you give that drinking is hard. Thank you again
Congratulations Jill, 4 months is brilliant and I’m so pleased to hear my blogs have helped you find freedom from alcohol. If you ever need a dose of extra motivation, have a listen to some of my previous students here: https://thesoberschool.com/success-stories/
8 days AF. Managed 10 days at start of January but feel totally different this time. More motivated and focused now. Using AF drinks which I find helpful as well as all the info here.
Well done Jean and the range of alcohol-free drinks these days is really good, there’s something to suit all tastes. If you need any more support, my online coaching programme would be a great fit for you. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
It’s the hard choice because I don’t stop and I make poor food choices as well
Unfortunately yes Liz, one generally leads to the other and a negative pattern repeats. If you’d like to break this cycle, please join my next Getting Unstuck course in April where I can help and support you to a healthier and happier lifestyle, details here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Drinking is hard because the payoff is so short-term and brief and the hard parts kick in fairly soon starting with the guilt and self loathing and then the hard/negative lingers and spills over into late at night with the sleeplessness and the next day of feeling hung over and anxious.
Spot on Anne! I wrote a blog about this exact topic that I call “playing the movie forward”: https://thesoberschool.com/playing-the-movie-to-the-end/
Kate, after listening to that, you are so right – of course, it just makes total sense that it’s easier to just pour a drink in the spare of the moment, but if I actually stop myself dead in my tracks next time I have the urge to just pour that first drink, and think about everything you just said such as , the sleepless night that will definitely follow, the hangover the next day, the self hate I’ll definitely experience the following day, then that is enough to put me off pouring the drink out, instead pour my tonic water and then make my lovely night time cup of tea ( Yorkshire bedtime brew)
I’m going to think about that now when I do get that urge. I will ask myself “ Sally… is this really worth all the awfulness that is without question, going to happen if I have the 1 … 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine??!” Thank you Kate, this has definitely made me realise. x
Drinking is hard because the next day is automatically starting on a downer, hoping as you make a coffee it would all go away. Life is tough enough for so many right now for all kinds of reasons without a hangover.
I’m almost 6 weeks booze free and am amazed. AMAZED!
I got up at 6.30 this morning and watched the sunrise feeling quite perky. It felt great.
Thanks Kate. What you say makes sense to me on every level.
Congratulations Cassie! Waking up without a hangover and enjoying the sunrise never gets old ❤️
Drinking is definitely hard because it’s premeditated madness knowing you’re hurting yourself and your loved one’s around you. If you think about it, it’s almost sadistic really when you choose to poison and cause pain and hurt to yourself day in, and day out. I made up my mind to stop on January 1st and haven’t looked back. It was like being a hostage, shackled to a wall of despair but now the chains are off and I am free from the tyrannical poisonous hamster wheel I was on.
Now I imbibe on kombucha or a nice ginger beer(non-alcoholic) mixed with sparkling water for refreshment after a long day.
My 43 year old son in law died this last November from alcohol dependence. He suffered terribly the last few years. My husband and I are left caring for our 11 year old granddaughter now, because her mother, our daughter, is heading down the same path.
We’ve exhausted all efforts to help her but ultimately it’s her choice. I’ve made my choice to gift life and health to myself and to be present to raise our granddaughter without adding to the trauma she’s been in all her young life.
Rose, you are incredible .
I am just getting started with this program and already I feel better knowing I am not alone. Everything Kate said about drinking being the harder choice is true. I often wait until my husband is gone to grab a drink so he won’t know but I know he does. I truly want this to work and am committed to living a better and sober life. I hate the feeling of being hungover and anxious as I start my day. Just have to work out why I do this to myself.
It sounds like you’re off to a great start – every journey starts with a single step. Working out why we drink is a big part of my coaching program, so I look forward to guiding you to a different mindset and an alcohol-free life you’ll love ❤️
Thank you for this perspective, I never thought of it like that! It seems second nature to me now that not drinking is the easier option, but I remember it did not seem like this when I first quit.
♥️ I can relate and understand everything you have said. Thank you!
This totally makes sense to me.
I used to be a heavy drinker, and the hangover, anxiousness, feeling dehydrated, short tempered, tired and irritable became the norm over time. Also the poor choices and depression.
I dont drink now, but occasionally will be tempted to have a couple..the way I refrain is to look ahead, past the first and second drink .. to the consequences the next day etc…
Thankyou so much for your help and advice
You perfectly describe a sober tool that I call “playing the movie forward”. It’s worth thinking ahead at least 24 hours to the longer lasting effect of taking that drink. Here’s a blog I wrote about it: https://thesoberschool.com/playing-the-movie-to-the-end/