Kate's Blog

When You’re Tempted To Give Up On Your Sober Goals

“I give up.”

In early sobriety, there are days when it feels so tempting to say:

“Enough! I’m fed up. I’m done with this. I’m tired of trying not to drink. I’m not going to bother with sobriety anymore.”

I’ve been there myself.

But before you walk away and slam that sober door shut, there are three things you might want to hear first.

This video has all the details.

Key points

Why it can feel good to give up

You get instant relief from the effort of trying, plus you get a break from the doubts and scariness of doing something new. In addition, you avoid the hardness of trying something different and get the relief of being back in your comfort zone instead.

Here’s the catch

But that relief only lasts a short amount of time. After a few hours or a few days, all the other thoughts (that prompted you to stop in the first place) come flooding back. So the relief you get from deciding you’re not going to bother is always very short lived.

Choosing short-term discomfort

You’re used to doing this elsewhere in life – choosing short term discomfort for long term gains. This is what early sobriety is about too. You’re choosing the short term discomfort of sitting with an urge to drink, but in return, you get long term comfort, well being and satisfaction in your life.

It won’t be this hard forever

In other areas of life, you choose short term discomfort without really thinking about it e.g. pushing yourself for an exam, a race, a promotion etc. Why? Because you know it’s a passing phase. This is true with sobriety too. The hard work is at the beginning.

Get excited about alcohol-free living

When you push yourself to reach other goals, you’re generally motivated by a clear idea of what it will be like to get there. Have you got that with sobriety? If not, go out and give your brain something useful to focus on. Seek out people who’ve already quit – like these inspiring ladies here.

Sobriety doesn’t have to be hard – it can be easy, empowering and fun. If you’re looking for help to make sobriety stick, 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. 


32 Responses

  1. Thanks Kate. Knowing it’s not going to stay this hard forever does help. It’s just hard to keep my head in the right place with this.

  2. This post came along in a very timely manner. In two days I will be celebrating my first anniversary of sobriety. And yet, it seems lately that it is getting harder to stay away from alcohol. I’ve had a couple slips, this past month. It started with a glass of wine after a fight with my husband, then two glasses of wine to celebrate the upcoming retirement of a horrible boss. Then a sip here and there of a new variety of beer my husband is trying at a restaurant. The “voice” is telling me, “See, you handled those slips without getting drunk. Maybe you CAN be a social drinker after all. But I know that voice will TAKE ME DOWN. So I am renewing my commitment to stay away from that slippery slope of consuming any amount of alcohol. In January I went for my yearly physical. My blood work showed a huge improvement in my liver scores, and my blood pressure has gone from consistently high to low normal. The dental hygienist noticed that I don’t have anywhere near the plaque on my teeth that I used to, and I no longer have to worry about my weight. Even though I eat anything I want, my weight has stayed stable all year. Best of all, my relationships with my husband, children and extended family have never been better. So why in the world does the alcohol keep calling my name…? Calling a spade a spade, I know that it is the alcoholic in me. And I’m doing my best to shut her up for good.

    1. That was amazing it’s been very helpful in the bad day’s even today when I’ve wanted to have a drink but didn’t I’ve now done 59 days still not sleeping well but more feeling not I’ll or hangover s don’t miss them try to do more things due to being bored ie art work cooking which I love now and chilling am 55 and my health has improved alot so thankyou so much for your support .. Julie

      1. Thank you Kate! I was just getting ready to give up on sobriety when this video popped up!! Makes total sense and it motivated me to take a fresh look (again!) at AF living!

      2. Well I’ve slipped up twice Kate last time was Friday your video has helped me I want to get back on track So badly why am I doing this when I know how awful it makes me feel I’m going to keep going hopefully March I can stay AF

    2. I so relate to this post. I’m just 8 months sober, but summertime weather, and neighbours gathering with drinks…the addictive voice is popping up…just have one and see how you feel…you’ve got this far, it’s or a big deal.
      That voice! The worst part of the pie thing I have with alcohol. If i have one, it will open a floodgate of should I, shouldn’t I? It will hijack my thoughts, and make me obsess and put myself down. I know the voice is just a minor bump.
      Trying really hard to silence it, and not let up my guard.
      Feeling more on edge with this temptation…hoping if I stick to it, the voice will fade away. I know that if I went ahead, I’d be in my head about ti for weeks…

  3. Thank you Kate! I think I still have the feeling of missing out something in life without alcohol, but I know that is so opposite of the truth. I went to lunch with my mom to one of our favorite spots yesterday and I ordered a beer and sipped on it as we talked. It didn’t feel right. I felt like I had to have the beer I front of me to be “normal” at this restaurant where we always go and I always get a beer. I am proud that I played the movie through though and didn’t keep drinking yesterday. I went to church last night with my husband. Thanks for everything Kate <3

    1. Simply thankyou
      I have many thoughts going around in my head knowing it will get better with time stops the temptation of reaching for that bloody drink I tell my self I can do this but I am now telling myself I’m doing this nice to know your there xx

  4. Wow! Did this come at the right time! As I was closing in on 27 months of sobriety last Friday, I was annoyed with the people close to me, frustrated by a snowstorm, and a bit overwhelmed by a to-do list and probably by world events, too. For a brief minute, I thought “To hell with it! I’m having a glass of wine.” (Actually, the words in my head were a bit stronger.) But, fortunately, all my months of happy sobriety, the tools I’ve used, and all the progress I’ve made and don’t want to throw away stopped me in my tracks. I asked myself, “What do I really want?” The answer was easy. I wanted to give myself permission to relax and not worry about any obligations. And years ago, alcohol was the “permission” to tune out, because I knew I couldn’t do anything productive if I were drinking. So, I gave myself permission to just stop. To light a fire. To find something special to drink. To watch TV shows with my boyfriend all night and not worry one bit about what wasn’t getting done or how to deal with people who were annoying me. I went to bed fully hydrated and relaxed. I woke up just how I have for all these months: well-rested, guilt-free, hangover-free, and thrilled that I didn’t need to drink. And then I carried on right where I left off on Friday but in a much better mood. The part of this video that really struck me was the “short-term discomfort for long-term gains” part. It is so true.

  5. That was amazing it’s been very helpful in the bad day’s even today when I’ve wanted to have a drink but didn’t I’ve now done 59 days still not sleeping well but more feeling not I’ll or hangover s don’t miss them try to do more things due to being bored ie art work cooking which I love now and chilling am 55 and my health has improved alot so thankyou so much for your support .. Julie

    1. I struggle like everyone else here. When I don’t drink for a few days at a time, I feel great. I think of how bad alcohol makes me feel physically and mentally. Why would I want to drink that glass(es) of wine? I feel great! But the cycle continues……all you have to do is repeat my comment over and over again. That’s my life.

  6. Timely for me as well. I’ve been 2 steps forward and two steps back for the last few weeks. Just treading water, or barley wine, more accurately.
    I’m not making all the good choices that have helped with complete consistency. Nor am I falling back to my old routine with how, when, where and why I drink.
    I feel I’m in a sort of limbo.

    1. Kate, thank you for your ability to keep reminding us how alcohol is an addicting, poisonous substance without hammering it into our heads. Your examples and analogies are like lasers to our minds keep the focus real. Don’t know if that makes any sense, but thank you for what you’re doing!!

  7. I made the 28 day February challenge and felt good. Then I drank wine yesterday, and feel like poop. Instead of beating myself up today, I am accomplishing what I need to do. The difference is It will be a long time till I try it again. Looking forward to waking up feeling good tomorrow. I tried it and hate the sickness I feel today. AF March here I come!

  8. I’m only on my 2nd month of sobriety (I’ve just finished your course, Kate!) and I’m feeling better than ever.
    I’m so excited about living a sober life, so the mindset work has…well, worked for me! I’m grateful for this. I was in the right place at the right time 🙂

    1. Kate, thank you for your ability to keep reminding us how alcohol is an addicting, poisonous substance without hammering it into our heads. Your examples and analogies are like lasers to our minds keep the focus real. Don’t know if that makes any sense, but thank you for what you’re doing!!

  9. I did Kate’s course in January . Prior to this I’d made many attempts to give up alcohol . 59 days in and I feel so much better . When I’m tempted I go back to some of the lessons . The encouragement and support from the group gave me a strength and resolve that “ I can do this “
    I strongly recommend the course . It changed my life in so many positive ways.
    Thank you , thank you, thank Kate Vicky and all the class of January 2022

  10. Thanks Kate ,your email popped into my inbox at precisely the right moment .
    I have had a couple of really dreadful weeks and I was just pondering why the hell don’t I just have a drink and cheer myself up ?
    Your message answered my question perfectly and has strengthened my resolve. Two completely dry months now , first time in over forty years .
    I will look at some of those role models and re read my journal from Sober School .
    Thanks for your timely intervention.

  11. This was the perfect “pep” talk for today. You’re so right about choosing long-term comfort over short-term discomfort. Thanks for all your encouraging words. They really help… a lot.

  12. You are inspirational Kate! I have been af for 13 months now. I feel great and couldn’t have done it without you. THANK YOU!

  13. Thank you for the reminder that the ‘problems’ I experience and have been choosing to medicate with alcohol are often short-lived and therefore don’t require medication. I am finally seeing the relatively short time of the ‘fix’ compared to the long time of ‘recovery’ with the addition of self-hatred that results from relapsing. It has been a slow recovery for me but I am listening and learning. Glad my counselor recommended The Sober School!

  14. This is perfect timing for me too. With spring time happening and the weather getting warmer being alcohol free is harder for me. Summertime equals drinking. I’m five months AF now and don’t want to give up. But I’m finding myself doing exactly what you talk about here, Kate. I’m feeling that “why bother”. Witch in my back.

  15. Hi Kate! This is perfect. Yes, I’ve had slips but want you to know that I haven’t given up. Still working on it and forging ahead!

  16. Thanks for the video Kate. I was a student on your January 22 course. I wanted a glass of my favourite red wine the other day (it was on offer!!) l picked it up off the shelf in the supermarket held it for a minute then put it back on the shelf. I started to say to myself “ why put this poison in my body?” Please don’t get sucked in ,it will get easier….
    My craving lasted a few seconds. I need be strong and in control of this toxic drug.
    I have been fine since enjoying my cups of tea and fizzy water with mint and lime.

  17. Wow brilliant video I’m 4 months AF best thing I ever did !! . I don’t want to drink I feel much better . I know long term this is best for me and my family . I was already excited about sobriety but now I’m going to get more excited watch videos etc !! Ladies we don’t need that poison in are bodies !! We’re all doing great

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