Kate's Blog

The Real Problem With ‘Just One Drink’

Being able to have ‘just one drink’ used to be my dream.

I wanted so badly to be able to pour just one glass of wine and then feel happy to stop and leave it there.

But 99.9% of the time, that didn’t happen. One glass led to two, two led to three and then… well, you know how it goes.

It wasn’t until I quit drinking that I realised: having ‘just one drink’ totally sucks.

‘Just one drink’ is a nightmare, not a dream… and I explain why in today’s video.

Key points

One drink won’t kill your craving

We want to believe that one drink will be satisfying enough to extinguish the craving and bring the mental battle to an end. But really, it’s just beginning. You immediately open up the door to the next craving. Then you have to decide what to drink next, when, where, how much, will it be enough?

If you’ve been thinking about having a drink for a long time, the chances are you’ve been going back and forth over the decision, romanticising and glamorising the idea. So when you have that one drink, all those sexy thoughts aren’t going to magically vanish. They’ll still be there, only now you’ve taken a drug that zaps your willpower!

Don’t let alcohol dominate your day

When all your attention is on that ‘just one drink’ you unintentionally make it the focus or highlight of your day. You are accidentally creating a life that revolves around the liquid inside a glass. And when you do that, you’re never going to feel truly satisfied. You will never get your fill and it will never feel like enough.

Life has to be about more than the liquid in your glass. You cannot let your happiness, your peace and your experience of the world be determined by whether or not you can have a glass of wine. No liquid should ever be that important.

Looking for help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love? My Getting Unstuck course will transform your relationship with booze and yourself. Click here for more details.

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. 


43 responses

  1. You are right. Just one drink is never enough. I’d want I 5 or 6 and because of things going on in my marriage it’s not a good idea and I’m better off having none.

    1. I can relate, I also have marital issues, my husband is a alcoholic he was sober when I met him 27 years ago.
      He was only sober 9 years so guess what , I drink with him and I want to stop

        1. Hi all just needed to tell people who can understand and appreciate this but I got to my 100 days sober yesterday. Things had been a bit of a car crash before and I had made excuses so many times that I drank to ease anxiety, depression, the menopause. It’s been tough but I feel genuinely amazing and so much better. I read this everyday and makes me feel so much less alone. I have lots of support but no one understands like the people here. Thanks so much xx

          1. Congratulations! 100 days is a great milestone and I am so happy for you. You are spot on that lifes’ regular ups and downs feel so much worse and unmanageable with a hangover, but sobriety brings calm and order that no drink ever can. Keep going Nonnie ❤️

  2. I fooled myself for a long time that I didn’t have a bad habit because I was fine with ‘just one drink’ after work in London — I have a long commute, ending with a 25-minute drive, and won’t ever risk my driving licence. But working from home? I’d start while I was still working, anyway preoccupied, and didn’t even notice the next pour; that’s what alcohol does.

  3. This is really so true and i love this video because it is spot on. Way too much of a mental drain takes place just on the back and forth of thinking about all the details of drinking. So truthfully it is much easier to not even go there and clear your mind of the back and forth chatter and wasted energy thinking about all that so you can focus on, as you said, the people you’re with, and the experience etc. Thank you for this post!

  4. This may be the best video among many that you have given so far. I just want to say thank you for all your good insight, and thank you most especially for this one. As for me, I seldom ever think about drinking anymore, but there are those occasions when I would like to have that one drink, but I have tested it far too many times to know I really can not. Oh, that isn’t to say that on some occasions I have succeeded. I have many times, but even one time when I drank too much, when I only meant to have one glass is one too many for me. Thank you, Kate, for reminding me.

    1. Thank you for those kind words Letitia, I really appreciate the feedback and so pleased this weeks’ blog has hit home for you. The moderation myth is one that we fall for time and again and is often the main reason women stay ‘stuck’ in the alcohol trap. It’s my mission to help as many women as possible break free, because there is another way to live happily ever after: https://thesoberschool.com/the-alcohol-trap/

  5. Hi Kate,
    While I am not actively in any of your programs, I am always reading your blogs and videos. And… they always come at the right time

  6. Thank you for the refresher post tonight Kate. Came at just the right time!
    Sober for 4 months now and thought I’d risk just one glass on Saturday evening. Felt so guilty and cross with myself all Sunday. Really wasn’t worth the heartache and made me realise how easy it would be to slip back to old habits! Won’t try that again in a hurry!!

  7. It’s true. Even when I was managing 1 glass of wine a day, I thought about it all day! Then I got my fix and looked forward to the next day… Sad reality.

  8. Kate!
    You just nailed it! I took your course in 2022 and it was life altering. There is no such thing as one glass of wine… I know it now!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom :-).
    Mia B

  9. Wow, this REALLY hit home for me today as I have been thinking more and more about having “just one drink”, trying to justify it in my mind, knowing in my mind that it would never satisfy and I will just want more. Having a real brain battle here and this was EXTREMELY helpful!!! I will probably watch this a few times!!! I am almost 8 months AF and I’m NOT going to mess it up!!!! It is just LIQUID in a glass! Thank you Kate!!!!

    1. Keep going Regina, it really isn’t worth one drink after 8 months sober! I’m so glad this message hit home for you 🙂

  10. Thank you so much. I’m getting older and it really scares me if I keep thinking I can have that one drink. You described me to a tee.

  11. I echo what so many have said one drink is never enough. I’ve been reducing slowly. I find it easier now than a year ago to have days without a drink. But I still fool myself at weekends sometimes that I can have a couple. It rarely is. I’ve been drinking since I was 14. And am nearly 66. SO much money spent on alcohol

  12. This is so true! You say I will just have one glass and put the rest away for another day, before you know it the whole bottle has gone!
    This one drink blog has helped me so much. I remember from a previous blog on this subject you saying no such thing as one drink and it has stuck with me. What I often wonder is why some are content with just one drink and some of us aren’t!

      1. This blog is just so true will keep it so I can remind myself. Five months alcohol free. Have just attended 3 birthday celebrations without drinking and enjoyed them sooo much more. Thank you Kate for your inspiration x

        1. Five months, that’s fantastic! I totally agree that celebrations and occasions are way better without alcohol that blurs the experience and cancels out good memories. Keep inspiring others with your example Kath 🙂

  13. I am at the start of this journey & have actively tried to reduce my alcohol intake I fall fowl of the “just one glass” thought, i start with every good intention of sticking to it but fail miserably. I will keep going back to your clip your right it is only liquid but it is a very powerful one. I have signed up to do your course in January & for me it can’t come quick enough

    1. We often forget that alcohol is addictive, so we shouldn’t blame ourselves when we struggle to ‘control’ it – that’s a normal outcome to ingesting an addictive substance! We don’t shame smokers for becoming addicted to nicotine, but the language seems to be different around the most accepted drug on the planet. I look forward to helping you find freedom from booze on my course, but in the meantime perhaps my free pep talk will help: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk-audio/

  14. I stopped on October 9. I Just woke up and decided I needed a reset after a “fun” filled summer. I have been reading your blog for awhile and they were very helpful to recall when I finally decided I needed a break. I did your bootcamp awhile back but did not really follow through with most of the lessons. Fast forward to November 12. A month went by pretty easily with parties, dinners out with friends and my husband. I even succeeded babysitting the Grandkids for 5 days which is a trigger to get a “break” at the end of the day. We had friends and family at our vacation home and I thought “what is holding me back from having a glass”. Well, it became two…..then, voila! the entire bottle was finished. Let me tell you I felt horrible that Sunday. It truly is more stressful to go through an entire day hosting people feeling drained. As you have said, I swapped Saturday night and stole Sunday from myself. I enjoyed the energy I had the last month. I liked driving home without worry. My husband is doing this with me and we have a 0% AC beer at night and it seems to do the trick of resetting day to evening. This incident made it clear that I need to make some major decisions. I either live with the ups and downs or commit to an AF lifestyle. The pros are bigger than the cons. A month is easy. It is the rest of my life that gives me pause. I’ve made up my mind that I will need more time to get away from this and then hopefully this habit will slowly ease from my life and become part of my past.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s true that there is more to sobriety than just putting down the glass. We have to work on creating a new life where alcohol is not the ‘go to’ method of coping, celebrating, commiserating or any other occasion when booze has become a habit. This mindset work is a key element of my Getting Unstuck course and I’d love to help you put alcohol in the past: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  15. Never mind one drink,I can’t even have one sip ! We’re currently on holiday in Fuerteventura and as usual I have been sticking with soft drinks.
    My husband drinks anything and everything as we’re All Inclusive. Today he came back from the bar with a glass of honey rum,which I used to love back in the day.I decided to have a sip of it,just for the taste ( which was delicious) but almost immediately I felt the poison coursing through my arteries into my brain and the start of a throbbing headache. I guess I’m kind of lucky that even the tiniest amount of alcohol usually gives me a migraine, so it makes sense for me to avoid it altogether.

  16. This blog is sooo relatable to me. One glass will never be enough! I know that it’s all or nothing. So, I am on day one today. Again. Last month I was 5 days af and all it took was one glass to be right back where I was. I am so exhausted from drinking. I am overweight from drinking, I feel like crap every morning from drinking. I accomplish nothing positive because of drinking. I spend money we can’t afford to spend on drinking. Alcohol has been my crutch for a decade, drowning out painful health issues, amongst other things. I’m far from stupid, yet I’ve let alcohol take over my sensibility. I have a supportive non drinking spouse. It’s getting to be wine o’clock right now and I’m getting nervous.
    Just getting this out here is helping. So glad I found you.

    1. You are not alone in feeling ‘trapped’ by alcohol, it is an addictive substance after all. I can help you change your relationship with alcohol once and for all and allow you to become the best version of yourself. My next ‘Getting Unstuck’ class starts in January and all the details you need are here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  17. I am back to day 1 again, since my heart attack in 2019 (i was 42) i have reached for the bottle. My relationship has been seriously affected and I feel like my world has fallen apart. i want to stop but am strugglung. This blog has helped me start the shift in my mindset.

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