Kate's Blog

The Subtle And Often Invisible Benefits Of Sobriety

When it comes to ditching alcohol, there are so many obvious benefits.

For example – waking up hangover-free. Saving money. Having more time. Looking less bloated. A lighter recycling bin.

Those benefits are GREAT! But to be honest, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Underneath that obvious stuff is a whole other layer of subtle, almost-invisible benefits, that are just as powerful.

I explain all in today’s video…

Key points

It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking just about the obvious benefits of sobriety. We can clearly see the money you’re saving by not buying alcohol. We can see you actually making it to your yoga class or going out for a run. We can see how empty your recycling bin is. The visible, obvious plus sides are great… but underneath those is a whole other layer of subtle, almost-invisible benefits. These are just as powerful – if not more so!

Some examples

Courage: In the video, I tell the story of my client Sharon, who finally found the courage to tell her boss that her workload was unsustainable. When she was drinking, she didn’t trust her instincts on this, and thought she was probably to blame for being too slow.

Connection: Then there’s Lynne, who’s just finished my Getting Unstuck course and can now answer the phone in the evenings to talk to her grown-up children. She’d avoided their calls before, in case they could tell she’d been drinking.

Focus: For me, one of the surprising, invisible benefits of sobriety was the ability to be fully present and focused on the people around me when I went out. Before, I would only ever be half listening to the conversation because I’d also be thinking about my next drink.

What about you?

Whether you’ve quit drinking already or you’re considering the idea, I bet there’s something that springs to mind here. Perhaps you struggle to look people in the eye when you’ve been drinking? Or you’re tired of scanning your phone for messages you’d forgotten you’d even sent?

Let me know in the comments about the subtle and invisible benefits of sobriety that you’ve noticed…  or the things you’re excited about changing. I’ve just shared a handful of examples here, so I’d love to hear yours.

Looking to create a sober life you love? Click here to learn more about my Getting Unstuck 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. 


45 Responses

  1. I’ve been sober for 1 month 3 days. I can start watching your videos now for motivation, instead of scrolling or deleting emails without reading as I would avoid facing up to what I knew I had to do.
    I love that I am fit to drive at anytime should one of my daughters need help, without having to say ‘I can’t, I’ve had a drink’ . Thank you

    1. Two very subtle benefits of sobriety Jen; facing up to a need for change and having the ability to be truly available for your family 🙂 If you’re looking for any extra support, check out my online course that is designed for women who want to quit drinking and feel good about it: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

      1. Kate – YOU are amazing! Thank you for all you are doing for all of us!
        This is God’s work. You are changing lives!
        Thank you – Kathy J

        1. Thank you for your kind words Kathy ❤️ It’s a privilege to do this work and help other women who are as stuck in the cycle of drinking that I was…

  2. From not drinking a subtle change I have noticed is how my react to situations is calmer and under control. I don’t “jump off the handle” I think before I speak, and sometimes just keep silent and observe.

    1. Thinking before you speak can diffuse many a tricky situation leading to calmer lives all round – great work Cheryl!

  3. Having more self confidence and knowing that I didn’t need that drink when going out to dinner with friends, which I would always do. Having great conversations and enjoy being in the moment.
    Had the chance to do that a few times since being AF.

    1. Really being present with friends and family is a beautiful benefit of sobriety. True friends love spending time with you, regardless of what liquid is in your glass. ❤️

  4. Freedom to be me, the delightful child I once was. No longer numbing, means I’m now engaged with the present. By letting go of “stickin thinkin” I feel more mature and productive!

    1. Wonderful Nancy! We are meant to be authentic, just like we were as children before alcohol became our sticking plaster for managing life.

  5. I am totally with you regarding the subtle effects. Besides being much more calmer and accepting in general, I did speak up at work for myself. Knowing I am worth again to ask for something, not being regretful what a failure I had been because of my drinking. Clearheaded and prepared, and having the knowledge I had beaten my addiction.

    1. So happy this worked out for you Claudia 🙂 Speaking up for what you need is empowering and you are so worth it!

  6. Funny, I wrote about this in my journal today! That I feel like a different person. I am SO CONFIDENT! I am able to say ‘no’ politely and firmly and move on without agonizing if someone will be upset with me ( I was a real people pleaser) I too am very calm and even keeled, but I also laugh a lot more. Physically I sleep better but my little aches in my joints is gone. Life is great!

    1. You’re doing great Josee and recognising these subtle but huge benefits add to the joy of alcohol-free living that you never imagined ❤️

  7. I like myself when I go wine free for two days. I stop for a day or two and suddenly I am back to it. I am older and feel ashamed of myself for drinking wine daily. I love reading your emails and watching your videos I am determined to see myself wine free.

    1. Please don’t feel ashamed Mary, it’s the addictive nature of alcohol that’s the problem, not the user. Let me help you break free from the ‘alcohol trap’ by joining my online course where I help women quit drinking and feel good about it, not deprived: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. That’s exactly the same with me Mary. I go a few days and I’m then back on the wine and I hate myself for it! The self loathing and beating myself up then starts again!

    3. I am the same Mary. I drink every 2nd or 3rd night and I do it sneakily. I am 60 and feel so ashamed, I never drank much until the last few years. I think menopause has had a lot to do with it. The longest I have went lately AF is 5 nights, and I was starting to feel really good, then had a very stressful day and work and that was it, wine bought on the way home. I am thinking seriously to do the next course when it comes up.

  8. I will be af for two years next month, after doing Kate’s course. I still watch every video she puts up for support and affirmation for myself that it was the best thing I have ever done. I totally relate to the subtle differences that af living has brought to my life. Many differences too many to mention here but most importantly for ME is I’m proud of myself and no longer feeling ashamed. Many thanks Kate xxx

    1. Wow Leith, 2 years! Where did that time go, many congratulations 🙂 Dropping the guilt and shame is a huge benefit of alcohol-free living and I’m so pleased to hear you’re thriving in your sobriety. ❤️

  9. When I am AF, I can act really goofy with my granddaughter. My family knows that I’m not drinking…..so they’re not going to say “ I think mom has had a few too many”. I’m confident to be myself.

    1. Love that Stephanie! That inner confidence is such a good feeling and allows you be ‘goofy’ without being embarrassed.

  10. A not-so-subtle benefit that I have found is being unavailable for “Gaslighting.” When I was drinking I would make a point or express and observation and at times I would be told that my perceptions were skewed because I was drinking. Very often, the next day I would remember the exchange and realize that I was right, but the moment had passed and I wouldn’t defend myself for fear that my drinking would become the issue, overshadowing the actual issue. Now I know what I am saying, remember what I said, and can stand up for my perspective because I am sober and people know that they cannot mess with me. Winning.

    1. Ann every word you just said came straight out of my head before l even read your post.
      We will have the last laugh hun

    2. Ann thank you for articulating exactly what I too have experienced. Everything is so clear now, being fully present, and aware is one of the best gifts of af . I am no longer easily manipulated as I have full control and confidence.
      8 months AF and winning every day.!

  11. 4 weeks one day AF for me. Assume AF is alcohol free? Admire my nephew who is clean and sober after about 10 years but keeps on at AA to keep him that way. I am very happy. Thank you for support.

  12. For me it’s feeling like I am returning to my authentic self. My thoughts are different regarding me if that makes sense ? I am getting my self worth back and realising I am still that strong woman who deserves respect. When I was drinking it’s almost like I didn’t feel worthy of other peoples respect and would take what people said to be true because after all I was probably wrong anyway ! I didn’t have the energy to question things but now … I care enough about myself to question things and know my opinion is valid and I absolutely won’t settle for feeling like my opinion isn’t valid because it IS … still a long way to go on my journey just over six weeks in ,but every day I’m learning new things about
    Myself and I love it

  13. Hi Kate, this has really made me realise. Last Saturday night, late, around 11 pm, unbeknown to me and my husband, and also my 3 other Siblings, my Dad collapsed and took ill. My Mum was in a panic and phoned the Ambulance, but didn’t phone any of us because she knew that we would all have had a drink! She didn’t even let us know until the next morning around 10 o’ clock. She had to deal with the whole horrible situation on her own, and spend the whole night at the Hospital on her own, and even if she would have called us that night, none of us could have gone to the Hospital to be with her, as we’d obviously been drinking and couldn’t drive. This has made me think so much about drinking alcohol and not being available for my Family in a desperate time of need.
    Thank you Kate, for sharing this eye opening information. x

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad, but being available for your family at any time is such a gift and one of many benefits of sobriety that are not so obvious.

  14. I just had to stop and count, I’m 19 months AF and I don’t even think about drink alcohol any more. One of the many things I love now is looking in the mirror, first thing in the morning, and seeing a smiley, happy, healthy lady looking back. She has a sparkle in her eyes not a disappointed dullness.

    1. Such a good feeling Sue, loving what you see in the mirror ❤️ Congratulations on your 19 months AF, that’s awesome!

  15. I recently went out for drinks with friends and had soft drinks all evening and it felt fantastic! I was able to drive home rather than have to walk because I’d been drinking and just as you said Kate I felt more present, really engaged in the conversations rather than thinking about my next drink as ordinarily I would drink very fast! Waking the next morning hangover free and feeling proud of myself was great.
    I’m meeting a friend tonight for drinks and am a little worried as we’ve always been drinking friends so I hope I can get through it and stay alcohol free.

    1. Same mindset, same approach, same outcome. It doesn’t matter what liquid is in your glass, a catch up with friends is just that, a chance to connect. 🙂

  16. For me – getting up in the morning and actually enjoying taking my dogs for a walk!
    But I am really glad that you (Kate) talked about the “two conversations going on when I’m drinking – one with the person I’m with, but another in my head about why I am drinking when I KNOW it really isn’t good for me and simply complicates my life. Thank you!

  17. Two little things among others:
    not sending emails or text messages you regret the day after.
    the morning after a party: to look for your purse or phone and wonder how you came back home.
    I am 3 months sober now and I really enjoy it, never felt better.

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