Kate's Blog

When Wine Becomes Your Best Friend

“Alcohol has been my best friend for years.”

I saw this comment on one of my blog posts recently and it got me thinking.
There was definitely a time in my life when I thought the same thing.
Wine truly felt like a best friend. When all else failed, there was always booze.
But it was a toxic friendship… and that’s what I’m talking about in this week’s video.

Key points

Alcohol is a terrible best friend

It really doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t have your back. Just think of all the times when you’ve turned to alcohol for comfort and reassurance… and in return, it’s left you feeling anxious and depressed. How often has it stolen your time, energy and memories?
 

Start questioning your relationship

If any of your real life best friends behaved in the way alcohol does, you’d quickly re-evaluate the relationship, right? It’s time to start doing that here. Notice how often you slip into talking alcohol up, even when it’s tearing you down.
 

Friendships change

At some point or another you’ve probably had a real life friendship that came to an end. People change and grow and move on all the time. If you’re reading this, I suspect you might have outgrown alcohol. So perhaps it’s time to find a new best friend: sobriety.
 
Looking for help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love? Click here to find out more about my Getting Unstuck coaching programme.

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. 

Comments

54 Responses

  1. I have a love/ hate relationship with alcohol. I live on my own with my dogs but get very lonely and depressed a lot. I know alcohol is a terrible depressant .
    I get the urge to have a drink, can’t stop at one. Don’t like the taste but love the way it helps me forget…. until the next morning.
    That’s when the hate sets in! Why did I drink to excess, again? I can’t remember phone conversations, going to bed and then I hate myself and I’m disgusted with myself.
    I’m a more mature lady, age wise, so should know better.
    I really want to give alcohol up completely as I know it can’t be doing my health good.
    I don’t drink every day/nigh but when I do, I binge drink.

    1. I don’t know what it is with alcohol, everytime I give it up it’s always for around 6 months then as soon as a party or funeral which has just been I end up with alcohol but having too much which will cause a hangover from hell and me giving it up again

      1. I’ve never seriously tried to stop before. Since lockdown through Covid, my drinking has become progressively worse.
        I don’t really go out socialising much and tend to drink in the house.
        I’m going on holiday end of August so I’m hoping to be booze free by then. I don’t really drink a lot on holiday as I like to keep my wits about me.
        Let’s hope we can all support each other through this with the help of Kate and her blogs.

      1. Thanks Kate. I am going to follow your blog more as just started going AF again. I had stopped for six months then restarted two drinks at a time – then boom! So disappointed in myself but feeling strong again now. Nice to see those comments from Helen & Stephanie too, as they are a similar age to my 74 years so it’s nice to know I’m not alone age wise. hugs Sandie

    2. Hello Helen, I’ve never replied to any comments before, but your story sounds so much like mine, I was compelled. I am retired, 70 years old, live with my dogs, and I drink too much. I have to hide my drinking from my family, and that makes it even worse. I listened to Kate’s pep talk and I will stay sober tonight. I wish you all the best. Stephanie

      1. Hello Stephanie. Im74 years old but don’t feel or act it I also hide my drinking from family and friends although my younger daughter can always tell by my voice, even when I deny it.
        I am staying sober tonight also. I’m not finding that a problem as I felt slightly hungover after drinking on Saturday and Sunday.
        Hope you don’t find your journey too difficult. I’m sure we’ll conquer this together x

    3. Helen just have to say you remind me so much of myself. It just helps to know that I am not alone thanks for posting

      1. I only drink red wine and I love it as it chills me out as I am on my way own most evenings and sometimes they feel so long. But I don’t feel really lonely but feel better after a few drinks.
        I just need to cut back but I don’t think I want to stop all together as i really like having a social drink especially on holidays.

    1. Katherine,
      This is something I struggle with even after 2 years of sobriety, I have one friend only who is dry, it can be be unsettling, but, even with this my life is better without alcohol. To relapse now would mean the early morning sweats, the hangover, massive anxiety attacks the cost! After a while sobriety is so much better, give it a try, see how you get on, say two months, if not then you have given your body and mind some time off.

  2. So true, Kate. Alcohol is not anything but a chemical that I used to rely on before I understood what it was really doing to me. What I believed about alcohol was based on a story I’d been told from the time I was small. It was a story full of half-truths and fantasy thinking, modeled by all the adults I saw everywhere but once I welcomed alcohol into my own life, I continued to tell myself the same story. I had to get away from it before I could look realistically at my life with it and my life without it. There is simply no way to honestly understand what alcohol does to your body and mind while you continue to use it. The lies I believed for so long still try to insinuate themselves into my life some days but now I have another story to tell myself — one where I’m in charge and I know the truth. 16+ months alcohol-free and counting. I don’t keep “friends” that lie to me! Thanks for all you do!

    1. I love what you say here about not being able to understand the impact of your drinking whilst you’re continuing to use alcohol. You really can’t see what’s really happening when you’re still in the middle of it, that’s for sure. Congratulations on your 16+ months!

  3. I actually went alcohol free last year for 9 months . Then we booked a cruise round the Greek islands and I started again . That was one of the hardest things not to do drink on holiday . I just couldn’t imagine enjoying myself without the booze . Your mind goes through everything , right when I get home I will stop again . Didn’t work I’m back at it again , drinking wine on a regular basis. I even think I will drink vodka or gin but wine is my thing . I’m retired so now finding I’m drinking more . During the nine months looking back I lost weight , looked so much better and best of all felt fabulous. When I hear people speak of not remembering conversations I’ve been there done that so many times .
    I like hiking did a lot when not drinking , made me feel a better person . I need to give up totally I know deep down it’s what I want and need to do . I was never bored either during them nine months , because I wasn’t drinking I had the energy to do a lot of things . I actually did the National 3 peaks in 3 days ….
    Ben Nevis , Scafell Pike and Snowdon .
    Not bad for a 63 year old , I was so proud of myself . So I’m generally back to where I started wanting to stop completely and get off the hamster wheel .
    Hopefully I will do it .

    1. Hi Susan, it sounds as if you could benefit from some help with your mindset? It’s easy to fall into the trap of romanticising alcohol on holiday and giving it credit for things it can’t do. On my stop drinking course we tackle the thoughts and beliefs you’re having about alcohol, so you can be sober and not feel as if you’re missing out. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Do it!! You’ll never regret doing something that you really want, deep down, and that made you so proud before. You’re worth the effort.

    3. Susan your comment sounds like me as I stopped for 6 months but then restarted with a glass of wine to celebrate birthdays etc. it didn’t take long to escalate into a whole bottle by myself once more, not every night,but enough to realise I need to stop for good. Like you I felt so good for those 6 months, happier, lost the fat bits around the body, skin and eyes clearer and the best bit was I didnt think about having to buy a bottle or think about what I would take to a dinner at friends! Yes get off that Hamster wheel, Im with you as this is my 3rd day AF again. Good luck to both of us.

      1. Thank you . I’ve just done a week , still carrying on hopefully will be ok xxx
        Good luck on your journey x

  4. Yes I get this that we can see alcohol as a best friend, always there when we need. I’m 50 days sober today and don’t need that best friend anymore. It’s been tough sometimes but well worth the rewards you get. Thank you for sharing Kate x

  5. Very good video with helpful info . I need to stop for my health. I feel like wine is my relaxtion after work. Need to break the habit.

  6. Kate – I love your cheeriness! I stopped drinking wine about six weeks ago and I’ve never felt better. I miss the taste but I feel so much happier, I don’t want to go back to it. Your blogs make me feel as though I’m part of an elite group of shiny happy people!!!! Xxxxxx

      1. Nicely done. Agree that after I have been alcohol free for ten months I see a life upgrade for me. Thanks, Kate. I find you spot on from here in NY, USA.

  7. As always, thank you Kate. I haven’t had any wine for about 2 months and it hasn’t been difficult most of the time. That is because of you and your messages of hope and truth. Thank you for everything!

  8. I have been drinking a bottle of wine everyday for the last….? I’ve lost count years maybe.
    5- 6pm I think I’ll have a glass with my meal or half the bottle…nope have to drink the lot.
    Enjoy drinking curled up on the sofa wating tv.
    Wake up on the morning…oh why did I do it, not necessarily hung over but feeling rough i then get mad at my self and function through the day and then that time will come again.
    I have now admitted to myself something needs to be done and only i can sort myself out and yesterday I spoke to my sister about it and had a free non alchol night last night, I feel better this morning just very emotional….the menopause isnt helping either
    I just need the willpower and to stay strong.
    Let’s do this xxx

    1. Whenever I drink I feel tremendous guilt and remorse and I really don’t know why I do this. When I don’t drink I feel so much better. Still day 1 again today,I love all the supportive posts here

  9. Dear Kate, thank you so much for this perfectly resonating video. I too am older, 61 and have been drinking a bottle of wine a night for years. I’ve listened to lots of podcasts and read all your posts but I’m stuck. I understand why I’m drinking but I seem powerless to stop. I have an extremely difficult relationship with my 96 year old mother and I spend all day ruminating about her treatment of me and fear that I may need to care for her. My bottle of wine at night is the only thing that turns off the rumination. Apart from that I have a very loving husband and fabulous children. I didn’t drink last night after watching your video

  10. Hi Kate, though I’ve never considered alcohol my friend I would turn to it every night (almost) out of boredom and sometimes earlier out of anxiety. Saturday, was my last drink for about the 100th time but I’m determined to make 100 the charm. I turned 70 in December and the alcohol does not help with all the negative thoughts I am having about my life as I age. I hate not being able to remember what I did after a certain hour, how depressed I feel in the morning and how I am unable to lose my post-menopausal belly. I am glad to see that I am not alone here. Hope we can all continue to cheer each other on.

  11. Why can’t I just not but the wine !? Why ? I watch your videos .. & promise myself I won’t buy it … then I pretend I need milk or bread & then I’ve done it again !

  12. I have definitely always seen alcohol as my trustee companion who cheers up my evening and keeps me company when I am bored/ tired/ stressed…..since following your blogs Kate, I now see alcohol more as a selfish person who pretends they are helping but ultimately leaves me feeling tired/ sad/ helpless and dissapointed in myself. Currently 10 weeks sober, starting to really see the lifestyle benefits, and listening to everything you have to say to keep me on track!! Thank you Kate.

  13. I have just listened to your talk Kate. Like so many of the people on this trail I am older and live on my own. I work long hours and nearly every night I say I won’t have a drink but then have a glass and then another. It doesn’t make me feel any better and I am truly not even sure why I do it. More often than not I throw away the remainder of the bottle only to buy another the following night. I want to start my journey and crack this for once and for all. I know my weight gain is down to alcohol as I am tired when I get home so often don’t eat. I hope with reading the comments from these lovely people I can find an inner strength to simply say I don’t need this.

  14. This post has brought to light the fact that alcohol has been my surrogate for healthy friendships for many years. I am an introvert and have enjoyed drinking alone every day for a long long time – such wonderful company – NOT!.
    It was the buffer that gave me comfort in my loneliness and helped me feel comfortable socially. In addition, my criteria for selecting friends was based on their drinking habits – we had the same friend in our lives – alcohol was a friend I could share. But alcohol does not really allow for any kind of healthy bonding with people. And there was little effort on my part to be a true friend – alcohol was my only real friend.
    I was lucky enough to meet an amazing person who doesn’t drink that much. Eventually we got married. Sadly however, alcohol was still in the picture and was still my best friend. I would drink alone in the kitchen prepping dinner resenting the fact that my partner was still working upstairs. Alcohol provided me with some fun secret company for about an hour and then the bad stuff would begin – slurring speech, being secretive, wine or vodka head, no sleep and worse – bad fights with my partner about something ridiculous. Then hating myself.
    I’ve changed thanks to Kate Bee’s course and I am realizing how important it is to stay connected with this wonderful positive group of women. Everything in my life has improved, and I am still learning and working on it.
    No matter where you are in your struggle keep your eye on the prize; that mountain top of alcohol free living. I truly believe it will be a life you love.

  15. I have struggled with this idea for the last couple of weeks while I have tried to quit drinking and haven’t succeeded. I have always felt alcohol was the only friend who didn’t judge me. I guess that feeling of “friendship” was just to hide the fact that I have been judging myself. That has always been the case.
    I am beginning to learn that the discomfort and cravings that have been keeping me from successfully saying no to alcohol are just chemical withdrawl symptoms from a habit I have had for decades. I don’t need this friend anymore. I have to remind myself that it is not a person and not a friend, and that maybe if I am sober it will be easier to be my own friend.
    I’m ready to try another “day 1”. Thank you, Kate for another great and inspiring video.

  16. I am on day one having just found SoberSchool. Lasted 48 hours last week. I read the blogs for about two hours this morning and felt light – as though a key has unlocked something inside me. Then…..I was emptying a bag of shopping from yesterday, and found a bottle of wine! I was furious with it for being there. I told it to bugger off, banished it to the back of the cupboard in disgrace – where it sits now, untouched. I’ve decided that pouring out would be running away from the bully that it really is. I’ve squared up to it, ignored it. It will stay there for seven days then I will let out – down the sink!!

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