Kate's Blog

Why These Common But Terrible Tips Won’t Help You Quit

Would you like some bad advice on how to quit drinking?

How about some slightly patronising tips that won’t work for more than a day or two? 🤦‍♀️

When it comes to sobriety there are a lot of common but overly simplistic strategies floating around.

I’m highlighting what they are so you can be aware of them – and stop blaming yourself when they don’t work…

Key points:

Examples of overly simplistic “tips”

– “Just don’t buy wine when you’re at the supermarket.
– “Don’t keep alcohol in the house.”
– “Keep yourself busy at wine o’clock.”
– “Don’t spend time with people who drink.”
– “Always volunteer to be the designated driver.”

The problem with these tips

They’re not wrong exactly, but they’re all surface-level strategies. They don’t do anything to address why you’re drinking or to help you make that deeper, internal shift. These kinds of tips do nothing to address the real reasons why you drink or help you tackle the root causes with compassion and curiosity. With “advice” like this you stay firmly in the willpower trap.

Your drinking makes sense

There are totally understandable reasons why you drink. If you want to change your drinking, you’ve got to unpack what’s really going on and look at it all with a bit of compassion. Telling someone to just not buy the wine, just don’t keep alcohol in the house – that’s a bit like trying to paint over a mouldy wall. It might make a brief difference, but unless you treat what’s going on inside, the mould will reappear and so will the drinking.

Why there’s so much bad advice

In my video I share my client’s story of going to her doctor for help, and being told to “just don’t buy the wine”. Why did her GP tell her that? Because in a 10-minute appointment with someone who is a high-functioning, grey-area drinker (and given the very limited resources of the NHS) there’s not much else that can be offered. And that’s one of the reasons why The Sober School exists – to fill that gap.

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. 


6 Responses

  1. Brilliant! My sister (bless her, she was trying to be encouraging) said, “Just drink a cup of tea when you’re craving alcohol!”

    Thankfully I do now turn to other drinks instead of alcohol, but I had to do a lot of compassionate soul searching and unpacking to get there first! Thank goodness for your course Kate- it was so amazing and I still think about it years on.

  2. It’s completely true to say there is always a reason and that’s to find and understand. It’s not always easy to unpick but the Getting Unstuck course allowed me to discover and then face my “why I drink”. And then try to deal with them instead of just knee jerking to the nearest bottle to drown out the real issues.
    Grateful thanks always to Kate and team for providing a mechanism for me to learn how to be free.

  3. I was mortified when I got up the courage to tell my GP. Her response was this, “ I think you should go for a drug and alcohol assessment at the local office.” When I said I wasn’t interested in that she replied, “Well, I’m writing in your records the advice I gave you.” I was embarrassed and hurt. She wasn’t really interested in me at all. Kate, your course has done so much for me. The other women were so encouraging, and I realized there was really nothing wrong with me. With your help, I am doing this!!!

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve worked with many women who found this kind of referral upsetting – and the help and “advice” they received in these places wasn’t useful either. So glad you found your way here instead 🙂

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