Kate's Blog

Will Alcohol Free Living Ever Feel Normal And Lovely?

Will sobriety ever feel normal?

When will this get easier? Am I always going to miss alcohol?
These questions used to bounce around my head on repeat.
When you first quit – or you’re thinking about stopping drinking – everything feels so uncertain and overwhelming. 
If you’re wondering if alcohol free living can ever just feel normal and lovely, this video will help: 

Key points: 

The choice to be in permanent recovery (or not!)

If you quit drinking with AA, you will largely be relying on willpower to stay sober. You will be told that you need to take things one day at a time, for the rest of your life. You will remain defined by the thing you no longer do any more. 
If that doesn’t sound fun to you, then here’s the good news: there is another way. You can quit drinking and then move on with your life. Personally, if I wasn’t working in this field, I don’t think I’d even think about alcohol anymore. You couldn’t pay me enough to drink it now!

The hard work is in the early days

It takes effort and focus to change a pattern of behaviour to begin with. You’ve got to unpick the social conditioning we have around alcohol. It’s a very romanticised drug and we’re conditioned to project qualities onto it that it doesn’t have. 
If you started a big new job, you’d give yourself 3 months to settle in. It’s the same with sobriety – there’s a steep learning curve to begin with. Your first year of sobriety is full of sober firsts and challenges, but after the first 90 days things do tend to settle down and feel easier.

If you’re still find finding things hard…

If you’ve been sober for a long time but it’s still tough, then you need to look at your thoughts. What beliefs do you have about alcohol? What work are you doing to question the stories about booze that swirl around your brain? 
This is exactly the kind of work we cover on my Getting Unstuck course. The class is designed for women who are at the very beginning of their alcohol free journey, but if you’re further along and struggling with your mindset, it would be worth you checking it out here.

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. 


33 Responses

  1. I thought I was going to be miserable without my nightly wines but honestly Ive never been happier. Your course made things click for me Kate. I got to the point where I ‘had’ to quit but you made me feel good about it. Feeling happy, proud and free without the wine witch round my neck every night. It is a lovely life!

    1. Hi Kate, I am planning to stop drinking alcohol, I have found that as I enter menopause that drinking is making the hot flushes worse. I have a big birthday coming up in a couple of weeks so have planned to stop after that. A couple of glasses of wine have been my go to in the last few months since I became a widow but I need to stop this cycle.

      1. Hi Lisa, I’m sorry for your loss. Drinking through grief is very common – but it can backfire on us because drinking makes it harder for us to process our feelings. If you’re looking for any support on your alcohol free journey, I wanted to make sure you knew about my online course. Here’s some more information: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. When I committed to taking a proper break from alcohol, I didn’t know until AFTER I completed the course that the commitment was actually very much like other monumental commitments I’d made in the past, namely, completing a university degree and relocating halfway across the country with 2 horses then returning with 4! One of the similarities is that once I completed the goals, my posture was like, “OK, so now what; what’s next?” What’s next in AF living (I typed luving ) is unbridled energy and mental real estate to choose what’s next! I did do the work and am already reaping the benefits of alcohol being a non-issue for me. I came upon 50 days AF the other day, but I had to go back and determine the date when I began Getting Unstuck because it wasn’t tattooed on the underside of my eyelids. I’m on a gratifying new path. I have Kate to thank for all of this.

      1. “It wasn’t tattooed on the underside of my eyelids” made me laugh! Congratulations on your 50 days Kim! 🙂

  2. Kate, coming across your blog has been such a life changing thing for me. I’ve not had a drink since March 2021, I’ve fancied a drink a few times, but persevered & I can honestly say I don’t miss alcohol at all!
    I love remembering going up to bed, reading before sleep & waking up without the fear of what I’d said or done the night before!
    I’m going on holiday in a couple of weeks & am going to be alcohol free which I’m really looking forward to.
    If someone had said to me that I’d be living AF I’d have laughed at them, but here I am doing it & it’s great!
    I’ve lost some weight, my skin is clearer & my eyes are brighter. This is all thanks to you & your blogs, they all make so much sense.
    I can’t thank you enough.

    1. Congratulations Donna – that is fantastic. Alcohol free living is such a lifestyle upgrade and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and feeling good in your sobriety. Well done! 🙂

  3. Feeling so inspired reading the comments above. I am on day 7 of sobriety after 30 years as a drinker, having tried so many methods in the past. Your blog has given me hope again, Kate. I have done the mindset work and taken that leap of faith, and so far it’s going well. I am on waiting list for your course in case I need that. For now I’m 4 days into a lovely family holiday in Scarborough and the only time I thought about alcohol was last night when everyone else was drinking and I was cooking dinner on my own feeling sorry for myself. I quickly realised it was company I was missing, not alcohol, so my sister-in-law came to help out and have a good gossip … and then I was fine! I am so very grateful to you and look forward to when this all becomes second nature.

    1. Well done for realising what you really needed last night Liz – behind every craving is an unmet need, we just need to work out what. Keep going! 🙂

  4. Just started listening to your video’s and i am very thankful already the way you explain our thinking about alcohol is very eyeopening.Found out something about my drinking and that is a major trigger when i see the opportunaty to drink secretly on my own and know for certain that nobody will find out,it feels like somesort of relief and the drinking starts.Have to find something else to find a feeling of relief.

    1. It would be great to journal on that Elsie and find out more about what it is that’s so appealing, drinking on your own? Is it the opportunity to drink without judgement, or wanting to switch off from the world? Journal on it and then explore how you can give that to yourself in other ways. If you need any more help to quit, here’s some details of my online course: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. I have been drinking for years and lock down to me to a new low drinking a bottle of wine (or 2) everyday. I knew I was in trouble, my heart racing, anxiety and low mood. Terrible sleep. Munchies. Couldn’t shift my weight but worse being controlled by needing a drink and did I have any in the cupboard. I stopped drinking 5 weeks ago. Kate, your posts are what have helped me. 5 weeks ago I googled giving up drink and your name appeared. I watch all your posts and they keep my going. I actually don’t want a drink anymore. I sleep well. My skin is better. I feel so well. Thank you so much for your help in getting me to week 5

  5. Kate, it’s so interesting to me that you mentioned “ex-smokers”. I was just thinking over the weekend, about how I want that same relationship with alcohol. I quit smoking 20 or so years ago. You are so right I don’t even remember exactly how long it’s been and I don’t even really think about it anymore. It’s just something from my past that I don’t do anymore. I really hope I can get to that point with alcohol.

  6. Hi Kate thanks to your course once I’d hit 100 days sobriety I stopped counting and have carried on alcohol free now since January 1st 2021 .
    It’s not always been easy but I’m certainly not thinking about it very much now and can honestly say life is better being sober .

  7. Hi Kate, I am nine weeks AF! Just reading that I have to pinch myself. It haven’t all been plain sailing there have had days when I did a fair bit of crying and feeling sorry for myself. But with your help and guidance I am feeling stronger and more confident. I can’t think of a glass of Chardonnay without thinking! do I need petrol for the car!!! When I see the two together I can’t believe I have been poring Ethanol down my throat for over thirty years.Most cars don’t last that long I feel very lucky to be still here. I have learned so much thanks to this course, I check in daily every thing I read is keeping me focused and on track X

    1. It’s a horrible thought, to think about what we’ve been ingesting for all these years! Well done on your 9 weeks Shelly – I delighted to hear my course helped you 🙂

  8. On day 8. Got through the weekend. Your blog has helped a lot. Went out with a friend for a curry because I don’t like wine with curry. Didn’t even think about alcohol. Still finding it hard. Planning my food for this week around meals where wine wouldn’t be nice – lots of spicey food. Keep reminding myself that I don’t want to wake up with a hangover ever again lots of positive reasons for being AF. On waiting list for your next course if I feel I still need support.

  9. Hi Kate, Thanks for this blog. I have been alcohol free for 5 months now, using all your tips and techniques. It is so true that you get to a point where drinking alcohol is not even on the radar. My life is so much better without it. I can’t believe I used to drink a few glasses of wine every night.
    The best part is waking up every morning feeling fresh and with no regrets.

  10. What wonderful news. I am really inspired and excited that there is life after alcohol. Thanks to all for sharing your accomplishments with me and others. I’m currently on day 11 wine free!! I had been drinking 15 yrs and loved the Chardonnay but it didn’t love me back & l have to quit…1 is too many—100 not enough.
    Thanks Kate keep up the good work & pep talks help so much!!!

  11. Eight months sober this week! How I wish I’d made this decision 20 or 30 years ago but we do what we can when we can, right? Being AF is the most wonderful gift I have ever given myself. I’ve worked for it, to be sure, but the change in my outlook and attitude toward alcohol has a lot to do with your blogs and videos, Kate. You put things in such relatable terms. Thank you. Onward, ladies!

  12. I have been listening to your videos and reading your posts. They are helpful and you are doing great work. I want to ask you to reconsider criticizing AA. First it is not about willpower at all so that makes it seem that you have not really checked it out. Also there are people that have serious alcohol problems that are life threatening and aa saves many lives. It is one of the most effective and important organizations ever developed that is absolutely free and open to everyone. Alcoholism kills and is one of the leading causes of death. Everyone is different. However you are right. It is not right for everyone or necessary. I love your ideas and perspective. I have learned so much from you and am planning to take your course. Please don’t pit yourself against aa. It is not a threat but a way for those who cannot stop and they are at risk for death or serious consequences. Whatever helps a person to stop drinking is good. No one should say you must be in aa. That is as wrong as saying no one needs aa. Thank you for listening and please tell me your thoughts.

    1. Hi Sara, please check out this earlier blog of mine for a detailed understanding of my views: https://thesoberschool.com/an-alternative-to-aa-why-my-approach-is-different/
      AA does work for some people and that’s great. However, for many, many others, it doesn’t. Sadly, there are people online who insist on telling others that AA is the only way, or the ‘right’ way of quitting drinking. It’s my job to cut through that kind of nonsense. The reason The Sober School exists is to provide a more modern, alternative approach 🙂

  13. Hi Kate, thank you so much it is so good to hear the words of a wise empowering woman! I have tried to quite drinking about 50+ times over my lifespan from the age of 14-33 yrs and never had the required support until I found you. Everyone would constantly tell me that I was silly and not an alcoholic because I didn’t drink enough… But what they don’t realize are the constant thoughts day in day out and I just wont to be free of it! after watching your first video and seeing your page-I have quite and only in early stages of 5 days but that’s huge for me! thank you so much you have truly saved me, I now feel excepted and understood for the first time in my life as an chemical dependent of casual usage towards binges when stressed. For the first time I feel that someone understands me and is taking me personally, you have given me more than private cousnelling or church has ever offered… thank you

    1. I’m touched to hear that my resources have resonated with you and made such a difference Ursula! Wishing you many more alcohol free days ahead 🙂

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