After more than a decade of binge drinking, black outs, secret drinking, boozy nights out and monster hangovers, I’m kicking alcohol out of my life for good. I turn 30 later this year and am determined to get a grip of this problem, so my thirties don’t go the same way as my twenties.

Update January 2014: I did it! I turned 30, sober. HadΒ my first Christmas, sober. In fact there were a lot of sober firsts last year.Β Here I am at the start of 2014 with nine months sobriety under my belt and looking forward to a healthy, sober year.

Blogging for accountability – and always grateful for your thoughts and advice.


I’m still here – happy and sober. I’m now trying to inspire more people to take the leap. I no longer update this blog because I’m busy over on my new website, thesoberschool.com

Please check it out!

The Sober School Logo 1

58 thoughts on “About

  1. Guinevere June 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm Reply

    I’m always in awe of people who get sober early in life. Looking forward to seeing how it goes for you. with every good wish /G

  2. martinbooe July 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm Reply

    Kick it now, kick it hard, kick it for good! Thirty is the perfect age!

  3. Molly July 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm Reply

    Kate, I’m sort of flabbergasted at how much we have in common. I’m a journalist, stopped drinking on April 4, about to turn 28 and was perusing the Internet for some reminders as to why the hell I stopped drinking and stumbled upon your blog. It’s blowing my mind how similar our situations are. If you’re up for it, I’d love to chat with you about all this!

    • soberjournalist July 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

      Hi Molly – wow we do have a lot in common! Hope all is going ok for you? One of the reasons why I started blogging was to remind myself why I stopped drinking because on good days I tend to forget. And at our age it giving up booze is not the done thing… It’d be great to chat to you – my email is soberjournalist@gmail.com

      • matthew culbert January 9, 2014 at 1:32 am

        Hi, I saw this site on BBC and I wish you all the best in keeping it going.I stopped when I was 27 and after a a few slips finally stopped at 30.I am now 36 years off the booze and recently meeting an old friend who had stopped smoking but still enjoy a dram I joked,”maybe I gave up the wrong thing”. He replied with thinly disguised disgust,”Naw ye didnae”. Nothing like a good reminder of how obnoxious I could be in my cups.It is the best thing I ever did.I wish you all the best but luck has nothing to do with it.Just relax and enjoy a sober day sister.

  4. kristinrecovering August 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm Reply

    Good for you! I wish I had quit at 30. None of my kids would have seen me drinking. Here I am just 40 but finally gave it up. I am grateful I learned the lesson now rather than wasting anymore years on the vicious cycle that drinking caused me. YAY for you!!!!!

    • Anonymous October 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm Reply

      I’ve just turned 40 also and quit drinking two weeks ago. Was just telling myself I wish I would’ve quit at 30 so my kids hadn’t seen me drinking/drunk/choosing beer over everything they wanted me to do these past several years. Not looking back any longer though. Here’s to a bright future for my beautiful family!!!!

  5. Maggie Shores September 9, 2013 at 3:52 am Reply

    Hi! I nominated you for the Liebster Award! You can view the post at http://sobercourage.com/2013/09/08/liebster-award-time

  6. magpie October 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm Reply

    This is a fabulous blog…..it sounds just like me. I am a journalist. I am in my 50s. I stopped for five years…..started drinking again….stopped for two years and am back on the slippery slope again. I have been to counsellors….but of whom told me I didn’t have a problem….that I needed to like myself a bit more. It’s like I have two people battling in side of me. One who wants to be a wise sober earth mother and the other who wants to get drunk. My hubby loves me to drink with him as I am much more fun! I shall read your blogs with relish and I will knock this little demon off my shoulder for good and all. Thank you soooo much. PS Day one for me me today as I sit here with the mother of hangovers! Namaste πŸ™‚

    • soberjournalist October 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm Reply

      Hello, sorry to take so long to reply, I hope all is going ok for you? The first few days and weeks are by far the hardest so I don’t envy you.
      Thanks for commenting on so many of my posts – I hope they help! They are lots of journalists out here on the sober blogosphere … Must be something to do with the job?! I dunno. Your husband’s comments about your drinking says a lot about HIS drinking … I hope you’re managing to stay sober, with or without his support. Kx

    • Anonymous January 8, 2014 at 11:03 am Reply

      I can totally relate to the 2 sides. I struggled for approx. 3-4 years with the 2 of them in my head fighting and then 1 day viewed it as a boxing match (square ring) and the only part I had was playing the referee in my head.

      Once I walked out of the ring and let them get on with it my head became clearer and was used for other issues in my life >> the 12 steps. I still end up refereeing the match sometimes (15 years later) and just need to see it and walk away.

      I hope you find some peace from these two head bandits.

  7. dreamsdissolve October 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm Reply

    I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! I wish you all the best, please follow this link:


  8. Anonymous November 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm Reply

    I was searching the web for stuff that related to ME, and this struck a real chord. So much so, it inspired me to start typing myself. Early days yet, like, but one day at a time, eh? Good luck. I hope my journey is as successful as yours is continuing to be

  9. sobernorman November 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm Reply

    re the above, I didn’t even have the gumption to log in properly (and I’m sober!). Shows how good I am at this blogging malarkey. All the very best…..

  10. kath January 8, 2014 at 3:34 am Reply

    Good on you! Love, love, love your blog! Can relate on so many levels. Your experiences and candour are much appreciated Kate. And very inspirational. I’m going to tune in to your blog as I begin (again) my path to kicking my wine dependence and all the sh*t that follows it.

    Happy 2014 and all the best

    • soberjournalist January 8, 2014 at 10:04 am Reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I was a wine drinker too. I often write about the challenges of being sober (in a boozy world) but I’ve never regretted stopping. It’s been the best thing that’s happened to me, so my advice is to just go for it! Good luck x

  11. forcedinduction January 8, 2014 at 11:11 am Reply

    I drank too much – but this http://vimeo.com/10503911 really helped me understand it. Sober for over a year and to be honest I’ve never felt better

  12. mike January 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Well done Kate…. sober = Humility
    Humility = “Perpetual quietness of heart.
    It is to have no trouble.
    It is never to be fretted, or vexed, irritable or sore.
    To wonder at nothing that is done to me.
    It is to be at rest when nobody praises me.
    When I am blamed or dispossessed,
    it is to have a blessed home in myself.
    where I can go in and shut the door
    and pray to my father in secret and be at peace,
    as in a deep sea of calmness,
    when all around and about is seeming trouble”

    • Anonymous April 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm Reply

      Your poem is touching and beautiful. Every line is meaningful “it is to have a blessed home/ where ican go in and shut the door…” Thank you. cynthia

    • wsmweb August 12, 2014 at 2:54 am Reply

      Whatever gets you through the night.Getting by on a wing and a prayer is OK, but I am quite partial to a cuss and a swear.

      I get angry at stuff,some folks don’t have a blessed home, but I decide what I can do in a practical sense to resolve some of the world’s problems my fellow humans are experiencing.

      I try to channel genuine outrage.This sometimes means political decisions, which I will not be there to see resolved in the end, but at least I tried.

      All of that is also a part of what it is to be sober in my view.Speaking only ‘for me’, of course.
      Al the best.

  13. margaretmccole January 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm Reply

    Just discovered your blog and we seem to be on a somewhat parallel path, I do have a few years on you being 44, but won’t hold that against you.
    I took the step and sobered up April 2013 and it’s really been the best thing I have ever done with my life on so many levels and just continues to get better. I have to catch up with all your posts but I am hoping you agree that as someone once said to me….”there is so much more to life than drinking and I’m only beginning to find that out.” That statement still holds true for me 9 months down the line and I believe it as long as I stay sober. Be in touch soon.

    • soberjournalist January 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply

      I totally agree with you and that statement! It’s funny because at the beginning all I could think about was what I’d be missing out on. I didn’t realise that I’d gain a whole load of other stuff. Congrats on your 9 months! I stopped on April 6th x

  14. drunkenpuppy January 9, 2014 at 1:10 am Reply

    wish I’d been able to get sober in my thirties! – I’m not an alcoholic, but then, what else is someone in their forties who can’t sleep without drinking themselves unconscious?

    Good read sober journo

  15. luckystriky999 January 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Dear Soberjournalist, having come across your blog on the Internet, I was amazed how similar problems can be all over the world. Living in a far-away (and sadly-known for political events) Ukraine, I was surprised to see that alcohol brings people to the same road, wherever their starting point was. My family has faced similar problems, and reading your blog, I recognized myself in many situations. I’d love to chat with you and say much more, but I’d prefer to message you privately. I’d be glad to connect ya via e-mail or facebook:) And I wish you good luck in what you’re doing! Waiting for your reply:)

  16. Sarah Lynn January 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm Reply

    I am so happy to have found your blog!! I just celebrated 60 days, which is the longest I had ever gone -ever (I’m 31 now and starting drinking at the age of 14). I very much look forward to being a loyal reader.

  17. Jack January 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm Reply

    Glad you survived the party, Kate. If you go to more, you’ll find they’re all pretty boring and probably start mastering the art of avoiding them rather than wondering how you’ll cope with them.
    I’ve been sober almost twenty-nine years now and recall saying at an AA meeting that I’d come to get sober, not sombre. And so it’s proved.
    If I do get lured into a party these days, I make a point of telling some ‘victim’ that I don’t drink. Eventually I’m inevitably asked how I cope with the boredom.
    “Oh, I have fun aplenty,” I’ll reply with straight face. “I wait till all the handbags are left lying about carelessly and the jackets discarded; and then I nip around with my self-addressed envelope, nicking the credit cards and whatever takes my fancy.”
    No, obviously I don’t. But the mischievous me suggests that I let other people’s drinking
    give them something to worry about!

  18. Debbie February 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Hi Kate, I just nominated you for a Sunshine Award! I love reading your blogs and am so glad you are out there in the sobersphere. I’ve learned so much from reading your posts!

    • soberjournalist February 5, 2014 at 10:48 pm Reply

      Aww thank you very much for your kind words and the nomination! Kx

  19. Maggie February 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Hi Kate,

    I just love your blog. I’m a journalist too and on day 8. Looking forward to hitting 100 days! Thanks again.


  20. Anonymous February 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm Reply

    Hi Kate, I’m writing a feature about unusual journalist inspiration for XCity magazine and would really love to feature a comment from you in my article. I’m really interested in how you have used your determination to give up alcohol as inspiration for this blog. Is there an email I could reach you on? My email is annabelle.collins.1@city.ac.uk if you’d prefer to message me an address or number.
    Many thanks, Annabelle

  21. Liz from Finland March 12, 2014 at 10:53 am Reply

    Whoops. Found your blog last night and have gradually been working my way through the posts, with a growing sense of anxiety inside. I’ve been sober since Jan 1st. I thought I’d stay sober 2014 (usually I’d have a period from New Year’s Day until Easter (hooray for me), but, thing is: by May I’m binge drinking again. I can’t control my drinking. I can, however, stay sober for longer periods.

    The first night out with my friends after a sober ccouple of months I might be able to drink the notorius two beers. The second night, well, I’d be drinking anything that doesn’t run away from me.

    I am now slowly realizing that there is no going back to drinking for me. I have been struggling with this for years and years, along with cronic depression, and last autumn I was hitting rock bottom with a combination of new antidepressants & drink that made me more or less manic. Not the first time. All this while repeating to myself: I’m not an alcoholic, I might drink too much (read: outdrink every single person I’d go out with), I might be defined as a heavy drinker, I’m having difficulties controlling my alcohol intake, but I can quit. If I want to. I didn’t want to.

    Last Saturday, while spending a weekend recording with the band I’m in, the guitarist, a good friend for 20 years, said to me: ‘If you’re sober this year, you’re probably going to be totally pissed all of 2015’. He said it as I ‘joke’, but I know he was right (his father is an alcoholic with a couple of sentences behind him, for murder and assault, his younger sister is suffering from a permanent brain damage as a result of her drug and alcohol abuse – he’s seen quite a few things).

    This might sound weird, but as I’m writing this, I’m shaken. My subconscius tells me I had it coming. I have been trying to convince myself that I can drink. A little. Sometimes. Just a couple of pints. I can’t.

    • soberjournalist March 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm Reply

      First of all, well done for staying sober this long. Secondly, I relate to a lot of what you’ve written here. One way or the other, I think most of us come to the conclusion that whilst we can stay sober for long ish periods, moderating our drinking is hard. It’s a bit of a shock when you realise that. But admitting that you can’t drink moderately is real progress. And actually isn’t it great to be free from all the guilt that comes with trying to moderate and failing to do so?

  22. veronicavalli2013 March 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm Reply

    I nominated you for a Sunshine Award. you can read about it here: http://veronicavalli.com

  23. UnPickled March 14, 2014 at 3:47 am Reply

    Annnnd I have also just nominated you for a Sunshine Award πŸ™‚ http://unpickled.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/sunshine-blogger-award/

  24. phaedra muirhead May 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm Reply

    I found your blog by googling “I don’t like being around drunk people anymore. How do i tell my friends?” Google had just pulled random words from a post of yours, but now that I’ve read a bit about you, maybe you are the right person to answer my original question!

  25. Brendan May 25, 2014 at 12:19 am Reply


    I have been following your blog for a few months and noticed that you have not posted anything for a while. I hope you are OK.

    • soberjournalist May 25, 2014 at 7:30 am Reply

      Hi Brendan,
      I’m fine actually! Life is just very hectic at the moment so I plan to write again in a few weeks when things slow down. Thanks for your comment. K

  26. Doug August 12, 2014 at 2:00 am Reply

    I’m a broadcast producer / journalist who’s been sober for 3 months. I enjoy reading your stuff – thank you.

    • soberjournalist August 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm Reply

      No worries! Congrats on your 3 months – that’s fantastic.

  27. Rich September 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm Reply

    I just found this blog yesterday and it happened to coincide with day # 2 of my being sober. I could not stop reading as everything I read hit home with such velocity. I feel much more confident about my ability to quit (and not just pause) this time. Your insight, honesty, and sincerity have been a huge confidence boost to me. I am looking forward to the “boring days” somewhere around the 200 mark. Thank you!!

  28. Vika September 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm Reply

    Thanks for the time an effort you put into this blog. Coming here and reading about your ups and downs throughout this lifestyle change really helps me on the days when I just want a goddamn drink or nights when I wish I could just get tanked with my best friend again. It’s great to see that I am not alone in this and that even though some times it feels like everyone is having a great time continuing to drink and be merry, I have made the best choice for myself. Keep it coming!

  29. drunkenpuffin September 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm Reply

    I came across your blog the other day and could not stop reading. Although our circumstances are different there is a lot of what you have written that I can relate to. You summarised my own fears to do with social anxiety better than could! Anyway, thank you for sharing. I hope you are well and wish you continued strength in your journey πŸ™‚

  30. Ashley September 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply

    Wow! I think this is awesome. I am giving up alcohol for a year and I started September 2nd. Today is day 17. It has been tough, but I am looking forward to see how much more I can accomplish without drinking and hangovers. I am also blogging about my experience http://www.thesoberexperience.com

  31. Nicole Cameron September 30, 2014 at 10:41 pm Reply

    How fun to find you and your blog! I’ve been sober for almost 7 years. Visit my website http://www.coachwithnicole.ca, I’m a Recovery Life Coach! Totally cutting edge service for people who want to get sober and for those who wish to remain sober!

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  33. Julie October 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm Reply

    I went from “I wish these next few weeks would hurry up and pass so I can write out my drinking ‘rules’ and ‘boundaries’ and get on with my drinking (Wednesday) to printing and reading your entire blog (Friday) and realizing I’m done for good. It’s only been two weeks and I know it’s going to be hard, but I know it’s not an option for me to go back drinking. Aside from living in another part of the world (Texas), I felt like I could’ve written that bog, only with different spelling and choice of vocabulary for certain things:)

    I also run, did my first half marathon while still drinking, so had to do a bunch of planning/training for the run around my beer binges. My next is going to be in December and I’m so much more excited about it.

    Spending the majority of one day reading your blog has changed my life, which in turn has given my children such a brighter future. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!


  34. matthew culbert October 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm Reply

    It is just a question of making your mind up on a daily basis that this will be for good.Then persevere.It does get easier and better, but sometimes doesn’t seem so.Then you need to be tough on yourself and resolve whatever happens you won’t let anything grind you down.

    I have been off the sauce for 37 years, but I had been trying for three years before I hit the groove.

  35. Justin Bagnato December 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm Reply

    It’s so crazy to me how may different journeys we all take when we get sober, sometimes we need a little more to help fill the void and step into action and truly take initiative. You took your sobriety an created a wildly successful and heavy followed blog. It’s so cool to see our paths that are created when we decide to get sober! Like, how productive we all become without the burden from drugs and alcohol. I really respect everything you’ve written in y
    our blog and would love some feedback about my site I created. If you have a second to check it out I’d really appreciate your opinion. As you’ve put a lot of time into this blog, I respect the triumphs of people like you that have overcome their own afflictions. Thanks!

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    Founder of SomebodySober.com

  36. Carl February 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm Reply

    I’m 24 now and I’m beginning to question my relationship with alcohol. This blog is really confirming what I’ve been afraid of!

    I have friends- really close friends I don’t want to lose- in lots of places. 4 places in the UK and all within a 2/2 and a half hour drive… Mainly around London and up to birmingham. The problem is when we see each other- being ‘rugby boys’- it always turns into a monster drinking session. We all complain about it, we all make sure we go out on a Friday so Saturday we can relax and catch up properly sat evening… But I still feel ‘not right’ for until Tuesday. It’s damaging my productivity in the week so much. I had a week off drinking in January(everyone is poor in January right…) and on Monday I felt like a machine! I worked through to 8pm out of choice- I was so fresh and energetic I actually enjoyed it.

    Since then I can’t help but think my Friday nights out with my best friends from around the country are actually
    Making me unhappy Monday- Friday. I would like to say ‘I’m going to just drink less and know my limits’ but it’s hard when you haven’t seen the for 3-5 weeks and someone already thought it was a good idea to play drinking games…


  37. phaedra February 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I am .38 years old, and have been sober for 16 months. I never had a “drinking problem,” But my husband does, and staying sober in solidarity is what has worked for us. Living booze free is a HUGE adjustment. Huge. I felt socially discombobulated for many months. My friends are all pretty heavy social drinkers, and I love them and really started missing them. What works for me is that i have become everyone’s best daytime friend. Im the one who goes over for coffee, crafting days, recipe cook-offs, farmers market mornings… Many of my friends carry on with their drunk nighttime life, but I carry on, myself, with my evenings of playing music with my man and having hot sex for hours with a level of awareness and consciousness that my drinking self never knew…. okay, and i am usually in my pjs by 9… what can you do?

    • Emmet May 22, 2015 at 1:00 am Reply

      Love it. More power to you.

  38. Dave L February 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm Reply

    more power to ya kate! rock on πŸ™‚

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