Good Luck with the Book interviews Kate Gunn

Season 2, Episode 5: ‘To Drink or Not to Drink’
9 April 2021

Sarah and Jamie interview well-known blogger and features writer, Kate Gunn, about her new book, The Accidental Soberista. It follows her journey from a thirty-day drink free challenge that led to a blissful life without alcohol. Whether you are sober-curious or seeking encouragement to quit drinking, The Accidental Soberista provides serious inspiration.

Here’s an extract from the podcast. Full interview can be found here.

Jamie: Thank you so much for coming on Kate and having a chat with us about this. Even just to start, in the book you talk about having previously tried thirty-day challenges, which I've done and they were kind of hellish and very unpleasant to experiences, kind-of like Lent. What was it about this time that stuck for you?

Kate: Yeah, it's strange. I've thought quite a lot of that. I did a couple of dry Januarys and hated them. And I think part of it was, perhaps it just wasn't the right time in my life. I think it has to be kind of the right time for people. It was just the mindset shift, I think. This time, instead of like the deprivation and ‘I really wanting to drink but I'm going to deprive myself and the willpower was going to get me through until the end of dry January,’ it was the mindset, ‘Okay, what can I gain from this experience?’.  It was really simple, subtle shifts that really did make all the difference, unexpectedly.

Jamie: So, as you said, you reframed it to the payoffs of a kind of ‘new life’. You talk about the marathons and triathlons...

Kate: Yeah. But that wasn't my intention going into it. I had really gotten into it as a thirty-day thing to support my partner who was doing it. I was fine with drinking. I was enjoying my drinking life. So, it wasn't a case that like, ‘Oh, I really need to do this.’ Or, you know, ‘I'm gonna end uprunning a marathon at the end of it.’ It was really just, ‘How could we make it better so that it's not like this deprivation experience?’. So kind of focusing on, the early mornings or the fitness challenges and things like that, rather than the Friday nights and Saturday nights and not ‘allowed’ to drink. And that's really all it was at that stage.

Jamie: You pointed out something that is something I've realized recently. You talk about the importance of brunch which, as a non-drinker, has being amazing. That if you are a morning person, to reframe your friendships around that rather than at night.

Kate: The friendship thing. I was going to say, it is a weird thing. It's that whole question of why can't we be with our friends in a social situation and not drink? Why do we feel uncomfortable in those situations when you could be in like a coffee shop and feel totally fine but you just put yourself in a pub where other people are drinking and you suddenly feel really self-conscious and uncomfortable? Why is that? That's an interesting one to delve into.

Sarah: So, while I was pregnant I turned forty. I was primed for my birthday but then couldn’t drink. At the party, I was like, what is wrong with my friends? They're fine, like, for an hour and a half. And then suddenly there's just talking rubbish, saying the same thing over and over again. And like, you can literally only handle an hour and a half…

The full interview is on the Good Luck with the Book Podcast, Season 2, Episode 5: 'To Drink or Not to Drink'

The Accidental Soberista is available in all good bookstores.

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