A soulmate. A partner in crime. A “rosé all day” kind of relationship that makes you happy with your hair in a bun and and no makeup on.
No, no. Not the song by Drake.
We’re talking real friendship. The kind every Lifetime movie celebrates, the one we only thought existed with Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins (or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler IRL).
The Sober Kates, or Big Kate and Little Kate, have this kind of friendship. The magical kind. The type that endures middle school, high school, and being college roommates. The type that survives partying too much, losing your way, and finding yourself again.
We found this incredibly dynamic duo on Instagram and their lust for life, for each other, was immediate. The title says it all; the Kates are here to show everyone that sobriety is the key to health and happiness and that you can live a fulfilling life too, no matter your circumstances.
We’re obsessed with their story and their mission. And we know that these two women are unstoppable forces of nature together, and they’re only getting started.
The Story of The Kates: Advokates & Besties For Life
We both have different stories, but I remember becoming friends in 8th grade since our lockers were near each other. But once we started running cross-country together in 11th grade we became close.
I’m not sure how much Big Kate likes this story but this is how I remember it. When we were in eighth grade we sat next to each other in most of our classes and had lockers next to each other.
I wasn’t much of a cool kid and I saw Katie as one of the popular girls. I used to let her cheat off of me in English class. Once we were in high school we sat near each other again because of alphabetical order.
I used to let her borrow my cell phone in 10th grade so she could text her boyfriend. We eventually got closer in high school from class and running cross country together, and in college we were roommates.
I knew we would be friends for life after that!
“We were literally a party entity.”
My background with alcohol is a complicated one. Cliché enough, I grew up thinking it was cool and glamorous to drink and do drugs; to be a stoner chick and have dark issues. Maybe I watched too many movies, but I could not wait for the opportunity for these things.
In high school I was a relatively good girl but once I got to college, well it was time to put these dreams into play. And I did. Ten-fold.
Smoke weed every day, uppers on the weekend, and Wasted Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fucked up Friday etc. We were there.
Did I mention we were college roommates? This is where “The Kates” were formed.
We were literally a party entity. We once bragged about drinking 34 days in a row. Like, what?
After college, that behavior did not stop. Once we were 21, things intensified.
In 2010, a drunk New Years Eve led my parents to force me into my first bout with sobriety. After 5 days and AA my dad told me I could drink if I wanted to. Something inside me decided to stick with it and I was sober (still smoked pot) for 13 months.
During that time, I got involved in a toxic relationship with a man who loved to drink more than he loved me. I broke down and started drinking again, and did so until March 2017.
I have always seen myself as pretty innocent, even naïve. I grew up very focused on my grades and heavily involved in sports and competition. I discovered drinking around the age of 13, but never got too involved with it.
To me it seemed like something cool kids did and I always idolized it. I was strict with myself in high school and always maintained a tight schedule.
I didn’t let loose until I secured my spot in college.
During senior year I started drinking frequently. By the time I graduated, I had gotten myself into some compromising situations, even an arrest.
I never felt like I had a group of friends before, so I drank whenever it presented itself. I even earned the name Miss Popular because I knew so many people. That definitely boosted my little nerd ego!
In 2006 I lost my older brother to an alcohol related death. This sent me into a tailspin of depression. I withdrew from school, but continued to live there and drink every day.
It felt like alcohol wasn’t enough to mask the pain I was constantly feeling.
People probably described me as a funny, enjoyable party girl, but once I started using cocaine I can admit that I turned into a scum bag.
Thankfully, as I got older, my alcohol tolerance got lower and my hangovers intensified. I was drinking three beers and waking up the next day feeling like complete shit, and even worse, I blacked the night out.
This was the real wake up call for me.
Just Going Through The Motions: Life Prior to Sobriety
What was life like before sobriety? Well. It’s hard to say because I barely remember.
All jokes aside, my life revolved around the party. Between Thursday through Sunday all I thought was, where are we going to get fucked up and rage?
And OMG the shame. It would take me until Wednesday to get over what might have happened during my black out.
Honestly, it was all self-medicating and self-abuse with booze, men, and drugs. My perspective on life was completely out of whack.
I would do things just for the story.
I was definitely going through the motions. I used any event as an excuse to binge drink, to get a little out of hand. Overindulging led to hangovers and I started dreading big events because I knew I was going to be drunk.
Any motivation or aspirations I had for my life were gone. I found it hard to do anything other than go to work during the week and drink on the weekends. It was a never ending cycle.
Bloody Marys & Hangovers: On Reaching Rock Bottom
The first time I considered sobriety was around December 2016. I woke up in the morning and thought, “fuck I drank so much last night I’m surprised I woke up this morning.”
And it kept happening, where I didn’t care if I woke up.
The following year on St. Patrick’s Day weekend was the final straw; I was completely out of control the entire weekend.
I had a trip to Key West planned the following week. I already knew before the trip that I was going to stop, but I drank in Key West and left my drinking problem there.
My last drink was half a Bloody Mary in the Key West Airport waiting for my flight.
My rock bottom was very anticlimactic.
I’ve been in plenty of compromising situations that should have been the bottom, but none of the shame and embarrassing stories stopped me.
My “rock bottom” was my physical body. During my last year of drinking, hangovers became the most physically brutal days of my life.
The last time I drank was on my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday. The three of us were at our favorite local bar taking shot after shot of rumpleminze (I know-ew).
The conversation was going in a circle as most drunk talks do. The next morning I felt like death and wondered what value that night brought to my life. Better yet, what value have most of those nights brought to my life?
It felt like living in the movie Groundhog Day. Life was the same thing everyday, wanting to change but not doing anything monumental to do it.
Big Kate previously suggested that I buy Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Drinking. I picked up the book the next day and never looked back.
Alcohol has done nothing but take my focus and attention off of things that matter to me. I was ready to love myself and put myself first for once.
A Sober Life is a Well Lived Life
Life is beautiful now. Having a life that is manageable is a gift. It’s like getting out of a toxic relationship. You didn’t know how bad it was, but now that it’s gone, it’s a weight lifted.
I’m happier and more myself than I’ve ever been.
It’s important to note that, once I stopped drinking, I thought my life would be solved. The opposite happened. Everything I drank to forget was now front and center, but I was better equipped to deal with it.
My depression and anxiety is finally under control. Life is still difficult at times, but I make better choices because I am falling in love with myself and my mind is clear.
I may look the same on the outside, but I feel so much better physically and mentally.
I still struggle with some aspects of life, like disliking my job sometimes and feeling stuck. But I can say that I am much more confident in what I want and what I don’t want.
I am finally proud to be who I am and I am not worried about what people think of me as much. I can tell my self-esteem has sky-rocketed.
I’m much more of a homebody these days, it’s what I’ve always naturally leaned towards. My introverted self is finally happy.
I am now a more present person and I have aspirations for myself that have long been dormant.
Slayin the Sobriety Stigma: The New Normal
For us it’s important to focus on healing the mind, body, and soul because if one is lacking it will throw everything off. They work together harmoniously.
Since I have depression and anxiety, I have to work harder to keep my mind in check. To do that, I need to balance my mind with what I’m doing with my body. That means eating healthy, working out to get rid of negative energy, and feeding my soul by looking inside to see how I am contributing to others happiness and freedom.
It’s a sweet balance. For us, doing anything fitness related is going to keep us in order. In fact, with having disordered thinking and mental health issues, order is the only thing that keeps me straight.
But being sober isn’t seen as normal.
We want to slay that stigma and show people, specifically millennials, that there can be a new normal. We want to break through the stigma because society tells us that it is much easier to drink than to tell your friends that party culture is killing you.
The things that drove me to excessively drink came from external sources that I was unable to internally process or express in a healthy way.
I grappled with depression and anxiety for the majority of my young adult life, but once I took alcohol out, I was surprised how quickly my anxiety dissolved.
I was self-loathing and so ashamed of myself. It then went after my body and finally my spirit. I don’t think people realize that alcohol can have that drastic of an effect on you.
I realized that the mind, body, and spirit are all connected and there is a delicate balance within them.
By eating clean, working out and meditating, I can keep everything in order and live to my fullest potential. I want people to see us and think “wow how can I get a life like them?”
We want not drinking to be the new normal thing in life.
A Healthy Mind is Priority #1
Once the mind is healthy, it will lead to everything else.
Once I started healing my mind with the help of a therapist I began my journey to freedom. Before, I could not even step in a gym because I was carrying around so much shame. Sometimes I could not even leave my house.
The mind is often overlooked because mental health also carries a stigma. These days everyone has to hold a strong front.
But that is not helping anyone. PLEASE ASK FOR HELP.
I became certified in Reiki I earlier this year with the intention to heal myself holistically. I also try to meditate daily to help clear my mind and center my emotions.
The country we live in focuses a lot on treating disease and not preventing it. For a health practitioner, it is easier to prescribe a pill and hope that the chemicals in the brain will balance themselves out.
The brain is still such a mystery to the healthcare world. Holistic approaches see things less in black and white and more as a range of causation.
I have noticed in recent years that many people are turning to holistic approaches instead of, or to compliment, Western medicine. I am hoping that in future years, holistic medicines will be more widely accepted.
Eat, Workout & Meditate the Advokate Way
My favorite workouts are short, sweet, and to the point. I need something to keep my attention. We both loveeee yoga; it’s the best for mind, body, and soul.
Food wise, I try to keep things simple during the week. Breakfast is overnight oats with blueberries, bananas, almond butter and cinnamon. Lunch is an arugula salad with a protein such as chicken or fish. And dinner is my version of a Chipotle bowl, carnitas with a fresh veggie and whole wheat quinoa. Yum!
I’m partial to high intensity workouts. I like to feel my muscles shake and have sweat dripping. I also love yoga. My favorite is usually a hot vinyasa class. I get the benefits of traditional yoga, but it makes me feel like I had a hard workout when I’m done and covered in sweat.
I don’t have many recipes to share now that I am a vegetarian, but I usually enjoy rice dishes with stir-fried veggies. I am also a big smoothie person! I usually make an almond milk-based smoothie with banana, strawberries, chocolate vegan protein and powdered peanut butter.
Party on the dance floor, no alcohol required
The weirdest thing happened once I stopped drinking: I found I could finally relax. This simple task, relaxing, was once so difficult for me. So I’d say I do a lot of that now, it’s fun for me.
My sense of adventure and thrill-seeking is also coming back. I love being out on the water so I’ve been waverunning and I even tried to wakesurf! Nature is some of the best therapy for me.
When out with drinking friends, I chug a Red Bull and head out to the dance floor. I’m good for about 2-3 hours of socializing before I need my bed. I still crave going out and socializing a lot, so bars and parties do not bother me.
I like doing outdoor activities. I am down to hike whenever. Don’t get me wrong though, I do also like staying in whenever I get the chance and watching movies!
I am also getting into the world traveling game. I went to Bali and Thailand this summer, and now I am hooked on traveling!
Surprisingly, when we go out with friends that do drink, we haven’t changed. This past weekend we were at a bar with a DJ and band, so Big Kate and I barely left the dance floor.
I like to think we usually steal the show! The only difference now is that I can’t last until 4am like I used to. It’s funny because most people can’t even tell we aren’t drinking when we are out.
“But I finally realized I had her & she’s my person”
My main motivation is ME! Half kidding here, because Little Kate was my driving force. I always worried that if I quit drinking I would lose all my friends, but I finally realized I had her and she’s “my person.”
She’s all I need.
Another motivator comes from seeing close friends suffering through tragedies and being strong despite them. It made me realize I’m throwing my life away – a life so precious and fortunate – because I can’t put down the bottle.
And, back to me, I finally realized I do deserve to have happiness and to love myself and to be the best version of myself I can be.
A lot of my motivation comes from within me. I am motivated to be present for the people in my life.
I recently returned from a trip to Bali that was such an eye opening experience. Balinese people have very little to their name, but family is their biggest priority and they are always there for each other.
When I was drinking I was never present.
My little brother is also a huge motivation for me. He is seven years old and looks up to me as a friend and role model. I never felt like I gave him enough of myself when I was drinking. Now I want him to grow up remembering that I was always available to show him love and take him for new experiences.
It also motivates me to think, if I died tomorrow, what would people remember about me? I would hate for it to be that I was a half assed person who loved a good party. I want to be remembered as an inspiration that made a difference.
We don’t give the label of alcoholism the power. We are the powerful ones.
That there are options, there are so many different ways to help yourself. You have to find what works for you.
We don’t identify or label ourselves as alcoholics because giving it a label is giving power back to the alcohol. But we are the powerful ones.
Today’s society puts drinking on a pedestal and has made it the trendiest thing to do with every activity. The risks are not communicated enough.
Drinking alcohol is not the natural thing our bodies want- it’s literally poisoning ourselves.
If you’re focusing on leading a healthy life, there is no place for alcohol to fit in.
I would love to help set the trend that drinking less is actually cool. There are so many other ways to live sober besides the traditional AA route.
If I could stress anything it’s this- if you are questioning your drinking, it is probably time to stop.
Work hard. Be yourself. Love yourself. Own your awesome.
Although I don’t go to 12-step there’s a saying, “it works if you work it, so work it because you’re worth it.”
If you want your truth, you have to work, you have to work hard. Painfully, soul crushingly hard. But it’s so worth it. It’s the best gift you can give yourself, but you have to be willing to do it 100%.
Give up everything to get everything. Oh and take all the credit.
Another note, a PSA, if your friend has stopped drinking please NEVER say to them “well someday you can have some wine (or any alcoholic beverage) here or there.”
Would you tell someone addicted to cocaine, “well someday you can have another bump, if you are mature about it and use in moderation.” NO!!!!!
I want people to know that it’s ok to be yourself. In every aspect of life there will be bullies trying to tell you what’s cool and what’s lame.
And you are always going to come across people in your life that are going to suck up all your energy and spread negativity.
I can honestly say that I still have bad days, but I’m genuinely happy with who I am now. I’m not living to appease other people or walk on eggshells after a blackout.
Sobriety has become the most empowering time of my life. I have finally taken back control of my self.
It’s now cool to have your own voice and be a badass inspiring person! Own your awesome!
👇 find the Kates here! 👇