Dear Person on Day One

Saturday 22 Apr, 2017, 1:29pm by Mrs D 96 comments

Welcome to a very special day – the first day of the rest of your life!

I know that’s a terrible cliche but image that it’s true. Imagine that from today things start to really turn around for you. Imagine that today heralds the start of a massive period of self-growth. Imagine that today you set a new more positive course for your life. Imagine if today you say goodbye to all that angst and misery that alcohol has given you.

Day Ones are hard. They’re also rather exciting. My Day One was both. It started at 3am when I awoke sick as a dog and full of misery (and probably half cut from all the wine I drank the night before). I cried on and off through the morning and felt like utter shit.  I slowly rehydrated and recovered from my alcohol excesses and was left just feeling tired and flat. I  went to bed early in a less-than-chirpy mood.

But my Day One was also quietly fabulous. In the depths of my despair I made a big and exciting decision that this was it. No more drinking. No more alcohol in my life – ever. Despite my self-esteem being shot I managed to tap into the wise, brave and strong part of me that desperately wanted to get out. I summoned enough grit to write myself a letter that set out my intention to learn how to live sober. I got a whiff of change and I believed that change could come.

I only ever had one Day One. But that’s not how it goes for everyone. Some people have a couple. Some people have many – they’re the really brave ones. They keep coming back, keep trying again to tap into that wise, brave and strong part of themselves that is desperate for change. They keep proclaiming ‘Today is Day One’.

I don’t care if you’re on your first Day One or your fiftieth Day One – you are welcome here. And whether today is your first Day One or your fiftieth Day One it might just be the one to finally stick. So tomorrow will be Day Two, and so on and so on. One day at a time you will carve out a new life.

A sober life. Not a life free from sadness and pain – that sort of life doesn’t exist – but a life grounded in truth and honesty and bravery.

So Dear Person on Day One – I salute you.  I am excited for you. I know what hard work it is going to take for you to move through the days ahead but believe me when I say: It is so, so, so worth it.

And one day in the future you’ll look back and be thankful for this Day One, just like I’m thankful for mine.


  1. How are you going? I am the same as you. When I get drunk and I don’t care about my family, the days following are full of awful hatred. I too say abusive things to and about my husband! I’m 2nd time around on day 2!

  2. Omg you are amazing! Have tried to post things before but I’m crap with computers!!! I’m currently seeing steph from nelson who you know.( addiction nurse) she speaks very highly of you!! She suggested that I put it out there that with regards to my drinking why do I worry so much bout not having it? It feels like I’m grieving has anyone else had this feeling? I have other issues due to historic sexual abuse and depression and severe anxiety. Its been hell but with steph help I feel like iv just creaked the door open. I’m real scared.

  3. I am on Day 2 today. I hate what its done and doing to my life. If anyone is in Auckland and wants to do this sober life with me…please get in touch. Or if there is someone who has years of sobriety please message me. I AM READY to be sober for the rest of my life!!! Enough.

  4. I feel you well done! I have been getting help but I am not strong. Its only the start as iv only had one session, not an excuse though. Man its so hard keep feeling like I can see the light then it goes. I just feel so weak and tierd. I have extreme anaxity and depression. Iv haved a good week going to work and getting on with things, but I’m scared. What if I don’t to it and fail??.sorry this sounds so crazy. Just getting it out helps.

  5. I’ve been a chronic relapses for two years. Although I’m no longer a daily drinker and go strecthes of days, weeks and even 3 months of being sober that voice inside gets in my head like a jackhammer screaming it s ok. Well that one drink turns into many in a hurry .i am so done .
    So now it’s day 20? Or 21 again . What is different this time is that i finally surrendered to the fact I’m an alcoholic. I wake up ask God to keep me sober and I read this post (dear person on day 1)
    Every morning . I try to go to a couple of aa meetings a week . Visualizing my self the last time I slipped up and felt so sick that I felt a hospital trip was in order: I deserve better !
    Thank you mrs d !!!!!
    Ps love the new book too

  6. I loved reading this- it gives me confidence and feels like some of the fear has been removed. Onwards and Upwards! Love and strength to you all x

  7. I’m back to day one. I made it six days and the monkey in my mind won the argument this time. I’m trying not to be mad at myself, I’m trying to understand and support myself. Why is that so hard? My power was out yesterday, so I went an entire day without Mrs. D’s blog. Won’t let that happen again. Time to get her on my phone too.

    Happy day,

  8. Thank you for the welcome, I’m feeling sad and angry and overwhelmed and a bit hopeless today, I gave up alcohol 2 years ago on november 1st and lasted nearly 6 months, through Christmas and everything but convinced myself that I could just have a few every weekend obut not go back to everyday drinking, my friends all helped me see I had never had a problem in the first place, always limited myself and just had a few most nights like everyone else in this crazy world.
    Of course I was wrong, I’m back in the trap, dri.king everynight, obsessing and thinking about it all the time, battling anxiety, guilt and wanting to be a better person for myself and my kids so hello day one and hello to all ye brave people out there on your journies xxx

    1. How you doing, Dancingdream9? You are not alone. I am a chronic relapser wanting a forever sober life. I have told myself so many times that I can go back to drinking normally after 1 year sober, than again after 1.5 years sober, 3 years sober and most recently another year sober. It never ever works and I always always end up back in the same place you are talking about. RRM

  9. hi.

    this is my ‘day one’ (not my first day one).

    I accidently found this site. I was trying desperately to reach out to a local organisation and when all I got was a voicemail . . . I cried.

    I know the world doesn’t revolve around me and my problems, but I felt like “dear God, I won’t make it if someone doesn’t help me”

    I don’t know how I’ll go this time, but I’m actually feeling positive (right now anyway).

    I just really wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of you that have shared your stories. you have helped me get through day one, and for that I am extremely grateful.


  10. I have Day 1′s constantly. Sometimes daily….once I lasted a full year. This is a bumpy road I am traveling on….my vulnerabilities sometimes get the best of me …… I will keep coming until my very last Day 1
    That is the honest truth for today.

  11. OMG. I heard about this site on the Bubble Hour podcast today. I can’t believe what I am reading. So grateful to be here. Thanks for all who shared. Day 1, Moon

  12. It’s a great site but honestly I think you are missing out on all the people who initially just want to cut back on their drinking. Maybe they need to not drink at all, but where they are at now is not the mindset of “I’m never going to drink again.” Surely there are more people out there who think this other than me??

  13. Hi there

    Zillions of Day 1′s – I have had. I stopped today at 12 midday 3hrs and 10mins ago. Feel utter despair and self hatred. Have had long sober periods so I know the other side of this. How it is to feel alright about self and life.
    Anyways. Here I go again.

  14. It was so nice to slink back here, with my head down in shame, and then to be greeted by this welcoming post. Thank you; it makes my heart happy to be back here in this supportive place, and back on my own sober path. You are the best.

  15. Thank you Mrs D for this site. And for everyone in the community who has posted so far. All my other Day 1′s have been with me alone. Feels better to share xx

  16. Today is my fourth day one. This is it. Tired of filling the vodka bottle to hide how much I’ve had. How ridiculous. I know it won’t be easy but I can do this. Time for some reflection and some work on myself.

  17. I’m so thankful for this site and that I found it. So many times in the last few years I have promised myself that I will stop drinking and so many times I have let myself and others down. I know I have to give up drinking completely. I no longer have control over alcohol and it is a poison that is ruining my life and hurting those close to me..
    While I’ve known for a while that I have a problem, I hadn’t admitted how bad it was until tonight after reading others stories, so many of which could be mine.
    No more, today is my day one.

  18. Today is my DAY ONE. Feeling a little lonely and afraid. This morning I felt like it was going to be ok, But all of a sudden, after texting with my soon to be ex husband, I’m feeling even more alone. I have to go to a staff dinner tonight and I just want to make it through without drinking any alcohol. But I’m feeling so sad and nervous right now.

    1. Hi Clarke;
      You are not alone. We can all do this. Today is day 4 for me. It is not easy but I beleave better days are ahead. We need to resist the evil and fight every hours every minutes every seconds of its calls.
      I started many times day One. I want to fight the shame, the sadness, the loss of dream and hope, the feeling of useless and not worthy. So many things we lose with the addiction but finding and starting the journey to living sober bring a smile on my face and so much compassion toward people who are struggling… like me.

  19. I have had a few Day Ones, but I am determined to make this my last one. I feel completely overwhelmed with my hectic life, and feel like I should be working on other things right now. But I know I need to find some support, and I am glad I found this site. I could hardly get my child to school this morning thanks to the monster hangover I had from my nightly bottle or two of wine. I want more for myself. I need to make this change for myself, and my family. My daughter and husband deserve more from me. It’s time to gather up all the strength I have left and work towards being healthy again.

  20. This is my first proper day. Had many half-hearted attempts, but something feels different. I’ve had enough of the early morning dread-filled wake-ups, questioning myself as to why I couldn’t stop. I’m fed up of glaring at my dinner guests wineglasses to make sure there’s enough left for me. I’m fed up of ‘that voice’, urging me on, teling me ‘just one more, or ‘go on, treat yourself’. I’m fed up of having stomach cramps, headaches and being almost permanently tired. Reading this blog and Mrs D’s book made me realise that I’m not alone and that by confronting this devil, I’m taking back my life and have nothing to be ashamed of. Not any more. This is my first day, I will hold onto those reasons why I will no longer drink. I wish you all the very best of luck xx

  21. Today is day one of this particular round of drying up. I was sober for a few months last year and it felt really great and then I lied to myself that I would never drink to the point of changing my personality. I would drink in ‘moderation’. Well I guess I did more than I didn’t, but there have still been more than a few instances that I turn into someone I don’t like. Someone I hate, actually. The first time I ‘quit’ drinking it was because my husband and I drove drunk with my son in the car, got pulled over, and let go. I felt such shame. I can’t even describe it. Omg. I have decided to get sober (and hopefully stay sober) this time because (among other things) I went to card game, got totally drunk, talked terrible crap about my husband to people he sees all of the time and then DROVE home. I have a 3 mo. old and a 2 year old. Not only could I not take care of my 3 mo. old, but we were taking my 2 year old somewhere special the following morning. I knew this and had been looking forward to it for a long time. Instead of enjoying the day with my baby boy, I wished I wasn’t there the whole day. It makes me super sick to stomach to admit that, but that’s the truth. Because of booze, and my lack of control. I never want to do that again. Ever. Here to day one of forever!

    1. I could have written so many of these posts. I hit rock bottom in the weekend and the worst part was – I didn’t even think it was rock bottom. Went away with my 2 girlfriends for a weekend in Wellington to see the World of Wearable Arts. We had some drinks, I had more, then I got a bottle of wine and talked through the whole show, resulting in them telling me to F* off – so I did. Walked back to the hotel in the dark where I then decided drinking with the 20 something concerge was a great idea. Had to knock on the door and get my friends to let me in where I then proceeded to shout throughout my drunken sleep and bang on walks etc keeping both of them awake. To say I ruined the weekend is an understatement. And after planning this for 6 months, away from the hubby and the toddler – it was awful. I’m soooooo done being that horrible drunk friend. I’m just terrified now of failing. I can go a day or 2 without a drink but never longer than that and it’s always a struggle. Then I say “I will just have one drink” then I have “just one more” and then next thing you know *bang* I’ve finished the bottle of wine, start necking beers, then even whiskey, go to bed drunk, keep my husband awake, can’t see to my toddler, then have to either go to work, or do toddler things which I want to be present at – not bloody nursing a hangover.

  22. My day one was 2 days ago, I’m alone in a city I don’t know, with overseas work colleagues that I am meeting for the first time so it feels like the perfect time to stop drinking! Tonight when we go for dinner I will say no thanks and enjoy the night without wondering what they think of me when I drink too much and turn into a slurring idiot! I can do this!

  23. I heard someone on the radio talking about over coming there addiction that stuck.

    If you give up and white knuckle it through each and every day you are going to fail as you were always in your head going back.
    I don’t see a half way on alcohol, once you cant control it you probably never will.
    So the day you stop think of it as being over, that life is gone the same as if it had died. You can mourn it but it will never come back.
    If there is no day in your future with alcohol then you truly can plan ahead. Still easy and you miss it like your best friend but its gone.

  24. Years of Day 1′s, today is another one the only difference is I came across this website. I think you may have saved my life. Crying in bed feeling guilty about drinking, anxiety about the future. Ive always felt so alone in this battle with alcohol and afraid to include anyone else in on my ” its day 1″ secret so when I cave in each night there is no one there to hold me accountable.

  25. I am on day 9 and have just joined the living sober group today.
    I love reading about the others who have gone before me and how they are still living life alcohol free.
    That will be me in time I just need to hang in there.
    I didn’t drink any alcohol today…

  26. Thank you so much. I too have all the cyclical issues. Stop for a few days, think oh I’ll have a glass of wine with the boyfriend, relax, unwind this turns into a full bottle. Then little comments that I would nor!mally brush off when im sober turn me into full explosive anger mode. Cue argument, fight, regret, self loathing and the eelingblike you are completely in this alone. Now I feel I’m not he only one. My partner doesn’t get it but I need support from somewhere if I am going to be strong and successful in this journey from my last day 1. Thank you for this site. Xx

  27. I am struggling with this too…but its has hard when alcohol has always been a part of the relationship but had caused the relationship so much pain…

  28. I thought I was the only one who hid in bed with shame for days on end, trying to remember what I did, what I said, looking at peoples faces for telltale signs. Regret, guilt, self torture and sadness. Day 1 was bad, Day 2 is a little better, there is a seed of Hope that grows within me.

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