Dear Person on Day One

Saturday 22 Apr, 2017, 1:29pm by Mrs D 33 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. Thank you. This is my day one… and I woke up with the words “today is the first day of the rest of my life” in my head before I read your blog. Here I go!

  2. I wonder why I continue to do things that I will regret later. Drinking is what promoted this thought but there are other things, too. Sometimes it is because i want relief from discomfort and am willing to pay the price, ither times it is as if I have amnesia and have forgotten the pain that follows my behavior – kind of like childbirth! Haha!

    1. I think about this too. Relief from discomfort and willing to pay the price. And then amnesia from the pain that follows the behaviour. Well said. A mixture of both for me. Actually I hadn’t drank in 7 days up until a few nights ago. What helped me stay sober those 7 nights was remembering how crap I felt from a hangover 8 nights ago. So the amnesia can lift if you really think about. Or perhaps some hangovers just really let you know exactly what your doing to yourself.

  3. On my day one my eldest daughter was in the hospital suffering from annorexia. My littlie was a surprisingly angry 9 year old. My finances were in a mess, my ‘career’ (if I could call it that) was just hanging in there, my anxiety and depression tooks turns at leading the miserable dance…
    Now I am at day 827, and to say it has turned around is the literally the biggest understatement of my life. My daughter is at normal weight and eats anything, my littlie is content and hopefully about to get the lead in the school musical, yesterday I presented in a board room to some of the leaders in our industry. And I have discovered that my default setting is to be largely free of anxiety and depression, that my true nature is one of happiness, positivity. People always comment on it. Funny, who knew what was waiting for me? and the only cost (because everything good has one) is a very occasional feeling of regret. So occasional I can’t believe it. I thought I would miss it forever and life would always have this huge gap where the bottle used to be. I’m lucky I got to discover this isn’t the case. Good luck xx

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. D! I had reached 154 days sober and was so proud of seeing the days mount up, the weight loss just from giving up the wine, the bags under my eyes disappearing, etc. All of a sudden I received a call that my dad was in the hospital and critically ill. Had to fly across the country at a moment’s notice and spend two weeks around my family, who are drinkers, in a very stressful situation. The very first night there, I accepted a glass of wine…and that did it! Flew home hungover, feeling totally disgusted with myself and determined to begin Day 1 again and get back to my sober living. The wine that was in the house and hadn’t been a temptation to me prior to the trip started calling my name. I drank an entire bottle of Chardonnay the first night home, replaced it the next day and drank it again last night. I just poured every bottle of wine we had down the drain. It is clear I’m not as strong as I thought I was, and the stresssful situation with my father hasn’t totally resolved. I need to be extra careful now. I’ve seen life sober and I love it! Your post was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Instead of feeling like a failure because I’m here at Day 1 AGAIN, I can see it as hopeful and exciting because there is a new life ahead. I also love not feeling alone as I read the comments from my fellow travelers on this journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Day 1, here we come!

  5. So, I’m back on day one for the 4th time. But, seem to be able to have one glass of wine and leave it at that. So, does this seem realistic? Could I have gradually weaned myself off the half-a-bottle-a-night habit? I would appreciate some advice from others,please.

    1. I can’t walk the moderation tightrope. I suppose that’s because I’m an alcoholic, and so I slip. No way I want to go back to the old way. Be careful that your one glass a night doesn’t go past your half a bottle all the way to a full bottle. These problems have a way of accelerating. There are many rewards to sobriety; one is that you can stop thinking about that one glass per day.

  6. I woke up this morning sober after giving in two night in a row. I had to pour out half a bottle of wine so as not to be tempted. I am not certain that i wouldn’t have drank it if it were here yesterday.

  7. With this being another day one for me, your blog post is perfect Lotta. Thank you for pointing out the bravery part…I have never thought of myself having that trait, but then I guess without it, people like us would just throw in the towel. It was with tears that my oldest daughter talked to me today about watching videos when I was a young mom, happy, carefree, not under the clutches of alcohol. And how it makes her sad to see what it has done to me since the divorce from her father. Just a very honest conversation that left me feeling empowered to make this my last “Day One.”

    1. It’s my day one again as well. My daughters are getting old enough to perceive what is going on and I want to be there, and be present, for them. Here’s to day one! May we find success and strength in our journey.

  8. Very well written. Day 1 is hard and hard whwn it keeps repeating.

    I also find Day 2s hard. My pattern when younger used to often be one day on alcohol, one day off and back into it on day two…

    Anyway awesome post

  9. I really needed to read this today, the weather here is beautiful and it’s got drink.. drink.. drink.. calling me. Lots of changes are happening to me some are tough and have to work through them like today. The best days are when I’m grateful for a sober life and life is good. I’ve had many day ones.. and I don’t want anymore I hit my rock bottom so will keep pushing through … it’s ok to have bad days/weeks they will change it’s life.. Thanks Lotta.

  10. A letter of hope, want, and vision. Of all the days in a in a SoberLife, D1 is truly the hardest. You can’t believe you can do it, but you want to so badly. Thank you so much for writing!

  11. Thank you – wonderful thing to read first thing in the morning. I’ve had a few Day Ones, and after “testing” myself a few times over the last 37 days I think I’m ready for it to stick. Thank you for this. :)

  12. Good morning Wow you just made my day 1 so much better when you said” 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’.
    Instead of thinking here we go again I am thinking yes we are here and its going to be quite a trip so lets get going I am brave not pathetic..
    Thank youx

  13. what the fuck I have denied so many years but I really fucked up……..thought I could actually say sorry thats just me ever 6 months losing it and not in the perfect place. What the fuck I messed up tonight and totally . !!!!! Cathie freeman suit of hell totally in denial. But fuck it cant go on

  14. Thank you for making us all feel welcome Lotta – as one who has had numerous day 1′s, this post brought me to tears. I’m tired of feeling ashamed. I want to be free. I’m determined to keep plugging away at my recovery. I’ve been trying different strategies in the hopes that one day it will all fall into place for me!

  15. Thank you Lotta. You spoke to me and I appreciate that just so much. I really believe I’ve had my last day 1. Although every day one has taught me so much about myself and my relationship with wine. It is a sad dismal maudlin relationship and has no place in my life. I would often poured out all my woes on FB. My profession would have started to deteriorate. I had already had days off because I was hung over. You have helped me save my life @mrs-d and I am so grateful to you and all the lovely people who share here xxxxx

  16. Feeling alone and anxious this sunny morning I remembered I am not alone.
    I looked up sober living and then read this.
    Just what I needed !
    Day 4 after nearly a year of being sober and I have been feeling really bummed in myself.
    Not to mention my partner is not speaking to me and has moved into the other room.
    My anxiety is back and I HATE HATE it !
    Reading this post and the comments reminds me l can only move forward.
    I promise to myself I will be kind and recover and to remember everyday I love my sober life :)

  17. I really needed to read this thankyou. Im reading your book at the moment and feel at long last Ive found someone who feels the same as me, That crazy voice in your head fighting to drink or not drink. Hopefully this will be my last day one. X

  18. This may be my new most favorite post ever of yours, and the competition for my most favorite post of yours is quite fierce! Thank you.

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