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.

96 comments

  1. I could ditto your whole comment I had stopped for a month in may and stupidly thought I could go back to moderate drinking, I’ve drunk everyday since, even though I’ve run my business etc it’s not really living in the present, I’m just drowning my feelings. I’ve done it before and can do it again, this time I want to stick to it

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  2. So grateful for your post Mrs D and to everyone that has shared so honestly. It really does help to read, to know I’m not alone, and that this shitty ordeal with alcohol is not unique to me (without wishing this on others at the same time).
    I am a veteran of day ones after my drinking spiralled out of control back when I was 16. Within months I was already trying to stop, others were wishing I would too. I’ve been to rehab, to detox several times, and now I’m 33 finally feel like I was making some good progress with AA (which I have come and gone). 8 months sobriety and I decided I was feeling strong. Enrolled in postgraduate study which required me to travel from my new safety net. Now I’m back beating myself up with remorse and shame. The sneaky voices got loud as soon as I was away and I caved. 24 hrs later with a 40oz down I had faceplanted into the concrete and decided booking a plane home to get back on the wagon was my only option. I’ve withdrawn from study and spent the last three days in bed refusing to leave, full of fear that my alcoholic voice will lead me to the rocks. I’ve just finished reading the book, Mrs- d goes without and thought, maybe adding an online community to my toolbox can help me too. Anything is worth a shot when you’re desperate to survive, especially since I feel like I’m now carrying a time bomb in my head.
    I’m exhausted, and desperate to survive this. So really grateful I could share this, get it off my chest, even without leaving my room. Especially since my nose is all scraped up from my fall and the sparkle and smile has left my face. I’m relying on the basic idea that if you keep coming back it works if you work at it…. Eventually as you said, you’ll have the last day one.

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  3. This is my first day one. I am so desperate to make this my first and last but I’m not sure that will be the case. It can be a frightening prospect facing your addiction head on but having found this site it feels a little less lonely

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  4. I love this….. I’ve had a bit of a “dabble” with day 1′s….. My journey to where I am now began with an acceptance of what I was doing…..then I read your book……Had a few periods of no alcohol over the last few months, but I always created a reason to drink…… today’s been a shit of a day, I DESERVE this wine! I’ve had a GREAT day, I feel like a wine…..I’ve got the day off, let’s have a wine…….Finally, it took my two beautiful girls to talk to their Dad (who’s away a lot) and say that they were worried about me, that I was drinking more than usual and not interacting with them in a good way….. I felt sick!!! But I wasn’t surprised… I already knew it……I was more disappointed in myself for not getting my shit sorted out sooner – before they noticed? Anyway, today is Day 6 for me…. I’ve just joined this community. Loving it! X

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    1. @steviebee – How is it going. I am on Day 2 – also had periods of no drinking (30 day challenges etc) but came back harder every time. Sad, but this will have to be a for ever thing!? Hope you made it!

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  5. My day one isn’t over yet I have a few more hours to go and T’s been a day filled with guilt (I get bad drinkers remorse even if I didn’t do anything bad) but on the bright side I made an appointment to meet with a therapist today so baby steps I guess.

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  6. 3rd day one. 6 clear days for the first time a month ago …1 day the second time a week ago …now feel paranoid anxious self loathing bad sleep etc try again!

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  7. I too am on my 100th day one. I have been sober before through AA several times. I live in a remote area though and AA has all of 6 people in it here all with 25+ years. All they do is whine (wine) about their drinking days. Anyway, two night ago i was out drinking and someone spiked my drink and my brother’s drink. We were both really ill, all day. So that should have been day one, but of course the next day, yesterday, I felt great and had an entire bottle of wine. Now feeling like shit again and we all know how this feels. I have such low self esteem around this issue and lack confidence that i can be sober again.

    I want sobriety again. I want today back, that will not happen. I want my Thursday night last week back. I want my life back, i want my beer belly to go away, i want the courage to give or pour out all the IPA’s in my fridge, I want help and i am an alcoholic.

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  8. My day one today, I went out bought your latest book and ordered first one on your sight. Spent heaps of time reading your inspirational stories on your blog. Drank heaps of water, changed a few routines that would have seen me finish the wine in the fridge and open more. Kept right away from the wine aisle at supermarket. Feel ok, focused and really need to do this.Thank you already for your open door and out reached arms.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this. I’m day one-ing yet again. I’m looking forward to finding out what its like when I’m not looking at life through the bottom of a bottle

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  10. Today is my Day 1 again after many previous failed attempts..this has really inspired me and Im hoping this will be it..I love the support i have seen so far x

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  11. It’s both reassuring and sad to read how familiar everyone’s story is. I find it much harder to not have a wine or 2 (or a lot more on weekends, or when stressed and all the other usual excuses) when my husband is drinking in the evenings. It’s a social thing, to catch up at the end of the day. Of course I know I could easily do this with tea! So clearly it’s about more than the catching up and talking thing. Keen to hear others experiences of getting sober while living with someone who still imbibes. I don’t feel like it’s fair to ask him to stop since I don’t think his drinking is as problematic as mine (I have a long patchy history with it).

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  12. This is my day 1; again! Something is different this time. I have been trying to convince myself that I can drink moderately but I finally accept the fact that I can’t. I kept thinking I did not REALLY have a problem because I only drank red wine; hard liquor, beer did not entice me at all. I started going to a wonderful counselor a couple of years ago to get help dealing with grief and something traumatic related to that grief. With her help I worked through those issues but lo and behold my drinking is now the major topic of our sessions together…..I have been in denial but finally realize I have become addicted to an addictive substance! Sorry to be rambling on but just wanted to start sharing my sober journey. I am very grateful for this website and all of y’all’s support! We are on this journey together!

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    1. Me too, totally relate. This is day one ‘again’ for me. Last year I went six months without alcohol and mistakenly thought, I’ve got this, I will be ok drinking again. However, dam it, my drinking quickly escalated to old habits. I keep thinking I will stop next week, when my stress settles down, but that week has never come.

      I have accessed this site previously and found the support amazing, so here goes, Day One again.

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  13. Shame is such a force in my life it covers me, feels like it’s eating me;all of me . Just even thinking I could have time without this shame gives me comfort. I’m so grateful for these posts and for Mrs D book. So grateful that there is a way out. It’s my day one but not my first but it is my first with this kind of communication and community of people who know really know how this feels. To be called brave! Such kindness

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  14. It was great to read these encouraging words as I prepare to get free again. Stopped for 15 months and it was starting to feel normal not to drink, then, sure enough, my attempt to be an occasional drinker didn,t succeed and for whatever reasons…… it has been normal of late to down the wine most days with boring predictability. There are so many reasons why it would be better not to do this, so I am going to try again.
    Refusing to let this get the better of me even if it doesn,t feel great for me to be public as it wouldn,t be long and I would be sharing all manner of details, which is what happens when you are inclined to write!!
    There is always something uplifting on the site (and sometimes quite gripping!) although I have been on here very little in the past year. Technology does some freaky things when we haven,t grown up with it, a microphone just appeared on the screen for instance. Anyway, warm wishes to you all, may we stay strong.

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  15. Day one again for me. I got totally stinking drunk last night. With the old party crew. I felt so embarrassed and ill this morning. I’m feeling better now. I think what saved me last night was eating before I crashed. So, I drank a kale smoothy this morning. Yeah, it’s gross, but does help A LOT. Tomorrow, I’m going back to the gym. Let’s try exchanging a bad lifestyle for a healthy one.

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  16. Great post Mrs D and very relevant for me as I hesitated about coming back here as I was embarrassed that I had started drinking again. I even thought about setting up a new profile as a new person to avoid the embarrassment, but decided it was better to be honest. I’m very wobbly today after a very bad nights sleep tossing and turning, trying to make the decision on trying to moderate versus giving up and a little bit sad and disappointed that I am not strong enough to just moderate or drink weekends like everyone else. I am sitting in the lounge with a messy house and heaps to do, with my laptop on my lap, writing here instead of getting on with the chores for today, but I just felt I needed to get this started as my first tool in my toolbox!

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  17. Well this is my day one. So happy to find this place….a much needed source of inspiration and hope. I am not keen on going the AA route but am keen on getting support​. Obviously my approach could change but today I’m here and looking for your wisdom. Thank you.

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  18. Thanks, @mrs-d. This is likely more than my fiftieth day one and I feel so incredibly ashamed, but you’ve said I’m welcome here, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here I go again!

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  19. Mrs D, I saw your story on telly a few years back. I thought it was wonderful and brave that you outed yourself as an out of control drinker like myself, but you had and still have the courage to do something about it. I thought wow! you inspired me.
    But here I am still on the ‘ let’s have a wine or 6 it’s fun’ to the self loathing and exhaustion that goes with that hangover, yes that merry-go-round. But only merry with a few wines under the belt.
    So today is my Day One. Not my first day one by far, but the first where I feel I am not going it alone, and so just maybe I have a chance of succeeding.
    So here goes and thankyou x

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  20. Yes I specialized in day one s …and after having a heartfelt talk with the hubby before I want with all my heart to never ever have to say .. oops day one again ! It amazing the amnesia that’s sets in around day 5 out from the last horrific hangover spent dying in bed

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  21. Thank you so much for your day 1 message. It’s positive and actually makes me feel like I can do this. This is probably my 100th day 1 so I’m feeling a bit tired, but so totally ready. My drinking needs to stop NOW. I should never drink again for any reason. I need to remember how I used to deal with stress when I had healthy coping skills. It wasn’t that long ago. Here’s to a new day being positive and reminding myself of my strong character traits. Today I will take good care of myself by not drinking.

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  22. 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.”

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    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.

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  23. 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.

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    1. Stay strong. Just happened to me too. Let my guard down and ended up drinking a bottle of wine, fighting with my husband and waking up with a hangover. Start again.

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  24. 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!

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    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.

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