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Getting through wine o’clock

July 24, 2014 820 comments

Late in the afternoon is often the hardest time. How do you get through the witching hours without drinking?

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820 comments

  1. I read this earlier in WFS and it really took me back to the last year of me drinking. My best tool is thinking through the drink
    I never want to return to this reality

    Dairy of drinking:
    4am – oh god, it’s only a few hours until I have to get up.

    6am – snooze button, snooze button, why did I drink so much?

    7am – I really need to get up, I’m gonna be late for work, I’m not drinking this evening, I promise.

    7.30am – I’m gonna be sick, I just brushed my teeth and I feel awful. My stomach hurts, I just threw up in the shower, brush my teeth again, mouthwash, my stomach hurts.

    8am – Driving into work, hope I don’t get stopped by the police, I’m probably still drunk, please don’t let me get stopped by the police, let me just get to work and I’ll never do it again.

    9am – I’ve made it to work, were’s the coffee, I need some gum, hope my manager doesn’t notice, coffee and gum, coffee and gum, no one will notice, I can get through this, only 8 hours to pass.

    11am – I have a client, hope they don’t smell the alcohol on my breath, I need more gum and more coffee, I can do this, just get through this one meeting.

    1pm – Made it to lunchtime, get something to eat, soak up that alcohol, I’m almost there, half way through the day, you’re nearly there, just hang on.

    3pm – Afternoon coffee, have a few cups, I’m not feeling too bad, what am I doing this evening? I’ve no plans, I may as well enjoy self, maybe I should have a beer, watch a film, kick back!! 

    5.30pm – Clocked out of work, feeling alright, on the way home, there’s the liquor store, it would be no harm in picking up a little something for later, I deserve it, I’m feeling good.

    7pm – Cooking dinner, let’s open that wine, this is what people do, a few glasses of wine with dinner, nothing to worry about.

    10pm – Might as well have a few after dinner drinks as I watch TV, a few whiskies before bed, what can it hurt.

    2am – Just woke up on the Sofa, really need to go to bed, dear god hopefully I’m not too hungover in the morning, let’s drink plenty of water, hopefully I’ll be fine in the morning.

    4am – Oh god, it’s only a few hours until I have to get up!!!!

    146
    1. Yup. The incredible thing is how quickly the brain goes from ‘I’m never going to do this again’ to ‘I deserve a drink tonight’. Totally nuts.

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      1. It’s true that there’s a window of time where I often cannot talk myself out of having a drink. It’s usually from about 2pm to 7pm. If I make a commitment to take a night class or if I have plans that keep me busy until about 7pm then I’m often good to go and craving goes away. If I can just get past that awful window. My plan is to focus on breaking this bad habit and I will reach a point where I forget about alcohol. Now I am still in the daily struggle stage, but it will pass if I stay strong. Today I will concentrate on good healthy living.

        21
      2. @Cecelia In the beginning, what really helped me was to spend time with me, doing self-care, during those hours. I would get home from work and have a bath, take my dogs for a walk or do a word puzzle. I never drank while I cooked so that was easy. I cooked and ate as quickly as I could. Once I ate, the craving disappeared. You can also listen to AA podcasts or SinceRightNow ones, they are good. I did this usually the hour before work ended for the day. Sometimes I would listen to them in my car on my way home.

        7
    2. That sounds very much like my story. Pouring my glass of wine at 4:30… keep pouring till I’m 1/2 way through my “big” bottle of wine.. recently downing 3/4 of the bottle nightly. Then when i realize how much I drank, i switch to my hubby’s whiskey drinking a few whiskey/waters to enhance the buzz before bed. Saving some of the wine for the next drunken night so my husband can’t say you drank the whole bottle in one night? ???
      Waking up in middle of the night, having to go to the bathroom, trying to drink lots if water to squash hangover,. stomach hurts, worried I wont be able to make it through the work day, cant sleep…. Saying I’ll not drink again. Like you. Well, on day 14 no alcohol. I feel like I’m in a new world.

      69
      1. This is exactly what I do! Or now, used to do. I’d switch to my husband’s vodka so he didn’t know how much I drank. Sleepless nights of drinking tons of water. I wish I would have found this site sooner! Thanks for sharing!

        16
      2. This is me. I am on day 3. The anxiety is starting to get to me so planning on yoga tonight to fill my time and hopefully get rid of some of the anxiety. Eating everything in site as well! Giving myself a little forgiveness with that for a couple days if it keeps me from drinking.
        So, if I didn’t have my own hidden stash of wine or vodka (cause it can’t look like I finished the bottle) I would drink his but then the next day I would have to rush to replace just in case he wanted a drink and noticed a lot was missing. He doesn’t drink that much and has that amazing “off” switch that I wish I had. i don’t think he is taking me very seriously. Which makes me wonder, I guess I hid it a lot better than I thought. He definitely noticed when I would get that vacant look in my eyes and not remember the night before. he thinks I just need to control myself. I think I am going to have to have a serious conversation which scares me. It’s shameful.

        7
    3. You describe perfectly the eternal battle that we have with alcohol……I have a long history of chronic alcoholism and had a long period of sobriety, 27 years before relapsing, which has been happening on and off over the past 8 years. I am now almost three months sober, and feel so much better, able to socialize, enjoy just being able to do the ordinary things without stress or anxiety, physically well, compared to constantly feeling nauseous and anxious, my husband is happy, my friends are happy, and I am happy. But I dread the situation that seems to always arise, when I am so stressed and anxious that I automatically reach for alcohol, and when this happens I seem unable to think of the consequences. I do not go to A.A. but they say that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful, and it surely is. When you give in to this disease it takes over your life, and everything revolves around it. It is so good to be able to make choices without having to consider arranging my alcohol stash in case I run out. I am gaining strength from reading all your posts and it is so good to know I am not alone. I wish you all sobriety…..no matter how long it takes and how many times you have to try, keep doing it, it is worth it for a happier life……..flossie.

      42
      1. You are so right. During the day, it’s easy to ponder the consequences and determine no more alcohol. But then it’s evening, and somehow I think that pattern won’t happen this time. And then it does. It’s as though the brain gets rewired and tricked. Having difficulty getting the brain to focus on those consequences in the evening. If I can make it though the evening, I’m fine for the night. Tough going!

        6
      2. @lulud it felt like you were writing about me!! That is exactly how I would sneak my alcohol so that hubby couldn’t track how much I’d drunk. Towards the end I wasn’t bothering to mix it, just long, brutal chugs straight from the whiskey bottle. Then running to replace it the next day lest he should find out. I lost count if how many times I “refilled” that bottle. So much easier to not have to worry about that now.

        1
      3. Hi Flossie, I have been using the app insight timer for a while now. It has helped me come to my recent intent to be alcohol free. Go well, Bjohn.

        0
    4. This was me on a daily basis. The morning always started with “I’m not drinking tonight!” and by 3:00pm I was obsessing about alcohol. I stopped my cycle on Jan 11th and although it has been tough, I have been fighting the good fight. I am glad I stumbled onto this site.

      38
    5. wow, this so sounds like a story out of my diary… and am celebrating my 11-th day of soberness today. didn’t know I was capable :-)

      question though – does anyone experienced headaches (ha, not the hangover ones)? seems like I’m having one on a daily basis, starting around 5 pm? why?

      thanks you all

      36
      1. Yes headaches daily and I’m not sleeping too well either. Day 10 for me today. Maybe we need more water. Hang in there. xx

        4
      2. hi

        Yes I got headaches for the first couple of weeks-started trying to have a fresh juice ie carrot, beetroot! apple , ginger etc any kinda liver cleanser fruits & veggies…and def drink lots of water…

        4
    6. I have only just joined living sober, I joined because today is the first day, for me, of trying again to get sober.
      This “diary of drinking” describes my daily routine exactly! The passing out on the sofa, the then sleepless night, praying to not be stopped by police on my way to work…the gum!!! And Repeat!
      I find myself taking comfort from finding others who truly understand. Thank you for that.

      24
      1. That was me: drinking wine until 11p or 12a then rolling off the couch at 5a for work, hoping I wouldn’t get stopped by the police & always carrying a pack of gum! Glad I am not the only one.

        3
    7. Oh my gosh! You just described my daily routine as well. Except for the wine part, I drink at least 8-12 beers daily anymore and sometimes have to run home at lunch to have a couple just to make myself feel better. I don’t want this kind of life anymore. Alcohol has really taken control of my life and I want it to end this time. I have tried in the past and keep thinking I can go back to 1 or 2 without any problems, then it catches up and I am right back to drinking excessively. I am tired of telling my kids I will quit only to disappoint them once again.

      18
    8. I lived like that for years. Now isolated and lonely don’t even go out of my house except maybe once or twice a month. depressed sleep as much as I can. hope you quit drinking sooner than I did.

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    9. I’ve known my drinking was becoming a problem for a long time now but I always managed to justify it, I’m sure you know all the usual excuses. My brother in law gave up a while ago, so I guess the seed was planted in my head then. After bouncing around the internet I came to this page. I read a few of the ‘sober stories’, seeing a little bit of myself in each of them and eventually stumbled across this comment. It was like someone flicked a switch in my head! This is me, this is almost my exact routine, threw up in the shower? Oh yes, been there! Any semblance of denial was just blown away, I realised I’m not a ‘bit’ like these people, I’m one of them!! Pretty much made my decision for me, I’m going sober.

      Actually caught myself singing in the shower today, I thought of this and it made me chuckle.

      Just wanted to thank you so much for putting this up here. I’m on day six. Thank you.

      7
    10. I’ve just joined and this is my life. I hit rock bottom on Monday when I spent most of the morning in the loo and was severely hungover. I was trying to keep it all together and the worst one was the realisation that I may probably be drunk driving. I haven’t had a drink since then. 4th day sober.

      7
    11. Yes, this is me. I say I’m going to have one or two and proceed to finish the entire bottle and am looking to open a second. It has made me unproductive in life , lonely and isolated. It’s day one again! and when I see so many of the success stories, it gives me encouragement. I feel like I’m fighting this battle alone as I’m the “closet” drinker. The worst time is the 6 O’clock hour. That bottle of wine seems to “find” its way home. This site has opened my eyes to see how many people are just like me in this struggle

      6
      1. I relate to being a closet drinker. It’s a lonely battle to fight when you are the only one who knows what’s going on when you are feeling hungover and the craving and repeating the cycle.

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    12. I could have written that myself. Amazing how alone it can feel. Like your the only one in such a dysfunctional cycle. The reality is that there are so many of us repeating the cycle every day.

      6
    13. God this makes me cringe – this is exactly my daily routine right down to waking up on couch every night at 2am thinking ‘shit better have heaps of water’. It’s shameful. Then up every morning and off the office. my husband is the only one who knows the truth.

      6
    14. MaryIsNotAFairy,

      This drinking diary sounds frightening similar to my (former) daily routine. Luckily… those days are over for me… hopefully.

      6
    15. That sounds very similar to my days and nights when I was working full time, except I’d wake up thinking I was having panic attacks, only to discover from my counsellor it could possibly have been a withdrawal symptom, which freaked me out! I’ve been back and forth with cutting down, giving up, limited success, back to day 1 and committed to an eight week programme!

      5
    16. I can totally relate to this!! There have been nights when I thought it was a good night that I passed out in bed and not the couch though I had no recollection of doing so!!

      4
    17. I’ve known my drinking was abnormal for a long time now but always managed to justify it, I’m sure you know all the usual excuses. My brother in law gave up drinking a while ago so I guess that planted the seed in my head. I was bouncing around the internet and ended up on this site. I clicked around, read a few of the ‘sober stories’ seeing a bit of myself in each one and eventually I stumbled upon this comment. It was like someone flicked a switch in my head. This is me! This is almost my exact routine, thrown up in the shower, oh yes been there! Any semblance of denial was blown away right then, I’m not a ‘bit’ like these people, I’m one of them! Pretty much made my decision for me right then, I’m going sober.

      I actually caught myself singing in the shower today, thought of this and chuckled.

      Just wanted to thank you so much for putting this up here (and everyone who got it put to the top). It’s been six days. A long way to go but thank you again for getting me started.

      1
    18. I thought this morning (day 3) that perhaps I needed to write a reminder on how it felt so that when I’m feeling stronger and under the illusion I can control it again I can refer back to it…. but instead maryisnotafairy I have copied yours because the first time I read it I thought BOOM

      1
    19. Yup. This totally me esp the please dont the cops catch me and the 4 am waking up. Awfulness. Hopefully last night is the last time it happens.

      1
  2. Just remember that when you wake up the next morning you will never regret your decision not to drink. Not once have I stayed abstinent through wine o’clock and woke up the next morning and said, “damn, I wish I had that glass of wine last night”.

    54
    1. Good point! I will remember that. When I was sober before I loved the feeling of going to bed clear headed, not dehydrated and dizzy,and waking up refreshed and not hungover. That is what I am going to keep in mind tonight.

      8
  3. The Sober Battle
    Like it or not, some days along this journey feel like a battle. A battle against the wolf, or the asshole monkey brain whispering sweet nothings about moderation.
    The first rule of warfare is to know your enemy. Know it’s strategies. Your adversary is alcohol, the enemy is all around you, advertising it’s greatness and not so subtle lure. The battle is not only around you, but also within you, a sometimes fierce conflict for control of your money, your health, your mind, your heart, and your future self.
    Rules of warfare tell us to know the weakness of your enemy. Time without alcohol in your system weakens it’s hold on you and increases your strength in your defense against it’s wiles.
    Choose your armor, your toolbox, whether it is meditation, sober blogs, exercise, AA, prayer, a higher power, or standing on your head. Find what works for you to help overcome the cravings.
    Align yourself with fellow comrades. Having a supportive network around you is key. Sober Living and you lovely cyber warriors here have been a huge part of preventing casualties. There is nothing so wonderful as realizing you are not alone in the fight.
    Be Victorious!

    50
    1. Know thy enemy. When I an hungry, tired, lonely, or angry are my triggers for a nice bottle of wine. For years a bottle of wine has been my reward for the end of a work week., the start of a new job, a completed project are all accomplishments that deserve celebrating with a bottle of wine and do not forget good music and candles. Sounds like fun until the next day which I am left with a hangover and headache. I lose one day of each week to “the next day” when I feel like crap.
      Today, I feel like crap and have got to replace my wine o’clock with excercise, hobby, friends, shopping, and knowing my body triggers. I am going to avoid going down the wine section of the grocery store. I am going to feel better tomorrow and the vicious cycle will start all over again.
      I will tell my friends that I am detoxing and cleansing my body. They usually agree that is a good thing and wish they could too.
      I will go to an AA meeting on my “end of the work week” day so that I am held accountable. I find meetings helpful in the first month which is spent dealing with not giving in to my craving for a relaxing bottle of wine. I am in a battle that I have had some victory and too many losses. I took care of myself today. Today was easy not to drink because of my hangover. Tomorrow as I feel better, I will focus on how to endure through my cravings. A good workout, a nice friend, and to know thy own self.

      25
      1. Your post is helpful. Thanks for your honesty and inspiration. Today is my first day and yes it will be easy. I went a year and a half sober then this past June I was in Mexico on a girls weekend and thought one won’t hurt. Then came home and 2 weeks later I drank again. Then a week, and now in AUgust I am drinking nearly everyday. All the reasons to stop drinking that kept me sober before are long gone. My one reliable friend that I can reach out to suggests AA. You mentioned AA, I know I am an alcoholic but don’t have a big desire to go to AA. Any thoughts.???

        1
    2. Thank you for sharing what a blessing……………..it really helps me …………you are talking my language…….. I feel like a drink to relax forget things numb pain etc but it just causes misery so a day at a time I want to stay sober more than anything ………. Thank you for helping me with your honest sharing …..

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    3. I love this. This makes the alcohol seem like an adversary that can be defeated with constant vigilance and perseverance . We CAN do it. We can win this war ☺

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    4. Just love the phrase ‘know thy enemy’. It is the same mantra for those suffering agaraphobia or anxiety and depression. Once you know the enemy and all it’s tricks it loses it’s power to influence or frighten you.
      It may still be there for a while trying to convince you of its reality but once you realise that it is indeed a ‘toothless tiger’ then you remove the power from your enemy. Victory is yours!

      2
  4. What worked for me:
    1.Make or prepare dinner earlier in the day, slow cooker was great. Less time hanging round kitchen was less temptation for wine while cooking.
    2. Don’t let yourself get hungry. Eat. Erge to drink lessend for me if I was full.
    3. Have a non-alcohol drink in a fancy glass. In the early days I’d have tonic water with lot’s of lime juice, I needed sour cos all non-al drinks were too sweet in the beginning.
    5. After dinner keep busy; clean the house, go for walk, play a board game… anything.
    6. 7.pm. kids to bed, I was ok then. TV with a movie or something engaging that I wanted to have a clear head to enjoy.
    7. It does get easier in time ;)

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    1. Wow, great advice. I never saw myself as having a problem with alcohol, I’d only drink max 4 times a week including weekends, drinking usually 2-3 glasses of wine a night during the week and max a bottle and half on a weekend night. I never missed work, my bills were paid, and I rearly went out to clubs or pubs – I could count on one hand the amount of times in a year I was in a social atmosphere drinking. My favourite drinking time was wine o’clock while prepping dinner.
      After 5yrs living overseas with her father my young teenage daughter returned home. She was having issues settling so professional counselling sessions were recommended by her school councillor. My drinking was brought up, but this didn’t seem fair to me, she was always put first, had nothing but the best, and she was always given what she wanted. She came with me to my work Xmas party, I became intoxicated after 1 bottle of wine and a large vodka and lemonade. I blacked out several times and could not remember things I had done, this wasn’t the first time, usually my alter ego friends would turn up too. My daughter had to take care of me, this was the breaking point for me, the shame and embarrassment.
      With fear of failure I decided to set myself some “no drinking” challenges; 1st 1 month, then 3 months, and then 6 months. With Christmas a week away I thought if I could get through Christmas day and New Years without a drink I could get through anytime, which I did. However on the 26th, I caved and had 2glasses of wine feeling guilty the whole time. So my quest started from scratch. I’m pleased to say I’m 50days sober, almost through the first month of my 3 month challenge (this month has definitely gone quicker than the last). I hope that by the 6 month challenge passes that the desire and temptation to drink at all diminishes.

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      1. I had a similar experience with my 18 year old daughter – just on Saturday night :(

        In one sense it is a blessing, as it has made me wake up. But I am so ashamed !!

        2
    2. Thanks for the suggestions. Being hungry definitely makes me want to drink. After eating the urge subsides a bit. I’m still struggling to string more than a couple of days together. The good news is – my husband has decided to cut back – out of the blue he told me no more wine – it affects his sleep. So with no wine in the house, it should be easier for me. I hope he sticks with it! Thanks again.

      6
      1. hunger is definitely a trigger for me, during the week I get home and as soon as I’m in the door I have a wine poured and continue to drink until we have tea, and sadly deliberately delay tea so I can drink more! My need for the wine is definitely dulled once I have had food, although I still continue to drink, but only a glass because I’m basically pissed by the time I have tea. I find if I have a really big meal I actually don’t want to drink. Which gives rise to another worry that I will become a telly tubby if I go completely sober, because I will eat to fill the ‘gap’.

        0
    3. The slow cooker sounds like a good idea! My problem is I love to cook and when I do I like to sip on wine while preparing the food. Then by the time you sit to eat I’ve already finished half a bottle of red and then theres no stopping. I’m going to get a slow cooker …Thanks
      Deede :)

      3
  5. Hi everyone,Im back again looking for support,my drinking has consumed me lately,I find I can only control my drinking for about 3 days,and feel fantastic on those alcohol free days but then the urge to drink takes over,I know even when I’m pouring the wine it’s no good for me but can’t seem to stop,I woke up this morning and poured a nearly full bottle of red and a half bottle of white down the sink, have done that a few times before but Im just so fed up of feeling shame and regret every day, basically I’m fed up of living my life like this.so no more feeling sorry for myself,I have to find the strength to overcome this addiction.day by day now.wish me. luck.

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    1. Hi. Today is Day 3 for me. Again. I heard something about the craving that I repeat as a mantra:
      1. the craving will pass
      2. the craving won’t harm you
      3. the craving won’t make you drink
      Well, one of my mantras now, anyway.
      I wish us all luck!

      5
    2. i know that urge so well i did the best i ever have for 4 months then 6 days ago drank pretty much 3 bottles of wine in a very short amount of time … oh i was ill ! I wasn’t even enjoying it just getting as much in me … yuck yuck yuck ! i had never admitted to being an alcoholic until this year and that really helped with my commitment …. i know itl always be lingering waiting to pounce on me in a weak moment for the rest of my life but thats ok its part of me know and my journey

      2
  6. I heard a comment that rings so true for me……

    “We spend the first three decades recking our bodies and the next three trying to fix it.

    Some do it and some of us can’t manage it. If you want something badly enough you can do it. I’m a binge drinking alcoholic, I use to get abusive when I drink and wake up and was horrified when I’m told what I did the night before.
    Mentally and physically I was killing myself fearful of dementure and liver disease. I’m 43 years old and took my first sip at 13. I am 40 days sober so very early days but honestly I love my life now. I wake up and go to the gym early before work, I’m loosing weight and I feel so healthly it’s incredible how life can change without alcohol to bring you down,
    It’s true you do have to quiet down in your life to succeed but what’s the alternative been tagged as a drunk, I am so pleased I put down the bottle and I really really hope I can succeed to give it up forever, I don’t want that old life back.

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    1. I’m the same as you in that I took my first drink at 13 and have been a binge drinker ever since, I’m 43 too. Well done on your 40 days sober, you are inspiring me, I’m only on day 6 and have struggled every day so far!

      2
  7. This is what I did yesterday to get through Day 9 :)

    I bounced around all day from minute to minute, urge to urge. It would go away for a while, then come back. By dinner time I was feeling pretty low, but I managed to hold on because it’s only a couple of hours until bedtime. Now I am feeling close to normal! These are the things I did to avoid alcohol:
    1. Swam for 20 minutes at the gym
    2. Posted here
    3. Read comments here
    4. Read a couple of recovery blogs
    5. Prayed
    6. Bought wallpaper for a redecorating project
    7. Threw my eating plan to wind and ate cake
    8. Visited an elderly neighbor
    9. Took a catnap
    10. Cried
    11. Cleaned out my car
    12. Told my husband I was nervous about a new job, that I felt like drinking, and that those feelings were making me depressed.
    13. Cried AGAIN!
    14. Ate more cake while taking a nice soak in the tub
    15. Posted here AGAIN!
    Day 10, here I come!

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  8. I tell myself that there are 24 hours in the day, and its actually only 4 hours of that day that I used to drink, so in the first week I just told myself “all you have to do is get through 5-9pm and then you’ve made it!”
    I try to eat close to when i get home, because I always found that I delayed eating so I could drink more and I used to eat around 8.30pm. Now I try and eat before 6.30pm, even if I have to buy dinner.
    I make myself a refreshing cool drink of soda water and a bit of cranberry juice with ice and sip it.
    I read as much as I can about other peoples successful sober stories, because it reminds me that this is what I really really want and that the pain I experience now in the beginning won’t last forever and that I will never regret being sober in the long run!
    I try to go to bed early and feel grateful for mostly good night sleeps and guilt free wake ups in the morning!

    17
  9. Hi, well day 1 for me. Your stories of waking up at 1am and not getting back to sleep and the self doubt and hate are all so formula. For me also the battle not to pick up that drink is 5pm… walking in the door after work which is also about the time the kids start fighting, and there is dinner to cook and a days house work to do. My plan is to find healthier coping techniques other then wine.

    17
  10. This is my 1st day on this sight.
    I am an everyday drinker. And I drink a huge amount everyday.
    I am ashamed of myself, I have put on 30kg in the past few years (all sugar) from alcohol.
    I am treating my loved ones badly when Ive had too many
    I have really bad anxiety
    I have negative thoughts
    I cry a lot (like as Im writing this)
    All of my friends, family and household are drinkers and I dont know what to do about this…
    I need to stop drinking as Im scared its going to kill me, and hope that this sight may help a bit

    16
  11. Today is Day 1 sober. Last night I binged on rum & pepsi. It used to be 1-2 bottles of wine but now it’s the hard stuff. 2-3 shots per drink. I’ve blacked out several times, soaked the bed because I wouldn’t wake up and go to the bathroom, I’d have conversations with my husband or kids and not remember a thing the next morning … It’s taken me a long time to finally acknowledge that,yes, I’m an alcoholic and I need to stop today and for the rest of my life. I’m scared but determined. Absolutely no self-pity. In search of encouragement I found this site. I’m so grateful for all your wonderful sharing. Its comforting to know that I’m not alone.

    16
  12. This is the biggest hurdle for me. I start thinking about it when I leave work at 4pm. As soon as I walk through the door, I feel like I need a drink. I would drink in the lounge and then move into the kitchen and carry on drinking while cooking. Now, instead of sitting down withe the laptop or TV, I do a few rituals. I change my clothes. I take the dog for a walk. I tidy the living area. Instead of drinking, while cooking, I wash any dishes lying around or fold washing. If I can make it to 7pm without a drink the urge starts to fade. It doesn’t strike me every day, but I do have to watch it, because it can sneak up on me. When it does I try to say some sort of mantra. I choose not to drink. I choose to stay healthy. I’m strong and grounded.

    16
  13. What helps me is the video I made of myself on the morning after the last time I drank. I could see myself lookng dreadful and describing how utterly miserable I was. I described my dreading the day ahead anticipating how hard it would be to get through meetings and the working day feeling the way I did. I had bloodshoot eyes, haggard looking skin, and I had bags under my eyes- basically I looked the,way I felt.

    If I am ever tempted to drink, I review this video and it puts me right off.

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  14. Day 3. Monday after work. Was so craving a drink and cigarettes. Bought some grapetiser instead. Looks like champagne with the bubbles but Alcohols free. Then went for my first summer swim. The feel of the sea water, the sun and sand. Forgot about the craving for a drink. The cigarettes don’t taste as good without the alcohol. Today was a good day.

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  15. Thought I had posted this earlier so hoping it does not appear twice….

    I’m new to the Living Sober lifestyle and intend to make it a permanent thing. Started Counselling and some of the advice I got was to treat the end of my relationship with alcohol as if I was treating the end of a bad marriage/relationship. When I got my head around that I made up a guide to help me through.

    Here is what I use.

    1) The divorce has been granted. It’s full and final. It’s been a 30 years marriage that’s mostly cost a lot of money and heartache. It stops now.

    2) This will pass. The hunger for her and the kick I got from being with her is, and always has been, a temporary and fleeting thing.

    3) Breathe. My life is going on and is much better without her around.

    4) Exercise every day. No, it does not mean busting my arse at the gym (although I can if I want!). A walk around the block is exercise. If it’s raining I’ll get wet. I won’t melt. But every day exercise will happen.

    5) Forgive my fuckups. I’ve tried and failed a lot in my life. It’s time to recognise I can’t change what I’ve done but I can change what I’m doing and how I act in the future.

    6) Put right what I’ve put wrong. I’ve let people down and hurt them. Do something right for them when I can.

    7) Help someone else in the same spot. I have to help someone who can’t help themselves.

    8) I’m not perfect and I will fuckup. See #5 above.

    9) Climb a mountain! It’s a metaphor… but do something you can’t do or want but never have.

    10) I own this.

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  16. First 24hrs sober in three years! Wine hour was rough but made it.
    I read way above the list here, a woman (can’t find it anymore) who shared what her life was as an alcoholic. It was that post that gave me the push and inspiration to try again. I thought I’d share a typical 24hr day that went on for two years until two days ago.

    I am an artist and don’t have regular hours, so I got to drink A LOT ALONE! But I rarely got drunk, just a good buzz, until I passed out and could start again. So here was my typical day:

    11am – wake up, pour a double shot of vodka and OJ to ease the anxiety, stress and relieve the fear I had from my horrific nightmares – while giving a sense of lightness to my day! (my hangovers were depression/anxiety/guilt first thing upon waking, I never got physically sick almost ever). Smoke a cigarette, put some music on, don’t bother taking a shower or eating breakfast. Then jump onto the computer to start my emails in bed. The first shot and cig were always the best for me, it was the only things that got me out of bed.

    11:45am pour another shot with a mixer – stay in bed and work on computer stuff. Panic and Anxiety slowly wearing off. More Cigs!

    1pm – pour another shot with a mixer – stay in bed and work on computer stuff.
    More Cigs! But I was almost always working, but lost my creativity about a year ago when this pattern began. Stuff some food in belly, but not much.

    2pm – time for a shower, now off to have a meeting or photoshoot. Take another shot for the road, brush the teeth, grab the gum. Before entering the subway, buy a 5th of vodka and a mixer to have as a travel bottle for when I start crashing. Sipping the whole way there and then some. Swish with mouth wash, pop the gum in and do what ever it was I had to do. (yes I was always worried they would smell it – no one had said anything phew!)

    5pm – come home and pass out for about 3 hours.

    8pm – Double shot time to catch up, as I feel much more awake and ready to do it again – I loved that “first” buzz. More Cigs and more computer work.

    10pm – No more work for me, now its TV and another shot and mixer.

    12am – my boyfriend get’s home from work, I pour him a shot and more for me!

    3am – Just buzzed enough to finally fall asleep.

    7am – Awake from dehydration, nightmares – in that half sleep guilt, panic and anxiety kick back in. I take another shot(s) to numb it and pass back out.

    11am – RINSE AND REPEAT!

    I am sober Today and I feel like a totally different person. I’ve tried sobriety before and this time I can’t go back to the way things were. (Just writing this makes me want to drink – and I won’t)

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    1. I hope that you stay sober. Have you read Jason Vale’s book, Kick the Drink Easily? The advice in this book that really helped me is instead of feeling like you are being deprived from removing alcohol from your life , feel like it is a treat not to be drinking. Anyway, I wish you the best but look into his book if you haven’t already. It was an eye opener and got me on the sober track.

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    2. That’s awesome work, BeFree. I notice this post is quite old. How are you getting on with your sobriety? It’s my fifth day today. :)

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  17. I’m new to this site and I have never blogged before. It all feels pretty strange. It’s a beautiful sunny day and EVERYONE in the supermarket are buying beers for after work weekend drinks. I stood in the booze aisle for ages deliberating with myself. In the end I wandered around the other aisles several times, and then bought tonic water……just in case I really want a vodka later. And I am really really struggling with not having one. It five o’clock, and I’ve finished a great two hours work on things I have been avoiding, I went running this morning, it’s Saturday tomorrow, I looked thin this morning for the first time in ages…..and my head just won’t stop telling me a vodka and lime would be PERFECT right now. That I can have one, that one will be fine (I can NEVER have one). Anyway, this isn’t much help to anyone else, so apologies for that! And I’m going to try to surf the urge and read a book for a while and just try try try. The blogs on this site do really help, and there was this brilliant quote I have stolen, which was when she enjoyed it she couldn’t control it and when she controlled it she didn’t enjoy it – that is exactly me!

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  18. Oh, between 4:00 and 7:00 are just awful for me. I actually begin thinking about drinking around 1:00 in the afternoon and by 4:00 I’m leaving work and ready to sit down to a nice glass of chardonnay. I’m only on day 3 but I’ve been on this path often enough to have picked up a few tricks. What I’m really working on is realizing that as strong as the urge is at 4:00, it will be gone in a matter of hours whether I drink or not. If I DO drink I’ll feel tired, sick, angry at anyone who happens to be around, guilty and shameful. If I DON’T drink I’ll feel relaxed, able to concentrate, proud of myself, happy to be alive! That’s the choice I can make at 4:00. I think the drink through to the sick, awful end and know that cravings are temporary. Sometimes I just have to put off the drink 15 minutes at a time. Eventually I come out the other side and am so glad I made the decision not to drink. And I’m rewarded by waking up the next morning looking forward to getting out of bed and starting the day!

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    1. It’s so weird! After wrestling with getting through Day 1 (by substituting or distracting those cravings) I wonder “What was all that about!?” What stops me from having a drink now (Day 43) is mainly self-respect and a healthy dollop of pride.

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  19. Part of my feeling that I was ‘in control not the booze’ was my obsessive not drinking before 6 pm rule which I stuck to religiously – but I also counted down the minutes till 6 pm. When I gave up the demon drink my 6 pm became a nightmare – so I decided to keep up part of the ritual only. I would choose a really nice non alcoholic drink – to hell with the cost – something I had spent time choosing and bought earlier in the day, pour it into a wine glass and walk around the garden, breathing deeply. Going outside instead of the kitchen was new and different and helped the distraction level. Every day I would see something new in the garden and as time went on I started looking for that.
    It was really difficult for some months but the full wine glass at least felt familiar and comfortable on one level. Interestingly enough when I finally got the courage to tell the neighbours I was no longer drinking nearly a year in, the response was “No you haven’t – I see you all the time outside with a glass of wine” But it was not as they thought.
    I am 8 years in now – still like a drink with my husband at 6 pm – in a wine glass – he has a beer. It feels like a treat but I can live with myself now – I really didn’t want to before. I was a friend to all but myself when I was drinking. Now I am friends with the woman in the mirror I want to stay that way.

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  20. This is my first day. My tolerance has increased and I can drink a bottle of wine and then some in the evening. I don’t wake with a hangover and function well at work. I have been down this road before so I know I am stronger and more confident when I don’t drink. I face my demons and the financial gains are real. When I do drink I am filled with anxiety and excuses. I read somewhere to treat the addictive brain separately from the intelligent brain. When the wine o’clock ding goes off in the head “think IT wants a drink” not I want a drink. My plan is to replace wine time with walk the dog time or treadmill time. I am so pleased I found this site. Thank you for the welcomes via email.

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  21. My strategies for getting though the witching hours:
    -have lots of non-alcoholic drink options on hand (fizzy waters, soda, teas, coffee, hot chocolate)
    -keep commitments to a minimum, to reduce stress
    -switch up the routine (I used to drink wine while preparing dinner in the kitchen by myself… now I either cook in the morning and heat it up later, or order take out or eat out, so I’m not in the kitchen for an hour alone)
    -listen to sober podcasts and read sober blogs
    -go to bed as early as possible
    -wake up sober and ENJOY the day!! Rinse and repeat. =)

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    1. love these strategies and really relate to cooking and drinking especially after got little one to bed and then I felt I could eat myself and had earned my drinks. So now I’m eating with him and going to bed more or less with him! X

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  22. Fill your head with as much info about not drinking. Read online sites and listen to podcasts about becoming alcohol free. Remember a thought is just a thought and when that urge comes know this….if you can ride it for 20 minutes it will go. When I say ride it I mean notice it . Acknowledge it. Do something else. Bath. Cup of tea. Walk . Run .lie down with yourlegs in air (recognised method to change mood) recognise thought has gone. We live in an ever changing world everything passes. Thoughts about drinking included. Meditate . Love yourself . Those are my thoughts

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  23. WOW its been AGES since I have logged on, been to a meeting or even thought about being a super sober sensation. 867 days the little calculator tells me I have been sober and 460 days smoke free. WOW. I do wish sugar was as easy, I have been doing an eating plan cleaning my gut but the sugar is proving to be the one addiction not so easy to give away, 5/7 times as addictive as cocaine, I beg to differ as I gave that up easily also. ANYWAYS, let me just put out a HIGH FIVE to those who have logged on; shared, tripped up, got back up, moved on, cried, laughed, had melt downs, jumped for joy, you are aware you are here and that is the BIG DEAL, recognising for you, that your drinking suggested you have a chat about things and then maybe do things around changing or stopping your drinking. ANYWAYS (I love anyways no not canadian), YOU ROCK I ROCK WE ALL ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  24. Thank you all for great tips! I made it through Day 1, barely! I did the New York Times Crossword and baked a batch of Bulletproof brownies. Also going to bed at 8:30, but, hey, whatever works, right?

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  25. I’m new to this and having had many failed attempts before I find late afternoon the hardest part to get through. It’s the voices in my head that seem to take over my thoughts and before I know it I’ve got a drink in my hand. Trying again to be sober – day 1 and hoping that I’ll get through wine o clock today.

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  26. I am 3 weeks sober tomorrow. I used to hide my wine and in the last year have progressed to hard stuff eg
    whiskey and gin and vodka. My last binge I got drunk at work and my husband got the local police man to escort me out of work and lock up the shop – the shock and horror of it all woke me up. My husband was naturally angry with me as I haven’t managed to stay sober for long after coming out of rehab 18 months ago. I am on my last chance with my marriage now. For Xmas I purchased a breathaliser so that has helped me resist drinking as I have told my husband he can breathalise me anytime he wants to. Definitely feeling a much happier and in control person since I have stopped.

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  27. I notice this is an old topic but here’s my two pennies worth anyway.
    Am going to try a new routine of going for a bath when I get in from work, instead of heading for the kitchen and eating my (not inconsiderable body) weight in carbs and sweet crap.
    Today I treated myself to some gorgeous bath salts (aromatherapy) and when they were being beautifully wrapped, instead of saying ‘It’s OK, they’re not a gift’, I thought, yes they ARE a gift, to me, as a reward for being 112 days sober!
    Had an early bath as am off work today, Feel really calm and chilled and my partner just came in and commented on how lovely the house smells!

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  28. Day one for me today. I put an app on my phone called I Am Sober, and it’s going to send me a motivational message at wine o’clock (4pm). It also encourages me to write a pledge everyday. Hubby is having a beer and it’s not bothering me, I hope I can continue not being bothered!

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  29. Today is the first day in a long time I am going to bed sober, I am feeling excited about moving forward without awful alcohol in my life, I also say things I regret when I’ve been drinking and don’t want to do it anymore, they say it takes 40 days to break a habit which really is not a long time, one day at a time and prayer is so important for total healing, one step at a time we can all get through this we can start by trying and remember you are not alone millions are fighting addition try someone close to you that can help motivate you, stay away from negativity and bad thoughts focus on the good around you

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