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Getting through wine o’clock

July 24, 2014 866 comments

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

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  1. I live in New York and am always in a busy and also affluent part of the city around the witching hour. So I daily find myself walking past window after window through which I see handsome people chatting and smiling over that first full glass of wine. And even after 4 and a half terrific sober years, I still find myself thinking “Poor me!! Why can’t I do that any more?” And I find it best to remind myself that feeling like this is normal for an ex-drunk, and it’s familiar to me–and it WON’T corrupt my sobriety. It’s a feeling I know and I know it won’t weaken me. And I like seltzer water, and you can buy a bottle of seltzer every 10 feet in NY. Just knowing I’ve had these witching hour feelings for 4.5 years, and knowing I can probably expect them forever, and knowing I”m already used to them, helps a lot. So I hope this helps any new sober people who think the witching hour is just for newbies–it’s not at all, and it will be a nuisance you will get used to. And look at all the people who are ready to help you get through it!

  2. Late afternoon is REALLY tough…I try to stay busy. I will lift weights. Go for a walk. Clean my car. Water my garden. Meditate. Focus on whats st stake if I drink even 1 drink…

  3. I’m 13 days sober, and I’ve found knitting to be my help. Unfortunately the voice is still there, but knitting and keeping my hands busy helps to squelch my voice. When the urge is really strong, I keep thinking of how hard the last 13 days have been, and ask myself if I really want to go back to day one? If I can keep the voice to a murmur, I can get past those first couple of hours…then I celebrate when I realize I’m going to bed sober.

  4. Day 6 and first post. Started out as ‘dry July’ but having just finished ‘Mrs D is going without’ I’ve realised my problem is bigger than I liked to admit. I scarily related to too much in that book.
    Now feeling a bit emotional and overwhelmed by it all :(

    1. Hi, this is my first day at this site, and even though I haven’t read this book, I know what being overwhelmed and emotional can feel like. You did the very best thing for yourself by reaching out: you need to know that other people have felt this too. I’ve been sober since Jan 2014 and I can realize on any day that “my problem is bigger than I liked to admit.” You may not feel it right now, but you have incredible gifts waiting for you in sobriety: you will make true and stronger friendships than you may have made in the past; you won’t be ashamed any more! (that’s a big one); you’ll find interested in something and you can really dig into it, pursue it, and make connections through your interest–without booze lubricating everything into the swamp that booze turns good stuff into. And your relationships will change, and that can be extremely hard, and there is help for those challenges. People have been where you are–and wondered how the hell we’ll get to the next week or month like this. And the truth holds fast, as truth tends to do: every sober moment is better than every drunk moment. People will help. Always always reach out is some way when you feel yourself teetering, or darkening.

    2. Hi @tikigirl….isn’t it a great book? I’m on my second time….and it’s pushed me to the end!! Mrs D is someone whom I related to heaps with booze just being a part of ‘life’….but realising how utterly unhappy I was/am made me tired and sick or sick and tired lol….are you from NZ?….keep going tikigirl…I will fight this with you as I’m only on day 6 but your on day 14!!!!One day at a time….no one minute st a time………….I hear you xo

  5. Day 21 it is scary when i dont have urges because i know they are hiding in the shadows. Urges seem to pop up when least expected, at times tiring to keep guard up. However, a chamomile tea with carbonated water seema to help.

  6. Day 3 … wine o’clock …English breakfast ice tea, macadamia honey for sweetness, with strawberries & mint …yum a great substitute…made a litre to get me through the day to replace my wine consumption ….starting to feel clear headed and excited to get to day 7… then the next day/week thereafter…sleeping still under par but will be looking at some meditation options in the next few days….

  7. I also found a old game of housie that I pulled out and started playing during wine o’clock time. It was fun and kept my mind occupied. I downloaded the app and it automatically calls the housie numbers at random.

    I had my peach and mango tea with ice in my trusted wine glass and waited with anticipation for my numbers to be called.(You’re also playing with against others around the world). Before I knew it, it was time for bed.

    Sleep wasn’t great but I woke with no hangover.

  8. Day 8. Kept myself distracted by cooking, cleaning, taking a walk, baths, and positive thinking. It was going fine, until I started to feel a lot of pain in my stomach. It looks like I’m 6 months pregnant. While reading about conditions like that online, it’s some kind of organ disfuncion due to alcohol abuse. Going to doctors tomorow. I’m never drinking again. It took me 4 yrs, but it’s over now. Fucking poison.

  9. day 1 ….tossed out temptations this morning feeling guilty about the wine going down the drain… will be buying groceries from another location not near the bottle shop! In fact it’s a better grocery store so that’s a positive! I’m a regular gym user so it will be interesting to see how I go. I found this great tasting cordial (lime, cucumber) a dash of cordial and soda water with fresh basil ….similar colour to Chardonnay… joined this site for support….Thanks!

  10. Hi
    I have gone with the idea of non alcoholic drink in my wine glass and its fucking working. Peach and mango tea with ice bloody beautiful. I pray this works keep the ideas coming

  11. This is Day 4 for me, and my first weekend. I really enjoyed waking up early and having a whole day in front of me on Saturday, normally I would be terribly hungover, because I always drank a LOT on Friday. It’s nice to feel like I have more time. Last night was really hard, but I made it through, partly with the help of this site. I’m also basically letting myself do whatever I want (within reason) as long as it isn’t drinking. One vice at a time. For the next few weeks I”ll let myself eat whatever I want, watch whatever I want, etc, (again, within reason) to help distract me. Anyway, thanks to everyone for your stories and support. :)

  12. Does anyone remember why they started drinking in the first place. For me to forget and dull self criticism. I wish i had know that that was so futile. Facing yourself sober is helluva better than shitfaced and stupid cause who do you think will win.

    1. I started drinking around age 14. My reason was nothing more than to be cool, fit in, & have fun. Apparently, I had so much fun that I kept at it, lol.

  13. Day 2 successful. Though if I hadnt screwed the pooch Id be Day 18. Furious with myself but still determined. For those of you who are posting their struggles daily, like me, thank you so much for your support. Without even knowing it, you are with me. For anyone who comments critically, regardless of the title of this post, perhaps you should look elsewhere. I am anonymous & there are a bunch of us that type anonymous. Supporting each other as we struggle each and every day. And will continue the struggle. Preferably without judgement.

  14. I get through wine o’clock by putting flavored sparkling water in a wine glass. That’s really helped me so far, but I’m also really new to this. Part of the habit for me was/is the comfort of holding that glass in my hands.

    1. I totally agree. The glass makes a difference. I don’t know why I haven’t been putting my flavored sparkling water in a wine glass. Great idea!

  15. I thought this was supposed to be a place to post tips/tricks to substitute drinking urges. The question asks, “How do you get through the witching hours without drinking?” This feed just seems like a lot of anonymous people posting their feelings/updates. That’s fine, but I’d like to read how people are getting through their urges. That would be helpful. Is this ‘anonymous’ the same or a different person?

    I listened to a Recovery Elevator podcast where the guy gave a trick he uses. He “plays the tape forward” in his mind. You think about what will happen if you have 1 drink. In my case 1 drink would lead to multiple, I’d pass out on the couch, & wake up feeling like shit. Of course, that is on a good day. It helps to play out the drinking in your mind. It makes you realize that it’s not worth the consequences.

  16. Day 3. I feel awful. I’ve been drinking daily for 4 years now. And a lot. Now, I got tired of hands shaking in public, or feeling like crap every day. But I feel the same now. Insomnia, night sweating, depression. I want a drink so bad, but I know I will wake up passed out not remembering a thing. How do people stay sober for years? It’s the hardest thing ever. :(

  17. Day 13… I really want 1 drink dammit. But I know 1 will turn into the whole damned bottle. No matter what I tell myself. Trying not to think about it. I’ve been binging on movies/series, dishes & dinners… idle hands make for trouble! Day 10 & up have been the hardest. Headaches…. anxiety. I will make it to day 15. If I can just stay away from the store…