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Getting through wine o’clock

July 24, 2014 935 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 am 60 now and have Grandkids. I been reading folks battle and its heartbreaking to say the least. I been drinking 2 bottles of wine for over 15 years now. I don’t drink the hard stuff as it hurts my stomach. I have a happy life and Hubby will go to the store if I run out. But I feel like crap every morning and now my joints are hurting and acid re-flux and sleepless nights. I pass out on the couch and hubby wakes me up and a couple of Advil and back to bed. This is everyday. I get up like today and tell hubby don’t buy me wine even if I text you!! But by the time 5pm comes around I crave the cold crisp drink with dinner and the whole thing starts again. I have tried to go without maybe make it through 2 days but I get grumpy and the headache starts so the treadmill starts again. I cant seem to stop. You go into the Grocery store and its isle’s of wine! I don’t know… what to do I try but like people drink coke or Pepsi I drink wine and I am afraid at this rate I wont make it to 65 with out dialysis.

  2. I’m on day one. Wine O’Clock turned into Wine-Around the clock, and that is a problem. I pray I didn’t kill my liver. I quit smoking cigarettes 18 months ago. Cold turkey. What I found is the first 3 days were brutal. Then everyday I thought of them less and less. I am looking forward to not thinking about wine. Life kind of got miserable just grinding through work and then drinking wine all day and night. Yuck!

  3. Today is the day that I am giving up the wine. I have had enough of it. Drank 6 bottles between Thursday and Saturday. The guilt and disgust I feel is much more that I have ever felt. I reall felt I was the only person in the world doing this. I have been reading all your stories and really feel enormas strength from them and I know I will be coming back time and again. Much love to you all x

    1. Hi there. Don’t know if you’ll read this but if you become a member you can go on the Community Area and chat to lots of lovely people who are kind, supportive and non judgemental. You don’t even have to post if you don’t want to-you can just lurk. I am 85 days sober and go on several times a day. It is so important to me and many others. It is our rock!

    2. Today is a good day to start. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Before you forget, write yourself a note as to why you’re quitting, and read it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

  4. This is day 1 of my sobriety. This is only the millionth time I’ve tried quitting. Each time I feel a little more motivated and stronger! To the question – the times that I’ve made it through the witching hours have took a whole lotta pep talk to myself! Usually if I can make it to my car without stopping at the bar, then I’m good. But without a doubt I am talking to myself the entire time and reminding myself why NOT having a drink is the better choice.

  5. Its amazing how that alcohol DEMON knows the precise time to atttack!!.. the definiton of insanity is repeating the same mistake,but expecting a positive outcome. we alcoholics must confused our mind and our bodies…i can go weeks without drinking,but once i pick up ,the binges is deadly.i just rear ended someone monday,in a black out.. my first crash ever in life… this is day one of many attempts to stay sober..i could have killed someone!!!!! i fell downthe stairs and fractured my skull in feb of 2015, ithought that was my rock bottom,i could not see out my left eye for 6 months,,but soon as i got better that damn demon tapped me on the shoulder!!!!.. this is truly a death warrant,,, im sick and tired of relasping!!! today is dec 1st 2016.. no more fucking drugs and alcohol…i been cocaine free for 5 months today…now lets kick alcohol ass….pray .read meetings and know your triggers!!! dont date in early recovery(my downfall).GOD BLESS YOU ALL

  6. So tired of not breaking the habit and the embarrassment and risks that come with alcohol !!!! Looking for a forum to share and find support. Tried AA once and felt like all my new bff’s there just wanted to be addicted to their addiction. Just need to talk with others in the same boat

  7. For me just as others have said I have resolved not to drink but then sometime during the day or early evening I purchase alcohol sometimes I tell myself it is just in case I feel withdrawal symptoms (which I have never actually had significant symptoms) I can easily make it till later in the evening; I even tell myself that I will go to bed early, then I have a drink, and it turns s into several or even a whole bottle of wine. I feel so sick the next day, sleep aweful, feel like a total loser, and then seem to repeat.. I went a couple of days without anything a few weeks ago and felt great the next day. I then seemed to be able to moderate for a week or two but then I’m right back at the same old crappy routine again,. So this is day one and I just joined.. I really want to stop.. I need to get past that time in the evening and I think a few days sober will also get easier with time

  8. Having a mock tail if with others. Gingerbeer and cranberry juice on ice with slice of lime is a personal favourite.
    It also helped to change the habit of siting down relaxing in the evening doing nothing. I had to keep busy so taught myself to crochet on YouTube. I can honestly say I’m hooked! The sense of achievement is overwhelming.

  9. I have started eating dinner earlier – I find that if I have a meal, my stomach is full and I don’t feel like drinking anymore.
    Otherwise, I snack on cheese and crackers and before I know it, I’ve polished off a bottle of wine! On a Monday night!

  10. I have been reading the wine o clock posts and am shocked that other people say to themselves in the morning that they won’t drink tonight and then as the day progresses tell themselves it’s ok to have a wine. Somehow I really convinced myself that I was the only that had that sad pattern. I really thought I am weak, messed up and out of control. I feel like my life has slowly
    turned into a big mess and I don’t know when exactly that happened. I DO have a problem there I’ve said it

    1. That’s exactly how I feel everyday. You’re so not alone. Keep thinking about the great sleep you’re going to have and how much better you’ll feel in the morning.

      1. thats the only reason that i have kept going. I havent had a drink for about 30 days and I love the fact that i wake up refreshed. Although now I am having doubts and starting to want a drink so I have to keep reading these posts to stay focused.

  11. Wonderful description of reason for anxiety at wine o’clock! Just thinking of relaxing evening bath and going to bed clean, sober, and guilt free are incentives to make it through evening.

  12. Hi all I am new to the site.

    When I wake in the morning I say to myself I am not drinking but come 4 o’clock in the afternoon I start thinking about having a drink and for some reason it gives me a buzz. Please help,,,

    1. yes it is soooo hard come 4 pm, the sun is shining, you’ve done all your jobs for the day and now is the time to relax with a cold wino. It is so hard but I just think about the next day and I will feel so good. Also I like to make nice mocktails in fancy glasses and have nice smelling candles and buy new shoes and other things to make me feel good instead. It is sooo hard but come about 7 pm the feeling of wanting a drink wears off and then i can relax knowing i have done it again!!

  13. I started attending 4:30 pm yoga classes on my way home from work…to get past that hour when I usually got home after work and cracked a bottle of wine or a beer. After class I feel so amazing…physically, mentally & spiritually that drinking has no real appeal.

  14. To get through the witching hour, I will often start a chore or project like vacuuming,gardening or take a walk. Sometimes I will call someone just to remind myself that I am sober, can carry a conversation and not slur my words. Other times, I have a Diet Pepsi, which I love, and watch tv. Usually in a while, the urge passes.

  15. I just discovered a line of Italian alcohol-free aperitifs by a company named SanPellegrino. The most famous is Crodino. They taste truly awful – bitter and syrupy at the same time, with many layers of flavor – much like a real aperitif. You absolutely cannot guzzle them like regular soda – you must sip. I have become obsessed! I love them because to drink one takes at least 20 min (if you are determined). In other words, just like with wine, these drinks demand that you slow down and kind of zone out while you drink them. LOVE THEM…

  16. Day 4 today and it’s the first time I’ve really felt the witching hour kick in. A long wet day, my husband working and I’m doing household chores that i would normally do with a bottle of wine, like ironing and cooking dinner. My daughter came into the kitchen to chat (she’s 8) and I thought well at least she isn’t seeing mummy with a glass of wine in front of her like she usually does on a Saturday night. That thought sort of got me back on track because that’s one of the things about drinking that bothers me most – i don’t want my little girl to grow up thinking a glass of red wine is a grown-up woman’s accessory!

  17. just as one is drinking urine and latter passing it in the urine just for few booze dizzy hours.so disgusting it is.so shameful it is..so it is really healthier,happier and calmer to be without alcohol.

  18. hi there, I’m doing a level 1 NCEA social studies assessment for school on alcohol and its effects on new zealanders, i stumbled across this site by accident while researching, and i was wondering if anyone would feel ok to answer some questions?
    if so that would be amazing, (haven’t had much luck finding answers on the internet)
    1. do you think new zealand has a drinking problem? why? why not?
    2. what are some main effects that drinking has had on your life?
    3. do you think there is enough information available to make well informed deception about drinking alcohol?
    thanks :)

    1. Hi there

      1. Absolutely. When you stop drinking you notice how often people talk about drinking, especially on Fridays! Every social occasion has to have alcohol and it is easy to feel ostracised and ‘uncool’ if you don’t drink – young or old. The statistics around violence and accidents clearly show how often alcohol is implicated in causing social harm (you might want to contact someone who works for the police or in an emergency ward at a hospital! or Salvation Army who have a unit devoted to addiction etc). Kiwis tend to binge drink, which has huge health and social harms associated. Have you seen these statistics? http://www.alcohol.org.nz/research-resources/nz-statistics and this is pretty good too http://www.ahw.org.nz/resources/Toolkit%202009/Fact%20Sheet%20Alcohol%20Harm%20in%20New%20Zealand%20final%202009.pdf
      A lot of the problems alcohol causes remain hidden – people behaving in ways or doing things they wouldn’t normally do when they were sober for example, and then playing it down because they are embarrassed or unaware. Alcohol is too much a part of what we think being ‘grown up’ is – I think it is a massive problem in New Zealand.
      2. Physical: heart palpitations, looking unhealthy, unidentified party wounds (UPWs), no doubt internal organ issues that we can’t see, black-outs, forgetfulness
      Psychological: anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, sadness, loss of self-belief
      Social: trouble maintaining healthy relationships, doing ‘stupid shit’ and offending people, loss of dignity, being irresponsible, putting self in harms way
      3. Information is there if you know where to look, but most people don’t until they know they have a problem by which time it is a hard battle to get on top of it. Alcohol misuse creeps up on you slowly – often starts when young when you think you are having fun (even though you may have forgotten what you were doing). I think the level of harm it causes is played down in the media, people think only ‘ park-bench alcoholics’ have a problem but actually it is a lot more widespread than that – many high level functioning people have a hidden problem with it – and I hate to say it but even some of your peer group may already be showing signs that they can’t just ‘stop’ after 1 or 2. I think the information around alcohol needs to focus on how it hurts as as individuals (physically and psychologically), as families and as a society. I think more information is getting out there, but more required.
      Good luck!

    2. NZ does have a bad drinking culture. There is enormous peer pressure put on people in just about any age group to drink . Advertising in NZ doesn’t help as it often depicts it as being a glamorous pass time. And for some people it is. But for an enormous number it is incredibly destructive. It’s damaging not only to those drinking but it has a flow on effect to whanau and communities too.
      In the past few years I have been more aware of my drinking, and have a huge problem with wine. It’s utterly addictive. Just as addictive, or even more addictive than smoking or other substance. I have many times tried to stop but haven’t successfully as yet. It’s a huge battle. I can go without beer or spirits but if there’s wine in the house it’s all or nothing. And all doesn’t always stop at one bottle. It totally sux.
      I think that there needs to be more face to face education targetted at the younger age group that focuses on the down sides. Maybe more shock tactics.
      Some of the advertising isn’t probably seem by teenagers these days because they don’t watch TV like their parents etc did at their age. But in saying that there have been a few really good ones that will have I’m sure made an impact, if they’ve taken the time to watch.
      Good luck with yr project. It’s nice that you found this site. It’s made a huge difference to a lot of people. You should also check out some drinking blogs. Like Mrs D’s. She has links to many others on her one too. And if you have the choice, don’t drink. It’s a waste of time, health and money.

    3. There is no question, New Zealand has a huge drinking problem. Statistics tell us this. You only have to visit the Hospitals on Friday and Saturday nights (and week nights) to see the effects our binge drinking culture is having. You only have to walk up Queen St on a Friday and Saturday night and see what is going on. Our University accommodations are a riot of young people getting blitzed (throwing up in the elevators) etc on Friday and Saturday nights (and any night in between). I realise other countries have issues similar to this as well, but NZ does seem to be particularly bad. 2) My personal drinking habits led me to write off 3 vehicles, which cost me a lot of money. Very nearly destroyed my marriage. Made me not the best parent i could be. And made me absolutely miserable. 3) I dont think there is enough information in school about alcohol, there seems to be a lot of information given to kids (teens) about other drugs, but alcohol seems to be put into another catagory, almost like its acceptable and normal for everyone to be drinking. Considering how destructive alcohol is, it should be a top priority for schools to inform our young people of the negative effects drinking can have. Thankyou for reading

    4. Hi there,

      1. I think quite a lot of Kiwis probably feel they drink too much, and I think there is a fairly permissive attitude to drinking in New Zealand. I think the prevailing attitude among many is that getting drunk is an accepted part of drinking and that all the fall out from that is a bit of a badge of honour. More and more you hear that the your generation have far healthier attitudes towards drinking than previous generations, which can only be a good thing (and the fact that you’re doing a project on it for school is hugely positive, and part of how the drinking culture may be changing for the better). Overall I think alcohol causes an enormous amount of suffering. You only need to go to court for a morning, or observe a hospital emergency waiting room, to see how much of an effect it has on people’s lives. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You never see the harm it causes behind closed doors. I’ve developed quite a negative view of alcohol. The other day my wife told me she never thought my drinking was ever out of the ordinary compared to anyone else, which surprised me as I now feel I have been irresponsible over the years.
      2. Before joining this site and quitting alcohol drinking was just always part of my life. In my younger days I drank excessively (I’ve never being particularly good at holding my booze and many a night ended messily) like all my friends did. I got drunk for the first time at home at a family gathering when I was 13. I never really questioned my drinking till I had kids. I would never have classed myself as an alcoholic, but I recognise now I’ve been a problem drinker (in terms of frequently not being able to stop when I’ve had enough). I used alcohol as a crutch to prop up my confidence in social situations, and when I became a stay-at-home parent I began to drink wine or cider while cooking dinner out of boredom or to take the edge off a stressful day. That pattern of afternoon drinking could stretch to every night on a particular week (then more on the weekend as a reward for getting through the week). The drinking in front of the kids started bugging me, and the occasional bender when I drank far too much even though I planned to drink responsibly, and as you get closer to 40 (I’m 39) I think your body feels the effects of even small amounts of alcohol more than when you were 19 and bullet proof.
      3. I think there is enough information to be honest, and I also think people know within themselves usually when things are becoming problematic. I think there could be more information available to show people they can live without alcohol and how to do it. Resources such as Living Sober are incredible but probably not mainstream in terms of people knowing there’s that option. I think this sort of site would work for most people that might not need to go to rehab, but just want to quit or moderate with peer support.

      Hey, good luck with your studies. And good on you for jumping on here and asking for info. :)

  19. Love a glass of wine whilst cooking dinner. Can’t cook without it now. Finish the bottle. Don’t feel drunk but not especially great either! Vow to myself to never do it again until shopping the next day and lo and behold buy myself another bottle of vino. Can’t seem to stop the cycle. I feel guilty about it all the time