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Getting through wine o’clock

July 24, 2014 781 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 have found that making frozen slushes helps me get through the evening, while watching tv and relaxing.
    I blend up fruit (strawberries, bananas, watermelon) with either club soda or your favorite carbonated beverage (cream soda, root beer, gingerale), or Italian Sodas. Pour into a plastic cup and freeze. It takes about 30 minutes to scrape (with a spoon) and enjoy the entire frozen slush (let it sit out a few minutes to begin defrosting prior to eating). They are delicious, refreshing, and take a bit of work to eat, which keeps my hands busy while enjoying a frozen treat. Slushes are my lifeline right now (yes, I’m 8 years old – LOL).

    1. I bought a sodastream with the first $100 i saved, having a fizzy cordial feels a bit more fancy than plain tap water so i have that instead of a wine

  2. I take Pilates classes now 2x/week. I head directly to the studio right after work. I’m finding that I can’t wait to get there, as the day’s stress has all piled up on top of my shoulders. Once I start going thru the pilates movements, my angst & anxiety & urge to guzzle wine evaporates. It us awesome-wish I could afford to go everday.

    1. i joined two gyms to help me get through the wine cravings which come once at the end of each work week. I felt too bad to go to the gym today because of a hangover. Instead I went for a 3 mile walk. I have learned to be proactive and know what causes me to relapse, such as being tired, hungry, lonely, and angry which are great excuses that I use to indulge myself with a nice bottle of wine. I will avoid the wine section in the grocery store. 1 day living sober.

  3. 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.

    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!

  4. Just so uplifting reading comments. I am drinking my usual bottle of wine tonight and will feel not so good in the morning but have to go to work. Would love to exercise but usually feel too tired to do that. Am loving the comments and am going to give up this week definitely – comments so encouraging and will keep reading the comments.

  5. Well, today is my first day of non drinking. Was offered 3 drinks today and resisted the craving and said no. I have said I will give up for a month and hope I can do it, then go back to just having a drink now and then. We will see. Wish me luck!

  6. I’ve found the following things can help with wine o’clock. I’m not suggesting you do them all in one day. Pick one (or two) that suit your mood on the day.
    1. 10-15 minutes exercise. Anything – walk around the block, Exercycle, yoga as soon as u get home. The kids can survive without you for that long!
    2. Make a mocktail. I’ll often make a soda water with lime or other cordial drink to have whilst making kids dinner. I’ve even drunk it out of a wine glass. Whatever works! I’ve even made a coffee or had some other fizzy drink.
    3. Eat a snack when u get home.
    4. Consider meditation. Highly recommend the Headspace program/app for this. Ten minutes can make a difference.

    1. I really struggle at about 11am and 4pm, I have a pond by the front door which has water flowing up through and over a large rock, I have moved a seat there and find listening to the water and watching the leaves float around towards a strategically placed net very relaxing. I call it my pondering pond. sometimes I take a book or do my word puzzles there. I know not everyone has room for this sort of thing but even a small water feature could be helpful.

  7. 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)

    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.

    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. :)

  8. Today was the first day to finally say enough. I was laying on a friends couch with the sweats and aniexity from hell. I had missed two days of work at a brand new job. Praying to God to not be fired and promising everything under the sun to help me quit. Today I still had to sip to not be sick! All I want is a good life but I keep messing up. I hope that blogs and books will help be get over my own hell. I want to be the best mother, daughter, friend that alcohol will not allow me to be.

    1. I went through this on the same exact day. It felt like my heart was going to explode. I was coming off of a big binge! I didn’t drink to help. I might have if I had had any left because I know it helps and when it’s that bad it feels like you are going to die. Anyways the fact you are coming to a place like this is HUGE. It takes a lot to acknowledge because our brains want to tell us it was just a moment, or period of time. I realize how quickly that can turn from a moment into my whole life. I’m new here too so I just wanted to share and tell you I know where you are at and the back and forth battle in your mind. Just keep reading and looking for support. That’s what is helping me right now.

  9. This is what I got in messages today. Picture of my hubby with drink in hand by the pool, with lap top , at a tropical work travel with caption “day at the office”. The other from my BFF of a picture of wine “for drunken housewives.” It was my day 2. I already caved. Hate myself.

  10. today is day 4 for me and I feel tired and depressed with little energy, I always feel depressed when I try to stop drinking and I know if I had a drink right now I would feel so much better (for about two hours), then I start feeling irritable (usually by then one bottle of wine is gone and am starting on the next) and then I get wired and talk loudly and rudely to my partner and often become jealous (of nothing) and rant at him until he disappears into the bedroom, often I fall asleep on the couch or if I go to bed my partner often complains of the alcohol stench pervading the bedroom, in the morning I sometimes need to call in sick or have told my daughter she can have the day off as am too ill to take her to school ontime. This has been going on for a long time, my marriage broke down because of the same thing and I’m really scared the same thing will happen to my relationship now, I don’t want anything to happen as I really love my partner and I know he loves me (or he definitely wouldn’t still be here). He’s really worried about how much I drink and has asked me constantly to see someone or do something about it. The other day I finally had an appointment with a counsellor and told him the whole sorry story of how I started drinking at 14 (I’m 45 now)…and then drunk allweekend to get over it!!! On Monday I promised my partner I wouldn’t drink for a month (while I was drunk) and have stayed true to this for the last 3 days!
    Then I found this site and am reading all your posts and I’m like, OMG-that’s me, that’s me…I think youre all pretty amazing to be sober and would love to be sober too, its scaring the pants off me at the mo, as I just don’t know who the sober me is. I think I’m boring and nothing seems exciting for me without a drink to liven everything (especially myself) up. An incident that happened a couple of weeks ago though has really worried me bigtime and now I am seriously considering being sober… I went away with a group of friends and we stayed at a campsite. The next day we were running a half marathon (I walk it cos am always too hungover to train) and I got smashed the night before, it was way worse as everyone else was sober and I made a total dick of myself, I cant even remember but got told next day I had yelled at a misbehaving kid in the next campsite, telling him to f#@k up and called him a little c !!! I absolutely cant believe I did that and was so ashamed of myself I could hardly look at my friends in the eye. Still cringing…but still feeling like having a drink. I’m praying to God that he can help me stop drinking too…

    1. Hey @alli .. sorry to hear you are feeing shitty. Not sure if it’s any help to say that it’s totally normal to feel really grumpy and low in the first few days after stopping drinking. Your body is going through a massive shift. And by the way you are BRAVE and AMAZING for getting booze out of your life. Just wanted to check that you have been inside the Members Feed? That’s where you’ll get the most love, understanding and support for what you are going through. Hang in there… we all know what these early stages are like xxx

  11. I have struggled with alcohol for most of my adult life having 20 months free of alcohol 10 years ago and 5 months last year. It’s so crazy that whole late afternoon pattern that kicks in and the choice to drink to knock out the pain inside me. I searched out this site because I’ve had enough and am looking for support. Alcohol has been a good friend helping me survive my life but the relationship has changed and it is no longer a friend at all. My task is to learn how to survive with myself being my best friend. For me alcohol isn’t the demon it’s all the hurt and pain inside me that I am so afraid of. I do know that I have to break my very unhealthy relationship with alcohol and that is why I am here.

  12. right now is my wine o’clock…I would sit down to watch ellen and start the nightly ritual. I’d eventually eat maybe around 8 then go to bed. this has been my routine for YEARS. I can’t believe I let this get such a hold on me. have to break the cycle….starting 3-4p.m. need to find some other activities. still a struggle. have drank twice in 10 days. cold turkey is really posing a problem for me!!! its great knowing there are others out there just like me! thankx to alll

    1. I have a very similar routine. Why is it so hard in the afternoon to relax without using the booze. The cravings just seem to creep in. I decided to quit March 1 and so far Ive only had one dry day. There is alway some reason to drink. I’m tired around that time, and always seem to convince myself ahhh I’ll just have one and relax no biggy…then its two then three…Maybe we should try a walk …get away from the tv…keep busy…get up and do something??? Make a list of things to do…Shake it up a bit…change the routine?

  13. The late afternoon was most definitely the witching hour for me.

    I’ll mention first how I got through it in my early days – then why I think it was such a bad time.

    1. Tell people where you are when. Where you are going and continually check in. I used to text my wife to say I was leaving work – so she had a time to expect me in by. I’d call fellows in AA – once as I was just pulling off the motorway near home and near my favourite pub I called one friend who drank like me. He was in the pub clearly so there was he already drinking telling me not to give in but go straight home. I did luckily. He did get it too a few months later I’m pleased to say.

    2. Use a route that doesn’t go passed the old haunts. If you were a bar drinker like I was don’t drive past the bars you used to go in. If you bought on the way home, avoid the shops. Isn’t better to not have milk or bread in the fridge vs having them and a those 4 cans of beer or 2 bottles of wine.

    3. Plan something at home for every evening. For me initially this was mostly “Go to AA meeting” or “Go to aftercare at Rehab”. But then I added. Play guitar. Restring guitar. Watch film with wife. Watch programme with children they are interested in. Cook a meal – I found I wasn’t a bad cook actually something I never knew years ago. Do accounts – yes boring but something to just focus on needing to be done – it uses up time so you aren’t tapping your fingers and thinking about drinking. Do jobs about the house – fix that drawer/cupboard etc. Wash the car. Mow the grass. Tidy the garden, the shed, the garage… again keep occupied. Go to the gym or swimming etc.

    Those are my top three tips.

    Now why do I think that was the worse time for me. Simple… the deceptive life of an alcoholic. I was never comfortable as myself so I used to put on a show in any environment… work…. pub… home… whereever. That was hard work like an actor having to remember the character etc. and swapping from work to home was a really difficult one for me. I almost used that time as a time to “de-role” from one roleplay and to prepare for the next one. Once I’d got out of the habit and the obsession about drink began to fade – 9 months to a year in my case. It stopped being such a problem. I wanted to go home and do the things above and more because I enjoyed them and I enjoyed them sober. Also I was me, I was real in all my life, at least real in a way that didn’t cause that tension and the need to reset myself continually. I was me at work, me at home, me with the family, me in AA… I didn’t need that time or the fuel (alcohol) to manage those changes.

  14. Hi

    I am a solo mum and I live by myself in a small town, I moved here from auckland because of my job and due to the isolation I started drinking 3 years ago. I could really do with a support network or anyone who understands what I am going through

    1. Hi krystal I’m new to this but I identify with your feeling of isolation. I’m a single mother too and have been binge drinking on and off for 3yrs. Today is day 1 again but it has to be my last day one the anxiety I feel after a binge is crippling me and the shame and guilt is too much I want my life back I hate alcohol as it makes me hate myself how r u doing on the sobriety train

    2. I know what you’re going through, too. I have a young one & started drinking to wind down after a rough day of parenting. What was once a weekly habit became an every-other-day habit about 3 years ago.

      I want to quit. I’m trying, but not doing very well at all. :(

    3. Hi krystal
      I know what you are going though, and I too need a support network. Maybe we can help each other and others especially when we want to go to that first drink of the day.

  15. So i am not alone… That helps but can it help me.. I can’t remembervwhen it became a necessity..
    I don”t know how long i’ve lived with this longing that i can’t control..
    and it is my achilles’s tendon

    1. I am finding it so hard to give up drinking. The worst time for me is around 5pm. I say to myself I will just buy one bottle of wine and make it last, but it doesnt so I buy another. I drink to make myself feel better and to get over the ongoing hangover thats always with me. I wake up hating myself and I feel tired all day.

      1. Totally. I have tried to stop so many times but always give in. This is day 2 of no booze and I feel like a champion already. Really want to make a change this time!

      2. I know what your saying. Did the same thing. Slowly rebuilding my life but I had to got through the hospital and do a detox Programe plus an 8 week 3 night a week course to start on the right track. Plus I take a pill everyday that if I did drink would make me very sick! I went through a government funded Programe called carenz, amazing organization. At the time of full on drinking I never thought I would ever be able to come off it,

      3. I know what your saying. Did the same thing. Slowly rebuilding my life but I had to got through the hospital and do a detox Programe plus an 8 week 3 night a week course to start on the right track. Plus I take a pill everyday that if I did drink would make me very sick! I went through a government funded Programe called carenz, amazing organization. At the time of full on drinking I never thought I would ever be able to come off it.

  16. Getting thrum wine o clock is a friggin challenge. I just mentioned today that I had some serious cravings this afternoon. What I have noticed in my 12 days of sobriety is that after I fix dinner, prepare my lunch for tomorrow, clean up a little bit and begin my wind down process…as long as I grab my tablet and start reading and talking to you folks..my cravings ate almost non existent and before I know its time to put my little one down for bed. I know thismay not always be the case but for now its ahuge help.

  17. 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!

    1. 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. 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.

      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.???

    3. 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 …..

    4. 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 ☺

  18. 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!!!!

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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

    4. 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

      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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. MaryIsNotAFairy,

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

    9. 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.

      1. @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.

      2. 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.

    10. 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!

    11. 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.

      1. @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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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!

    12. 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.

    13. 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!!

    14. 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

      1. 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…

      2. 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

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

      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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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!

  19. So it’s 3 minutes to wine O’clock. I have a virgin mojito soda water to drink. Think I need to distract myself. This holiday has been a constant pattern of drinking for 20 days straight. Not heaps since I moved down to beer but still its a habit. Broke the habit Monday for one day and then back on the wine on Tuesday and Wednesday. None yesterday and aiming for none tonight. I could really use some community support right now. Hope everyone else is going well.

    1. I’m joining in here. Signed up this morning. Miraculously made it through Friday without a drink. I’m determined to get healthy… By not drinking, to be in control, to reclaim myself, to be free! – today is day one of that journey, I feel lost, fragile and vulnerable

    2. How are u going? Have struggled myself for a long time. Today is my 3rd day without any alcohol. struggling today but hope tomorrow will be better. One day at a time. Fingers crossed for you! We can do it!

  20. Hi, this is a comment for the techy people at Living Sober. I really want to join the community but it wont let me in! Been trying for about 5 days now. Mrs D said you were having a spam problem and were working through that. Is it still this or is it my computer? Sorry to post here, but I don’t know I can contact you any other way. Thank you. All the best people out there. I hope to join you all soon :-)

  21. I have found that much of the yearning comes from the behavioral pattern of drinking, of turning into that liquor store parking lot at five o’clock. That crushing yearning almost seems instinctual, every fiber of my being seemingly hard-wired to respond to the urge. But it is only an urge, an inclination, a want. Trust me, it feels like a need in my mind. If I can get past it, that moment when my hair seems on fire for the wanting, if I can not open that bottle, I’ve noticed that the urge recedes.
    I’m 20 days in and can cry from the miracle of this. I know my road has only begun and easy is a long way off. But every night, my old friend, that urge arrives again, and I face her and turn on the teapot, or take the dogs for a walk, or sit down next to my twelve year old cub, or meditate, and the urge slips away.
    Buddhist thought and thinkers are helping me tremendously. Pema Chodron writes, “not acting on our habitual patterns is only the first step toward not harming others or ourselves. The transformative process begins at a deeper level when we contact the rawness we’re left with whenever we refrain…We allow ourselves to wait, to sit patiently with the urge to act or speak in our usual ways and feel the full force of that urge without turning away or giving in.”
    You are not alone, fellow traveler. We are not alone.

  22. Hi, I’m new and really need support. I can make it a few days without drinking, but after that my car turns into the liquor store and I’m a goner. What IS it about the 5 o’clock hour???

    1. Terrible isn’t it! 3rd day without. Allowing myself to feel sick and shitty. Trying all sorts of fancy non-alcoholic stuff to drink to find something that is nice, fresh and not too goddamn sweet! We can do it!

    2. It’s like a magnet pulling you isn’t it? You tell yourself every morning that you won’t do it tonight but you do anyway because the magnet is pulling you. Sorry to use the word ‘you’ when I’m talking about me and maybe you anyway. My unconscious pulled me there and it was like I didn’t have a choice. It’s a pattern and a habit and once you’ve broken that habit a number times, well with me, I stopped getting pulled there because my brain I think (and hope) got into a new habit! I get pulls now to my favourite haunts. It’s such a strange feeling but I manage to pull myself back. I have been so thirsty and quench my thirst with water and a new addiction to tea believe it or not. x

  23. 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 ;)

    1. 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 :)

    2. 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.

      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 !!

    3. 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.

      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’.

  24. When I decided to stop drinking I was well and truly over it. I guess I had the willpower to not want to touch it. This got me through the afternoon. The best thing is to not buy it, don’t have it in the house. Don’t have people over at that time. Little triggers just try to avoid them. Get something nice to drink that isn’t alcoholic.

    1. In some situations, like mine, there is another drinker in the house who doesn’t want to give it up. I think if my husband didn’t drink and there was no alcohol in the house it would be easier for me.

  25. I am tired of not being able to quit drinking…I have had enough of this crazy train and I will do whatever it takes!! I joined this site and several others and going to my first meeting tonight after trying to do this on my own for so long…I am exhausted, humiliated, guilty, scared, anxious….but determined to live a new life sober!!!! Thank you for your support and I hope I can be that for you also!!

    1. .@badgerette How brave are you?! I love ‘my’ meeting that I go to. I realised that there are many trains of thought about meetings. I’ve found one that I really like and go to that every week. In the beginning I went to lots of meetings. The good news is; everyone that goes to a meeting is fucked up, and we are all responsible for some serious stupid shit. The great news is; that we all want to change our way of life and we realise it’s easier if we don’t do it alone. Go with an open heart and an open mind. And more good news, I bet you walk away with a great reason not to drink that day. Good luck!

    2. Good luck – I admire your guts. I’m too embarrassed to go to a meeting – have been trying to quilt for a long time also. Will be interested to know if the meeting works – may push me to try it. Good luck! Grace

  26. I’ve just joined today and this topic is ME. If I could just get past 7 pm, I think I’d be OK. But that hasn’t happened for more than one day at a time in many years. Look forward to your ideas. Saw some already that I will try. Glad I found you!

    1. @badgerette – I’m glad the meeting was worth it and wish you all the best at staying alcohol free. It sounds like you are really committed and have many reasons not to drink. Good luck, be strong, get through it!!

    2. Missgrace….I am scared to death at meetings….but Im more scared to fail again at quitting drinking….I havent been to jail or been arrested but it is only a drink away….after drinking and driving two nights ago and blacking out….getting in a fight with my daughter…..I will get to a meeting and stand on my head if they ask me to….I am so sick and tired of this and I want whatever time I have left on this earth to be filled with no regrets because life is short and already I am 56 years old!!! Ive wasted way too much time trying to destroy myself…I called someone who goes to AA and they were more than happy to take me to my first meeting….it was worth it!! Hugs!!!!!