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Getting through wine o’clock

July 24, 2014 824 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. 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”.

    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.

  2. I have found having fish and chips as an early dinner helps. Not very healthy I know…but I never feel like drinking alcohol with fish and chips. Just a nasty, sugary coke :)

    Drinking loses its appeal on a full belly.

  3. Been drinking every day for 30 years .

    This is my first day of not drinking .

    I need to do due to hbp and other problems .
    Got through it so far but its only the first day 0(

  4. I dunno how to get thru it. I don’t want to get to beer thirty today. I have drank every day for over 5 years. Prayer, doing a craft hobby, my son being here, running…nothing helps to get past beer thirty. I gotta do it today. Gotta do it.

  5. Usually I have a glass of diet ginger ale and lime with ice in a beer glass. I try to talk about my feelings more instead of stuffing them down with booze.

  6. Today marks 140 days clean. Despite my past failed attempts to quit, this time has been easy breezy until today. I don’t know if it’s because summer months are approaching and kids are out of school, but I’m REALLY struggling today folks! Please HELP!

  7. I’m looking for support in terms of attending a first social event with other people drinking. I usually practice with my drinking band mates every Sunday, but I’ve managed to avoid practice the last four Sundays. I’m at 32 days but I’m dreading practice this weekend. Any suggestions welcome!
    In terms of avoiding the witching hour, I drink tea and eat milanos, or I make a special drink with raspberry cordial and club soda. But I only started those rituals after two weeks. Before that I remained glued to blogs and stayed in bed:)

  8. i got myself a new yz250f is anyone knows what kind of dirtbike that is but i got it around my 60 day sobriety date its a hobby i did when i was in high school and it feels so nice a stress free to ride after a hard day anyone that loves motocross can definently try riding to keep there mind off of it

  9. Today is mine and my husband’s 4th day. The NBA playoffs are tonight also. Usually he watches that with alcohol. He text me and asked me to get him a beer. I said no. He said if I got just 1 it would be ok. I said 1 leads to more. Anyway it ended because I text him, “God you are making this hard for me!” We are Christians and are both very active in the community and thus far have been able to not have anyone worry about us. I feel bad because I felt like I was making him unhappy, but I know he wants to quit too. Me cooking with wine is like how he will have alcohol during sports. The thing with me though is I have Sensory Processing issues so I think the wine muted that.

  10. I am on 3 days. I always have this picture in my head of sipping wine, cooking dinner, kids playing outside… and while it does start that way it usually ends with a fight with my husband, and guilt. The other thing I don’t like is always worrying about how much alcohol was left. Heaven forbid I settle down for the night and then realize the alcohol is gone.

    1. Oh my goodness this resonates with me…I start with great intentions and turns into a s storm…I don’t want that for me or my family anymore…praying to get through today. I haven’t known what it’s like to wake up sober in years….

    2. Oh man… always the fights :(
      I can ‘t believe my husband is still married to me after all the stupid things I get worked up about when drinking. Too many mornings I’ve spent going into the bedroom apologizing after fighting then passing out on the couch.

    3. Me too. But really I just drink too many wines (not just the normie one or two), feel sick and tired and grumpy, sleep like shit, wake up feeling like shit and do it all again the next day, even when in the morning I say I won’t. I feel like I’m always on Day 1 and really struggling to get wine out of my life. I’ve given up nicotine and all sorts in my life but wine is really hard. Is it because it’s legal and everywhere??

    4. My romantic idea is based on something I saw once. I was in my late teens, and I went on a trip to Washington, DC with my boyfriend. We met some of his friends at an outdoor cafe, it was late spring. These women were sitting there, in dresses, drinking a glass of wine. I thought that was so cool and sophisticated. And THAT IMAGE got me started on my drinking problem. For some reason, when 5 o’clock hit, I would get that image and immediately think “cool, sophisticated, urban” and I would retreat to the porch or the deck with a “nice” glass of wine or two, or three. or occasionally four. ooops the bottle is gone… maybe go down to the store for another bottle.. or maybe a beer on top of that would be ok…. I wish I had never seen those women being “cool, sophisticated, and urban.”

    5. I literally could have posted this! I seem to romanticize wine and our experiences. I think oh let’s just try to be moderate 1 last time.

  11. I go to the gym. A good hard workout (or an easy, breezy workout– like a tai-chi class) is just the thing! Plus, i’m getting my endorphins from a good source instead of from booze.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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. :)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.