Dear Person on Day One

woman looking over landscape

Welcome to a very special day - the first day of the rest of your life!

I know that's a terrible cliche but image that it's true. Imagine that from today things start to really turn around for you. Imagine that today heralds the start of a massive period of self-growth. Imagine that today you set a new more positive course for your life. Imagine if today you say goodbye to all that angst and misery that alcohol has given you.

Day Ones are hard. They're also rather exciting. My Day One was both. It started at 3am when I awoke sick as a dog and full of misery (and probably half cut from all the wine I drank the night before). I cried on and off through the morning and felt like utter shit.  I slowly rehydrated and recovered from my alcohol excesses and was left just feeling tired and flat. I  went to bed early in a less-than-chirpy mood.

But my Day One was also quietly fabulous. In the depths of my despair I made a big and exciting decision that this was it. No more drinking. No more alcohol in my life - ever. Despite my self-esteem being shot I managed to tap into the wise, brave and strong part of me that desperately wanted to get out.

I summoned enough grit to write myself a letter that set out my intention to learn how to live sober. I got a whiff of change and I believed that change could come.

I only ever had one Day One. But that's not how it goes for everyone. Some people have a couple. Some people have many - they're the really brave ones. They keep coming back, keep trying again to tap into that wise, brave and strong part of themselves that is desperate for change. They keep proclaiming 'Today is Day One'.

I don't care if you're on your first Day One or your fiftieth Day One - you are welcome here. And whether today is your first Day One or your fiftieth Day One it might just be the one to finally stick. So tomorrow will be Day Two, and so on and so on. One day at a time you will carve out a new life.

A sober life. Not a life free from sadness and pain - that sort of life doesn't exist - but a life grounded in truth and honesty and bravery.

So Dear Person on Day One - I salute you.  I am excited for you. I know what hard work it is going to take for you to move through the days ahead but believe me when I say: It is so, so, so worth it.

And one day in the future you'll look back and be thankful for this Day One, just like I'm thankful for mine.

179 Comments
  1. Anonymous 6 days ago

    Day 1 for me.. im terrified.

  2. Nina 2 weeks ago

    Tomorrow is day 1 and I’m filled with anxiety. Work is stressful and I use that as my excuse for why I need a drink. I’m getting married soon and my fiance and I both drink heavy and functional for almost 5 yrs for me and him a little longer. Its to the point where I’m just terrified one of us is going to have a stroke, heart attack and then we will be left with horrible grief and I dont want that. Alcohol is the hardest addiction and when two people have the same addiction it really makes it a challenge. I know our love is strong and I going to start my day 1 tomorrow. Has anyone tried naltrexone? If so how did it make you feel? Thank you for the blog as this is my first time ever posting something and it does make me feel less anxiety. Take care and be safe everyone.

  3. Kate 1 month ago

    I’m on day two again. Maybe about the 100th attempt. Im angry at the world. I dont want anything to do with outside or anything yo do with myself. Can’t believe that as much as I hate alcohol that I continue to let it in. I feel amazing when I’m sober. Its crazy to see all of you on day one too. I know I’m not alone although I feel like it. We can do this together.

  4. healthyhabits 2 months ago

    Its day one for me also and it’s my second attempt. Trying to remember how good (and proud) I felt the last time, when I would wake up every morning and take a few seconds to register no hangover and then be so so so glad I made it to another day clean. I really want that feeling again. It was really hard the first few weeks and then the cravings lessened. I hope I can push past the stupid horrid voice inside that justifies the first drink of the evening for the next few weeks…

  5. Dawn 2 months ago

    It’s amazing how many people drink so they can sleep! Being sleep deprived is a nightmare

  6. Paqal 2 months ago

    Finish of day two for me 1 am and still wide awake. Damn, I am normally out like a light by 9 pm, but share that 2 am wake up with beating heart and incredible thirst. My lovely wife has resorted to sleeping in a separate room because I disturb her sleep so badly. Today becomes day 3. Really tough around 4-5 pm when habits kick in. Trying a zero alc beer at wine o’clock. Not the same, but it seems to help a bit. Also helps to eat that evening meal fairly early as the craving seems to reduce when I’m full. Thanks Mrs D for the Day 1 encouragement.

  7. Michael 2 months ago

    So proud of myself going on day 4. Day 1 and 2 was the toughest for me day 3 just the lack of sleep. From a heavy drinker decided to do it cold turkey. Family and health 1st.

  8. Scared for my health 2 months ago

    My day one. This is my third attempt since November. It started up again when on lockdown. Got to point where I have a huge lump in my throat from throwing up daily and the lump makes me gag every time I try to eat so been days since I’ve eaten. Just one sip of a drink and I immediately throw up. Im shaky, twitchy, super anxious and scared, heart races, couldn’t sleep and keep throwing up from the lump in my throat. I really hope I can get through this day. I dont want to drink. I hope I didn’t too much damage to my health….

    • Andrew 2 months ago

      How’s day 2 going?

  9. Lisa 3 months ago

    I am on day 1. I have also had many of these. I seem to make it about a week & then I slip. Wine is my weaknesses. Up until a few years i never even drank it, now I love it. I know it is horrible for my health & that I really need to stop drinking.

    • bookbook 3 months ago

      Yeah it is 3 am and I am on day one again. I do 90 days then loose it. I really really dont want to drink anymore.

    • Misssy2 3 months ago

      Hey i’m on Day one also and its horribly hard…I have also had many day 1’s….I binge and don’t eat…so my last binge was for 4 days 🙁
      Lets do this!

  10. Kris 3 months ago

    I’m back to day one again. Again and again and again 6:43 am. Sweaty jittery and nauseous. I know a drink can make go away. So easy just to refuel. I’ve got to stop. I don’t want to die. This a powerful poison. Slow suicide but it’s all I can think about. Knowing that I can always get my poison at any time really freaks me out. I wish I can just sit on my hands or go into a deep sleep and wake up feeling normal. Normal is all I would ask. Happy well it just might not happen. Just normal please to God.

    • Andrew 2 months ago

      How are you doing?

  11. Eimear 3 months ago

    I just joined.
    I m on day one. I had so many…
    It s 9 in the morning and all I can think of is YOU CAN T MAKE IT AND YOU WILL FAIL AGAIN

    • Anonymous 1 month ago

      Did you make it?

    • brandnewbridie 3 months ago

      Today needs to be Day 1. For a long time I have been thinking about my drinking and I’ve handled it. But this week I’ve felt so low, so tired, my sleeping has been shattered and I feel icky and sick in my stomach. I feel puffy and dehydrated and it’s affected my ability to go to work. This week has been low. I’ve been waiting for the vision and desire to be greater than the resistance to change. I dont want to feel like I’ve felt this week again. It’s ridiculous of me to go through this cycle each day when its just making me feel worse and worse and the high and happiness is becoming less and less. Alcohol it’s been a good party but you’re overstaying your welcome.

  12. Pixie2017 4 months ago

    This an awesome way to think about the “day one”. It’s an individual decision to stop drinking but you have support and friendship of many people here.

    • Bernie Oliver 3 months ago

      Day one. Have given up alcohol for a month and a bit in the past. 3-4 beers everyday and wine at night. Been doing this for30 years. For the most part a functioning alcoholic. Made bad decisions while under its spell and spent a lot of money feeding the habit. Going to restaurants/pubs that didn’t particularly have good food but had cold beer. Making online purchases that sober I would not have. Alcohol puts a strain on relationships as well. Time has come for clear thinking and healing my body. Good luck to everyone embarking on this journey, stay strong.

      • Anonymous 1 month ago

        This is my day one
        Again !
        I feel terrible
        Angry at myself and although have a partner and a little girl I feel very alone !
        Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and feel better 🙏

      • Andrew 2 months ago

        How has sobriety been for you? Have u maintained?

  13. kerry48 4 months ago

    I’m on day three. Have had countless day ones.
    Reading this made me cry. Thanks for saying it’s brave to keep trying. It gave me a glimmer of hope. That I have it in me to do this. That this time will be the last time, this time it will stick.

    • Eimear 3 months ago

      I just Moines
      I m on day one. I had so many…
      It s 9 in the morning and all I can think of is YOU CAN T MAKE IT AND YOU WILL FAIL AGAIN

  14. Karen 6 months ago

    Day one.Shaky,heart racing at intervals throughout the day.Anxiety through the roof.Cravings come and go.Not much of an appetite.Feel really vague.

  15. Anonymous 7 months ago

    Day 1. Panic attacks, anxiety, withdrawal. Scared the shit out of myself when I couldn’t drink my first drink ( of whatever, usually wine) because I would throw that up as well. Stopped smiling, working, lied to everyone, hands would not stop shaking. Embarrassing as hell. Sometimes could not even hold steady hands to buy alcohol. Discussing as it gets. Hiding booze. Drinking out of neighbors bar when she was at work. Poring it into her babies cup so I could carry it out. Hiding from people. Hiding from myself. Filthy condo, piles of laundry, stopped cooking. Sip sip all day long . Never get drunk but constantly buzzed. Sad human excuse of a being. I ask for prayers.

    • Jacquie 4 months ago

      I’m with you. I’m so scared. I feel so alone. Thank you for writing. There is hope. I can decide that this is the first day of a new life. I really want to be done.

      • RedWatch 4 months ago

        Hey Jacquie, how are you getting on? Day 1 can be very scary, like walking through a haunted house all alone at night. Stopping in the middle of the house doesn’t make the ghosts go away. But continuing to walk forward, even while the ghosts whisper in your ears and try to convince you to turn back, going step by step until you can finally reach the front door and let yourself out in to the light- that’s the only way out. And once you finally go through that front door- just you wait! What a world that awaits you on the other side of this fear. The sun will shine and you’ll look back at that run down haunted house, at all the days lost in the darkness, and you’ll make a choice. I hope you choose to keep moving forward. But for now, don’t worry about the next big steps and the future. Think about today. Make it as good as you can. Treat yourself well, and try to keep moving even when it gets hard. Even if you’re still in the darkness, just know that you’re moving toward wonderful freedom- maybe you can’t see it yet, but I promise it’s there. I’m with you.

  16. Yari Gama 8 months ago

    I have replaced my use of thc concentrates. I may not have the same withdrawals but I’m feeling so angry and stressed out and all I want is to go to the dispensary’, get another concentrate and get high. I want to quit and my excuse is I’ve functioned normally while high before. But why can’t I just function normally without weed! Why is weed my normal? I hate that weed makes me feel what I want to feel. Because when I’m sober I feel happy but when I’m not I’m full of excuses.

  17. Luv my wine 9 months ago

    I’m on the morning of day 1 and so worried I won’t be able to sleep for the next few days ?

    • Louise 3 months ago

      Im on day one and worried about this too. Im also worried at 6pm ill find an excuse to go to the supermarket for cat food and come back with wine.

  18. Chris Gredzinski 10 months ago

    Today is day 2, getting ready for work. Still in a bit of a funk. Been drinking for over 30 years. It’s gonna take awhile till I feel good again I know. Just for today, I will not .

  19. Kris laucius 10 months ago

    Hi all. This is my 100 th day one too. My boyfriend is mr shutter home Chardonnay. Took that line from above post. It’s 6:30 am and I’m already thinking about putting it off and just having a little. Yesterday I just had 6 which is good for me. I usually put down the 1:5 liter bottle on my own. I feel funky right now. Want to go back to sleep. Please wish me luck and strength as I do for all of you. We are not alone. Hugs. K

  20. Kathy Blaisdell 10 months ago

    Tomorrow is my third day one. The first time, I had hit my rock bottom. I was in a 12-step program but didn’t really work the steps that much and didn’t take it very serious. I relapsed after 18 months. One year later, I decided to try it again. I went back to the same 12-step program, got a sponsor, worked all 12 steps, went to 3 meetings a day/7 days a week and really started to grow. I learned a lot but somehow, I relapsed after 12 months. It’s been 2 years and I am ready to try it again. I have moved away so I can’t go back to the same 12-step program but I have lined up several friends and family members to help support me. I also have all my 12-step materials so hopefully, this will be my final step one. Third time’s a charm. Please wish me luck?

  21. James 1 year ago

    Its scary but its something you have decided to do and believe me that this is the BEST decision you’ve made. I too was scared and its been nearly 30 years now that I had my Day 1. Push through, change your habits, make new friends (those that don’t push you to drink or respect that you don’t drink), substitute drinking with something else thats taste good and is good for your body, exercise, pray, and continue to take tiny steps forward. You will BEAT this thing…and be thankful daily. You CAN do this…..
    James

  22. Anonymous 1 year ago

    How do you know today is the day that I will finally stop drinking?! I am scared that today is just another fake day 1

    • Anonymous 3 weeks ago

      Right! day one for me again

    • Anonymous 11 months ago

      1 fake day is better than no day at all. Not drinking, even for only a day, is a huge accomplishment.

  23. Vanessa bernardo da rocha 1 year ago

    I began day 2 at 1pm today. Passed day one. Uhuuu. Nearly 30 hours.

  24. Vanessa bernardo da rocha 1 year ago

    I already pass for a day it’s being about 30 hours. Like you said the day was totally unproductive. Tired so tired. Feeling sick. No hungry at all. If I reach this it’s gonna be the second time I quit drunk. The first time I quit for 5 years and a half. And then return to my misery again. Even worst actually, every morning right after open my eyes I think damed I did again. But as I can hide the situation quite well, my family seems don’t know how serious this situation is for me. So I ‘m on my own, but prefer like this. I didn’t pretend to have today free from alcohol, suddenly happen, I felt so sick that I could not open the early morning first beer and still like this. Anxious to see how is gonna be tomorrow, I’ll pray to get the same wondering be better than today. Thank you. Nice to open this.

  25. Erica 1 year ago

    It is my day 1…officially…quasi day two as yesterday my body totally rejected the alcohol…had a meaningful convo w a friend who cares…cried n cried…n gave all the alcohol in my house. Prayed cried some more went for a 2.87mile walk in the heat n spent 26min on my yoga mat….but today…all the possible triggers from work set in…my headaches awful n don’t know if th the that’s from staring the computer screen or alcohol withdrawal. But I’m struggling n trying to convince myself not to buy a big bottle just a lil one. This post has given me strength n hope that even if I don’t make it thru today tomorrow can be a new day one Thank you.pray for me

  26. Andrea Brown 1 year ago

    I constantly have day ones,I and drink have a very bad relationship.

  27. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Hi there, I totally understand what Abigail was talking about. I too can go a few days without drinking then start to feel better, the temptation of a few little drinks then happens. I comfort myself with cultural references that, ‘hey, it’s okay to relax with that drink’ ‘it’s ok to socialise with a drink’ ‘that successful person is having a drink’. What these adverts and social settings don’t show me is what happens to some of us, who can’t have just a few drinks, my rational self is shot by them and I continue and continue thinking that extra drink doesn’t matter, or I might as well finish the bottle. I wake in the night hot and needing the toilet, flushed and headachy. At this point I swear never again and I’ll get the help I need. But over the past 4 years I haven’t. I’m trying this time again, but need to stay strong because the sentiment that, it’s not that bad or it’s normal to drink excessively. It is bad and I know it’s hampered my life, work and friendships. To stay sober for me is the only way to break free from this addiction. Good luck to all, we can do this

  28. gustavo 2 years ago

    Thank you for this post. I needed to hear that, and meet other people who are finding their own Day 1. I think this truly is my 50th Day 1, but I will do this. I will white-knuckle it when I have to, and seek positive things. God bless you all.

  29. retired Boilermaker 2 years ago

    Actually on day 2 :<) I feel good it is a sunny day which lifts my spirits, my own spirits not the ones I purchase and just have to have a little more of.
    I have today, it is mine to do with what I wish, I do not wish to finish my day stumbling off to bed and to "saw logs" making my other half and my little dog dread the night.
    That others struggle as I do, well I realize I am not unique in this, but again as in so many things I must manage my affairs of life wisely, so today I will not drink at all.
    not even "just one glass" I will get some of the things done around here that need doing, make a nice dinner, with soda water, a toast to myself and mine, that hings can change, habits can be broken.
    Cheers to all and if you do fall off the wagon well climb back on.

  30. Evelyn rollins 2 years ago

    Day 1-
    Suffer from pot/nicotine/ alcohol addiction that’s my happy spot .
    Recovering from a sad breakup, my addictions/lying torn us apart. I know that sobriety is the answer, as I am fortunate to have enjoyed 4.5 years or a clean life. But as soon as my relationship started to fall apart, I went back to my only way of coping and started drinking daily and now I’m bavl to smoking like a chronic.
    Im disappointed, but I know that I can embark on this life journey it will make me stronger.
    This time I need to find a support system to go to when I get urges to relapse.
    Round two- let’s begin!!

  31. Marisa Mendoza 2 years ago

    Its my fr 1st day. Always went to aa meeting still drinking 1 before a meeting. I tried before becauae eveyone told me to do it, but today ia different. Today everyone is the day. Im so excited i finally did it n want to do it myself. Its my decision n im owning it. Lets do this . Bring it day Two bring it. I made it through 1 day finally with no drink

  32. Myates 2 years ago

    My day 1 here as well I am just so tired .tired of being tired and of the worry and anxiety it has in my health all the time gives me awful anxiety when I think about it and like many of you I m sure I m an over thinker trying to stay positive on my millionth day 1 but Ima try harder this time to remember how I feel when I drink it s really not worry as much as it s guilt of what it s doing to my health then worry if I just don’t do it so much worry is gone .pray for me

  33. download 2 years ago

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post.
    Many thanks for providing this info.

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day one. Tired of waking up not remembering my night before 🙁

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      I hate it too. On day two and feeling happy to make it to work without that awful hangover.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      I hate that feeling also 🙁

  35. Abigail 2 years ago

    Day 1 again, I usually have at least two Day 1 per week, so I am quite good at this. The problem is Day 2, Day 3 and so on… Day 1 is miserable, but the bad feeling alcohol leaves is still strong and the motivation high. Then, at Day 2 or 3 or maybe 4 I am usually feeling really good, full of energy and therefore very productive and I tend to forget very fast that I am not feeling this way when I drink… and tell myself “You were doing very well, maybe you deserve that beer, but keep it just one or maximum two, OK, do we have a deal? – SURE!”. And it is never one or two. And here I am again on Day 1. Any suggestions how to beat that urge, when you tell yourself “you are under control, you will be able to drink like a normal person this time, so go for it” and it never happens for a long term. Any similar experiences and suggestions how to stay motivated in this situation… ?

    • Herman 2 months ago

      Oh yes – I do the same. Several days without alcohol after a bad weekend and I feel good, high energy, long hot day at work and I think exactly the same. I’m doing good, been productive, a couple of cold ones will not hurt, and this time I will handle it. And truthfully I have managed to have just 3 or 4 (never 2) and be done with it on many occasions. But it never fails, if I open the door, sooner or later I will not stop at 3,4 but it will be 6, often 7 or 8, and beyond, more than my share of blackouts. But I’m still at it trying to change my thinking on alcohol and working at it. The guilt, shame, and self loathing feed the problem and I working on dealing with that. None of us are “less than” for struggling. I know we are not who we feel that we are – we are fighters, we have not thrown in the towel, we keep getting back up. Failing doesn’t translate into being a failure, failing means more education about yourself and adjusting the plan. And even rock bottom is a good foundation to start to build a new life.

  36. Jenni 2 years ago

    Day 1 here….praying it sticks

  37. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day one for me – I woke up inspired and ready to not drink but now it’s evening time all I can think about is having a drink. I’m sick of all the secret drinking I used to do – all the headaches in the morning and feelings of guilt.
    I’m starting to get a bit irritable and can’t wait to just go to sleep so I can stop thinking of drinking. I must do this for me and my family.

  38. tripless 2 years ago

    i broke the sobriety on day 7 night.
    feel bad. Will get back to day 1 today, and i think i know how to get over day 7…

  39. Tripless 2 years ago

    Day 7 night. Unable to control. Have brought a bottle. Typing now. God help me

  40. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day One. I don’t want to die.

  41. tripless 2 years ago

    I am on day 5 now.. very motivated. Go across the liquor counters and never have those special feelings… thanks..

  42. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 1….. Heart racing, I keep gritting my teeth and I can’t seem to fall asleep… Usually I’m asleep hours ago…. I’m pretty sure I’m so close to an anxiety attack but scared to take my Klonopin because I don’t want to mix it with the alcohol that may still be in my body after I tried to binge drink one last time and threw it all up because I got naseous… I hope everyone has a great journey and remember every day, even if 1 day, is a milestone….

  43. Tripless 2 years ago

    Day 1 head ache anxiety. I passed through 3 shops but ignored them

  44. lisa 2 years ago

    Day two and I’m going to do my best!!

  45. lisa 2 years ago

    Hi well done everyone I went cold turkey yesterday! Not an wink of sleep all night and withdrawals I have been battling alcohol addiction for some years now and it’s had a negative impact on my health and also family.I after years of not wanting to give up my cruch I’m having another go at sobriety. Hopefully I can do it!!

  46. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 1

  47. Tonya 2 years ago

    I’m on day one for the third time in 3 Months. So defeating.

  48. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Well I made it to day six! I feel so much better! But my husband and drinking buddy tried to get me to drink! And he said while he was drunk that I’m no fun anymore! It’s hard but worth it!

  49. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Thanks for all of your thoughts ! It is very encouraging to know I’m not alone! It’s my day two! I keep thinking I can drink moderately? I guess not? I’m also giving up weed? I’m schizophrenic and at greater risk? I’m praying that this is finally it! God bless you all and good luck!

  50. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day one for me ! 25 years of everything & anything… Turning 35 next week I don’t want to live numb ,scared and sick anymore ! Plus I have a wonderful women I can’t lose. I don’t have another heartbreak in me !

    Best of luck to team us !

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