Dear Person on Day One

woman looking over landscape

Republishing this powerful post.


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.

  1. retired Boilermaker 5 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.

  2. Evelyn rollins 5 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!!

  3. Marisa Mendoza 5 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

  4. Myates 5 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

  5. download 5 years ago

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

  6. Anonymous 5 years ago

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

    • Anonymous 4 years ago

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

    • Anonymous 5 years ago

      I hate that feeling also 🙁

  7. Abigail 5 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 3 years 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.

  8. Jenni 5 years ago

    Day 1 here….praying it sticks

  9. Anonymous 5 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.

  10. tripless 5 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…

  11. Tripless 5 years ago

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

  12. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Day One. I don’t want to die.

  13. tripless 5 years ago

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

  14. Anonymous 5 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….

  15. Tripless 5 years ago

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

  16. lisa 5 years ago

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

  17. lisa 5 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!!

  18. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Day 1

  19. Tonya 5 years ago

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

  20. Anonymous 5 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!

  21. Anonymous 5 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!

  22. Anonymous 5 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 !

  23. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Day one for me too – I want to get some distance between me and Pinot Grigio (wine). It’s like a bad boyfriend. Pino the bad boyfriend telling me I will never be happy without him. Telling me I’m no fun without him. Blah blah blah alcohol says all the same things my ex husband used to say to me and I tossed him so Pino it’s your turn!! Go team us. All the day oners I would love to all be here in a year and doing great! – Colette

  24. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Unfortunately another day one! Not recognising the danger signs. Having to push myself past pain and not sleeping because of pain. I did have a good run, but yesterday thinking that some wine would make me feel better. This “some wine”ended up in 2 bottles ! After a spell of 40 days it hit me hard. It is amazing how we can fool ourselves!

  25. Tonya 5 years ago

    Day one for me. The feeling of emptiness and sadness…. but I will try to be excited because I know I never have to feel this way again. Never!!!

    Hope for all who are struggling. We can do this.

  26. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Pre night of Day 1 was horrid. I have trouble sleeping & alcohol helps. Now however it’s uncontrollable. I have to accept it has to ‘no more” – I do well for a few days; feel better & stronger- & then blow it. I’d like to believe I can control it. But it beats me every time. I’ve had Day 1’s before… but this is the first time sharing with anyone. And it’s going to be my first try of not controlling it but rather not doing it at all… I have had no sleep. Was trying to take a nap. I can’t. Instead had a coffee. Now trying to accomplish at least 1 thing out of the house today. While avoiding my local liquor store… I think it’s become so routine for me it’s a daily schedule. I need to create a new routine. Praying for an easier evening. Thanks for this site. It helps to write it even if anonymously. Wish me luck!

  27. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Not even Day 1. Pre-hours of complicated sleep to Day 1. Hungover… I hope to come back tomorrow with a enthusiastic & positive Day 1…

  28. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Well good morning world i got thru day 1. Sleep wasn’t great but hell i got no hang ova. Day 2. Shouldn’t be as hard as 1 or not.

  29. Anonymous 5 years ago

    This too is my hundredth day 1. I get this sense of excitement inside me that i need to buy wine. Im tired of being tired, hungover, less productive making unreasonable decisions. Need to ask for help

  30. Michelle 5 years ago

    This too is my hundredth day 1. I get this sense of excitement inside me that i need to buy wine. Im tired of being tired, hungover, less productive making unreasonable decisions.

  31. Trijntje 5 years ago

    I am on my zillions time day 1. Sadly stress and physical discomfort make me buy wine again. This time I cannot afford to relapse! How awful this addiction is.

  32. Anonymous 5 years ago

    I am on day 1 l just can’t live like this anymore. Thanks for sharing your story

  33. Dana 5 years ago

    I am on day 1 l just can’t live like this anymore. Thanks for sharing your story

  34. Agirl 5 years ago

    Thanks. I needed to hear this today. 🙁 Day one here we go…

  35. Floob 5 years ago

    Today is Day One of a numer of Day One’s, but as someone above stated, one of the differences is that I found this website. Thank you so much to the creator and to all you guys sharing your stories! Believe in yourselves, you can do this! The anxiety and depression felt sober is bad enough without pouring more of it in the mix from alcohol! We can do this!

  36. Anonymous 5 years ago

    I really need some help with this. Hit rock bottom and can’t see a way out

  37. Anonymous 5 years ago

    I feel i cant
    Please help out

  38. Drunken mama 6 years ago

    How are you going? I am the same as you. When I get drunk and I don’t care about my family, the days following are full of awful hatred. I too say abusive things to and about my husband! I’m 2nd time around on day 2!

  39. Maddie 6 years ago

    Omg you are amazing! Have tried to post things before but I’m crap with computers!!! I’m currently seeing steph from nelson who you know.( addiction nurse) she speaks very highly of you!! She suggested that I put it out there that with regards to my drinking why do I worry so much bout not having it? It feels like I’m grieving has anyone else had this feeling? I have other issues due to historic sexual abuse and depression and severe anxiety. Its been hell but with steph help I feel like iv just creaked the door open. I’m real scared.

  40. Labella83 6 years ago

    I am on Day 2 today. I hate what its done and doing to my life. If anyone is in Auckland and wants to do this sober life with me…please get in touch. Or if there is someone who has years of sobriety please message me. I AM READY to be sober for the rest of my life!!! Enough.

  41. Anonymous 6 years ago

    I feel you well done! I have been getting help but I am not strong. Its only the start as iv only had one session, not an excuse though. Man its so hard keep feeling like I can see the light then it goes. I just feel so weak and tierd. I have extreme anaxity and depression. Iv haved a good week going to work and getting on with things, but I’m scared. What if I don’t to it and fail??.sorry this sounds so crazy. Just getting it out helps.

  42. Hikergirl 6 years ago

    I’ve been a chronic relapses for two years. Although I’m no longer a daily drinker and go strecthes of days, weeks and even 3 months of being sober that voice inside gets in my head like a jackhammer screaming it s ok. Well that one drink turns into many in a hurry .i am so done .
    So now it’s day 20? Or 21 again . What is different this time is that i finally surrendered to the fact I’m an alcoholic. I wake up ask God to keep me sober and I read this post (dear person on day 1)
    Every morning . I try to go to a couple of aa meetings a week . Visualizing my self the last time I slipped up and felt so sick that I felt a hospital trip was in order: I deserve better !
    Thank you mrs d !!!!!
    Ps love the new book too

  43. Anonymous 6 years ago

    I loved reading this- it gives me confidence and feels like some of the fear has been removed. Onwards and Upwards! Love and strength to you all x

  44. Blessed 6 years ago

    I’m back to day one. I made it six days and the monkey in my mind won the argument this time. I’m trying not to be mad at myself, I’m trying to understand and support myself. Why is that so hard? My power was out yesterday, so I went an entire day without Mrs. D’s blog. Won’t let that happen again. Time to get her on my phone too.

    Happy day,

  45. Dancingdream9 6 years ago

    Thank you for the welcome, I’m feeling sad and angry and overwhelmed and a bit hopeless today, I gave up alcohol 2 years ago on november 1st and lasted nearly 6 months, through Christmas and everything but convinced myself that I could just have a few every weekend obut not go back to everyday drinking, my friends all helped me see I had never had a problem in the first place, always limited myself and just had a few most nights like everyone else in this crazy world.
    Of course I was wrong, I’m back in the trap, dri.king everynight, obsessing and thinking about it all the time, battling anxiety, guilt and wanting to be a better person for myself and my kids so hello day one and hello to all ye brave people out there on your journies xxx

    • RelapsingRunnerMom 6 years ago

      How you doing, Dancingdream9? You are not alone. I am a chronic relapser wanting a forever sober life. I have told myself so many times that I can go back to drinking normally after 1 year sober, than again after 1.5 years sober, 3 years sober and most recently another year sober. It never ever works and I always always end up back in the same place you are talking about. RRM

  46. Anonymous 6 years ago


    this is my ‘day one’ (not my first day one).

    I accidently found this site. I was trying desperately to reach out to a local organisation and when all I got was a voicemail . . . I cried.

    I know the world doesn’t revolve around me and my problems, but I felt like “dear God, I won’t make it if someone doesn’t help me”

    I don’t know how I’ll go this time, but I’m actually feeling positive (right now anyway).

    I just really wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of you that have shared your stories. you have helped me get through day one, and for that I am extremely grateful.


  47. Mainesomeday 6 years ago

    I have Day 1’s constantly. Sometimes daily….once I lasted a full year. This is a bumpy road I am traveling on….my vulnerabilities sometimes get the best of me …… I will keep coming until my very last Day 1
    That is the honest truth for today.

  48. Sober Moon 6 years ago

    OMG. I heard about this site on the Bubble Hour podcast today. I can’t believe what I am reading. So grateful to be here. Thanks for all who shared. Day 1, Moon

  49. Anonymous 6 years ago

    It’s a great site but honestly I think you are missing out on all the people who initially just want to cut back on their drinking. Maybe they need to not drink at all, but where they are at now is not the mindset of “I’m never going to drink again.” Surely there are more people out there who think this other than me??

  50. Fee 6 years ago

    Hi there

    Zillions of Day 1’s – I have had. I stopped today at 12 midday 3hrs and 10mins ago. Feel utter despair and self hatred. Have had long sober periods so I know the other side of this. How it is to feel alright about self and life.
    Anyways. Here I go again.

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