Dear Person on Day One

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.

Dear person...

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.

127 Comments
  1. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I have had a few Day Ones, but I am determined to make this my last one. I feel completely overwhelmed with my hectic life, and feel like I should be working on other things right now. But I know I need to find some support, and I am glad I found this site. I could hardly get my child to school this morning thanks to the monster hangover I had from my nightly bottle or two of wine. I want more for myself. I need to make this change for myself, and my family. My daughter and husband deserve more from me. It’s time to gather up all the strength I have left and work towards being healthy again.

  2. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Today is my day one.

    • MrsMiniver 1 year ago

      Welcome xx

  3. MrsMiniver 1 year ago

    This is my first proper day. Had many half-hearted attempts, but something feels different. I’ve had enough of the early morning dread-filled wake-ups, questioning myself as to why I couldn’t stop. I’m fed up of glaring at my dinner guests wineglasses to make sure there’s enough left for me. I’m fed up of ‘that voice’, urging me on, teling me ‘just one more, or ‘go on, treat yourself’. I’m fed up of having stomach cramps, headaches and being almost permanently tired. Reading this blog and Mrs D’s book made me realise that I’m not alone and that by confronting this devil, I’m taking back my life and have nothing to be ashamed of. Not any more. This is my first day, I will hold onto those reasons why I will no longer drink. I wish you all the very best of luck xx

  4. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Today is day one of this particular round of drying up. I was sober for a few months last year and it felt really great and then I lied to myself that I would never drink to the point of changing my personality. I would drink in ‘moderation’. Well I guess I did more than I didn’t, but there have still been more than a few instances that I turn into someone I don’t like. Someone I hate, actually. The first time I ‘quit’ drinking it was because my husband and I drove drunk with my son in the car, got pulled over, and let go. I felt such shame. I can’t even describe it. Omg. I have decided to get sober (and hopefully stay sober) this time because (among other things) I went to card game, got totally drunk, talked terrible crap about my husband to people he sees all of the time and then DROVE home. I have a 3 mo. old and a 2 year old. Not only could I not take care of my 3 mo. old, but we were taking my 2 year old somewhere special the following morning. I knew this and had been looking forward to it for a long time. Instead of enjoying the day with my baby boy, I wished I wasn’t there the whole day. It makes me super sick to stomach to admit that, but that’s the truth. Because of booze, and my lack of control. I never want to do that again. Ever. Here to day one of forever!

    • lastchancesaloon 1 year ago

      I could have written so many of these posts. I hit rock bottom in the weekend and the worst part was – I didn’t even think it was rock bottom. Went away with my 2 girlfriends for a weekend in Wellington to see the World of Wearable Arts. We had some drinks, I had more, then I got a bottle of wine and talked through the whole show, resulting in them telling me to F* off – so I did. Walked back to the hotel in the dark where I then decided drinking with the 20 something concerge was a great idea. Had to knock on the door and get my friends to let me in where I then proceeded to shout throughout my drunken sleep and bang on walks etc keeping both of them awake. To say I ruined the weekend is an understatement. And after planning this for 6 months, away from the hubby and the toddler – it was awful. I’m soooooo done being that horrible drunk friend. I’m just terrified now of failing. I can go a day or 2 without a drink but never longer than that and it’s always a struggle. Then I say “I will just have one drink” then I have “just one more” and then next thing you know *bang* I’ve finished the bottle of wine, start necking beers, then even whiskey, go to bed drunk, keep my husband awake, can’t see to my toddler, then have to either go to work, or do toddler things which I want to be present at – not bloody nursing a hangover.

  5. Dee49 1 year ago

    My day one was 2 days ago, I’m alone in a city I don’t know, with overseas work colleagues that I am meeting for the first time so it feels like the perfect time to stop drinking! Tonight when we go for dinner I will say no thanks and enjoy the night without wondering what they think of me when I drink too much and turn into a slurring idiot! I can do this!

  6. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I heard someone on the radio talking about over coming there addiction that stuck.

    If you give up and white knuckle it through each and every day you are going to fail as you were always in your head going back.
    I don’t see a half way on alcohol, once you cant control it you probably never will.
    So the day you stop think of it as being over, that life is gone the same as if it had died. You can mourn it but it will never come back.
    If there is no day in your future with alcohol then you truly can plan ahead. Still easy and you miss it like your best friend but its gone.

  7. made of stars 1 year ago

    Years of Day 1’s, today is another one the only difference is I came across this website. I think you may have saved my life. Crying in bed feeling guilty about drinking, anxiety about the future. Ive always felt so alone in this battle with alcohol and afraid to include anyone else in on my ” its day 1″ secret so when I cave in each night there is no one there to hold me accountable.

  8. TallGlassOfWater 1 year ago

    I am on day 9 and have just joined the living sober group today.
    I love reading about the others who have gone before me and how they are still living life alcohol free.
    That will be me in time I just need to hang in there.
    I didn’t drink any alcohol today…

  9. pinnerp 1 year ago

    Thank you so much. I too have all the cyclical issues. Stop for a few days, think oh I’ll have a glass of wine with the boyfriend, relax, unwind this turns into a full bottle. Then little comments that I would nor!mally brush off when im sober turn me into full explosive anger mode. Cue argument, fight, regret, self loathing and the eelingblike you are completely in this alone. Now I feel I’m not he only one. My partner doesn’t get it but I need support from somewhere if I am going to be strong and successful in this journey from my last day 1. Thank you for this site. Xx

  10. pinnerp 1 year ago

    I am struggling with this too…but its has hard when alcohol has always been a part of the relationship but had caused the relationship so much pain…

  11. SistaG 1 year ago

    I thought I was the only one who hid in bed with shame for days on end, trying to remember what I did, what I said, looking at peoples faces for telltale signs. Regret, guilt, self torture and sadness. Day 1 was bad, Day 2 is a little better, there is a seed of Hope that grows within me.

  12. Katrina 1 year ago

    I could ditto your whole comment I had stopped for a month in may and stupidly thought I could go back to moderate drinking, I’ve drunk everyday since, even though I’ve run my business etc it’s not really living in the present, I’m just drowning my feelings. I’ve done it before and can do it again, this time I want to stick to it

  13. teetotal 1 year ago

    So grateful for your post Mrs D and to everyone that has shared so honestly. It really does help to read, to know I’m not alone, and that this shitty ordeal with alcohol is not unique to me (without wishing this on others at the same time).
    I am a veteran of day ones after my drinking spiralled out of control back when I was 16. Within months I was already trying to stop, others were wishing I would too. I’ve been to rehab, to detox several times, and now I’m 33 finally feel like I was making some good progress with AA (which I have come and gone). 8 months sobriety and I decided I was feeling strong. Enrolled in postgraduate study which required me to travel from my new safety net. Now I’m back beating myself up with remorse and shame. The sneaky voices got loud as soon as I was away and I caved. 24 hrs later with a 40oz down I had faceplanted into the concrete and decided booking a plane home to get back on the wagon was my only option. I’ve withdrawn from study and spent the last three days in bed refusing to leave, full of fear that my alcoholic voice will lead me to the rocks. I’ve just finished reading the book, Mrs- d goes without and thought, maybe adding an online community to my toolbox can help me too. Anything is worth a shot when you’re desperate to survive, especially since I feel like I’m now carrying a time bomb in my head.
    I’m exhausted, and desperate to survive this. So really grateful I could share this, get it off my chest, even without leaving my room. Especially since my nose is all scraped up from my fall and the sparkle and smile has left my face. I’m relying on the basic idea that if you keep coming back it works if you work at it…. Eventually as you said, you’ll have the last day one.

  14. bessiesgurl 1 year ago

    This is very well written, and so very true. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Anonymous 1 year ago

    This is my first day one. I am so desperate to make this my first and last but I’m not sure that will be the case. It can be a frightening prospect facing your addiction head on but having found this site it feels a little less lonely

  16. StevieBee 1 year ago

    I love this….. I’ve had a bit of a “dabble” with day 1’s….. My journey to where I am now began with an acceptance of what I was doing…..then I read your book……Had a few periods of no alcohol over the last few months, but I always created a reason to drink…… today’s been a shit of a day, I DESERVE this wine! I’ve had a GREAT day, I feel like a wine…..I’ve got the day off, let’s have a wine…….Finally, it took my two beautiful girls to talk to their Dad (who’s away a lot) and say that they were worried about me, that I was drinking more than usual and not interacting with them in a good way….. I felt sick!!! But I wasn’t surprised… I already knew it……I was more disappointed in myself for not getting my shit sorted out sooner – before they noticed? Anyway, today is Day 6 for me…. I’ve just joined this community. Loving it! X

    • Anika 1 year ago

      @steviebee – How is it going. I am on Day 2 – also had periods of no drinking (30 day challenges etc) but came back harder every time. Sad, but this will have to be a for ever thing!? Hope you made it!

  17. Jennarocks82 1 year ago

    My day one isn’t over yet I have a few more hours to go and T’s been a day filled with guilt (I get bad drinkers remorse even if I didn’t do anything bad) but on the bright side I made an appointment to meet with a therapist today so baby steps I guess.

  18. Anonymous 1 year ago

    3rd day one. 6 clear days for the first time a month ago …1 day the second time a week ago …now feel paranoid anxious self loathing bad sleep etc try again!

  19. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I too am on my 100th day one. I have been sober before through AA several times. I live in a remote area though and AA has all of 6 people in it here all with 25+ years. All they do is whine (wine) about their drinking days. Anyway, two night ago i was out drinking and someone spiked my drink and my brother’s drink. We were both really ill, all day. So that should have been day one, but of course the next day, yesterday, I felt great and had an entire bottle of wine. Now feeling like shit again and we all know how this feels. I have such low self esteem around this issue and lack confidence that i can be sober again.

    I want sobriety again. I want today back, that will not happen. I want my Thursday night last week back. I want my life back, i want my beer belly to go away, i want the courage to give or pour out all the IPA’s in my fridge, I want help and i am an alcoholic.

  20. Sandy 1 year ago

    My day one today, I went out bought your latest book and ordered first one on your sight. Spent heaps of time reading your inspirational stories on your blog. Drank heaps of water, changed a few routines that would have seen me finish the wine in the fridge and open more. Kept right away from the wine aisle at supermarket. Feel ok, focused and really need to do this.Thank you already for your open door and out reached arms.

  21. finderkeeper 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m day one-ing yet again. I’m looking forward to finding out what its like when I’m not looking at life through the bottom of a bottle

  22. Belladonna 1 year ago

    Today is my Day 1 again after many previous failed attempts..this has really inspired me and Im hoping this will be it..I love the support i have seen so far x

  23. NerdonaMission 1 year ago

    It’s both reassuring and sad to read how familiar everyone’s story is. I find it much harder to not have a wine or 2 (or a lot more on weekends, or when stressed and all the other usual excuses) when my husband is drinking in the evenings. It’s a social thing, to catch up at the end of the day. Of course I know I could easily do this with tea! So clearly it’s about more than the catching up and talking thing. Keen to hear others experiences of getting sober while living with someone who still imbibes. I don’t feel like it’s fair to ask him to stop since I don’t think his drinking is as problematic as mine (I have a long patchy history with it).

  24. Maryboo 1 year ago

    This is my day 1; again! Something is different this time. I have been trying to convince myself that I can drink moderately but I finally accept the fact that I can’t. I kept thinking I did not REALLY have a problem because I only drank red wine; hard liquor, beer did not entice me at all. I started going to a wonderful counselor a couple of years ago to get help dealing with grief and something traumatic related to that grief. With her help I worked through those issues but lo and behold my drinking is now the major topic of our sessions together…..I have been in denial but finally realize I have become addicted to an addictive substance! Sorry to be rambling on but just wanted to start sharing my sober journey. I am very grateful for this website and all of y’all’s support! We are on this journey together!

    • Anonymous 1 year ago

      Me too, totally relate. This is day one ‘again’ for me. Last year I went six months without alcohol and mistakenly thought, I’ve got this, I will be ok drinking again. However, dam it, my drinking quickly escalated to old habits. I keep thinking I will stop next week, when my stress settles down, but that week has never come.

      I have accessed this site previously and found the support amazing, so here goes, Day One again.

  25. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Shame is such a force in my life it covers me, feels like it’s eating me;all of me . Just even thinking I could have time without this shame gives me comfort. I’m so grateful for these posts and for Mrs D book. So grateful that there is a way out. It’s my day one but not my first but it is my first with this kind of communication and community of people who know really know how this feels. To be called brave! Such kindness

  26. Anonymous 1 year ago

    It was great to read these encouraging words as I prepare to get free again. Stopped for 15 months and it was starting to feel normal not to drink, then, sure enough, my attempt to be an occasional drinker didn,t succeed and for whatever reasons…… it has been normal of late to down the wine most days with boring predictability. There are so many reasons why it would be better not to do this, so I am going to try again.
    Refusing to let this get the better of me even if it doesn,t feel great for me to be public as it wouldn,t be long and I would be sharing all manner of details, which is what happens when you are inclined to write!!
    There is always something uplifting on the site (and sometimes quite gripping!) although I have been on here very little in the past year. Technology does some freaky things when we haven,t grown up with it, a microphone just appeared on the screen for instance. Anyway, warm wishes to you all, may we stay strong.

  27. Buffy 1 year ago

    Thank you. I was scared to post and then read this. Perfect x

  28. Cherry2000 1 year ago

    Day one again for me. I got totally stinking drunk last night. With the old party crew. I felt so embarrassed and ill this morning. I’m feeling better now. I think what saved me last night was eating before I crashed. So, I drank a kale smoothy this morning. Yeah, it’s gross, but does help A LOT. Tomorrow, I’m going back to the gym. Let’s try exchanging a bad lifestyle for a healthy one.

  29. Squizzi 1 year ago

    Great post Mrs D and very relevant for me as I hesitated about coming back here as I was embarrassed that I had started drinking again. I even thought about setting up a new profile as a new person to avoid the embarrassment, but decided it was better to be honest. I’m very wobbly today after a very bad nights sleep tossing and turning, trying to make the decision on trying to moderate versus giving up and a little bit sad and disappointed that I am not strong enough to just moderate or drink weekends like everyone else. I am sitting in the lounge with a messy house and heaps to do, with my laptop on my lap, writing here instead of getting on with the chores for today, but I just felt I needed to get this started as my first tool in my toolbox!

  30. Linda929 2 years ago

    Well this is my day one. So happy to find this place….a much needed source of inspiration and hope. I am not keen on going the AA route but am keen on getting support​. Obviously my approach could change but today I’m here and looking for your wisdom. Thank you.

  31. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day one was two days ago, and I want to make this the last one ever. Your article is inspiring, and it gives me hope.

  32. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Thanks, @mrs-d. This is likely more than my fiftieth day one and I feel so incredibly ashamed, but you’ve said I’m welcome here, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here I go again!

  33. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Mrs D, I saw your story on telly a few years back. I thought it was wonderful and brave that you outed yourself as an out of control drinker like myself, but you had and still have the courage to do something about it. I thought wow! you inspired me.
    But here I am still on the ‘ let’s have a wine or 6 it’s fun’ to the self loathing and exhaustion that goes with that hangover, yes that merry-go-round. But only merry with a few wines under the belt.
    So today is my Day One. Not my first day one by far, but the first where I feel I am not going it alone, and so just maybe I have a chance of succeeding.
    So here goes and thankyou x

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Yes I specialized in day one s …and after having a heartfelt talk with the hubby before I want with all my heart to never ever have to say .. oops day one again ! It amazing the amnesia that’s sets in around day 5 out from the last horrific hangover spent dying in bed

  35. Cecelia 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for your day 1 message. It’s positive and actually makes me feel like I can do this. This is probably my 100th day 1 so I’m feeling a bit tired, but so totally ready. My drinking needs to stop NOW. I should never drink again for any reason. I need to remember how I used to deal with stress when I had healthy coping skills. It wasn’t that long ago. Here’s to a new day being positive and reminding myself of my strong character traits. Today I will take good care of myself by not drinking.

    • Ro 2 years ago

      Hope you had a great day 🙂

  36. Hotqui 2 years ago

    Just starting my day 1, just poured 3/4 bottle of wine down the drain, feeling so nervous,i hope i can do this.

  37. Brad 2 years ago

    What a great article, thank youi!”

  38. BackwoodsGal 2 years ago

    With this being another day one for me, your blog post is perfect Lotta. Thank you for pointing out the bravery part…I have never thought of myself having that trait, but then I guess without it, people like us would just throw in the towel. It was with tears that my oldest daughter talked to me today about watching videos when I was a young mom, happy, carefree, not under the clutches of alcohol. And how it makes her sad to see what it has done to me since the divorce from her father. Just a very honest conversation that left me feeling empowered to make this my last “Day One.”

    • Andrea44 2 years ago

      It’s my day one again as well. My daughters are getting old enough to perceive what is going on and I want to be there, and be present, for them. Here’s to day one! May we find success and strength in our journey.

      • BackwoodsGal 2 years ago

        Thanks Andrea…wishing you all the best as we travel this journey together.

  39. Sassafrass-t 2 years ago

    I woke up this morning sober after giving in two night in a row. I had to pour out half a bottle of wine so as not to be tempted. I am not certain that i wouldn’t have drank it if it were here yesterday.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Stay strong. Just happened to me too. Let my guard down and ended up drinking a bottle of wine, fighting with my husband and waking up with a hangover. Start again.

  40. Sassafrass-t 2 years ago

    No one can predict the future. I guess the question is more one of “are you willing to risk it?”

  41. Sassafrass-t 2 years ago

    I wonder why I continue to do things that I will regret later. Drinking is what promoted this thought but there are other things, too. Sometimes it is because i want relief from discomfort and am willing to pay the price, ither times it is as if I have amnesia and have forgotten the pain that follows my behavior – kind of like childbirth! Haha!

    • Hsformat 2 years ago

      I think about this too. Relief from discomfort and willing to pay the price. And then amnesia from the pain that follows the behaviour. Well said. A mixture of both for me. Actually I hadn’t drank in 7 days up until a few nights ago. What helped me stay sober those 7 nights was remembering how crap I felt from a hangover 8 nights ago. So the amnesia can lift if you really think about. Or perhaps some hangovers just really let you know exactly what your doing to yourself.

  42. Wallynz 2 years ago

    Thank you. This is my day one… and I woke up with the words “today is the first day of the rest of my life” in my head before I read your blog. Here I go!

    • Hitman 1 year ago

      Go for it! Best of luck, and ignore those demons in your head! Im only on day 13, but im told its meant to get easier! Hang in there

  43. Sobriusmaximus 2 years ago

    On my day one my eldest daughter was in the hospital suffering from annorexia. My littlie was a surprisingly angry 9 year old. My finances were in a mess, my ‘career’ (if I could call it that) was just hanging in there, my anxiety and depression tooks turns at leading the miserable dance…
    Now I am at day 827, and to say it has turned around is the literally the biggest understatement of my life. My daughter is at normal weight and eats anything, my littlie is content and hopefully about to get the lead in the school musical, yesterday I presented in a board room to some of the leaders in our industry. And I have discovered that my default setting is to be largely free of anxiety and depression, that my true nature is one of happiness, positivity. People always comment on it. Funny, who knew what was waiting for me? and the only cost (because everything good has one) is a very occasional feeling of regret. So occasional I can’t believe it. I thought I would miss it forever and life would always have this huge gap where the bottle used to be. I’m lucky I got to discover this isn’t the case. Good luck xx

  44. mlynn316 2 years ago

    I am on day one (first) and this is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you.

  45. Jemima 2 years ago

    So, I’m back on day one for the 4th time. But, seem to be able to have one glass of wine and leave it at that. So, does this seem realistic? Could I have gradually weaned myself off the half-a-bottle-a-night habit? I would appreciate some advice from others,please.

    • Tom4500 2 years ago

      I can’t walk the moderation tightrope. I suppose that’s because I’m an alcoholic, and so I slip. No way I want to go back to the old way. Be careful that your one glass a night doesn’t go past your half a bottle all the way to a full bottle. These problems have a way of accelerating. There are many rewards to sobriety; one is that you can stop thinking about that one glass per day.

  46. barnmomma 2 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. D! I had reached 154 days sober and was so proud of seeing the days mount up, the weight loss just from giving up the wine, the bags under my eyes disappearing, etc. All of a sudden I received a call that my dad was in the hospital and critically ill. Had to fly across the country at a moment’s notice and spend two weeks around my family, who are drinkers, in a very stressful situation. The very first night there, I accepted a glass of wine…and that did it! Flew home hungover, feeling totally disgusted with myself and determined to begin Day 1 again and get back to my sober living. The wine that was in the house and hadn’t been a temptation to me prior to the trip started calling my name. I drank an entire bottle of Chardonnay the first night home, replaced it the next day and drank it again last night. I just poured every bottle of wine we had down the drain. It is clear I’m not as strong as I thought I was, and the stresssful situation with my father hasn’t totally resolved. I need to be extra careful now. I’ve seen life sober and I love it! Your post was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Instead of feeling like a failure because I’m here at Day 1 AGAIN, I can see it as hopeful and exciting because there is a new life ahead. I also love not feeling alone as I read the comments from my fellow travelers on this journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Day 1, here we come!

  47. Tylee 2 years ago

    Thanks so much for starting up this blog

  48. Lars 2 years ago

    So wonderful!

  49. Katerina 2 years ago

    Thank you for making us all feel welcome Lotta – as one who has had numerous day 1’s, this post brought me to tears. I’m tired of feeling ashamed. I want to be free. I’m determined to keep plugging away at my recovery. I’ve been trying different strategies in the hopes that one day it will all fall into place for me!

  50. skye 2 years ago

    what the fuck I have denied so many years but I really fucked up……..thought I could actually say sorry thats just me ever 6 months losing it and not in the perfect place. What the fuck I messed up tonight and totally . !!!!! Cathie freeman suit of hell totally in denial. But fuck it cant go on

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