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. Jenni 4 years ago

    Day 1 here….praying it sticks

  2. Anonymous 4 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.

  3. tripless 4 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…

  4. Tripless 4 years ago

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

  5. Anonymous 4 years ago

    Day One. I don’t want to die.

  6. tripless 4 years ago

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

  7. Anonymous 4 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….

  8. Tripless 4 years ago

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

  9. lisa 4 years ago

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

  10. lisa 4 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!!

  11. Anonymous 4 years ago

    Day 1

  12. Tonya 4 years ago

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

  13. Anonymous 4 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!

  14. Anonymous 4 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!

  15. Anonymous 4 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 !

  16. Anonymous 4 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

  17. Anonymous 4 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!

  18. Tonya 4 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.

  19. Anonymous 4 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!

  20. Anonymous 4 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…

  21. Anonymous 4 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.

  22. Anonymous 4 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

  23. Michelle 4 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.

  24. Trijntje 4 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.

  25. Anonymous 4 years ago

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

  26. Dana 4 years ago

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

  27. Agirl 4 years ago

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

  28. Floob 4 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!

  29. Anonymous 4 years ago

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

  30. Anonymous 4 years ago

    I feel i cant
    Please help out

  31. Drunken mama 5 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!

  32. Maddie 5 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.

  33. Labella83 5 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.

  34. Anonymous 5 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.

  35. Hikergirl 5 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

  36. Anonymous 5 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

  37. Blessed 5 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,

  38. Dancingdream9 5 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 5 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

  39. Anonymous 5 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.


  40. Mainesomeday 5 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.

  41. Sober Moon 5 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

  42. Anonymous 5 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??

  43. Fee 5 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.

  44. Deb65 5 years ago

    It was so nice to slink back here, with my head down in shame, and then to be greeted by this welcoming post. Thank you; it makes my heart happy to be back here in this supportive place, and back on my own sober path. You are the best.

  45. PaulaJaneScott 5 years ago

    Thank you Mrs D for this site. And for everyone in the community who has posted so far. All my other Day 1’s have been with me alone. Feels better to share xx

  46. Sobergrl 5 years ago

    Today is my fourth day one. This is it. Tired of filling the vodka bottle to hide how much I’ve had. How ridiculous. I know it won’t be easy but I can do this. Time for some reflection and some work on myself.

  47. CarolN 5 years ago

    I’m so thankful for this site and that I found it. So many times in the last few years I have promised myself that I will stop drinking and so many times I have let myself and others down. I know I have to give up drinking completely. I no longer have control over alcohol and it is a poison that is ruining my life and hurting those close to me..
    While I’ve known for a while that I have a problem, I hadn’t admitted how bad it was until tonight after reading others stories, so many of which could be mine.
    No more, today is my day one.

  48. jjump 5 years ago

    Today is my DAY ONE. Feeling a little lonely and afraid. This morning I felt like it was going to be ok, But all of a sudden, after texting with my soon to be ex husband, I’m feeling even more alone. I have to go to a staff dinner tonight and I just want to make it through without drinking any alcohol. But I’m feeling so sad and nervous right now.

  49. 5 years ago

    I’ve lost count of my day one’s. I feel utterly and completely helpless over my compulsion to drink. Am I just one of those lost cases?

    • BeeLives 5 years ago

      Hi Clarke;
      You are not alone. We can all do this. Today is day 4 for me. It is not easy but I beleave better days are ahead. We need to resist the evil and fight every hours every minutes every seconds of its calls.
      I started many times day One. I want to fight the shame, the sadness, the loss of dream and hope, the feeling of useless and not worthy. So many things we lose with the addiction but finding and starting the journey to living sober bring a smile on my face and so much compassion toward people who are struggling… like me.

  50. Anonymous 5 years 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.

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