Getting through wine o’clock

Late afternoon is often the hardest time to avoid drinking. This Sober Toolbox is a space for sharing tips on how to beat cravings, and for discovering new techniques that have worked for others. If you're looking for more discussion, interactions and feedback, head inside our Members Feed. That's where the real-time conversations take place.

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1,279 Comments
  1. jonny 3 weeks ago

    Wine o’clock
    The story of my girlfriend
    Some months ago she had a wine one glass on Friday night
    During the lockdown it was one glass every night till in recent weeks it was always more than one glass most nights
    It was the wind that Got her
    I really couldn’t believe it going for one glass on Friday night to a bottle almost every night within a month or two
    Time she said I’m only gonna have one but by Thursday night it was always more than one
    More than one she said I’m gonna stop doing that I’ll just have one
    But as you know by Thursday night it was one bottle
    The moral of my story is it’s not you it’s the one she’s a lovely person but the wine got her
    She said she’s quit now here’s hoping

  2. LaraK310 3 weeks ago

    I’m new to the group. I don’t know if anyone can relate to this but I seem to mainly binge drink on the weekends. I’ve almost disciplined myself to not incorporate drinking into my work week schedule -like Monday-Thursday but when Friday rolls around, I spend the weekend drinking in large amounts. I wish I could figure out how to carryover that mentality of not drinking into the weekend. I want to quit for health reasons-I’m mid 40s and overweight with high blood pressure. I know this isn’t helping me.

  3. jess1989 3 weeks ago

    Hey people
    So I joined 4 days ago and just logged back in now while I’m having a drink. I can’t seem to shake the need to drink alcohol every night .it’s so hard. And I don’t even drink to get Drunk I drink so I can sleep at night. The nights I don’t drink it takes me hours to fall asleep. I go to bed and toss and turn for hours. I am on medication for that. But yet the nights I drink I sleep like a baby. So it’s so hard to not drink. I’m at the point where I’m so over drinking but also feel I’m dependent on it.

    • charlotteritter 2 days ago

      Hi Jess – I find doing my exercise in the evening after work and showering at night helps me sleep, hot milk milo before bed, keep your room for sleep and relaxing only (e.g. not work). I know these are kind of lame suggestions, but maybe try and see if any of them help. No screens etc etc 😉

    • mcom 1 week ago

      Hi Jess, I’m very much inthe same place as you. It’s really hard to not drink if you know you wont get a good night’s sleep. Can relate

  4. 101Days 4 weeks ago

    Hi All, I just joined this group. I am looking to connect (virtually) with others who are quitting drinking without a 12 step program. I have quit or limited drinking on and off for various short-ish term reasons: taking a class, doing a cleanse, etc. This is the first time I have decided to actually QUIT, as in never again. I have just NOT been able to moderate my drinking of wine, to the point where last week I was drinking because I felt as if I physically needed it — really physically needed it. I cut myself down to one trip a week to the wine store for 3 bottles of wine — gone in three days of course plus 6oz of Whiskey as well! (Which was ok, or so I thought for the week-end) Then, I realized that the four days I would have to wait for my next weeks allotment were becoming a mentally foggy, un-productive, count down to my next supply. After surfing a few sites and watching Dr. Amen’s TV presentation about brain health, I decided to make the choice to quit drinking. I LOVE wine, I LOVE the warm fuzzy feeling I get from it — problem was that I drank so much that feeling was gone — unquenchable. So here it is wine-o-clock where I live, and I’m going for a wine glass filled with Perrier — a helpful placebo. Cheers!

  5. Phaedra 4 weeks ago

    As of late, I have found that warmer days have seen an increase in my cravings. For me, Allen Carr has been very helpful when the sun starts to set. I remind myself of my choice to be free of poison, followed by the fact that there was no actual benefit for me when I consumed alcohol. Everything I want in life, all that actually makes me feel good lives outside the bottle.

    • houghton2020 1 week ago

      I love the last line. I will use that today – thanks.

  6. Tania 1 month ago

    Alcoholic beverages are a “social lubricant.” At holiday and other parties, bouts of excessive drinking can seem like part of the celebration. But here’s something to think about as you raise your glass: drinking too much alcohol at a party — or at any time — can be a sign of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Remember that everything can happen, either one way or the other, but it is us who control how we react to it. Things do not come to us from outside, our lives are what we create. Therefore, we need to remain attentive and not sweep things under the rug. Pay close attention to your actions, to your daily habits, to the routines, notice even small changes, take note of what and why things happen, be proactive, choose wisely the people you surround yourself with, mind the language you use, take good care of your mental and physical well-being. These things might sound very general but when you look closely they matter each step of the journey. If you want more information, check this book – net-bossorg/how-to-help-an-alcoholic-you-love

  7. electrocity 1 month ago

    if wine o clock also transfers to beer o clock then I am mid struggle, hind sight says I should have removed the copious amounts of beers in my fridge before I got to the moment where we are having a staring contest, I found it quite hard to not try and justify having a beerreakfast this morning and managed that one ok, but now is a different kettle of fish, actively avoiding the temptation in any way possible, any grand ideas out there that don’t involve me going near the fridge? TIA

  8. Glenys 2 months ago

    Oh boy , wine o’clock, hardest time of the day, first 2 days over…………..

  9. Mez15 2 months ago

    Yeah Im definetly a wine o’clock mum….It just seems so cliche but its true…Ilove going to the store to get the wine, buying it, the first sip. It just seems relaxing and fun and a splash of colour in a dull day. I have hobbies and friends and things to do…but nothing seems to hit the spot. I know I can get through without it, but do I really want to I wonder or I would have beaten this by now….After 30 years now it all seems tiresome and boring….

  10. retkchabot 2 months ago

    Hi Vanilla,
    Your story is my exact story. You mentioned disulfiram. What exactly is this and how does it help?

  11. Penelope16 2 months ago

    Day 10! Last night was really hard. It seems to help for me to have everything from 4:30 to about 7:30 really planned out. Keep busy and try not to think too much. Eye on the prize, which is me fitting into all these amazing clothes I have and can’t wear!! Being healthy and free!! Hang in there, if I can do it, you can too.

  12. k 2 months ago

    I am a new mom to a 3 month old. I have a great job house and husband …… most would look at my life and say, “huh? She doesn’t have a drinking problem.” I am very good a functioning while drinking a bottle of wine or more a night. (ill go two nights of drinking like this and then stop for 2 days and repeat.) I have started to drink more alcohol recently maybe because of the chaos that is going on or maybe I’m more stressed than I think I really am. When 3 o clock rolls around and work is wrapping up for the day the thought of buying wine is constantly on my mind. The rush feeling of going to the store, buying the wine, opening it, and then taking that first sip — it almost seems like a ritual. I run in countless circles in my mind should I drink? NO … yes no yes … its awful, embarrassing, frustrating!!! I have an apt this Thursday with my doctor to discuss naltraxone because I have tried AA, therapists, counseling … I go for a little while and then talk myself out of it and say everything is in order. Does anyone have experience with naltraxone?

    • kys1 1 month ago

      Wow I relate to your story in such a way had tears in my eyes, i was on naltrexzone for 4 months at one point and supported by a councillor who I visited once per week which really helped at that time

    • Rachel Miller 2 months ago

      Hi K,

      Yes I have been taking Naltrexone for a few months now. In the beginning it worked like a charm and helped me cut down my drinking by 90%! It was literally my saving grace but seems to have lost its potency after a time. I’m not sure why that happens or if it’s just all in my head? However, the key is to just take it every single day because if you don’t take it, it definitely won’t work! HAHA Have you been taking it?

  13. Vanilla 2 months ago

    Hi everyone, I am new to this group today. Im in my 50s and have been drinking heavily for over 30 years. I was drinking 5 nights a week until the Lockdown, now I’m drinking every day. I normally drink 2-3 bottles, of wine, every night. I usually drink alone and potter around doing housework then watch a movie (I have no idea how the movies ended the next day) Anyway I am down to my last 3 bottles of wine today and do not want to buy anymore! I have disulfiram to take but need to be off the booze for 24 hours beforehand.
    I am so over all that wine! I drink loads of water and exercise most days, so would be healthy if I didn’t drink. Help please …

    • Helga 2 weeks ago

      vanilla – you are my story. Thank you for your honesty. What is disulfiram?

    • Lovemyself2020 1 month ago

      Hi Vanilla, it sounds as though we could be twins lol. How’s it going for you???

    • jagga21 2 months ago

      hi vanilla – you’re my mirror! early 50’s, drink 2 x bottles wine a night, 7 nites, drink lots of water – lost a very special person because of the booze. went on a bender last night
      i’m definately here for you – tip those bottles out – we don’t need it now

      • Minesawater 1 week ago

        echoing all these comments as a new comer to the site. I think the water and exercise are a way of trying to control what you know is out of control. I have managed to change so many areas of my life and would be a much fitter , lighter and wealthier person if it wasn’t for the booze. for me as well, the drink became a reward system for the exercise – to the point i felt i was exercising purely so i could drink later – rather than the benefits of the exercise itself

  14. jagga21 2 months ago

    Hi all – currently working through a 28 day fitness challenge – we have a positive vibe post, a new one every day that has to be completed – here’s my day 6 positive vibe. thought it was quite fitting for us all
    https://app.masterfitrs.com/resources/positive-vibe-day-6

  15. ojoj 2 months ago

    Hi (again). I just feel so angry that I cannot make it stick. I can make a couple of days and then cave. I am on autopilot to the shop to buy my bottle (but less for two bottles so might do that!), home, pour, sip. That 1 bottle goes so quickly, up and down from couch to fridge. If that 2nd bottle is there I start on that. Go to bed too late and too fuzzy. Wake in the morning feeling dreadful, looking worse. Swear never again and then 4/5pm comes and it starts again. So tired of it. Day 1 (again).

    • jagga21 2 months ago

      Howsabout we do day 1 together – and especially around 5pm today – i’ll contact you and see what you’re up to and vice versa? when i look in the mirror – i see shame and a withering person when i really want to shape up, look fantastic and feel like someone will want me to be part of their life one day, before it’s too late

    • jagga21 2 months ago

      that’s exactly how i do it too – feeling really flat this morning – autopilot to the bottlestore – perfect expression. and i had it in my head yesterday – pretty much most of the day that i wasn’t going to have any last night – ended up 2.5 bottles. wine o’clock during this lockdown seems just the perfect perfect time to forget about my boring day. instead of cooking a nice meal, picking up a book, ringing someone – nup – into it

      • MissPK 1 month ago

        Hi Jagga21 – read your post you sound like me! are you up to doing a 1/1 support check in? I would like to do the same…you are three weeks ahead of me. Tired of drinking a bottle every night! The only solution for me is cold turkey – if I have one glass, the bottle is a goner. Let me know where you are on your journey and I’d love to do 1 day at a time with someone.

  16. Gavin01 2 months ago

    Hey everyone,
    I’m so glad I joined the community this morning. For me it’s given me some hope that I can get rid of alcohol out of my life.
    I’m 41 years old and have always had alcohol in my adult life. Wine o’clock is the worst thing for me. I only drink red wine. I tell myself in the morning “right, no alcohol tonight”. By 5pm, I’m ready for a glass. And as I cook dinner, 1 glass will always lead to 3 glasses. After dinner I can stop, but lately, and through the lockdown period I’ve been drinking even more. 1 glass has lead to 4 quite comfortably.
    The most awful thing happened last night. I had no red wine in the house so started drinking gin instead. It’s embarrassing to say out loud that I don’t even like gin but needed alcohol. I had too much. I feel so guilty and I do genuinely hate alcohol.
    Today marks day one of leaving alcohol behind ?

    • jagga21 2 months ago

      How did it go last nite gavin? i got smashed after doing exactly the same thing as you – ‘right, no alcohol tonight’ – i felt sooo confident right up to about 4pm after my long walk – almost like i needed to celebrate doing such a good long walk and i’m getting healthier

      • Anonymous 2 months ago

        I feel the same way — if im sad alcohol. happy? alcohol. went all day without alcohol .. lets drink alcohol. ugh.

  17. Gavin01 2 months ago

    Day 1. No more alcohol. I need to change this awful habit.

  18. Luke77 2 months ago

    Hi everyone,
    I’m new to the group:). Its been a few months since my last drink which I’m loving, but it hasn’t been easy. I’m hoping with time it will. Has anyone out there got some tips
    that they find that works when times get tough? Hope you are all safe and well:)

    Cheers

  19. aNewDay 2 months ago

    It’s day one for me. Wish me luck!

    • Vanilla 2 months ago

      Good luck! ?

    • Tom4500 2 months ago

      Good luck! Three days later, I know. Hope its going well, how are you doing?

  20. deborah34 2 months ago

    Well here is a drinking story! I did dry January and February as part of a 60 day challenge. I did not drink for 65 days. I felt great. In that time I went to a music festival, Elton John concert (by myself!) and went to lots of social gatherings that were all based around booze. Guess what? I survived! I had a good time, I loved being the sober driver. At day 66 a friend of mine, who had also done the challenge, was leaving the country for good (two weeks ago today) so a small group of friends decided that it was important to have send off drinks. I did not over do it, was able to drive home etc. I think I managed a few more alcohol free days before slipping back into my old drinking habits, drinking wine everyday etc. Last night I had driends around and I drank a whole bottle of wine, just like that, eazy peazy. I do not feel great today, dissappointed that I have no control of how much wine I drank. Anyway, I was checking my emails and there was one from Sunday Morning so I opened it. Long story short, it lead me to this site, I went to join, apparently my email was already in use! I had to change my password to get back into it. Scary thing is I cannot remember joining up the first time, must have been drunk at the time. This week I set a goal not to drink for 4 nights, I managed 1! I have a problem! My daughter is reading a book called The Naked Mind, all about the evils of alcohol, youtube it, the author has lots of mini turtorials, support etc. Day one of no alcohol. I am hoping this site will help me. It is not easy, our commercial society go to great lengths to get us drinking and addicted. For example, putting gin in a feminine looking bottle, making it pink and calling it ‘Blush’, clever marketing indeed. We have been conditioned to believe we deserve/need a drink, its a tough battle to fight.

    • ojoj 2 months ago

      I too have quit before (14 months), then started drinking again because I didn’t want to be a non drinker – because I’m not comfortable in my skin! I really don’t know who I am without alcohol. Now it’s a bottle a night and I can’t seem to string more than a few days together.

    • tautoko 2 months ago

      I k ow exactly what you mean I went 90 days apparently twice the time it takes to train the body to kick a habit to the curb felt great could defeat anything life was great did a few social gatherings no drinking and then without me even seeing it had a big drink to send my friend off to Dubai what a few harmless drinks turned into complete obliteration cant remember going back home isnt it so easy. So back on the wagon again positives are I know I have the ability to stop/cold Turkey it that’s great but that little “alcohol drink till there’s no more” gremlin is and maybe will always be there but now I’m totally aware and what triggers it its game on all the best in your journey kia kaha

  21. venus 3 months ago

    It’s been almost three months for me and thought that I was past wine o’clock. Last night was one of my hardest. After a day of letting the Caron virus scare get to me I started to cry at 5:00. I had decaf coffee, herbal tea, and various sparkling waters until 8:00 when I finally went to bed. That was literally the first time I didn’t think I’d make it. Happy to report that I feel much better today. I wasn’t prepared for this test but have decided to lean in and get through it. Thanks for listening whoever is out there.

    • deborah34 2 months ago

      Hang in, well done to you,

  22. molly 3 months ago

    I stopped drinking (wine) for 6 years and felt soooo good. Not really sure why I started drinking it again about a year ago. Desperately want to stop again as my blood pressure has risen as a result. Don’t drink excessively – 2 glasses a day, but now reading that this IS excessive and also reading that there is NO amount of alcohol that is good for us – not what the wine makers what us to know. Evening is the tough time – any suggestions are very, very welcome. Thank you ALL!

    • anonymous 3 months ago

      I have been watching so much TV to check out in a way that is not booze. it’s not ideal but i am giving myself this break for a bit.

      26 days sober today

      Bojack Horseman is really funny and about an alcoholic – i know it’s a cartoon but just give it a try

    • clearskies 3 months ago

      I just crossed day 26 off of my calendar of no alcohol. I am not sure the last time I went this long with no alcohol at all. It is hard to admit but I think it may have been December of 2012, nearly 7 years ago. I remember three gleaming months of sobriety and I felt so happy. It’s crazy how it sneaks up on you, and how I made excuses for it, not wanting to admit it was an issue. But now I can feel my emotions pulsing through me like electrical currents, like neurons are firing and waking up, so I can tell that I was really numbing myself.

      Anyway, I have been watching a LOT of television. And I don’t usually watch television. MindHunter on Netflix is great, and Bojack Horseman for some really funny mindless comedy, and Bojack has a drinking problem so it is extra funny.

      I love the idea of warm grape juice that someone mentioned below as well, to help with afternoon and evening cravings.

  23. JACHALK 3 months ago

    Hi, I’m new on here, I’ve just read some wonderful courageous comments! I’m 49 years old and have two children, well they are adults now, my daughter married and moved over to America (I’m in Australia) and my son left home a couple of years ago, but he lives close. I’ve always drunk wine at night, but when they left, it’s was a gaping hole in my life that I felt I had to fill……
    The worst part is, my birth mother was an alcoholic, and she left my sister who was 6, myself who was 2 and my brother who was 6 months old…. she left us in a car and went on a binge….. luckily a neighbor who looked out for us found us and brought us to her house and called my dad who was away working. We never saw her again. I heard she died at age 43 from alcoholism ( she was 25 when she left)… most recently my sister died she was 49 years old and she died of alcoholic hepatitis….So you’d think that the last thing I would do is drink every single night. I really want to stop I gave up for six months a year ago and it felt great, so I know it’s possible. The funny thing is I can go without, But I cannot have Just one. Before I know it the whole bottle is gone. Any tips?

    • Davinci 3 months ago

      Its tough alright I’m 46 worked hard my whole life and drank most days,unless I was too hungover.I can’t remember ever stopping for longer than a week but after hitting some PB Lows went to councilling and haven’t had a drop for 14months.
      Not a day goes by without thinking about drinking but like you I can never stop at 1 or 2 I have to finish the lot.
      Hardest thing I find now is socializing which I now avoid all but the most important social occasions which means no party’s no pub no bbqs I guess I’m a hermit now. Hopefully it gets easier. Be Strong!

    • EllieJane 3 months ago

      I feel the sane as you. Your story about your mum is really shocking. I understand how awful that must feel. For someone to leave their children alone like that to go drinking. And then to never see her again. Devastating. Have you had therapy around that? ‘The primal wound is a good book to read. I am adopted. I was 5 days old. It is horrible that your own mother left you. Other adopted people are good to talk to sometimes if they have done the emotional work. I am wanting to give up drinking also. My real mum has alzheimers. Big incentive to cut it out now at 50yrs.

  24. daviesjon 3 months ago

    Hi ,
    I’m based in the UK and I have always thought I can give up drinking easily. I still drink! I have at least 25cl of Vodka a night.. every night. What I hate the most is waking up feeling so guilty. I’m 55 and want to live forever. At this rate I’ll be gone by 60! Anyone out there want to help a desperate Brit?

    • JACHALK 3 months ago

      Hello from Australia…I’m just as new as you! And I know this is going to be a struggle, but we can all help each other! One thing I noticed was being able to tell my story in here was so liberating! I actually can’t tell a living soul (even though they probably notice) that I drink too much..

  25. Anonymous 3 months ago

    completely enjoy this blog. wine oclock is definitely a trigger, love the tips!

  26. kellymariachapman1 3 months ago

    Hello, just over six months sober and cranberry juice heated up is quite nice as well as lemon and lime in hot water, it is a struggle sometimes especially when something goes wrong for example your shopping bag breaks with shopping in it or your washing machine doesn’t spin all the water out of your clothes and you have to lug your washing to the local launderette looking and feeling like shit but as the temptation to drink try’s to lure its way in you have to keep trying and pushing it away as far away as possible and maybe reach for a bar of chocolate instead if needed or a few press ups

  27. Leanne 4 months ago

    Hi, I’m 47, a mum to a beautiful 6 year old, I have a loving partner, and I have a love of wine 6 out of days, wine o’clock is after work. Today I want to stop, had a bit more than intended to last night, feeling fresh after a good night’s sleep but the guilt of my habit is hitting me again. I don’t want my daughter to remember me a “the mum who always had a wine in her hand each night”, plus the snaking while drinking is putting some weight around the middle. I need to stop, I want to stop, I want to be able to come home with my daughter put our sneakers on each night and head out for walks

    • BeautifulChaos 3 months ago

      Hi Leanne,
      Welcome to Living Sober. This Community changed my life 54 days ago when I was in a similar position to where you sound like you are right now.
      Good on you for reaching out x
      I’m 42, and have 3 beautiful children (4, 8, 10) and was also drinking way too much more than was comfortable for me. I tried moderating over the past 2 years, and gave up a couple of times last year – only to revert back to the wine again, until Dec 27th 2019 when I woke up and knew that I had to go Alcohol Free to save my life, relationships and sanity!
      I’m really happy to chat, share ideas and be there for you if you want..
      My 10 year old son used to say that I always had a glass of wine in my hand when I read them bedtime stories (it’s been a slippery slope for a while I realise!), and tonight – after 54 days sober – he gave me a great big hug after our bedtime chat, and called out ‘Night Mum’ as I walked down the hallway. I feel like we are back on the same page again, and as much as I am doing this for me. I’m also doing it for my kids and my marriage.
      Take care, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
      BC x

    • Leanne 4 months ago

      Oops should read 6 out of 7 days

  28. Mary's Wake-up call 4 months ago

    I am ashamed and disgusted with myself and really needed this wake-up call. Think I was deluding myself for years that I didn’t have a problem with wine. When staying in houses where they don’t have a wine routine, I would have my own bottle, or two small bottles which I would secretly drink in the bedroom. Getting rid of these bottles the next day was a difficulty of course. How did I not realise I had a drinking problem?

    Last night was a bit different. I was staying with a friend and was being treated with lovely food and of course wine. She was having cans of cider and kept filling my glass with wine so that I drank more than I usually do. At some point I realised my speech was slurry. That was when I should have stopped but I carried on as we were deep in conversation and I suppose I didn’t take notice how empty the bottle was getting. When I finally got up to go to bed I could hardly walk and by the time I reached top of the stairs I actually fell on the landing. I hurt my back and grazed my elbow. My friend shouted up “are you ok?” and I answered that I was. I didn’t want her to know how drunk I was. She didn’t know either that a short time later I was getting sick in her toilet.

    I felt terrible all night and the next morning as I am not used to hangovers. All I want to have now is a cup of tea and plain bread and butter.

    This had to happen. I am glad to have found this forum and have read so many other testimonials from others who are struggling. I really want to stop drinking wine and I actually feel positive and excited about changing my life.

    Thank you all who have contributed your stories and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out for all.

    • PippaB 4 months ago

      Hi Mary
      I am 38 days sober and it took me about two years of “do I have a drinking problem? No I don’t have a drinking problem” thinking to do something. It want the social drinking that was the problem; it was the drinking at home starting at ‘wine o’clock’ until bed. It crept up on me to the point I realised I was functioning but poorly. The last couple of days have been hard for some reason but I keep coming back to how much better I am coping with all that I juggle as a working mother and COO of a household…
      Good luck with it all; this forum and Mrs D have been a real turning point for me

  29. Mary's Wake-up call 4 months ago

    I never get drunk – but last night I did. I am a social drinker but also a secret drinker. I didn’t think I had a problem as I don’t drink
    much at one time. Except last night.

  30. lookingforchange 4 months ago

    Looking at starting this journey soon, I’m just not 100% sure I can do it or want too (although I know I need to).

    Having grown up with a Mum in AA I appreciate the organisation but don’t think it is for me – so am hoping this board will be the support I need.

  31. Bored 4 months ago

    Hi team
    Thanks for being just as (F@c*ed) up as me! Swearing is a new addiction well that’s a lie as I was fairly good at that too.
    I’m 5 weeks sober and every day dream of throwing back numerous delicious alcoholic beverages. Like most of you I work, run a family and at the moment feel like I’ve been stripped of all pleasure. Drink SO much water my pee is like crystal clear. Keep keeping off the bottle.

  32. jor1968 4 months ago

    Hi there,
    I am new to this site and Am Looking forward to reading about how others managed to become
    Wine free. Definitely my goal but have yet to achieve it. I Need all the tips I can get right now. I start each week of positively but inevitably fall over midweek. I really really want to stop. All tips greatly appreciated ?

    • bestlife 3 months ago

      I listen to the bubble hour podcast daily. Somehow hearing other people’s stories of quitting drinking helps me.

  33. Catfarmer 4 months ago

    Hi everyone, I’m new here. Looks like a really great community. Getting through wine o’clock is also my hardest challenge. And I mean really, really hard. I can be fine all day, start the day with a long run, eat well, play with the kids, work hard–all of it–till about four or five in the afternoon. Making matters worse I live across the street from a high end wine store in a country in Europe that has fabulous wines. Problem, of course, is that I polish off a bottle a day at this point and see myself at a crossroads. Either go all in and ruin my life or pull out and let it go forever. Sometimes I get a day or two under my belt but then some stress comes along–I have four kids, recently quit my job (am still on the payroll till the fall but working less), am transitioning to a new career, have a mother with dementia who lives near me, manage her affairs in the US (house, bank, insurance, taxes, etc.) as well as my own, one of the kids is a baby (I am remarried)…..so the chances of some crazy, maddening, expensive thing happening on any given day is pretty high. The day before yesterday, for instance, I was pick pocketed and lost my wallet and passport. After leaving the policy station with a friend we headed to a cafe and I proceeded to drink more than half a bottle of wine. Upon returning home consumed about another bottle’s worth. Last night drank a bit less but nevertheless…. I have to stop and have to find the strength somewhere, though so far it’s eluded me.

    • fellow wine-lover 3 months ago

      Dear Catfarmer: I’m sorry to hear about your struggle and hope you are doing OK these last few weeks. I want you to know that I’m coming up on 6 weeks sober and it took a good hard look at my relationship with alcohol to make the change. I have listened to tons of podcasts, read Hello Sunday Morning, read Mrs. D is Going Without, reached out to a few naturally sober people (aka my friends who have somehow just never drank… fascinating!). I recommend listening to Recovery Elevator and all the stories there. A recent one with the interviewee named ‘Tara’ is particularly full of meaningful revelations. I’m no expert by any means but I feel really good after just 6 weeks, and more capable of dealing with stress. One of the first things I noticed is that in the morning I am able to get my shit together and not forget little things like the field trip authorization form or bringing snacks for the Valentine’s party, etc. All those little things that previously I forgot and made me feel like crap. Then I noticed there was a cumulative effect with these things and bigger results started to come. I was able to manage a significant interview with 8 jurors without major anxiety, then enjoy the rest of my weekend after I found out I didn’t get the job. That wouldn’t have been possible before with a few big glasses of wine clouding the picture. Anyway sending you strength and just want you to know it really is worth it.

  34. Yoda19 4 months ago

    Wine o’ clock is my trigger too. Incredibly helpful to read all the comments of you amazing people! Day 1 hasn’t started for me yet. I need to see my health professional first as I already experience periodic tremors (in the drinking arm, of course) and I am frightened about de-toxing on my own. Add to which I am not young and that feels like adding a further health risk. So, plan is first-health professional for assessment and advice, then AA and counselling. I also need to fess up to friends and colleagues which feels super scary.

    • LexiSmith 3 months ago

      Hi Yoda19
      How are you doing? What did the health professional say, and were you able to detox safely? I too am desperate to be AF but also feels the effects of withdrawal. I’m trying to wean my self off alcohol but its really hard.

  35. My name is... 4 months ago

    Day 17 here. I thought I was the only one. (Middle-aged, college-educated, functioning, mother/grandmother, wife, active church/member…who also happens to be a closet drinker for the past seven years.)

    • katiemac 4 months ago

      You sound so much like me! 49, college educated, professional job, fitness fanatic, avid reader, church goer….and also closet drinker. It’s my dirty little secret (or I think it’s secret but I’ve taken quite a few risks with people knowing). I feel so ashamed and like such a fraud. Thank you for sharing – we can stop this if we want to!

      • JACHALK 3 months ago

        ??

  36. Josefina-north 4 months ago

    Hi all, new here and this is day one. Getting through wine o’clock is the biggest challenge for me. Will start today.

    • Whos-The-Lush 4 months ago

      How are you going?

  37. Icanbefree 4 months ago

    Feeling guilty for a night of guilty pleasure. Sick of feeling sad, bad, mad – longterm effects of drugs and alcohol. I can do 3 days without too much effort so bring on day 4 and get this journey started.
    Day 1 :/

  38. Michelle 5 months ago

    Day 2 nearly over. Fighting that voice in my head trying to encourage me to drink again. No, I don’t want to drink again, go away voice in my head!

    • Heather jones 4 months ago

      I feel like I’m two people. In the day I’m in total control. Eating well, exercising. I say to myself everyday, grow a pair and stop drinking every night! It’s making my fitness goals impossible to achieve. No amount of exercise is going to get rid of my wine belly which I hate. It effects all that I do. I feel tired and sick most days from it. I don’t feel really present with my kids. Especially on the weekends when I tend to drink more. That’s when I shouldn’t be drinking so I could feel good on their days off school and have more energy. Then at 5 pm I lose all the will power I had during the day. I say to myself, you look better than most people, one won’t hurt anybody. Lighten up and enjoy life. I’m not drinking to cover up any pain or stress. I just love wine. White in the summer with seafood and red in the winter with a beef stew. I quit once for three weeks. It was the most boring time. I didn’t look forward to anything, like my treat at the end of the day. I look at people who don’t drink and think, they seem to be fine without it. Going to a nice restaurant and not having any wine would be torture. I’d rather not go.

    • soberup 5 months ago

      Hi Michelle
      This is my first day of many days of trying to give up, it really sucks when I fail. I keep asking myself why alcohol has a hold on me, and truthfully I don’t have an answer because I have been drinking for so so many years its a daily habit. Now like so many other times I am ready to quit. I want to feel those good natural feelings people talk about when you give up the drink. Lets keep the communication lines open and be able to support each other.

  39. Audi 5 months ago

    Day two now and I’m feeling proud of myself.. walked the dogs and stopped for a coffee instead of the usual Glass of wine ..

  40. HKR25 5 months ago

    wine O’clock happens a few times a week,I’m nearly 26 and finding it difficult manage the after work wine. How do you beat the ‘hard day’ drinks

    • Whos-The-Lush 4 months ago

      I drink non-alcoholic wine and beer, I still feel like I am having a treat

      • PamB 4 months ago

        Is there a non alcholic wine you recommend? All of the ones I have tried are positively awful! Think I am going to have to drink soda in a wine glass instead

  41. Gemma 5 months ago

    I have tried so many times to give up. Always go back to day 1. Alcohol is affecting my marriage and my relationships with my adult children and friends and family. This morning my husband has said it has to stop so today has to be Day 1 for real. No more giving in to the demon that is alcohol

    • neensyb 5 months ago

      @gemma I know what you mean! Have you read The Sober Diaries. OMG I seriously could have thought the book was written about me. Give it a go, it’s enlightening. How are you doing anyway? No answer is the wrong answer, I am genuinely asking how you are doing. x

  42. ozzie 5 months ago

    Wow! I feel that I am not alone in this dreadful Wine O’Clock.

    • JACHALK 3 months ago

      You most definitely are not 🙂

      • anonymous 3 months ago

        I love how this is so wine-specific! It is really my downfall as well. Even reading about it in this blog is triggering me.

        I love whiskey sours too..

  43. Princess 5 months ago

    Well I’m on day 3! Bloody New Year’s Eve!! My husband and I are both being a bit moody and snappy with each other. Am planning an early night tonight and getting up early in the morning to go for a long walk.

  44. donnamarie 5 months ago

    Strategy for coasting through wine time today: A gentle yoga class that runs 6:05-7:15. Sending strength and hope to everyone else out there.

  45. scottym 5 months ago

    Day one. Yay.

  46. LDL146 5 months ago

    This is day one of many days to come. I need to keep busy after 4pm today and every day from now on.

  47. @maryanne 5 months ago

    I have decided today is the day. I am 46 years old and have been drinking since I was 14. In the last 3 or 4yrs my drinking habits have changed, as in I dont drink 1-2 bottles of wine most nights any more. I only drink once a week and get drunk or 2 or 3 times a week but not to get drunk. I love the taste but when I do get drunk I always wake the next morning with anxiety so bad that I swear I’m not drinking anymore, but how quickly I forget on a nice hot sunny day. My younger sister has been sober for 4yrs now and when she first got sober eveyone said good on her, and I thought well she needed to because she had major problems caused by the drinking, and to prove I could control it i would stop drinking for months at a time, and start again on nice sunny day because I don’t have a problem. Yea right. The anxiety is horrible, as I lay here thinking about things I can’t change or control, knowing full well it’s in my mind, which by the way will find anything to cause this feeling of dread. It’s worse if I dont remember anything from the night before and then I’m paralysed for a whole day with anxiety about things I may have said or done. In my normal every day life, I am assertive and a very confident and capable leader at worker and I dont like the feeling of anxiety when I’ve been drinking. This has been my drinking for the past 3-4yrs and I am determined to change it today. I know it’s going to be difficult.

  48. peanut47 5 months ago

    Day one for me… Going to be difficult Im sure..

  49. Danale 5 months ago

    I have found audio books on sobriety to be very helpful. Day 12 and already listened to two. I listen on my way home from work, a little motivation before walking in the door, and listen while I’m cooking dinner with earplugs, since my husband doesn’t want to hear it and for all he knows, I could be rocking out while I’m cooking. :0

    • MollyP 5 months ago

      Hey Danale I do this too and it helps a lot! Which ones do you like the best?

    • donnamarie 5 months ago

      What books do you recommend?

      • MollyP 5 months ago

        @donnamarie this Naked Mind by Annie Grace

  50. morgana 5 months ago

    Day 1 for me and my husbands been away all week he changed jobs and now he’s already staying away I’m already lonely with no friends in this town and now he stays away as he’s a truck driver so its had not to have a drink as it was my friend as the craving is there but I’m going to try and be strong

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