Getting through wine o’clock

Late in the afternoon is often the hardest time. How do you get through the witching hours without drinking?

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1,106 Comments
  1. jrdry 2 days ago

    Hi people. I’ve done CADS twice…still drinking. I found it so easy to bs them. I’d go dry for a week or two and then…we’ll you know. My stress time is straight after work…99 times out of 100 I’ll give in…I HAVE to stop. Liver and marriage in trouble. Just started diet too. Low carb high fat….I know how those sugar cravings hit! I’ve turned to tobacco to ease the stress in the past as well. Hoping to meet people so we can share and support. I drank tonight..,, tomorrow day 1 I hope. Thanks…

  2. Janis 3 days ago

    So strange , what does one do with that clock, what is there to look forward too, where is the reward, well we shall see, so far day 3 have kept focused, not as relaxed at all but very very awake, pottering around, joined this site and blogging away

  3. mungomaryandmidge 4 days ago

    Hello! Day one and first time. I drank a bottle of red while doing the laundry yesterday while
    listening to the book on audible

  4. WENDY l WATSON 4 days ago

    In between preparing dinner, I am at my computer (which is by my kitchen) to watch a favorite program for an hour or two. Or if we are having prepared meals that just need to be popped in the oven. I might go to bed to watch Lightbox etc.

  5. Lucinda Church 4 days ago

    I was wondering if anyone had had luck with smoking pot in lieu of drinking? I’ve tried this a couple of times, but just end up snacking more and feeling foggy brained the next day…but I worry about my liver, gut and extra calories associated with alcohol consumption. I know abstaining from all crutches is the goal, but thinking pot may be a way to get over the alcohol cravings in a gradual way. I have 3 boys in a small house and their constant energy makes me feel so anxious, unfortunately I don’t have the luxury to do any self fulfilling activities that time of day. So just need some sort of distraction/coping skills from 5:00pm-8:00pm! This website is already feeling very helpful, thanks to all who have shared.

  6. Mere 5 days ago

    I find it very hard after work I will drink a whole bottle of wine within an hour. Actually today no wine today but struggling.

  7. Lexus 1 week ago

    Hi, just joined I’m on my third night off wine. Nimbling everything in the cupboard. Hard habit to break as I always drink wine with a meal so I’m even changing the meals I eat that dont associate with wine. I was drinking a btl a night but find I’m on a btl and a half. Sunday night roast beef dinner with 2 btls enough is enough.

  8. Komninos 2 weeks ago

    I usually find getting up early and reminding myself of what I don’t want to do later in the day helps, as well as eating something after work – early dinners work well! And not lining up any tasks/jobs in the evening, allowing myself just to switch off and watch something,. A major trigger is feeling like I have to get dinner organised for myself and son, then the evening routines – this is a hard one, as there is no one else to do this and I don’t get to tune out when I need to sometimes. Still working on that one..

    • Max-Alabama 1 week ago

      Junk food snacking last night at 5 pm instead of drinking definitely enabled me to not drink last night. I decided that come 5 pm I would drink as much Coke as I wanted and to eat junk food. Three small 100 calorie cans of Coke seems like a soft-drink addict, but a single craft brew, high alcohol beer has 250 calories. I have been drinking four of those a night, easy. That’s 1000 calories of beer.

  9. elais 2 weeks ago

    This is day 1 for me. No hangover this morning but don’t remember much about last night. Feeling ashamed about the past and scared about how this is going to go.

    • Janis 3 days ago

      Day 2 for me and I ate two helpings of dinner instead of drinking wine while making dinner and then not eating dinner but drinking more wine, so very likely that I will get fat, oh my gosh the horrors of all the things one does not want to remember aye. All the best for our first week, I am terrified about the weekend

    • peterbarlow 2 weeks ago

      Same here mate.Day 1and scared.Been here before don’t make it any easier.Kia Kaha,be strong.

  10. Hortihoney 2 weeks ago

    Hi everyone. I’ve just joined and am on day 5 sober. The posts here are incredibly helpful and engaging thankyou all. I agree that food ie. Eating an early meal in the evening helps a great deal. I never used to eat when drinking at all. I only drank. My consumption could be spread out over a week like a bottle of wine a day or lay off then drink a bottle or 2 in one night. Ironically I am physically fit, a bodybuilder and have a physical job. This never stopped me drinking though for over 35 years now. All your tips are great…..thank you

  11. Tommy D 3 weeks ago

    It’s nice to know I am not alone. I’m good all week. I work from home and live alone, and I dont drink at home or during the week. So then Saturday happy hour from 4-7 I crave going to bar and socializing. Just to be around people. There is always someone to talk to. If I can get past 7 I’m fine. I find it odd that I need to socialize this way. But it’s like they say if you hang around a barber shop, you’re gonna get a haircut. I have tried to expand myself socially around sober activities, but it always seems after two months of sobriety, I’m back to socializing at a bar. I really feel stupid.

  12. Jdub2019 3 weeks ago

    I’ve started working out at night, even though I’m exhausted after work and just want to hit the couch, zone out and have some cocktails. So I work out after work, and I walk the dog later. I also take some Valerian Root extract to help relax me and get me moving towards the bed routine. I’m 21 days booze-free and some nights are easy, some nights are hard. This past weekend was HARD. Hard tonight as well which is why I’m posting here I guess…

  13. DaisyM 4 weeks ago

    Raw carrot and celery sticks with hummus dip! Totally not compatible with alcohol so removes the craving for me. Or homemade soup. Not salty snacks, that makes the cravings worse. Knowign it will pass helps too. And trying not to have a late dinner.

    • LauraLi 2 weeks ago

      What a great idea. Snacking on foods that do not mix well or taste good with alcohol.

  14. elenabright 1 month ago

    i’ve started playing an instrument :p seriously, it helps! i’ve always wanted to get back into playing music, and making a habit of practicing when i get home from work helps me resist the urge to drink to relieve stress. i always come home from work feeling like my heart is going to explode from anxiety because of all the pressure and fast pace and rude people and endless tedious paperwork and crashing computer software and running around for 8 hours trying to please impossible people and feeling like nothing is ever good enough and then dealing with a long commute. when i get home from that, i’m so drained that i just want to drink until i pass out. but instead i’ve started telling myself i have to practice for 45 minutes before i can do anything else, including drinking or going to the store to get booze. by the time i’ve finished a practice session, i feel almost like a human again, or at least i feel like i can breathe normally, and i’m better able to fight the urge to drink usually. 🙂 if it’s been a particularly hard day anxiety-wise and playing music isn’t enough, i try to go for a run in the woods nearby as well.

  15. connilynn 1 month ago

    I stay busy, I walk the dogs. It helps that my day 1 was shortly after I moved to a new house. It is giving me a new foundation to change and reform a lot of habits.

    • LucidBeing 1 month ago

      I find that my strongest way of staying sober is ironically having a hangover. Feeling seedy for approximately 2 or 3 days, then I self-medicate all over again. I think talking about this just may have a positive effect like looking in the mirror. For ever trying to come up with alternatives. As for the witching hour, my personal weakest hour is lunch time and then on to after midnight.
      Ash🎋

  16. Nan 1 month ago

    Glad I found this site. I have a hard time between 4&5 that’s when the cravings are the strongest. Love to cook and drink wine however, a bottle a day (sometimes more) for the last 5 years has caused stomach problem…acid reflux and gastritis.
    I have tried quitting several times over the last two years. I now have 5 days sober and want to stay that way.

    • Morehealthy 3 weeks ago

      Hi Nan, i am in the same boat. A bottle (sometimes more) a day for many years. I keep saying red wine is good for me. But i know a bottle a day isnt. So glad i found this site

  17. Tawdrey 2 months ago

    I used to take a warm bath, with candles etc. Also jumping on to sites like this helped.
    Now there is no wine o’clock in my life. It gets better, so hang in there!

  18. LeslieLily 2 months ago

    I wake up in the morning every morning and tell myself I am not going to drink tonight, I don’t need to and it makes me feel gross. I have to work from home in the evenings and need to keep my head clear, and I have kids that wake up at 6:00am that I need to be fresh for. When I don’t drink I go to bed at a reasonable time, I read until I fall asleep and I wake up feeling refreshed. When I drink I stay up too late, I often also snack, I don’t read, I pass out asleep instead and I wake up feeling like total crap. I’m a worse parent when I drink and then can’t handle the next morning and end up slumping around on the couch. Right now I’m not doing well getting through the evenings even though I keep myself very busy in the evening (I just am very busy with a beer in my hand at the same time. 🙁 ) Looking for any other ideas to distract myself and get out of this awful habit.

    • shinyhappypeople 2 months ago

      Hi @LeslieLily, I relate so much to this. I am fine up till around 4pm. After 7pm, if I can get through till then, I am fine. But those few hours… Ugh! Last night I struggled through, not without tears, and 2 nights last week I managed. I have a 4 year old and am finding myself so so impatient and I hate it. I know if I can stick it out I’ll be better in the long run but it’s so so hard.

  19. Angelz 2 months ago

    Just found this website today, not sure where I am at with my drinking, I can go 2-5 days without drinking however will drink 1-2bottles when I do. I am concerned about this as some weeks I will do this 2-3 times a week. I have reflected on what I might be trying to escape and that’s tough facing that. I find it gets me through facing the hard stuff like lots of kids fighting, complaining and at each other and then also an absent husband who consistently sobotages our finances by not doing the work he should.

    • Tawdrey 2 months ago

      It’s easy for me to say now, because I remember when I was like you, and it was a real struggle, but when you drink you have all your problems, plus the problem of drinking too much. If you stop drinking you’ll still have the other problems, minus the drinking problem. Eventually you’ll be able to cope better with the other problems too.

  20. Noodle71 2 months ago

    I never realised this was such a common danger time, which is a good thing, I think! But Yup 3-4 I’m clock watching, weighing up the families movements, wondering if they’re distracted enough for them to not realise I’m already drinking. But that is a fierce pull at that time, and it’s getting earlier. I’m only into day two but I’ve focused on how tired it makes me, I’m asleep on the couch by 7 after 1-2 bottles of wine, waking every 20-30 mins, have another drink then back out till bed time which can be up to 2am. Considering I’m up again at 6 every morning you can imagine I don’t look too flash. And man the hangovers. Today a few iced tonic with lime and lemon bitters in my favourite big wine glass has got me through, but definately eating is the biggest help I’ve found. Cravings must be linked to that afternoon slump in sugar levels, if I can get a good dinner down me early those cravings almost completely disappear. If I can’t eat straight away a walk out with the dog deep breathing or even go in the shower and have a body scrub for as long as possible, also helps. Someone mentioned a Milo, I can imagine that helping too with the sugar and calorie boost.

  21. Maxie 2 months ago

    Sometimes I feel like my desire to drink has a life of its own . If has been such a powerful habit that gets to be its strongest in the early evening. A lot of time I do not even want to drink, but I still do and do not even enjoy it. I was told to have a written distraction plan , something that takes at least 1/2 hour. I am going to try that to see if it helps. The thought of one day at a time, is super, but there are times that I just have to do 1/2 hr at a time. I hope it will help.

  22. mopar 2 months ago

    Hi all, I starting day one right now, really need the help, I start work at 5 am home by 130 pm, which makes it unbearable, wife is out
    Of town for 2 weeks and now iam drinking almost a 26 vodka a day.
    All I think about is getting that buzz and I look rough now so bloated, baggy eyes etc.
    Good luck to you all, happy I found this site going to stick to it and see if I can break this cycle.

    • Glenn 2 months ago

      Day 1 for me too today. 3PM started to get the cravings. So far I’ve managed by buying sparkling water, I’ve got past the urge at least. I’ve also been looking for inspiration for things to add to my water and have found a brilliant recipe for Kawakawa, Ginger and Lemon syrup (well actually it’s for popsicals but you have to make syrup first) on Maori TV’s website. I’m gonna give it a blast tonight as an additive to my water.

  23. soberup 2 months ago

    I’d like to announce this morning i made it through day/night 1. Took me ages to get to sleep though. Feeling tired this morning. Just thinking of a plan for tonight when wine o’clock arrives. One day at a time note to self lock in one step at a time ask for help. Amen

    • Michael 3 weeks ago

      My Day 1 is today. I am a GP and if I stay sober I will be able to advise my patients about their alcohol intake and not be hypocritical. One definition of being an alcoholic is if you drink more than your GP🤔
      I didn’t have many alcoholics in my practice

    • DaisyM 2 months ago

      Well done!! How’s the week been? Insomnia a very common side effect of stopping drinking I read

      • KathyF 1 month ago

        This is so interesting. I had 4 consecutive alcohol free days and am finding it hard to feel sleepy enough for bed … it’s 1.25 am and I’m still wide awake … This has been since I abstained. Why????

  24. missjazzxoxo 2 months ago

    I used to drink fizzy at that time I’d start craving

  25. Bridgett 2 months ago

    Mocktails have saved my life. I especially like ones with a half tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar, which gives the drink a nice bite. And a sweet, salty or crunchy snack helps too. Once I get past wine o’clock, I am fine again, so learning that the craving will PASS has been freeing. Best of luck to everyone here!

    • barnmomma 2 months ago

      Hi Bridgett. Thanks for the reminder. I had great success before substituting kombucha or strong ginger beer (AF) for wine. I’m trying that tonight again. I also remember that I used to eat dinner very early because, after eating, I never wanted wine. That’s another tool I’m going to incorporate tonight, as well. Best of luck to all.

  26. Cyclopse 2 months ago

    Its 16:30 at the moment and I am on my first beer of the day, I am off work until Sat so no prob….I have no children no worries but I can feel a pattern developing for my days off which all revolve around drink…I need to break the cycle

  27. lauren 2 months ago

    the witching hours are the worst, 430pm onwards. need to reward myself for making it through the day with my toddlers. need something to take the edge off getting me through the dinner, bath, bed routine. one beer or one small glass of wine inevitably ends up with me swigging wine from the bottle out of fridge while kids or hubby not looking. by dinnertime 6pm I’m wasted. eat a small amount then its all over, no more interest. when i am AF the anxiety around the situation and the next day disappears. I use a milo at 4pm, inviting non drinking friends over for dinner at 4pm, or having a bath at 4pm with them. it throws the routine out. not always successful but trying new things daily.

  28. chasingthedandelion 3 months ago

    I am one week in and I am finding this the hardest part. From 3 or 4 in the afternoon while at work my mind will flit to the fact that I can’t have a drink (actually a whole bottle of wine) when I get home. I have started having an afternoon tea break at work and having something to eat. Going home hungry was an old habit I used to help the wine have more effect. Sad but true!

    • LeslieLily 2 months ago

      Same, I eat less in the afternoon so I can feel the effect of alcohol faster and I tend to get drunk really fast on purpose. Today I have a hang over from last night so I probably won’t drink (I usually skip a night if I have an especially annoying hangover) but one thing I have been reminding myself of is that usually by the time I go to bed because I’m too drunk to stay awake, I already regret it and feel like crap and am mad at myself. Reminding myself over and over that this is how it almost always ends. Hoping checking back here during this time of the evening will also help me.

    • soberup 2 months ago

      Morning i too would have my last meal of the day at lunchtime which is usually 1pm. Just so my wine has better effect on me. The next morning my head is pounding cause i smoke as well. This is my second day booze free and smoke free… i guess in a couple of days if i make it without the booze is to acknowledge why i started drinking daily on my own.

  29. AndIan 3 months ago

    I am on a cycle, 3 days off and 4 on but the 4 are very very heavy. I struggle at around 5pm.

  30. Bobswife 3 months ago

    I try to stay busy and sometimes I will make a mock tail

  31. Sobrina 3 months ago

    My first post in here. I’m on Day #65 (this time). Once did 474 days, but I think this time I’m not going back. I don’t want to start over! I have to say I wish I had never started up again. I had so much joy being sober after the first few months. I remember the first 2-3 being especially difficult, but somewhere along after that, It got easier and now I can’t wait for that time again!

    My toolbox for getting through wine time (which had gotten to be any time after noon if I wasn’t working) includes seltzer water, podcasts, music, projects, reading blogs , prayer and emailing my sober penpal. I’m willing to do anything that helps! I know that joy is there and I want it back! Glad to be here.

    • Maxie Westgate 2 months ago

      You sound like you are very strong and determined . Good luck to you.

    • Bobswife 3 months ago

      I try to stay busy, go for walks with my dog and making a mock tail helps also

  32. JaniceStonebridge 3 months ago

    I have a stock of non alcoholic drinks. I go to the fridge and pour one into a nice glass with ice and lemon. I mix some together to add interest. Cranberry juice for instance with no calorie tonic water. I add something pretty too…strawberry or other fruit , lemon etc . Tastes good. I enjoy it and it’s guilt free.

  33. whichisnice 3 months ago

    I took a 30 second sound bite from an inspirational song I enjoy and made it my 4 p.m. alarm. on my phone. It should spark a joyful reminder at just the moment each day. May you all have a beautiful af day!

  34. Misscp 4 months ago

    I’m starting Day 1. I have a bad habit, not an addiction, and I know habit based practice works for me so I’m aiming to make new habits, swapping wine for water! I drink wine to quell my anxiety and stress levels, despite the fact that I know it doesn’t help the next day. I’m starting with soda water and fresh orange slices. I now have bouts of gastritis when I drink alcohol and I feel embarrassed after some evenings drinking because of my behaviour (even though no-one says anything). I’d like to change my story, I know I am the only one who can….

    • Bobswife 3 months ago

      I can relate. Up until the last one or two years my personality didn’t change a whole lot with alcohol, I just had fun but more recently I turn into a mean person at times which makes me so sad I don’t understand and I am not that person. Good luck to you and your journey

    • JudyB 3 months ago

      Sounds just like me. I’m starting Day 1 too. How are you going so far?

  35. Shell 4 months ago

    I try and eat earlier, or have dinner prepared and I have a special non alcoholic drink ready to go.
    I also listen to different motivational things.

  36. chanwats27 4 months ago

    Me too!!!! I have found that making a special nonalcoholic drink (for me it is sparkling water and fruit juice) and listen to sober podcasts or read blogs when i feel weak. Also have started evening workouts just to change things up. One day at a time 🙂

  37. njcopel 4 months ago

    Hi, I am fine any other part of the day except late afternoon. That’s when I always pulled off the cork. Tired after a long day of work, I “deserved” to drink??!! Now I take the dog out, and make diner and then chill. Doc prescribed me a very small amount of klonopin which takes the edge of when I need it. It has been now going on 7 months without a drop. Still a struggle. This requires GRIT.

    • Bobswife 3 months ago

      Good for you!!!

  38. jenl 4 months ago

    Reading all of these posts is so helpful. My story is like so many others. I want a better life. Amazing full. Not small and constricted. I will beat wine o’clock.

    • tamsil 4 months ago

      Me too!!! Day 1 for me! Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you sipping my tea.

      • JudyB 3 months ago

        day 1 for me too. If you can do it, I can too.

  39. TheBee 4 months ago

    I make sure I am not hungry as I’ve discovered that I often reach for the wine – especially sweeter options like rose or white – when I am hungry. As a vegan who doesn’t eat carbs either, wine is my ‘sugar’. When I am full I don’t even think of it but it has become a habit to have a drink first as I love the taste. So, if I don’t want to drink I focus on eating veggies with vegan dips and thus can ‘ride out’ the wave of desire. I also sometimes fold myself into Yoga practice followed my meditation… although that sometimes brings out the demons to chat! Tough but more beneficial in the end.

  40. NoJudge 4 months ago

    I’m only 10 days AF, so all I’ve done while cooking dinner so far is fill a glass of water and keep it close. I take sips of that rather than my typical wine while watching Joe Elliot’s 12 steps on youtube. ??‍♀️So far so good. Step 3 is tomorrow. I don’t even know if I’m an alcoholic or not yet, but it all makes great sense — so it’s powerful to watch during the most difficult time of the day + a non-alcoholic beverage (the other day was Perrier).

  41. Cocotte 5 months ago

    Have a snack to eat.

  42. sharicooking 5 months ago

    It was hard for me the first week, but since I have made new habits that I look forward to I am no longer anxious at 5:00. I am also a lot more relaxed driving home from work because I am not in a hurry to get home and pour myself some wine. I come home and walk my sweet dog.

  43. Nich00 5 months ago

    Day1 for me. I can go weeks and months without drinking but then inevitably I have 1 drink which turns into a bottle, which turns into a bottle of wine most nights. I need to stop.

  44. Freedom4ab 5 months ago

    Starting today, I’m about to start preparing dinner and I know it’s usually wine o’clock time now. Feeling the pressure

  45. luxkiwi 5 months ago

    15 months sober, relapsed twice over the past 6 months. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    Day one I really want this!!!
    I am over the daily pain and mental torment of active drinking.
    I used AA in the past but reticent to return I felt it to dogmatic lots of great stuff within the program but felt the pressure of attending so many meetings hard and heartbreaking hearing everyone’s painful stories all week long.
    I also found too many people judging others and not that anon in a small community.

    I want my recovery to be more focused on what brings joy and wholeness to me.
    Sit in the light and follow my bliss.
    Working through my shadows with love and compassion.
    ?❤️?

    • pattyw 4 months ago

      Check out Jason Vale’s book, Kick the Drink,,,Easily. Really opens your eyes to the what alcohol really is….the most addictive, legal, and hyped DRUG on the planet. It made a huge impact on me.

      patty oxox

    • tamsil 4 months ago

      I feel the same way, looking for alternatives to AA, while there’s a lot I love I did few very judged….

    • sharicooking 5 months ago

      Dear Luxkiwi, Have you read (or listened to, I like Audible books) the Naked Mind by Annie Grace? It was easy for me to quit my daily habit once I knew the science behind my addiction and alcohol. It kind of was like wanting to eat my favorite food once I found out it had hair or crap in it. LOL. Does that make sense? Willpower is no longer required because fundamentally I know how bad alcohol is and the addictive aspects of it. I also recommend Never Enough and the Biology of Desire. Both of these books help in understanding the science of alcohol and addiction. You can do it!!!!

      • Gingergal 5 months ago

        Thanks heaps for these suggested reads. I benefit greatly from learning more

  46. totemdreamer 5 months ago

    I just joined and am on day 2, even though I have had many failed attempts before I think this group will definitely give me more knowledge and determination. I think I’m just tired of all the years I feel I wasted, the hangovers, the lying, the blacking out. And yet I always worked and felt like I was keeping it a secret, I’m sure everyone knew. My drink of choice at first was just beer, so, it didn’t feel like I could be an alcoholic drinking beer, it progressed to gin the last few years. The afternoon is hard, it’s when I feel like making my first one. I’m trying to focus on getting healthy, eating better etc. I hope it helps

  47. ShelleyHP 5 months ago

    Starting Day 1 – been 4 years in the waiting and I am dreading 5pm wine o’clock.

  48. JS123 5 months ago

    I am 24 days AF and am discovering that the desire for wine at the end of the day has diminished considerably. It was really hard in the beginning but everyday gets easier. What helps me is to drink a thermoflask of yogi kava tea which is extremely relaxing. I have been taking it when I go out for dinner which really helps. Now if only I could take it to a cocktail party (my first AF) that I am going to this weekend…

    • NoJudge 4 months ago

      Your post inspired me to order some on a amazon today! ??

  49. pattyw 5 months ago

    I had 8 days then gave in over the weekend. I was just feeling so empty and sad (so much work to do). Day 2 again today. The biggest thing that gets me through the witching hours is eating early…even if it’s 4:30. And right now I’m not focusing on eating super healthy….it’s more about feeling satisfied. Once I eat, I don’t think about booze. And I’ve known this for 30 years but have rarely put it into action. Sigh…..

  50. delle 5 months ago

    I have a huge tolerance for alcohol I can neck a bottle of white wine in about 40 minutes followed by about 5 beers female in my 40s this happens twice sometimes 3 times a week and I manage to make work. I see posts of people guilty after necking a bottle of wine. I’ve got a lot of work to do.?

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