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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1,087 Comments
  1. JulzPlz 5 months ago

    I pour Kombucha into a glass I would use for hard cider. Still get the fizz and the tartness. Tricks my brain.

    • 20012015 5 months ago

      Same…I love Kombucha

      • Newview 5 months ago

        great idea…im going to get some this eve, and maybe drink it out of my fave wine glass

  2. jonbee 5 months ago

    Keeping busy with positive thinking & treating with special alcohol free drinks

  3. missuniverse 5 months ago

    okay here we go. the weekend! Rock but don’t roll!

  4. beachbum3 6 months ago

    Hi everyone,
    day 23 and finding wine o’clock hard! My go to is ginger beer and popcorn. Then having dinner early because I didn’t drink after dinner. I scoffed a bottle of wine between coming home from work and having dinner.
    How are you all coping with a spouse who is still drinking? Some days I want to drive a stake into his heart while he’s sitting there drinking his wine ( just joking,sort of)

    • thork 5 months ago

      Hi beachbum3! I can appreciate exactly what you’re going through. I am 38 days AF, and at first I felt jealous that my hubby could sit in his easy chair relaxing and enjoying his cocktails all evening while I had to put in the effort of finding other ways to occupy myself that didn’t include wine. It was work but in very little time it started to pay off and I was enjoying long walks with our dog, calling the kids for a little “catch up”, looking up new recipes for the coming week, playing solitaire while singing along to some “Beatles” music in the background. Then, suddenly, it seemed I saw my hubby as the sorry one. I was enjoying LIFE and he was hanging on to his “blanky” and avoiding all the wonder and joy of engaging with the rest of the world! Hang in there. Its worth it.

      • Classic50 5 months ago

        I really love your post. I love that you turned your attitude about the situation around. You are a winner!

  5. spring64 6 months ago

    Day 3 and I slipped. Went to the store to get food for dinner. Bought a bottle of wine. Going to go to the food store in the mornings to lesson the temptation instead of going at wine o’clock.

    • wendyshaw 5 months ago

      That’s a great idea. I hate buying wine I’m the morning, bad look

    • Classic50 5 months ago

      Thank you for posting this… your honesty helps me face my own struggles. I have given in so many times. I cant even put into words how rubbish I feel about myself. I realise now that the harder the pull from wine means the I’m winning . The most dangerous place in a war is the front line, and to win a battle there means you’re destroying the enemy’s strength and taking ground back. It means the moment will come that they will be gone and you will have peace. I want peace

  6. loosinboosin 6 months ago

    Just joined today
    5pm is my witching hour
    I hope I get through it with water and thoughts of my health

    • beachbum3 6 months ago

      4pm was mine. Try ginger beer. I put mine in my favourite wine glass and have a small bowl of popcorn with it. I’m trying to replace my old ritual with a new one. So far so good.

      • JulzPlz 5 months ago

        I pour Kombucha into a glass I would use for hard cider. Still get the fizz and the tartness. Tricks my brain. Kombucha is not for everyone, but as beachbum3 said, ginger beer is a great suggestion.

  7. Straddler 6 months ago

    I sometimes managed to get through with tea and milk. Friday night is coming. It is 9am in South Africa. I’ll have to wait and see how tonight goes but I am determined. Plan is to take kids to a kids restaurant and play area, and keep looking at them. I’m also doing this for them.

  8. Destructive 6 months ago

    I just joined and for me its not a bottle of wine but a bottle of vodka. I hve built up such a high tolerance. The cost of a bottle of vodka a day is high. I hve begun to reach out for help to kick it n am waiting for my spot in rehab which scares the shit outta me but is necessary. I am hurting everyone around me but once i get home n pour that drink i don’t care… I need it. Im scared to gve my best friend up.

    • beachbum3 6 months ago

      Mine was bottle of wine but affected me badly. Did a home detox under medical supervision for 5 days now on medication to help me stay sober. Still get cravings occasionally but the help you get from the drug and alcohol organisation I went to is amazing! I am going to a psych there as well.
      Don’t be scared it will all be worth it! Although I’m not out of the woods I feel so much better.

  9. junes 6 months ago

    Friday night dinner out. A trigger point because I usually start my weekend winding down with a glass of wine that more often than not turns into a bottle 🙁

  10. lhilary 6 months ago

    Tea with milk and honey seems to do the trick!

  11. cath1683 6 months ago

    Hi
    I’ve just joined today! Only 26 days sober.
    My hardest time is ‘teatime’ as we call 6ish here in England. It was my default get a glass of wine time. I love cooking but finding it hard without my glasses of wine to go with it. Never had so many microwaved meals!
    I hope I can get back to cooking without the temptation ..
    and I am eating so much sweet stuff, never had a sweet tooth before :/

    • eme71 6 months ago

      I can relate to this so well. I’m in the US, so we have ginger ale (maybe it’s ginger beer in the UK?? Here it’s non alcoholic.) Anyhow, having that while I’m cooking has been good. Also listening to my favorite music or a podcast while in the kitchen is good. I’m also trying to focus on the meditative aspects of cooking–the chopping, the stirring, those things that can be relaxing if you can look at them for the beauty that they hold. (And yes, I am eating sweets like no tomorrow. One thing at a time, right? )

  12. lhilary 6 months ago

    After 9 days – that is the hardest time
    Of day. It is actually easier when I am
    Out with other people. I try different things each day: take a walk, cook a great meal, go to a cafe and write, light a fire and read, yoga… whatever I can to reinforce I don’t need that glass ( bottle) of wine to enjoy the evening.

  13. nicolebell 6 months ago

    I have found video games to be helpful actually! It keeps my hands and mind busy.

  14. sarah47 7 months ago

    I’m scrolling through masses of posts of advice and I’m liking the ‘eating early’ which I do anyway but hearing your comments about drinking the wine on an empty stomach resonates with me completely! That’s when I love it the most- I’ve realised if a friend ever wants to meet for a drink, I’ve never wanted to go unless it’s about 5pm- if they want to meet later im over it as I’ll be well into my bottle and can’t drive! Oh dear. So amazing to read all these posts over the years and hear how so many struggle like myself every night!! The feeling so powerful in the morn then come 4pm crumble.

  15. sarah47 7 months ago

    I’m on day 3 and drinking Komucha which seems to be going ok- I’m also doing dishes, washing clothes, watering the garden and not doing much sitting down watching tv like I used to as that’s what I did while drinking my g and t’s and then red wine… wishing the night would go faster so I can sleep and tick off another day!!

    • JMPMT 7 months ago

      I’m with you on Day3 ( yet again)….look forward to going to bed every night

      • Classic50 6 months ago

        i’m so glad you put that ‘yet again’ in you post…im back to day 1 today and just feel so overwhelmed with regret and guilt I can hardly see straight. Thanks for your honesty.

      • Travelbug 7 months ago

        I am right there with you both, 72 hours. Had a restless night last night. Didn’t get much sleep…Hope I can sleep tonight

  16. fitnessmiller 7 months ago

    I have long wanted to stop drinking . I feel I have an unhealthy dependence on alcohol and I am tired of the feelings of regret and disappointment I feel after drinking. Not to mention the headaches and fatigue that always following the day after. I have experimented with an alcohol free December and have mostly stuck to it. I have had alcohol on 3-4 occasions. One evening I could not manage my stress and anxiety and turned to wine for relief. Then the other occasions were social and I just didn’t know how to be around people who were drinking without joining them. Each time I was rewarded (punished?) with feeling terrible – emotionally and physically and it actually made me feel more resolved to actually quit. I am committed to staying AF and am looking to this community for support. Thank you.

  17. DAVmo 7 months ago

    Ok. So all I have is 3 days. But I just read some great ideas to use to get me through the next two work days before Christmas. I will take a 5 pm shower. Love that idea. Also I liked these ideas; take a walk, watch a Netflix series one a day after work, eat lots of fruit, bake. And most of all I will check in here. I am scared and worried about failing again but also strangely hopeful. I do feel different because this time my 11 year old daughter commented on my drinking and how it affected her. I yellled at her in a blackout. I’m also having withdrawals and anger issues. But I want to live without drinking and thinking about wine. I am hopeful. I can do this. Why not now? Alcohol has never made anything better or more special for me ever. Ever. It only makes life worse. Here’s to day 4.

    • Newview 5 months ago

      I totally hear you, especially about your 11 year old, I have 2 boys and they are noticing it now also….I need to set a better example/ Hope you are doing well still

    • fitnessmiller 7 months ago

      Sending good vibes. Stay strong stay focused.

    • Skibabe 7 months ago

      Keep going, you got this!

  18. Jaxisdry 7 months ago

    I would do what I usually did cook dinner but with an AF drink. In the first few weeks I drunk so many different fizzies that I now go to a nice cup of tea. Anything but wine and ate lots of chocolate.

    • Spanana 7 months ago

      Yes I need to get a supply of AF drinks…. will def take the edge off and change the habit!

  19. WantingFreedom 7 months ago

    I have just joined like just now. I am glad to see people’s stories about managing sobriety and jealous of their strength/commitment.
    For many mornings recently, I have told myself that I do not want to drink that evening upcoming. I feel sick and guilty about my nasty addiction and am terrified of people finding out. Too many mornings I have walked into work feeling hungover and/or still under the influence. I have even prayed to God to help me and talked to my reflection in the mirror that “it is now time to heal”. Why I want to quit:
    – Because I drink way too much (i did the recycling yesterday and there was a ridiculous amount of empty cans and bottles)
    – Shame. My habit affects my self esteem. In the helping profession I feel like a total fraud. I deny and try to hide empty bottles.
    – Trapped. Alcohol keeps me hostage. 5pm is dedicated to alcohol consumption not allowing any room for new relationships or experiences. I drink alone mostly.
    – Cost. I spend a huge amount of money on booze and lie to myself that I work hard and deserve it (deserve to ruin myself?)
    – relationships. There have been too many times when my drunken behaviour has impacted my partner negatively. When he brings it up I feel like a piece of sh*t but continue to deny his concerns.
    – Love of my children. I do not want my children to grow up watching their parents drink like I did. I dont want them to think that alcohol is the only way to let their hair down or to relax.
    – Social justice. Alcohol has a horrible affect on our society. Alcoholism runs in my family as with anxiety as with historical trauma. I want to be able to say “it stops with me!”
    I have to start somewhere and I hope that ‘somewhere’ is tonight. I want to get through tonight and learn to love myself and my family more

    • Destructive 6 months ago

      I know exactly how you feel… I am only now reaching out for help as my family are all being impacted… Alcoholism runs in my family too… I black out n hve no idea what ive done the night before… I go to work smelling like a brewery n every day I tell myself tonight i wont drink but the minute i get in from work im pouring a drink.. Im scared to let it go alcohol seems to be my only friend.

    • tafkap 6 months ago

      My children have also been the main driver. They are frightened by how much I drink. I have been wanting to stop for ages. Knowing I could permanently damage them is too awful. One week dry!

    • truthangel 6 months ago

      I’ve made it through day one. I look forward to waking up with a clear head. I’m over it and now choose to commit to living alcohol free. I really relate to your story. Alcohol eats through my hard earned money and it keeps me trapped as it’s hostage. It holds me back from being my best. Im a support worker and have felt like a fraud too.

    • Travelbug 7 months ago

      Ditto, ditto and ditto. I feel like I was reading my very own post. I am just now hitting 24 hours without alcohol. So glad to have found you all.

    • Zeb1 7 months ago

      Your reasons really resonate with me. I relate with everything you mentioned.

    • skyfly 7 months ago

      You have described me in what you have said.
      I’m so over it also and the time has come to live a life of Sobriety.

    • ElizabethNZ 7 months ago

      You r story totally resonates with me. I want to stop too, I feel the same as you. Good luck hon

    • Skibabe 7 months ago

      Keep going 🙂 I’ve started my journey today, at long last!

    • DAVmo 7 months ago

      Me too. I have just finished 3 days. Good luck. I know how you feel

  20. Genesis 7 months ago

    Yesterday was first day without in a long time. I firmly believe in the witching hour, it is when I always failed.

  21. Genesis 7 months ago

    The late afternoon is my witching hour, I usually go to the store for a few groceries and inevitably some craft beer or red wine. I have to stop, I get bored at home at night and tend to go out to meet friends and drink strong drinks.

  22. kathic2018 7 months ago

    Tomorrow will be day one for me! Wish me luck!

    • thinkb4udrink 5 months ago

      Good luck. You got this

    • djlaing 7 months ago

      Good luck. Don’t forget to breath

  23. feemac 7 months ago

    Get on here for inspiration is what I was doing the last time around. At the moment I’m finding that I will go buy wine, get home and pour a glass, totally forgetting that I was not going to drink that day. That’s the habit I need to interupt. Perhaps I should get a reminder tattooed on my hand!

  24. gilligan5323 8 months ago

    Hmmmmm. I was more of a beer drinker than a wine drinker. I think I am getting through “wine o’clock” playing with my two retrievers in the back yard. I also have been reading voraciously and having comforting tea time. It’s really a matter of establishing a new routine for me. I need the continuity of a comfortable routine that I can count on.

  25. thecandidme 8 months ago

    I’m not there yet. It is by far the hardest time. Suggestions welcome.

  26. Patti 8 months ago

    Hi ~ I’m on day 12 from not drinking a bottle of white/rose every night for ..decades. I started in grade 10 as I was shy around groups – so the social thing. Then there was a sad trauma, my dad who I was really close to died from a heart attack at home in front of my mom and I – I had just graduated grade 12 – in 2 weeks was to go to university to be a grade 1 teacher. There wasn’t trauma/ptsd counselling in those days nor cpr training. I couldn’t concentrate on anything -even read properly (I was an honours student) and everything was just depressing – especially since I ended up being miserable together drinking with my mom – who held down a prof. medical job but drank every night. Doom – gloom – no moving forward – everything stopped. The wine through the years always played a part of feeling depressed. Then there were the 20 years I lived with an abusive substance/emotionally abusive spouse while having multiple serious health issues – after that ended (my terms) I fell into huge depression – needed prescription – helped alot but still drank. Last fall I had an undiagnosed ear cholesteatoma -that was very frightening – it’s not cancer but it is like flesh eating disease to your ears and facial muscles and balance organ. Ihad surgery inDecember – I have been taking this year off to get healthy – but still was drinking – until early Nov. I thought – I look and feel awful (and wasting a ton of precious money) and I’m supposed to be getting better – and I prayed to the universe that I needed to change – I’m not a specific religion – but it is working! and I want to live in the {sober} light that I haven’t had since high school. I started doing my photo get well greeting cards that I will be going to the hospital gift shop to sell and maybe nurseries. Bottom line – I am working on the cards at the witching hours which i agree are for me from 3pm – 830.. I chalked it up to the fact that I was sad that I wasn’t with my husband but I drank when I was with him too (even though rocky time) so it was just a bad habit that happened I think from coming home from a telecommunications job that was stressful (18 years) and felt like I needed a ‘treat’ I deserved it … etc. but maybe if I had been able to do the job i thought i would love – the grade 1 teacher … i wouldn’t have needed to treat myself to any rewards since the job would be the reward. so I am really happy doing these cards and I will make sure – I am job seeking -that I only take a job that I like so I don’t get into that mentality again – I hope this has been helpful. My whole family drinks so I have to be my own leader in my happiness – which i should be anyway. perhaps they can be inspired by me in the future – i don’t judge them or tell them what to do – i understand it all.

    • sarah47 7 months ago

      Wow Patti, you’ve had a lot going on and I can see how drinking wine would be your go to like most of us here, I’ve been drinking gin and wine most nights for decades too and on day 3 now – stupid thing is that I suddenly feel a saint for having 3 nights off and want to make excuses that I can return to it again! I’m trying to stop for a month to start with. Hope you’re doing ok.

    • WantingFreedom 7 months ago

      how are you going Patti?

  27. Author
    Mrs D 8 months ago

    I just used to clean the house hard out

  28. Anonymous 8 months ago

    I’m at 10!

  29. Anonymous 8 months ago

    Hey I’m 25 days too…well done!

  30. Evie 8 months ago

    Me too. I dont enjoy it anymore and it now a habit. Have purchased The Naked Mind which I have started to read this evening when I normally open a bottle and its really good. Ive got to stay strong !

  31. Anonymous 8 months ago

    i want to give up my bottle of wine a night

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      Do it! You can!

  32. Anonymous 9 months ago

    I have three things that keep me on track:
    1. I keep a list of 20 ways my life improved without booze on my phone, at the ready in case I need a quick reminder.
    2. I take a 15 minute walk to get some endorphins moving.
    3. This isn’t for everyone…I keep an assortment of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks on hand (usually high calorie

  33. Eleith 9 months ago

    Hello Mygirls2!
    I too have had intense anxiety! Once I get away from drinking, I feel SOOO much better! Much of the anxiety is caused by alcohol. Have you read This Naked MInd by Annie Grace? That really helped me. The anxiety being caused by alcohol is a physiological fact. Check it out.
    I wanted to quit for many years, but could not. Now that I have, I can’t believe the difference. I’ve had to re-start many times, but each time I do, after a couple of days, my anxiety is almost all gone! It’s worth it!
    I wish you the best!
    Eleith

  34. sober@sixty 9 months ago

    Absolutely! The ‘new’ ‘sober’ ‘you’ (me) is foreign! I’m nearly double your days, but I’ve been where you are sitting – and still struggle, but it’s all worth it!

  35. Anonymous 9 months ago

    I usually walk my dog which gets me out of the house. My LARGER problem is when I go to the store becaue that’s when I’m tempted to buy the wine, which I used to hide in my closet. (sigh)

    • Ladyhawke 9 months ago

      I make a conscious decision to turn my head away from the alcohol aisles so I don’t have to look at them when I’m in the supermarket.

      • Chii 8 months ago

        I’m very lucky, they don’t sell alcohol in supermarkets where I live. So I’m not tempted that way.

  36. Poppy 10 months ago

    Gosh does anyone else struggle with kind of getting to know the new sober you? I’m 97 days in and loving every second of it, but there are times where I’m sitting on my own wondering about things like I can’t explain. Had to check myself tonight around some thoughts about me as a person and how others might see me as a person. Man I have a whole lot of water under the bridge. Always doubting myself anyway let alone being raw and sober. I think it’s a good thing to really look at myself, grow up a bit, still gotta have fun! But to just simply take it easy on myself. I love how much less anxiety I have now. It’s gone from often to extremely rarely. I love that so much!

  37. Anonymous 10 months ago

    My story is no different than the next. Forever falling off the wagon. The demon I let get to me every time.

    • bexter 8 months ago

      Me too. I have nothing for two, three, four days (even though there is plenty in the house) then on Friday night, oooh what a week, I need a treat ! And a bottle of Pinot Gris later…..

  38. Flyboy 10 months ago

    Sometimes I feel it would be good to have someone that is going through the same thing to give a call or txt at that time you can swing either way. I find myself going up the road to get a bottle and on the way I am trying like hell to talk myself out of it but the demon always says tomorrow, have a few tonight and start again tomorrow. Disappointing given I have done it before and lasted 8 months.

    • bexter 8 months ago

      8 months is awesome! I haven’t lasted more then two weeks for the last probably 30 years.

  39. Anonymous 10 months ago

    seven o’clock isn’t wine o’clock and coincidentally the urge comes like clockwork
    My demon is strong and my commitment crumbles when he comes out

  40. Anonymous 10 months ago

    Squirt lime wedge. Can’t live without it!

  41. Thorntonite 10 months ago

    Nature abhors a vacuum, so after eliminating one thing (the drinking/drugging) you need to replace it with something else. Get away from the place you used to drink, whether its home or the bar. Go to the library. Take a walk. Call a sober friend. Watch the comedy channel. Read sobriety blogs! Manicure your nails. Drive to the mall. Experiment with a fancy mocktail. Eat dinner early and go to bed early. Shampoo the dog. Write in your journal. Pull weeds. Color. Put together a puzzle. Play your favorite music and dance. Sing along! Set a timer for 15 minutes and then go clean something. Urges last shorter than you think. Keep trying new ideas until something works!

    • sarah47 7 months ago

      Thanks, these are all good suggestions

  42. JBanne21 10 months ago

    I am only on Day 6, however, I have to say I have enjoyed a can of club soda to sip on. It has a bit of bite to me and not much flavor, so I can sip it slowly. That has been helpful to me.

    • Changedlife 10 months ago

      Well done. I’m 25 days and Soda, lemon and ice has been great for me around 5pm. I’m finding after one slow class I get on with my evening alcohol free

  43. Saloon 10 months ago

    Hi ladyhawke
    I hear you this me every night. Tonight is another day 1 after so many failures. They say u have to really want to give up wine. I do but the willpower gets weaken at wine o’clock.

  44. Anonymous 10 months ago

    Finding your comments about avoiding staying hungry after work helpful. Today i managed to stay drink free. (Once eaten it is not so difficult)
    I have a new job, my best opportunity so far in life and i am really hoping not to mess it up. (Drinking has definetely effected my last 2 jobs which were not as great and stressful)
    I have visited a therapist and taking a small dose of antidipressant each day now.
    Hoping to stay sober and find excitment in other forms….

  45. Lu 11 months ago

    Sometimes deep breathing sometimes a huge chocolate milkshake. There are nights I feel like being healthy and active like hitting a yoga class and other nights just journaling or watching t.v.
    25 days alcohol free and getting better at paying attention to my tendency to stuff emotions with wine and now with food, but am taking it easy and trying to let some time pass!!

  46. Wino 11 months ago

    Same for me, once I have eaten my dinner I am over it. I got into the habit of having dinner ready in the fridge for when I get home. Just microwave it and I am good to go. It’s a bit of work but so worth it.

    • KimberlyD 8 months ago

      I think you have something here. I have always found that eating dinner early helps with the cravings. It kind of interrupts the pattern. My husband is working today so I think I’ll take the time and prepare a few meals to have already cooked. That way when he starts in with the beer at 3:00 I can just eat an early supper and be done with it.

  47. Poppy88 11 months ago

    Yussssss! Only gets better. With a few breathing and letting it pass moments in between, it’s so worth it though. Happy sober day 🙂

  48. Anonymous 11 months ago

    Once you are through the first night it gets alot easier. Im on day four after falling into a trap of a bottle of wine a night became a habit

    • lucylucy 11 months ago

      Day 12 here and feel so good….I can see the whites of my eyes!

  49. Anonymous 11 months ago

    I’m 22 AF. I’ve felt great every morning that I’ve woke up hangover free! Evenings are the worst for me. I’ve been trying to stay busy. Cooking supper, helping kids with homework, reading, watching tv, cleaning. I’m getting bored though.

  50. Mygirls2 11 months ago

    I cave every night due to financial
    Stress and my old heath insurance owing me thousands of dollars and my ongoing court battle with a narcissistic sociopath intimidating ex. I feel like I’ll lose my sanity until I calm
    Down with wine. Anxiety meds mood doctor are strong and don’t touch the panic. My bloodwork was not very good (not terrible) and that hasn’t scared me enough to quit. I drink two bottles of moscato 10% wine over 12 hours. I can’t sleep due to anxiety so I sip wine and work on my o line classes. I never am drunk as I have a police grade breathalyzer (stay about .015). But all that wine still can’t be good. But it’s a crutch.

    • Travelbug 7 months ago

      Alcohol causes insomnia…..

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