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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1,052 Comments
  1. WantingFreedom 5 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 months ago

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

    • skyfly 5 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 5 months ago

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

    • Skibabe 5 months ago

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

    • DAVmo 5 months ago

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

  2. Genesis 5 months ago

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

  3. Genesis 5 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.

  4. kathic2018 5 months ago

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

    • thinkb4udrink 3 months ago

      Good luck. You got this

    • djlaing 5 months ago

      Good luck. Don’t forget to breath

  5. feemac 5 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!

  6. gilligan5323 6 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.

  7. thecandidme 6 months ago

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

  8. Patti 6 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 5 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 5 months ago

      how are you going Patti?

  9. Author
    Mrs D 6 months ago

    I just used to clean the house hard out

  10. Anonymous 6 months ago

    I’m at 10!

  11. Anonymous 6 months ago

    Hey I’m 25 days too…well done!

  12. Evie 6 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 !

  13. Anonymous 6 months ago

    i want to give up my bottle of wine a night

    • Anonymous 6 months ago

      Do it! You can!

  14. Anonymous 7 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

  15. Eleith 7 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

  16. sober@sixty 7 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!

  17. Anonymous 7 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 7 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 6 months ago

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

  18. Poppy 7 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!

  19. Anonymous 7 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 6 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…..

  20. Flyboy 8 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 6 months ago

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

  21. Anonymous 8 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

  22. Anonymous 8 months ago

    Squirt lime wedge. Can’t live without it!

  23. Thorntonite 8 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 5 months ago

      Thanks, these are all good suggestions

  24. JBanne21 8 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 8 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

  25. Saloon 8 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.

  26. Anonymous 8 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….

  27. Lu 8 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!!

  28. Wino 8 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 6 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.

  29. Poppy88 8 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 🙂

  30. Anonymous 9 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 8 months ago

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

  31. Anonymous 9 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.

  32. Mygirls2 9 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 5 months ago

      Alcohol causes insomnia…..

  33. Ladyhawke 9 months ago

    Very hard when driving home – I tell myself I’ve done a good job and I deserve a drink and then it begins…

    • salshak 7 months ago

      The drive home is difficult for me too at day 10. On the way home yesterday, after an especially stressful day, I felt this sudden urge out of nowhere while sitting at a stop light. I thought to myself, “Where did that come from?” It was like a flutter in my stomach, a hunger. Noticing and analyzing this feeling helped me shake it.

  34. Chris 9 months ago

    I go through a similar thing. That drive home…I’ll be telling myself okay…not gonna drink tonight…one night, you can do it…not tonight. Sure enough I swing in and get a box of wine and now, I’m set for the next couple days. If I’m full…I’m way less likely to drink. I always start before I eat…get that quick easy buzz then thrown in the towel as the evening rolls along, glass after glass finally waking up pissed at myself telling myself…okay, this is going to stop…stop today. Then…same thing over and over…it hasn’t stopped. 🙁

  35. Jennifer Dammon 9 months ago

    Omg, i need to do this! Thanks for your post. I am struggling with kicking wine at night. Im tired of waking up PO’d at myself for drinking wine.

  36. Winner 9 months ago

    Reading lotta books and several other books recommended by her in her books. Refer back to sections in these books at tough times.

  37. Amanda-lea Clohesy 9 months ago

    I have found eating something at 4pm, which is just before I knock off work helps.

    I always struggle when driving home from work, it is the time when I am at my weakest and most likely to stop into the bottle shop or have my addicted personality (Serena) try and convince me I deserve a drink. If I am full in my belly I do not have a desire to drink, ever, which is great for me.

    Unsure if this will help anyone else.

  38. Mscat 9 months ago

    After 60 days drinking again. Worst than ever. Like, 4 bottles a day. Can’t stop. Need help.

  39. Anonymous 9 months ago

    At my worst moment I wrote truths about how I am when I drink (now past tense)onto post it notes.
    I stuck them on my dresser so that I saw them when I first woke up. I stuck them in the kitchen right where I cooked dinner (where my trigger spot was) I put them in my car…everywhere I could think…bathroom…toilet. ..etc etc.
    They said
    1 drink is not enough ever for you.
    You always speak trash to yourself in the mornings.
    It’s just not fun anymore.
    You are better than this.
    Its only a thought and I can change that.
    I don’t like you when you drink.
    I want my feelings back as truth.

    You get the idea

    Xx

  40. sobergirl 9 months ago

    At my worst moment I wrote truths about how I am when I drink (now past tense)onto post it notes.
    I stuck them on my dresser so that I saw them when I first woke up. I stuck them in the kitchen right where I cooked dinner (where my trigger spot was) I put them in my car…everywhere I could think…bathroom…toilet. ..etc etc.
    They said
    1 drink is not enough ever for you.
    You always speak trash to yourself in the mornings.
    It’s just not fun anymore.
    You are better than this.
    Its only a thought and I can change that.
    I don’t like you when you drink.
    I want my feelings back as truth.

    You get the idea

    Xx

  41. Anonymous 9 months ago

    What is the book called Tiki

  42. Anonymous 9 months ago

    By reading telly helpful mindfulness books and going for a walk

  43. Tom 9 months ago

    How was your experience with the hypnotherapy? Am booking a session myself this week.

  44. sober@sixty 9 months ago

    First off, not having any temptations in the house is key! Changing up the routine also helps. I used to pour my first after work and then start preparing dinner. I try to do prep in stages – the night before, in the morning before work, so I’m not in the kitchen in that same routine being assailed by the witch!

  45. sober@sixty 9 months ago

    I always enjoyed having a glass of wine while preparing dinner too! Pouring that first drink after the work day was the transition from work to personal time for me. It’s been a struggle, I admit, but I’ve soldiered through and do what so many of you also do, have a nice mocktail in a fancy glass. I do find I’m always ‘preparing’ for what I’m going to drink! It takes a lot of preparation to stay on the sober road.

  46. Differentlovely 9 months ago

    It is hard! But like Mrs. D wrote in her book, I just imagine myself going to bed sober and getting a great night sleep.

  47. morgan 9 months ago

    https://youtu.be/_-NonVtxyAk – Have a laugh

  48. Anonymous 9 months ago

    Know what you mean. I’m 64 and have been drinking since teens. So sick of it. Have just done 35 AF days then caved. Very disappointing. Travelling overseas in 3 weeks for 6 weeks and don’t want to mess it all up. It’s such an evil curse. Physical changes when sober are good -sleep better, less bloating so why is it so hard?

  49. Anonymous 9 months ago

    why is it always late afternoon??

  50. Anonymous 9 months ago

    Yeah, I noticed since I turned 61 that drinking makes me age faster. Now I am 66 and it shows under the my eyes and on my lids the most. Hard to sleep as well. I have to stop with my glasses of wine each night. I did that b/c everyone says how red wine is good for you, and then one glass went to two glasses and now more. Now that I noticed a physical change, that is what made me want to give it up completely.

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