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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1,301 Comments
  1. Teri64 2 years ago

    Day 1 & I feel ok. Have had 2 weeks off work – had terrible symptoms, could not eat for 8 days, dryretching etc. have never felt so bad. Went to a dr a few days ago & told the truth. I was drinking one to 2 bottles every night & more on the weekend…drinking during the day & also scotch on the rocks. I have been pushing friends away & lost my zest for life. I’m trying all the help I can get & will try hypnotherapy tomorrow. I have a few times to quit before, but this is it.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      I hear you, at my worst that is me too – at my best a week or two off but the detox is like having the flu plus exhaustion plus mood swings… hard to understand why we go back for more! I’m trying to attack the beast from all angles…life coach, naturopath, meditation courses, yoga – whatever it takes…I try not to beat myself up when I slip backwards but it’s is hard.
      Stay strong and focused. I’m interested to hear how the hypnotherapy goes…

  2. Poppy88 2 years ago

    I have a 7 year old! But seriously that works both ways, need a release have wine, need to be present, don’t have wine. I usually have a snack, I know replacing one with another and all that but at least I don’t want a drink. Sunny afternoons are the trigger though. Man what’s with sun and booze? Sun comes out, that already makes you happy vitamin d and all that jazz then we want another hit of the fun buzz. I’m actually looking forward to beating that and just enjoying my soda water with flavoured syrup. Pretty sure I’d choose better music too without the booze in me, at our summer party’s. Win-win I say

    • Jasmaine 2 years ago

      I’m afraid of summer too. Good vibes plus alcohol equals better good vibes doesn’t it??….no not really. Fir me it means drinking way too much, my kids seeing me pissed, not being present with them on that fine day, waking up feeling like shit and the biggest fir me is bloody guilt, guilt, regret and you know the rest…isn’t that why we’re tryna stop??…..for me anyway. Well done on your journey….your winning!!!!!!!!! Bring on summer?? Lol…we can do it!!!

  3. Anonymous 2 years ago

    It’s a struggle but quite frankly I’m tired of being sick and making an ass out of myself.

    • Poppy88 2 years ago

      I’m using this for my explanation if anyone asks why I’m not drinking. Love it!

  4. Horsehead 2 years ago

    Me too! We can do it!

  5. Horsehead 2 years ago

    I love seltzer water too! I appreciate yr post lots. Makes sense!

  6. Jmom90 2 years ago

    Going on day 4 after breaking a 2 week streak.

  7. NinaR 2 years ago

    I live in New York and am always in a busy and also affluent part of the city around the witching hour. So I daily find myself walking past window after window through which I see handsome people chatting and smiling over that first full glass of wine. And even after 4 and a half terrific sober years, I still find myself thinking “Poor me!! Why can’t I do that any more?” And I find it best to remind myself that feeling like this is normal for an ex-drunk, and it’s familiar to me–and it WON’T corrupt my sobriety. It’s a feeling I know and I know it won’t weaken me. And I like seltzer water, and you can buy a bottle of seltzer every 10 feet in NY. Just knowing I’ve had these witching hour feelings for 4.5 years, and knowing I can probably expect them forever, and knowing I”m already used to them, helps a lot. So I hope this helps any new sober people who think the witching hour is just for newbies–it’s not at all, and it will be a nuisance you will get used to. And look at all the people who are ready to help you get through it!

  8. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Except for special non-alcoholic kombucha, most contain 0.5 to 2.0% alcohol.

    • kitten 2 years ago

      i love kombucha. i did not know i needed special non-alcoholic kombucha… how do i know if it is the special kind?

  9. TAS 2 years ago

    Late afternoon is REALLY tough…I try to stay busy. I will lift weights. Go for a walk. Clean my car. Water my garden. Meditate. Focus on whats st stake if I drink even 1 drink…

  10. Anonymous 2 years ago

    29 days ago i quit alcohol for good.

  11. Blessed 2 years ago

    I’m 13 days sober, and I’ve found knitting to be my help. Unfortunately the voice is still there, but knitting and keeping my hands busy helps to squelch my voice. When the urge is really strong, I keep thinking of how hard the last 13 days have been, and ask myself if I really want to go back to day one? If I can keep the voice to a murmur, I can get past those first couple of hours…then I celebrate when I realize I’m going to bed sober.

  12. Tikigirl 2 years ago

    Day 6 and first post. Started out as ‘dry July’ but having just finished ‘Mrs D is going without’ I’ve realised my problem is bigger than I liked to admit. I scarily related to too much in that book.
    Now feeling a bit emotional and overwhelmed by it all 🙁

    • Blackbird72 2 years ago

      I really relate to that book too. There’s a quote I heard somewhere. Something like ‘every journey starts with a single step ‘ you get the idea. Keep on!

    • Lakeview 2 years ago

      Hi @Tikigirl, I going to get book and read it, Im day 4, at lest you started dry july, i didnt even make that, i had to have an accicent to stop. Its really sobering to see how unsober we actually are I agree. Im overwhelmed and scared as well, we can do this, we will make it, 6 days is great , lets not drink together today eh

    • NinaR 2 years ago

      Hi, this is my first day at this site, and even though I haven’t read this book, I know what being overwhelmed and emotional can feel like. You did the very best thing for yourself by reaching out: you need to know that other people have felt this too. I’ve been sober since Jan 2014 and I can realize on any day that “my problem is bigger than I liked to admit.” You may not feel it right now, but you have incredible gifts waiting for you in sobriety: you will make true and stronger friendships than you may have made in the past; you won’t be ashamed any more! (that’s a big one); you’ll find interested in something and you can really dig into it, pursue it, and make connections through your interest–without booze lubricating everything into the swamp that booze turns good stuff into. And your relationships will change, and that can be extremely hard, and there is help for those challenges. People have been where you are–and wondered how the hell we’ll get to the next week or month like this. And the truth holds fast, as truth tends to do: every sober moment is better than every drunk moment. People will help. Always always reach out is some way when you feel yourself teetering, or darkening.

    • Jasmaine 2 years ago

      Hi @tikigirl….isn’t it a great book? I’m on my second time….and it’s pushed me to the end!! Mrs D is someone whom I related to heaps with booze just being a part of ‘life’….but realising how utterly unhappy I was/am made me tired and sick or sick and tired lol….are you from NZ?….keep going tikigirl…I will fight this with you as I’m only on day 6 but your on day 14!!!!One day at a time….no one minute st a time………….I hear you xo

  13. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 21 it is scary when i dont have urges because i know they are hiding in the shadows. Urges seem to pop up when least expected, at times tiring to keep guard up. However, a chamomile tea with carbonated water seema to help.

  14. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 3 … wine o’clock …English breakfast ice tea, macadamia honey for sweetness, with strawberries & mint …yum a great substitute…made a litre to get me through the day to replace my wine consumption ….starting to feel clear headed and excited to get to day 7… then the next day/week thereafter…sleeping still under par but will be looking at some meditation options in the next few days….

  15. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I also found a old game of housie that I pulled out and started playing during wine o’clock time. It was fun and kept my mind occupied. I downloaded the app and it automatically calls the housie numbers at random.

    I had my peach and mango tea with ice in my trusted wine glass and waited with anticipation for my numbers to be called.(You’re also playing with against others around the world). Before I knew it, it was time for bed.

    Sleep wasn’t great but I woke with no hangover.

  16. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I did it i did it made it thru day 1 now gotta make it thru today. Glass of mocktails at wine o’clock

  17. Mscat 2 years ago

    Day 8. Kept myself distracted by cooking, cleaning, taking a walk, baths, and positive thinking. It was going fine, until I started to feel a lot of pain in my stomach. It looks like I’m 6 months pregnant. While reading about conditions like that online, it’s some kind of organ disfuncion due to alcohol abuse. Going to doctors tomorow. I’m never drinking again. It took me 4 yrs, but it’s over now. Fucking poison.

  18. Anonymous 2 years ago

    day 1 ….tossed out temptations this morning feeling guilty about the wine going down the drain… will be buying groceries from another location not near the bottle shop! In fact it’s a better grocery store so that’s a positive! I’m a regular gym user so it will be interesting to see how I go. I found this great tasting cordial (lime, cucumber) a dash of cordial and soda water with fresh basil ….similar colour to Chardonnay… joined this site for support….Thanks!

  19. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi
    I have gone with the idea of non alcoholic drink in my wine glass and its fucking working. Peach and mango tea with ice bloody beautiful. I pray this works keep the ideas coming

  20. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Great job. I’m proud of you.

  21. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Great job! I’m proud of you 🙂

  22. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I haven’t had a drink in about 3 years but tonight I’m really stressed and my urge is pretty intense. I miss that escape.

  23. otiselden 2 years ago

    This is Day 4 for me, and my first weekend. I really enjoyed waking up early and having a whole day in front of me on Saturday, normally I would be terribly hungover, because I always drank a LOT on Friday. It’s nice to feel like I have more time. Last night was really hard, but I made it through, partly with the help of this site. I’m also basically letting myself do whatever I want (within reason) as long as it isn’t drinking. One vice at a time. For the next few weeks I”ll let myself eat whatever I want, watch whatever I want, etc, (again, within reason) to help distract me. Anyway, thanks to everyone for your stories and support. 🙂

  24. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Does anyone remember why they started drinking in the first place. For me to forget and dull self criticism. I wish i had know that that was so futile. Facing yourself sober is helluva better than shitfaced and stupid cause who do you think will win.

    • LeaBra 2 years ago

      I started drinking around age 14. My reason was nothing more than to be cool, fit in, & have fun. Apparently, I had so much fun that I kept at it, lol.

  25. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 2 successful. Though if I hadnt screwed the pooch Id be Day 18. Furious with myself but still determined. For those of you who are posting their struggles daily, like me, thank you so much for your support. Without even knowing it, you are with me. For anyone who comments critically, regardless of the title of this post, perhaps you should look elsewhere. I am anonymous & there are a bunch of us that type anonymous. Supporting each other as we struggle each and every day. And will continue the struggle. Preferably without judgement.

  26. Momof2 2 years ago

    I get through wine o’clock by putting flavored sparkling water in a wine glass. That’s really helped me so far, but I’m also really new to this. Part of the habit for me was/is the comfort of holding that glass in my hands.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      My wine o’clock was always centered around supper meal prep. Working in the kitchen, listening to music or watching tv while fixing supper with my favorite wine glass (full of course) was something I got in the habit of and then it became an addiction. Have hesitated to use the idea of substitute drink in the wine glass because not sure of my confidence level now. But will keep it in mind. Thanks for the idea!

    • LeaBra 2 years ago

      I totally agree. The glass makes a difference. I don’t know why I haven’t been putting my flavored sparkling water in a wine glass. Great idea!

  27. LeaBra 2 years ago

    I thought this was supposed to be a place to post tips/tricks to substitute drinking urges. The question asks, “How do you get through the witching hours without drinking?” This feed just seems like a lot of anonymous people posting their feelings/updates. That’s fine, but I’d like to read how people are getting through their urges. That would be helpful. Is this ‘anonymous’ the same or a different person?

    I listened to a Recovery Elevator podcast where the guy gave a trick he uses. He “plays the tape forward” in his mind. You think about what will happen if you have 1 drink. In my case 1 drink would lead to multiple, I’d pass out on the couch, & wake up feeling like shit. Of course, that is on a good day. It helps to play out the drinking in your mind. It makes you realize that it’s not worth the consequences.

  28. Mscat 2 years ago

    Day 6. Feeling a little better, but I still think of drinking. Let’s see how weekend will go. Hope for the best!

  29. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Keep pushing! Don’t let this take you back to hell.

  30. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 14 and every second is a struggle, but i am doing it inch by inch.

  31. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 16 flopped. Back to day 1. And it was only like 3 shots. Can’t remember anything. Wtf. And I am miserable.

  32. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Nothing worthwhile is easy.

  33. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 3. I feel awful. I’ve been drinking daily for 4 years now. And a lot. Now, I got tired of hands shaking in public, or feeling like crap every day. But I feel the same now. Insomnia, night sweating, depression. I want a drink so bad, but I know I will wake up passed out not remembering a thing. How do people stay sober for years? It’s the hardest thing ever. 🙁

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 13… I really want 1 drink dammit. But I know 1 will turn into the whole damned bottle. No matter what I tell myself. Trying not to think about it. I’ve been binging on movies/series, dishes & dinners… idle hands make for trouble! Day 10 & up have been the hardest. Headaches…. anxiety. I will make it to day 15. If I can just stay away from the store…

  35. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 10 baby, struggling strong?

  36. Anonymous 2 years ago

    One thing you must understand, the only thing stronger than you is you.

  37. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Six months? You must be trolling.

  38. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I am hooked on wine, the last 6 months a bottle a night. If I have 3 glasses I tell myself that I’m doing better. I will take a swig in the afternoon at home just for the taste. I realize know that my brain is craving the wine, which makes it hard to control, even when I know in my heart that I don’t want to drink this much, I cave in. I consider myself active, athletic, and into healthy eating. But I know I am fooling myself since I have gained 15 pounds. I’m hoping this site sill help me out. It’s been good to read about others who struggle, and how strong you have to be to get over the “wine witching hours.” So, here I go, I’m jumping on the wagon for the sake of my physical and emotional health and my for my wonderful family.

    • gomergirl 2 years ago

      I’m right there with you.

  39. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I am on day 8 and it is just as bad.

  40. Anonymous 2 years ago

    The problem with me is that it is always wine a clock.

  41. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Without struggle it wouldn’t’ be as rewarding.

  42. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 11. Struggling… really struggling. Don’t give up. Don’t give up…

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      You are not alone in your struggle. Those are eleven days that you don’t want to repeat. There are millions who found a way, and eventually got their lives back, and you can be one of them.

  43. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Never thought I would find myself looking for support to stop drinking wine but here I am. I’ve had a lot of bereavement over last 3 yrs first my husband then my dad and recently my mum. Feel so alone and the only thing that has helped me cope is the wine. I know this is not the answer but I can’t seem to stop permanently. I recently went 8 weeks sober and thought I could go back to “social drinking” but I can’t. Back to where I was before ….probably worse if I’m being honest ! For people out there who have stopped don’t go back there it’s just not worth it. I am planning to stop again and know next time has to be for good. Sober Life is so much better so hang in there everyone.

  44. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 9 or 10. Rather mixing together at this point. So… if I have one drink like a normal person & stop; no binging; does that count as falling off the wagon. Ughhhhh.

  45. Jennifer 2 years ago

    Day 7. Wine witch is messing with me daily. Just have to play the story through. The morning I would be so sad if I gave in. Look no forward to the day the wine witch is weak and beaten!!!

  46. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hey all, just started this little journey. Trying to minimize a little as I read, there isn’t anything productive about shaming yourself into a pit of despair. “I can do this, not that big a deal, there will be some hard things, but it’s gonna be okay!”

    Have not ever been daily drinker, 3 night a week binger. I would do 1/2 a pint over 6 7 hours, that’s 375 ml, 15 units. That’s alot of booze.
    Yeah just figured that out, it “looks” like such a little bit. Probably about 8 doubles…! Or the “big” bottle of wine…

    All crept up over the past few years. With pain, stress, health issues. Nice to just forget and not care for an evening.

    Question:. If not a daily drinker, trying to make sure I eat early – Do you think can I expect serious cravings? Anyone like me have experience and suggestions?

  47. L 2 years ago

    *sorry I’m on day 6.

  48. L 2 years ago

    I’m on day sick and my mind tells me that I can just have one glass on wine…but I know one will turn in a bottle or 2. Just crazy how our minds play tricks on us.

  49. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Today is Day 1 for me. I am so anxious to be sober and stay that way. The first week will be awful but I am determined to get through it!

  50. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 1 for me as well and really feel like I will drink when I get home and I don’t want to. I keep trying to get through three days but it never seems to happen. It is such a struggle and I can’t explain it to anyone around me. I can drink awhole lot and I know that is not normal and I know I need help but do not have the time. I am so glad there are others out there…what to do?

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