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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1,115 Comments
  1. rosepetal098 2 years ago

    I find the moment I get in my car at the end of a busy working day. The thought goes through my head everyday like clockwork “I’d love a glass of wine when I get home” in reality I don’t just have one. I have the bottle. I make a conscious decision everyday to drive straight home and not go to the shops. Once I’m home I’m safe. I pour myself a orange and soda. I toast to my husband that I got through the drive home. Everyday like clockwork. He makes me accountable. Which means I have to keep going and I’ll toast everyday to remind myself I’m in recovery and have to keep going.

  2. Sue Double 2 years ago

    Fill your head with as much info about not drinking. Read online sites and listen to podcasts about becoming alcohol free. Remember a thought is just a thought and when that urge comes know this….if you can ride it for 20 minutes it will go. When I say ride it I mean notice it . Acknowledge it. Do something else. Bath. Cup of tea. Walk . Run .lie down with yourlegs in air (recognised method to change mood) recognise thought has gone. We live in an ever changing world everything passes. Thoughts about drinking included. Meditate . Love yourself . Those are my thoughts

  3. Mere 2 years ago

    You are in the right place! Keep posting and looking for support here and at other similar websites. And make yourself a wonderful drink of seltzer and fruit juice and sit and savor! Let the craving pass…

  4. MrsNomoreguilt 2 years ago

    I’m new to this and having had many failed attempts before I find late afternoon the hardest part to get through. It’s the voices in my head that seem to take over my thoughts and before I know it I’ve got a drink in my hand. Trying again to be sober – day 1 and hoping that I’ll get through wine o clock today.

  5. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Wanting to take the first step. I keep saying I’ll cut down. I’ve been successful in the past. The first day alcohol free, seems the most daunting …. I’ve cut down successfully before, but it creeps up on me again …. it’s been a long time since I’ve had zero alcohol. I want to achieve an alcohol free day. In my mind at the moment, I still want to limit my alcohol intake, but I know deep down it probably won’t be an option for me

  6. Christina 2 years ago

    I just try and keep busy. I am one of those people who have a hard time relaxing. A glass of wine was a good way for me to sit and relax. Then I would sit all night! So I guess I still struggle with the relaxing part, but I sure am enjoying all the other parts of my life. I am not skipping past them via a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

  7. Anonymous 2 years ago

    6 days has been the longest without wine, very hard to stop when family , friends and even your kids school meetings are in a bar.
    I love the taste of wine in my mouth and the relax feeling, but as a single mother I know I have to be always there and available,wine has been my break but is a bad one..is not helping me or my family, I wanna quit, but is more than a drink..

  8. Anonymous 2 years ago

    While Looking for support, wisdom and strength I found this website. I’m in trouble. Last night had 5 drinks , thought I was fine…. dizziness, nausea, blacked out, and seizures, woke up with my husband very scared holding me. I hope this scares me enough to stop alcohol for good this time. I hope it scares others enough to find their inspiration/ motivation also.

  9. Kit 2 years ago

    Change up the routine in that time frame: exercise, go for a walk, think of some activity that you’d like to start up. For me, going home is the ‘wine o’clock’. I cannot avoid going home, but I can move forward with a plan. Then a nice refreshing beverage with dinner. Look forward to your bed and your jammies. And most of all look forward to a clear morning!!

  10. SuzyMouat 2 years ago

    Check in with yourself; HOLTS……hungry, angry, lonely,tired, stressed.. whatever it is address it then talk to someone. Pick up the phone but don’t pick up a drink.

  11. Pam 2 years ago

    Looking forward to figuring it all out. Effort and support. Laughs help to. We shall see.

  12. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I find having an ice-cream, small amount of chocolate, with a black coffee right after dinner, helps me get through that urge. I wouldn’t normally have had a sugary treat as wine was my go to, but I figure if it breaks the wine habit then I can cut down to just the coffee once I’m over the hardest bit. Later on in the evening I’ll have a Rose Tulsi tea (has anyone else tried this?? It’s a very nice tea that also calms nerves). I try to think past the rush I’m after in the present moment, and to think about the proud feeling I have at the end of the night going to bed sober.

  13. Anne 2 years ago

    Thank you Patch for giving me some hope that I will be ok, because I really feel quite scared that I won’t be able to do this, but at the same time its true that I have never really truly made the decision to be a non-drinker (Craig Beck style). However I did make that decision yesterday with a raging hangover and associated anxiety and normally would have had a drink (many) to ease it, but it was a simple decision not to do this. Today is day 2. I am planning long walks with friends and yoga in the evenings and listening to podcasts and reading blogs. I am so looking forward to ‘loving it’ as you are, and this helps me see me that I can. Stay tuned!

  14. Anonymous 2 years ago

    The wine glass has all the wrong connotations for you. Use a normal glass I strongly suggest.

  15. John Kuipers 2 years ago

    You are getting the sugar the sugar from the chocolate & fizzy drink in lieu if sugar in alcohol. Be mindful of this.

  16. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Oh God you have just described me!

  17. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I find what helps for me is to play games on my cellphone while cooking my evening meal. Keeping my thoughts on when I go to bed with a good book. Going to bed early and reading has been my saviour so I really concentrate on that great feeling.

  18. trishj 2 years ago

    Day one for me today. I put an app on my phone called I Am Sober, and it’s going to send me a motivational message at wine o’clock (4pm). It also encourages me to write a pledge everyday. Hubby is having a beer and it’s not bothering me, I hope I can continue not being bothered!

  19. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I am 3 weeks sober tomorrow. I used to hide my wine and in the last year have progressed to hard stuff eg
    whiskey and gin and vodka. My last binge I got drunk at work and my husband got the local police man to escort me out of work and lock up the shop – the shock and horror of it all woke me up. My husband was naturally angry with me as I haven’t managed to stay sober for long after coming out of rehab 18 months ago. I am on my last chance with my marriage now. For Xmas I purchased a breathaliser so that has helped me resist drinking as I have told my husband he can breathalise me anytime he wants to. Definitely feeling a much happier and in control person since I have stopped.

  20. Anonymous 2 years ago

    You just described me.

  21. Patch 2 years ago

    Everyone thought I was mad for “trying” to give up drinking at a crazy time but actually it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going. I have been 46 days sober and loving it! The first week, I was at a loss, so I did a jigsaw puzzle which took my mind of wine time and now I take one day at a time.

  22. jupiterverse 2 years ago

    I was Invited to dinner at a 5 star hotel that I had always to go to by a wealthy friend I knew as a student. I got to the hotel before he did and ordered myself freshly squeezed lemon juice topped with sparkling water and a sprig of mint in a large wine glass. He thought I was having an alcoholic cocktail. It was hard to sit through dinner while he had simply the best Bordeaux that I would have loved to have shared in my previous life. When he asked as to why I was not drinking, I told him the truth. I simply could not lie. He tried to tempt me but I held firm. This week, I am going to a fancy champagne and cocktail Christmas party. It is going to be another battle but I shall dream up a non-alcoholic cocktail for the evening.

  23. Millicent 2 years ago

    I found buying myself my favourite chocolate bar and a fizzy drink worked – felt a bit naughty but I knew I was not addicted to either and wa simply a treat

  24. Tania 2 years ago

    I think about wine, I can go days without it due to work commitments or maybe I’m thinking I don’t need it today. But I think about the next glass/bottle. I am a bottle a night drinker, no halves or one glass, if its there I have to have it. I am over weight, high blood pressure, have a double chin, gainers 20kgs …. yet wine wins

  25. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 3. Monday after work. Was so craving a drink and cigarettes. Bought some grapetiser instead. Looks like champagne with the bubbles but Alcohols free. Then went for my first summer swim. The feel of the sea water, the sun and sand. Forgot about the craving for a drink. The cigarettes don’t taste as good without the alcohol. Today was a good day.

  26. Hotqui 2 years ago

    Hi everyone,Im back again looking for support,my drinking has consumed me lately,I find I can only control my drinking for about 3 days,and feel fantastic on those alcohol free days but then the urge to drink takes over,I know even when I’m pouring the wine it’s no good for me but can’t seem to stop,I woke up this morning and poured a nearly full bottle of red and a half bottle of white down the sink, have done that a few times before but Im just so fed up of feeling shame and regret every day, basically I’m fed up of living my life like this.so no more feeling sorry for myself,I have to find the strength to overcome this addiction.day by day now.wish me. luck.

    • Kit 2 years ago

      Hi. Today is Day 3 for me. Again. I heard something about the craving that I repeat as a mantra:
      1. the craving will pass
      2. the craving won’t harm you
      3. the craving won’t make you drink
      Well, one of my mantras now, anyway.
      I wish us all luck!

    • unicornin5018 2 years ago

      i know that urge so well i did the best i ever have for 4 months then 6 days ago drank pretty much 3 bottles of wine in a very short amount of time … oh i was ill ! I wasn’t even enjoying it just getting as much in me … yuck yuck yuck ! i had never admitted to being an alcoholic until this year and that really helped with my commitment …. i know itl always be lingering waiting to pounce on me in a weak moment for the rest of my life but thats ok its part of me know and my journey

  27. Darrell Evans 2 years ago

    I want to have a ;look through your website so I know what I am talking about when working with others in our service

    Thank you
    Darrell

  28. Darrell Evans 2 years ago

    I want to have a ;look through your website so I know what I am talking about when working with others in our service

    Thank you
    Darrell

  29. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I’ve read through the first page of the comments and to be honest was shocked…because this is my life too. I’m very concerned about my health. Is my liver failing??, my kidneys perhaps?? Anyone got any experience with this??

  30. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi, well day 1 for me. Your stories of waking up at 1am and not getting back to sleep and the self doubt and hate are all so formula. For me also the battle not to pick up that drink is 5pm… walking in the door after work which is also about the time the kids start fighting, and there is dinner to cook and a days house work to do. My plan is to find healthier coping techniques other then wine.

  31. Choosewisely 2 years ago

    I am on day #7, again, I guess. My longest sober period has been three months, last year. But this isn’t as awful as the first time. I guess if anything, through the relapses and periods of trying to control it, and tricking myself into thinking I was, i kept going to meetings and reaching out. This is a huge journey and we don’t always get it at first, but try and stick with it. I kept wondering, how would my life and career be after a year sober? I really want to find out, one day at a time. Soda water and nice sparkly fruit drinks mixed with ice, lemon and mint – like macs range are good for the witching hour(s)!
    Just started liste I g to Russell brands book recovery that’s pretty cool . X

  32. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi this is my first visit to this site. quitting the boze has been on my mind for a long time- I am constantly fighting with the part of myself that pretends I have an ‘off’ switch. Found out at a social event with different friends that the accepted behaviour that I was used to isn’t really ‘normal’. I am really functional..just worry about what could happen. Want to control my drinking but not sure if I am ready to just stop.. m husband and current friends would not be able to understand.. we only stop drinking when we are pregnant..etc etc . trying to negotiate this site- any tips/advice/experience is much appreciated

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Hi. Bring your thoughts over to the community area of the site. This is where we are all talking about these issues. I think you will like it over there. Good luck on this journey. We are all with you.

  33. hopefuldot 2 years ago

    I understand exactly what you mean about coworkers detecting the smell. I started heavy drinking a tear before I retired and was always concerned about how I went into work. I think knowing when I wake up sober means all those anxieties are gone. It is a beautiful thing. Hang in there, and keep reaching out to others who are going thru the same issues. It helps a lot. I post on another board who has a page for pledging sobriety today. Found it keeps my Alcohol brain in check. Good luck and keep trying . Hugs to you.

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Spin class, Yoga, Hiking. Anything that could be described as a work out!

  35. Hopefuldot 2 years ago

    I too go thru anxiety issues of failing. I have tried many times over the last few years to stop. This time I have made 2 commitments to myself. First I hit several boards a few times a day. Second I started a journal. So far these have been helping me keep the reasons I want to quit very much in the forefront of my alcohol brain. Thank you so much to all who share on these boards. It helps me to know that you too have gone before and come out on the other side. Helps me to keep telling myself NEVER AGAIN.

  36. Eschia 2 years ago

    https://sobercourage.com/2017/06/16/100-fun-things-to-do-sober/ – Podcasts, sober mags, all kinds of sober stuff to listen & do!

  37. Anonymous 2 years ago

    This is me. Almost exactly except…and I am so ashamed of this, I would hide alcohol in my closet. My husband would see me with my “one or two” glassses of wine or mixed drinks but her would not know about the two bottles I would consume in secret over the course of the evening. And for most of this year he has been working evenings and doesn’t get home until after I’m in bed so he would have no idea how much I’m consuming. I would wait until he was gone somewhere to take the bottles from my closet and hide them at the bottom of her trash bin. The hardest decision I ever made was to not replenish my stock and really, without it being there I don’t have a choice but to not drink so it has been 2 days and I already feel on top of the world. I joined this community to make sure I have resources to help me keep it going when triggers hit. But all man, the worst thing for me was the fear of my coworkers being able to smell alcohol on my breath from the night before. I never drink through the day, I would never drink and drive, but I’m sure it was detectable. Right now I feel the most hope I have felt in years.

    • unicornin5018 2 years ago

      i started hiding this year that was at the end and my worst … does your husband no you have been hiding it ? mine did i no idea i felt awful doing it as he’s my best friend ! i asked why he didn’t call me out on it and he told me it was my journey to go through ! i feel so bad when i think back about it he stands by and supports me no matter what !
      even when relapse or feel ashamed of what i did being honest to him would give me strength

      • Anonymous 2 years ago

        Sounds like a keeper that one 🙂

    • TipsyToeGal 2 years ago

      I’m not sure if you are still here or not but I wanted to say I REALLY relate to your post. I did exactly everything you wrote. You will find that so many of us did!! You are not alone and I hope you are still with us kicking butt on being alcohol free!!

  38. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hello everyone. Reading your stories is like looking in a mirror. Wine is my thing and I have ‘enjoyed’ this crutch for many years. Scared I’m not going to be able to reduce or stop as I have tried on my own to address this for some time with no success. The shame I feel is enormous! Really related to your patten of daily drinking maryisnotafairy. Trying to function through the day in a job while hoping I ‘don’t get caught’. Which just brings more stress and shame and more of a reason for me to drink at the end of the day. I really want to address my drinking and would value any ideas and support other members have to offer.

  39. berb17 2 years ago

    My first night and I plan to keep myself busy, but am worried about getting to sleep. I am determined to feel and be a better person.

    • Dibee 2 years ago

      How is it going? Are you on Day 11? Hope you are hanging in there. This on line support system is the best thing I’ve come across for a while.

    • Dibee 2 years ago

      How is it going? Have you got through the last 111 nights OK?

    • freedom1025 2 years ago

      Good for you @berb17. If you’re not already there, you may want join the community area and post there for support. It’s a great place to get lots of good advice.

  40. Anonymous 2 years ago

    In the first few weeks, I noticed when I was hungry I Really really felt like drinking wine especially after a day at the office when I am craving my own space. I made sure I had some sort of reward even if it was chippies and diet coke in the very beginning. The wanting of wine did not last long into the evening.

    After 100 days I started to buy 0% alcohol wines and beers as it feels good to have as a reward at the end of the work day instead of soft drinks all the time. I wish bars in NZ would sell these drinks.

    It does get easier, it really does. I was used to having a wine hangover most days for the last 20 years in our heavy wine culture. Am on day 152 now. I don’t know what lays ahead, and never use the word forever. Thats too restrictive for me.

    The benefits of not drinking are far outweighing the first hit of a glass of wine – not to mention the peace at 2am in the morning and waking feeling the same as when i went to bed instead of tired and foggy.

    • Dibee 2 years ago

      I quite agree. Here’s a great saying that I learned from AA.
      If you feel like drinking, HALT. Ask yourself,
      Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?

  41. Dave 2 years ago

    I struggle I’m 26 2 kids work 70 hours a week and every night it’s my reward to drink but mines a whole bottle and beers

    • Tom4500 2 years ago

      So the “reward”, or the morning voice got you here. Looked for your profile and didn’t see it, but I do see you work a lot. Geez, 70 hours a week has to get old after a while. Going “Alcohol Free” does provide replacement rewards, and they are many. Of course two of the best three reasons are running around your home, and the best of all is their mom. If you’re sober for them, then you’re really putting in a full week.

  42. Ricky 2 years ago

    On day two hear of sobriety. Got stuck in another 3 month bender of daily wine life! Was dry all of June but a July 1 wedding led to this relapse. Able to get sober for 2 months at the longest which was two years ago. Then too, a birthday party did me in and kicked off wine drinking all Spring! Many issues started of course ( many described here). I need to stop!

  43. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I feel like such a failure for letting my drinking get to this point. Today is the first day for no drinking and I never want to go back. Taking it hour by hour and want to live a life without alcohol

    • MsLil 2 years ago

      Welcome to the journey of sobriety – you are very brave for taking the first step.
      Keep checking in daily and you will be amongst people on the same path 🙂

  44. Danielle 2 years ago

    After many 1st days , I am now on day 2 . So very excited to find this site , ad AA is not for me. I have written a list of the positives of not drinking and can’t wait to feel less toxic so I can be a great mum again and start e housing my job again . For the first time , I don’t feel like I am loosing a friend and Misding the party . I feel relieved and at worst slightly mortified at all the money wastage and close calls when I could have been hurt or hurt some one else . Bring this exciting journey on !!

  45. MsLil 2 years ago

    The wine witching hour is the worst for me…wine ‘o’ clock or whatever you want to call it. Then there are the happy sad or bad times… basically it’s any time there is a reason to drink such as a reward, a numbing of my emotions, a celebration of some kind, a friend dropping in, a dinner party, a hard days work, a treaty for me!
    I realised non of the above is true…
    I drink because I am an alcoholic. The only remedy for me is abstinence that’s my medicine.
    As soon as it’s nearing the wine ‘o’ clock time I go running or to the gym.
    I cook dinner and make myself a lovely bubbly drink in a stem glass.
    Sometimes I read or watch a movie and treat myself to dessert or hot chocolate. Sometimes I take myself to an AA meeting. Then I take myself off to bed as early as possible to wake early and exercise or meditate or have a leisurely morning with the very best coffee.

    Through the day there are glimpses of wine and sunsets and glamourous rendezvous with chamagne. As the day comes to an end I fast forward to the next 12 hours…Do I want an anxiety attack at 4:am with a pounding headache and a full bladder that is about to explode! a racing heart with sweats and dizziness low blood sugar and nausea? It’s insane how this can possibly be a good substitute for sleeping, feeling refreshed on waking, no self loathing or regrets, a memory of what happened the night before and a smile on my face and feeling alive and healthy!
    The definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    • Drunkenmama 2 years ago

      Nice words! Totally agree! That sure helps on day 2

  46. grace68 2 years ago

    Opps I mean it’s been a month since my last drink. Silly typo.

  47. grace68 2 years ago

    Hi
    I’m new and its been a month since my first drink. I feed my cats and cook a meal and go to bed early. I would have expected my depression to lift but I am deep in depression at the moment and seeing doctor tomorrow. I feel physically sick as well as miserable and unfocused. I don’t want to cave in and have a drink because I do not see a future with it in my life. It’s temporary. I like a soda with a twist in a a tall glass.

  48. Anonymous 2 years ago

    It is so helpful to know that we are not alone. I am on day 3. Thank you everyone for your honesty.

  49. kbissone 2 years ago

    I am finding that if instead of pouring wine, I take my dogs out for a walk, I can pass up wine o’clock! I still miss it! I have started Gentle Yoga, thinking that helps!

  50. KathyE 2 years ago

    It’s insane! That’s the built in forgetter that we have.

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