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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1,346 Comments
  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Anonymous 2 years ago

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

  5. Anonymous 2 years ago

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

  6. 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.

  7. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Nothing worthwhile is easy.

  8. 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. 🙁

  9. 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…

  10. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 10 baby, struggling strong?

  11. Anonymous 2 years ago

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

  12. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Six months? You must be trolling.

  13. 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.

  14. Anonymous 2 years ago

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

  15. Anonymous 2 years ago

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

  16. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Without struggle it wouldn’t’ be as rewarding.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!!!

  21. 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?

  22. L 2 years ago

    *sorry I’m on day 6.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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?

  26. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 7… And now comes the torture. I feel meh-blah.. I am at that point where a drink or 2 would be nice… ugh. But I won’t. Have to figure out something to do besides clean the kitchen… alittle cranky today. BIG SIGH.. but I am determined.

  27. Sarah F 2 years ago

    I just stumbled across this site… I’ve actually been sober for a little less than 2 years now and just wanted to send good vibes and let you all know it does get better. It gets easier. And life ends up better than you could have imagined! Best of luck, keep pushing through!

  28. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I take it this is day 1 for you today? This is my day 1 too. I am known to drink 2.5 bottles of wine when I’m in a good house cleaning mood. Now I have had enough drinking, waking up with hangovers, dry mouth syndrome the list is endless. Time to step back take a good hard look at myself. I am so over drinking really! However, I know I can not do this alone. So if you don’t mind if this is your day 1 and mine, pretty much looking for support.

  29. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I’m with you. Reading this site to prepare me for tomorrow. I’m amazed that the wine o’clock thing is an issue for so many people. Thought it was just me. 1 bottle of wine per night for most of the last 15 yrs.

  30. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Made it thru Day 5 but migraine, stiff neck & a cough. Am I sick or just jones’n…

  31. Anonymous 2 years ago

    There is a booze fridge at your work?

  32. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Made it thru Day 4. Was worried because it was payday
    Hung in there tho… seeing the $ saved def helps. Come on Day 5! We can make it thru the weekend sober.

  33. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 4?!! Congrats & keep going. I have trouble sleeping to…

  34. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hello All,

    Day 4, and miserable,. Sleeping with medication currently. I had had a minimum of 2 bottles of wine every day for over a decade. I didn’t loose a job, I didn’t loose a marriage and financially I somehow managed, though the latter was getting more challenging. In some way, if my life had crumbled, I almost feel this would be easier. But I made the decision for economic and health reasons to stop, My mind is now playing tricks but I will soldier on. I just wish I didn’t feel so low.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Wow this sounds jus like me. Functioning alcoholic for the last ten years. Good luck. I’m walking this path with you. Saving my fav Netflix or Lightbox episode for wine o clock helps me. Plus drinking tonic water.

  35. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Success on Day 3. Very shaky at certain points… tomorrow will be eventful. It needs to be without alcohol. And I’m anxious about the weekend & my coping skills. Meh…

  36. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Into Day 3. Intense night sweating (still??) But at least midnight vs 2am+ with insomnia. Up early today for errands. I was being over confident yesterday. EVERY day is my danger zone… I like the toolbox calculating how much $ saved. A teeny push to remind me at my drinking hour…

  37. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Day 2 a success. Abit frazzling & unnerving at one point… but I managed not to veer towards the liquor store. My eating habits are really messed up. I look like I eat pound cakes for meals but actually whenever I feel hungry, it usually means take a sip. Bloated is a whiskey curse I didn’t realize existed. In any case… looking forward to Day 3. And really writing in here each day to SEE it… I’ve been to other Days before. The danger within is that once I feel better, if temptation arises, I tell myself I can control it this time… my danger zones are later on.. I can not control it. And I am determined it will not have another chance of controlling me. Thank you for this site.

  38. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Good luck I’m day 10 starting to feel better I also had been drinking two bottles a day

  39. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Good luck I’m day 10 starting to feel better

  40. CLAIR 2 years ago

    Good luck I’m day 10 starting to feel better

  41. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Onto Day 2. Had the immense sweats all night. At least the insomnia lessened to 2am vs 5am. Crazy dreams. The weird disconnect from yesterday is gone. Feel heavy & stiff. Woke up to sunshine.

  42. Tracy 2 years ago

    You can do it.

  43. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Made it thru Day 1. A little shaky… I am a whiskey drinker about a pint or two a day. Despite I can’t afford it, can’t control it & the weight gain – I just have not been ready to stop. I have had many Day 1s of ‘oh I can control it by only 1x a week which turns into 2x etc. ‘ I am happy to find this site. I think I finally get it. I can’t control it. And it’s ruining everything. I need to quit. My adult children are currently not believing in me because I have had Day 1s before. But it feels different this time. Wish me luck on Day 2. I’ll need it.

  44. valp 2 years ago

    Oh this is it. Felt so bad today and tomorrow is a new day. Have a lovely job and just going to do the best at it.

  45. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Yesterday I was so hungover & tired I didn’t want any booze. Today was ok as I went over & over in my mind thinking just how bad my drinking has become, & how lucky I was on two recent occasions not to have ended up in prison or a coffin! I can now finally except I am an alcoholic!!

  46. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Got through day 1 yesterday, feeling the immense torture and pain today. Trying to convince myself that I do not need a drink wondering when I lost myself and where I have gone.

  47. JackieH 2 years ago

    Well i guess i can say today is my first day? Mainly because i was on the booze last night. So i eould therefore not drink the next day as i feel too ill. One day Last week and last night scared me. I have started drinking almost 2 bottles of wine. I couldn’t go to work today. I was in panic this morning crying searching for help as I’ve come to realise alcohol has started to control my life. I found this site after texting alcohol and drug addiction helpline. That made me feel so small and helpless. I have connected with a few lovely people on here and am truly grateful. I know it is probably not going to be easy but i will fight this come hell high or low waters.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      We can fight it together. I too have started having 2 bottles on a regular basis . I am so pleased I found this site too xx

  48. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi AuntBridg
    We made it through day 1 of my many day 1, hope this is the beginning of the last. I slept rough last night sweating, kicking blankets off then hunting for them later in the morning goes on. Today was a testing day for me at work. Manager asks me to clean out the booze fridge at work, get rid of the wines that are 3 years and over. He doesn’t care how I dispose of them just get rid of them. Last week I would have jumped at the chance to take them home, but today nah to hell with it. I will leave them on the bench with a note ” Help yourself”.

  49. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi marcy i am day 1 again i fell off the wagon time and time again. I want to stop drinking. Tonight is day 1 i need to keep myself sober for me.

    • AuntBridge 2 years ago

      I’m on day 1 again too – I know how horrible today feels and in my boozer mind i would feel better if I drank. But we know we will wake up tomorrow and be done with Day 1 – and drinking today would mean never ending cycle. To get through wine-o-clock tonight I’m going to make a simple meal and get under blankets in the couch. Maybe I will cry. Anything is better than another day 1.

  50. Jocord 2 years ago

    Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Good morning, sober friends! I love this quote. When I struggle with situations, I always concentrate on handling myself with grace. I know that no matter what the outcome, at least I know that at the end of the day I will not have embarrassed or shamed myself by handling my emotions well. And not the false grace of being overly understanding, or falsely tolerant and compassionate to others but the sober, quiet, calm, loving ability to process emotions with true honesty. I am working on adding grace to love and gratitude to compile a powerful tool to put in my toolbox to handle whatever adversity may come my way and to deal with triggers. I am at peace this dreary 6th week soberversary, knowing I put my sobriety first and my family and the world are much happier for this, Grateful to LS and to you all today!

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