HOW TO GET THROUGH THE WITCHING HOUR IN EARLY SOBRIETY
I’m curious if you’ve experienced this when you’re trying to quit drinking…
You’ll wake up after another night of too much wine feeling terrible. You’ll decide that you don’t want to do this anymore. You want to feel healthy, optimistic, happy and proud of yourself.
Drinking isn’t good for you. You feel terrible and anxious. You want more of your days and your life.
That’s it you decide. You’re ready to stop. You’re ready to see what life without headaches and hangovers feels like.
You feel solid in your decision and calm until 4 or 5 or 6 PM. And that’s when you somehow desperately want to jump into another bottle of wine.
This is the witching hour. I recorded the audio message above to help you get through it.
At 4 or 5 or 6 PM you’ll start to wonder if you actually have a problem with alcohol.
You’ll list the reasons you aren’t that bad.
- You don’t need booze in the morning.
- You don’t drink every day.
- You still have a job, house, partner, children.
- [Insert your reason here].
At 5 pm You’ll begin to write your “I don’t really have a problem with alcohol.
This is totally normal and cool.” story in your head.
It’s important for you to know that almost everyone, regardless of how much or how often you drink, or where you are in your life situation, convinces themselves they REALLY DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM with drinking around 5 PM.
You should understand that these thoughts that are going through your head are NORMAL and PART OF THE PROCESS.
Understanding this part is really critical to getting past the groundhog day cycle that you’ve been living in for years. It will get you past the cycle of deciding that you’re not going to drink in the morning, and then by 5 PM driving to get a bottle of wine for the night ahead.
Right now you’re rationalizing whether you actually have a problem and whether you REALLY need to quit drinking.
Your rationalizations about your drinking (which weirdly coincide with happy hour) are the reason you need to buckle down and just get through this. If only to experience the other side.
You will understand this more later, and you will kick yourself for not stopping much sooner – but drinking is weighing you down, physically, mentally and spiritually, much more than you realize.
Drinking and recovering from drinking is a backpack of rocks that you are carrying with you every single day.
And as soon as you’re able to put down that backpack and walk away from it you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel – physically and mentally.
But for now you just need to get through tonight.
Here are some strategies to get you through the 4 pm – 8 pm hours in the early days:
- Eat something filling right before 4 pm. Something with protein. Peanut Butter & Rice Cakes. Hummus and veggies. A smoothie. Anything that tastes good and will fill you up.
- Tap into sources of sober support at 4 or 5 pm. Go for a walk and listen to a sober audio book. Listen to a podcast on your drive home for work.
- Talk to your partner or roommate and say “I’m on a health kick. I’m not drinking for xxx amount of time (one week, 10 days, 30 days, whatever) so please help me find other things to drink/do/think about tonight other than a glass of wine”.
- Make sure you don’t have any alcohol in your house. This is important. Your witching hours will pass, but willpower will only take you so far if you have alcohol around you.
- Take a bath and go to bed early with a book or a good new show to binge.
- Know that this is temporary, and what you’re doing right now is ABSOLUTELY the hardest part. Once you get through the first 4, 6, 10 days it gets so much easier. Tell yourself to hold on for the good stuff.
- Reach out, talk to someone who gets it. I promise there are so many women out here who know where you are right now, know what this feels like, and will encourage you, be your cheerleader, offer tons of helpful suggestions and, basically, get you through the witching hours in your first week or two.
And you can listen to the audio message above.
You can do this. The first 4 days, 7 days, and 9 days are the hardest.
After that it gets SO MUCH EASIER.
You can do this. It is worth it. You deserve to know what your life looks like without drinking.
About The Author
I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach who works with successful women who are ready to get out of overwhelm and create lives they love.
I also work with women who are reevaluating their relationship with alcohol and have decided that drinking isn't working in their lives anymore.
You can find more about my work and private coaching, as well as additional support resources at hellosomedaycoaching.com.