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.
And then, like clockwork after you make the decision to “stop drinking”, your mind will go into OVERDRIVE as to why you don’t need to stop after all.
This is the witching hour. I recorded the audio message above to help you get through it.
If you’ve had multiple “Day 1’s” – you know how the first few days go – and why it’s hard to make the decision to take an extended break from drinking – stick.
- You wake up feeling like crap – again.
- You might have been up at 3 am with crushing anxiety. Maybe you feel sick. Maybe you have a brutal headache or are so thirsty. Maybe you can’t sleep and are worried about how you can function the next day.
- You say “That’s it. I have to stop. I can’t feel this way anymore. I won’t drink today. I won’t drink this week. I won’t drink for a month. This is an issue. I know this. I’m done. This time is real”.
And then you’ll get up and start your day.
You feel like if you just beat yourself up ENOUGH, if you have ENOUGH self-loathing, if you shame yourself ENOUGH – you’ll finally WANT to stop drinking for good. And then you’ll be able to stop.
And then you’ll go to work or you’ll be with your kids all day or your spouse will be insensitive or dismissive.
You’ll feel unappreciated or your boss will ask you for a last minute change or second guess your judgement or traffic will be bad.
SOMETHING will happen – and you’ll feel defensive, you’ll feel misunderstood, you’ll feel like nobody has your back or you’ll get invited to a work happy hour or your husband will open a beer at dinner – and you will WANT to drink.
You’ll feel like you deserve to drink.
And the thoughts will start. You’ll think…
This is too hard. Maybe I don’t have to STOP drinking – maybe I just need to cut back. Maybe I don’t have a ‘real’ problem, maybe I just ‘abuse’ alcohol – which means I can just stop ‘abusing’ it.
If your husband drinks you’ll think “Why can’t I? I don’t need to stop completely – I’ll just have two drinks tonight. Or I’ll drink on the weekend.
Maybe your kids will drive you crazy and you won’t drink but you’ll think “oh my god, life is awful without drinking. I’m miserable. If this is what sober is like I don’t want any part of it”.
This is totally normal and it happens to everyone. So right now you just have to get through the witching hour.
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, mindset, sobriety and success coach.
I work with successful women who are ready to drink less and live more.
If you’re reevaluating your relationship with alcohol and have decided that drinking isn’t working in your life anymore I’d love to talk to you.
You can find more about my work and private coaching, as well as additional support resources at hellosomedaycoaching.com.