a last day 1

There is no ‘one more time’. There’s no waiting until Monday. There’s no ‘after the holiday’. There is no ‘only on weekends’.

This booze thing. You put it down now. Leave it behind you. That’s enough playing with fire. I mean really, were you really waiting until it got worse before you quit? Like, if it isn’t already hard enough now, how will it be in a month, a year, ten more years like this.

You maybe don’t know how to do it. You don’t know what you need to learn. You’re not used to doing this life thing without anaesthetic.

And what are you anaesthetizing yourself from. What’s happening today, right now, that is in actual fact so crappy? (You went down the rabbit hole right there, didn’t you, of Let me tell you what’s crappy… my husband is … and my kid is … and my boss is ).

What’s happening today, right now, that is so crappy that adding booze to it would make it better. Nothing. There isn’t anything. There is no ‘better’ with alcohol. I’m bored, I think I’ll light my hair on fire. I’m stressed, I think I’ll drink a bottle and a half of wine; I’ll carry around a water bottle like I’ve been to the gym.

You want self-soothing. You want to be scooped up, hair brushed, powder applied. You want to have the bath run, the bubbles added, and the sheets changed. You want the floor to be crumbs-free, the litter box to be un-pooped, and the travelling husband to come home but not be irritating when he’s there.

It’s a fact that you’ve used alcohol to try to self-soothe. But booze is a mind-fuck, creating more problems.. There is no  soothing in the blunt force of a black-out anaesthetic.

You don’t want to feel? I call bullshit. That’s not even true. Because you do want to feel joy. You want to feel proud of yourself. You want to wake up and feel pleased with how your day is going to unfold.

You want powder, and baths, and soothing? Remove the booze. No more Day 1s. You go forward from here. You learn what you need to learn to go forward.

Everyone who is longer-term sober has a last Day 1. You can have yours.

It’s about time.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Dear gawd! This brought tears to my eyes. I had YEARS of day ones. That torture may have ended sooner had I read this! 23 months sober now and not a single morning I don’t wake up thankful to be rid of that evil shit! I have been following your blog for about 2.5 years, so glad I read this. Maybe this should be one to repost to your email subscribers. Bless you belle!

  • I’d have lapsed, for sure, if I thought I could manage another Day 1 and stick with it again. The fact that I stuck with it this time around is not something I’m going to f*** with, and I don’t use that word very often. This is too precious and too fragile to take any kind of risk with. I had dozens of Day 1s before it finally stuck, all thanks to you emailling daily.

  • Just came back from a wedding sober, alone in the hotel room, on day 30 something and needed some real encouragement.. thanks so much for writng this and to universe for letting me find it.

  • Day 118 I agree – I thank myself everyday and smile I got thru it!!! So much happier ow and level headed!!! Not so manic!!! Hang in there everyone e the days get shorter and time goes by much faster after week 2!!!!!!!
    Kelly – Texas

  • That is what keeps me from drinking… lol… I never want a day one again.
    Not sure what day I am on… 460 something, but life is so much better. I am proud of myself. I am so relieved that I do not have to feel ashamed of myself anymore. Hang in there it is so worth it. I promise.

  • You are so right. Thank you for these powerful words. I too needed them today. I’m sorry for your pain and loss . Hugs

  • Just emailed you. Next, I go to your blog..I have avoided it for months and months. That email I wrote and then this post…Gawd. it can’t be coincidental. No more day ones.

  • one thought that has truly helped me get to two and a half years sober without a relapse was something that Paul from Message in a Bottle once said:

    “I know I have another relapse in me, but I don’t know if I have another Day One in me.”

    none of us know. this is life and death.

    thank you for this powerful post. we all need to be vigilant every day.

  • Thank you for this, Belle! What a gift your words are. I am on Day 3 (AGAIN), but at least my last Day 1 is behind me. I breathe. Best, Laura

  • No, No More Day Ones. Everybody Sing Together!

    The choice is ours, we can either choose to be a slave to alcohol or choose to fight back and learn a better way to live. Only one of these choices can possibly have a positive outcome, and I don’t have to say which one : )

  • I hear you with your hurt and anger about the person who just died. You are, again, here with the right words to all of us who just think that there is always a day one to go back to. No, there always isn’t. You are most important in my recovery. Be glad that you have chosen to help us. I truly am.

  • So funny to read this ! I signed up to your challenge this morning, and I started a blog and called it “No more day ones” I’m really hoping that this will my last day one, Evie x

  • Oh Belle. Did you write this exclusively for me? Feels like you did. I’ve been doing this Day One Dance for several months now. Each time I think, I can do this, I can moderate….and every time I prove myself wrong. It’s got to be an all-or-nothing commitment. And I’m all in….for about 4 days. Then LIFE happens and Wolfie starts listing reasons. And I want to escape. And I die a little more inside each time I wake up following a blackout.

  • Omg Belle, are you there outside my house watching me, this is exactly what I need to hear today. Today I have been soooo ill, I am so sick of this – all these words are true, they shout at me clear as a bell. No more day 1s cos I am not ready to die and that is where I am fast heading. Am copying this and starting myself a new sober toolbox. Thank you.