Tired of Thinking About Drinking

Archive for the tag “100 day sober challenge”

Sober tools: what helps, and what doesn’t

originally published on Medium

Sober tools: what helps, and what doesn’t

(Stop fucking around with houses built out of straw)

M (day 1 sober) writes: Belle, I keep trying all these things to help me be sober and nothing works. I just spent $100 on vitamins. I’ve been to the one-day, quit-drinking workshop. I signed up for a French class. You see, I’ve always wanted to go to Paris and with all the money I’m not spending on booze, I could buy a plane ticket.

You can hear M’s thinking, you can totally see what she’s saying, and it seems logical, doesn’t it. And my reply would be: “If you are continuously sober, then yes, whatever you’re doing is working. Keep doing it.”

But if you are not continuously sober — and I mean if you reset after 2 days, or 20 days, or 200 days — then what you’re doing isn’t quite enough to keep you sober. So you add in more sober tools.

Argh, I’m on Day 1 again. I’m enrolled in French class. Why isn’t that enough?

French class is something you can hang in the space that booze used to occupy. But taking a French class is not a sober tool.

Sober tools are things that help you to be sober.

Imagine this. You’re one of the three little piggies who is building a sober house, and wolfie comes to blow your sober house down.

You build your sober house out of straw or sticks or tarps or wood, and wolfie blows it over. Maybe not right away, maybe not tomorrow, but as soon as there’s a strong wind, as soon as there’s a death or a celebration or a runaway teenager or Sheila in accounting pulls her shit again and refuses to do the cheque run before end of day on Friday.

Doesn’t take much, then wolfie is at the door. Blowing. Sober house falls down.

But let’s be real, wolfie only has to knock on the door of your house made of straw to knock it over. To the house of wood, he’ll knock, and when that doesn’t work, he’ll add in lung full of hot air and a bit of whining. Doesn’t take long.

(And really, you built a sober house out of straw? You were wishi. You’re were hoping you could do the minimum. You knew it wasn’t going to be enough.)

To the house of stone, though, the house built out of sober stones set careful on a sober cement foundation — yeah, that house — well, wolfie will knock on your door. And when that doesn’t work, he’ll try to blow you over with convincing arguments as to why you need to Drink Right Now. You’ll add in a bit more cement and wave to him through the window. He’ll look for cracks, but you’ve got double-paned glass and a bug screen.

Now this sober stone house, this is your life.

Your life is worth more than the minimum. It’s worth more than straw and tarps.

The soul of you, the essence of you, the real you that isn’t anesthetized, the real you that is empathetic and helpful and has good boundaries — that you gets deserves to be guarded in a solid stone structure.

What helps to build a wolfie-proof, stone sober house?

Advice from an architect. Talking to the girl at Home Depot about the length of the nails and what’s worked on similar projects.

Pouring a cement foundation. Going as slowly as required to not have to pour the foundation, dig it up, pour it again, and dig it up again. What a waste of time that is. Do the sober foundation, yes, but if you do it too quickly, do it too rashly, try to do it with inadequate cement, or do it while doing too many other things at the same time — well, you know what happens.

You can see this example clearly when we’re talking about cement.

The colour of the paint, and the carefully selected tri-season-blooming flowers, the stony garden walks, and the breeding fruit trees do not build a strong house.

The French classes and spin classes and yoga classes and pottery classes and vitamins don’t help you change your behaviour. They’re wonderful (and necessary and lovely) things to add to your life. They are.

But they’re not sober tools.

A sober tool is something that helps you to be sober. Not paint colour.

You want to paint the room, but you haven’t built the room. You want to choose the light fixture, but the wiring isn’t in yet. You want to focus on the details all around THE THING.

The thing you want is to be sober. And so you’re online spending hours choosing the right French class?

You just spent $100 on multivitamins because that should help you be sober?

What if you’d spent that time and that $100 on actual sober supports. You don’t though, because wolfie is a sly fucker, taunting perfectly nice people with bullshit logic like vitamins and French classes.

OK. So sober tools. They’re things that help you be sober. That would include anything that directly makes it more likely that you (a) remember that being sober is a good idea, (b) soothes irritation, (c) helps you be accountable, (d) checks in on you, (e) reminds you what you’re doing when you forget, (f) reinforces the idea of the sober foundation and why you need it because you forgot again, (g) makes it possible for you to not drink.

A French class isn’t a sober tool. Just like your drinking husband isn’t a sober support.

What works?

Treats and rewards work for being sober. Accountability works. Actual sober support works. Planning replacement drinks works. Listening to sober audios works. Reaching out works.

(Do you think you can read books about pouring cement foundations and have the book be enough? Is a one-day workshop enough? How about a forum of other people on day 1 of cement pouring? Why are you walking around outside THIS THING acting like you don’t know what to do? You know what to do. You know that if you ask for support from people who can actually support you, you can get this done. You know that if you turn and face the resources and education and accountability that sober support provides, that you’ll learn from people who’ve done it 2,593 times that you’ll save time, feel better, and have your cement poured sooner.)

And don’t get me wrong.

If you’ve built a house out of straw AND IT’S WORKING FOR YOU then keep doing what you’re doing.

But if the wind keeps blowing you over, you’ve gotta look at having some new tools.

And paint isn’t a tool.

Neither is a French class.

Wednesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 50 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 50 to MelMel!

Happy Day 50 to Wynn!

Happy Day 50 to BalanceBeam!

Happy Day 50 to Dusty!

Happy Day 50 to Chalee!

Happy Day 50 to Sobriety Shingles!

Happy Day 50 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 50 to Lars!

Happy Day 50 to Gem64!

Happy Day 100 to LD4ME!

Happy Day 100 to Jamie-Tampa!

Happy Day 100 to Capt. Unwined!

Happy Day 100 to Freedom!

Happy Day 100 to Lerawk!

Happy Day 100 to Anjoma8801!

Happy Day 100 to Kristy!

Happy Day 100 to Lex!

Happy Day 100 to Honoring Grace!

Happy Day 100 to Boozy Betty!

Happy Day 100 to A_Sober_Canibal!

Happy Day 100 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 100 to Cisty!

Happy Day 100 to My Inside Job!

Happy Day 180 to Maverick!

Happy Day 180 to Molly Jones!

Happy Day 180 to April!

Happy Day 180 to Jaded!

Happy Day 180 to RachelB!

Happy Day 180 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 180 to AustinHappy!

Happy Day 180 to Frupa63!

Happy Day 20o to DeborahLynn!

Happy Day 20o to Lippy!

Happy Day 20o to Lua!

Happy Day 20o to MG7!

Happy Day 20o to TT!

Happy Day 20o to Tierrazul!

Happy Day 20o to Nomobsing!

Happy Day 20o to Sabrina!

Happy Day 20o to Bladerboy!

Happy Day 300 to KTWeb!

Happy Day 365 to KLC!

Happy Day 365 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 365 to Lanza!

Happy Day 365 to Chell!

Happy Day 400 to Troxy!

Happy Day 400 to Fern!

Happy Day 400 to Coco!

Happy Day 400 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 500 to Juliejean123!

Happy Day 500 to RossFSU!

Happy Day 500 to Ami!

Happy Day 500 to Sooz!

Happy Day 600 to Liberte!

Happy Day 600 to AnnieB!

Happy Day 600 to Youngernow!

Happy Day 600 to AnnaD!

Happy Day 600 to Whitbell25!

Happy Day 600 to Beck!

Happy Day 600 to Ginette!

Happy Day 600 to Lilac!

Happy Day 600 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 600 to Silver Birch!

Happy Day 600 to Mil!

Happy Day 600 to Seekingpeace!

Happy Day 700 to Julie-Joy’s Sister!

Happy Day 700 to AmandaPanda!

Happy Day 700 to Ms. Red!

Happy Day 700 to Fay858!

Happy Day 700 to Me-fixing-me!

Happy Day 700 to Lisa1199!

Happy Day 700 to Mythreesons!

Happy Day 700 to Honner!

Happy Day 700 to Gingerade!

Happy Day 700 to SophieSomething!

Happy Day 700 to Rache B!

Happy Day 700 to Yogayamagirl!

Happy Day 700 to Jock!

Happy Day 800 to Library Girl!

Happy Day 800 to Chace!

Happy Day 800 to Marbear!

Happy Day 900 to nomorepinot!

Happy Day 900 to Fleur!

Happy Day 1000 to Foxie!

Happy Day 1000 to Renee!

Happy Day 1000 to Battersea Park!

Happy Day 1000 to Welles!

Happy Day 1000 to Gra!

Happy Day 1000 to SusieQ!

Happy Day 1000 to IrishDee!

Happy Day 1000 to GW!

Happy Day 1000 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 1100 to DeeN!

Happy Day 1100 to Amos!

Happy Day 1100 to FitFatFood!

Happy Day 1100 to Moore!

Happy Day 1100 to Crispy!

Happy Day 1100 to Jacques!

Happy Day 1100 to Rose!

Happy Day 1100 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1100 to Phoebe!

Happy Day 1200 to Mylene!

Happy Day 1200 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1200 to TipTree!

Happy Day 1300 to Durf11!

Happy Day 1300 to Kristi Coulter (penpal #128)!

Happy Day 1300 to C How!

Happy Day 1300 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1300 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1400 to Rebecca!

Happy Day 1400 to Digs!

Happy Day 1400 to Carrie!

Happy Day 1500 to Amy!

 

Saturday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Bruna!

Happy Day 50 to Liquid Tracy!

Happy Day 50 to Ana Maria!

Happy Day 50 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 50 to Maki!

Happy Day 50 to SueW!

Happy Day 50 to Mari!

Happy Day 50 to Nevis!

Happy Day 50 to Fiona!

Happy Day 50 to Roadtosoberville!

Happy Day 50 to Putting Down the Glass!

Happy Day 50 to Lacie!

Happy Day 50 to Eily!

Happy Day 50 to NoMoreDonuts!

Happy Day 50 to Kiki71!

Happy Day 50 to Honey Bear!

Happy Day 50 to Pixie29!

Happy Day 50 to Maggie Mae!

Happy Day 50 to BG!

Happy Day 50 to i.t.!

Happy Day 50 to Imba!

Happy Day 50 to Resiliensea!

Happy Day 50 to Stillbridge!

Happy Day 50 to True.d.true!

Happy Day 50 to Elyn Jones!

Happy Day 50 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 50 to LD4ME!

Happy Day 50 to Blondie!

Happy Day 100 to Karlatta!

Happy Day 100 to Tweet!

Happy Day 100 to Ashley!

Happy Day 100 to Sohocat!

Happy Day 100 to Georgia Girl!

Happy Day 100 to Grace514!

Happy Day 100 to Indy!

Happy Day 100 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 100 to Suzanne Irene!

Happy Day 100 to Kimpossible!

Happy Day 100 to Rachele!

Happy Day 100 to RoseStar!

Happy Day 100 to SoberSarah!

Happy Day 100 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 100 to Inspired!

Happy Day 100 to Tweet!

Happy Day 100 to Calypso!

Happy Day 100 to Runnery Amy!

Happy Day 100 to Bunnie!

Happy Day 100 to Girl Named Sam!

Happy Day 100 to Jeans!

Happy Day 100 to Mellow!

Happy Day 100 to Carly!

Happy Day 100 to AmandaJ!

Happy Day 100 to 2BLimber!

Happy Day 180 to VMD Free!

Happy Day 180 to TSilver!

Happy Day 180 to DeborahLynn!

Happy Day 180 to Lippy!

Happy Day 180 to Frupa63!

Happy Day 180 to Lua!

Happy Day 180 to MG7!

Happy Day 180 to TT!

Happy Day 180 to Tierrazul!

Happy Day 180 to Sabrina!

Happy Day 180 to Bladerboy!

Happy Day 200 to SuzanneFran!

Happy Day 200 to LeftCoastGirl!

Happy Day 200 to Steffspud!

Happy Day 200 to Rasberrikiss!

Happy Day 200 to Hollykate!

Happy Day 2o0 to Airbear!

Happy Day 300 to CaseyM!

Happy Day 300 to MessyJessy!

Happy Day 300 to Waggintail!

Happy Day 300 to Surfrider11!

Happy Day 300 to runnergirl!

Happy Day 365 to Apprentice DB!

Happy Day 365 to Joziegurrl!

Happy Day 365 to Franny!

Happy Day 365 to Husband #1!

Happy Day 365 to TJ!

Happy Day 365 to SoberinMtl!

Happy Day 365 to ScrubJay!

Happy Day 365 to Elis!

Happy Day 365 to Lydster!

Happy Day 365 to TrixeeK!

Happy Day 365 to Troxy!

Happy Day 365 to Fern!

Happy Day 365 to Coco!

Happy Day 365 to NLW!

Happy Day 365 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 400 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 400 to Mamafergs!

Happy Day 400 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 400 to Case Study Michelle!

Happy Day 400 to Truleah!

Happy Day 400 to Phoenix!

Happy Day 400 to Crystal Light!

Happy Day 500 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 500 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 500 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 500 to Suzan!

Happy Day 500 to Linley!

Happy Day 500 to NicholasCharles!

Happy Day 600 to Yoda!

Happy Day 600 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 600 to Jenuhful!

Happy Day 600 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 600 to MJP!

Happy Day 600 to Jobo!

Happy Day 600 to Mytimetoshine!

Happy Day 600 to Inky!

Happy Day 600 to Graceful!

Happy Day 700 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 700 to Miss M!

Happy Day 700 to CoffeeCupHead!

Happy Day 700 to LJ63!

Happy Day 700 to Trixie!

Happy Day 700 to Kitkatpaddywack!

Happy Day 700 to 1035!

Happy Day 700 to Jayda!

Happy Day 700 to Frankie!

Happy Day 800 to JuneBug!

Happy Day 800 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 800 to Elly!

Happy Day 800 to GabbyGirl37!

Happy Day 800 to Rexytime!

Happy Day 800 to Cocomack!

Happy Day 800 to NewChris!

Happy Day 800 to Jas!

Happy Day 900 to Lily Chatsworth!

Happy Day 900 to Lara!

Happy Day 900 to Ish!

Happy Day 900 to Paulita!

Happy Day 900 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 900 to Cricket!

Happy Day 900 to Shar!

Happy Day 900 to Kenney!

Happy Day 900 to Bekki!

Happy Day 900 to Meagan!

Happy Day 1000 to AM!

Happy Day 1000 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 1000 Parisienne Knitter!

Happy Day 1000 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 1000 to tlcompte!

Happy Day 1000 to hcasstevens!

Happy Day 1100 Doll Face!

Happy Day 1100 to OneDayAtATime!

Happy Day 1100 to Tuomas!

Happy Day 1100 to Nuchter Maya!

Happy Day 1100 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1100 to KateF!

Happy Day 1100 to Wanting to be a Sober Mom!

Happy Day 1100 Telling The Words!

Happy Day 1100 Lurking With Intent!

Happy Day 1100 Traci!

Happy Day 1100 Challenges!

Happy Day 1100 Margy!

Happy Day 1100 Tammi!

Happy Day 1100 Shell Bell!

Happy Day 1200 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1200 to Cat Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to Carolyne!

Happy Day 1300 to Trish!

Happy Day 1300 to KristinRecovering!

Happy Day 1600 to Katherine!

 

Friday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Jamie-Tampa!

Happy Day 50 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 50 to Capt. Unwined!

Happy Day 50 to Nell!

Happy Day 50 to Jabbers!

Happy Day 50 to Adriane C!

Happy Day 50 to Freedom!

Happy Day 50 to Lerawk!

Happy Day 50 to anjoma8801!

Happy Day 50 to Kristy!

Happy Day 50 to Lex!

Happy Day 50 to LaLaLa!

Happy Day 50 to Honoring Grace!

Happy Day 50 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 50 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 50 to Sisty!

Happy Day 50 to My Inside Job!

Happy Day 50 to Emsie!

Happy Day 50 to Karlatta!

Happy Day 50 to SohoCat!

Happy Day 50 to Ashley!

Happy Day 50 to Datagrrl!

Happy Day 50 to Kassie!

Happy Day 50 to Grade514!

Happy Day 50 to Soprano!

Happy Day 50 to Indy!

Happy Day 50 to PWhims!

Happy Day 50 to Suzanne Irene!

Happy Day 50 to Kimpossible!

Happy Day 50 to Rachele!

Happy Day 50 to RoseStar!

Happy Day 50 to SoberSarah!

Happy Day 50 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 50 to Tweet!

Happy Day 50 to Loz!

Happy Day 50 to Pink!

Happy Day 100 to Wren1450!

Happy Day 100 to Julianne!

Happy Day 100 to Gene!

Happy Day 100 to CJback!

Happy Day 100 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 100 to Beth2016!

Happy Day 100 to TJS!

Happy Day 100 to Clear Eyes Full Soul!

Happy Day 100 to Garcia!

Happy Day 100 to RubyHarper!

Happy Day 100 to Poppy!

Happy Day 100 to Topo Chico!

Happy Day 100 to Ruby!

Happy Day 100 to Sahara!

Happy Day 100 to Pearl!

Happy Day 100 to Hollm!

Happy Day 100 to Brett!

Happy Day 100 to Di!

Happy Day 100 to Bemmy girl!

Happy Day 100 to Arya!

Happy Day 100 to BattleMatt!

Happy Day 100 to Maverick!

Happy Day 180 to Airbear!

Happy Day 180 to Edi!

Happy Day 180 to Kerry!

Happy Day 180 to JustJen!

Happy Day 180 to Rivers!

Happy Day 200 to Lelia!

Happy Day 200 to CindyB!

Happy Day 200 to Cozzarella!

Happy Day 200 to Julieanne!

Happy Day 200 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 200 to Jessee!

Happy Day 200 to Reenie!

Happy Day 200 to SW3Girl!

Happy Day 200 to Imara!

Happy Day 200 to Indigo50!

Happy Day 200 to Tekara!

Happy Day 200 to Oriole!

Happy Day 300 to MsM!

Happy Day 300 to Auds!

Happy Day 300 to KaffyB!

Happy Day 300 to Debbie!

Happy Day 300 to KLC!

Happy Day 300 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 300 to Lanza!

Happy Day 300 to Boo!

Happy Day 300 to Chell!

Happy Day 300 to Joziegurrl!

Happy Day 365 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 365 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 365 to Mamafergs!

Happy Day 365 to Case Study Michelle!

Happy Day 365 to AngieM!

Happy Day 365 to Truleah!

Happy Day 365 to Phoenix!

Happy Day 365 to Emma_J!

Happy Day 365 to Crystal Light!

Happy Day 400 to StonewallPDS!

Happy Day 400 to Ashley!

Happy Day 400 to Hughie!

Happy Day 400 to JP!

Happy Day 400 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 400 to Gypsygirl!

Happy Day 500 to Cal!

Happy Day 500 to Gordon!

Happy Day 600 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 600 to Rosa!

Happy Day 600 to Jenuhful!

Happy Day 600 to Cheaton!

Monty!Happy Day 600 to TK!

Happy Day 600 to DW!

Happy Day 600 to Mich!

Happy Day 600 to Celene!

Happy Day 700 to Sean!

Happy Day 700 to Unconfirmed Bachelorette!

Happy Day 700 to FunCar13!

Happy Day 700 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 700 to Mahatma JoJo!

Happy Day 700 to NeeNee!

Happy Day 700 to Sareet!

Happy Day 700 to Alescha!

Happy Day 700 to MelP!

Happy Day 700 to Solstice Guy!

Happy Day 700 to Ase!

Happy Day 700 to Summer Walking!

Happy Day 700 to Turcotte!

Happy Day 700 to Brooke!

Happy Day 700 to Ariel Rose!

Happy Day 800 to AngelaRenai!

Happy Day 800 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 800 to Cxx!

Happy Day 800 to Lynsey!

Happy Day 800 to GG!

Happy Day 800 to Festie!

Happy Day 800 to Graceb!

Happy Day 800 to Mak!

Happy Day 800 to Paris!

Happy Day 800 to Shout444!

Happy Day 800 to Midwestveggie!

Happy Day 800 to Rah!

Happy Day 800 to Cryssi!

Happy Day 800 to RoseMarie!

Happy Day 800 to Janna!

Happy Day 900 to Haggismcbaggis!

Happy Day 900 to Vanessa!

Happy Day 900 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 900 to Mizgabz!

Happy Day 900 to Sanfransober!

Happy Day 900 to Sarah72!

Happy Day 900 to Aaron!

Happy Day 900 to Jon!

Happy Day 900 to CassieB!

Happy Day 900 to Shelby!

Happy Day 1000 to OtherJosh!

Happy Day 1000 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 1000 to JLynn!

Happy Day 1000 to Fernie Sobertina!

Happy Day 1000 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 1000 to Jessi!

Happy Day 1000 to Heike!

Happy Day 1000 to Daybird!

Happy Day 1000 to Allison!

Happy Day 1000 to LolaB!

Happy Day 1000 to Connie!

Happy Day 1000 to Fich!

Happy Day 1100 to Janet!

Happy Day 1100 to Beach_Gurl!

Happy Day 1100 to Terry!

Happy Day 1100 to Denise!

Happy Day 1100 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 1100 to Terence!

Happy Day 1100 to Clear Eyed Girl!

Happy Day 1100 to Hazeleyes!

Happy Day 1100 to Case Study Tim!

Happy Day 1100 to Baby Girl Butterfly!

Happy Day 1100 to Primrose!

Happy Day 1100 to Sadie!

Happy Day 1100 to SignGurl!

Happy Day 1100 to Jeannie Yogini!

Happy Day 1200 to Jenisthesoberist!

Happy Day 1200 to Pam!

Happy Day 1200 to JennyGardenGirl!

Happy Day 1200 to Sharon!

Happy Day 1200 to LD!

Happy Day 1200 to Laurie!

Happy Day 1300 to Original Beth!

Happy Day 1300 to Leah!

Happy Day 1400 to Erica!

Happy Day 1400 to Jen!

Happy Day 1400 to Debra!

Happy Day 1616 to me!

 

Wednesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Calypso!

Happy Day 50 to Lavender!

Happy Day 50 to Allie!

Happy Day 50 to Bunnie!

Happy Day 50 to Hellacious!

Happy Day 50 to Mamahope!

Happy Day 50 to Laurel!

Happy Day 50 to Liz!

Happy Day 50 to Sanna!

Happy Day 50 to Girl Named Sam!

Happy Day 50 to Shelley!

Happy Day 50 to SueW!

Happy Day 50 to Jeans!

Happy Day 50 to Carly!

Happy Day 50 to CCC!

Happy Day 100 to Molly Jones!

Happy Day 100 to April!

Happy Day 100 to Jaded!

Happy Day 100 to terbear!

Happy Day 100 to RachelB!

Happy Day 100 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 100 to AustinHappy!

Happy Day 100 to Macbender1!

Happy Day 100 to frupa63!

Happy Day 100 to latebloomer!

Happy Day 100 to TSilver!

Happy Day 100 to VMD Free!

Happy Day 180 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 180 to SW3Girl!

Happy Day 180 to Indigo50!

Happy Day 180 to Reenie!

Happy Day 180 to Imara!

Happy Day 180 to Tekara!

Happy Day 180 to Oriole!

Happy Day 200 to Conn!

Happy Day 200 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 200 to Purple Robin!

Happy Day 200 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 200 to Toga!

Happy Day 300 to DB!

Happy Day 300 to Franny!

Happy Day 300 to Husband #1!

Happy Day 300 to WildMustang68!

Happy Day 300 to TJ!

Happy Day 300 to SoberInMtl!

Happy Day 300 to ScrubJay!

Happy Day 300 to do*it*anyway!

Happy Day 300 to lydster!

Happy Day 300 to TrixeeK!

Happy Day 365 to ChellyBelly!

Happy Day 365 to KAB!

Happy Day 365 to StonewallPDS!

Happy Day 365 to Ashley!

Happy Day 365 to Hughie!

Happy Day 400 to Tree!

Happy Day 400 to Lucia!

Happy Day 400 to Moon Alley!

Happy Day 500 to unwindegal!

Happy Day 500 to Q’s Mom!

Happy Day 500 to Kai!

Happy Day 500 to Meraki!

Happy Day 500 to Greenbean!

Happy Day 500 to Heya Monster!

Happy Day 500 to Shorttermnoterm!

Happy Day 600 to Hollers!

Happy Day 600 to Oz!

Happy Day 700 to Southern Magnolia 703!

Happy Day 700 to Rock2015!

Happy Day 700 to Minnieme!

Happy Day 800 to Jacqui!

Happy Day 800 to Petunia!

Happy Day 800 to Dancing Rabbit!

Happy Day 800 to Microlady!

Happy Day 800 to AlexP!

Happy Day 800 to ChefStarr!

Happy Day 800 to Monique!

Happy Day 900 to Weenie!

Happy Day 900 to Via51214!

Happy Day 900 to 1111!

Happy Day 900 to Manda!

Happy Day 900 to Sober Lemon!

Happy Day 900 to PP!

Happy Day 1000 to Hank!

Happy Day 1000 to Aschae!

Happy Day 1000 to Emery!

Happy Day 1000 to Going2pieces!

Happy Day 1000 to Soberp82!

Happy Day 1000 to Blake!

Happy Day 1100 to Jilly Bean!

Happy Day 1100 to Kirst!

Happy Day 1200 to Beckie!

Happy Day 1300 to JM!

Happy Day 1400 to Amy!

Happy Day 1600 to thirteenpointone!

 

Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Sings!

Happy Day 50 to AmandaJ!

Happy Day 50 to Mrs. T!

Happy Day 50 to SDBKatz!

Happy Day 50 to Guinea Pig!

Happy Day 50 to Chia!

Happy Day 50 to Wren1450!

Happy Day 50 to Julianne!

Happy Day 50 to Gene!

Happy Day 50 to cjback!

Happy Day 50 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 50 to Beth2016!

Happy Day 50 to Fay!

Happy Day 50 to TJS!

Happy Day 50 to Garcia!

Happy Day 50 to Poppy!

Happy Day 50 to topo chico!

Happy Day 50 to Ruby!

Happy Day 50 to Sahara!

Happy Day 50 to Pearl!

Happy Day 50 to ceemac!

Happy Day 50 to Hollm!

Happy Day 50 to Brett!

Happy Day 100 to Lua!

Happy Day 100 to Susanmarie!

Happy Day 100 to MG7!

Happy Day 100 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 100 to TT!

Happy Day 100 to Tierrazul!

Happy Day 100 to BG!

Happy Day 100 to Mia!

Happy Day 100 to Tewks!

Happy Day 100 to Sabrina!

Happy Day 100 to Waking Up Again!

Happy Day 100 to Francis!

Happy Day 100 to Bladerboy!

Happy Day 100 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 100 to Suzannefran!

Happy Day 100 to AlcoholFreeC!

Happy Day 100 to Imba!

Happy Day 100 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 100 to Purple Robin!

Happy Day 100 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 100 to Toga!

Happy Day 180 to Conn!

Happy Day 180 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 180 to Purple Robin!

Happy Day 180 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 180 to Toga!

Happy Day 200 to 2BLimber!

Happy Day 200 to Patten!

Happy Day 200 to KT Web!

Happy Day 200 to SoberSparkles!

Happy Day 200 to Bridget!

Happy Day 200 to Melissa Rose!

Happy Day 200 to Mastiffmom!

Happy Day 200 to waggintail!

Happy Day 300 to Troxler!

Happy Day 300 to Fern!

Happy Day 300 to Coco!

Happy Day 300 to NLW!

Happy Day 300 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 300 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 300 to MichelleS!

Happy Day 365 to JP!

Happy Day 365 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 365 to Gypsygirl!

Happy Day 365 to Tree!

Happy Day 400 to Juliejean123!

Happy Day 400 to RossFSU!

Happy Day 400 to Ami!

Happy Day 400 to Sooz!

Happy Day 400 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 400 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 400 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 500 to Liberte!

Happy Day 500 to AnnieB!

Happy Day 500 to Youngernow!

Happy Day 500 to AnnaD!

Happy Day 500 to Whitbell25!

Happy Day 500 to Beck!

Happy Day 500 to Ginette!

Happy Day 500 to Lila!

Happy Day 500 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 500 to Hazelx!

Happy Day 500 to Mil!

Happy Day 500 to seekingpeace!

Happy Day 500 to yoda!

Happy Day 500 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 600 to Julie-Joy’s Sister!

Happy Day 600 to AmandaPanda!

Happy Day 600 to Ms. Red!

Happy Day 600 to Fay868!

Happy Day 600 to Me-fixing-me!

Happy Day 600 to Lisa1199!

Happy Day 600 to Mythreesons!

Happy Day 600 to SoberBuddy!

Happy Day 600 to Honner!

Happy Day 600 to gingerade!

Happy Day 600 to SophieSomething!

Happy Day 600 to Rache B!

Happy Day 600 to Yogayamagirl!

Happy Day 600 to Jock!

Happy Day 600 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 600 to Ina!

Happy Day 700 to Library Girl!

Happy Day 700 to Joannie!

Happy Day 700 to Chace!

Happy Day 700 to Nowine59!

Happy Day 700 to Marbear!

Happy Day 700 to Junebug!

Happy Day 700 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 800 to iphonebonnie!

Happy Day 800 to Chachi!

Happy Day 800 to nomorepinot!

Happy Day 800 to fleur!

Happy Day 800 to Chatsworth!

Happy Day 800 to Cricket!

Happy Day 800 to Shar!

Happy Day 900 to Foxie!

Happy Day 900 to Renee!

Happy Day 900 to Batersea Park!

Happy Day 900 to Welles!

Happy Day 900 to K!

Happy Day 900 to Gra!

Happy Day 900 to SusieA!

Happy Day 900 to IrishDee!

Happy Day 900 to GW!

Happy Day 900 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 900 to Darla!

Happy Day 900 to AM!

Happy Day 900 to ParisienneKnitter!

Happy Day 900 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 900 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 1000 to DeeN!

Happy Day 1000 to Amos!

Happy Day 1000 to FitFatFood!

Happy Day 1000 to Heather!

Happy Day 1000 to Moore!

Happy Day 1000 to abwalsh!

Happy Day 1000 to Crispy!

Happy Day 1000 to Kimf!

Happy Day 1000 to Jacques!

Happy Day 1000 to Rose!

Happy Day 1000 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1000 to Phoebe!

Happy Day 1000 to Doll Face!

Happy Day 1000 to Telling the Words!

Happy Day 1000 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1000 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy Day 1000 to Carole!

Happy Day 1000 to Layla!

Happy Day 1000 to Libby!

Happy Day 1000 to Traci!

Happy Day 1000 to Winkle!

Happy Day 1100 to Mylene!

Happy Day 1100 to Anna!

Happy Day 1100 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1100 to Quinn!

Happy Day 1100 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1100 to TipTree!

Happy Day 1200 to Beckie!

Happy Day 1200 to Kristi Coulter!

Happy Day 1200 to C How!

Happy Day 1200 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1200 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1200 to Trish!

Happy Day 1300 to JM!

Happy Day 1300 to Rebecca!

Happy Day 1300 to Digs!

Happy Day 1300 to Carrie!

Happy Day 1400 to Amy!

 

“i believe in moderation”

email from ashley: 

“Belle, what if I don’t think [that drink] was wolfie? I guess I feel confused. I haven’t had any drinks since that night because I really haven’t wanted one accept last night. But I forgot and didn’t have one. I guess I feel like I believe in moderation. Since I’ve been going without the social lubricant for so long, I no longer feel like I even need alcohol. Does this make sense? I know I have issues with moderation, alcohol got me into a nasty place about 6 months ago. And I was abusing it, using it in the wrong ways. Now I don’t need it like that. I’ve found other ways to relieve stress, a hot bath, hot tea, a walk. Stuff like that. I’m probably just rambling now i don’t know. Not really sure what to make sense of it. But wondering this as well. Why does a lot of situations have to be so black and white. I feel like this is grey.”

me: I think that the voice in our head does like to suggest that moderation is a good idea. ‘it‘ll be different this time’ it says. ‘you quit for a while so you’re fine now.’

the thing is, we all hear the same voice in our head. we hear the same ideas. and maybe NOW you dont need alcohol like that – for now. for right now. if you arrived in a crappy place before, you may well end up in a crappy place again, and then find it very hard to get sober momentum again. sober momentum is a hard thing to get.

there is grey. there are lots of people standing with one foot in both drinking and sobriety. or they switch between the sober and the drinking camp. the only ones I know who are happy about their decision, and wake up happy for the decisions they’re making on a daily basis, are those who are now sober. I‘ve been penpals with 2,494 people as of today (who’s gonna be 2500?). I wish I could tell you otherwise, that the over-drinkers wake up every day pleased with the decision to drink the night before, but I can’t. and I know it sucks rocks. and I know that your brain throws a tantrum right around now. you hate me right this second. well, not you, wolfie. you’re here asking for sober support. wolfie is something else entirely.

I know that lots of people do many sessions of ‘alcohol research’. you’ve done some before. hopefully you won’t do more now. but you might. we want to think that outcome of drinking will be different ‘this time’ – but it‘s a bit like a shitty boyfriend who makes that ever-tearful promise to CHANGE. “I won’t hit you this time,” he says.

but he does. he will. maybe not the first day. but it’s there.

and yes, it totally makes sense that the voice in your head sounds sweeter than this. any voice that’s saying “you should drink” is wolfie. nobody needs to drink. for any reason, ever. and normal drinkers dont have a voice convincing them that a few drinks here and there will be ok. so yes, it is wolfie. i’m sorry. wolfie hates it when i say that, too. you’re like “it’s not wolfie dammit” and i’m like: that’s what wolfie looks like …

sweet pea, your original place is here, with a sober penpal. you’re member 2133. that’s your sober suite. there’s a nice view and you wake up every day relieved that you didn’t drink yesterday. and it never gets old.

anytime you want to shout, I‘m here.
hugs from me

Tuesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Balancebeam!

Happy Day 50 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 50 to Jaded!

Happy Day 50 to Jacci2!

Happy Day 50 to Bemmy Girl!

Happy Day 50 to Battle Matt!

Happy Day 50 to CPS!

Happy Day 50 to Lalisa!

Happy Day 50 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 50 to Maverick!

Happy Day 50 to crookedriver!

Happy Day 50 to AllyMarie!

Happy Day 50 to Molly Jones!

Happy Day 50 to Aprile!

Happy Day 50 to terbear!

Happy Day 50 to RachelB!

Happy Day 50 to catkins007!

Happy Day 50 to AustinHappy!

Happy Day 50 to i.t.!

Happy Day 50 to Macbender1!

Happy Day 50 to Kats76!

Happy Day 50 to latebloomer!

Happy Day 50 to Tsilver!

Happy Day 50 to VMD Free!

Happy Day 50 to Lua!

Happy Day 50 to SusanMarie!

Happy Day 100 to vstuart!

Happy Day 100 to Edi!

Happy Day 100 to Rasberrikiss!

Happy Day 100 to Leftcoastgirl!

Happy Day 100 to Nickie!

Happy Day 100 to S!

Happy Day 100 to Airbear!

Happy Day 100 to Kerry!

Happy Day 100 to JI!

Happy Day 100 to melmel!

Happy Day 100 to JustJen!

Happy Day 100 to Franci!

Happy Day 100 to Rivets!

Happy Day 100 to Pauley!

Happy Day 100 to Dory!

Happy Day 180 to 2BLimber!

Happy Day 180 to Patten!

Happy Day 180 to Amara!

Happy Day 180 to KT Web!

Happy Day 180 to SoberSparkles!

Happy Day 180 to Mastiffmom!

Happy Day 200 to Southernsunshine!

Happy Day 200 to Wantasoberlife!

Happy Day 200 to None4Rachel!

Happy Day 200 to MessyJessy!

Happy Day 200 to CaseyM!

Happy Day 200 to Surfrider11!

Happy Day 200 to Lady!

Happy Day 200 to runnergirl!

Happy Day 200 to marina!

Happy Day 300 to angiem!

Happy Day 300 to Truleah!

Happy Day 300 to Phoenix!

Happy Day 300 to Emma_J!

Happy Day 300 to Crystal Light!

Happy Day 365 to Lucia!

Happy Day 365 to Ami!

Happy Day 365 to RossFSU!

Happy Day 365 to Moon Alley!

Happy Day 365 to Julijean123!

Happy Day 400 to Suzan!

Happy Day 400 to Linley!

Happy Day 400 to NicholasCharles!

Happy Day 500 to MJP!

Happy Day 500 to Jobo!

Happy Day 500 to Liquid Tracy!

Happy Day 500 to Graceful!

Happy Day 600 to Miss M!

Happy Day 600 to Jayda!

Happy Day 600 to KRD!

Happy Day 600 to Trixie!

Happy Day 600 to Sweet-Tea!

Happy Day 600 to Coffecuphead!

Happy Day 600 to Kitkatpaddywack!

Happy Day 600 to 1035!

Happy Day 600 to Jayda!

Happy Day 600 to Frankie!

Happy Day 700 to GabbyGirl37!

Happy Day 700 to TheMadnessStopsNow!

Happy Day 700 to Elly!

Happy Day 700 to 19Cathleen!

Happy Day 700 to Rexytime!

Happy Day 700 to Cocomack!

Happy Day 700 to NewChris!

Happy Day 700 to Jas!

Happy Day 800 to Kenney!

Happy Day 800 to Paulita!

Happy Day 800 to Artsmommy!

Happy Day 800 to Ish!

Happy Day 800 to Bekki!

Happy Day 800 to Bit Jane!

Happy Day 800 to Susanc!

Happy Day 900 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 900 to Nancysoberheart!

Happy Day 900 to Janett!

Happy Day 900 to B!

Happy Day 900 to Mayarose!

Happy Day 900 to Saphire!

Happy Day 900 to Tlecompte!

Happy Day 900 to hcasstevens!

Happy Day 1000 to Challenges!

Happy Day 1000 to Rabbit!

Happy Day 1000 to OneDayAtATime!

Happy Day 1000 to JG!

Happy Day 1000 to KateF!

Happy Day 1000 to Margy!

Happy Day 1000 to Kellyfamilymama!

Happy Day 1000 to Wanting to be a Sober Mom!

Happy Day 1000 to Tammi!

Happy Day 1100 to Cat Girl!

Happy Day 1100 to DianeLouise!

Happy Day 1200 to KristinRecovering!

Happy Day 1200 to Sara!

Happy Day 1300 to  Eric!

Happy Day 1500 to Katherine!

Saturday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Em!

Happy Day 50 to MG7!

Happy Day 50 to Turtle!

Happy Day 50 to Peacable J!

Happy Day 50 to Amanda68!

Happy Day 50 to TT!

Happy Day 50 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 50 to BG!

Happy Day 50 to Mia!

Happy Day 50 to Tewks!

Happy Day 100 to Skeezkis!

Happy Day 100 to Bruna!

Happy Day 100 to NancyKay!

Happy Day 100 to Lelia!

Happy Day 100 to Evy!

Happy Day 100 to Mountaingirl!

Happy Day 100 to MM!

Happy Day 100 to Julianne!

Happy Day 180 to Southernsunshine!

Happy Day 180 to MessyJessy!

Happy Day 180 to CaseyM!

Happy Day 200 to Rusty!

Happy Day 200 to MsM!

Happy Day 200 to Auds!

Happy Day 200 to KaffyB!

Happy Day 200 to KLC!

Happy Day 300 to ChellyBelly!

Happy Day 300 to KAB!

Happy Day 300 to StonewallPDS!

Happy Day 300 to Little Lynn!

Happy Day 365 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 365 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 365 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 500 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 500 to Rosa!

Happy Day 600 to Hoops!

Happy Day 600 to LJ63!

Happy Day 600 to Sean!

Happy Day 600 to Unconfirmed Bachelorette!

Happy Day 600 to Funcar13!

Happy Day 600 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 600 to Mahatma JoJo!

Happy Day 600 to Sareet!

Happy Day 600 to Alescha!

Happy Day 700 to sing a new song!

Happy Day 700 to AngelaRenai!

Happy Day 700 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 700 to Cxx!

Happy Day 700 to Lynsey!

Happy Day 700 to GG!

Happy Day 700 to Festie!

Happy Day 800 to Clara!

Happy Day 800 to Lara!

Happy Day 800 to Haggismcbaggis!

Happy Day 800 to Vanessa!

Happy Day 800 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 800 to Mizgabz!

Happy Day 900 to Other Josh!

Happy Day 900 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 900 to Lynn!

Happy Day 900 to Fernie Sobertina!

Happy Day 1000 to Shell Bell!

Happy Day 1000 to Tuomos!

Happy Day 1000 to Nuchter Maya!

Happy Day 1000 to Janet!

Happy Day 1000 to Beach_girl!

Happy Day 1000 to Terry!

Happy Day 1000 to Denise!

Happy Day 1100 to Jenisthesoberist!

Happy Day 1200 to Original Beth!

Happy Day 1200 to Leah!

 

what you see and what you get

in yesterday’s micro-email, i sent out a picture of a bracelet, with my arm attached, with a view from my balcony.

elevator bracelet
source

then i got this in my inbox:

Maverick: “The view from your window in the bracelet picture looks like something from a movie.”

me: 🙂 I wish the balcony picture had a good movie to go with it. we’re on a corner with a church beside us (loud) and an intersection below us (cars stop to wait for the light with their stereos turned up loud). thankfully the buses stop running for a few hours at night so it’s quiet at least from 1 am to 5 am … but really in august, with the neighbours above and below away, it’s at least quiet in my head!

Maverick: “you mean you aren’t surrounded by artists? you mean you aren’t typing on a an old black typewriter?  😀 I’m so disillusioned. I am sober though!”

me: I know right? all that lovely imagery. I’m here in an oversized t-shirt, blue plaid pj bottoms. I just made my husband cereal for breakfast (!) but only because he’s leaving on a flight in a few hrs. Normally he’s up and gone by the time I roll out of bed… notice the nice home cooked meal I didn’t make. notice that the manicure I got last week, the polish chipped within 4 days but I haven’t removed it yet so I just look raggedy. notice all that, too.

~

and also this morning:

me:  I will have 10 days alone with husband away. i will have 10 days of healthy eating, running, movies, clean house and sleeping through the night. which really means 10 days of sloth, eating popcorn, watching downton abbey reruns.

~

today i have a choice of what to do for the next 10 days. i want to get to the end of this break and be pleased, no matter what happens. today, each day, i’m creating a version of a story that i’ll be able to look back on later. (everything is like everything = every day sober means it’s another day you can look back on and be proud of, but right now, today, the way you do that is to not drink. at all. none.)

today i can go to a movie or go swimming or get my nails redone. i could also fuck around, waste a bunch of time, skip meals, have too much caffeine, and get to the end of 10 days and think that i had a nice chance for something lovely and i didn’t really take advantage of it. (i’ll get to the end of my week, my month, my marriage, my life and know that i had a chance for something lovely and i didn’t really take advantage of it.)

yes, there’s a time and place for sloth. yes, i will still be slothful. yes, i’ll make sure i avoid overwhelm. i’ll sleep late, i’ll sleep uninterrupted (no thrashing! no snoring!). i’ll make very simple meals.

~

now that he’s gone i’m fine. it gets quieter in my head as soon as i’m alone. look at this, i go right to WRITING when i’m alone.

i can do things that make me feel better or i can do nothing. i can go swimming or i can talk about going swimming. i can eat hummus and carrots on wholegrain bagel for lunch. and may i’ll have popcorn in bed (if i frame it as a sober treat, that is).

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