“there is more to life than booze”

Notes from my inbox:

Dont Bea: Went bike riding yesterday (to test out a bike route for an all women bike ride coming up in August). It was super fun. It made me realize that not so long ago I couldn’t get out of bed to do anything. Now here I was on a Tuesday night peddling my little feet away.

Erinup: I have been feeling pretty good the past couple of days.  This is not in a “I don’t really think I have a problem after all” way, but it is more of a “there is more to life than booze” way … sometimes I find myself just living life…just going along going along. I am just making dinner or watching a movie with the family or reading a magazine and I realize I am not thinking about booze. It is not constant, but it happens occasionally and it is like a little glimpse of what it could be like when I find a normal balance of dealing with this issue.

Anon: Oh my fucking stars I want a drink so badly out of nowhere…  *runs around like a hyperactive puppy* wahhhhhhhhh

E: I am beginning to feel like part of the world again.  The mastectomy recovery is a wee bit more difficult (just physically painful) than I’d expected, but I’m feeling better each day …  I guess it goes without saying, I’m still sober.  I’m pretty sure that alcohol is not going to be a problem in the near future!  That’s OK.  I’ve been learning to love things like “magic mineral broth” and “ginger peppermint green tea” that my mom is making for me from a cancer fighting cookbook.  And now, I can add the Fuck You Wolfie Tea (just ordered it!! ) to my daily tea ritual.

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A: Well, believe it or not, I have already failed on day 3. I got hit yesterday with something I definitely was not expecting. I tried every trick I had. I breathed. I sat with my feelings. I reminded myself that there is no situation that drinking can’t make worse. I prayed. I cried. I breathed again. I reminded myself that I promised I wouldn’t drink for 100 days. But the pain wouldn’t stop. So, I drank. A lot. And amazingly the pain is still here. Weird. So, I don’t know where I’m going from here. My pain is too huge to handle sober right now and I’m a mess. I’ll bet you never expected to hear all of this when you started this thing. Thanks for being here.

me: OK. so you’re doing an experiment, and you’ve found that drinking doesn’t help … you still feel bad afterwards. and you don’t want to feel bad, but here it is. so for now maybe you’re going to feel bad for a little bit, but later you won’t. you could walk in dog shit, too, but that won’t help.  it might mask the ‘smell’ of what’s happening, but then you just have to clean it up (if you know what I mean). [god, who knows what i was trying to say here about dog shit …]

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Annie: Day 3. Being sober will also help me manage life better and not live with this drive to drink always hanging over me. it really sucks desiring it so much. i’m in such a routine to drink every few days… especially the weekend. but i would be SO proud of myself [when] i actually stay sober for 100 days. to be honest i had a great day today and i have been sober – i feel more friendly and open and kind. these are all good things. ok this is good. i just need to stick with it – all i have to do is stay sober today. i don’t need to worry about the other 97 days.

me: That voice saying that you should drink isn’t you, it’s the booze talking.  it’s wolfie.  you already know that you feel better and are more kind when you’re not drinking 🙂 more patient too.  and what’s 100 days? you can drink again at the end if you really hate being sober.  This is an experiment.  To see what you can learn about yourself 🙂  And you’re doing great, you’re on day 4 now.  Lots of people don’t even start – you’ve started! Double your money back if you hate being sober after 100 days 🙂

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Jessica: As far as sobriety goes, I really enjoy my evenings more lately.  I am more connected to my family.  Yes, that fucking Wolfie speaks to me sometimes but I have so far been successful in ignoring his taunts.

Rebecca: Another day sober today and I feel good about it. Better than yesterday. I think part of it is realizing too that not every day can be a celebration and understanding that this too shall pass, whether it’s a tough day or an awesome day.

Thirsty Still: I just biked home from work with 2 flats of raspberries that I bought from a nearby farmers’ market on my afternoon break. Tomorrow I’m making some kind of raspberry sauce, so in January we will be able to taste a little bit of summer. And yes, I am sober, and happy about that.

Susan: Day 9 tired, an intense day at work… the kids have gone to their father’s. This is when I would drink. I can feel the pull.  So I will get a movie, veg, get some sleep and let this pass.  This too shall pass.  But first I will go to the store, walk past the wine section, and get some unusual juice  as a treat.   Treats are good. Thanks for being out there.

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Paypal:  This email confirms that you have received a donation of $x00.00 USD from T.

me: jesus T., did you just send me a shit load of money in Paypal? Since I don’t know anyone’s real names, I can’t track who it came from …

T (day 36): I did. Before I found your site and discovered what you were doing, I was thinking, “I wish I could find a sort of sober coach or friend, one I could email with, that could help me get over the hump and through this.”  Then literally about a week later I discovered what you are doing. It has helped me a lot, and you are helping a lot of other people. You are spending so much time on it, more than I even know. I appreciate it, and I wanted to say thank you. You deserve it.  Hope you are having a great week and thanks again.

Belle

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

4 thoughts to ““there is more to life than booze””

  1. Oh man, it is just so eye-opening to read what so many people are going through. Some of it is tough: cravings, starting over, cancer. And some of it is awesome: bike rides, raspberries. But all of it is real and I’m so stoked to be a part of it. Thanks so much for the post and encouragement Belle. And T is right: you do deserve it! Thanks!

  2. Just going along, and experimenting and seeing that drinking–our trick–does not work anymore, and getting through major, massive surgery (hugs to E)…it all can for sure be done without drinking. This too shall pass. Wolfie goes away. One day very soon, we DO start waking up in the morning and don’t think about a drink until 5 pm…then it’s even later…then, we might be so busy, or emotionally drained, or happy, or just BORED that we don’t even want to bother wasting time thinking about a drink. Then, we give up thinking it’ll make it better–and start the long journey of finding out what WILL. Hugs to us all, we can do this. (Big one for brilliant Belle–hope you don’t spend that gift $$ on industrial saran wrap, though…)

    1. ha! I haven’t figured out how to spend the money at all … something ‘treat’ worthy … I think I’d like to rent a car for a day and go to the U-pick farm that is (apparently) somewhere outside the city. and come home with lots of food treats!

      1. Belle, that’s the best idea I have heard today. I love picking fresh fruit (in a former life I was a migrant weaver) and later in the winter it brings back the hot days when you have a jar of jelly or a tomato sauce made of “your pickings” from this summer.

        You are doing such a welcome and needed thing with the 100 day pledge and your follow-thru ranks as superior with these striving folks. I applaud you and support you and hope some day to be able to dump a few duckettes into that same paypal account.

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