James: “Today marks day 30. It’s been an interesting ride. Certain times have been tough, but I feel my urges to drink dwindling. I’ve realized that for me, alcohol is a self defeating and abusive substance for me. I’ve been used to being treated like shit, so I turned to alcohol as a means to keep abusing myself and keeping myself down. Those days are over. Today marks another day of respecting myself, setting boundaries, and becoming a better person.” [he’s now on day 45!]
I’m sure you can relate to James’s email. it is ever-saddening when we’ve been treated badly by someone/something external to us, but then we continue on where they left off and continue to do dumb, shitty, hurtful things to ourselves. sometimes it’s because we don’t know how else to cope, have no other way of being. sometimes it’s because we’re afraid to give up the world we know, even when promised that ‘the world over here is better’. if you’re in a shitty place, then the promise of a world that’s better simply by giving up booze can seem unbelievably ludicrous and unlikely.
this from B:
I hate booze with a passion now and don’t want it in my life. So [why am i still drinking] then? I’m still holding on, to what exactly? Maybe I’m afraid I’ll miss it. That I’ll have remorse. But right now this is what I want. I’m procrastinating about fully committing to quit. WHY? Jesus. …
I do have to say that it’s hard sometimes, even within the sober community. I know that the goal is to be positive and to help and to encourage, but I’ll tell you something honestly Belle (and this is not directed at your blog – trust me). For people like me who are still stuck in the starts and stops and all the Day 1’s, it’s not always so easy to only hear success stories. It sounds awful, but here it is: Yes, it motivates me beyond belief. I desperately, desperately want to know what it’s like to be on Day 30, Day 40, Day 60. I desperately want to be able to email you about the positives of sobriety. It IS motivational.
But there is often a nagging, tiny background bit of resentment also (which of course is totally unjustified). Of “that’s awesome but this is still really, really hard for me.” I’m sure that makes me a terrible person, but I feel it sometimes. I know that no one out there has to keep my own personal best interests at heart. And I’m fine with that. I go back to everyone’s early posts about sobriety, and the struggles, and the starts and stops. I don’t know. The micro-emails from you like the recent one about revolving doors and post-it notes help a lot. …
I am so grateful for you. Every day. Even on the Day 1’s. What you are doing is simply amazing — you are helping so many people. But it’s not just that you are doing it, it’s that you do it with sincerity. You care, and believe me, that comes across in every email and post. You mean what you say. Don’t ever feel badly about posting things where struggling people say “thank you” to you. That’s all it is – it’s not boasting or anything like that. It’s just a thank you. And don’t feel one ounce of guilt about the “tiny gifts” button. Many, many people want to say thank you with more than just words, and this is how they can do it. I’m so grateful, Belle.”
my response to B:
me: dear you, let me say this: you don’t have to tell your husband until you’re ready. there is no rush. no pressure at all. I told mine once I was 19 days sober. before that I just couldn’t face it. you don’t have to blog. you don’t have to keep up with anything. you just need to do what you have to do to support yourself. and you don’t have to commit forever, or make any big declarations, or do any fucking thing.you just have to do 100 days continuously sober, as an experiment, and see. that’s it. what good might come of it? maybe you’ll like it?
I know the resentment feelings too, I see them often in team 100 members. I try to present a somewhat balanced idea of sobriety – it’s lovey and hard and lovely and hard and then it’s just plain fucking lovely. and sometimes it’s plain fucking hard.
where you are now is hideous. hanging around day 1 is the worst possible place. you have none of the benefits of sobriety and all of the fears of future events and shame for past events.
if you’d like to feel bad, I’d recommend, instead, that you repeatedly slam your hand in a car door.
if you’d like to feel better, I’d recommend, instead, a break from the booze just to see if maybe any of the hype is for real 🙂 “Come drink our koolaid, it’s better over here.” How’s that?
thanks for the sincerity comments. I don’t write with any particular intention, or goal. I’m just trying to be me and I’m glad that comes across. the internet is a weird place. I’m glad that it seems like I’m truly being genuine. hugs, me