Happy New Year / You
happy new you 🙂 really. Best part of being sober? Feeling better about myself.
This was my micro email yesterday and while i don’t usually repost the micro emails here, this one bears repeating:
“Let’s learn how to take better care of ourselves”
from ‘Just Had to Have It’ (day 19):
I appreciate you both (Belle & Rebecca) more than words can say. You know, the way I got sober originally was with the help of AA. When I relapsed … this time, I just couldn’t face going to the damn meetings again.
I like the approach you take, Belle. First of all, it IS meaningful to be accountable to someone I’ve never met, but who has experienced the same unhealthy attachment to alcohol that I have.
And more importantly, you replace the dogma and endless psycho-self-flagellation with a simple, “let’s learn how to take better care of ourselves.” OK, I can do THAT! It’s probably because my brain can only retain one directive at a time. 🙂 But who cares why…I just know that the 100 day pledge has helped me start back on the sober path that makes it possible for me to begin to take care of myself again.
And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. XOXOXO.”
then i got this message from Lurking With Intent:
This is so true! I had the same reaction to AA. It’s dogmatic and didactic and not always kind even when it tries to be. This is a whole new paradigm with women leading the way. It’s wonderful. Contrary to what the Big Book says; there is a kinder way. Giving up alcohol is hard but you don’t have to be beaten about the head in addition to knocks that alcohol gave you. “Let’s learn to take care of ourselves.” Such a wonderfully feminine way of looking at it rather than the typical masculine way of no pain, no gain. Brava!”
and to that, let me add this:
As Paul wisely put it (the gospel according to Paul?),
Relapse is part of alcoholism, not a part of recovery.”
Can relapse be avoided? I don’t really know. I only know what i see from the emails i get from 512 people… if you’re asking me my opinion, i’ll say this: feeling crappy about your sobriety doesn’t mean you’re going to relapse, it means you’re feeling crappy and that your go-to thought for feeling crappy is still (mentally) booze. you can bypass that with some of your sober tools – reaching out is huge. You alone in your head is not a solution 🙂 Reach out, ask for help, talk to someone, email someone, read sober blogs, make a deal to ‘drink again in some future time but not now’ … yes, it’s fucking hard. yes. yes it is. Does relapse happen? yes, of course it does.
but just because someone else relapses doesn’t mean that you will, or are going to. when i was newly sober, I used to feel terrified when someone around me in the sober world relapsed … i still have twinges now, when people with longer term sobriety relapse my fucking wolfie brain will kick in with “see, it’s all fucked, might as well drink now.” But i know that it’s not me, i know that’s wolfie.
I do not have to listen to wolfie. i just don’t. he can make me cry and i do not have to give in. i’ll go to bed and have tea instead. he can taunt and torment me with absolute fucking nonsense. and i can make naan-naan noises and stick out my tongue. I can cancel new year’s eve plans and go to bed at 10:30 pm (that’s me!). I can TAKE GOOD CARE OF ME.
I believe that counting days does matter, at least to begin. Cuz every single day sober is a big gift to yourself. If you don’t want to count, that’s fine, i’ll count for you or your phone app will count for you, but you’re adding bricks to a wall, adding tools to a toolbox, and adding achievements and milestones. And they’re worthy of note. They’re worth being celebrated. YOU ARE WORTH BEING CELEBRATED. do you need to obsessively fret about whether you’re on day 36 or 37? prolly not 🙂 but is day 100 a big deal? yes. is it the end of big deals? no it’s the first of big deals. It’s the first big deal, soon to be followed by big deal day 180 and big deal day 200 and big deal 365.
New Year’s Eve. New You. That you don’t know who you want to be when you grow up (don’t know why you’re sober, don’t know what the point is) … that you don’t know doesn’t mean you get to hide. It just means you figure it out a bit at a time. you’re going to be sober a long time. you will figure shit out 🙂
And yes, I am writing this for you, if you’re wondering. Yes, you.