leave us kids alone
[note: this was originally sent as a micro-email in february but it seems like today is the right day to post it again. because i know you’re there. and you’re asking this exact question today. yes, i can see you through the screen.]
I wish I could definitively answer, once and for all, the question: “can I drink after 100 days.” I’d like to have a button I can push that gives out a set answer.
But here’s the thing, every person who asks the question is a different person. You have a different bottom, a different situation, you have kids, or not, you have a supportive husband, or not – and every single solitary person (without fail) is asking me the question (again) because they are certain that their situation is different. And so yes, while it might be tempting for me to give the exact same answer, instead I give a tailored response, one person at a time. I’ve tried pointing you to an audio, or to something I’ve written before, but it’s not good enough.
You want to hear it directly from me.
And while you know the truth before I even begin, you want me to say it anyway. You want me to look into your eyes and say:
“Yes, I hear you, I know. Yes, our brains do say that moderation should be possible after a period of time off. Yes, while you are very special, you’re not this kind of special. You’re here, we’re talking, and so that means that you’re probably like me. Yes, I know you don’t want this to be true, and yes maybe you will toss away your sober momentum to figure it out yourself. I know that happens because we’re nothing if not stubborn and independent, you and me. And yes, people DO throw away their sobriety more often than they wish in retrospect. After you sit here in my chair for two years, you too will get this email so many times it will make you want to cry, literally, every single day: ‘I did the 100 day sober challenge, I started drinking again, it’s been 18 months, I can’t get a new day 1, why did I start drinking again?’
And your wolfie? He’ll hear that and say ‘that’s her, that’s not me.’
It is you. It’s me too. I know you don’t really want to hear this now so I’ll just say: continue on being sober after 100 days. Go to 180 days. The view is completely different from there. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, then wait. Sober momentum is hard to get.”
(And your wolfie will say “my sober momentum was EASY and that means that I could quit again if I want to.” And I’ll say “hey wolfie, leave this nice girl alone. She’s doing well, so don’t you dare tell her that because she’s doing well that she can drink. Leave us kids alone.”)