stated out loud, in case you are mistaken: you are not alone with this.

yesterday i did a facebook experiment, offering support if you were ‘tired of thinking about drinking’ and in 2 hrs I got 300 subscribers, and freaked out and turned it off. 300 actual people, entering real email addresses.
the curious thing? the test was only done with people who had tagged that they 
LIKED alcohol, wine, wine tasting, etc. in their facebook history.
so what happens when you put something free and helpful in front of self-proclaimed wine lovers? hundreds of them, literally, raise their hand and say “i’d like to know more about this sober thing.”
i don’t know why i find this so surprising.
all those pictures that we see people sharing on FB, all the wine-o’clock photos, all the ‘i’m drinking in the jaccuzi’ photos — as a sober person, you might be tempted to look at those photos and feel triggered, and yell out “fuck me, why can THEY drink and i can’t?”
when, in some cases, what is REALLY happening is that those same folks post photos like that, and THEN click on a link that says “tired of thinking about drinking.”
and they don’t just click and laugh and turn away. No. They put in their email address and say “send me stuff.”
Then when i send a personal reply that says i’m not a robot, thanks for signing up, my inbox today is filled again with “thanks for the real message, i’m on day 2.”

so this is to state out loud, very clearly, in case you are mistaken:
you are not alone with this.
in fact, YOU have already found that sober supports exist online. you’re here reading, and re-engaging, and clicking links, and listening to audios. you’re here nodding, and crying, and laughing, and nodding again, saying “thank god it’s not just me.”
it’s not just you.
and the sober thing? it’s a big deal.

~

link to click.   if you’re brand new to the idea of being sober, or you’re a lurker, or you’re sober-curious — then welcome. you’re here! i’m going to release a set of brand new audios especially for lurkers beginning next week. the price will be only $10, as I have received some donations specifically to support other sober folks. like you. more here > exit audios (sponsored by donations).

~

from my inbox:

Colin (day 42): “I am listening to your podcasts and finding them enormously useful. This is my second attempt of 2018. Previously I went 166 days and then I went on vacation and then my wife went on a trip and wolfie got the better of me. But I feel a bit different this time, because I really HATED falling off the wagon, and got almost zero pleasure from any part of the drinking, and tons of pain from being drunk and hungover and ashamed. So while before I worked under the assumption that there would be a new Day 1 at some point, I’m now working on there never being another Day 1, because I’m done.”

~

Case Study Michelle (day 1062): “Saw this quote tonight and though of you. ‘You can’t fix the shit in your head with the shit in your head.'”

~

ShelT (day 123): “Hearing others like me never seems to get old haha. How on earth did we all think we were the only ones with our particular challenges and coping styles when there were versions of us all over the planet?!”

sometimes your exit sign is in german … link.

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

  • We are NOT alone! It’s easy to think so when you’re bombarded with ads and images of people drinking non-stop. But since starting to follow sober users and communities, it’s so nice to see images of booze free people and events as well!

  • Well, not #15, but wanted to add a great big thank you to Belle. I had my 5 month soberversary yesterday. This is huge for me. Truly, without her daily emails, soothing voice, and beautiful hubby art, I would NOT be here. On to 6 months!

  • I’m so disorganized I have written myself a to do list. Keep calming myself down, and saying, even if I only cross one thing off today, its going in the right direction. Stay sober is at the top!

  • I know I’m not alone. I know these feelings are not one of a kind. I know that the voice in my head sound similar, yet different than other people’s voices. Wolfie voice has the same goal in all of us, regardless of his tone or inflection. Knowing that, I can fight him.

  • Wolfe voice in my head is very loud whenever I’m in company with drinking friends ie out for dinner. The voice says to me (when we split the dinner bill, which we always do!)
    “Why are you paying for their wine, you might as well join in and get some return?”
    I’ve actually tried to voice my concerns and they laugh at me and tell me I’m mean.

  • I’m on day 48 and loving it. I’m losing weigh, putting on muscle and enjoying socialising sober. I never thought this was possible at such an early stage of sobriety. I feel great and love embracing chocolate as a treat now which I always avoided before as I chose alcohol as a treat. I now choose it as the enemy!
    ❤️💖💖❤️❤️💖

  • We know we’re not alone, but it continually surprises me. I love that you reached out to self-professed wine enthusiasts. Yes, there is another way. Keep up the great work Belle.

  • I like especially like the you can’t fix the shit in your head with the shit in your head. I went around that roundabout so many times I had to start serious drinking to shut the shit up. Didn’t work of course.

  • So good to know I never was the only one and glad that others find your blog as helpful as I do Belle x thank you 😊.LornaMack day 413 yippee x

  • I think it’s interesting that so many people responded, and really good that you reached , however temporarily , new people. Shows again can’t tell what’s going on with anyone from the persona they present.

  • Belle is a real person – not a pre-packaged product – she cares about you and you know it – and you can feel it. The resources she makes and provides are one of a kind – unique, original, inspired.. and inspirational. A game changer.

  • It’s so good to remember that just because I am seeing someone drinking who looks like they are enjoying themselves, I have no idea what’s going on inside their head. They could be feigning enjoyment to quiet the self-doubt. Tierrazul

  • I’m almost at my 2 year mark and that Wolfie every so often still rears his head and makes me think having a drink is a good idea. A drink would be good but I know it wouldn’t end that way. It would be 2 drinks then shots then me passed out waking up the next day hating myself. It may be the season to spend less time on Facebook and not looking at what others are doing and focus more on myself and what I’m doing. Thank you.

  • Partly it’s the facade of social media, a lot of people post what they believe the world wants to see. We have found the secret- ‘sobriety ‘ – we no longer require alcohol for a happy life – thanks belle 🙏- although it is a work in progress and nothing good is easy – but people are curious & want what we have – sober is the new life choice 🌅

  • Day 21 and I find out how powerful Wolfie can be – I think “I’ve got this”; gosh its not as bad as I thought this was going to be; The mindset shift has really happened! Yay!

    And then I hear this tiny little whisper “Sooooooo come on you can drink in moderation…..its your birthday soon and you’ve 3 parties in December……..clearly you’ve given up lock, stock and barrel for the last 3 weeks – you’re no alcoholic. Just don’t drink alone – socially will be fine….
    Hell, you don’t relate to all this “sober” stuff – you weren’t an alcoholic…….

    There’s a part of me that laughs and says “Fuck off Wolfie….nice try” and there’s a little part of my sighs with my realisation.
    #lovinggingercordial

    • Helllooo fellow ginger beer cordial liker ,” Belvoir” is the nicest Iv tried them all , even made my own , ginger beer,soda water , ice an a slice is what I crave at 5 pm now!!!!
      144 days AF 🙌🙌 xx

  • Wolfie likes to whisper about the fun “everyone else” is having. Or that I am spoiling their evening by being boring and sober. Those are the worst moments. But I have never regretted arriving home sober, ever. And if I am boring now, at least I actually listen to people and see them and am not just thinking about “am I too drunk, do I sound drunk, how can I get more to drink”

  • I think the reason we WANT to think we’re alone in this is that wolfie LOVES for us to feel alone, to be alone, to isolate ourselves. If we are isolated, we don’t have support and friends and others cheering us. Isolated, we’re much more likely to break.

  • Thanks for this Belle, I needed it. The build up to Christmas with all the associated [different kinds of alcohol drinks] posted is tough to deal with. This reminds me that perhaps all is not as it appears on the surface. Not so long ago it would have been me posting about a glass of this and a glass of that, whilst desperately worrying about my levels of consumption and wishing I could drink like a ‘normal’ person. Now I’m happy to be a non-drinker with an occasional desire for a drink than a drinker with a constant desire to stop.

  • I think it stands to reason the ones who would want support are the ones actively still looking to drink. You don’t know you need support until you try to stop and can’t. It’s comforting not to be alone.

  • You ask yourself why can they drink but I can’t?? Who says they can?

    Obviously from the response Belle got many can’t.

    Nobody posts a meme of themselves sitting on the edge of their bed with their head in their hands and the caption “… just another day of: oh my god. I can’t do this any more … it’s killing me…”

    Why? Because nobody wants to admit that. And nobody wants to see that either. Because they might just see themselves.

  • Well I’m certainly a grumpy person today. Just got over a two week cold which I gave to my husband. His is worse than mine, turned into a sinus infection. When he’s sick he just wants to be left alone. I’m a chatty kathy with lots of suggestions for getting well quick which just annoy him, even though when he started doing them they seem to be helping. So I’m just staying out of his way. But that’s not who I am in our relationship and so I’m grumpy. But, I’m on day 18 and grateful to have Belle for sober support and accountability. Being grumpy doesn’t mean I need anything other than a lovely rosemary lemonade at 4 this afternoon with Midsomer Murders for distraction. Total pity party on my part, Thanksgiving coming up but semi estrangement from youngest son and especially his wife are adding to my distress. No wine as medicine required for dealing with this. Real emotions, much to my husband’s dismay. I’m working through real emotions, not hazy emotions. Sober supports just in time.

  • I was that. That photo of a happy person, always with the glass of wine. And I had to get out. And with your help Belle, I did 🙂 Thank you.

    • I can’t reme exactly how I found you but was through an article on blogging and I went through to the blogs and then I found a blog post from someone (again I can’t recall who!) talking about ways to moderate and it had a list that went something like this “no shots on nights out, don’t drink doubles, try to have a glass of water with each drink, try to put ice in your wine and soda to make it last longer” and I was thinking ohhh that’s a good idea, ohhh I haven’t tried that one then as I read further in to the blog it I realised it was a sober blog and that “normal” drinkers don’t think like that and the blogger had quit drinking!
      What? Like totally sober? I thought! None? WHAT? Then I looked at my own life and how unhappy I was with my drinking.
      I clicked through “blogs I follow” tab and I found you Belle… I signed lurked for a bit and then signed up to 100days which I thought I could do. Then at 100days you came back and said “hey! Don’t stop there get to 180!” I was shocked at that point and didn’t really think I was in it for the long run, however now on my final reset, I know that finding this site was the best thing EVER!
      So yes there are people like us out there and some of us don’t even know it at that point until someone waves something in our face and shouts HEY! OVER HERE! LOOK AT THIS!
      I’m not surprised that a FB post would generate this amount of interest in fact if the carrot was dangled to me for this page I might have found it sooner myself.
      The online sober community is just another way for people to keep that rubbish out of our lives… and although my sister always laughs at me and says “you treat not drinking as if your an alcoholic!” I say to her “listen!” and then give her that famous quote “I’d rather go through life sober believing that I’m an alcoholic than go through life drunk trying to convince myself I’m not”
      X

  • I like what Colin says – “So while before I worked under the assumption that there would be a new Day 1 at some point, I’m now working on there never being another Day 1, because I’m done.”

    I guess it speaks to me because I’m at the point in my head where I’m still expecting another day 1. It’s as though I’m bound to fail. Even though I’m almost 11 months without a drink, the temptation is sometimes right in front of my face taunting me.
    Not quite sure how to get the mindset to “ I’m done”!
    But I guess it’s not impossible, and I’m still here in my little sober car 😊🚘🧩