gold stickers

when we drink, I think our brain gets fucked up about the idea of REWARDS.

“I deserve this. hard week, difficult spouse, i finished the marathon, i’m on vacation, i’ve worked hard.” All those ideas equaled wine for me. Hard work = reward = wine.

And when I first stopped drinking, i was lost … how else could i signal the end of a long day without wine? Where was the off switch — not just to numb me, but to put a clear demarcation between THIS (work), and THAT (relaxation).

Of course, i had to train my brain that there are other ways to ‘celebrate’.  Cuz my fucked up brain had decided that not only were weddings and marathons things to celebrate, but that Tuesday was worth celebrating too. Just getting to 6 pm was in itself a reason to celebrate for me.

what other ways are there to mark celebrations? (OK I know if you’re still drinking, this list will seem absolutely ridiculous): tonic + cranberry right at 6 pm, green tea, a bath, having take out Portuguese food for dinner (of course, in Portugal, they just call it ‘food’). I can celebrate bigger events with new sandals. I celebrated 90 days sober with a big griddle thing to make English Muffins.

Something I learned in my coaching job (job #2), is that the reward system of our brains is sort of like a 4 year old. “You did a good job, here’s a gold sticker.” Do you remember a time when you were motivated by gold stickers? It’s not that long ago. We give ourselves coins, badges, stickers all the time. We get watches and pens and bonuses at work for good performance. But we also get promotions without compensatory pay raises, so in effect we’re rewarded with MORE work and a few kind words.

What i learned from job #2, is that our brains can be retrained when it comes to rewards. (i learned these strategies a long time ago, but until i got sober last July, I never thought to link these ideas to booze; I was originally using these techniques about rewards to reinforce any new behavoir change). And it doesn’t take as long as you think it does to change your brain’s response to rewards.

Here’s an example from job #2, but you’ll see the transparent way it can be about booze (why i didn’t notice this until last July, when i used it to help me stay sober, i have no idea).

Example: you hate to exercise. you think it’s a big gigantic pain in the ass, and even when you feel better after walking on the treadmill, it’s like pulling teeth to get you ON the thing for 15 minutes. So you set up a reward system. You go to the fancy tea store, you buy some mint tea, and you come home, and you say to yourself: Every day when i do 15 minutes on the treadmill, i’ll have a cup of mint tea.

You link a reward to the new action. It has to be immediate, and you have to say “good job” to yourself as you have the tea.  You step off the treadmill, you dance around the garage, and you say “i rock, i’m amazing, i’m going to have some tea to celebrate this treadmill event!”

The first two days, three days, you hate the treadmill, you hate the tea.  You dance, but you’re not enthusiastic.

Then something changes. On day 4 or 5 or 6 you start to think … “i am looking forward to some mint tea today. better get on the treadmill so i can have my tea!” Really. Mint tea. No, really. I’m serious. i have been motivated by mint tea before.

So when i stopped drinking, i celebrated Day 30 and Day 60 and Day 90 (and Day 100, cuz why not). And sometimes when i’m emailing a sober penpal, and she’s coming up to a milestone, i say “do you have a treat planned?” Oh no, i couldn’t, she’ll say. I’ll wait ’til i’m further along before I celebrate…

Really? What about all the smaller bits in between? They can be celebrated too!

Jenni (to celebrate Day 60): “Per your suggestion, I treated myself to: 7 new books from Amazon, essential rosemary oil, and three new t-shirts plus one pair of comfy PJ pants that match one of the t-shirts, emblazoned with tiny cartoon skulls. Just knowing this little treasure trove is on its way is exciting!  These little milestones feel like birthdays used to feel before I got too old to enjoy getting older. If that makes any sense? It truly feels like a special day!! Like a highly anticipated goal that I have worked really hard to reach. And now it’s here and I feel like a giggly kid. Yay for 60 days! I hope you have a delightfully soberlicious day too.” (Jenni is now on day 96!)

Don’t have any ideas for celebration treats? Cake is always good. Don’t have any ideas for how to celebrate your long day? how about a tall glass of tonic water and a bath. I feel now like my life is filled with tea and baths and cake and other small treats.

Just yesterday, i got into the tubbie at 4:30 pm once my catering day was finished, to mark the end of the work day … (and really, there’s nothing better than a daytime bath!). A bath is my go-to reward now. I know, it sounds dumb.  Who is rewarded by a tub of hot water? It may sound ridiculous, but you were once rewarded with gold stickers. And you can again 🙂

perfect photo

Thanks to B for sending me this perfect image 🙂

this time

This time it’s different. I tried to quit before, on my own, it never worked. I could do 2 days or 4 or 7 or even 9 days. But never longer.

Until things changed, and I finally opened myself up to asking for some help. I made my first post on this blog…  And because of that, i am TEN months sober today!

no, i don’t think that blogging is itself the solution. I just think that reaching out is key. Do you have to blog to be sober? Certainly not 🙂 Can you get sober alone in your head with your own best thoughts without outside ideas and support? No, probably not.

Shel (day 31): “This time — because of course this is not my first time quitting — something is different. Alcohol is not an option, gone, off the table, thinking the drink ALL the way through when the little voice starts up.  Last time the bottle was always hovering in my peripheral vision… something shifted, and I feel great. Thank you for being there.”

Simpson Sister (12): “I don’t have room in my head for all the thoughts of the past and all the what if’s of the future.  I only have room for the things that will help me stay sober.  I have freed up space in my mind and that has allowed me to devote the time and energy that it takes to fight off the demons in my head.  It’s working.”

PP (10): “Thanks so much for your support.  I don’t know why, but once I committed to the hundred days.. so far, easy. Of course I could be delusional… and I felt a bit scared this morning… knowing how easy it is to go back and I haven’t come very far. But it is a start and it feels good.”

Lawyer Anne (23): “Thanks for creating a support space for the non-joiners of the world :)”

Team 100 update:  56 members. Welcome to new members: Debbie (day 3), KT (3), and Kristi (2). Let’s have cake for: Victoria (40), Terri (120), Erica (92), Shel (31). And me, i’m day 305. My first sober day was july 1, 2012. Amy votes me most likely to be sober at 11 months. Because I am in such good company, i would have to agree.

“Thanks for giving me a yeast infection”

how and what to tell. and whom. and when.

in the beginning i didn’t want any one to know. i had any number of stories. “i’ve quit drinking until I lose 20 pounds.” then i graduated to saying “I’m doing a self-discipline challenge, no alcohol for three months.”  and people would be like “oh I could never do that.  and I’d raise my eyebrows and say something like “well, I ran a marathon once, this will be easier I figure.” then people end up changing the subject to talk about THEMSELVES and they’ll talk about how they wish they could quit smoking, or run a marathon, or whatever…

i was honestly disappointed to realize how most people don’t really give a shit

if cornered by an evil sister, a weird in-law, a boozing friend who just won’t fucking stop, then I would have just flat-out-lied and created something. Antibiotics is always good. Just say ‘yeast infection’ and that should shut everyone up 🙂 Or you can say “i’ve quit booze for a year, and i’m on month 7 now, i know you won’t give me a hard time about it. right?”

I’ve recently started saying “i’m taking a one year leave of absence from alcohol.”  And when the end of the year comes up, if anyone remembers, which they won’t, then I’ll say “yeah, i liked it more than i thought I would so i’m doing more.”

And look, if you want to say something more, if you want to say you’re in AA or you’ve been to rehab, or you’re recovering or that you’re trying to recover… then say it.  But me, i’m really supportive of you telling what you want, when you want, and how you want. and NOT telling if you don’t want to. I didn’t even tell my husband for weeks.

if you want to be a big version of some authentic you, then please … have at it.  and if you want to be sober, improve your relationships, and not really tell your roommate from college why you look so good when you run into her at Starbucks, then I think you have every right to your privacy.  there’s that big group with the word “anonymous” right there in the title 🙂  if you find security and comfort in anonymity, then I say great. if you want to take out a full page ad, that’s OK too 🙂

Actual email i got Sunday from a sober penpal: “Thanks for giving me a yeast infection!!!!!!!! Love that.” [and later] “Well, this yeast infection is a bloody godsend. I’m sooooo glad I contracted it! Easy peasy evening, felt so simple not to drink. I would normally have been blotto by 7 pm, talking shit. Now I just talk shit, sober.”

saturdays might be tough, but …

weekends present special challenges. all this free time. the gaping space that needs to be filled. i would often start drinking at about 3 pm, and that would pretty much take care of the rest of the day. now that i’m not drinking, i sometimes find myself doing things that i never would have done before. Like going for groceries in the evening. Never would have done that!

And since Saturdays can be tough, I thought we could make a list of all the things that we do now, sober, that we never would have done if we were drinking. Physical, actual things that we do. Not just feelings that we have, but what are we getting done…

You can post a comment below, or send me an email. What do you do now with all your spare time?

Lynda (day 40): doing laundry at 9:30 pm and waiting up for it to dry because I need clothes for the morning.  Answering the phone at 9:45 pm and being able to accept a work assignment and be able to remember it and look forward to it.  Taking my dog for a walk later in the evening because I want to. Offering to drive a friend home after midnight … Volunteering at our playhouse theater and driving home after the late shift and enjoying the full moon while waving to the cop at the side of the road, knowing if he pulled me over it wouldn’t be an issue.

Leigh Ann (2): girly self-care stuff (nails, facial, etc.)

Heidi (8): I get to bathe my children and tuck them both into bed. I would be missing that if I was drunk … all is right in my world. That’s amazing. Kiss my ass you damn wolf!

The biggest difference for me, now, is I’m in the kitchen more than before. I plan meals, i buy groceries, and then i actually make meals. I find ways to use up leftovers. We hardly ever go out to eat in a restaurant any more (bye-bye to all the ridiculously large restaurant bills, which were always 75% alcohol).

What about you? What physical things are you doing now that you weren’t doing before, that now fill your time, fill the space where booze was before? Everyone who finds Saturdays long/hard wants to know what you think 🙂

Oh, and apparently it was day 300 for me yesterday? i was too busy to notice! DDG is on day 40, and Mr. Lynda is also on day 40! Welcome to new members: Kirst (2), Laura (4), Debra (day 90 today!).

“how about a nice cup of shut the fuck up”

From the last 30 days, here is a sample of search engine terms that people entered into Google that led them to my blog …

  • tired of thinking about drinking
  • the upside to quitting drinking
  • 100 day sober challenge
  • witching hour drinking
  • getting sober made me better
  • i threw up on my teacher
  • can you go 100 days without a drink
  • the best thing about being sober
  • do i want to be sober
  • gigantic anus
  • how to fill out the day when sober
  • quit drinking and pursue passion
  • how about a nice cup of shut the fuck up
  • change my thinking about drinking
  • jason vale bullshit
  • anus belle
  • what is the 100 day sober challenge good or bad
  • i’m always tired – is it the wine i drink?

I never know whether to laugh or cry …

I kind of like ‘anus belle’, maybe i should get a t-shirt with that written on it. i can wear that shirt in addition to my other t-shirt ideas that i’ll stock in my imaginary sober store:

  • “Pick Good Guys, Not Turds”
  • “Wieners do not get to rule the world”
  • “Cake there shall be”

and my personal favorite

  • “Fuck You Wolfie.”

 

I don’t want to do early recovery again

As I was writing on DDG‘s blog this morning, as recently as last night i thought about having some wine.

Belle: … out for dinner, tired, the couple next to us was having wine, and i thought, yeah i want some too. i had to literally turn my head away, talk to husband, and distract myself. then the urge faded. It might have lasted a minute. which is a long time when you really feel like drinking. now it’s the next morning, and after 11 hrs sleep i feel fine (again). and i know from what everyone ELSE says, that it gets easier and easier as even MORE time goes on. i don’t think they’re exaggerating. and i want to get to where they are. where it’s even better than this.

I don’t drink because of this comment that Number 9 / Catholic Alcoholic posted on my blog:

Number 9: I’m almost to six [months] … I had three years sober and then without a sober network or tools in place I slowly picked it back up. Moderated at first, but only to prove something to myself. After about three months I was back into the drinking game and it took three years to get sober back. Ugh. I can’t even entertain the idea. I have too good of an imagination and my brain who romance me right back out there. At 43 with 2 children I just can’t risk it again.

I don’t drink because of this comment from Katherine this morning:

Katherine: Today is Day 259 for me and when I look back at those early days of sobriety, I was feeling scared, angry, stupid, guilty, sad, shaky and all alone.  Wondering how I made my life such a mess?  This isn’t what I wanted or wished for when I grew up!  …  I don’t want to do early recovery again, I don’t want to ruin my relationships, I don’t want to be the mom that drinks, I don’t want to hide how much I drank, I don’t want to be controlled by alcohol EVER again!  For those who are doing the 100 day challenge…you CAN do it…it will get easier and better!!! The support here is one of the greatest reasons I don’t drink anymore!  Thanks Belle!

I don’t drink because of this gem from Paul:

Paul: Relapse is part of alcoholism, not a part of recovery.  For this alcoholic, I could have another drunk [binge] in me, but I don’t have another recovery in me.

That my friends, might be all that’s keeping me from drinking again: fear of regret, fear of not being able to restart. Fear as a motivator is probably a good thing. That and the relief I feel: relief that i slept 11 hrs last night (guess i was tired!). relief that i’m going for a run today. relief that i know that i’m going out for dinner again tonight and that i’ll be the only one not drinking and i’m fine with that.

Team 100 update: 50 members! 1 missing, 1 rejoined. Welcome to newest members: Rachel (3), Christina (19), Shel (25), Marie (4), and Roxanne (2).  Sober Kat is on day 199! Sober Journalist Kate is on day 20, Mr. Belle is on day 8, and Katie on day 10.

I had plenty of similar episodes, I just never had an audience

well, it would seem like saturdays are rough. four Team 100 members emailed to ask that their counters begin again 1 after this past weekend … Being on the receiving end of so many thoughtful, touching, insightful emails from so many Team 100 members, i get emails that say “something bad happened, i didn’t do enough to prevent it, i could feel it coming but i didn’t get out of the way, i should have stayed home, can you start me again at one.”

they are NOT saying “oh well i’m on a bender now, see you next year.”

it’s like the next morning, after something bad happens, i get an email: “reset me at one. i am going to do this. i can do this. thanks for being there.”  I feel somewhat positive when i get an email right away, and if the slip doesn’t last more than 24 hrs. OK, I guess positive isn’t really the right word, but i feel somewhat encouraged. In the beginning, and until we have our tools in place … well, shit does sometimes happens.  that wolfie, he can be relentless. relapse doesn’t have to happen, and i don’t know enough about this, but i don’t suspect that relapse is unfortunately common on the way to ongoing sobriety.

And before you say something like, “well Belle you quit and haven’t relapsed in 10 months…”  all that means is that I didn’t announce i was quitting until after my stop-and-start stage.  I had plenty of similar episodes, I just never had an audience (!)…  for months before i actually tried to quit for 30 days, i would stop for a day, or two days, or three days.  i’d quit for 9 days or 6 days or for only half a day.  So yes, the last 10 months have been episode-free for me.

but you didn’t see the inside of my head the year leading up to that point…

and oh, the inside of the head. the thought processes on deciding to get sober: do i really need to, i hate that i can’t drink, why can she be a fuck up and it’s me who’s quitting drinking, why me, why this, why now. red wine, you fucker. wolfie, you fucker.

and while some people in team 100 have stopped and restarted their sober journey right away (about 27%), others are puttering along, adding up days, feeling the weeks start to whiz by (73%). Only two people out of 45 have dropped out entirely. Right this second, 43 people are sober and doing this 100 day challenge together.

Julie (day 158): “Wow, I’m glad to read that there are so many of us now …. I knew I couldn’t be alone in this struggle to quit without AA and look — I was right!!  Feeling stronger by the day and wishing I could share the energy with some of the newbies — it really does get better and easier, and if I can do this at my age (55) after drinking daily for 35 years, then we all can.”

Heidi (day 3): “I am one pissed off chick and I am not going to let alcohol or this damn wolf steal one more second of my life. I am in control and I can do this. Fuck off wolf and fuck you alcohol.”

The geek: “… the real trick is in the support of others who feel the same. I truly believe that there is nothing more powerful than another human who understands where you are coming from.”

Team 100 update: 45 members, 2 missing. Welcome to newest members: Mr. Lynda (36), and Anathu (day 2). Erica is day 84, DDG day 36, Ellen 26, and K is 40. I am on day 297, i have my sense of taste back, i went for a run, and i feel better than i have in a long time!

under-promise and over-deliver

I know from all of the emails i’ve received from Team 100 members that the disapproval of husbands can be quite grim. your husband or family might be disappointed with you. your husband or other family members might say something like “why can’t you just drink like normal people” or “why can’t you get your shit together.”

here’s part of an email i wrote to one of my sober penpals about husbands:

your husband (probably, I’m sure) loves you but he’s (probably, quite probably) scared.  He may seem ‘angry’, but for men, angry often means scared. he’s scared of what might happen if things don’t change.

but what he doesn’t know or understand (yet) is who you are becoming. the new you that is taking shape already in these last few days. the old you is going to slowly peel away and he’s going to see the new you. there aren’t many words to explain to him what will happen, it’s more something you’ll show.

those of us who drink too much are great at over-promising and under-delivering. now you’re going to get a chance to do the reserve:  to under-promise and over-deliver.

how do you achieve that? for now, you say “yes honey I know you’re right, and I’m working on it, you’ll see.” you stay at home a bit more rather than tempting yourself by being out with all the drinkers.  for now.  you can get enough sleep – for now. You’re making a GREAT choice for you.  fuck everybody else (for now!)

and slowly bit by bit you’ll do two things.  you’ll show YOU that you are someone who can be counted on.  and you’ll show HIM that you can be counted on.

I like the quote from the biography of Rob Lowe, as he was leaving rehab, they said to him “you can be the kind of celebrity who goes in and out of rehab, or you can get sober and stay sober.” Me, I’m just competitive enough with myself that I want to be the latter.  🙂

so now? patience. do what you’re doing. rinse, lather, repeat.  he’s scared/angry, and this will pass.  you’re tired and overwhelmed and this will pass.  make sure you have enough sleep, cake and sunshine.  in that order 🙂

in rereading this now, i think i’m always writing these messages to myself as much as i’m writing them to anyone else.  My husband had never said he was disappointed in me.  but truthfully, he never would have said anything. that’s just who he is. and i think i relied on that for too long. like, if husband never complains, it can’t be a problem…

the other thing i think i understand now, even more since writing this email, is that the process of getting sober is a slow process of proving something to myself:  that i can be counted on. that i’m reliable. that i do what i say i’m going to do. that i under-promise and over-deliver and not the reverse. that i can count on me. that i’m reliable. that i do what i say i’m going to do.  and as I prove that to myself, the rest of the world can’t help but notice.

Team 100 update: We are 43 members now, 1 missing. Welcome to PP and Chris, both on day 1. Lawyer Anne is day 14 today (cake!), Kate is 17, Lynda is 35, and Jen (mommy) is 40. And i have my sense of taste back, and i’m on day 296 apparently. who knew!

fuck you wolfie, in very small print

Rinse Lather Repeat. I know i’ve written a blog with this title before. You’ve been sober for a bit? figure out what you’re doing that works and keep doing that thing. if it’s a mishmash of AA and blogging and reading, then do that. if you start to feel like you’re heading down a slippery slope, then do something soon, early, before you get derailed. i wrote this recently to a team 100 member:

… the slippery slope can escalate quite quickly, don’t take it lightly. in fact, take it heavily … 🙂 blog, call someone, go for a run, go to bed.  yell out loud at wolfie. fucking pig anus.  no no not this girl, no no no. not me not now.

for me, when i started getting a cold last sunday, i put on my big girl boots and waited.  i know that being sick is a gigantic trigger for me. i get woe-is-me-ism and i start to plan to drink. I don’t actually drink, but i start to bargain with myself … “if i feel like this in 7 days i’ll drink then.” Then the time comes and goes and i don’t drink and all is well.  But it’s the bargaining that i don’t like, that makes me feel quicksandy.

so this time, i knew what was coming, or i thought i did. taking my own advice, i blogged and emailed and told my husband. i prepared for the day that always arrives in my headcolds where i can’t taste anything, as that seems to be the trigger point.

i didn’t know it, but something had changed. I am in fact on DAY THREE of not being able to taste anything (!). and i’m actually doing fine.  Well, fine might be an exaggeration.  i’m cranky as hell, i hate my husband, i have a low grade headache, and all i want to do is sleep.  So sleep is what i’ve been doing (12 hrs at a time). i’ve been outside, i’ve been on the couch, i’ve been upright and i’ve been downright.

BUT wolfie is quiet.  The idea of saying ‘fuck-it let’s drink’ has not surfaced. not once.

i remember reading on someone else’s blog, someone who has much more sober time than me, and she said that something bad had happened (death, catastrophe) and she didn’t even think of drinking.  and i remember reading that, and i was like “yeah, I would be thinking about drinking for sure if that happened to me, no matter how sober i was.”

and yet, i didn’t. i haven’t. i’m not. holy shit when did this happen? sometime between my last cold (feb 14) (8 ish months sober) and now (april 21) (almost 10 months). Sometime in the last 2 months i have stopped linking wine as the solution to a dip in energy, a flagging of enthusiasm, a pit of despair.

ha! fuck you wolfie. no really. fuck right off with you.

[on a side note, I’m thinking of having some jewerly made for us, sober jewelry, that says “fuck you wolfie” on it, in very small print, so that only you know it’s there… no, I’m serious.]

so does it get better? the obsessing, the cravings? apparently yes 🙂 does it get easier, thank fucking god, yes. is it possible to get a cold and not think that the world is ending? yes and who knew?

Heidi: I realized that every moment sober is so much better than even the best moments drunk.  Because the time I have spent drunk has not been enjoyable.  Sure, the first few moments I feel the alcohol run through my veins provides a feeling of calm.  I feel relaxed.  I feel like I can finally turn my brain off from all the craziness of my life.  But those moments quickly disappear.  They are followed by shame, guilt, anxiety and fear.  Don’t even get me started on the hangover, the headaches, the vomiting and shakes.  So yes, the whole “not drinking” thing is going much better than I thought it was going to.  [husband] asked me what is different this time and how I have been able to stay sober.  Here is my answer:  I am able to not drink by doing just that — not drinking.  Whatever I need to do to not drink.  Every day is different.  Sometimes I read.  I watch TV. I cruise Facebook on my phone.  I call a friend.  I play with my kids.  I lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes.  I read sober blogs.  I email you.  I play games on my phone … I take a deep breath.  I walk up and down the stairs a few times.  I look outside.  I close my eyes.  I do anything — except for drink.  It has worked so far, and I am going to keep doing it.

Team 100 update: 41 members; 2 missing. Welcome to KS, who is on day 1. Sunflower is on day 30 as is Victoria 🙂 Mumscriber is on day 14. Erica is on day 82. Julie is 156. I am 295.

Sobriety: Satisfaction guaranteed or double your money back

On day #12 of sobriety, i wrote that alcohol was a ‘place’ to go.

Now i realize that sobriety is a place, too.  A completely different kind of place.  Sobriety is like a vacation. It’s a special deluxe resort where you can have a break from obsessive thinking.

You know. Obsessive thinking.  “Tired of Thinking About Drinking!” For me, it’s the wolfie voice that I heard loud and clear and continuously while i was still drinking:  “Is there enough wine? did he drink more than me? how early is too early to start? should i have one more (of course the answer is always yes). I’m going to feel terrible tomorrow, oh fuck it let’s drink anyway. oh god, i should stop, oh god is there enough booze, someone should go and buy more. oh god i drank too much my life is a misery my can’t i just drink less and enjoy it why am i pouring it in with no signs of stopping.”

to contrast that delightful picture, sobriety is a Place To Go To Have A Break From That Shit. It’s place where there is relief from the noise. it’s weirdly calm and peaceful in sobriety. it’s like a vacation.

Cindy (day 6):  “I have been working on not drinking since November 2011 (after 30 years). Since that time I have put together lots of pearls of sobriety.  Some made up of 60 days and others 10 days.  I have never relapsed, only had one day slips.  I joined the 100 Day Challenge because I think it is time to put together a number of continuous days of sobriety. I don’t like the feeling of always being at risk of going back to drinking away my feelings. I think a stretch of continuous sobriety would ease that fear” [emphasis added].

Sobriety. A place to go where you can feel less afraid. A place to get away from fear. OK, sometimes in sobriety you feel shitty and have sucky days. you had sucky days while drinking, too. But in sobriety you don’t have to be afraid anymore. There are other cool people in the sober place, on the sober vacation. They are there with you, saying “yeah man, i was dying out there, glad i got here.”  and you can be unsure and knock-kneed. you can think “my problem isn’t as bad as theirs, i don’t need to do this sobriety thing.”

But there’s no denying it. Sobriety is a resort vacation that is BETTER than advertised. You know those luxury 4 star all inclusive resorts that turn out to be dumps when you arrive?  Well, sobriety is the opposite of that. It’s waaaay better than the photos, so much better in fact that it’s almost impossible to describe. You’ve got to come here to see it for yourself.

You might as well try it.

Leigh: Thanks! Think I’ll just go ahead & do it this time

me: might as well see what all the fuss is about 🙂

Leigh: Better be worth it or you’re in big trouble!

me: satisfaction guaranteed or double your money back. we should have a bet.  a pool.  put in money. if you stay sober you win. ok, we don’t need a pool. you win more than money by being sober 🙂 🙂

Leigh: Win more & save more money by being sober. After all, I’ve never woken up the next morning after drinking thinking “I’m glad I did that. Money well spent.” Looking forward to being a real quitter!

Team 100 Update: 40 people have signed up, welcome to Kat (194), Katie (6), and DDG (33) — our newest members. I’m on day 294, Lilly is on day 42, MG is 14, Sunflower is 29, thirteenpointone is 321, Whineless is 23.  I’d love to have updates from TMcA and VP.