Can you be irritated about how long it takes? If you like …

waking up every morning to a inbox full of ‘i’m sober’ messages is a bit like christmas morning. All the messages, all of the genius observations.  some people flying, some groaning.  and yes, if i follow the christmas present metaphor, then some of the presents are wrapped awkwardly, some of the gifts are good-mixed-with-grief (I’m sober but my daughter is in the hospital; i’m sober but i feel crummy). Some are tiny gifts (“sober”) others are longer, chatty versions, like this one …

Malia: The strangest thing I’m finding, now at 30 days sober, is that my desire for alcohol is like gone, GONE. Of course I’m still thinking about it a lot, because it’s constantly on my mind, but it’s different now. Before it was, “okay so would I drink right now?” I knew deep inside I wouldn’t, but I always played that dumb game, like “do I want to?” And my answer was always “Duh! Yes!”

Well this weekend it seemed like a switch went off. My husband was gone Saturday night, and normally I’d be all like Party! But it seemed so distasteful to me. This is sorta a weird thing. I guess it’s good, I mean it’s great! I won’t assume the cravings won’t come back, I’m sure they will. Just like the title of your blog, I am truly getting tired of thinking about it all the time :). I’m getting sick of myself! I guess that means I might be ready to re-enter real life again.

this email reminds me of the distinction between cravings and thinking.  in the earlier days, I watched the clock, waiting to get through the witching hour. i’d have my tonic and cranberry juice ready right at 6 pm and i’d WAIT until 8:30 or 9:00 pm when i knew i was safe for the night.  slowly, bit by lurching bit, that tight feeling starts to fade.  then — just like Malia says — the desire to drink stops being a physical thing and shifts to being a thinking game.  Am i going to drink? No. Do i want to drink? maybe. Will i drink again in the future? Perhaps. Am i drinking today? No.

I remember, though, that when i got to around 30 days i just wanted it ALL to be done and over — the cravings AND the thinking.  On day 31 I wrote “are we there yet?” like it was a long car ride and i just wanted to be to the end of it.

thankfully, yes, the cyclic thinking loops do ease off. and yes, it’s possible to get to a place where crappy things happen and booze doesn’t even enter your mind as an option. Does it all happen in the first 30 days? No. Does it happen? Yes. Can you be irritated about how long it takes? If you like, but getting too irritated might wake up wolfie and then you’d have to start on day 1 again.  and that’s even more super irritating.  Instead, how about we be kind to ourselves during our impatience 🙂  We go for a run, declutter the drawers, scrub the floor. we drink homemade lemonade with rosemary, run ourselves a bath, climb into bed early, and we wait.

Team 100 update: Happy days to KT (30 days), Anathu (10), & Lawyer Anne (50).

dear lurker

Belle, what do you tell a young divorced mom of two kids, who knows inside her drinking is not normal?  The mom who has been reading your blog for a while now, after finding your blog from reading other blogs about woman and their drive to stay sober. Who knows a 100 day challenge will be, in fact a challenge? The past few years have been getting worse, she never drank daily.  Now its 1-2 bottles a day, most often passing out and not remembering going to bed.  Who has hidden bottles in the trash, cabinets, and finds glasses in strange places the next day. Tell her she will survive and still have fun at parties, gatherings without drinking when everyone else is?  Tell her that her relationship with her bf won’t change b/c he will be drinking and she will not.  Who is a daughter of an alcoholic mom who quit drinking more than 30 years ago. Who no longer can get up and workout daily @ 5am b/c she is hungover.  Who is scared to tell the world she has a problem or to tell her kids she is a failure b/c she can’t handle her alcohol consumption.  How do you tell her that it isn’t just a phase she is going thru? So what do you tell a lurker of your blog to convince her it’s time to sign up for the challenge when I am already thinking I will fail and never make it 100 days???? ~ thanks, lurker.

i have to say first that i love the way Lurker refers to herself in third-person: “what would you tell a woman who …” cuz don’t we all do that – consciously or unconsciously? We distance ourselves, talk about ‘someone else’.  it’s the stereotype of going to the doctor and saying “i have a friend who has a problem…”  But frankly, it’s a safer way to ask a question. Imagine how brave Lurker is to even ask this question, to type it up and email it to a complete stranger, and say “can i be helped or am i beyond helping” (which is what i think she’s really asking).

here’s my answer:

my dear, I would tell her that she is much stronger than she thinks she is, and that the booze itself can make her feel like she can’t do it. and that once the booze is removed, the self-esteem and the will and the determination come back, too.  and why would I lie about that 🙂  us sober girls are not some secret club. we have removed the booze and found something really cool inside.

of course you feel like you might fail. but some things would be different this time. you’d have some sober penpals to talk to. me and others if you want them.  you’ll have blogs to read and comment on. you’ll have support.

and man-oh-man I think we can move mountains with support 🙂  alone? you’ve tried that already … with support? a whole new adventure 🙂

but really, I’d tell her that if she has tried other shit that hasn’t worked, it might be a time to try some new shit – like some continuous days of sobriety – to see how she feels when the booze is gone 🙂  She’s going to like it.  double your money back 🙂

love, belle xo

ps/ there’s a woman in the group who’s been in and out of treatment, marriage in jeopardy, who found it hard to commit to 4 hrs at a time, let alone days.  she emailed me every 4 hours during her first days. Today she emailed me this: “10 days, double digits!  Holy shit. Well, I have been here before. Here in the sense of 10 days sober (not many times). But I’ve never been HERE. Never with this strength and energy. Never with the resolve I feel.” Another woman, once she got about 14 days sober, turned a corner and emails every now and then to say she’s fine, but isn’t feeling scared anymore.  Someone else is on day 118.  And me, personally, i’m in no way permanently ‘safe’ but I am on day 3xx today.

edit: here’s her response:

Reading your email, I cried b/c a complete stranger has faith in me when I don’t myself. THANK YOU for responding. Everything I have done worthwhile or excelled at, I had support.  I often can’t make big or sometimes even small decisions (which I never noticed until recently) without support. I’m thinking it’s time to ask for a little support.  Funny, my oldest son who is almost 14 said to me last week, “Mom, why not let someone help you once in a while”  and that was about something so little, taking up an offer [for a drive] b/c I had to go into work early. Even my son knows I am not one to ask for help. Thanks, Lurker.

Team 100 update: 90 members, welcome to Rebecca (65), Sara (9), and Suzanne (2).  Happy days to Jen & Debra (5 months today!), Lynda (and Mr. Lynda) (70), Ellen (40 yesterday), DDG (70), Brandy (20), Lane (50 yesterday), Mr. Belle (40), Katie (7), Debbie (14), Allison (30 yesterday), Allie (7), Chelsie, Anna & Erika (21 yesterday), Helene, Mae, Leah & Elle (14 yesterday), Sam (10), Mel & Zenmeg (7 yesterday).

letter to the husband

M. emailed and said that while her husband is supportive, he might be missing his weekend-drinking-pal. And it’s nearly the weekend. So I wrote this letter for her.

Dear Husband,

I know you love me a ton. I know you do. But there’s something weird going on in my head that I can’t quite explain to do with booze.  I know you don’t have this same weird thinking that I do.  And it’s hard to show you the inside of my head.  Lemme just say this: I’m going to try, for now, a period of time without any alcohol at all, just to see how I do.  I know you’ll want to be supportive of me, even if it doesn’t quite make sense to you.  [Just like monster trucks, fishing, and stupid male sports don’t really make sense to me.]  I know you want me to be happy and to sleep through the night, and I know that if you could see inside my head, you’d agree that it would be great if we could get this fucking noise in my head to shut up.  Anyhow, this is how I’m trying to do it – with a period of time without alcohol. It might be 100 days, it might be longer.  I promise I will still be hilariously fun but this is something I’m doing for me. I know that if I wanted to run a marathon, let’s say, that you’d be on the sidelines cheering even if you thought it was fucking retarded to run 42 kms.  Well, this is the same but different. And I’ll promise lots more sex cuz I won’t fall asleep early anymore or wake up hung over.  Remember morning sex?

Love, your wife

Team 100: 87 members (i had someone registered twice).  Happy days to Lilly (21), MG (10), Carrie (75), Sunny Sue (80), Paula (20), Sam (7).  Happy flying day to Simpson Sister (35).

It’ll take more than icing …

Bracelet update: So when i put up the bracelet picture yesterday, i didn’t really expect that the 10 available would get scooped up in about 4 hours …  If you’d like an email when there are more available, you can sign up here.  All going well, i should know mid-next-week.  Monday is a holiday in the US so things are moving slowly in anticipation …

i’ve had a weirdly long day, spent hours learning how to frost a birthday cake, with about 30 minutes to spare before the client picked it up.  i made the mistake of telling her the frosting was ‘butter, icing sugar + vanilla’ because that left out a bit of food coloring which would have made putting light frosting on dark cake easier. i also told her no shortening (again, what do you think is in the icing at the grocery store?). yes, i’m doing catering from scratch, with real food. and yes, that means sometimes that my head can nearly fly off when it doesn’t smooth, set, or behave like the store-bought-junk does.

combine frustrated fucking icing with weather that was LITERALLY hailing, a very sore throat which i know equals laryngitis coming up. oh i had a big case of the fuck-its.

so right at the end of the catering job, even before she had picked up the cakes (god, yes, there were two cakes), i toyed with two ideas: (1) having a glass of wine and calling it quits – everything – the blog, the challenge, and the catering.  fuck all of it.  (2) i figured i’d email the cake woman, tell her to come get her cakes no charge, and i’d say to her “i’m never icing another fucking birthday cake again, please get these out of my house.”

Instead. I had a bath. i remembered that my blog post from only DAYS ago, I was writing to me, telling me that when i’m tired/overwhelmed, that i often feel like quitting everything. catering included.

After my bath I got an email from the woman about the cake:

Cake overdose… we loved it! The flavor was wonderful! The cake subtle lemon flavor n the frosting came out very good, bravo coz it was a success. I’ve given my friend n neighbor ur website because she n her kids had some cake too n they will definitely be ordering. She is half English n liked the that you make pies too. Thanks for the fairy dust, i’ll put some on the larger cake tmrw!! :)) Thank you again… So happy to find someone close by for homemade treats. the last lady who made cakes for me moved to TX. So it’s good to know you are here and not moving anytime soon 🙂

and i wrote this to colleen the day before yesterday, and it seems perfect now:

sleep.
let me tell you
it’s like
my new
drug
and this looks like
a poem
but
it’s not.

and now it’s 11:34 pm and i’m going to sleep. Let it save me from myself 🙂  let me wake up with a better attitude, good hair, and frosting that covers dark layers. let it fucking be sunny, or else.

oh, i can’t go to sleep before I do this:

Team 100 update: 89 members, welcome to Zenmeg (4), Mel (4), and Cam (15).  Celebrations for: Lilly (20), Emily (22), Victoria (62), Grace (11), Lawyer Anne (45), Lauren (60), Roxanne (30), Debbie (10), Erin (32), LilyUK (20), JG (20), Colleen (21), Em (15), and Jenna (12).  Me, i’m on day 327. and tomorrow i’ll be on day 328.  It’ll take more than icing to make me get out of my sober car …

The bracelet

IF YOU’D LIKE TO ORDER A BRACELET, I’VE MOVED IT HERE.

I chatted with Ellie from Shining Stones. she’s the lovely sober chick who made my custom “Fuck You Wolfie” bracelet.  She doesn’t usually work in aluminium and had to order in the bracelet for me.  Why did i want aluminium? it’s brighter than silver — i wanted something super shiny.  And it’s lighter in weight, so I barely even realize i have it on. and it’s also much less expensive than sterling silver. win-win.

I have no idea if this is really something you might like, but i did see a few excited emails with “where can i get my bracelet?” anyway, we’ll see what happens 🙂  once i have orders, i’ll finalize with Ellie, she’ll make and shape and bang and smooth and form.  then she’ll ship ’em to me and then i’ll send them out to you.

If you’d like to have a special Fuck You Wolfie bracelet just like mine (with secret powers!)

d--temp-fuckyouwolfie3 d--temp-fuckyouwolfie2 d--temp-fuck-you d--temp-fuckyouwolfie1

i think it has special powers

return to real life, after stay-cation, begins with my alarm going off at 6 a.m.

trudge with husband on the train to the countryside to present a big thing for his job. he needs help transporting about 7,500€ ($9825) worth of samples to a client. it’s not big stuff, and we’re unlikely to be robbed, but it takes two of us to carry it all.  we arrive 1.5 hrs later at the train station in the middle of nowhere, we get off with all of our stuff, and we stand in the rain near a bus stop, the designated meeting place, and are picked up by a company representative who whisks us off in her little car.

it is still pouring rain, and i’m being swung around in the back seat, head lolling from side to side, all the little european streets, the crazy round-abouts, trucks roaring out of nowhere, who can tell if we even have right away.  i try to close my eyes but the driver keeps speaking to me. i don’t speak her language as well as she thinks i do, and so i nod and close my eyes some more. and i hope she stops talking to me and instead watches the road more closely. couldn’t my husband ask her to slow down? are we there yet? it’s about 15 minutes and it’s very long.

we arrive at the big company headquarters.  pop open the trunk. unload. rain. There are only 3 bags.  We got off the train with 4 bags (of this i am sure). The fourth bag is not in the trunk of the car.  The driver says should we go back to the train station? My husband says “uh, yeah, we have to.” I say “i’ll say here” cuz i’m not getting back into that car. I drag the 3 bags alone into the building. I check in with security, hand over my drivers license in return for a visitor’s security badge.

i begin to unpack. I know my husband’s job well enough to start to set up.  And I do the math. How much product is in this one missing bag? (1,250€ / $1600). And who was carrying that bag when we got off the train? Me.

I wait. My husband and i have a friend who works at this company (who helped get the presentation arranged, we’re new here), and she comes to where I am waiting and we chat.  She’s just bought a new house, we talk about kitchen renovations.  do you want an open kitchen with the fish smell throughout your house? we wait for my husband and the driver to return.

she expresses some concern that the bag will not be found.  I assure her that my husband is good man, a lovely man in fact, and that he has earned this presentation. and that he ‘deserves’ this.  She is less sure. I say something like “this isn’t downtown New York” but she rolls her eyes.  I believe we have a 75% chance that the bag will be found, at the bus stop, just sitting there. That no one has picked it up, that the garbage man hasn’t come along and disposed of it.

45 minutes pass, i am worried and a bit sick. I have good faith that all will be well but i can’t figure out why it’s taking them so long. lots of traffic. my husband comes back with the driver, he gets out of the car, and then he goes and stands at the trunk of the car, waiting for the driver to open it.  The trunk? there must be something in the trunk. Yes, they have found the missing bag. it was on the side of the road, at the bus station, in the rain, for 45 minutes. Waiting to be picked up.

hugs and kisses and sorrys. our friend says to him, “you’re very lucky.” I say to my husband, “did you think it was there?” He says yes. I say, “i figured it would still be there, too.” The driver and our friend are both incredulous. who are these dreamers?  they got lucky.

there was champagne at the presentation, and during lunch, during celebrations; the driver had 5 glasses of champagne (i counted) and she didn’t eat.  husband and I drank OJ. we took the bus back to the train (the driver clearly wasn’t taking us anywhere at that point). we were back home by 4 pm and got into bed for a nap. the same bed. i like him today. he could nearly have divorced me.

I am sober. I wore my “fuck you wolfie” bracelet today. I think it has special powers.

i’m done with struggle

stay-cation day #4. slept 10 hrs. woke at 6:30 am, saw that i hadn’t slept long enough to guarantee a good day, so i rolled over, and slept till 9:15.  that’s better.

What follows here isn’t terribly interesting, unless you’re me.

But after nearly 8 years of marriage, my husband and i are now (finally) sleeping in separate beds.

I’m an unusually light sleeper, have been since childhood. My mother says i’d wake if an ant farted a block away. As a tiny baby, my parents had to give up “checking in on me” before they went to bed, because to touch the door handle was to wake me… If you combine this genetic predisposition (because my entire extended family (paternal) is unfortunately like this, super sensitive to sound, crappy sleepers, my parents don’t sleep in the same bed) — if you combine ME with a really tall man, who just happens to snore and thrash (like the members of his maternal side of the family, they’re all shakers-and-bakers when they sleep, and Mr. Belle’s parents don’t sleep in the same bed either) — well if you put ME and HIM together in a bed, no matter how large, one of us is going to be awakened 4-6 times per night.  That person would be me.

now that i’m sober, and most days are good days, i’ve really been finding the tired days harder to tolerate.  when i was drinking, I guess i was used to being tired all the time, was used to feeling 50% shitty most days. At nearly 11 months sober, I quite like feeling good.  and i HATE it when i feel sooo tired from Mr. Belle’s thrashing. he wakes in the morning, takes one look at my face, and he knows that he has tortured me all night.

And part of the reason i’ve been doing the 24-hr mini-vacations alone in a hotel has been simply to get one solidly good night’s sleep per month.

So about two weeks ago i asked if we could try an experiment.  i had been tired for a month it seemed. I asked if i could sleep alone for awhile, just to see … and after two nights i felt remarkably better.  dramatically different.  Since then we’ve been playing it a bit by ear each night. We go to bed together, read, talk, plan the next day.  and then he goes to the other room or stays, depending on general levels of tiredness, and what I have going on the next day.

Yes, I am able to get work done when i haven’t slept well.  Yes, I’m able to set my alarm and get up for catering after 5 hrs sleep.  But i hate my life when that happens.  It feels like pushing a truck uphill.  It makes everything feel ten times harder than it really is.  If i have a Booze Wolfie that talks shit about booze, then I also have an Exhaustion Wolf that comes out when i’m tired, and he says “you’re behind, you’re never going to catch up, your stuff isn’t good enough, why bother trying. This is all too hard, this is supposed to be your passion job.  you should quit this, you should stop doing this.  This is too hard.”

on the other hand, when i have had enough sleep, I can get up early, do the catering, and have NONE of that noise in my head. Nothing. Some mornings i even forget to turn on the radio, and i work for hours in silence without even noticing.  I just do my thing.  I work without STRUGGLE.

so me? i pick sleep. I’m going into this next phase of sober life with enough sleep. I’m giving up the idealized version of a married couple sleeping in the same bed, because it just doesn’t work for us.  It didn’t for my parents or his parents either.  I am no longer holding myself to ridiculous ideas of what is ‘good’ when it doesn’t work. (i used to think that if we didn’t in the same bed, that it was a slippery slope to divorce. just cuz.) Now I pick sleep, and i am packing up this idea of struggle and i’m putting it out with the recycling. i’m just not interested in struggle any more.  (there was a certain level of chaos and dysfunction i could tolerate when drinking that I just can’t do any more.) and yes I CAN make myself work when i’m tired … but why do it that way?  Why not, instead, give myself the very lovely gift of a good night’s sleep.  and I thankfully have a husband who’s more interested in a happy wife than which bed he sleeps in.  And, to quote him, he says “it doesn’t matter which bed i’m in.  i’m asleep.”

sleep.  makes my life possible without struggle.  makes me feel even.  it can be raining but if i’ve had enough sleep i don’t seem to care.  When i’m tired, everything seems hard. very very hard. and not worth it.  When i’m tired, i surf the web and find all the information and possibilities overwhelming.  I see people blogging recipes daily and i think “i can’t do that, i could never do that, it’s all too much, i should give up.” on the other hand, when i’ve had enough sleep, I see someone blogging their recipes daily and i think — well, she does her thing, and I do my thing.  (And frankly, my thing earns money and hers is sort of like mental masturbation).

I’m done with struggle.  I’m cutting open the box of struggle, i’m squishing sides flat, and i’m putting it out for recycling.  someone else can take home my struggle if they want it. I’ve been carrying it for a long time. 37 years probably. i seem to want to cry as i write that.  since i’ve been 9 years old, my life has been too hard for me.  in my new, happier life, i am sober, happily married, earning money, and i’m finally finally getting enough sleep.  i never would have done this if i was still drinking.

i’m done with struggle. you?

Team 100 update: KC (30), Malia (30), Kriss (30), Rachel (10), Debbie (7), Tammy (50), JMM (20).

it’s quiet – really quiet – inside and out

stay-cation thus far: 3 x good sleeps, 1 x 2-hr nap, 12 mini chocolate cupcakes (friday). batch of homemade donuts (today). we watched The Shawshank Redemption yesterday + a good/horrible TV show called Nashville. I ran yesterday and today, will run tomorrow. very little in the way of real cooking.

yesterday my only achievements were:  20 minute run and one load of laundry (i put it in, he took it out and hung to dry) … i mean, yesterday we went out for bfast, husband made tea and coffee during the day, then he made tuna sandwiches for dinner. today he started off my morning with eggs on toast (post-run) and then i made donuts. it’s 3:30 pm. no one’s thinking of lunch or dinner. no one cares.  it’s gray outside, but sunny in my head, which is all you can ask for. Neighbors are all away (holiday weekend) and you could shoot a cannon through downtown.  it’s quiet — really quiet — inside and out. tomorrow i’ll aim to achieve even less.  i will run and maybe start one load of laundry. that’s it. cuz my next 4 day long weekend is at the end of June so i want to make this one a good one …

Team 100: 86 members, welcome to Sam and Carolyn. Happy days to Carrie (70), Simpson Sister (30), Thirteenpointone (350), Anne (7), Grace (7), Erica (110), Lawyer Anne (41), Sunny Sue (75), PP (7), Marie (28), KT (21), Kristi (7), Erin (28), Anna (14), Nancy (7), Helene (7), Elle (7), Mae (7), & Leah (7).  Me, i’m on day 323. Happy Sunday 🙂

danger zone

What can you do when you feel like you’re getting near your danger zone …

  • you’re almost 30 days sober and you’ve NEVER managed to get past 30 days, and so you’re getting close to when you usually ‘fail’
  • you’re about to attend a wacky family event with super crazy dynamics, pressure, alcohol, and general nuttiness
  • you’ve been sober for a while but you can feel wolfie‘s voice getting louder; it’s not screaming yet, but you can see it coming – on the horizon
  • you have a flu, an accident, a setback at work, an argument with your husband (wife)

I mentioned to Heidi today that thinking about shit like this IN ADVANCE is like having a tornado disaster plan.  What will you do (and maybe even in what order)…

so you can see your disaster zone, it’s looming.  it’s the place where something ‘bad’ might happen.  how can you stay in your sober car and manage to drive around the disaster zone?

ok, here’s a big idea.  you’ll have to do something different from what you did last time. If last time you crashed straight into the pit, then maybe it meant that you didn’t have enough tools, enough support, or didn’t have a good enough plan (or didn’t implement the plan). For example, before i started this blog, i would quit drinking for a week at a time, but i had no real commitment to it. Just being in the grocery store was ‘danger zone’ enough for me to buy wine and drink it. So to be successful in the future in a grocery store, i needed a different kind of support… can’t really avoid grocery stores my whole life 🙂

So now, if you see something coming up that looks like a danger zone where you have previously ‘given in and drank’, you try something new to navigate the situation.  You can call your sponsor, go to a meeting, you can take some time to write and to read sober blogs.  You can email your sober penpal more than once that day. you can plan to have easy take-out meals. you can go to bed early.  you can declutter a few drawers (decluttering is weirdly calming). you can have a big bubble bath. and you can wait.

Heidi also added a hilarious twist to her tornado disaster plan:  “[If I feel like drinking], I will write about it.  I might put it in my blog or in an email to one of my sober friends, asking for advice.  After all, if it’s a good idea, someone will agree with me.”

imagine if we all had to get someone to agree with us that drinking was a good idea before we relapsed… that would certainly slow us down some!

Team 100 update: 84 members, welcome to Leah (4).  Virtual cake celebrations for Ellen (30), Victoria (55), Lane (40), Christina (40), Kirst (21), Allison (20), and J (who is 6 months today). I’m on day 320.

I am taking a 4-day mini vacation beginning tomorrow (staying at home this time) but will spend most of each day with technology turned off. So I will be a bit quieter than usual! You can enjoy the break from the noise of me!

“do you struggle with the possibility of moderation?”

Here’s a quick email exchange between Marie (day 24) and me. 

Marie: Do you still struggle A LOT with the possibility of going back to drinking, yet just in moderation?  Or did you come to that profound realization that drinking in moderation just doesn’t work for you?  I love, love, love your blog and I think I know the answer to this but what I’m wondering is whether that torment gets easier in time.  Maybe it’s just me that feels a terrible amount of frustration and shame even with the fact that I cannot control myself as I’d like to around alcohol.  I feel like I should be able to control myself and that it’s ridiculous that I’m so in love with my red wine.

Me: About moderation, I haven’t ever settled on anything.  I think thinking too hard is part of the problem. Sometimes I think I’ll try moderation LATER, but for now I’m happy with this.  Later is later. It’s over there. It’s not today. Today I’m doing this 🙂 I originally thought I was quitting for 30 days, or 60, or 90.  Now I’m on day 319.  I haven’t made any big statements of anything.  I’m trying very hard to NOT be black and white about anything because that tends to make me feel nervous. Instead, I am just stating the truth:  I feel better now than I did when drinking.  The rest I’ll figure out later … Later is later.  It’s over there. It’s not today. Today I’m doing this.

Marie: Your thoughts on moderation and quitting really hit home with me.  I have committed to 100 days and whether or not I stay alcohol-free forever or not, I know, without a doubt at this point, that my relationship with alcohol will be different. When I quit smoking over 4 years ago, it was only for a year because I couldn’t imagine my life without a smoke every now and then.  I realized after a year that my relationship with cigarettes was really fucked up and that I didn’t want to go back to that place of longing and addiction.  At this point, even when my asshole friend makes me smell the sweet tobacco smell of a freshly unwrapped cigar (knowing full well I won’t even cheat on a small puff of a cigar because of my poor relationship with tobacco) I can still confidently say no and move on.  I may very well one day have the same relationship with a glass of Merlot.  For now, one day at a time, right?  🙂

… although I must say, i used to think that i’d try moderation (really? would i really?) at one year sober, the closer i get to it, the less likely it seems. I’d miss out on message like this one from Lily UK this morning:  “… Anyway Belle, even if I have to stay in [on Friday night] (also fabulous) and knit … I ain’t going to a pub, I ain’t going to drink. I’m never, ever, ever, going back there again. Wolf can scream, cry, kick, cajole, whisper sweet nothings in my ear, tell me all day long how boring life will be without alcohol how amazing life will be with it. Fuck off wolf Im not listening, I’m never going back. Sobriety rocks, it’s totally cool & trendy to be sober x love me, empowered lilyuk x.”

Team 100 update: 83 members. Welcome to new members: Em (7), Megan (4), Mary (4), Erika (10), Workerbeesc (4), Nancy (3), Helene (3), Elle (3), Jenna (4), Mae (3), Jackie (33), Diane (39).

Celebrations for: Amy (160), Emily (14), J (180), Sober Journalist (40), Mr. Belle (28), Katie (40), Roxanne (22), Chelsie (10).