Wednesday Celebration Roundup

(i haven’t posted a roundup since July, so this list is longer than usual).

If we are sober penpals, then we email all the time and I keep track of your dates. Then i can celebrate you online (here) when you hit the big milestones. like these ones:

Happy Day 50 to JasJet

Happy Day 50 to Sandal!

Happy Day 50 to Sober Julie Mtl!

Happy Day 50 to CarolynW!

Happy Day 50 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 50 to Brissie!

Happy Day 50 to Chum!

Happy Day 50 to Happiersober!

Happy Day 50 to drinkdodger!

Happy Day 50 to LightningBug45!

Happy Day 50 to BelayOn!

Happy Day 50 to Sargeant!

Happy Day 50 to Fly Over Girl!

Happy Day 50 to Flora!

Happy Day 50 to NMD!

Happy Day 50 to Edison!

Happy Day 50 to Franci!

Happy Day 50 to Moneyfortreats!

Happy Day 50 to Nayana!

Happy Day 50 to Miranda!

Happy Day 50 to Barbs!

Happy Day 50 to Daffodil Princess!

Happy Day 50 to Andpops!

Happy Day 50 to SoberNevertheless!

Happy Day 50 to Lee the Pea!

Happy Day 50 to Glanville!

Happy Day 50 to Sobersusie!

Happy Day 50 to Lena!

Happy Day 50 to Sparky!

Happy Day 50 to Granite Angel!

Happy Day 50 to JenJen!

Happy Day 100 to Aleesjourney!

Happy Day 100 to Veeee!

Happy Day 100 to Pilates Queenie!

Happy Day 100 to Miss Nelson!

Happy Day 100 to Ohnarn!

Happy Day 100 to Nell!

Happy Day 100 to SterlingGhost!

Happy Day 100 to Amazon Sister!

Happy Day 100 to ShelT!

Happy Day 100 to Bayleaf!

Happy Day 100 to Peppercorn!

Happy Day 100 to karin!

Happy Day 100 to Blackbird!

Happy Day 100 to Lheras!

Happy Day 100 to Jennifer 2.0!

Happy Day 100 to Da!

Happy Day 100 to lageeg!

Happy Day 100 to Janey!

Happy Day 100 to pinkclouds!

Happy Day 100 to Marie Louise!

Happy Day 100 to KeysKathy!

Happy Day 100 to Terry Kate!

Happy Day 100 to Flyfishingdude!

Happy Day 100 to Timely!

Happy Day 100 to Wilder!

Happy Day 100 to Versa!

Happy Day 100 to Moi!

Happy Day 100 to Suzabelle!

Happy Day 180 to Jane Marie!

Happy Day 180 to Carly!

Happy Day 180 to A Free Willow!

Happy Day 200 to Coffeegirl!

Happy Day 200 to AMA!

Happy Day 200 to Lotus!

Happy Day 200 to SoberSeasideSally!

Happy Day 300 to Happy Day 200 to Twisty!

Happy Day 300 to Happy Day 200 to KeyLes!

Happy Day 300 to Happy Day 200 to C-J!

Happy Day 300 to Happy Day 200 to Jacci2!

Happy Day 300 to Happy Day 200 to Simon’s Mom!

Happy Day 300 to Mary Elizabeth!

Happy Day 300 to Lovinrunning!

Happy Day 300 to Serenity Now!

Happy Day 300 to Evita87!

Happy Day 300 to Greenyj1!

Happy Day 300 to Jaded!

Happy Day 300 to MindfulMe!

Happy Day 300 to Ishmael!

Happy Day 300 to Lex!

Happy Day 300 to Kay!

Happy Day 300 to Shel!

Happy Day 300 to Mamabird!

Happy Day 300 to ECP!

Happy Day 300 to SG!

Happy Day 300 to Katrinka!

Happy Day 300 to Hidcote!

Happy Day 400 to Trigirl!

Happy Day 400 to Rehc!

Happy Day 400 to Sadie2015!

Happy Day 400 to JI!

Happy Day 400 to vstuart!

Happy Day 400 to RainyPNW!

Happy Day 400 to Stanley!

Happy Day 400 to Leener!

Happy Day 400 to Smokey!

Happy Day 400 to Sobe the Lion!

Happy Day 400 to Lordi!

Happy Day 400 to Ket!

Happy Day 400 to LD4ME!

Happy Day 400 to Mlodius!

Happy Day 400 to Frog!

Happy Day 400 to Bug June!

Happy Day 400 to MiMoMa!

Happy Day 400 to Lars!

Happy Day 400 to Nan!

Happy Day 400 to Flyaway!

Happy Day 500 to Leila!

Happy Day 500 to Maggie Mo!

Happy Day 500 to lmichel!

Happy Day 500 to LinZeeLou!

Happy Day 500 to BalanceBeam!

Happy Day 500 to BirdSetFree!

Happy Day 500 to Mia!

Happy Day 500 to Sobriety Unlocked!

Happy Day 500 to AuntieMame!

Happy Day 500 to Renne in Rochester!

Happy Day 600 to Newg!

Happy Day 600 to Leigh Ann!

Happy Day 600 to RossFSU!

Happy Day 600 to 35&changing!

Happy Day 600 to SoberSparkles!

Happy Day 600 to MrsWooly!

Happy Day 600 to NatureNancy!

Happy Day 600 to Kaycee!

Happy Day 600 to Blou!

Happy Day 600 to RetiringPartyGirl

Happy Day 600 to Peewit!

Happy Day 600 to Lavender!

Happy Day 600 to Gina!

Happy Day 600 to Helen!

Happy Day 600 to Gomez!

Happy Day 600 to Mummabear!

Happy Day 600 to Loz!

Happy Day 600 to jaylee!

Happy Day 600 to MrsRoberts!

Happy Day 600 to Lizzytish!

Happy Day 600 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 600 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 700 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 700 to SueW!

Happy Day 700 to Roadtosoberville!

Happy Day 700 to Lacie!

Happy Day 700 to KiKi71!

Happy Day 700 to Honey Bear!

Happy Day 700 to Resiliensea!

Happy Day 700 to true.d.true!

Happy Day 700 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 700 to Blondie!

Happy Day 700 to Jamie-Tampa!

Happy Day 700 to Capt. Unwined!

Happy Day 700 to Tiger2018!

Happy Day 700 to Honoring Grace!

Happy Day 700 to Boozy Betty!

Happy Day 700 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 700 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 700 to Sisty!

Happy Day 700 to SohoCat!

Happy Day 700 to Ashley!

Happy Day 700 to Gracie514!

Happy Day 700 to Indy!

Happy Day 700 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 700 to Rachel E!

Happy Day 700 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 700 to Inspired!

Happy Day 700 to Calypso!

Happy Day 700 to Allie!

Happy Day 700 to Bunnie!

Happy Day 700 to Liz!

Happy Day 700 to Girl Named Sam!

Happy Day 700 to Meadowmuffins!

Happy Day 700 to Jeans!

Happy Day 700 to Sallyd!

Happy Day 700 to AmandaJ!

Happy Day 700 to Jena14!

Happy Day 800 to Ruby!

Happy Day 800 to Hollm!

Happy Day 800 to Reg!

Happy Day 800 to Bemmy Girl!

Happy Day 800 to BattleMatt!

Happy Day 800 to *Maverick!

Happy Day 800 to April!

Happy Day 800 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 800 to unduped!

Happy Day 800 to Tsilver!

Happy Day 800 to vmd free!

Happy Day 800 to Lippy!

Happy Day 800 to Tierrazul!

Happy Day 800 to Nomobsing!

Happy Day 800 to Hollykate!

Happy Day 800 to JT Weir!

Happy Day 800 to Edi!

Happy Day 800 to Leftcoastgirl!

Happy Day 800 to Dry Ginger!

Happy Day 900 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 900 to Reenie!

Happy Day 900 to Imara!

Happy Day 900 to Conn!

Happy Day 900 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 900 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 900 to Patten!

Happy Day 900 to KT Web!

Happy Day 900 to CaseyM!

Happy Day 900 to Surfrider11!

Happy Day 900 to Runnergirl!

Happy Day 1000 to Lanza!

Happy Day 1000 to Chell!

Happy Day 1000 to Joziegurrl!

Happy Day 1000 to Franny!

Happy Day 1000 to Husband #1!

Happy Day 1000 to TJ!

Happy Day 1000 to SoberInMtl!

Happy Day 1000 to ScrubJay!

Happy Day 1000 to Binkles!

Happy Day 1000 to Elis!

Happy Day 1000 to Lydster!

Happy Day 1000 to TrixeeK!

Happy Day 1000 to Fern!

Happy Day 1000 to Coco!

Happy Day 1000 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 1000 to Suzie Jay!

Happy Day 1000 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 1000 to NS Runner!

Happy Day 1000 to Case Study Michelle!

Happy Day 1000 to Truleah!

Happy Day 1000 to Pohenix!

Happy Day 1000 to ChellyBelly!

Happy Day 1000 to KAB!

Happy Day 1000 to Hughie!

Happy Day 1100 to JP!

Happy Day 1100 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 1100 to Gypsygirl!

Happy Day 1100 to Tree!

Happy Day 1100 to Lucia!

Happy Day 1100 to Juliejean123!

Happy Day 1100 to Ami!

Happy Day 1100 to Sooz!

Happy Day 1100 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 1100 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 1100 to Linley!

Happy Day 1100 to Cal!

Happy Day 1200 to Gordon!

Happy Day 1200 to Unwinedgal!

Happy Day 1200 to Meraki!

Happy Day 1200 to Heya Monster!

Happy Day 1200 to Shorttermnoterm!

Happy Day 1200 to AnnieB!

Happy Day 1200 to Whitbell25!

Happy Day 1200 to Ginette!

Happy Day 1200 to Lilac!

Happy Day 1200 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 1200 to Silver Birch!

Happy Day 1200 to Mil!

Happy Day 1200 to Seekingpeace!

Happy Day 1200 to Yoda!

Happy Day 1200 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 1200 to MJP!

Happy Day 1200 to Inky!

Happy Day 1200 to Graceful!

Happy Day 1300 to TK!

Happy Day 1300 to Julie-Joy’s Sister!

Happy Day 1300 to Faye858!

Happy Day 1300 to me-fixing-me!

Happy Day 1300 to mythreesons!

Happy Day 1300 to Honner!

Happy Day 1300 to gingerade!

Happy Day 1300 to SophieSomething!

Happy Day 1300 to Jock!

Happy Day 1300 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 1300 to Miss M!

Happy Day 1300 to Coffeecuphead!

Happy Day 1300 to Kitkatpaddywack!

Happy Day 1300 to 1035!

Happy Day 1300 to Jayda!

Happy Day 1300 to Frankie!

Happy Day 1300 to LJ63!

Happy Day 1400 to Summer Walking!

Happy Day 1400 to Turcotte!

Happy Day 1400 to Jennetic!

Happy Day 1400 to Souther Magnolia1013!

Happy Day 1400 to Maureen!

Happy Day 1400 to Library Girl!

Happy Day 1400 to Joannie!

Happy Day 1400 to Chace!

Happy Day 1400 to Junebug!

Happy Day 1400 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 1400 to Gabbygirl37!

Happy Day 1400 to TheMadnessStopsNow!

Happy Day 1400 to Elly!

Happy Day 1400 to 19Cathleen!

Happy Day 1400 to rexytime!

Happy Day 1400 to cocomac!

Happy Day 1400 to NewChris!

Happy Day 1400 to Jas!

Happy Day 1500 to Paris!

Happy Day 1500 to Shout444!

Happy Day 1500 to Midwestveggie!

Happy Day 1500 to Rah!

Happy Day 1500 to RoseMarie!

Happy Day 1500 to Janna!

Happy Day 1500 to Jacqui!

Happy Day 1500 to Kelz!

Happy Day 1500 to Petunia!

Happy Day 1500 to Dancing Rabbit!

Happy Day 1500 to Microlady!

Happy Day 1500 to AlexP!

Happy Day 1500 to Chefstarr!

Happy Day 1500 to Monique!

Happy Day 1500 to iphonebonnie!

Happy Day 1500 to chachi!

Happy Day 1500 to nomorepinot!

Happy Day 1500 to fleur!

Happy Day 1500 to chatsworth!

Happy Day 1500 to cricket!

Happy Day 1500 to shar!

Happy Day 1500 to kenney!

Happy Day 1500 to paulita!

Happy Day 1500 to artsmommy!

Happy Day 1500 to ish!

Happy Day 1500 to meagan!

Happy Day 1600 to CassieB!

Happy Day 1600 to Roisin!

Happy Day 1600 to Shelby!

Happy Day 1600 to Weenie!

Happy Day 1600 to 1111!

Happy Day 1600 to Manda!

Happy Day 1600 to Sober lemon!

Happy Day 1600 to PP!

Happy Day 1600 to Foxie!

Happy Day 1600 to Battersea Park!

Happy Day 1600 to Welles!

Happy Day 1600 to Gra!

Happy Day 1600 to SusieQ!

Happy Day 1600 to IrishDee!

Happy Day 1600 to GW!

Happy Day 1600 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 1600 to Annie!

Happy Day 1600 to Parsienne Knitter!

Happy Day 1600 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 1600 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 1600 to Janett!

Happy Day 1600 to tlecompte!

Happy Day 1600 to hcassstevens!

Happy Day 1600 to otherjosh!

Happy Day 1700 to Isabel!

Happy Day 1700 to Daybird!

Happy Day 1700 to Connie!

Happy Day 1700 to Hank!

Happy Day 1700 to Emery!

Happy Day 1700 to Going2pieces!

Happy Day 1700 to SoberP!

Happy Day 1700 to DeeN!

Happy Day 1700 to Moore!

Happy Day 1700 to abwalsh!

Happy Day 1700 to Crispy!

Happy Day 1700 to Kimf!

Happy Day 1700 to Rose!

Happy Day 1700 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1700 to Telling TheWords!

Happy Day 1700 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1700 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy Day 1700 to Lizzy!

Happy Day 1700 to OneDayAtATime!

Happy Day 1700 to KateF!

Happy Day 1700 to Wanting to be a sober mom!

Happy Day 1700 to Tammi!

Happy Day 1700 to Shell Bell!

Happy Day 1700 to RM!

Happy Day 1800 to Primrose!

Happy Day 1800 to Sadie!

Happy Day 1800 to SignGurl!

Happy Day 1800 to Jilly Bean!

Happy Day 1800 to Mylene!

Happy Day 1800 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1800 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1800 to Catherine Gray (day 1859 today)!

Happy Day 1800 to DianeLouise!

Happy Day 1800 to Pam!

Happy Day 1900 to Sharon!

Happy Day 1900 to LD!

Happy Day 1900 to Laurie!

Happy Day 1900 to Durf11!

Kristi Coulter (day 1944 today)!

Happy Day 1900 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1900 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1900 to Original Beth!

Happy Day 1900 to Leah!

Happy Day 2000 to JM!

Happy Day 2000 to Digs!

Happy Day 2000 to Carrie!

Happy Day 2000 to Amy!

Happy Day 2300 to me today!

calm within

from me:
on the flight home from canada, i had my usual truly-agitated moments. to be fair, flying sober is WAY better than it used to be. before i’d be sick with worry before, during and after, EVEN WHEN things were calm (anticipatory anxiety). now when i fly, i’m temporarily jiggled, ONLY to do with something that is specifically currently happening in the present, and then i reset back to zero as soon as it’s over.
but during, i have some routine things i say to myself. one is Stay Here. and then that has over time morphed into Calm Within.

the cool thing about ‘calm within’ is the double meaning. it’s ‘let’s feel calm on the inside, shall we?’ but it’s also about finding some calm within the agitation. so i count to 10 and then i force myself to be calm for a few seconds. then i jitter and wiggle for a count of 10, then i force myself to stop. of course, it can be done. the calmness isn’t my natural state but i can do it.

so while mr.B sat eating his steamed chicken and frozen vegetables, i was counting. and untensing.

the other thing about ‘calm within’ is finding the calm patches and relaxing when they happen. it’s not 24/7 tense. it’s tense, then oh look it’s smooth for a second, so then you can relax. then it starts up and then it stops again. the goal being to find the calm within the event.
this sort of reminds me of the experience of being in the palliative care ward when Mr. Cinnamon Toast was there. It was shitty. obviously. and there were moments of real sunshine, of laughter, of lobster dinner, of poop jokes.

the other mantra i have is about under-promising. but this is long so i’ll save that one for later today maybe? or tomorrow. Depends on how this hurricane thing goes. calm within. within you. within the event itself. find the tiny breaks.

 



some notes from my inbox:

leener (day 382): “I’m not an ‘art person.’ but i have *some* art in my house. Stuff i see that i like. usually colorful things that speak to me. i don’t know squat about skill or technique or meaning or whatever. so my (not very) snooty assessment of Mr. B’s art is this: i like it. i like to look at it. i like the colors. i like that it means something to me. i like that sometimes, the Exit is hard to find. But it’s there, you just have to keep looking. that’s some deep sober shit. but its also just a pretty thing to look at, and that’s cool too.”

~

amazon sister (day 82): “I had a great day yesterday, met with lovely friends, felt positive about so much. I’m back to feeling some uncertainty today and that may be due to how many life ups and downs I’ve had over the last few years, lots of uncertainty and financial insecurity, etc. and I covered the fear with almost nightly drinks. I’m getting better at feeling these things even though I don’t know what to do about them. I do hold a lot in, maybe checking in more and writing about me feelings will help. I put your duck pond photo on my bathroom mirror tonight and I have 2 of the cards in my current journal that is ready for me to write in. I so appreciate the services you offer, it is truly a special and a wonderful gift, creating better sober lives all over the planet. And what a great compliment Mr. B’s art is to the work! I also really appreciate your email updates, reading how you have everyday struggles is helpful in seeing my own. I hope you are rested and settled back in to being home!”

~

emsyface (day 260): “… I was at the centre, and one of the girls was talking about putting things on the walls to encourage. I imagined one of these paintings — a message to say ‘there is a way through somehow — an exit does exist’ Sometimes it’s about holding that belief for someone when they can’t themselves? Can you tell your hubby how much I like his art ?! xx”

~

W (day 123): “So, shitty news, cancer is growing again. I’m tired of fighting it. Wolfie says cancer is going to kill you anyways, why are you sober? I say I don’t know. Wolfie says why would you go on this epic family vacation with your aunts and uncles to Ireland and not drink with them? I say I don’t know. Wolfie says what’s the point of being alcohol-free? Especially when you know that wine will take the edge off the pain? I say I don’t know.
Sitting in my car crying. I just don’t know anymore. about anything, what’s the freaking point?
i guess when I get too busy and don’t appreciate the life I have the Lord, or the universe, or whoever or whatever’s out there slaps me down to make me appreciate what I have.
and when I tell people in my family that my cancer is growing again, I have to f****** comfort them. Because I’m the caretaker, I’m the mama, I’m the matriarch. Who comforts me? Wolfie? Wine? F*** that.
I actually feel a little better having emailed you because generally I can’t say things like that to people. Thank you for listening, or (as the case may be) reading.”

~

[What do you think I replied to W? Add your ideas below, and then tomorrow I’ll pick the comment that seems closest to what I said (in tone, in content) and that person will get a $20 podcast bundle.]


the artist: Mr. Belle
Acrylic & Ink on paper, unframed, mailed flat
30 x 42 cm (11.75″ x 16.75″)
if booze is an elevator that only goes down,
you can step off now. find the exit.
get off and stay off

I wish I could drink as much as I want and not suffer any consequences

from my daily micro-email sent September 12, 2018

if booze is an elevator that only goes down, you can step off now. find the exit. get off and stay off. (sortie is ‘exit’ in french)
original painting #93 here today.

from me:
this is wednesday. we are home after 20 days of working ‘off-site’ while visiting in-laws, and travelling (mostly being lost) in the US. on the way home from the airport yesterday, as I sipped espresso and ate a power bar to try to wake myself up, mr.B says, “I didn’t tell you this before, but there’s a hurricane warning, a million people on standby for evacuation.” He didn’t use these words, of course, because he doesn’t speak english with words like ‘standby’. the reason he hadn’t told me, is because of my long-standing agitation about flying, and the self-imposed blackout on news that i have, but even MORE SO right before a flight. something bad happened in a plane yesterday? i don’t want to know. doesn’t change me having to get on the plane…
i’m easily wound up, so i have to filter the ‘news’ so i don’t get overwhelmed. and i guess husband knows me well enough to not tell me things that’ll exacerbate my shaking with fear, which i did only 3 times the plane yesterday, grabbing his arm. the rest of the time i happily worked on my laptop and unhappily did not eat the profoundly bad food (thanks air canada).
flying, for me, is like being sober. i do my best to keep my head attached even if it means doing things differently from other people. i reach out and bruise my husband’s arm when required, not often, but i do. when the anxiety stops, i go back to my shitty meal or my laptop. i don’t dwell. though why they continue to serve the shitty meal while it’s bumping around, i have no idea — oh wait, it’s because the bumping around is trivial — it doesn’t mean anything. the flight crew are bored with it. they keep pouring coffee…
i want to share more of the ‘stay here’ philosophy that developed on a bumpy flight in the next email, but also i’ve got some new mantras that i now say during times of anxiety…

some notes from my inbox:

pippa: “just want to say thank you for your emails. They make me feel like I’m in a posse of people who are doing this amazing thing. When I feel on the periphery of the world — cos it looks like everyone else is merrily drinking (even though I know logically this is not the case) — knowing that there are other women [and men] who have made the same excuses, wondered if they were making a mistake going AF (because, you know, I’m not THAT bad), and who go from feeling on top of the world about their decision to feeling shit and weird — makes the difference. Something has shifted for me fundamentally so I’m 10% conflicted but 90% happy and that part of me keeps getting bigger and more certain.  It used to be the other way round. I feel like I’m in a cool gang now.”

~

sobriety shingles: “I’m so glad mr b is enjoying doing this, I love them. Does he know how much the the little exit sign helps us? What it communicates to us? How evocative it is? I’d like to order more, I hope he doesn’t tire of this theme yet, I sure haven’t! Thank you, Belle, for everything.  Et merci monsieur b.”

~

S: “Hi Bella, I don’t normally reply to your emails … the main reason I am a lurker is because I don’t yet fully believe I have an issue with alcohol (although maybe I do since I am here!). I’m more of a binge drinker 2-3 times a week rather than a every day drinker. Which I know is just as bad but I have been reading your emails and I feel that I am starting to see the light …  it’s now Thursday (here in New Zealand) and I have yet to drink again since last Saturday, not because I have stopped myself but because I just don’t want to! seriously this is such a new feeling for me and a lot to take on board especially since I am actively working to manage my anxiety and depression (meds and psychologist).”

~

DaniZ: “honestly, i just feel angry tonight. At the end of the lesson, you have the ‘take a moment and imagine day 140’. I can’t. I DO feel broken, although I liked the part about when you stop drinking, the craving goes away. I know that to be true, but right now, that experience was too long ago, and so the ‘knowing’ is an in my head knowing, not a head AND heart knowing. So yeah, I’m just fucking pissed off right now, and feeling sorry for myself. I have a million and one things to be happy about and grateful for, and I am just heavy in the pout mode. I seriously wish that I could drink as much as I want and not have to suffer any consequences. How fucking childish is that? I’m 48 for god’s sake! Sorry. Totally crappy email, and rather than put it in my journal, I am sending it to you. Which hardly seems like a nice choice, but I am hoping that being honest with my feelings might help.”

broken plumbing, family squabbles, existential crises

from me:
after i sent my earlier message to say thank you I got some really lovely responses, so now i get to say thank you again 🙂

~

doug: “Wow. Humbly, I say you’re welcome. You thanking us.  I wasn’t expecting that. God, thank YOU so  much for everything.
Gratitude, true gratitude is precious. I try to recognize when I am grateful and stop and appreciate it. I realized recently that I felt like I was missing something. I thought about it. I realized that the feeling of gratitude had been absent lately. Not because I had anything less to be grateful for. I’d simply been too busy to appreciate my life. I love this email.  Thank you again. For giving me a reason to pause and give thanks. ~big hugs”

fatgit: “Well, that’s nice, if entirely redundant. Thank you too for giving me a life worth living. X Da”

emsyface: “That’s so good to hear (about mr.B). Makes such a difference when the other person is feeling good about themselves.”

honeybadger: “Just purchased the latest Mr. B work of art. I would have liked to pay more but have been on maternity leave (without getting paid) and daycare expenses start soon so money is tight right now. Didn’t want Mr. B to think it was a reflection on its value. I anticipate going back to work will be hard on many fronts so I plan on keeping the painting at work as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Playing it forward and remembering life in the sewer is always helpful when shit gets rough.”

peewit: “This is really lovely. A bit of a glimpse into belle-world, which I know you share plenty of but this is different, more like the doors opened a bit wider and we can see a bit more of you because this is you in relationship. And of course you don’t spill the guts of your relationship with us generally but as humans are relational beings – whether we like it or not 😉 – seeing how someone else ‘does’ relating is basically a teaching aid. And the way you’re willing to try to support each other, even when there’s struggles and differences and shit going on, that’s a door opening on to a lesson for most of us (most of us being people who do NOT like reaching for our own door handle even when we know we’re trapped). … Thanks so much for sharing belle, bless you and mr belle, xxxxx”

sobersusie: “I somehow missed that these are Mr. B’s creations. Well done! How exciting. Good for him.  May he continue creating! Thank you Belle for your presence in our lives. I hope you go to bed each night and feel you’ve made a difference in people’s lives because you have.”

happygal: “Overjoyed to read this. So happy you and Mr B are feeling fulfilled. We all love you Belle. Thank YOU for the seismic shift you’ve created in the sober world ”

LVL: “You are so special!! Blessed to have heard about you and you help make this struggle and climb easier!! Without Mr B, Mrs B would be different I guess. So in a sense the thanks goes to him for supporting you as well. Wanting to make you proud (like a verrrry young mom in a different country).  Hugs and lots of love from a sober and level LVL x”

fridgkit: “Thank you, Belle, for getting me to Day 36. For make my me believe that each day can be different and better. Thanks for your fiction and Mr. B’s art. And thanks for starting all this yourself, all those years ago. Broken plumbing, family squabbles, existential crises—I’ve weathered them all this week. Knowing you are there has been a big help!”


Exit painting

If booze is an elevator that only goes down, you can exit now. Find the door. Get out. Exit.

These are original EXIT paintings, done by MrBelle. each one is an original, they’re not prints. so there’s only one of each available. to see today’s new painting, go here.

Wednesday Celebration Roundup

If we are sober penpals, then we email all the time and I keep track of your dates. Then i can celebrate you online (here) when you hit the big milestones. like these ones:

Happy Day 50 to Lheras!

Happy Day 50 to Scrappy!

Happy Day 50 to Wave-Spirit!

Happy Day 50 to Jennifer 2.0!

Happy Day 50 to Hat Trick!

Happy Day 50 to Da!

Happy Day 50 to Allison!

Happy Day 100 to Jane Marie!

Happy Day 100 to Reenster!

Happy Day 100 to Carly!

Happy Day 100 to Alligen!

Happy Day 180 to Mary Elizabeth!

Happy Day 200 to SerenityNow!

Happy Day 200 to Ana Maria!

Happy Day 200 to Prissy!

Happy Day 200 to Lhaschnoodle!

Happy Day 200 to Happy Day 200 to unpuzzlingpatti!

Happy Day 200 to wildflower!

Happy Day 200 to emsyface!

Happy Day 200 to jenwithoutwine!

Happy Day 400 to Dry Ace!

Happy Day 400 to Leila!

Happy Day 500 to Karebear!

Happy Day 500 to RRH!

Happy Day 500 to Goldie!

Happy Day 600 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 600 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 600 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 700 to Gene!

Happy Day 700 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 700 to TJS!

Happy Day 700 to RubyHarper!

Happy Day 700 to Poppy!

Happy Day 900 to Auds!

Happy Day 900 to Kaffy B!

Happy Day 900 to Debbie!

Happy Day 900 to KLC!

Happy Day 900 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 1000 to Hughie!

Happy Day 1200 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to Jenuful!

Happy Day 1300 to Sean!

Happy Day 1300 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 1300 to Mel P!

Happy Day 1400 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 1400 to Festie!

Happy Day 1400 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1500 to Sanfransober!

Happy Day 1500 to Lara!

Happy Day 1600 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 1700 to Janet!

Happy Day 1700 to Denise!

Summer Rescue Audios

One new audio each day for 5 days in a row.

Each audio will be 3-5 minutes long. Perfect for a reset, when your brain is running all over the place.

Topics: alternative drinks, how to deal with a fuck-it moment, ‘my sober summer is awesome because …’, dealing with cravings that come out of nowhere triggered by a song/situation/memory, and dealing with triggers books and TV where people are drinking a lot…

Hugs, Belle xo

P.S. If you’re a monthly podcast subscriber,you’ll get a copy of these audios automatically. Not a podcast subscriber? You can do that here if you like. Or just take this one week of audios as a stand-alone thingy.

Sober Summer Rescue Audios … go here 🙂
https://gum.co/SP-Summer-1

protect that shit

from AnnaD (day 86):

“Heavy drinking is like time travel. Each year of drinking is five years of actual life. It’s why relapses are time-sucking vortices, into which whole decades can be devoured like so many Cool Ranch Doritos. This makes falling off the wagon a much longer trip than the cute aphorism suggests. The wagon is much higher up off the ground than you’d think — if you dismount, you will fall a long, long time before you hit even a high bottom. Claw your way back on. It’s worth it. Because, like quitting smoking, almost everything is easier than the first part of quitting. Once you’ve done it, protect that shit like it’s sacred, because it fucking is.”

 

Senior Sober Workshop: Worth
(and senior just means you’re 200+ days sober)
registration begins Tuesday, July 17th
small group, live calls, homework, treat box in the mail
www.soberlinks.me/worth

Resentment

from my inbox

P:  “I’ve had some moments the past couple days but I’m determined to make it through … I’m still angry at my friends [about my birthday] and the world. I’m still hurt about their thoughtlessness. Oh and another thing that’s bugging me – I sent out like 50+ Xmas cards in the mail. I love getting some back in the mail and guess how many I got in return? Like 8. People just don’t care. Not like I care it seems. Makes me want to hate everyone right now. That’s how I feel.”

me: the thing about holding resentments (birthday/ Christmas cards) is that it’s wolfie winding you up so that drinking will seem like a good idea. as if hoiday cards mean anything. they don’t. you send them because you like sending them. you don’t send them so that you’ll get some in return. if you want a lovely birthday, you do it for yourself. that’s why being sober is about learning self-care.
when you outsource your self-care and count on other people to make things good for you, you will always be ‘disappointed’ and that’s wolfie territory right there. you’re learning now how to do this for yourself. that’s what being sober IS. it’s self-care. and it’s new. and it’s hard. and if you don’t like sending out cards, then don’t send them. but to drink because people like me get cards but don’t send them, is outsourcing your well-being to people like me who just don’t’ think about cards. 🙂 and don’t let wolfie tell you otherwise.

P:  “Omg, I never thought of it that way?! Like ever! Holy shit, this reasoning could change my whole perspective on things! YES! Now I feel sheepishly stupid about how I felt about my birthday and Christmas cards. Cause yes, I DO send them out expecting them in return (which never happens and then I feel shitty) and I DO expect others to make my birthday memorable (which is illogical thinking cause they have their own life and problems, they needn’t be responsible for my happiness). My husband has truthfully told me before (in exasperation I’m sure) that it’s so hard to make me happy, that I’m usually never happy, or that nothing anyone does ever lives up to my expectations. WOW truth!!!! OK, my mind is blown here. Thank you Belle for your honesty 🙂 I needed to hear that.”

how to travel (audio)

How do you stay sober when you're dealing with family, extra people, chaos, lack of sleep, and travel.

The advice I have for sober travelling will apply to you whether you are travelling or not, because you always have to be creating a space where you’re safe to be sober. 

And you know what? You need a lot more alone time than you think, so build it in. More in the full audio that is going out today to podcast subscribers.

Here's a clip where you can listen to a bit of the audio.

extract from Sober Podcast 254. How to Travel (You need more alone time than you think)

You can leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. Tell me the part that seems true for your experience ... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP254. How to Travel

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