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).

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).

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).

“cosmic reason?”

I received this email from A. today.

She writes:  “I  am usually suspicious of the type of thinking that subscribes to the notion that things always happen for some cosmic reason. I believe that most of the time, crap just happens.

However, I just had a hell of a shitty day yesterday… and I drank (please reset me to Day 1 in the challenge.) My husband and daughter forgot that it was Mother’s Day and I got very upset. (I know, I’m an adult. I should realize that people don’t do things like that on purpose and just GROW UP, but yesterday it really hurt.)

I used my upset as an excuse — a fuck everything and everybody excuse. And I spiraled into the very typical alcoholic thinking that I suck, I’m a bad mother, I’m a bad wife, no one appreciates me, blah, blah, blah. I drank because I felt I deserved to be able to drink since everything else was so sucky.

So when I was lying awake in bed this morning and beating myself up some more, I figured that I better close this email account and stop pretending that I could ever quit drinking because everyone else seems to get in their sober car and never look back — and I keep turning the fucking car around. I felt I ought to just tattoo a big L on my forehead for loser and go crawl in a hole.

Then I logged onto the computer and saw your post from yesterday…

“You may stop and start a bit, while you figure out how to get your sober car on the road. It doesn’t matter.”

 Wow — talking directly to what I was feeling (is there a cosmic reason at work?) Maybe I’m not such a gigantic loser… (although, I do have to own the fact that I failed yesterday.) I can’t say that I’m feeling confident — I’m not sure how to get there in my mind. But certainly more hopeful that I felt earlier.

And you can quote me because today, you got me back in the car.

~ from A.

My response:

I ‘do’ believe in signs, but more in the way that when you’re ready to hear something, then the message makes sense.  You might have read the same thing a month ago, but today it makes sense to you…

PS/ And those little shits for forgetting Mother’s Day! Really.  If it was me, though, I’d have been reminding them for weeks.  I announce my birthday for one full month in advance.  I also post a list of gifts on the fridge that would suit me.  Nobody fucking forgets my birthday, I assure you. Those shits…

Here are some Mother’s Day flowers for A.:

Source: Diane Turner
Source: Diane Turner, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcdlttx/132626781/

 

rose colored glasses

Let there be no mistake. Getting sober is not a walk in the park. It’s not easy.

On this blog, I tend to be positive. That’s my way. Yes, at times — particularly if you’re having a shitty day — my tone will be irritating. It might look like my sober life is a fucking bowl of European chocolate covered cherries trimmed with rose petals. And that your sober life is hard and scary and freaky and soaked in dog shit.

Me: In case there is any misunderstanding, my sobriety might look ‘pretty and rosy and divine and twinkling’. But it isn’t. Your sobriety might look heinous and difficult and shitty and not worth it.  But it isn’t. We’re both doing the same thing. Trying to get and stay sober. And we’re doing the same thing in our own way.

Not all of my sober penpals are having an easy time.  Yes, I post the good numbers:  “Hooray for A, she’s on day 157!”

Maybe you can understand, but I don’t post “XXX had a drink yesterday and asked that her number be reset to day 1.” But it happens.

Me: You may stop and start a bit, while you figure out how to get your sober car on the road. It doesn’t matter. There is no right way. There is only your way.”

If you are having a terrible sober day, or you’re having a low-motivation sober week, or if you really wish you could drink today — please don’t think that that means you’re alone. You aren’t.

Those of us who are cheerleader-y by nature are also real people.

Some things you may not know:

While I usually can find a way to focus on the positive — both in my sobriety and in my life — I’m also a big crier. I cried at least twice this week about the tiny-gift-button, AND i even thought about saying fuck-it and that wine would be a good alternative to wading into a sober internet quagmire.

I bet you also didn’t know that I thought about drinking today. Not in a concrete:  “i am going to drink” way, but in a “this would be a good time for a glass of wine” way.  Then I switched channels in my head, and thought about something else.  The feeling didn’t last very long, but it was there. I think that in coming up to my one year anniversary soon, wolfie is starting to say things to me like “well, certainly one year is long enough and since you never really gave moderation a try, you should at least give it a go.”

When i say something (or when I share a quote from a penpal) that is along the lines of “we feel better sober than we did while drinking,” that does NOT mean that we’re always happy about every single moment of every single day.  There are some days that fucking suck. Some sober days it seems to you like everyone has a glass of wine in their hands, and that everyone can drink responsibly so why can’t you, and it makes you want to throw something at the TV screen.  There are days where you’ve said NO to everything and everyrone,  and now you want to say YES to some wine cuz this shit is hard.

I can tell you what I do when this happens to me, when i feel like wine would be a good idea.  These techniques have been working for me up to know, and i hope to fuck they continues to work especially as my one year anniversary approaches.

Over time, thankfully, I learn to see wolfie coming from further away, and I make changes quickly and definitively to avoid collision.  If i have a series of low days, or if I feel the irritated ‘I want to drink’ idea starting up, then I blog about it. I tell someone — even my husband. I take some action and do something proactive, like pour out the booze in the house (or move its location), or whatever.  I start running every day until I’m sure the feeling has passed. Then I go back to normal.  Sometimes wolfie is silenced with one email, sometimes it takes a few blogs and a few long runs and a couple of good crying spells.

Whatever it takes.

Please don’t misinterpret the happy tone of my blogs.  It is not all sunshine. But the good sober days are very very good, and the bad days when drinking were horrid. I’m choosing to live in the good days. Sometimes i have my rose colored glasses on.

Yes, it sucks for all of us sometimes. For example, today is only 50% good day for me. I feel a bit sick, my chest still hurts from my fall 2 weeks ago (so i alternatively think it’s a heart attack or cancer rather than bruised ribs), the weather is a bit cold, it’s sunday and my weekend is over and i’m not looking forward to this week, i think I’m getting a cold (again).

But — here’s the shiny positive shit that you hate — having a 50% good day is still better than if I was drinking/boozing/hiding.  And I count on tomorrow being an 85% good day. That’s where i’m headed. if tomorrow still sucks — and i usually know as soon as I wake up what kind of day it’s going to be — then I will take action and go for a longer run before i even turn on my computer. I’ll have a very healthy breakfast, I’ll skip sugar for a day, I’ll blog more, i’ll say something to my husband about how i’m feeling. and I’ll wait.

To drink now would mean to start again at day 1.  and no matter how today feels, i never want to have a day 1 again. Maybe you don’t either. That’s worth putting on some rose-colored glasses for, yes?

I don’t walk in dog shit (Sunday Want Ad #2)

Did you just roll out of bed after a hellish night and you feel like a bag of shit?

Are you literally, right now at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning, searching online for sober help?

Yes, you. Yes I can see you through the computer screen.

WANTED

There’s a small bunch of us. We’re doing 100 days sober. Yes, in a row.

Benefits include great sleep, return of self-esteem, elimination of hangovers. Lots of support. Save $400 to $1000 a month by not drinking. Limited quantities available.

And this week, the first 9 people who sign up will receive a fast-action bonus: SECRET HOMEWORK to help with the first few days.

[Anath writes: I love the [secret homework], I feel excited and motivated by it. Genius!]

[MG writes: YES – the [secret homework] is pure brilliance.  The whole *** is amazing.  Why didn’t I ever think about that? …  I am quickly gaining resolve and determination as we speak.  I was sad and depressed a few days ago, but I’m not any longer.  I’m proud of myself.”] –yes, this is an actual email 🙂

Double your money back guarantee. Operators are standing by.

PS.

Are you the type to feel rebellious, and say “Why can’t I drink? Other people can drink. I feel so pissed off that I have to give up drinking. I should be ALLOWED…”

Is that you?  (yeah, me too!)

Well, the pouting, the “why can’t I drink,” comes from focusing on not being ABLE to.
But when you flip it on its head, and you turn it into a decision, then you get to say:

“I don’t drink because it’s not good for me.
I don’t do cocaine either.
There’s a whole list of things I don’t ingest
just because other people do.
I do what’s best for me.
I also don’t drive without a seatbelt
and I don’t walk in dog shit.
I am taking care of me.”

[Team 100 has had 71 people in it. You can join now – no matter what day of sobriety you’re on. Happy Day #7 to Allie, Paula & Dawn. Happy Day #8 to Lily UK, PP & Lilly. Happy Day #20 to Marie. It’s Day #21 for Kriss, and Day #18 for Laura.]