Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to LateTrier

Happy Day 50 to HatTrick!

Happy Day 50 to Jaded!

Happy Day 50 to SeeLizSkip!

Happy Day 50 to Lotus Lady!

Happy Day 50 to DaFroDoctor!

Happy Day 50 to Stargirl!

Happy Day 50 to MindfulMe!

Happy Day 50 to Janey!

Happy Day 50 to Ina!

Happy Day 50 to Ismael!

Happy Day 50 to Kay!

Happy Day 50 to Shel!

Happy Day 50 to Mamabird!

Happy Day 100 to Sobersusie!

Happy Day 100 to SG!

Happy Day 100 to Katrinka!

Happy Day 100 to Hidcote!

Happy Day 100 to J12!

Happy Day 100 to LiquidTracy!

Happy Day 100 to Bean7!

Happy Day 100 to Trigirl!

Happy Day 100 to Rehc!

Happy Day 100 to Sadie2015!

Happy Day 100 to vstuart!

Happy Day 100 to RainyPNW!

Happy Day 100 to NMD!

Happy Day 100 to Kathyb!

Happy Day 100 to Nell!

Happy Day 100 to Satnley!

Happy Day 100 to Leener!

Happy Day 100 to Smokey!

Happy Day 180 to LD4ME!

Happy Day 180 to Mlodius!

Happy Day 180 to Frog!

Happy Day 180 to MiMoMa!

Happy Day 180 to Lars!

Happy Day 200 to Flyaway!

Happy Day 200 to Dry Ace!

Happy Day 200 to Sober Tea!

Happy Day 200 to Mich2point0!

Happy Day 200 to Leila!

Happy Day 200 to Maggie Mo!

Happy Day 200 to Lmichel!

Happy Day 300 to Karebear!

Happy Day 300 to Myriam!

Happy Day 300 to Goldie!

Happy Day 300 to Newg!

Happy Day 300 to Leigh Ann!

Happy Day 300 to Alicat!

Happy Day 300 to RossFSU!

Happy Day 365 to RetiringPartyGirl!

Happy Day 365 to Stefanie!

Happy Day 365 to IngridandMac!

Happy Day 365 to Peewit!

Happy Day 365 to Lavender!

Happy Day 365 to Gina!

Happy Day 365 to Gomez!

Happy Day 365 to Mummabear!

Happy Day 365 to Wanda T!

Happy Day 365 to GK!

Happy Day 365 to Franci!

Happy Day 365 to Loz!

Happy Day 365 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 365 to SoberinVA!

Happy Day 365 to Jaylee!

Happy Day 365 to MrsRoberts!

Happy Day 365 to Lizzytish!

Happy Day 365 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 365 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 400 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 400 to LimeTree!

Happy Day 400 to SophieStar!

Happy Day 400 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 400 to Missmeliss!

Happy Day 400 to Gem64!

Happy Day 400 to Bruna!

Happy Day 400 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 400 to Nowinemom!

Happy Day 400 to SueW!

Happy Day 400 to Roadtosoberville!

Happy Day 400 to KiKi71!

Happy Day 400 to Honey Bear!

Happy Day 400 to Resilensea!

Happy Day 500 to Gene!

Happy Day 500 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 500 to TJS!

Happy Day 500 to Ruby Harper!

Happy Day 500 to Poppy!

Happy Day 500 to Topo Chico!

Happy Day 500 to Ruby!

Happy Day 500 to Hollm!

Happy Day 500 to Reg!

Happy Day 500 to Bemmy Girl!

Happy Day 500 to Battle Matt!

Happy Day 500 to Maverick!

Happy Day 500 to April!

Happy Day 600 to Rogueyogi!

Happy Day 600 to Dry Ginger!

Happy Day 600 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 600 to Reenie!

Happy Day 600 to Imara!

Happy Day 600 to Conn!

Happy Day 700 to Auds!

Happy Day 700 to KaffyB!

Happy Day 700 to Debbie!

Happy Day 700 to KLC!

Happy Day 700 to Country pat!

Happy Day 700 to Lanza!

Happy Day 700 to Chell!

Happy Day 700 to Joziegurrl!

Happy Day 700 to Franny!

Happy Day 700 to Husband #1!

Happy Day 800 to KAB!

Happy Day 800 to Hughie!

Happy Day 800 to JP!

Happy Day 800 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 800 to Gypsygirl!

Happy Day 900 to Cal!

Happy Day 900 to Gordon!

Happy Day 900 to Unwinedgal!

Happy Day 900 to Meraki!

Happy Day 1000 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 1000 to Jenuhful!

Happy Day 1000 to cheaton!

Happy Day 1000 to tk!

Happy Day 1100 to LJ63!

Happy Day 1100 to Sean!

Happy Day 1100 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 1100 to Mel P!

Happy Day 1100 to Solstice Guy!

Happy Day 1100 to Summer Walking!

Happy Day 1100 to Turncotte!

Happy Day 1100 to Southern Magnola1013!

Happy Day 1200 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to GG!

Happy Day 1200 to Festie!

Happy Day 1200 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1200 to Paris!

Happy Day 1200 to Shout444!

Happy Day 1200 to Midwestveggie!

Happy Day 1200 to Rah!

Happy Day 1200 to RoseMarie!

Happy Day 1200 to Janna!

Happy Day 1200 to Jacqui!

Happy Day 1200 to Kelz!

Happy Day 1300 to Megan!

Happy Day 1300 to Lara!

Happy Day 1300 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 1300 to Mizgabiz!

Happy Day 1300 to Sanfransober!

Happy Day 1300 to Sarah72!

Happy Day 1300 to CassieB!

Happy Day 1300 to Roisin!

Happy Day 1300 to Shelby!

Happy Day 1300 to Weenie!

Happy Day 1400 to OtherJosh!

Happy Day 1400 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 1400 to Jlynn!

Happy Day 1400 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 1400 to Jessi!

Happy Day 1400 to Heike!

Happy Day 1400 to Isabel!

Happy Day 1400 to Daybird!

Happy Day 1400 to Allison!

Happy Day 1400 to LolaB!

Happy Day 1400 to Connie!

Happy Day 1400 to Fich!

Happy Day 1400 to Hank!

Happy Day 1400 to Ashae!

Happy Day 1400 to Emery!

Happy Day 1500 to Nuchter Maya!

Happy Day 1500 to Janet!

Happy Day 1500 to Denise!

Happy Day 1500 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 1500 to Terence!

Happy Day 1500 to Clear Eyed Girl!

Happy Day 1500 to Hazleyes!

Happy Day 1500 to Case Study Tim!

Happy Day 1500 to Baby Girl Butterfly!

Happy Day 1500 to Primrose!

Happy Day 1500 to Sadie!

Happy Day 1500 to SignGurl!

Happy Day 1500 to Jeannie Yogini!

Happy Day 1600 to Jen is the soberist!

Happy Day 1600 to Sharon!

Happy Day 1600 to LD!

Happy Day 1600 to Laurie!

Happy Day 1700 to Original Beth!

Happy Day 1700 to Leah!

Happy Day 1800 to Amy!

Happy Day 2018 to me!

 

when i don’t drink, i feel better about me

written at 9:30 a.m. local time

today i’m proud of myself. it’s silent, early morning, up before most of the locals on a holiday. the upstairs neighbours are away. quiet. i can actually hear birds, it’s like the shortest day of the year has really passed, and we’re into something new.

it’s not raining. it’s warmer than seasonal which is a gift. my husband who has been sick since the day before the vacation started, is still in bed, still sick. man flu + coughing so much you throw out your back. yes, that’s him. but right now, he’s quiet too, and asleep. when i tell him he doesn’t cough when sleeping, he doesn’t find this curious. i do.

my emotions are in charge of everything i do. if i feel frisky, i make bread and do the dishes. if i feel slighted, i sulk and listen to business podcasts with both earphones in, sorry, can’t hear you. when i like my life, i make dinner. when i’m a slug, we have frozen meals from the frozen-meal-store, which is actually quite good, compared to north american standards. it’s not lean cuisine. it’s actual food. just frozen.

if i feel proud of myself, i keep doing the same things that make me feel good.

and as this new year unfolds, unspools, like a roll of film in front of me, i get to pick where i walk. i decide how many days i go outside (i work from home!). how many times i make dinner. how many times i drink juice. i get to decide whether i want to write a sober fiction book. i get to decide if i learn new things. if i play video games. if i sit in the bathtub.

you’re the writer of this new film, the one called “Me 2018.” you’re also the actor, the stage director, and the costumer. you get to decide what to wear, today i;m here in my plaid pj bottoms and my sober fuzzy socks. i get to choose between all-butter croissants or ‘croissants ordinaires‘ (never pick the latter).

i get to reach out for tools and supports that make me feel better about my life. i remember that how i think about things changes them. the rainy sidewalk becomes shiny with reflected light when i’m in the right mood, and can also be sludgy black and dark on another day. i pick the shiny. i pick the 80% that’s good. there’s something going on right now in your life, in mine, that sucks anus rocks. I’m not discounting my shittiness. i’m focussing on the good parts. and on the parts that i can control. starting with how i feel about me.

and when i don’t drink, i feel better about me. so i’m going to continue doing that.

happy new you 🙂

==

Comments from advance readers:

Jazzie (day 401): “And you inspire me!! … You’ve given me a new way to look at things and life though I’ve thought this was before, your way makes more sense to me. Thank you Belle. Happy New Year!!!”

Flyaway (day 192): “Before your blog I never thought about ‘changing perspectives’ or ‘reframing thoughts’. These tools have changed my life. I’m excited for this new year! Thank you for inspiring me!


~ and welcome to everyone who has found me through Catherine Gray … she’s penpal #270 and is on day 1570 today!


Would you like a sober penpal for a year?

Sober Jumpstart class re-opens today
with a limit of 11 available spots
Today
Monday January 1st
www.soberjumpstart.com

 

Photos: Christmas / Changing Seasons

Photography Assignment: Christmas

The goal for this assignment was to take a photo of something christmas-y OR a photo to indicate changing seasons.

Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures, this post is now closed to new submissions.

 

 

 This post is now closed to new submissions.

 

 

The power of the earth behind me

From Sober in Richmond (The Solstice Guy): “I started my 100 Day challenge on Winter Solstice [and is celebrating 3 years sober tomorrow] … If there is anyone out there who needs some motivation to start – perhaps they can do the Solstice to Solstice. It really helped me to have the power of the whole darn earth behind me rather than a day or date on a calendar. I like Winter to Summer because the days get longer, and each day brings about more promise and more hope. It’s an incredibly magical thing, the Solstice to Solstice!”

Imagine it’s the shortest day of the year (tomorrow in the northern hemisphere). Imagine you’re sober starting tomorrow, December 21st. It can be your Day 1 or maybe it’s your Day 50. Or 400. Doesn’t matter. Can you see yourself sober on June 21st? Summer Solstice. Stand here. Look ahead 180 days. Because if you think the view from day 100 is great, wait until you see 180 days.

  • If you’d like to be sober from Solstice to Solstice, you can put a comment below.
  • Audios to listen to for Solstice to Solstice? Receive one archived podcast every 2 days for 180 days. That’s 90 audios in total, starting with SP001 Accepting Help all the way to SP090 Magical Time. Audios discounted 40%

I like the idea of having the ‘whole darn earth behind me’ – how about you?

This year I will stop …

As part of your re-engage with sobriety campaign, today we’re going to talk about things to STOP doing.

you know that overwhelm is something to avoid. at the risk of being a pretentious shit, let me quote from my own book (says every pretentious shit, ever):

(page 88): Your job is to reduce overwhelm. All around you, there are lists of things to do and when you first quit drinking you are going to take it easy. You will shower once a day, try not to get fired, and skip everything else.
Thinking that you need to push or force yourself to do things is a holdover from your drinking time, when you were hungover and you made yourself do things to prove that you didn’t have a problem. You wanted to make yourself look normal. You took on more than you could reasonably do, so that you looked high-functioning, so that nobody knew how much you were drinking, and so no one could detect how you felt about yourself.

For today, I would like you to put a comment on this blog post of something that you are NOT going to do as part of your Christmas/Holiday celebrations this year. You’re going to make 3 kinds of cookies instead of 10. You’re going to skip midnight mass and go in the morning. You’ll do ‘christmas mugs’ instead of ‘stockings’. You’ll order chinese food on christmas eve (my mother used to do this!).

We’re always looking to ADD new traditions to our holiday season, but for today, i want you to consider what you can give up, in order to help you feel less overwhelmed. You don’t have to be clever or original, you just have to be real. If you can’t think of anything, then copy this: “to help myself avoid overwhelm – which is a boozer’s biggest trigger – i’m going to skip making Christmas Eve dinner and have pancakes instead.”

My blog allows anonymous comments, so you don’t have to fill in your name/email address if you don’t want to.

And to bribe you to participate, to support your sobriety, and encourage you to speak up, I will RANDOMLY select ONE comment from this blog post about 24 hrs from now, and that person will receive a sober toolkit bracelet bracelet for free.

hugs, me

Photos: Sober Breakfast

Photography Assignment: Sober Breakfast

The goal for this assignment was to take a photo of your sober breakfast.

Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures, this post is now closed to new submissions.

 

 

 This post is now closed to new submissions.

 

 

Friday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Elated, Confident & Peaceful!

Happy Day 50 to Cellocat!

Happy Day 50 to Fatgit!

Happy Day 50 to Sobersusie!

Happy Day 50 to SG!

Happy Day 50 to Katrinka!

Happy Day 50 to Hidcote!

Happy Day 50 to Happy Day 50 to MisMay!

Happy Day 50 to Happy Day 50 to Trishy!

Happy Day 50 to J12!

Happy Day 50 to Liquid Tracy!

Happy Day 100 to Sobe the Lion!

Happy Day 100 to MelMel!

Happy Day 100 to Octa!

Happy Day 100 to Wafflehousemomma!

Happy Day 100 to Peppercorn!

Happy Day 100 to Springer!

Happy Day 100 to Debbi Does Sober!

Happy Day 100 to Lordi!

Happy Day 180 to Maggie Mo!

Happy Day 180 to Annikki!

Happy Day 180 to Lmichel!

Happy Day 200 to LinZeeLou!

Happy Day 200 to BalanceBeam!

Happy Day 200 to BirdSetFree!

Happy Day 200 to Mia!

Happy Day 200 to Hallacious!

Happy Day 200 to Sobriety Unlocked!

Happy Day 300 to 35&changing!

Happy Day 300 to Jacci2!

Happy Day 300 to Honeybadger!

Happy Day 300 to Sobersparkles!

Happy Day 300 to MrsWooly!

Happy Day 300 to NatureNancy!

Happy Day 300 to RedRedWine!

Happy Day 300 to Aimee!

Happy Day 300 to Kaycee!

Happy Day 300 to Blou!

Happy Day 365 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 365 to Wynn!

Happy Day 365 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 365 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 365 to Mismeliss!

Happy Day 365 to Gem64!

Happy Day 365 to Bruna!

Happy Day 365 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 365 to Nowinemom!

Happy Day 365 to SueW!

Happy Day 365 to Roadtosoberville!

Happy Day 400 to Stillbridge!

Happy Day 400 to True.d.true!

Happy Day 400 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 400 to Blondie!

Happy Day 400 to Jamie-Tampa!

Happy Day 400 to Capt. Unwined!

Happy Day 400 to Tiger2017!

Happy Day 500 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 500 to unduped!

Happy Day 500 to Frupa63!

Happy Day 500 to Tsilver!

Happy Day 500 to vmd free!

Happy Day 500 to Lippy!

Happy Day 500 to Tierrazul!

Happy Day 500 to Nomobsing!

Happy Day 600 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 600 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 600 to Patten!

Happy Day 700 to TJ!

Happy Day 700 to Binkles!

Happy Day 700 to Elis!

Happy Day 700 to Lydster!

Happy Day 700 to TrixieK!

Happy Day 700 to Fern!

Happy Day 700 to Coco!

Happy Day 800 to Tree!

Happy Day 800 to Lucia!

Happy Day 800 to Juliejean123!

Happy Day 800 to Ami!

Happy Day 900 to Meraki!

Happy Day 900 to Heya Monster!

Happy Day 900 to Shorttermnoterm!

Happy Day 900 to AnnieB!

Happy Day 900 to Whitbell25!

Happy Day 900 to Ginette!

Happy Day 900 to Lilac!

Happy Day 1000 to Oz!

Happy Day 1000 to Julie-Joy’s Sister!

Happy Day 1000 to Faye858!

Happy Day 1000 to Me-fixing-me!

Happy Day 1000 to mythreesons!

Happy Day 1000 to gingerade!

Happy Day 1000 to Honner!

Happy Day 1100 to Maureen!

Happy Day 1100 to Library Girl!

Happy Day 1100 to Joannie!

Happy Day 1100 to Chace!

Happy Day 1200 to Petunia!

Happy Day 1200 to Dancing Rabbit!

Happy Day 1200 to Microlady!

Happy Day 1200 to AlexP!

Happy Day 1200 to Chefstarr!

Happy Day 1200 to Monique!

Happy Day 1200 to iphonebonnie!

Happy Day 1200 to Chachi!

Happy Day 1200 to nomorepinot!

Happy Day 1300 to 1111!

Happy Day 1300 to Manda!

Happy Day 1300 to Sober Lemon!

Happy Day 1300 to PP!

Happy Day 1300 to Foxie!

Happy Day 1300 to Battersea Park!

Happy Day 1300 to Welles!

Happy Day 1300 to Gra!

Happy Day 1300 to SusieQ!

Happy Day 1300 to IrishDee!

Happy Day 1400 to Going2pieces!

Happy Day 1400 to Apprentice SoberP!

Happy Day 1400 to Blake!

Happy Day 1400 to DeeN!

Happy Day 1400 to Moore!

Happy Day 1400 to FitFatFood!

Happy Day 1400 to Crispy!

Happy Day 1500 to Jilly Bean!

Happy Day 1500 to Kirst!

Happy Day 1500 to Mylene!

Happy Day 1500 to InNeedOfGrace!

Happy Day 1600 to Durf11!

Happy Day 1700 to Sober Journalist Kate!

Happy Day 1700 to JM!

Happy Day 1700 to Rebecca!

Happy Day 1700 to Digs!

Happy Day 1700 to Carrie!

Happy Day 1800 to Amy!

Happy Day 1980 to me !

Happy Day 2000 to thirteenpointone!

Wednesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to GaGalGoingDry!

Happy Day 50 to Krisdee!

Happy Day 50 to Ariel!

Happy Day 50 to Trigirl!

Happy Day 50 to Fridgkit!

Happy Day 50 to Rehc!

Happy Day 50 to Sadie2015!

Happy Day 50 to vstuart!

Happy Day 50 to Strider!

Happy Day 50 to RainyPNW!

Happy Day 50 to NMD!

Happy Day 50 to Nell!

Happy Day 50 to Kathyb!

Happy Day 50 to LizzieB!

Happy Day 100 to Ket!

Happy Day 100 to Celine!

Happy Day 100 to LateTrier!

Happy Day 100 to SoberSass!

Happy Day 100 to LJC!

Happy Day 180 to LinLeeLou!

Happy Day 180 to Kimpossible!

Happy Day 180 to BalanceBeam!

Happy Day 180 to BirdSetFree!

Happy Day 180 to Mia!

Happy Day 180 to Hellacious!

Happy Day 180 to Sobriety Unlocked!

Happy Day 200 to Arya!

Happy Day 200 to SDBkatz!

Happy Day 200 to Auntiemame!

Happy Day 300 to Retiring Party Girl!

Happy Day 300 to Bridget!

Happy Day 300 to Stefanie!

Happy Day 300 to Ingridandmac!

Happy Day 300 to Peewit!

Happy Day 300 to Lavender!

Happy Day 300 to Gina!

Happy Day 300 to Helen!

Happy Day 300 to Gomez!

Happy Day 300 to Mummabear!

Happy Day 300 to Wanda T!

Happy Day 300 to LOL!

Happy Day 300 to GK!

Happy Day 300 to Franci!

Happy Day 300 to Loz!

Happy Day 300 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 365 to KiKi71!

Happy Day 365 to Honey Bear!

Happy Day 365 to Resiliensea!

Happy Day 365 to Stillbridge!

Happy Day 365 to Tru.d.true!

Happy Day 365 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 400 to Honoring Grae!

Happy Day 400 to Boozy Bett!

Happy Day 400 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 400 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 400 to Sisty!

Happy Day 400 to Sohocat!

Happy Day 400 to Ashley!

Happy Day 400 to Grace514!

Happy Day 400 to Indy!

Happy Day 400 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 400 to Rachel E!

Happy Day 400 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 400 to Inspired!

Happy Day 500 to Rasberrikiss!

Happy Day 500 to Hollykate!

Happy Day 600 to KT Webb!

Happy Day 700 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 700 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 700 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 700 to Case Study Michelle!

Happy Day 800 to Sooz!

Happy Day 800 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 800 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 800 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 900 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 900 to Silver Birch!

Happy Day 900 to Mil!

Happy Day 900 to seekingpeace!

Happy Day 900 to Yoda!

Happy Day 900 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 900 to MJP!

Happy Day 900 to Inky!

Happy Day 900 to Graceful!

Happy Day 1000 to SophieSomething!

Happy Day 1000 to Yogayamagirl!

Happy Day 1000 to Jock!

Happy Day 1000 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 1000 to Miss M!

Happy Day 1100 to Junebug!

Happy Day 1100 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 1100 to Gabbygirl37!

Happy Day 1200 to Fleur!

Happy Day 1200 to Chatsworth!

Happy Day 1200 to Cricket!

Happy Day 1200 to Shar!

Happy Day 1200 to Kenney!

Happy Day 1300 to GW!

Happy Day 1300 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 1300 to Apprentice Annie!

Happy Day 1300 to Parissienne Knitter!

Happy Day 1300 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 1300 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 1400 to Jacques!

Happy Day 1400 to Rose!

Happy Day 1400 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1400 to Phoebe!

Happy Day 1400 to Doll Face!

Happy Day 1400 to Telling The Words!

Happy Day 1400 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1400 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy Day 1400 to Libby!

Happy Day 1400 to Choutyfruity!

Happy Day 1400 to Winkle!

Happy Day 1400 to Challenges!

Happy Day 1500 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1500 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1500 to TipTree!

Happy Day 1500 to Cat Girl!

Happy Day 1500 to Carolyne!

Happy Day 1600 to Kristi Coulter!

Happy Day 1600 to C How!

Happy Day 1600 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1600 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1700 to Carrie!

Happy Day 1900 to Katherine!

 

I loved him for the first hour [Julie-Joy’s Dad Part 3]

from me:

i received a long email from Julie-Joy’s Dad about his new sober life. it’s so fascinating that i want to share it all with you, but it’s long (i said that already) and so i’m going to split it into 3 parts. Part 1 was previously posted here, and Part 2 was posted here.

===

[May 2016]
email from Julie-Joy’s Dad (day 822): “Hi Belle, I wanted some insight with my drinking problem, which I thought really wasn’t that bad. So I sent my “girls” (girls includes my wife) an email and asked them to tell me about the before and after. I was surprised. Actually I was a little shocked! You will like the response from my wife. Enjoy.  This is my original email:  I need your help! I like to read the blogs of “Belle’s” website and I find them encouraging and in some cases sad. I am looking at my own journey and how content and happy I am right now and I would like to add a perspective to the blog (or whatever) from my family. Could you write a paragraph or two about the DAD (& husband) before the 100 day sober challenge, and the DAD after taking the challenge? Thanks and I love you. DAD (and your Mom’s hubby).”

Julie-Joy:

“Well, my dad before the challenge was interesting. Growing up I never remember my parents drinking at all. Either my dad was good at hiding it or I just never noticed … I almost feel like it is my fault my family started drinking at all. In 2006 I went through a divorce at a very young age, and the whole experience was super heart breaking.  But I went back to school and started serving at a restaurant and kind of got introduced to the whole drinking world.  I feel like I opened the alcohol door for my family.  But I know this isn’t entirely true at all, but I felt at that time we all started drinking pretty regularly. I didn’t really notice my dad’s drinking increasing all that much until about 5 years ago, I think. I loved my dad for the first like hour of his drinking. He loved chatting and playing music … he was so fun for about an hour or so.  But then, of course, you start chasing that initial buzz, drink too much.  Then he would get extremely hungry and very impatient. Honestly, he turned into a grumpy, impatient, selfish, asshole. My poor mother took the brunt of having to deal with him like this. Then he would eat, sit in front of the TV, and pass out. Not very fun at all.

One time when I was home visiting my dad had a bottle of alcohol in the freezer, so I knew how much he had of it, but he seemed WAY more drunk than that amount would allow, so I went into the garage and looked in this metal garbage can in the garage, and there were papers on top, but underneath were 6 empty bottles of hard alcohol in there. So that is where his refills were coming from …

Since my dad started the first 100 day challenge, he has never drank again.  And he is so different in that his true self has come out. My dad at the core is motivated, successful, out-going, determined, an athlete, and all these things got masked by his alcohol … Also, his editors in his brain are back on, so even though my dad still deals with anger and what have you, he now has reigns on it.  And thinks before he speaks.  I can see him processing and making different choices and he is able to do that because the alcohol hasn’t switched off his inhibitions.

My dad is now an athlete. He walks at least a marathon a week (26.2 miles) and trust me, he would be running those miles if it weren’t for a hip replacement he had years ago. He is in better shape than I am and I am 30 years younger than him. He has lost so much weight and looks so handsome! He is more self-confident. His business is going WAY better. He is more loving to my mom and kinder to her and appreciates her and shows her this. He helps her and loves on her. He communicates with us girls (his daughters) every day to tell us what day he is on.  He is more gracious, more kind, more content.  He is just plain flat out, happier! I feel like he is just more HIMSELF!  And when my dad is HIMSELF, he is like the sun that shines on everyone. I love him sooooooooo freaking much!!!!! I am so happy he does not drink anymore so that we can have the real him.”

[end part 3 of 3]