here’s what my worktable looks like this morning

update from me

so last night i had to get out of bed at 11 pm and go online and order more mints.

you see, i thought 19 packages of mints would be plenty. i had 20 to start, then gave one to a client in canada. so ok, starting with 19.

i send out the email to you about the new anti-wolfie mints at 8:45 pm my time and by 11 pm i was up and at my desk. emailing the fancy mint store’s customer service, “i know the site says you’re sold-out but can you get me more by saturday” and they said yes.

phew.

so here’s what my worktable looks like this morning.
look at all of your stuff 🙂

on the left, the big white envelopes are books for doctors
the skinny brown ones on top are orchid necklaces
and the lumpy packages on the right are tins of anti-wolfie mints
all going into the mail this morning…

I’m just resting my eyes [fiction]

quote from yesterday’s writing session [fiction]:

The teacup of brown liquid.

You break so many glasses that you have resorted to buying cheap crap now, and this pink flowered teacup came from the Salvation Army store, where you can get 10 cups for two bucks. The liquid itself is coffee liqueur that you may have borrowed from the restaurant kitchen. Perhaps it was to make the stacked-crepe-as-cake recipe. Or perhaps it was to drink. You always bring a cup of something to bed with you, so that you can sip right up until you close your eyes. For no good reason, really. It’s not like you’re going to enjoy it, it’s not like there’s any ‘fun’ to be had in bed with the lights off, the cup to your lips, your eyes closed already (I’m just resting my eyes, you say).

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

~

Question: did you drink in bed (past-tense)? did you have any idea (at the time) why you were doing it? or was it just “something you did…”

Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Nixie!

Happy Day 50 to Birdsetfree!

Happy Day 50 to Mia!

Happy Day 50 to Hallacious!

Happy Day 50 to Sobriety Shingles!

Happy Day 50 to Nicola!

Happy Day 50 to MsMay!

Happy Day 50 to KittyKate!

Happy Day 50 to Oriole!

Happy Day 100 to Wafflehousemomma!

Happy Day 100 to AverageJoe!

Happy Day 100 to Bug June!

Happy Day 180 to Undrunken Dan!

Happy Day 180 to SoberinVa!

Happy Day 180 to Jaylee!

Happy Day 180 to MrsRoberts!

Happy Day 180 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 200 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 200 to MelMel!

Happy Day 200 to Wynn!

Happy Day 200 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 200 to Mamahope!

Happy Day 200 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 300 to Genie!

Happy Day 300 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 365 to Rasberrikiss! 

Happy Day 400 to Dry Ginger!

Happy Day 500 to Auds!

Happy Day 800 Jenuhful!

Happy Day 847 to Faye858!

Happy Day 900 to FunCar13!

Happy Day 900 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 900 to Mahatma JoJo!

Happy Day 955 to Joannie!

Happy Day 1000 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 1000 to Festie!

Happy Day 1100 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 1100 to SanFranSober!

Happy Day 1100 to Mizgabz!

Happy Day 1200 to Jessi!

Happy Day 1300 to Denise!

Happy Day 1300 to Hazeleyes!

Happy Day 1400 to Jenisthesoberist!

hugely irritating people [fiction]

quote from saturday’s writing session [fiction]:

The manager of the restaurant is a guy named Steve with floppy blond hair, his wallet in his front pocket, and by the looks of things he doesn’t wear underwear, some long bits down one side. He also could do with a good eyebrow wax. Linda, the daytime head waitress has slept with him, apparently. Though that’s not saying much, she had also made out with the pastry chef in the walk-in cooler. Thus far, she’s not interested in you.

Steve is watching you. He is smoking at the back door.

You have the usual exchange: you’re late, sorry my alarm didn’t go off and I had my kid this morning, you don’t have a kid, I overslept, no you didn’t, it won’t happen again, it’s happening more and more.

“If anything, you’re trending downward,” he says.

Speaking of trending downward, tuck in your dick. You think this, you don’t say it. You’re not that stupid. Though to be fair, you may still be drunk. Suddenly this strikes you as hilarious, what if you DID say it. What if you spent all of today, just for one day, saying ALL of the things that you think, about all of the fucking hugely irritating people, the prep cook who drinks vodka from a plastic water bottle all day, the pastry chef with her gayness turned up to volume eleven, the hostess with her fishnet tights (in this weather?), the guy who sits at table 104 every afternoon and orders the same fucking thing every time. Jambalaya. And he wants the same waitress every time (Jessica, of the big red lips). What if you said everything. Every fucking thing. Starting with Steve: Please, do us all a favour, buy some underwear.

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

~

Question: How irritated were you when you were drinking (past-tense)… Did you have a moment (or twelve) of saying things when hungover that should have been left unsaid? Share a brief line or two. I need ideas for the story…

Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Frog!

Happy Day 50 to Golden Pond!

Happy Day 50 to Mack!

Happy Day 50 to SusanMarie!

Happy Day 50 to GaGalGoingDry!

Happy Day 100 to Cowboy!

Happy Day 100 to Goldie!

Happy Day 100 to TimShel!

Happy Day 100 to Julianne!

Happy Day 100 to Springer!

Happy Day 180 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 180 to LizzyTish!

Happy Day 180 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 200 to Gem64!

Happy Day 200 to Bruna!

Happy Day 200 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 300 to TJS!

Happy Day 300 to Poppy!

Happy Day 300 to Topo Chico!

Happy Day 300 to Ruby!

Happy Day 365 to HollyKate!

Happy Day 400 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 400 to Jessee!

Happy Day 400 to Reenie!

Happy Day 400 to Imara!

Happy Day 500 to KLC!

Happy Day 500 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 600 to JP!

Happy Day 600 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 700 to Cal!

Happy Day 800 to cheaton!

Happy Day 800 to Monty!

Happy Day 800 to TK!

Happy Day 900 to MelP!

Happy Day 900 to The Solstice Guy!

Happy Day 1000 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1100 to Sarah72!

Happy Day 1200 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 1200 to Isabel!

Happy Day 1300 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 1300 to Terence!

Happy Day 1300 to Clear Eyed Girl!

Happy Day 1300 to Tim!

Happy Day 1807 to me! (that’s 1,355 bottles of wine not consumed… oh my god)

lurching stomach [fiction]

quote from friday’s writing session [fiction]:

It’s snowing in a kind of February hell-weather way, that mix of rain and snow and freezing rain and misery. They always make light snow look so nice on television, flakes gently wafting, deep purple sky, Christmas lights. The reality is something else entirely. The sleigh bells and the ads and the nice lighting? They’re missing out on the stained boots, the chapped hands, the aftermath. It’s always good in a glossy magazine. It’s almost never good in real life.

You walk to work – from the apartment, to the laundry, then onward to the restaurant. It’s shorter to take the bus, but the idea of being caged in with a lurching stomach isn’t appealing. You eat some of the breakfast sandwich, to see how it goes down. Not well. Some of the coffee. Walking. You need this time to walk, to be outside, to have any possible, minor, slight hope of clearing your head before you arrive at work, arrive at the place that is loud and hot and anxious.

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

about to give up

from my inbox:

L: “I’m seriously about to give up on trying to be sober. I have been struggling since 2009 – when I first went to rehab. Since then I got married and had a beautiful baby boy and didn’t drink for about two years. When my son was about a year and a half I started drinking again at social events and it quickly got out of hand. I snowballed fast and hit lots of rock bottoms. Last weekend was my worst – I drove after going to an event all day where I was drinking. I was blacked out. I got behind the wheel blacked out and tried to drive to my old friend’s house … all while my wonderful husband and sweet boy slept innocently in our home. I was out doing bad things. I have the worst anxiety. I thought that was my break through “aha” moment. But no. I drank yesterday at a baby shower then took an uber to a pub near my house and drank alone bc we have no booze in the house. I’ve been going to rehab after work 4 days a week. I don’t know why I can’t even get ten days recently. I’ve never been this bad. Or sad about everything. I have a great life and I’m ruining it with drinking.

Your podcasts are so inspiring and I can relate so much to you and what you say … I wish I wasn’t wired this way and/or I knew how to rewire permanently. I’m so fed up. I don’t know I am just venting but felt like I needed to actually send this to someone. You are amazing. I wish I had 1/4 if your strength and outlook. Thanks for making me feel like I am not completely alone.”

me: my lovely, don’t confuse my strength and outlook with anything other than being sober. I’m not some special creature. I’m a fucked up human like everyone else. I just happen to have quit drinking. 

and you can do that too. and you can kick some major ass once you quit (for real). 

that you don’t yet know how to get there, doesn’t mean it’s not possible – it means you don’t have the right tools and accountability (yet). 

so here’s what I’d suggest (and I’m not a counsellor, and you should ignore me):

  • 2 weeks of anti-anxiety medication + antabuse for 6-9 months
  • daily accountability to someone (me, sponsor, therapist)
  • weekly one-on-one meetings with someone who’s a booze specialist (me,
    sponsor, therapist)
  • continue with your outpatient treatment
  • sign up for my jumpstart class so that we can be daily penpals, and then
    email me 4 times a day to begin.
  • remove the booze from your home.
  • do not socialize outside the home for the first 6 weeks. going to a baby shower is asking to drink. I have a high bottom and I didn’t socialize outside the home more than 2-3 times in the first 6 weeks, I was too afraid to drink and I didn’t want a new day 1. 

if booze is an elevator that only goes down, then you stop off now. right now. whatever it takes. there is support for you. but as a group, us boozers, we suck at asking for it. support is right there. you have a brain that says it isn’t. your brain is incorrect.

if you do the jumpstart class, then we’re penpals, then  you can set up calls with me once a week for 6 weeks, that might help get you going. and a trial of antabuse + of anti-anxiety medication for the first for the first week (or too) might be really helpful, too.

I know you don’t WANT to do any of this. but you want to be sober. so you do some new things now. and get away from day one.

again. please ignore me. I don’t know you. I don’t know if your situations is truthfully expressed (or if it’s worse or better than what you describe). I can just talk about what I’ve seen in my inbox from other penpals. all i know is that you’ll need tools + support + accountability. and more of it than you think you ‘should’ need. hugs from me

L: “Belle, thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I read your email over and over and I couldn’t believe you were so responsive and real.  You gave me hope when I was seriously ready to give up on this whole sobriety thing. I emailed you 10 days ago.  I have 10 days sober today. I am so grateful for these ten days. I know I’ve had more time in the past and 10n doesn’t sound like a lot (hmm, I think that’s wolfie telling me that)  but this time around 10 days seems like a fucking long time. I am grateful for each one of them. The urges are definitely not as strong, but I need to stay on top of this and use these tools every single day. Actually every minute of the day. Because I know this shit can sneak up on me and come out of nowhere and tell me I can have one.

But screw you wolfie! Screw you alcohol! I am over you and getting stronger everyday, and quieting the voices slowly.  I am going to sign up for your jumpstart class this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. As far as your suggestions, thank you! I am on medication and I think they are starting to kick in … I’ve cancelled every commitment and social event that has been on the calendar and am ready to turn down any that come up. I simply can not even be in the room as it.  I can’t thank you enough for your support. I’ll be in touch this weekend when I sign up. Thank you, thank you!”

you are waiting for your big break [fiction]

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep me going*

You are waiting for your big break [fiction]

The bookcase isn’t your first messy, unfortunate event. Of course it isn’t. It’s not even the beginning of your story. But the narrator knows that a dramatic opening is required to hook people in. Readers like to start on page one and skim a few lines, then think: “well at least I never tipped a bookcase over.”

As if that matters.

– –

You sort through dirty clothes on the floor, pick up a shirt and smell it. Something grey on the front, some kind of stain, but it could be food. You work in a kitchen, so that might pass as food, right? Maybe today will be a busy day, lots of tables, hefty tips. Someone will notice how smart you are, invite you to come work for their Silicon Valley start-up. You are waiting for your big break. It’s coming. You can feel it. You will totally drink less (or none) once you’re discovered.

On your way to work, you drop off a bag of laundry at the corner place that does those things. That woman at the laundry, she’s a bright light. She knows that people live in small apartments without washing machines, that they’re tired, that they’re running behind – I mean, you’re giving her your dirty underwear after all, she knows you don’t have the brain space to do your own laundry – and because of this, she has breakfast sandwiches pre-made, in the fridge, you can help yourself, she adds them to your bill.

For this, you are grateful.

You take an egg muffin thing from the fridge. She pours you a large coffee in a biodegradable paper cup with a panda printed on the side. She hands you the receipt for your laundry. But really, she knows your name, you don’t need a receipt. Your name is something gender-neutral like Beet or Rain or Mackenzie, so that the reader cannot determine gender, and can therefore more easily think that this story is about them, if not in specifics, then in themes.

Homemade Egg Muffin Breakfast
as told to the narrator by the smart entrepreneurial Laundry store owner

toasted English muffin (homemade if you can get it)

salted butter (you don’t have to be fancy, margarine works)

chipotle mayonnaise (mix some diet Hellmans with the light blue lid with some ground chipotle spice, and add a bit of lime juice – you want the recipe for this mayo concoction too or can you just wing it?)

an oven baked egg, with Greek spices and a bit of cream (you want instructions on how to bake an egg?)

smoked cheddar – Applewood imported from England, or Cows imported from Nova Scotia (don’t let the fancy fool you, cheap Kraft singles work just fine)

~

 How do you vote? more food in this story? less? recipes or not?

new project? can’t tell yet. [fiction]


*and your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep me going*

You’re Having Some Kind of Personal Problems [fiction]

My goal for February, you write, is to drink less. Only weekends, only special occasions, only if I’m not alone, only if there is a really, really, really good reason.

There’s a bookcase. It’s tipped over. The books and the folders of slides and the scraps of paper and the dust hidden behind are all together now, a clutter soup. Calling it a ‘jumble’ would be too pretty. It’s a shitshow (the Urban Dictionary assures the narrator that this word is defined as ‘chaotic disorganization’).

I don’t know how it got like this, you say. And you mean it both literally, as in I don’t remember how the bookcase got pushed over, and you mean it as in I don’t know how I got to this place in my life. This isn’t a good place. I don’t feel good. This isn’t good.

You think, God it’s so overwhelming, the mess. Why is there so much dust behind a bookcase, behind each book, why do I have to look at it now, all at once, vomited onto the floor like this. Fuck, those slides were in order. And the books, too, alphabetical order. I can get my books in order but (clearly) not the rest of my life.

There’s a sharp buzzer. You think it might be the microwave. Or maybe it’s an alarm on your phone. You rub your face with both hands. The apartment is suddenly too hot, close, smaller than it was yesterday.

Then the bell again, oh it must be the doorbell, though it sounds completely unfamiliar. You don’t want to open the door, you know who it is, it’s the neighbour. Your apartments have a shared wall. Not a terribly well-constructed wall. Not a soundproof wall. You hear their television, and they hear your …

You open the door, she’s in your face:

“Hate to ask again — and I don’t mind saying that I’m tired of asking politely. It might be time for something a bit more direct. It’s too fucking loud over here.”

She’s a bit of a bitch, this one. Big boobs crammed into a too-tight shirt that she probably thinks is ‘sexy’ but instead it’s broadcasting ‘I got this at the expensive store, marked down, so that I can say that I shop there, even though — clearly — I’ll buy anything, including clothes that don’t fit, just so I can take a selfie and post it on Facebook and talk about what a bargain hunter I am …’

Neighbour: “… you’re having some kind of personal problems.”

Really, is she still talking? You’re not listening. You’re looking at your watch.

What time is it? you ask, perhaps not wisely giving away the fact that you can’t tell if it’s 7 p.m. and February dark dinner time, or if it’s 7 a.m. and it’s February dark morning.

~

Question: What would the neighbour say next?

OMM photo essay with sound – grocery store

OMM photo essay with sound

auchan grocery store, tuesday june 6th at about 4:00 pm.

if you’d like a sober pause, something to help change the channel, i invite you to listen/watch. you can come with me for a few minutes. it’s like meditation, but with pictures.

 

listen here:

 


 

photos here:


“regular grocery store, not the market …”

 

 


“and we come around [the corner] and we see some vegetables”

 

 


“all we get in the grocery store is 3 or 4 varieties of potatoes”

 

 


“i don’t make a fancy white sauce, i just use creme fraiche…”

 

 


“lots and lots of prepared food”

 

 


“mango chutney? no luck, but there is sauce a la mangue…” [haha ethnic delights, i just noticed that]

 

 


“eggs are stored at room temperature because they are not ________”

 

 

==

if you’re signed up for the free daily one minute messages (OMMs), then you’ll get a copy of this audio automatically. it’ll be omm229.

sober treats thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.