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:
From my inbox, this message from L:
“I woke up feeling MUCH better after emailing you. is there a connection? probably so. and also i had a bit of a revelation.
remember my email where i talked about feeling like wolfie was behind me, and i was scared to turn around to check to see if he was getting smaller, blah blah blah? …
i realized something. i didn’t feel like i was doing the sober thing properly, not because i was stuffing my mouth with cake, but because i wasn’t getting “better.” i wasn’t being cured of my wino-ism. at the end of the 100 day challenge i wanted to keep going because i still didn’t know what i thought about it all. but that was probably code for, “i’m not cured yet, so i need to keep going.”
THERE’S NO FUCKING CURE!!
and its taken me this long to accept that. wolfie wasn’t going away because he’s a fucking cockroach, and those motherfuckers do not die. they would survive a nuclear war, and so would wolfie. fuuuuuuuuck wolfie.
cockroaches are fucking disgusting creatures and i fucking hate them (can you tell)? but i’ve also over time accepted that they are here to stay. and so what do i do? i make sure that an exterminator comes regularly to spray. and as soon as i see one around, if maybe i’ve forgotten to call the bug man, i sure as hell call the bug man then. i don’t let them infiltrate and set up shop. first sign of them and i take action. because i fucking hate cockroaches.
and i hate wolfie too.
now my next bit of work is to really truly accept that wolfie is here to stay. and get to work on keeping him away.”
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.”
From Sober in Richmond (The Solstice Guy): “I started my 100 Day challenge on the Solstice [and am celebrating 3.5 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 … It’s an incredibly magical thing, the Solstice to Solstice!”
Imagine it’s the longest day of the year (tomorrow in the northern hemisphere). Imagine you’re sober starting tomorrow, June 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 December 21st? Winter 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?
New Podcast Series (FREE! FREE!)
umr004.gratitude > i know that the idea of gratitude is talked about a lot. but what does it mean, in a practical sense. like HOW can you have an attitude of gratitude? i think i stumbled on an idea that works for me when I was doing a catering job this past weekend.
Get these messages on iTunes (apple podcast) > link
Get them on Stitcher > link
Get them on Gumroad > link
Music: “Ibiza Dream,” thanks to Chris Haugen
Feedback from the meditation audio series:
enroute: “Thank you for that Belle, this meditation worked for me, and I have listened to a lot of teachers, a lot of silence, a lot of endless thoughts in my head, a lot of perspectives on meditation. For me, I know that whatever practice suits you, it lights the path to consciousness which lights the path to sobriety, creativity and more and more...” Subscribe here.
from my inbox:
Rambling Rose (penpal #2512):
"So something has been bothering me for a few weeks on the issue of readiness when it comes to being sober. I've heard on a number of occasions "in the rooms" that you just have to be really ready to quit drinking before you stay with recovery. I have heard it mostly in the context of people relapsing. It almost comes off as an accusation that he/she just didn't want it enough (recovery). Another thing I hear often is, "In your heart of hearts, do you want to quit?" UGH. YES.
There's something very flippant to me about this. I know people, myself included, who have wanted to quit for years - sincerely, in our heart of hearts - and hate being in addiction/excessive drinking limbo. It hurts. It isn't even enjoyable. It's not to "feel better" - for me, it was to feel less bad. But, of course that less-bad feeling starts to turn into a consistent and repetitive horror.
Drinking is the worst kind of hell, and it isn't that I (the true me) wanted to keep drinking, not when it got bad. I just didn't know how to stop it. I think that's why we surrender or reach out, because of course our brains will want booze.
I've brought it up to people (sponsors, sober women, etc.) before, and I usually get the same answers about not wanting it bad enough or not having some God moment where all of my sins, er, sorry, cravings (hah) were magically lifted.
It scares me when people say things like this, because I do want to stay sober, with all of my heart. But there hasn't been some God moment or change in my thinking. Not yet. Isn't that where the work and the supports come in?
Anyway. What made you know that you were totally done for good?
Do you think it is different for everyone?
Thanks. Whew, good to get that out of my head. It was upsetting me today, and kind of freaking me out."
me: I think that the idea of readiness is sort of like the idea of willpower. it’s assuming that the tool is in us. I think that the tools are outside us and that if someone is relapsing, they don’t have enough tools/supports/accountability. Us alone in our heads has us all drinking, me included.
but with the right amount of supports (different for each person) we can do this sober thing.
the challenge is getting people to try different supports when the original ones aren’t (or have stopped) working. we’re so stubborn and wolfie wants to keep us stuck, so that’s the hardest part of this. it’s not that rehab doesn’t work, it’s that no one wants to go. it’s not that antabuse doesn’t work, it’s that it’s hard to convince someone to take it because if they take it they can’t relapse and wolfie hates that. wolfie will argue against most supports.
wolfie wants you alone at home with a bottle. that’s the challenge as far as I can see: helping people to see that wolfie is bullshit and that there’s sunshine OUT HERE.
You might not agree with my advice to Rambling Rose. How do you feel about being 'ready'? Post a comment below.
Feedback from the new (free) meditation audio series:
Auntie Briggy: “Love this! Meditation is one thing for me that needs to be non-negotiable part of my tool box! You did a great job - meditation is just like sobriety - some days are shit and you don't pay attention for 2 seconds - some days you feel refreshed after but you keep staying with it. It was great to hear you doing something outside your comfort zone and trying a new tool! It teaches us courage to do things like this - try things - and keep trying them and adding things in.” Listen here.
Today begins a new 10-part audio series called Urban Meditations (Regret)
Recorded in different urban environments, this series of mindfulness exercises will tie in with meditation, being still, and sobriety -- with a focus on the theme of regret. Yes, I'll be talking, but there is also quiet time for reflection too.
This 10-part podcast is free, hosted on gumroad and itunes. supported only by donations. it works out every time. no sponsorship. just you pitching in where you can.
And as promised, I have the preliminary 'intro' audio and episode 1 ready today.
umr000.intro > This is the first official audio in the new 10-part Urban Meditation series focussing on regret. Today I am recording in a park, complete with a visit from two dogs, and a rat. Never a dull moment. Time for a pause, are you ready?
umr001.cute > You are as cute as you’re ever going to be. Today. Right now. OK, if not, you’re definitely as YOUNG as you’re going to be.
What happens when we try to fix everything at once? I talk about how I use this in other parts of life (sober + writing + running very slowly). And about how I’m bad with endings, and so this won’t be the last episode. I probably have one or two more to go…
Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu
Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios