Friday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to TimShel

Happy Day 50 to MsM!

Happy Day 50 to Julianne!

Happy Day 50 to AverageJoe!

Happy Day 50 to Toby!

Happy Day 50 to Springer!

Happy Day 50 to I.T.!

Happy Day 50 to DMcBee!

Happy Day 50 to Newg!

Happy Day 50 to Brisgal!

Happy Day 50 to BG!

Happy Day 100 to Bridget!

Happy Day 100 to Blou!

Happy Day 100 to KRD!

Happy Day 100 to Jazzhands70!

Happy Day 100 to RetiringPartyGirl!

Happy Day 100 to Stefanie!

Happy Day 100 to Norma!

Happy Day 100 to Kelley!

Happy Day 100 to Ingridandmac!

Happy Day 100 to Peewit!

Happy Day 100 to Steph!

Happy Day 100 to Lavender!

Happy Day 100 to Itssue!

Happy Day 100 to Sheree!

Happy Day 100 to Normajean1215!

Happy Day 100 to Gina!

Happy Day 100 to Helen!

Happy Day 100 to Staying Present!

Happy Day 100 to Johnny!

Happy Day 100 to AnnieO!

Happy Day 100 to Still Breathing!

Happy Day 100 to LunaBlu!

Happy Day 100 to Gomez!

Happy Day 100 to Sings!

Happy Day 100 to Ararebird!

Happy Day 100 to Glitter!

Happy Day 100 to Mummabear!

Happy Day 100 to Jule!

Happy Day 180 to True.d.true!

Happy Day 180 to Elyn Jones!

Happy Day 180 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 180 to LD4ME!

Happy Day 180 to Jamie-Tampa!

Happy Day 180 to Capt. Unwined!

Happy Day 180 to Honoring Grace!

Happy Day 200 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 200 to Shannon A!

Happy Day 200 to Sisty!

Happy Day 200 to SohoCat!

Happy Day 200 to Ashley!

Happy Day 200 to Georgie Girl!

Happy Day 200 to Grace514!

Happy Day 200 to Indy!

Happy Day 200 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 200 to Rahcele!

Happy Day 300 to Sabrina!

Happy Day 300 to Bladerboy!

Happy Day 300 to Steffispud!

Happy Day 300 to Raspberrikiss!

Happy Day 365 to Conn!

Happy Day 400 to Patten!

Happy Day 400 to KT Web!

Happy Day 500 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 500 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 500 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 500 to Mamafergs!

Happy Day 500 to Case Study Michelle!

Happy Day 600 to Sooz!

Happy Day 600 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 600 to Lavendarzone!

Happy Day 600 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 700 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 700 to Silver Birch!

Happy Day 700 to Mil!

Happy Day 700 to Seekingpeace!

Happy Day 700 to Yoda!

Happy Day 700 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 700 to MJP!

Happy Day 700 to Jobo!

Happy Day 800 to Rache B!

Happy Day 800 to Yogayamagirl!

Happy Day 800 to Jock!

Happy Day 800 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 900 to Marbear!

Happy Day 900 to Junebug!

Happy Day 900 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 1000 to Fleur!

Happy Day 1000 to Chatsworth!

Happy Day 1000 to Cricket!

Happy Day 1000 to Shar!

Happy Day 1100 to GW!

Happy Day 1100 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 1100 to Apprentice Annie!

Happy Day 1100 to ParisienneKnitter!

Happy Day 1100 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 1200 to Jacques!

Happy Day 1200 to Rose!

Happy Day 1200 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1200 to Phoebe!

Happy Day 1200 to Doll Face!

Happy Day 1200 to Telling The Words!

Happy Day 1200 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1200 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy Day 1200 to Libby!

Happy Day 1200 to Traci!

Happy Day 1200 to Winkle!

Happy Day 1300 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1300 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1300 to TipTree!

Happy Day 1400 to Kristi Coulter!

Happy Day 1400 to C How!

Happy Day 1400 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1400 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1400 to Trish!

Happy Day 1500 to Carrie!


Friday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Leigh!

Happy Day 50 to WineFreeMe!

Happy Day 50 to NancyJo!

Happy Day 50 to Sargent!

Happy Day 50 to Alicat!

Happy Day 50 to StayingAlive!

Happy Day 100 to Dazzzor!

Happy Day 100 to Mamabird!

Happy Day 100 to LOL!

Happy Day 100 to Raspberry!

Happy Day 100 to Tewks!

Happy Day 100 to WandaT!

Happy Day 100 to Rambling Rose!

Happy Day 100 to IC Momentum!

Happy Day 100 to Loz!

Happy Day 100 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 100 to Melanie!

Happy Day 100 to MoutainGirl!

Happy Day 180 to Lerawk!

Happy Day 180 to anjoma8801!

Happy Day 180 to Lex!

Happy Day 180 to Boozy Betty!

Happy Day 180 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 200 to Inspired!

Happy Day 200 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 200 to Tweet!

Happy Day 200 to Calypso!

Happy Day 300 to HollyKate!

Happy Day 365 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 365 to Clearlee!

Happy Day 400 to SouthernSunshine!

Happy Day 500 to TruLeah!

Happy Day 700 to MJP!

Happy Day 700 to Jobo!

Happy Day 800 to Miss M!

Happy Day 800 to Trixie!

Happy Day 900 to GabbyGirl37!

Happy Day 900 to 19Cathleen!

Happy Day 900 to TheMaddnessStopsNow!

Happy Day 1000 to Kenney!

Happy Day 1100 to IrishGirl!

Happy Day 1200 to Challenges!

Happy Day 1300 to CatGirl!

Happy Day 1300 to Carolyne!

Happy Day 1700 to Katherine!


Thursday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Char S

Happy Day 50 to SDBKatz

Happy Day 50 to Take 2

Happy Day 50 to Kacey

Happy Day 50 to Kris

Happy Day 50 to 35&changing

Happy Day 100 to Sober Tea

Happy Day 100 to Undrunken Dan

Happy Day 100 to SoberinVA

Happy Day 100 to Jaylee

Happy Day 100 to Mrs Roberts

Happy Day 180 to Shannon A

Happy Day 180 to Sisty

Happy Day 180 to SohoCat

Happy Day 180 to Ashley

Happy Day 180 to Georgia Girl

Happy Day 180 to Grace514

Happy Day 180 to Soprano

Happy Day 180 to Indy

Happy Day 200 to Bunnie

Happy Day 200 to Liz

Happy Day 200 to Girl Named Sam

Happy Day 200 to Meadowmuffins

Happy Day 300 to Edi

Happy Day 300 to Leftcoastgirl

Happy Day 300 to Cindyb

Happy Day 400 to MessyJessy

Happy Day 500 to Phoenix

Happy Day 600 to Suzan

Happy Day 700 to CoffeeCupHead

Happy Day 700 to Kitkatpaddywack

Happy Day 900 to Elly

Happy Day 1000 to Paulita

Happy Day 1100 Janett

Happy Day 1200 to OneDayAtATime

Happy Day 1200 to KateF

Happy Day 1200 to Margy

Thursday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Doodle!

Happy Day 50 to Hernoodlyness!

Happy Day 50 to Jacci2!

Happy Day 50 to Honeybadger!

Happy Day 50 to Martha C!

Happy Day 50 to SoberSparkles!

Happy Day 50 to MrsWooly!

Happy Day 100 to PeaceableJ!

Happy Day 100 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 180 to Rachele!

Happy Day 180 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 180 to RoseStar!

Happy Day 180 to FlightPlan!

Happy Day 180 to Inspired!

Happy Day 200 to Jeans!

Happy Day 200 to Carly!

Happy Day 200 to AmandaJ!

Happy Day 200 to Jjm14!

Happy Day 300 to CindiB!

Happy Day 365 to Patten!

Happy Day 365 to KT Web!

Happy Day 400 to CaseyM!

Happy Day 400 to Surfrider11!

Happy Day 400 to Runnergirl!

Happy Day 600 to NicholasCharles!

Happy Day 600 to Linley!

Happy Day 700 to Graceful!

Happy Day 800 to 1035!

Happy Day 800 to Jayda!

Happy Day 800 to Frankie!

Happy Day 900 to Rexytime!

Happy Day 900 to Cocomac!

Happy Day 900 to NewChris!

Happy Day 900 to Jas!

Happy Day 1000 to Ish!

Happy Day 1000 to Bekki!

Happy Day 1100 to tlecompte!

Happy Day 1100 to hcasstevens!

Happy Day 1200 to Wanting to be a Sober Mom!

Happy Day 1200 to Tammi!

Happy Day 1200 to Shell Bell!

Happy Day 1200 to Tuomas!

Happy Day 1300 to DianeLouise!

Happy Day 1400 to KristinRecovering! 

are you following me on Medium? new One Minute Message transcript posted this morning . not drinking today . the booze elevator . only goes down . and then there’s resentment


Tuesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Captain E!

Happy Day 50 to Donohuli!

Happy Day 50 to Nickie!

Happy Day 50 to Turtle!

Happy Day 50 to Nature Nancy!

Happy Day 50 to RedRedWine!

Happy Day 50 to Ninabear!

Happy Day 50 to Aimee!

Happy Day 50 to Kaycee!

Happy Day 50 to macbender1!

Happy Day 50 to Lotus Lady!

Happy Day 50 to SandraS!

Happy Day 50 to La Sobria!

Happy Day 50 to RunLily!

Happy Day 50 to Manaste25!

Happy Day 50 to Bridget!

Happy Day 50 to Blou!

Happy Day 100 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 100 to Erinie!

Happy Day 100 to LimeTree!

Happy Day 100 to MelMel!

Happy Day 100 to Wynn!

Happy Day 100 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 100 to Mamahope!

Happy Day 100 to Dusty!

Happy Day 100 to Chalee!

Happy Day 100 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 180 to Tweet!

Happy Day 180 to Calypso!

Happy Day 180 to Bunnie!

Happy Day 180 to Liz!

Happy Day 180 to Girl Named Sam!

Happy Day 180 to Meadowmuffins!

Happy Day 180 to Jeans!

Happy Day 180 to Carly!

Happy Day 200 to 2BLimber!

Happy Day 200 to Gene!

Happy Day 200 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 200 to TJS!

Happy Day 200 to RubyHarper!

Happy Day 200 to Poppy!

Happy Day 300 to Cindyb!

Happy Day 365 to waggintail!

Happy Day 400 to Auds!

Happy Day 400 to KaffyB!!

Happy Day 400 to Debbie!

Happy Day 500 to ChellyBelly!

Happy Day 500 to KAB!

Happy Day 500 to StonewallPDS!

Happy Day 500 to Hughie!

Happy Day 700 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 700 to Jenuhful!

Happy Day 800 to LJ63!

Happy Day 800 to Sean!

Happy Day 800 to Funcar13!

Happy Day 800 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 800 to Mahatma jojo!

Happy Day 800 to MelP!

Happy Day 900 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 900 to Cxx!

Happy Day 900 to GG!

Happy Day 900 to Festie!

Happy Day 900 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1000 to Megan!

Happy Day 1000 to Haggismcbaggis!

Happy Day 1000 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 1000 to Mizgabz!

Happy Day 1000 to Sanfransober!

Happy Day 1100 to Otherjosh!

Happy Day 1100 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 1100 to Jlynn!

Happy Day 1100 to Fernie Sobertina!

Happy Day 1100 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 1200 to Nuchter Maya!

Happy Day 1200 to Janet!

Happy Day 1200 to Beach_Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to Terry!

Happy Day 1200 to Denise!

Happy Day 1300 to Jenisthesoberist!

Happy Day 1400 to Original Beth!

Happy Day 1400 to Leah!

Happy Day 1500 to Erika!

Happy Day 1500 to Debra!


married to the beer man

Email from Sunny:

“I’d like to begin the 100 Day Challenge, but my situation is a bit odd. I’m wondering if you think it’s too much to overcome.

My husband is fairly prominent in the beer world. Because of his line of work our lives are very focused on alcohol. It pays our bills, it’s how we socialize with friends and family …. My husband says if I want to quit drinking that’s fine, but he will not change how he lives his life. He will continue to drink at home. I will have to attend beer related events with him

Is this an impossible situation? I need to quit drinking, but I’m worried that in my current situation its not possible. Any info or thoughts are welcome. Maybe you know someone in a similar situation? I hope I’m not the only one!”

me: it is possible. I am a caterer and often host large events where I buy, pour, and serve alcohol to my guests and I make homemade cocktails. I just don’t drink any myself. Booze is not good for me. It doesn’t improve my life. But I know that my clients like it and my job is to be of service, and to take their money 🙂

So if you approach alcohol as a tool that helps you earn income, that’s completely different from needing to drink it yourself.

Imagine you’re a vegetarian who’s a chef. You cook meat for the President because that’s what he’s paying you to do. Then you go home and eat lentils and chick peas and couscous and homemade lemonade with tonic and rosemary…

how’s that? hugs belle xo


And hooray! Sunny is on day 4 today 🙂

You may not agree with my advice. You may think her husband should quit his job, or that she should leave him (!) (she has young kids). Or you might think she can’t get sober without her husband’s support.

But really, the only person we’re in charge of is ourselves (well, and the babies we have around us). Sunny can do what’s best for her. I know that lots of people cannot have any alcohol in the house at all. And I respect that 100%. For others (or at least for me), I seem to be able to shelve booze in my mind as “not for me.”

What would you tell Sunny? Is it too much to overcome? Me, I don’t think so… You?

love, me


some of the comments received:

freedom (day 153): “I’d tell Sunny it is possible to do it with alcohol in the house and a husband who still drinks. I have both and I’m on day 153 today. It might be sensible to stay away from the boozy events in the early days..I couldn’t have managed them at that point. And I’ve found going to bed early with a good book can help on the days when I struggle with him drinking. Those are usually days when I’m tired, stressed or struggling with overwhelm and it’s been a real learning curve for me to start to recognise when I’m feeling like that and take steps to look after/protect myself from Wolfie. And remember you’re not alone! Belle is always on the end of an email and has been an incredible support, especially in the tough times…and I have to remember to reach out before Wolfie gets too loud. It gets easier the longer you do it. Keep the faith :)”

Rambling Rose (day 76):
“I think it is up to Sunny as to whether or not she can stay on the sober path and still attend these events/have booze in the home. My roommate has a liquor cabinet full of alcohol, and it doesn’t bother me because I never touched his booze anyway. So it’s not so unusual to stay sober while loved ones have the occasional drink. However, what does bug me a bit is her husband’s attitude (must go to these events? I’m going to drink anyway…). I sense some general resentment between the two of them… and that may make it harder (not impossible) to reconcile while focusing on recovery … I sure as hell would resent being told I have to attend alcohol related events, even if my livelihood was connected to it, because health is more important than people pleasing. Just depends on the person – and the situation. Belle, I think your feedback is good. It’s up to Sunny to decide on her own boundaries.”

Wanda T (day 76): “I am a vegetarian and I know you use this analogy sometimes but it’s not a good analogy because it’s not a valid comparison. Vegetarianism is usually an ethical commitment. So chefs who are vegetarians don’t cook meat. I bake & cook – I wouldn’t even know how to cook meat. I don’t know how the President got worked into the analogy. Sunny is in a very tough spot. If it’s possible for her to go to an in-patient rehab to get the booze out of her system, that would help her I think. She would at least have a running start. Her husband sounds beyond selfish. Going to work-related events where there is alcohol is not the same thing as him drinking at home. There is more going on in this relationship than her husband simply having a social & professional commitment to the Beer Industry. There is also an extreme power imbalance in the relationship if he’s demanding that she attend drinking events while she’s trying to get sober. Sunny could announce at a drinking event that she’s an alcoholic who is trying to quit drinking ….maybe some people there would support her and she’d find out she really & truly is not alone. Good luck Sunny!”

Elyn Jones (Day 143):
“Belle, I think your advice was spot on. We rarely get the ideal environment, so we have to adjust. I’ll bet that most of start out in a less than ideal environment cuz we created it with booze at the center. Doesn’t mean things can’t shift. They can, and thankfully, they do.”

D (not yet a penpal): “Let’s assume for the moment that her husband is not a complete asshole. That may be a stretch, but let’s give the benefit of the doubt. I agree with your statement that the only thing we are in charge of is ourselves … You’re advice was good: put alcohol in the context of a produce / service that provides a livelihood. Separate it from her life. Livelihood on one land, life on the other.”

anonymous confession booth: sex

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth about SEX. Yes, i’ve got something running through my head and i thought, OK, let’s blog about it. and really, it’s amazingly hard to talk about sex even when we’re quasi-anonymous online. And so then i thought, OK, let’s make it 100% anonymous, me included.

So here’s the deal.

  1. Post a comment below.
  2. For this to work you MUST leave your name and your email and your website address BLANK in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous. one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.
  3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what.
  4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something about sex that you think is ONLY your problem and that probably no one else has the same problem as you do. For example, i’ll make one up: “I can’t initiate sex when sober but i used to be able to when drinking” … OR … “i worry that i’m the only person who has x problem now that i’m sober.”
  5. Then take a second and post ONE anonymous ‘reply’ to one of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind. In fact, it would simply help if you said “i have this problem, too.”

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have sex shit that we can’t talk about.

PS. if your name/email automatically shows up when you start to enter a comment, you can manually delete them OR you can ‘log out’ of your blogging profile.


Tuesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Nost!

Happy Day 50 to CPS!

Happy Day 50 to Tewks!

Happy Day 50 to LunaBlu!

Happy Day 50 to Gomez!

Happy Day 50 to Sings!

Happy Day 50 to KRD!

Happy Day 50 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 50 to Jule!

Happy Day 50 to Jazzhands70!

Happy Day 50 to RetiringPartyGirl!

Happy Day 50 to Stefanie!

Happy Day 50 to Charlene!

Happy Day 50 to EmeraldGirl!

Happy Day 50 to Norma!

Happy Day 50 to Kelley!

Happy Day 50 to IngridandMac!

Happy Day 50 to Ree67!

Happy Day 50 to Steph!

Happy Day 50 to Lavender!

Happy Day 50 to Itssue!

Happy Day 50 to Sheree!

Happy Day 50 to LightLee!

Happy Day 50 to Gina!

Happy Day 50 to Staying Present!

Happy Day 50 to Johnny!

Happy Day 50 to AnnieO!

Happy Day 50 to Still Breathing!

Happy Day 50 to Lexie!

Happy Day 50 to Gomez!

Happy Day 50 to ararebird!

Happy Day 50 to Glitter!

Happy Day 50 to Megs!

Happy Day 50 to ANewDawn!

Happy Day 50 to NormaJean1215!

Happy Day 50 to Mummabear!

Happy Day 50 to Dazzzor!

Happy Day 50 to Raspberry!

Happy Day 50 to Wanda T!

Happy Day 50 to Rambling Rose!

Happy Day 50 to LOL!

Happy Day 50 to GK!

Happy Day 50 to Franci!

Happy Day 50 to IC Momentum!

Happy Day 50 to Mamabird!

Happy Day 50 to Buttercup244!

Happy Day 50 to Melanie!

Happy Day 50 to Mountain Girl!

Happy Day 50 to Sober Tea!

Happy Day 50 to Undrunken Dan!

Happy Day 50 to Junebee!

Happy Day 50 to Sober in VA!

Happy Day 50 to LifeAsIRockIt!

Happy Day 50 to Late Trier!

Happy Day 50 to Jaylee!

Happy Day 50 to Mrs. Roberts!

Happy Day 50 to Ket!

Happy Day 50 to CCC!

Happy Day 50 to Lizzytish!

Happy Day 50 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 50 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 100 to Gem64!

Happy Day 100 to Stillbridge!

Happy Day 100 to Bruna!

Happy Day 100 to Liquid Tracy!

Happy Day 100 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 100 to Ana Maria!

Happy Day 100 to NoWineMom!

Happy Day 100 to SueW!

Happy Day 100 to Mari!

Happy Day 100 to RoadtoSoberville!

Happy Day 100 to Putting Down the Glass!

Happy Day 100 to Lacie!

Happy Day 100 to Eily!

Happy Day 100 to NMD!

Happy Day 100 to Kiki71!

Happy Day 100 to wantasoberlife!

Happy Day 100 to Imba!

Happy Day 100 to Resiliensea!

Happy Day 100 to Stillbridge!

Happy Day 100 to True.d.True!

Happy Day 100 to Elyn Jones!

Happy Day 100 to Becca1978!

Happy Day 180 to AmandaJ!

Happy Day 180 to JJM14!

Happy Day 180 to 2BLimber!

Happy Day 180 to Gene!

Happy Day 180 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 180 to TJS!

Happy Day 180 to RubyHarper!

Happy Day 180 to Poppy!

Happy Day 200 to Topo Chico!

Happy Day 200 to Frupa63!

Happy Day 200 to Ruby!

Happy Day 200 to Hollm!

Happy Day 200 to Brett!

Happy Day 200 to Bemmy Girl!

Happy Day 200 to Maverick!

Happy Day 200 to Molly Jones!

Happy Day 200 to April!

Happy Day 200 to RachelB!

Happy Day 200 to Froggy Google!

Happy Day 200 to AustinHappy!

Happy Day 200 to TSilver!

Happy Day 200 to VMD Free!

Happy Day 300 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 300 to Jessee!

Happy Day 300 to Reenie!

Happy Day 300 to Imara!

Happy Day 300 to KatieMay!

Happy Day 300 to Toga!

Happy Day 300 to Patten!

Happy Day 365 to Southernsunshine!

Happy Day 365 to Debbie!

Happy Day 365 to Auds!

Happy Day 365 to Messy Jessy!

Happy Day 365 to Casey M!

Happy Day 365 to Surfrider 11!

Happy Day 365 to Runnergirl!

Happy Day 365 to KaffyB!

Happy Day 400 to KLC!

Happy Day 400 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 400 to Lanza!

Happy Day 400 to Boo!

Happy Day 400 to Chell!

Happy Day 400 to Joziegurrl!

Happy Day 400 to DB!

Happy Day 400 to Franny!

Happy Day 400 to Husband #1!

Happy Day 400 to TJ!

Happy Day 400 to SoberinMtl!

Happy Day 400 to ScrubJay!

Happy Day 400 to Binkles!

Happy Day 400 to Elis!

Happy Day 400 to Lydster!

Happy Day 400 to TrixeeK!

Happy Day 500 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 500 to GypsyGirl!

Happy Day 500 to Tree!

Happy Day 500 to Lucia!

Happy Day 600 to Cal!

Happy Day 600 to Kai!

Happy Day 600 to JP!

Happy Day 600 to Meraki!

Happy Day 600 to Gordon!

Happy Day 600 to Unwindegal!

Happy Day 700 to Cheaton!

Happy Day 700 to DW!

Happy Day 700 to Monty!

Happy Day 700 to Celene!

Happy Day 700 to TK!

Happy Day 700 to Hollers!

Happy Day 700 to Oz!

Happy Day 800 to  Solstice Guy!

Happy Day 800 to Joannie!

Happy Day 800 to Turcotte!

Happy Day 800 to Jennetic!

Happy Day 800 to Southern Magnolia 1013!

Happy Day 800 to Rock2015!

Happy Day 800 to Minnime!

Happy Day 900 to Mak!

Happy Day 900 to Paris!

Happy Day 900 to MidWestVeggie!

Happy Day 900 to RoseMarie!

Happy Day 900 to Rah!

Happy Day 900 to Tami!

Happy Day 900 to Janna!

Happy Day 900 to Jacqui!

Happy Day 900 to Petunia!

Happy Day 900 to Dancing Rabbit!

Happy Day 900 to Microlady!

Happy Day 900 to AlexP!

Happy Day 900 to Chefstaff!

Happy Day 900 to Monique!

Happy Day 900 to iphonebonnie!

Happy Day 900 to Chachi!

Happy Day 1000 to Sarah72!

Happy Day 1000 to Cassieb!

Happy Day 1000 to Jon!

Happy Day 1000 to Shelby!

Happy Day 1000 to Aaron!

Happy Day 1000 to Weenie!

Happy Day 1000 to Via51214!

Happy Day 1000 to 1111!

Happy Day 1000 to Manda!

Happy Day 1000 to Sober Lemon!

Happy Day 1000 to PP!

Happy Day 1100 to Jessi!

Happy Day 1100 to Heike!

Happy Day 1100 to Daybird!

Happy Day 1100 to Allison!

Happy Day 1100 to LolaB!

Happy Day 1100 to Connie!

Happy Day 1100 to Fich!

Happy Day 1100 to Hank!

Happy Day 1100 to Aschae!

Happy Day 1100 to Emery!

Happy Day 1100 to Going2pieces!

Happy Day 1100 to Apprentice SoberP!

Happy Day 1100 to Blake!

Happy Day 1200 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 1200 to Terence!

Happy Day 1200 to Clear Eyed Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to Hazeleyes!

Happy Day 1200 to Case Study Tim!

Happy Day 1200 to Baby Girl Butterfly!

Happy Day 1200 to Primrose!

Happy Day 1200 to Sadie!

Happy Day 1200 to SignGurl!

Happy Day 1200 to Jeannie Yogini!

Happy Day 1200 to Jilly Bean!

Happy Day 1200 to Kirst!

Happy Day 1300 to Pam!

Happy Day 1300 to JennyGardenGirl!

Happy Day 1300 to Sharon!

Happy Day 1300 to LD!

Happy Day 1300 to Laurie!

Happy Day 1400 to JM!

Happy Day 1703 to me 🙂


Sober tools: what helps, and what doesn’t

originally published on Medium

Sober tools: what helps, and what doesn’t

(Stop fucking around with houses built out of straw)

M (day 1 sober) writes: Belle, I keep trying all these things to help me be sober and nothing works. I just spent $100 on vitamins. I’ve been to the one-day, quit-drinking workshop. I signed up for a French class. You see, I’ve always wanted to go to Paris and with all the money I’m not spending on booze, I could buy a plane ticket.

You can hear M’s thinking, you can totally see what she’s saying, and it seems logical, doesn’t it. And my reply would be: “If you are continuously sober, then yes, whatever you’re doing is working. Keep doing it.”

But if you are not continuously sober — and I mean if you reset after 2 days, or 20 days, or 200 days — then what you’re doing isn’t quite enough to keep you sober. So you add in more sober tools.

Argh, I’m on Day 1 again. I’m enrolled in French class. Why isn’t that enough?

French class is something you can hang in the space that booze used to occupy. But taking a French class is not a sober tool.

Sober tools are things that help you to be sober.

Imagine this. You’re one of the three little piggies who is building a sober house, and wolfie comes to blow your sober house down.

You build your sober house out of straw or sticks or tarps or wood, and wolfie blows it over. Maybe not right away, maybe not tomorrow, but as soon as there’s a strong wind, as soon as there’s a death or a celebration or a runaway teenager or Sheila in accounting pulls her shit again and refuses to do the cheque run before end of day on Friday.

Doesn’t take much, then wolfie is at the door. Blowing. Sober house falls down.

But let’s be real, wolfie only has to knock on the door of your house made of straw to knock it over. To the house of wood, he’ll knock, and when that doesn’t work, he’ll add in lung full of hot air and a bit of whining. Doesn’t take long.

(And really, you built a sober house out of straw? You were wishi. You’re were hoping you could do the minimum. You knew it wasn’t going to be enough.)

To the house of stone, though, the house built out of sober stones set careful on a sober cement foundation — yeah, that house — well, wolfie will knock on your door. And when that doesn’t work, he’ll try to blow you over with convincing arguments as to why you need to Drink Right Now. You’ll add in a bit more cement and wave to him through the window. He’ll look for cracks, but you’ve got double-paned glass and a bug screen.

Now this sober stone house, this is your life.

Your life is worth more than the minimum. It’s worth more than straw and tarps.

The soul of you, the essence of you, the real you that isn’t anesthetized, the real you that is empathetic and helpful and has good boundaries — that you gets deserves to be guarded in a solid stone structure.

What helps to build a wolfie-proof, stone sober house?

Advice from an architect. Talking to the girl at Home Depot about the length of the nails and what’s worked on similar projects.

Pouring a cement foundation. Going as slowly as required to not have to pour the foundation, dig it up, pour it again, and dig it up again. What a waste of time that is. Do the sober foundation, yes, but if you do it too quickly, do it too rashly, try to do it with inadequate cement, or do it while doing too many other things at the same time — well, you know what happens.

You can see this example clearly when we’re talking about cement.

The colour of the paint, and the carefully selected tri-season-blooming flowers, the stony garden walks, and the breeding fruit trees do not build a strong house.

The French classes and spin classes and yoga classes and pottery classes and vitamins don’t help you change your behaviour. They’re wonderful (and necessary and lovely) things to add to your life. They are.

But they’re not sober tools.

A sober tool is something that helps you to be sober. Not paint colour.

You want to paint the room, but you haven’t built the room. You want to choose the light fixture, but the wiring isn’t in yet. You want to focus on the details all around THE THING.

The thing you want is to be sober. And so you’re online spending hours choosing the right French class?

You just spent $100 on multivitamins because that should help you be sober?

What if you’d spent that time and that $100 on actual sober supports. You don’t though, because wolfie is a sly fucker, taunting perfectly nice people with bullshit logic like vitamins and French classes.

OK. So sober tools. They’re things that help you be sober. That would include anything that directly makes it more likely that you (a) remember that being sober is a good idea, (b) soothes irritation, (c) helps you be accountable, (d) checks in on you, (e) reminds you what you’re doing when you forget, (f) reinforces the idea of the sober foundation and why you need it because you forgot again, (g) makes it possible for you to not drink.

A French class isn’t a sober tool. Just like your drinking husband isn’t a sober support.

What works?

Treats and rewards work for being sober. Accountability works. Actual sober support works. Planning replacement drinks works. Listening to sober audios works. Reaching out works.

(Do you think you can read books about pouring cement foundations and have the book be enough? Is a one-day workshop enough? How about a forum of other people on day 1 of cement pouring? Why are you walking around outside THIS THING acting like you don’t know what to do? You know what to do. You know that if you ask for support from people who can actually support you, you can get this done. You know that if you turn and face the resources and education and accountability that sober support provides, that you’ll learn from people who’ve done it 2,593 times that you’ll save time, feel better, and have your cement poured sooner.)

And don’t get me wrong.

If you’ve built a house out of straw AND IT’S WORKING FOR YOU then keep doing what you’re doing.

But if the wind keeps blowing you over, you’ve gotta look at having some new tools.

And paint isn’t a tool.

Neither is a French class.

every minute feels like forever

from me:
a couple of days ago, i invited you to send me an email if you’d never emailed before, or never posted a comment on my blog. i specifically wanted to invite lurkers, silent-readers, keep-to-yourself types, and non-reaching-out-ers to … well, to reach out.  I said i’d pick two emails, and would send personalized audio replies from me. Here’s one of the messages i replied to:

Lis: “Belle, I’m one of those “lurkers”… I’m 16 days sober and was sitting in my office crying when your email arrived. My longest period of sobriety was 76 days — this past summer and every minute of it felt like forever. I love lemon meringue pie…”

>> listen to my audio reply here <<

My goal for 2017 is to send out 500 copies of my book to sympathetic doctors
, helpful therapists, open-minded social workers, and kind psychiatrists. I’d like to share this idea of support for quitting drinking (for ‘high bottom’ drinkers/for those of us who don’t go to AA). I know that most doctors don’t know anything about us. They don’t know what to say when we admit we’re over-drinking, and they don’t know what resources are available outside of AA or rehab. So I want to send 500 copies of my book out to people who help others.