eachdayitgetsalittleeasier

nashville takes footwear and music very seriously. sometimes combined in the same space.

 

email from Faith2019: “Hi Belle. Well when I went ice skating the other day I had a really bad fall and hurt my arm. Couldn’t move it and I thought it was broken. Went to ER. no broken bones thank god but still a lot of pain. I guess what I am comparing it to is stopping drinking. Each day it gets a little easier — and I said to myself when my arm is back to the way it was, I am going to appreciate it so much and treasure it and try to never hurt it again !!!!! Because this sucks.

So as not drinking gets easier everyday, I don’t want to go back and hurt myself again and start healing All over!!!! Just like this freakin arm.”

 

​Painting #406 has been posted for sale. 
Here’s how it looked on the wall at the Tennessee Art Show in Knoxville 🙂 (May 9-11). This photo was taken the day before, during set up, so D’s desk is still in the picture, and the garbage cans were later moved! But i wanted you to see how it looked with the others 🙂
artsober.com

does doing what’s right even matter?

from my inbox:

JK: “Hi Belle: I have a sister who is three years younger than me … She is very popular and social. I am ummmm — not that. I went to college; she did not. She married at 21; I married at 31. Although we are different, we are friends and quite close. Beth’s life is not as stable as my life. She and her husband do not make as much money; two of her three kids struggle in school; she and her husband do not have good financial skills — lots of phones being shut off, credit card debt, and they actually just left their house one day and moved somewhere else. I’m sure it ended up in foreclosure. My divorced parents continue to support her and her children financially, and they try to hide it from me. … They have paid for nothing for me ever in my life since I went to college at 18 (which they did not pay for). …

I try to be happy that our family is honest and independent and teaching our two children important and positive life lessons BUT I’m upset, and it’s not fair, and I’m 43, and my sister is 40, and it continues to happen over and over. My dad has been sober for 13 years, and he is actually one of the reasons that I thought quitting drinking would be good idea, and he has been so supportive. I texted him today and said Beth just shared that you were paying for their trip to Florida. Ten minutes later, he wrote: Shit happens.

I’m a little in shock and so upset, and I want to drink because it sucks, and why the hell am I even trying to do anything right because it doesn’t even matter. My sister has done some of the stupidest shit in her life, and she continues to get bailed out! Also, I know my dad would be disappointed if I started to drink again, and I kind of want to just to piss him off because really Fuck You…

I’m not going to drink, but I’m pissed that guzzling alcohol is my first thought. Then, I wonder: Does doing what’s right even matter? I guess I want some type of reward. Like here’s a vacation for consistently making good choices. I don’t even know what I want actually. Some type of sign that I’m doing what’s right.”

me: ok. you can delete this message from me after you read it and you can hate me. but here goes.

     There is no ‘fair’ with siblings. interpersonal relationships are complicated and there is no score card of ‘you get this and she gets that’. If your parents give your sister stuff it’s because (a) she’s got issues, and they’re worried about her and the grandkids and (b) they feel guilty that she’s got issues; they believe they did something wrong by her.

nothing to do with you.

someone gets a promotion, you don’t, nothing to do with you.

someone gets money, you don’t, nothing to do with you.

you don’t want their fucking money because it would come with strings and expectations and demands and implied criticism and control. if you were your sister, I’d be suggesting that you turn down their money and take care of yourself. which is what YOU are doing. you are taking care of you and what your sister does or doesn’t do has NOTHING to do with you and your husband. this is your family now. your family is the little cool one you built around you.

you don’t email your father and say ‘what about me’. instead, you feel sorry for your sister. she’s got stuff that’s fucked up and everyone knows it. including her. she’s probably super jealous of you. even if she’s loud and you’re not. you have your shit together. AND you’re sober 🙂 you fucking rock. is that enough swearing?
love 🙂 and hugs,  me

JK: “Hi Belle: I cried when I read this message; I’m going to print it out and carry it with me and read it all the time. You absolutely nailed it; are you sure that you don’t know me in person? I want to say more, but I don’t know how to say the words. Thank you; I felt validated, yet I also understood how it’s not about me. Also, on a drinking note: totally not drinking.

 


shameless commercial link. i don’t think these links work any more. no one clicks on them. nobody gives a shit about links or clicking or shameless shit. maybe these shameless commercial links should be shame-full commercial links. links to shameful stuff like porn. How about this link? you did it, right? you clicked on the porn link… ok, how about this one then.


lunch. toasted sesame bagel, fancy mustard, turkey that actually tastes like turkey, some kind of original pickle, and iced coffee 🙂 from paysan bread (bagel) and remedy coffee, two places located side by side, and you can eat your bagel in the coffee store. they’re nice like that.


(knoxville tennessee; thanks to Gem64 via the tiny gift fund)

anonymous confession booth: sex

step right up. for two days 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 type Anonymous as your name and put in a fake email (fakeemail123@gmail.com) 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 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.

 


 

this special edition painting #344, there is only one available. potential. your potential changes when you’re sober. link here > https://gumroad.com/l/Exit-344

I fully recognize that I cannot go on like this

email from MDC (day 17): “Yup, things crashing down around me but the sober momentum has me in a good place and able to handle – that’s the good news. Bad news, Im having a real bad time with eating well i know, i guess i let it ride for 30 days and not worry about that. Big Holiday weekend coming up … I will stay busy!! Thanks Belle!”

me checking in 3 weeks later: just wondering how you’re doing.

MDC: “So nice to see your email today … I did not want to email while i was struggling. I’d be good for a week or more, then horrible..Now I feel beaten down. I fully recognize that I cannot go on like this, but I still do not know how to maintain a good solid period of time. I know i have to get some therapy, but this task alone is incredibly daunting. How am i going to find a perfect stranger, who is the right fit, who can help? How will i afford that? I know i can’t go on like this though. I can drink normally for some time and then comes the binge, the panic attack, racing heart and 3 of 7 nights a week of complete + utterly horrific insomnia. Why would i do something that i know causes that condition??? When i get to that point, then i get scared, like oooh maybe this is a very serious problem. I wish i could do this with your program. If i sign up for more, what would that look like? Am i too far gone because I’ve done this sooo many times??? Does that automatically qualify me for “lost cause” 🙁 well probably a lot of questions here that you cannot answer. But today im thinking that it is day 1. Thanks for reaching out Belle. Hugs!”

me: sweet pea, sober support isn’t something you earn by being sober. you don’t have to be on a certain day to email. perhaps sober support is something that helps you to BE sober. if you’re able to go for a week, that’s good, you can build on that. you add in some more supports and tools. what you’re doing now is good but it’s not quite enough. you can set up some calls with me until you get a counsellor you like. you can see your doctor about a short trial of medication. you can email 4 times a day for the first 2 weeks. you can get away from day 1 and feel better.
you’re not a lost cause if you restart, and add new things each time you restart. but you can’t just declare a day 1 and have that be enough. the noise in our head is too loud. you have to declare day 1 AND add new things/change what you’re doing.
so maybe if what you’ve been doing isn’t quite enough yet, then you can do more things. that might mean meetings. medication. calls. audios. reading. writing. treats. sleep. and a lot more accountability. if you had calls set up with me once a week for 6 weeks, that might help get you going … 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. hugs


below this line you will find shameless commercial links which you should completely ignore 🙂


A: “Here’s the thing. my “stay here” bracelet  keeps me going. May 2nd will be one year. I know it’s not the bracelet itself, but the visual reminder, or visual cheerleader, is what helps.” [in gold] [in brass]


video:
 there’s a nice 3-minute video here about global magnets.
https://www.facebook.com/tiredofdrinking/videos/1124757534394128/

 

kids screaming and yelling about needing breakfast

from Kelley (day 15):

“Hey Belle. So, it’s Saturday morning and I REALLY wish I would have drank last night. I so wish I would have gotten that half hour of a buzz that I think is the holy grail, followed by hours of empty calorie consumption, getting to the point that I don’t really care what I say or do (or text or Facebook), then getting into a fight with my husband because it’s 1 a.m. and I want to stay up and watch another movie and drink more. I sure wish I would have woken up on the couch with all my clothes on at 5 a.m. because my husband gave up trying to get me to come upstairs. I really missed out on that middle of the night parched mouth so I claw my way to the kitchen to gulp down 3 glasses of water like I will die if I don’t. Man, I wish I would have gotten to experience that shameful moment when I remember that I drank way too much even though I hadn’t planned on it. And oh, boy. This morning? I sure missed my kids coming in and screaming and yelling about needing breakfast, with a pounding head and an inability to get up, so I tell them to just scrounge up some cereal for themselves while I go back to “sleep,” which is really just closing my eyes for another hour while I wince in pain and berate myself for WHY I drank that much for the millionth time. I’m really going to be sad the rest of today that I’m not simultaneously feeling all physically horrible and mentally tortured by what a terrible mother I am, all the while wanting it to be 5:00 so I can do it again! WTF? It IS insanity. Note to self: Sober is better. Now if I can just get that tattooed onto my crazy brain, that would be awesome…Day 15.”

~

shameless commercial link. i have hand-selected a collection of audios to help you specifically with the idea of “why is this hard, why am i thinking about FOREVER, i don’t trust myself, I feel nervous, but I want to keep going.”  link here

 

 

[Audio] My Chat with Janey Lee Grace from “Alcohol Free Life”

​Last November when I was in London, Janey Lee Grace interviewed me for her 'not-yet-released' new podcast. Well now it's released 🙂 and I'm episode #13.

​We talk about ​sober coaching, what it's like to have a voice in your head that thinks that drinking is a good idea, and some tips on things that can help. 


​This podcast will also be sent out ​to podcast subscribers ​ as episode 302.


You can listen to the complete audio here.​ Our interview starts at about the 5 minute mark ...

​Sober Podcast 302. My Chat with ​Janey Lee Grace 

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. If you've heard the entire audio, you can tell me if you heard anything new ​... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Sign up for my ​podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

​This is painting #373, Stay here, stay sober, stay focussed, stay here.

murdery anger

email from APool (day 28): “Today has been a day when as soon as I woke up I knew I should just go right back to bed! I’m tired and very, very cranky with a huge side of murdery anger. It’s a great combo! PMS IS AWESOME!!!

I have feelings that are right at the front of my brain. I can’t stuff them anywhere because I can’t hide from them with booze. I’m writing this from a bathroom stall in Costco! Perfect place to come to with murdery pms. I need a garden hose and strawberries and then I’m racing home to be alone.

Had to write an email. Been meaning to do it since I woke up so bathroom stall it is haha. ❤️APool”

[update: she’s on day 48 today] 


 

this is exit painting #376 
it goes nicely with everything you own
it matches the other thing you have hanging on your wall.
yes, you’re right, i do think you should have it.

 

life is the train, not the station

email from Katana (day 11):  “I listened to all the podcasts I have on repeat today.  I’m not even sure I was listening to what you were saying.  I just associate your voice with the fact I want to be sober and go from there.
I managed to clean out my entire desk today.  I’ve decided I don’t need one.  All it does is collect shit and then it pisses me off that it is always dirty.  I’m trying to stay away from things that piss me off.  To bad the toddlers don’t get that.
Anyway I’m sober.  Because of naps, chocolate, and repeating podcasts.  Thanks Belle.”

~

email from Smile 9 (day 89): “I listened to your interview with the yoga chap – I have to say I was quite surprised  at the interview and it’s left me thinking about the ‘feeling’ it left me with – thought I would share some of it. I felt he didn’t listen to you and had his own agenda. He sounded commercial and ‘slick’ – made me realise why your message and style for me is so successful, because you are exactly not like that – he was annoying and lightweight and didn’t sound genuinely interested in you or your message – it left me feeling quite empty – and appreciate you more! Of course it could have been a different live experience for you and I may be mistaken but it was quite a strange listen. I was on a train and I was thinking life is the train and not the station. The bottom line for me with this sober lark is making a commitment – any sort of commitment – but a big commitment – ties in with accountability – not just with the sober journey but life and making changes…”

 

 

“I’ll be there”

email from C (not yet a penpal):  “Last night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. I actually slept through until morning (it’s day 55). I simply can’t remember when I had a night’s sleep where I didn’t wake during the night. Can you believe how happy that makes me? ha!! My bargaining time was also around the 3 a.m. mark. I would pray to God, please God I don’t want to drink anymore, Help me to feel better, please don’t let me die. Really, there were times when I felt I had abused my body so badly that my heart might simply give up. The anxiety of it all was desperate. A desperate plea to help me get sober. My journey, I’m sorry to say, is a near on 30 year trek and yes I’m exhausted.
However, something is different this time. It may well be due to the sad news that my husband has been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I could easily attribute my soberness to such sober news and in part I’m sure it is. However, I’m reaching a birthday milestone at the end of the year too and I wanted to do something different, something life affirming. However, my husband’s diagnosis put a hold on any adventures I had in mind, quite rightly paling them into insignificance. But, once again, it was something you said about when you stop drinking everything you do is a new experience (can’t remember your exact quote, maybe that was exact!!). It inspired me to realise that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing this year. This is my life affirming adventure. I know I probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself, and I feel a bit of a jolt and a notable cringe as I even allow myself to think it is possible for me to be free of drink, let alone say it, but there it is, I’ve just said it. And so I think the difference is you, Belle. You know, I’ve never signed up or had any support whatsoever in previous sobriety times and there’s so many bits of advice or ways of looking at things that have helped me get to this stage. I know it’s early days, but I’ve never been sober for this long with this resolve before! The payback that I’m experiencing these last 55 days of sobriety is the sheer beauty of it all. The freedom of knowing that I can say “I’ll be there” or “I’ll do that” with no fear of hangovers getting in the way, resulting in false excuses (I mean lies) because I decided to get obliterated and so now I can no longer function properly and all I want to do is sleep. I have literally been chained to the booze shackles, imprisoned by my own free will … So with all that said, I want to thank you for sending your emails, long may they continue, they give me such strength. I’m sure you know how much you are helping so many people, but I just wanted to say thank you for how much you are helping me.”

 

the business of ‘FUW’

email from Topo Chico (day 28): “Arrived at new work location today. Jet lagged and exhausted, but not hungover. Yay. After paying for dinner last night, the waiter asked me if he could invite me to enjoy a digestif. I almost said yes, not knowing what he meant, but stopped short when he explained further:  alcohol. I said no thanks telling him that I was on business. That’s a solid excuse for respectable folks. (Yeah, I’m on business, the business of Fuck You Wolfie.)”