pink-cloudy AND tortured on the same day

in my last post I started to contemplate what happens at the end of my Dry July.  Day #25 today. thanks to everyone for ideas and well wishes and kindness.  it’s pretty cool that no one said “wow this girl is heading on a downward slide into hell if she keeps going on this path” … even though i’m sure some of you were privately thinking just that.

on my run today, i realized that if i’m thinking about this still this much after a month, then best to continue onwards, sober. Like cleo with cigarettes, i cannot say the same for drinking. I can’t take it or leave it. Wine is not like corn on the cob.  I love corn on the cob, and sometimes i’ll even go to special stores to find it here.  but i don’t keep track of the BEST cob, nor do i remember the date of my last cob… Even in thinking out my idea of “maybe I’ll drink twice in August” … my internal wheels started to spin and I got tense. literally. i got wound up just thinking about it.  what if I use up the alcohol on a bad night? what if I don’t get the effect that I want and I waste it.  what if I drink and then I wish I hadn’t bothered? i’m sure that two drinks will be disappointing no matter what the context. 

again, on my run today (thank god for running!), I realized that i could give up MEAT for a month and not wonder when i could have more, or how much i would enjoy it.  i could probably even give up sugar for an entire month – including the sugar hidden in stupid things like mayonnaise. Yes, i’d feel pissed off if I had to give up sugar for a month, but i highly highly seriously doubt that i’d give it as much brain space as i have given to wine in the last 25 days. would i be reading other people’s sugar blogs? really? probably, highly not.

(in fact, when i started Dry July, i gave up meat, alcohol and sugar for the first 7 days, then reintroduced sugar and meat.  it was completely fine.  in fact, planning vegetarian meals took a bit of work but it distracted me nicely from thinking about booze. Note to self.  when feeling antsy, set a different non-alcohol-related goal that will have a positive outcome, that can distract me from boozing.)

i’m sure i’ll cycle around to the idea of moderation, oh, i don’t know, like a few more hundred times.  but for now i’m staying on the wagon. I like it here, even if I feel both pink-cloudy AND tortured ON THE SAME DAY.

For now, i’m going to extend Dry July to be 90 days.  and then probably longer again.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Congratulations on deciding to commit to another 60 days. I remember feeling a sense of almost overwhelming calm when I hit 90. I knew I could do it. Sobriety has been amazing and I’m thrilled to meet another sober runner.

  • Belle
    All I said above it true, but if I am into total honesty (i’m trying!) then I have to say I love the fact you are going for 90 because I love your writing. So beware the “advice” I give. There are truly selfish motives attached too! 🙂 Cleo xx

    • cleo, you are really too kind. tell me what you like about the writing and i’ll do more of it : ) no really. not whoring for compliments (not really!), but am curious to know what it is that people like to read… for me, i like reading about what people “think” and what they “feel” rather than what they’ve done. but that’s just me. i’m a thinker, or maybe that isn’t clear enough! ha.

      in this anonymous space, hidden here in a comment that no one will ready, i can admit to having a degree in writing that i don’t use. i did the studies and then moved away from it. drifted. i know it’s still there somewhere. and honestly doing this blog is the first time in 20+ years that i’ve voluntarily written anything AND even looked forward to it … all of the other writing that i have to do is work related and i resist it gigantically. like it’s a gaping anus waiting to suck me in … (just had to work GA back into the dialogue somehow…)

      • I feel like I know you through your writing; the details of your days, your relationship with your husband (cool guy!), your running, your computer. You are funny (portuguese english etc) and light and vivacious. But you are true and authentic and kind and warm. You definitely learnt something with that degree! I love the way you put it all out there about Dry July vs 90 days – revealed all, went through the whole process in writing what was going on in your mind. I still find myself “bullshitting” myself in my blog and then I go back and try and try to be more honest. Its been quite revealing about myself. Made me appreciate how tough it must be for “known” real people to reveal themselves. I took off a few details about myself as I suddenly became paranoid that someone I know might discover my blog. What do I fear? And do I have such dishonest relationships with the “real” people in my life that it would matter if they found the blog me? Anyway I see my inner toddler is back and its all about “me, me, me”.

    • thanks cleo. i also feel like i know you from your writing, bullshit or not. i’ve tried to be pretty open on this blog, but probably – if i’m being honest – it’s because i teach and lead and direct and manage and inspire in my day-time-real-job, and other than this blog i don’t have *any* other place where i can show what’s going on behind the scenes. i can’t share personal details with clients/staff cuz i’m the one in charge. this might be the first time in a super very long time that i’ve had a true *peer* group, and it’s very very rewarding. (and just to note, i also go back and edit out personal stuff sometimes, and then later i just think – fuck it – this is waaaay more important than having someone find out who i ‘really’ am …)

  • HI Belle
    So pleased you are going for 90 days now. I do think 30 days is just not long enough to really KNOW what it will be like. 30 days is a bit like your analogy of the first 20 minutes of running. One needs to tough it out before the rewards start coming. I want to do a year – do all the Xmas and holidays and birthdays and anniversaries etc. I truly hope that after a year there is no question at all but this is the little concession I give to the inner toddler who goes “I want, I want/Why not?/ But why, why why?” Shut the f#$% up you 2 year old. When you are a year older I will think about what’s good for you.
    Starting to feel the “habit” of not drinking kicking in now, and also feeling less obsessive. Down to reading the blogs only about 5 times a day now! Cleo xx

    • god i check the blogs 3+ times a day… and today (day #26) is the first day i managed to run immediately without checking the blogs first… i agree with day 90. and i agree with your ideas on one year. i agree with everything. and then some days it just seems fucking ridiculous, but then i get over myself …

  • “…i cannot say the same for drinking. I can’t take it or leave it.” Wow, does that say it all or what?

    *dons cheerleading outfit and pom-poms* You can do it!!!!

    (no, I don’t really have a cheerleading outfit *L*)

  • I literally breathed a sigh of relief when I got to the end of this post. I knew you could do it.

    • if the places were reversed, i’d also be relieved. i’m relieved every single day when i check your blog and other blogs and see that people are hanging in there … struggling some days, but keeping on …

  • Hi Belle,
    I wrote two replies to your post yesterday but they didn’t post. I’ll try again but won’t invest a lot of time, jic. If you decide to moderate, check out Moderation Management, they have a website and a forum although the forum isn’t very busy. I suggest that you join their Mainlist email service, you will get tons of email but tons of support and tools, too. It was through MM that I finally managed to make the decision to permanently abs, and I’m so glad that I answered the question of whether I could moderate or not first. It allowed me to be at peace and joyful with my decision.

    • KM your comments were pending in spam because of the links, but i approved them, and they’re there now attached to yesterday’s post. I’ve decided not to explore the idea of moderation, at least for now. I think i’ll write more about why in a separate post, but i’m thankful that everyone had such positive ideas and support to offer : )

  • Happy to hear you’re extending sobriety! It’s one thing to make a well-thought out and considered choice versus giving in to compulsive temptation (watch out for that little devil voice that comes out of nowhere, for it probably will, and just remember that voice lies and it is probably coming from a place of fear.) Put your temptations to the same thought process, and make a well-thought out choice for yourself. Hugs! RoS

  • You are strong…
    I hate the voices that are saying just have one…..been a constant pain in my body for 24 hours now. Not sure I can be as strong as you but I’m trying..

    • Jen, you’re totally as strong as I am, I promise. Day 10 is amazing, i keep checking your site every morning to see if you’ve updated! For me, the earlier days were much harder, and by day 16 i was soaring. At day 24 (yesterday) i had some doubts but they lasted less than a day. Today i’m doing well again. Some days you just have to ignore the voice in your head and go for a run and/or go to bed (well, it depends on what time of day it is!). Hugs from me. Message me tomorrow morning if only to say hi! > tiredofdrinking @

  • I am glad to see you are thinking about extending your sobriety.

    I do believe that it is near impossible to give it up completely if you still entertain the possibility that you can drink moderately, and that may require some “research” to prove or disprove. Only you can decide.

    But, on the other hand, for me, I was still obsessing about drinking after 30 days, and even 60 and 90. At some point after 3 months the obsessive drinking voices started to quiet, so I was sad to hear you might give up sobriety before that could happen for you.

  • You made some great points in this post. I think about WHY I actually drank.. it was to escape, to get away from what I was feeling. It wasn’t to have fun. It makes think.. why do other people drink?? It’s something I think about a lot. I’ve been sober for 53 days today, and the last 53 days have been wonderful. I realized I need to face life face on, not covering up my bad coping skills to alcohol. Whatever reason you drank, I think more sober time is ALWAYS a good idea. =)