oh god, i guess what i’m saying is “are we there yet?”

i realize now that i have some mood fluctuations up and down, some pink cloud-y days followed by some rancid thoughts. i realize now that both are OK, and neither mean i’m going to drink.

Today is the end of Dry July and i have to say i feel relieved. Like it’s about to get easier, finally. It is going to get easier, right?

well, maybe everyone feels the same way during their first 30 days:  you’ve got your head down, you’re singularly focused, kind of obsessed with the blogs, putting one foot in front of the other, not really looking around, just trying to reach THE GOAL.  The goal might be one day or one week or one month or forever. But you’re doing it head-down, focused.

i am at my first goal now (30 days) and i feel like i want to start to look up now. It’s like i pressed a giant PAUSE button on my life for July, and i really didn’t accomplish more than I had to.

OK, that’s not fair. i accomplished sobriety and that’s something! it just took a LOT of concentration to get here to July 31st. This past month, my goals were pretty simple:  get up, run, shower, eat 3 meals a day, and do the minimum to not get fired from my job. get to bed before midnight.  read a book a week? not much. feed my husband? not always.  laundry? nyet. Begin any other new projects? nein. Plan work stuff for September? não.

Now that Dry July is finished it’s probably a dangerous thought process i’m having today, but what i think i’m exploring now is HOW MUCH ATTENTION and focus and concentration do i give this thing… i’m sure it gets easier over time. But i’m really looking forward to getting back to my regularly schedule life, and i don’t want to miss out on any more summer.

Well, I can maybe predict some ‘reasonable’ answers… “Belle, you have to give sobriety as much ongoing time as necessary to maintain it, because it’s the most important thing.”

when really i want to dance. i want to suntan. i want to be free of restraints.  i don’t want to drink, i just want to be done with this part.

i’m not sure this makes sentido (sense).

oh god, i guess what i'm saying is "are we there yet?"


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

  • This is wonderful. I only ever get to 4 days then kill myself on the 5th. I don’t know why, really. I asked a doctor was my body over the need of it by the 5th day and he said yes. It was then psychological.

    So, this psychological thing…. need to get it licked.

  • Belle, congrats on July and August awaits your success too. Vacation will be long remembered as the sober one and the beginning of the rest of your life. Good for you. After a bit the intensity of the thoughts wil lessen altho even after twenty eight years I still think about not drinking every day. Perhaps i will think of it every day til I die… That’s ok too cuz for eight long years I thought about drinking all day every day.

    You’re doing so well, Belle, stay the course. I hope the pastry lesson tastes scrumptious.

  • It does and will get easier and you will eventually think about it less. I started filling my non-work hours with workouts, reading, volunteering, cleaning the house, etc. to stay engulfed in other thoughts. It really helps.

    • thanks BHM, i start a month’s vacation tomorrow so i can’t wait to see how my perspective changes once i’m doing more ‘fun’ things and ‘thinking’ less (well, hopefully anyway).

  • Belle! You are on vacation, right now…this is the beginning of your sober lifestyle. You are healthy, running, reading, spinning 9 plates at a time, projects, home stuff. You really don’t want to change that, do you? You know what will happen if you decide to have one or two in August? You will want more in September …more in October and who knows where you’ll be by Christmas? …in the same boat as I was 16 days ago and you were 31 days ago!
    THIS is our vacation! Waking up feeling refreshed, spending time doing the things we want to do and not feeling shitty!
    We can do August together …call it August Rush! No booze…Just life!
    Good luck with your decision girl. You are an inspiration. I believe in you!

    • oh my god jen, you have no idea how great it is to be getting cheerleading from you … and the timing of your message, and something about how you’ve phrased it, is just what i needed to hear tonight (10:20 pm here). this IS vacation. this IS the greatest i’ve felt in a long time. i’m having none in August, you’re right. I’m ready for August Rush – no booze, just life. Running and projects and reading and i’ll throw in some baking, maybe a coconut cream pie and i’ve always wanted to learn to make puff pastry from scratch. Jen, you are the inspiration, no kidding!
      ~~ Excellent, bring on August. Let’s do it : ) ~~

  • Congratulations on your 30 days! It is truly an accomplishment to get 30 days in and of itself, but to be blogging articulately about it? Unheard of (not for you!) I couldn’t even put a coherent sentence together.
    I think one of the keys to Sobriety is replacing old activities with new sober-centric activities (this is what my focus is on) You’ll find them if you stay strong in your program for a long enough time as I was lucky enough to do.Work a rigorously honest program of AA with a sponsor (which I’ll have to admit I am working slowly and that is what I need) and surround yourself with the people doing good in recovery(the winners). Your life will come back, slowly, and when it does it won’t be that drinking life. It will be a life that is of your creation, not one that is a slave to a substance.
    Good luck !

  • Be patient with yourself and do what you need to get through the day. Not that the day or staying sober itself is hard, but I guess I mean don’t worry you’re not doing it right or fast enough or whatever. If you feel like reading, read. If you don’t, give it time and do what makes you calm or happy. I’ve heard a lot of people say the first 90 days are the hardest, so probably best not to take on too much right now. You’re doing something pretty incredible right now. It definitely gets easier and it just takes time and then one day you’ll be there.

    • bbb, i think you’re right. i’ll just try to coast with it, and not spin any more projects into the mix – not quite yet! i’m dying to go on a diet, but that seems like too much at once! and i’m really needing the sugar … i am running lots, so that’s good. and i start vacation tomorrow so that’ll help i’m sure!

  • Almost exactly where I was after a month. I was pretty comfortable not drinking but starting to feel like I was obsessing on NOT drinking, and my recovery. A mistake would have been if I had curtailed my efforts (e.g. reaching out, meetings, meditation, reading, etc.) in order to try and solve this. Because it was not my focus on these things that made me feel like I was spending so much energy on recovery, these things actually take up a small percentage of time compared to the time I spent drinking, or thinking about drinking. It was literally the noise in my head that made me feel like I was obsessing on recovery. After a while the noise started to quiet, and I was able to put even more focus on my recovery actions without feeling like it was controlling my life. Give it time and the balance will come.

    • thanks for the new perspective *Beast* – i will watch how much time is actually being taken up, and you’re probably right, it’s not nearly as much time as drinking took up …

  • I know EXACTLY where you are. I too have got pretty sick of thinking about NOT drinking and want my life back. It feels like that is starting to happen – widening my reading from not drinking to wider issues about life and where I want to be. And soon I might even get away from all this self improvement stuff and read a NOVEL. That used to be a big part of my life but now it would be quite novel (haha). I think I am getting some insight that I always seem to have to have some obsession going on in my life – running, not drinking, healthy eating, golf, reading some specific genre, decorating the house, a new love (in bygone days) etc. I replace one obsession with another. Is this who I am and maybe there is good stuff out of this otherwise I would do nothing? But it would be nice to have less obsessive tendencies. Ok I realise this is not helping. lets hope there are some other wiser folk out there with better advice. Cleo xx

    • it does help, cleo, because you’re further along than i am… my husband is like you, goes from one “new best friend” (as i call it) to another. me, I usually am happiest spinning 3 or 6 or 9 plates at a time. business, projects, home stuff, running, reading, working on my language skills… but for this past month i’ve really only been doing one thing – staying sober. i’d like a vacation now : )

    • Hi Belle
      I just read your 30 days sober and I could be you, I am finally sick of drinking 3 to 6 drinks a night and feeling like crap the next day just to perk up again at 5 and do it all over again. I too topped up my drink when no one was looking, was so conscious of could I have another one, would anyone notice? I have pretty much drank everyday for 20 years,give or take some 30 day challenges, which I cheated on, god that is a long time. Never getting “wasted” or blacking out or driving drunk but knowing that I have a problem. Other people don’t drink like this or continually think about drinking and feeling shame about drinking and wanting to be able to drink normally. The only time I did not drink was when I was pregnant. I signed up for your 100 days of no drinking and I am on day 3. I am excited as I think I am finally ready to make lasting change. I feel my drinking has caused me to miss out on so much since I never feel awesome always slightly hungover or very hungover! Everytime I go a few days without drinking I feel like life is so much easier, work is easier, kids are easier and I don’t ruminate on things as much as I use to. I think I am finally figuring out that drinking made things seem less anxious or more relaxed for awhile but now it does the opposite it makes things so much harder! Also I have gained 30 pounds and I believe that is just from wine. I eat so much more the next day to try and settle my stomach. I am just going to focus on one day at at time. I too watched intervention while drinking wine and would be so interested how much everyone else drinks to make myself feel better about my drinking…
      I really hope I can stick to it. I think the difference this time is that it is really starting to effect me and I am worried about it affecting my health. I am tired not exercising and being someone who was very athletic, I feel that is slipping away and it is due to the drinking. I am only going to focus on not drinking for 100 days not trying to change everything at once.
      Thanks for a great BLOG!!

      • Hi there…. this is exactly me. I too am on day 3, and dare I say, I feel focused, positive and energised. I have drank every single night for, I estimate, the last 5 years and before that I only missed a few nights a week. I’d got to the point where I would drink a biz of wine a night (3 bottles) and never really felt the effects which made it all the more pointless. I am lucky enough to have my son and a job and I figured enough is enough. I’ve tried before but have never seen it as a positive, only ever as a negative that I was looking my friend, and in actual fact, I’m eliminating the devil. I feel I will take every day at a time and will keep checking back here. X