a new blogger (“a beautiful mess”) posted a comment here yesterday. she was struggling, like we all have struggled at one time or another, and she did the brave thing and reached out for help. I responded to her comment this afternoon.  She said thanks, told me about her upcoming quit date, and then she said this:

“Thank u again for taking the time to give others encouragement : ) ! know that u r making a difference in my life and I am sure many others!

so in my post today, here’s what i’m wondering:

  • how important has personal encouragement (online) been to you in your journey to get sober
  • who would you like to say ‘thanks’ to — thanks for blogging, thanks for personal attention, or any other kind of thanks — who helped you realize that you are not alone?

I don’t think we say thanks often enough. well, i don’t. of course whatever I write here, i am really writing to myself!

Yeah, so I’ll start:

how important is online support? it has meant the world to me. it has literally been the difference between success and failure.  i rely so much on the genius of my online friends, to save me from myself.

who would you like thank? Unpickled was the first sober blog i ever read, and i credit her with changing my thoughts and showing me that sobriety was not only possible but that it could be enjoyable. Then Cleo gave me my very first blog comment, and for that I’ll always be thankful. With that first comment, i knew I wasn’t alone.

What about you?


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

  • I found Mrs D first and felt an immediate connection with her because I lived in NZ for a while. From there I found unpickled and yourself. I find reading the blogs so inspiring and reassuring. You make me believe I can do it too. This is so powerful. So I am VERY grateful that you all were brave enough to share. Thank you.

  • Alcohol Mastery was the first blog / video I found. Since then there have been many — Mrs. D, Unpickled, FitFatFood, Heya, Monster, and of course, “The Lovely Belle”. Sincerest thanks to all.

  • Just letting you know I’m still here Belle on Day 28 and I am so grateful for you and all of the our contributing sober community. I’m in Seprember 2012 of your archives. My joy every morning at 5 is to sit hangover free in my farm style kitchen, savouring my morning coffee and delighting in all of the ruminations of our community. Thank you Unpickled and Belle, Mrs D, Christy, Paul, Soberistas, and all Blogs you refer to on your Web page.

    The funeral for my tennis friends who lost both their only sons in tragic drunk driving accident 2 weeks ago, was followed by a gut wrenching, funeral where the Father spoke in staccatoed AGONY followed by DRINKS and snacks at the Club. We are an intoxicated, booze-saturated Nation here in beautiful sunny SA?. We should be further North (Egypt!) on our continent because we live in De Nile about the extent of substance abuse and carnage on our roads in SA. Love to all. Not the Wine O’Clock News… Lynds xx

  • 1) Very important.
    2) YOU. And most of the others commenting here + The Party Girl Challenge, Cleo, Christy of Running on Sober.

  • For the first time in my struggle with drinking do I feel such an amazing connection! I dont feel alone with this battle and I am grateful so many are out their to cheer us on! I know I can go to any one of your bogs about being at day 1 or day 101 and feel connected to that person out there who is in the same spot. I am excited to see myself once again as the beautiful woman I was meant to be. I can’t wait to be down the road on this journey and because of my struggles be able to show a true compassion for those who are struggling as well! Thank you all 🙂 think I may even start blogging my journey for some accountability:)

  • The world of sober blogging is a whole new world that I never knew existed. Whilst I don’t have my own blog, I read others daily. It is the first time I have been able to relate and connect with others in the same situation. Particularly helpful because it has also made me realize that you don’t have to be the stereotypical drunk to have a problem. I thought (hoped) I could be an occasional drinker. The answer is no. But life is so much better without it. I have also now come to realize that I actually like me and can still have a very enjoyable time without it. Shock. The alcohol really does trick you and trap you. Belle, yours was the first blog and I cannot thank you enough for sharing. I read so many others.. Facing facts, mrs D.. The list goes on.. Thank you all 🙂

    • thanks for this! I also was shocked to realize that life without booze would be so great, especially since I wasn’t “that kind of drunk” … whatever that means… I never knew sober blogs existed until earlier this year when a friend of mine was getting sober, and he sent me the link to unpickled and he said to me “this kind of public blogging would never work for me” and then I read her entire blog from start to finish and soon started one of my own! note to self: I’m sober, my friend is no longer sober …

  • The online support is really important, along with reading and meetings. But reading and writing blogs is probably an almost daily activity for me. I was touched at the generosity of so many people sharing their stories and encouraging me, even it was by simply dropping by my blog and incrementing the view count!

    It was pretty awesome in the first couple of weeks where no matter what rubbish I posted, you and Cleo were kind enough to keep encouraging me on a daily basis, and for that I thank you, really very much. Along with Mrs D, Christie, Furtheron and others besides, you helped me get a good start and now I feel like I’m powering.

    I probably would have a different outlook on being sober without the online community. I might not have gone to meetings or found some great books. I might have started thinking in terms of controlled drinking and that perilous journey.

    I’m so glad I don’t have that outlook today, I like where I’m at. Take care, Paul.

    • thanks for this Paul, I remember when you first started and I was sharing your story with my husband. pretty cool that you haven’t really had any major struggles since your decision to quit. sounds like you’ve got the right mix of supports – online, books, meetings – and a good dose of determination!

  • Online support has been so important, especially when i tripped and fell 6 six weeks in. Everyone’s support back then, especially yours and Cleo’s, played a big role in getting back on track.

    In April, I found Susan at Writing My Way Sober. Her words were like a salve on my hurt and i devoured every post on her blog. I owe her a debt of gratitude. Unfortunately her blog is now private. I miss her a lot.

    All the contributor’s at Ellie’s Crying Out Now also allowed me to think it just might be possible to stop drinking. There were so many similarities in our stories. Reading about shared struggles and experiences changed my perception of myself and what would be possible.

    • I think that “shared struggles and experiences” is what makes the online support so amazing. when we see that others are successful, it makes it then seem possible that we could be successful too …

  • Hi Belle,

    Without a doubt, the blogging community support has been phenomenal and so encouraging. I just wrote about this earlier in the week when I celebrated six months of blogging.

    Could I have stayed sober without online support? Probably, since I did it for several months before I started blogging. Does it help me now and make it easier to stay sober? Most definitely.

    I thank YOU for sharing your story- your ups and downs and for encouraging so many others in their journeys to get sober. YOU are amazing.

    – Christy

  • Online support is the only support I’m going to get so it’s vital to me.

    Mrs D and Paul from Facing Facts are two of the many people I’d like to thank. Mrs D for blogging in the first place and introducing me to the online sober bloggers. And Paul for always being encouraging whilst making me look at myself.

  • Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. I am honored to have been a piece in the puzzle of your recovery. I love how the waves of support and encouragement flow back and forth – sometimes like the tides and somedays like water sloshing in a bucket. I help you. You help me. We help others. They help us. Amazing what happens when we open up and reach out. Thanks for making my day!

    • you really have influenced so many people, you have NO idea! it was literally impossible for me to imagine a life without alcohol before I started reading your blog. and with your words, it then seemed “possible” …