This is my best, my friends. And it is good enough.

i guess i want to say that i am feel awkward about the Awkward post. Yes, i did spend days trying to figure out what to do. Yes, i did consider a bunch of alternatives. Yes i looked into a post office box. Yes, i really did try to think this all the way through from a bunch of different angles.  Yes, I considered just saying “sorry no gifts allowed.”

I was asked if I could receive some thank yous, and I didn’t know what to do with this. I fretted for several days and then i figured that in the world of the internet, that paypal was the simplest solution.

This is new to me. There are no manuals. There are no models to follow. There’s no book written called “sober blogging and how not to get caught in a shit-storm if you mention money.”

Yes, ok, I am trying to meet everyone’s needs.  Of course, you can have an opinion about how i do that, but please know that i have already tried to consider this from all sides.  I’m a thoughtful and careful person. But if you want to buy me a coffee, I have no intentions of hurting your  feelings either by saying “no, really, I don’t need anything in return” or “well, ok, sure,….but I really don’t want it.”

I did get a number of private emails that were very supportive about my Awkward post 🙂  But in general i have to say that I really don’t want to take any shit about someone sending me $4 to buy a latte 🙂

Yes, we get weird when money enters a conversation. Well, tough.

I think this is worth talking about head-on because we’re dealing with big fucking issues here, like sobriety.  for some people that can be life and death. I am not dramatizing my role in this, i’m talking about the people who are reaching out for help. I hear this: “I didn’t want to email you again because i’ve already had two relapses and you’ve wasted enough time on me already. How can i repay you?” And i keep saying “really, you being sober is enough.”

what i’ve learned is that some people, with where they are in their addiction, have so much shame and pain that they can’t easily take any help without feeling guilty.

You can judge that if you want. You can tell me i should say “get over it.”

Those of us who have been sober for awhile can engage in long conversations about how ‘they shouldn’t feel that way,’ but after I’ve heard it for the 8th time from 8 different newly sober people, I feel like I have to do something. Please don’t judge how i’m trying to handle this. I really am doing my best.  Yes i’ve tried to think of all of the sides to this.  But to suggest that i should donate 2 hrs of my time per day and refuse the offer of a coffee in return is saddening. If someone is truly not reaching out because they feel like they’re a burden, I want to address that.  I certainly didn’t put up the tiny gift button to ‘get rich’.

And here’s the truth and it won’t come as any big surprise. I’m not great fan of this. I really am trying to do my best. You may think i’m a blowhard shit.  That’s fine. You may squirm when i put up the tiny-gift-button.  I may not be doing this well enough or good enough for you. I’m sorry. I really am.

so that’s what I’m feeling.  protective. and i hope i’ve already cried enough about this.

This is my best, my friends.

And it is good enough.


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’ll tell you what I always taught my children: your best is always good enough. Please let go of feeling you need to explain, justify or defend your actions. I am admittedly the new kid on the block (age 63) but it has become very obvious that your 2 hours a day is true service in the support of many in pain with addiction. Stand tall and stay the course.

  • Belle, I missed this when you first posted it. and missed the Awkward post too. But I want to say to the people who are giving you shit about a Donate button-Fuck em all hard. That is just bullshit. First, it’s none of their business. If they want to fling a few bucks your way, fine. If not, shut the hell up, assholes. People who have nothing to offer hate those of you who have goodness to share. And You DO @!!@@! Stay the course and don’t worry about those jerks. We love you and really appreciate what you have gotten going here with the 100 day gang and the common courtesy and the pleasant demeanor and the unfailing encouragement.

    • thank you for this. everyone gets weird when money and sobriety are mentioned in the same sentence. I appreciate your support, it was a very tough decision for me to make, but I’m glad I did it. people do want to say ‘thanks’ and who am I to say “no you cannot buy me a coffee, buy it for someone else.” that’s just rude : ) hugs from me

  • Rock on, girl! You know I sent you a cup of coffee, and I just wish I could sit and enjoy it with you – especially if you live an an exotic european city or on the beach in spain or portugal :-)….xoxoxo huge hugs !

    • thank you for the treat! I wish you could sit with me too. wouldn’t it be the height of suckiness if I posted myself enjoying coffee on different beaches each week … like an international sober version of “where’s waldo” : ) Tkx Ellen. hugs in return.

  • So sorry you are stuggling with this. Problems we never could have envisioned pop up along the way, that is what makes life so interesting but very hard. I am bopping along in early sobriety in my little bubble and some major life dilemma (potential husband layoff) has to get in the way!!! The nerve. I can see how you struggled with how to reciprocate (people like to pay back favors and don’t want relationships to feel unbalanced) I think the tiny gift button was a great solution. It is too bad you are havins unease with this, but the struggles really do make us stronger, as long as we stay sober, right?

    • As long as we stay sober, right! Thanks for this. It’s all new ground this Team 100 challenge thing. And some bits, you’re right, just pop up along the way. Big or little drama, we will not drink…

  • Hi Belle,
    Just wanted to say that I am really sorry to hear that you have been upset. How can any part of this wonderful, selfless thing that you do be mistaken for anything other than kindness and compassion. I love what you do and I am sure I’m in the majority when I say that you haven’t done anything other than help people help themselves. Of course they are wanting to give something back, it’s such a huge fucking deal and there is almost no help out there and it’s in our nature to want to give something back in return.

    I really hope that no one has made you feel bad directly and I hope it is just an awkward feeling that is getting to you, that can somehow be erased by the emails of reassurance and support that I know you must be receiving.

    You don’t deserve to be feeling sad or upset.

    Huge hugs of gratitude & cake coming at you.. xoxo

  • Um…how to say this delicately…um…fuck them.

    You do what you need to do for you and for the people who reach out to you. It’s no one else’s place to judge.

    Just my two cents.


  • Belle,
    I’m sorry people gave you crap or misinterpreted your intentions with the tiny little gift button. It makes me happy to know it’s there, because I really have tried to not “take up too much of your time because I know you are helping a lot of others”, but I know that one of these days if I really need a whole lot of your attention I can ask for it and you will unselfishly try to support me, and if/when that day comes, I will feel less bad about receiving your help because I’ll know in the back of my mind that I can send you a little “thanks for being there” afterward.

    Don’t let the bastards get you down…No good deed goes unpunished…If the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off. There is a reason these are popular sayings. Quit fretting about those people, because the rest of us are depending on you to be in top form, and are so very grateful to you.


  • Love the Nietzsche quote!

    I just sent a cup of coffee – so happy to be able to do so. That’s what I would do for a friend who listens to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being able to send it.

    I think you made it perfectly clear that this was a tough and well considered decision, and you didn’t ask for $$. You simply made it possible for any of us to give back and feel like friends. You are not charging us to participate, and haven’t set up a monthly membership fee, for crying out loud. Your best is better than enough for me.

    Thanks for being here.

  • Belle you are such a kind and caring soul. Do what feels right. This is more than “good enough,” … This is Fantastic !

  • Go get ’em Tiger! This seems appropo – Thanks for all you do! “You have your way, I have my way. As for the correct way and the only way, it does not exist.” Nietzsche. Happy Friday