Can you be irritated about how long it takes? If you like …

waking up every morning to a inbox full of ‘i’m sober’ messages is a bit like christmas morning. All the messages, all of the genius observations.  some people flying, some groaning.  and yes, if i follow the christmas present metaphor, then some of the presents are wrapped awkwardly, some of the gifts are good-mixed-with-grief (I’m sober but my daughter is in the hospital; i’m sober but i feel crummy). Some are tiny gifts (“sober”) others are longer, chatty versions, like this one …

Malia: The strangest thing I’m finding, now at 30 days sober, is that my desire for alcohol is like gone, GONE. Of course I’m still thinking about it a lot, because it’s constantly on my mind, but it’s different now. Before it was, “okay so would I drink right now?” I knew deep inside I wouldn’t, but I always played that dumb game, like “do I want to?” And my answer was always “Duh! Yes!”

Well this weekend it seemed like a switch went off. My husband was gone Saturday night, and normally I’d be all like Party! But it seemed so distasteful to me. This is sorta a weird thing. I guess it’s good, I mean it’s great! I won’t assume the cravings won’t come back, I’m sure they will. Just like the title of your blog, I am truly getting tired of thinking about it all the time :). I’m getting sick of myself! I guess that means I might be ready to re-enter real life again.

this email reminds me of the distinction between cravings and thinking.  in the earlier days, I watched the clock, waiting to get through the witching hour. i’d have my tonic and cranberry juice ready right at 6 pm and i’d WAIT until 8:30 or 9:00 pm when i knew i was safe for the night.  slowly, bit by lurching bit, that tight feeling starts to fade.  then — just like Malia says — the desire to drink stops being a physical thing and shifts to being a thinking game.  Am i going to drink? No. Do i want to drink? maybe. Will i drink again in the future? Perhaps. Am i drinking today? No.

I remember, though, that when i got to around 30 days i just wanted it ALL to be done and over — the cravings AND the thinking.  On day 31 I wrote “are we there yet?” like it was a long car ride and i just wanted to be to the end of it.

thankfully, yes, the cyclic thinking loops do ease off. and yes, it’s possible to get to a place where crappy things happen and booze doesn’t even enter your mind as an option. Does it all happen in the first 30 days? No. Does it happen? Yes. Can you be irritated about how long it takes? If you like, but getting too irritated might wake up wolfie and then you’d have to start on day 1 again.  and that’s even more super irritating.  Instead, how about we be kind to ourselves during our impatience 🙂  We go for a run, declutter the drawers, scrub the floor. we drink homemade lemonade with rosemary, run ourselves a bath, climb into bed early, and we wait.

Team 100 update: Happy days to KT (30 days), Anathu (10), & Lawyer Anne (50).


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

  • So good to be reading these comments. I’m on a Day 1 -again! Have had bouts of sobriety in the past ( 5 months, 21 months and 45 days this past summer). I am not giving up on myself! Reading the blogs and comments reminds me that I’m not alone and that it does get easier. Thank you Belle and thank you to everyone who shares. Here’s to Day 2 tomorrow 🙂

  • Well, Belle, once again you ‘nailed’ it …. I could be writing this blog, but much less articulately. It is tough to get through those first few days/weeks/months (at six months it feels good to be able to say that) and I’m enjoying the scenic ride now, not just wanting to get there. It is a thinking game – but I find I don’t have to think about it daily any more. So, to everyone struggling through the initial stages of this battle against wolfie, stick with it – so worth it …..

  • I reached my mid-point to my longest streak yesterday (30 days was the longest I went in a decade)… and it seems easier this time, maybe because I know I’m striving for 100 and not contemplating what will I do after 30 days. Will I drink again? Will I be able to control it?

    It’s great to read messages like this – and I can relate to how you feel it’s a gift to read. Thanks for sharing!!