An email exchange that i’ve been saving, that i want to post right now, early Saturday morning. this is about Feelings and it’s about Landscapes. you may agree with me or think i’m completely full of shit (both opinions at times valid), but there really is something amazing about being a sober penpal. it’s glorious, built-in sobriety insurance for me. I get to write to you (and really i’m writing to myself half the time). AND i have front-row seats on amazing sober journeys while you do the hard work and i do the cheerleading … yeah, it’s win-win. really it is. Here’s how I know:
From Lurker M:
Thank you … I’m in awe of you and your achievement and your resolve. And your patience in replying, instantly and gently to me. Jesus, Belle, how do you do it? Fit in all these messages to all these people? I am on a journey. Early steps. Learning a lot, trying to stay with it. Got to keep with it and understand the landscape. I feel like a novice and a silly schoolgirl. You’re a bit of a guru for me which must be weird to accept when you’re ordinary in your own life and extraordinary in mine. Don’t give up on me. You really are extra-ordinary.
I never gave up on you because you didn’t give up on you 🙂
it must be weird to think that I’m obsessing about not drinking – when I’m really not. somehow doing the blogging and the emailing makes me feel connected to people, and not alone, which is very calming, even when some people’s lives are dramatically shitty. But being your sober penpal never makes me think about ‘drinking’. I think about the feelings I had, but never about the actual alcohol.
maybe that’s it. maybe alcohol is just a blunt instrument we use to regulate feelings, and once the booze is removed, we’re all just left talking about our feelings. which was at the root anyway. anyway, I seem to be able to do that (talk about feelings) happily and without making me feel like i want to drink 🙂
the only thing I can say with some confidence, is that the sober landscape that you mention makes no sense until you’re further in. everything seems weird until the booze has been gone for a while. the answers come later. the clarity and the lightness comes later. and thankfully it begins to get better quickly, get to day 10 and it’s better, get to day 16, and it’s better still. Then day 30 is pretty remarkable, as is day 50. And then it’s onwards and upwards from there …
The only thing you need to begin, is the feeling that there’s something out there better than obsessing about drinking. And there is. and those of us in the sober cheering section will all say the same thing. it’s better over here. we’ve been there (where you are), and we’ve been here. it’s better here.
[that sounds a bit culty! drink my koolaid! come towards the light!] 🙂
Team 100 update: 117 members, welcome to Trish (13) and Sarita (2). Happy day 50 to Lilly! It’s day 75 for Lawyer Anne, day 90 for Lauren. Let’s have a parade for Roxanne (60), Debbie (40), LilyUK (50), JG (50), Colleen (51), Rebecca (91), Jessica (10), JT without JB (14).
“maybe alcohol is just a blunt instrument we use to regulate feelings, and once the booze is removed, we’re all just left talking about our feelings. ” Yes! And this is the crazy thing.. I had no idea that my steady heavy drinking was all about squashing down my feelings…it takes adjustment to just have to feel the damn things all the time but overall it’s so much better, right? Great stuff Belle xxx
Belle, you are a genius!
“once the booze is removed, we’re all just left talking about our feelings. which was at the root anyway. anyway, I seem to be able to do that (talk about feelings) happily and without making me feel like i want to drink ”
That’s it!! That’s why I don’t miss it anymore, I have you, everyone here and control of my own mind again.
Booze was a shitty companion, never living up to it’s side of the bargain. You said that too…so true.
We are so lucky to have you. Pass the koolaid!
“Maybe alcohol is a blunt instrument we use to regulate feelings” … yeah I’m pretty sure you just hit the nail on the head there. I wrote a post about that awhile ago: http://www.sunnysanguinity.com/2013/06/how-do-you-feel/
I never really considered that we, your sober penpals, would help keep you sober, (Alcoholic thinking is so I-centered, isn’t it? Still working on that.) but it makes sense that we’d be a huge source of accountability. We’re happy to provide it to you in exchange for all you do for us 🙂 Yay!
And like Em said, I’m loving being awake this morning without a trace of a hangover. Sobriety has its perks.
pass the koolaid over here- actually I will dye my hair with it! I am glad you posted this exchange because Lurker M has voiced some of my thoughts too such as being happy that you are there for me and for all of us and also I have had the crazy thoughts that I should not mention alcohol which of course would be like not talking about the elephant in the room. I thought maybe I should not mention it in case it would have you thinking about alcohol because that is where my head is (now/more than it will be as I go on) It is comforting to know you and this community are here. It is wonderful to wake up feeling so good this morning and ready for the day.