i like the visual of “holding the big umbrella”

From my inbox:

Sarita (now on day 21): Oh Belle!  I’m new to this roller coaster ride (day 11) but have been so moved and grown so attached to you and your story in such a short amount of time. I feel like smiling much of the day knowing you’re here holding the big umbrella for us all, guiding us thru this unpredictable storm with your great insights, humor and optimism. You truly have a gift, and I’m so glad I found my way to your story. My life is changing and I thank you from the  bottom of my very full heart!  Congratulations my new friend!!!

Eileen Whyleen (now on 18): Reading everyone’s posts and replies and i am resonating like a finely tuned stradivarius violin. numb has always been the end result, even if the self talk starts out with ‘one will – take the edge off – make me feel better – be a reward – dull the pain – ease the insecurity – taste good – (insert anything, here). thanks to team 100. i’m on day 1. 🙂

Katherine (347): We all have the same goal “to live sober”.  Doesn’t matter how much money we have/don’t have, our education, our material things, our religious beliefs, our IQ’s, our skin color, or where we live on this planet.  We are all working on HOW to live SOBER! Belle is right, we all have shit going on.  I had cataract surgery yesterday.  Was scared out of my mind, but learned to self soothe and told myself ‘Stay Here’ like Belle told herself on the plane.  I took care of myself (anxiety) for the first time in I don’t know when!  No matter what shit we get faced with, if sober, we can cope so much better.  I was legally blind in my right eye for two years and today I have crystal vision.  It’s like going from being fuzzy drunk to completely sober!  Unbelievable! I am so grateful for this sober community where we can all come and support each other! xo

Ben (who may be day 37 today): Hi Belle. I will try and keep this short. I’ve just found our blog. This situation has happened to me so many times only I used to be the one that didn’t stop talking about myself. I am overwhelmed with joy at finding your blog. Yesterday I skipped back to July 2012. Let me just mention I am on day 26 sober. I read with emotion all the things you have experienced and  although it was spine chilling, I nodded along to all the talk about noise in your head. I know the feeling of 3 glasses not 1. who drinks one glass of wine?! I run to clear my head and i replace wine with cake. I’m mental about my journey and have documented privately so far. I have read Allen Carr and when i reach 30 days i also want presents and fireworks, maybe a small parade. You are a super star for writing this and silently cheered me on in to my next step. Already i have experienced a beautiful clarity that has re-prioritised my life. I feel like I’m on to a winner but also notice that no one else cares so I’m still a bit like f**k you guys but still a bit like I’m not out the woods yet. I’m not the best writer and I’m not the best at putting into words how I’m feeling but you’ve made me tingle head to toe with you words. I think you are doing a great job and wish you all the best with your journey. I’m up to October 2012 but intend to catch up through all your posts. Just thought you should know what a wonderful person you are.

S (day 8):  Sober … really not having cravings.  What I do think of a lot are the patterns … “this is when I would drink, this is how I would get it, this is how I would hide it” … I do remember that lovely buzz that would remove me from the day to day … but I have broken through the denial and know that for me alcohol is poison. That buzzed feeling is a signal of poison. I am also seeing how alcohol helped to keep me from my life… Poison, poison, poison. I think of it like someone who has a peanut allergy … if they take one, they can die.  So they avoid certain foods… and are not ASHAMED that they have to avoid peanuts!!! I avoid alcohol. Period


Thirsty Still (day 17): Happy to report that I am going to bed sober after a good day. I think you might be right–sobriety suits me, despite how much I thought I liked drinking!  Thanks for doing all the work to organize this 100 day challenge. It really is a huge help. You rock!

me: I say to friends: “I had to choose between red wine” – and I put up one hand like balance – “and getting up at 6:30 am to do catering” – and I put up the other hand right beside the first hand, and I weigh them up and down, and then I say “pick between red wine and catering.  I chose to give up the wine and it’s better … can you imagine me giving up my wine? Well this [the catering hand] is really that much better!” and i raise that hand above the wine hand.

Team 100 Update:

We’re up to 164 members as of this morning, welcome to SoLongWolfie (4), and Annie (2).  Happy days to Lilly (80), Anne & Leah (71), Lauren (120), Roxanne (90), Erin (92), JG (80), Colleen (81), Nancy (15), Cam (75), Rebecca (121), Sara (65), Quill (55), Lex (7), Ingrid (32), Jessica (10), Mrs F (22), Mark W (23), Mrs. Robinson (7), KC (31), Marc (20), Beckie (22), Kathleen (10), Adrian (14), Beth (70), Dont Bea (7), Stargal (20), and Leigh (8).


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 agree with Rebecca…that hearing from so many others about their sober journey makes me feel not alone and gives me strength and I learn from them. I can’t believe I am on day 347! Holy crud! So close to ONE year! Some days it feels as hard as day 2 and some days it feels like years since I last drank. Of course the physical cravings are long gone, and even the habit of drinking is gone. But the mental desire to escape, relax, reward and join in with others is what I work on now. No more running away from issues or getting buzzed as a reward. Life is actually pretty simple now. Sometimes b.o.r.i.n.g, but I’ll take that over crazy!
    This sober community is the biggest, best support system! I take time every day to read a variety of sober blogs and it has helped me so much! Ultimately it’s up to ME to stay sober or not. I choose to be sober, but not alone, with all of you! 🙂

    Thank you Belle for all you do while holding the big umbrella! Wow…164 sober team members! Awesome! We are all on this roller coaster ride together!