I’m like Sleeping Beauty, waking up

From me:

This morning, I had the distinct feeling that the ‘old’ me is coming back, resurfacing, after a long dormant sleep. Maybe I’m like Sleeping Beauty, waking up.

Maybe it’s because I am back to running in a regular way, after weeks of illness, jet lag, fatigue, heat. I’ve been a (very slow) runner for a long time, but right now i feel like running is deliciously lovely. I don’t always feel that way.

Maybe it’s because i’ve started doing sit-ups. Yeah, maybe that’s why i feel like the ‘old’ me is coming back. (OK, probably not.) Well, i’ve never done sit-ups before, but on tuesday i felt possessed to begin. I’ve also started meditating for 5 minutes at a time, every two days, just after i finish my run. Yes, i’m sitting on the bathroom floor to meditate, in the dark, post-run, yes, while i’m still sweaty. I’m doing it then because it feels like the only time/place where I can get 5 minutes of silence with a semi-settled mind.

During today’s meditation, instead of allowing the universe to enter my head (the idea situation?), i was instead thinking about blue skies, and how the sky is bluer in Rome than here, and bluer in Belgium than here, but that today it seems particularly blue here … yeah, and then the timer went off and my 5 minutes was up. Is that what meditation is supposed to be like?

OK. Maybe I feel like the ‘old’ me is coming out because i’m on vacation from Job #1 for the entire month of august, and so the phone stops, and the emails stop. And instead I putter and bake and do catering all day without feeling like I’m ignoring some other responsibility.

Maybe I feel like the ‘old’ me is coming out because I’m sleeping 9 hrs a night, regularly, for weeks now. Thanks to a new computer rule, which i’ll write about more later.

Maybe I feel much, much better simply in comparison to how gigantically shitty i felt last summer, when i was newly sober, and I HATED the summer and kept praying for it to be over.

Maybe it’s because i’ve just recently passed the one-year-sober mark, and i’m not really counting anything any more — neither days, nor months — and i’m just ‘living’. Maybe the old me used to live, and now i’m becoming ‘her’ again.

I know for sure that the new, sober me is no longer hiding. I am no longer avoiding. And while I knew, even in early sobriety, that I was done with ‘sleep walking’ through my life … now that i’ve been NOT-sleep-walking for a longer period of time, I’ve gotta say it’s truly glorious. Like really, really lovely.

it’s lovely, but not in a parades and unicorns way. alas, there are no fireworks. Instead, I’m just peacefully content. I’m getting shit done. Can make plans and actually see them through. Can recognize hurdles and overcome them. Can meaningfully connect with other people. Can begin new projects. Can start the coaching website.

Is it a coincidence that the timing of my sobriety = the timing of feeling like my life began to improve dramatically? I think not.

Is it a coincidence that now, a year later, i’m feeling even better as time goes on?

No. it is not a coincidence. This is all because i’ve stopped drinking.

And any time i have a tiny twinge of a thinking “maybe i don’t have to give up drinking forever,” I realize that i want this feeling I have now to continue.

So i’m going to continue doing what i’m doing. it’s working. I will rinse, lather, repeat. OK, i could split hairs … like, is all this good feeling, is it ALL because i gave up drinking? I don’t care. I can connect the dots. I don’t need to do any more research. I get it.

I gave up drinking and now I’m here. End of story.

From my inbox:

Susan (day 15): The pull of alcohol is becoming less. It has helped tremendously so to write an email each day. It keeps me aware and honest. I am realizing how I held alcohol as a way out of things when I felt I just couldn’t handle. Looking outside myself for the answer. By not drinking it is like a vote of confidence in myself — that I can handle, figure out, make it through. Kind of like dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: she always had the power, just didn’t know it.  Susan (day 16): Getting clearer…seeing more and more how alcohol has been such a crutch …. and by using it I was saying to myself that I needed a crutch.

Quill (day 67): Sometimes the cravings know they’re being ignored and don’t put up a fight. Craving-brain’s latest trick is to say, “You know your life really IS better without alcohol, so if you’re just going to drink on Day 101 and realize what a mistake it is, why not just do it now and get it out of the way?” And/or, “If you’re going to go back to drinking on day 101, you’re not a REAL member of Team 100 anyway.” I don’t really miss being drunk. I don’t miss the weird gross feeling toward the end of the night and I *really* don’t miss the day after (the exhaustion, the indigestion …)

Zenmeg (day 30): Walked through a delicious yummy store today that also sells wine. I could smell the wine too. Sampled a piece of cheese and got what I needed and left. Still sober. Feel good. Thank you.

Team 100 update: 182 members, welcome to EarthyMama (6), KristinRecovering (73), C How (43), FacingMeNow (6), SitsBetweenCats (3).  Happy days to Leigh (20), Amy (240), K MCC (20), J (260), Whineless (7), Sober Journalist (120), Shel (125), Kristi (14), Tammy (125), Allie (10), Chelsie (90), Anna (90), Mary (71), Erika (90), Jackie (101), Sam (7), Dana (21), Designer Rachel (60), Jen-faith (50), Trish (55), Lime Tree (41), Melinda (41), Maya June (41), Pete (31), Spencer (28), NoMoreVino (20), Durfee (30), Stargal (32), Susan (20), Brendan (10), and Barb M (7).


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

  • Glad to hear about the exercise and meditation. You can’t go wrong there! I’m only on day 14, but last week I was already getting back into my exercise routine. I try to meditate once and awhile as well. Usually right after exercise. During the day I find that deep breathing is a great way to center oneself.

  • Belle, I know I’m not all there yet but I’m loving the Team 100 updates and I’m loving hearing from the inbox. Thank you.

    I appreciated hearing how you are, and also I admit, I think ‘what’s so wrong with alcohol?’ Is that me talking?

    • It’s probably NOT you talking. It’s probably wolfie. Who else but wolfie would try to convince us that something that numbs us from real life is a GOOD idea? only wolfie would do that … real life is kinda great!

  • Rock on Team 100; Go forth and be magnificent, Belle; May those still making the decision have clarity and choose the right way for them.

  • I really like watching you go ‘first’, cause I’m a month behind you in sobriety. I realize how similar our thoughts are at the ONE year mark! One more week and it’s my fricken ONE YEAR soberversary! All I can say is it’s AMAZING to have achieved this goal! The year was a roller coaster of emotions and the hardest damn thing I’ve ever done for myself. I feel like the ‘old me’ now too….I like her a lot more! I feel ‘peacefully content’ with myself, like you said!

    I wish you all the best Belle with your new sober coaching! How awesome of you to help so many others achieve peace and contentment! 🙂

  • It is always a great way to start my day to read about how wonderful someone’s life is once they have stopped drinking. Somehow I doubt there are any blogs out there that say “still drinking every day – man this is awesome.” I also appreciate the addition of some of the snippets of emails you receive. These add to the wonder of your blog 🙂