What do you think about this?
JM (day 153): I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between ‘giving up’ alcohol and ’embracing a sober life’. I tend to think that even for people with no addiction to booze there is that buzz from drinking that is intended to adjust your perception of life. Either to pep you up if you are low/tired or to enhance if you are feeling celebratory. It’s like in both cases life itself isn’t quite enough without the drug. For problem drinkers like us this obviously also becomes a habit – we drink because we drink so we drink. In no way do we work on our life to make sure that we can create our own pep ups or enhancements through other actions. The question is “would you go back to drinking if you were cast iron guaranteed to react to it like a ‘normal’ person?”.
Belle: I suppose I would go back to drinking if I was a normie. if I could have a drink here and there, half a dozen times a year, when it seemed appropriate, and if it didn’t occur to me/obsess my poor brain the rest of the time. Yes, I probably would. That said, now that I’m sober more than a year, I easily see the cost/benefit analysis of sobriety, and it’s huge. There’s no comparison. Like you say, we work on our lives, we live life without a filter, and we (finally) learn to develop new/better habits that are supportive rather than destructive. I pick sobriety every day, continuously. Would I like to drink? Sure. But I NEVER want to quit again (it was grim) and I never want to feel stuck/bad/guilty/shameful again. So I pick this. I think there’s a choice to be made, and I pick “what’s better for me” rather than “boozing because everybody else does.”
And can imagine how totally lovely it is to receive this in my inbox:
Kay (day 27): I have been trying for 3 years to quit drinking. I have tried many, many different things to help myself, but nothing was working. Joining your 100 Day Challenge and taking your Sober Jumpstart class are working for me so far — something about your practical advice and HEARING your voice in the audios and the phone call at the end of the class clicks with me. You get me, you get the struggle, you get my husband’s refusal to discuss this and you have lots of advice about how to overcome the hurdles. You’re very generous with your time; it’s still amazing to me how you are willing to give your time and be a sober penpal to so many strangers all over the globe! You’ve given me hope, something I’m not sure I had before. Thank you.
Team 100 update: 223 members. Welcome to SelfSearcher (11), Madeline (3), Joe (5), Claire (4). Happy days to Sara (101), Sharon (30), Tami (25), Gina (7), Meryl (19), One Hundred (19), Heather (7), DonnaG (20), Jenn-ly (15), CT (10), Lilly (116).
Thanks for this post Belle. The question is a good one. In a world where I knew I could drink as a normie, I don’t know what I would choose. I used to think I would say HELLS YES!
But lately I’ve been thinking there is something about going through this journey that I wouldn’t want to lose. I feel like I have more compassion and understanding for a lot of people. I’ve also held the belief that all the shitty times I’ve gone through have led me to some of the best things in my life, and I wouldn’t trade them away for anything, even if they really sucked.
But yes, it would be nice to have a glass of wine when I travel to France or to celebrate an anniversary.
Ha! It’s a good question and not an easy one to answer. Congrats to everyone on staying sober another day. Thanks for all the inspiration!
Totally agree with Kay… the 100 day challenge helped me immensely to achieve 100 days… now at 100 something – Belle knows the exact number and I’m too lazy to check and count but it’s around 150 I think. Anyways, I continue to check this blog nightly and am so pleased that you have started the much needed Jumpstart program. You are so generous with your time Belle… glad you are following your passion – who knows where this might lead. Perhaps you will open up a retreat center and I’ll come cook for the clients. Keep doing the great work you are doing!
Just found you yesterday, and want to thank you for getting me through a rough day 25. It’s easier today. I think it helped to hang out here and dip into your archives. Thanks!
I think you are incredible Belle. Your work is remarkable. I am struggling today after having a lot to get through, but I’m not going to go and drink. The thought of having to go through the first week again is enough. I’m only 23 days sober, but I’m doing it- because of your courage to be so honest and courageous. Thank you.
The way I was drinking (a bottle of wine at night) had I only one benefit: a couple of hours of numbness. However the cost of $10/day, disgust with myself, crappy sleep and feeling like shit is huge.
I love doing cost/benefit analyses. I guess the cost of drinking FINALLY became higher than the benefit, for me. Interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on the subject. I think I probably would drink again if I was a normie, but I will NEVER be a normie, so it is best not to go down that road (for me, obvs).
Thanks for putting my 30 days are your blog. It makes me proud. I completely agree with Kay. Because you are on the sidelines cheering me on I totally think I’m going to make it this time. I certainly don’t want to let you down. And I never want to start over. Shar