Just simply not being alone. Knowing that someone has had a similar experience.

From me:

I am experiencing an unusual period of calm. Lots of interesting and fun catering work, some late hours, sore legs. Lemon meringue pies, yeasted pumpkin bread, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin.

Someone emailed me and asked if she could be my assistant for a day … um, YES. Thank you for that!

And so, despite the busy week ahead of me, I feel better. Like i have someone in my corner. Like i have help so i won’t be alone. The task of dividing multiple little bits of dough and then rolling each one in grated parmesan cheese will be shared with someone else.

Yes, catering is just like sobriety.

Help. Getting help. Sharing the work. Getting ideas. Just simply not being alone. Knowing that someone has had a similar experience. Telling someone when wolfie starts bleating nonsense.

Oh my god. Help. How crucial. How necessary.

And today, right now, just knowing that i have help coming makes this day better and she’s not even here yet. (having a sober penpal means reaching out at all hours of the day and night and knowing that someone is there. And reading sober blogs is like sharing the work, too.)

Now imagine if every time I faced a challenge in life, i could get help so magically. what do you mean I can? you mean if i just raise my hand someone will help? really? who’d want to help me? i mean it’s just dividing dough in my tiny kitchen … (it’s just me and my shitty sober life — who wants to hear about that).

and funnily enough, i am asked this question when i do one-on-one phone calls for the sober jumpstart class: “Belle, don’t you get tired of hearing everyone’s sober bullshit?”

Well, no. Your story is different. you’ve got extenuating circumstances. So does she. So does he. Everybody is entirely different and yet freakishly the same. It’s fascinating, really, not tiring at all.

And i know that when i hear *bullshit*, that it is just your wolfie speaking. I know that if i get an email from you that’s a bit snarky, well i know it’s wolfie speaking, not you. And i know that wolfie is an anus.

I know that when you feel like you’re emailing me (again) to ask (virtually) the same question but with different words, i know that it’s wolfie trying to find a loophole. Trying to find a logic flaw that can be exploited.  “Christmas is coming, might as well drink now …” that kind of nonesense. Really, who other than wolfie could that be?

you’re not bothering me at all. in fact, i find the whole thing really very interesting and helpful and enlightening. I get to read success stories in my inbox every single day (mixed in with a few shitty-wolfie-it’s-christmas ones). all is well.

From my inbox:

Sara (156): “I’ve been wearing my bracelet since the day it arrived. I decided that that was what I was going to do. And I never wear jewelry. It took some getting used to — I had to make it tighter, then make it wider, it was funny sleeping with it and it got caught in my hair or my jacket — I just wasn’t used to this. Then the other day when I was coming through the door it got caught in something and nearly came off without me noticing.  And then it hit me in the heart (up until this point I could relate to the Fuck you Wolfie but this was something deeper — this was MY sobriety. My bracelet. My thing. My sobriety) — and I both need and want to be checking with it, making it have the best fit for me at any given time; I need make sure I don’t slip and lose it without noticing. I need to have it on me — all the time. So it’s staying put and I look at it and make sure I can feel it on my arm throughout my busy day. It’s so strong but also so fragile in that way — it can come off with out you noticing.”


Lex (16): “So I made it through these couple of weeks with my focus on the right thing. My sober life. Yup. Even with vomiting kiddos and someone drunkly explaining stupid things to me, and my own cravings to not feel briefly. Yup I love my path because it is my story. Last go round I do not believe I was completely honest with myself and that’s why I kept fucking up. Now I will only fuck up things sober. Ha! It’s crazy clear that I will be fine. Days will be hard, but that’s real. Hard days ended in drinking were catastrophic. I’m so done with the girl I used to be. So proud of the woman I am becoming. Did I just say that? For years I battled with not really liking me. So I hid behind a bottle.”


Penny (51): “Still not drinking. Having a rough day. Got stressed out with the kids last night, and I now have a knot in my right shoulder blade. I’m totally stressed out. No idea how to de-stress. I scheduled a massage for this afternoon to help work the kink out. Hopefully it’ll work.”

me: “how to distress: exercise / nap / tea / chocolate / a treat / a break / a cry / a bath / write a letter / sleep / sleep again.  hugs, me”

Penny: “Crying helped.”

Team 100 / 180 Update:

288 members, welcome to SL (4), Onyx Star (14), Kellen (12), Mo (20), Canadian Girl (12), Donna Mary (15), Patrick (8), Sarah (10), FU Wolfie (!) (7), Kelley (51), Messy (2), Margaret (4), Lou (30), It’s a new day (2).

Happy days to: Carrie (225), Simpson Sister (185), Katie (7), Shel (21), Pete (110), MaryPatricia (102), Tami (80), Ebaliff (45), Cheryl (50), Joe (60), Jo R (60), Steph (30), Renee (40), Carolyne (40), Ivy (41), and Rachelle (61)


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

  • Knowing other people are out ‘there’ facing the same stuff I am, when all around me I have people accepting a life of booze, or living with denial…that’s the lifeline for me. Knowing I am not the only person doing this. Knowing I am not going crazy or being over the top about it all.

  • I love my bracelet also. It is fragile and I check it frequently to make sure it is not too tight or too lose. Thanks again belle.
    You are wonderful in all that you do…..

  • Belle-thanks, this blog hits home.
    When I email you it’s just like you said: I don’t need an instant reply but I know help is on the way.

    Plus–my wolfie did use that “Christmas is coming…might as well drink” trick on me. In September, I believe.

  • Belle.. Thank you for helping me realize the power of asking for help, looking passed my bullshit, and giving me hope..
    You my friend are the rockstar…

  • Its been an up and down struggle to day 60. Right after I started I had a work reunion at a bar (day 4), I had my cousins wedding (day 9) and I had a bachelor party where someone paid for bottle service (day 16). If you want to not drink, (and for me seeing drunks actually makes it easier) you won’t. It really is that simple. I get in the most trouble wanting it when I have a bad day at work aka am pissed off. But like my grandfather always told me, “it’s better to be pissed off then pissed on.” SoI dealt with it and moved on. 60 days sober. I haven’t been alcohol free for 60 days since I was probably 13 years old. Remarkable feeling!

  • It’s comforting to know that help is always there. I haven’t needed a lot of cheerleading lately but it’s nice to be reminded that it’s there when I need it. Christmas! We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through on this side of the pond. And worse that that, my baby’s turning 30 on Thursday–now that could make the wolf rear his head, but not this time. I got this.

  • The whole Christmas thing is funny; I’m actually excited about the prospect of being sober at Christmas, to see the whole thing this year without slumping asleep on the sofa like the last few years, missing most of it.