That bar is filled with illness, sadness, wasted money. It’s a trap.

From my inbox:

K: “thank you thank you thank you for being so so so kind to me! i have been sobbing all day long. last night was nothing special, i am just so sick of the way my life is going! a lot of days i feel this numbness, but today? fresh, hot, searing, unreal pain. i can NOT live like this, i don’t want to live like this. i can definitely quit four days, and thank you for the suggestion. i like the idea of reprogramming my brain. (i am willing to try anything.) you will definitely be hearing lots from me. thank you for helping me.”

me: “I guess the solution would be to change your thinking, which I realize is easier said than done.  it would be to picture the bar across the street from your apartment as being full of illness, full of sadness, full of wasted money.  It’s dark, it probably smells bad.  Maybe you can begin to reprogram your brain to see the bar for what it really is.  A trap. And instead, look around and choose Beauty instead.  A walk, a bath, a run, a book, the beach, your camera, all things to reach for…  And make a pledge to do 4 days.  Then at the end of 4 days, you can renew for another 4 🙂 you can email me morning and night until you’re done the first 4 days 🙂 well… wonder how that sounds? 🙂

Note: K is still out there. I hope she’s doing OK. I get emails like this all the time. Then i get magical follow-up emails sometimes months later that say “sober, sign me up for the challenge.”


58 days until Christmas Eve.
305 members in Team 100. Yes really, we broke 300!
10 Fuck You Wolfie Bracelets are on their way to me this week.
3 Stay Here Bracelets left in the October batch, in my drawer, ready to mail right now.
7 spots open in the new session of the Sober Jumpstart class which begins tomorrow.
9.5 hrs sleep for me friday and saturday night, yippee yahoo
57 days until we leave for our next vacation, we’re going to Strasbourg (sort of the german part of france where apparently they have a wicked nice christmas market)


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

  • Belle, how nice of you to keep track of me! I just love watching those days click away on my sober app!

    To K – you’re really lucky to have found Belle. She just has that way about her that makes you want to keep coming back for more great enthusiastic encouragement. We’re all here for you too!

  • So glad to be part of Team 100! Woo!

    I think Belle’s point about changing your point of view is hugely important (difficult, yes, but so essential). As soon as I stopped thinking about alcohol as something awesome I was “depriving” myself of I felt so much more at ease with my choice not to drink. Yes, it’s taking a lot of adjusting… but now I feel like not drinking is something unequivocally positive, rather than self-flagellation. It’s that change in my point of view that’s made turning down a drink infinitely less tortuous.

    C xo

    • Hi all. I’m new. I’m a binge drinker and can string weeks and months of sobriety together but I always go back. My last bender was too scary and I have to quit for good. I have to admit I’m looking at all my pretty Mexican glassware and thinking what new drinks I can put in them. I don’t want to get rid of them so I need to use them. Any ideas?

      • smoothies made of fresh and frozen fruit fill any gorgeous glass with delightful repast; cocoa with whipped cream tastes better in a glass than in a mug I think; tall iced tea with fresh fruit floating tastes way better than sangria with the same fruit and no nasty hangovers; I like to mix various fruit juices: orange with cran-cherry is delectable, as is grape with cran, orange and pinapple… the list is long and unlimited…

      • The Polar Seltzer website has some really great NA drink recipes that are just made for fancy drinkware. Not sure if you get Polar in your neck of the woods, but I’m sure any brand flavored seltzer would be fine. I’m keen to try the “Ginger Kiss” and the “Lincoln”. Glad I don’t have to box up my champagne flutes and rocks glasses! Just be forewarned that a handful of the recipes on the site do contain alcohol, in case you’re sensitive to triggers.

  • yes I used to go to this crummy bar 3 blocks from my house so I could drink as much as I wanted and only be blocks from my home….bad behavior I could have hit someone!

  • No shit. I’m 115? So cool. And I love that you are going to Strasbourg. I went years ago with my family. We were there Christmas Eve and I remember walking around the downtown part. It was cold but we weren’t the only ones strolling around. Get a sausage from one of those stands. You’ll probably want a second. Sooooo good. Meg