I’m working on a new Passion workshop, you know, how do you get more passion/hobby things into your life once you’ve been sober for a bit. Drinking often squishes out all of our hobbies, and if we’ve been drinking for a long time, then even the idea of having a hobby is hard to fathom. So i’m working out exactly what i want to say in this workshop, like “developing the curriculum” – which means i have a big sheet of brown paper on the wall beside my bed and i’m adding ideas in different coloured markers, visual girl that i am. i really am a 5 year old inside, happy with my crayola markers.
As a preview for the new class, I had this great (terrifying) idea to audio record my thought process when i try to do something hobby-like. You know, try to actually record the wicked noise that starts up in my head right away … maybe you know that noise! Hmm, sounds quite a bit like wolfie in fact. maybe i have an Art Wolfie.
Anyway, because my husband is so calming (for me) i thought i’d record me saying aloud what i think when i look at a painting project, and then he could chime in with what he’s thinking (since he doesn’t have a wolfie, the fucker).
So far i’ve floated the idea past him a couple of times but he’s not biting. I’ll try to tempt him again later today. stay tuned. i may have to make him some lemon bars as a bribe. if you’re interested in learning more about the Passion Project, make sure you’re on the list here. If you’re already on that list, then just hang out. it’s coming..
from my inbox:
Annie2 (day 100): “It’s my day 100! I was thinking of this day last night remembering the desperation I felt 100 days ago… I expected so much more emotion today but realized last night that I’ve settled into this new me and am content to make this commitment of not drinking my reality. It feels good and could not have been done without you and checking in daily (and sometimes for hours multiple times a day) with you and your blog. I don’t remember when I stopped thinking about being tired of thinking about drinking, but I did, probably around the time midway thru that I realized I went a few days without emailing saying I was sober… I knew I was and knew you were there regardless.
The magnitude of what you are doing is unbelievable and resonates with so many people. Thank you from me! Annie2 ~ committed for another 100!”
Congratulations all you sober stars! Your name in lights (or red bold font) is magical! You’re all doing so well, and inspiring others that it’s possible. As for Art Wolfie, couldn’t agree more. There’s a whole lot of reasons, some unique, some more common than we think that we drink, avoid, and or procrastinate. Luckily the longer I stay sober, the more the world opens up. Tom, since college I have practiced not reading other peoples writing work before I complete my own. Either because it makes me think, wow, I can’t do it as well as them, or I get trapped in their point of view, and have a hard time finding mine. Once I learned that about myself I don’t have to worry so much about it. In fact I just use it an opportunity to laugh at myself. Hmmm, I just learned something new here. I think one andidote to Wolfie is laughing at him (ourselves). Our long held stuff is rather ridiculous and I for one am tired of how seriously judgey and sneaky Wolfie is. He claims to care about our image and growth but really he’s just a bully trying to keep us caught in an endless cycle of perfectionism and avoidance. Great work all, keep going!!! – Hana
Having an Ah-Ha moment right now. Now realizing Wolfie is probably the one who has been messing around with how I handle self-care (eating, exercise, fun stuff). This completely makes sense. Feels like Wolfie is some creepy evil wizard that keeps pestering me, showing up in different parts of my life – trying to overthrow my balance. I’m currently reading the Narnia books to my kids. Wondering if Aslan the lion can come into my life and banish Wolfie for forever. Or at least turn him into a donkey.
yes thank god for therapists! I saw her last night and she reaffirmed that my id was working in overdrive, that 3 yer old inside that wants instant gratification. after finishing up 165 days a couple of weeks ago the 12 days of drinking, being back to day 2 now is humbling. wolfie sneaks up anytime.
Sometimes I think I have a Wolfie for just about every aspect of my life! Left to my own resources, I can get tied in knots over too many things. Thank God for friends, bloggers, and an occasional counselor visit to keep me from straying too far 🙂
Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” calls wolfie the inner critic. She advocated writing ‘the morning pages’. 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning, to get out the inner criticisms before you face the day. Very Interesting. Another book, ” The War of Art” talks about resistance and how resistance comes in many different forms, addictions, obsessions, love, negativity etc… all to keep us from or distract us from what we know we want to do. Both books are very powerful and helpful.
I am an artist but resistance and wolfie told me, ” Who’s going to buy this?” and ” what’s the point?” ugh ! anorexia, bulimia and alcohol have been my wolfie, resistance, inner critic. They all are bullies who want me to be miserable!
Good work Belle! Today is my 15th day sober and I am finally feeling the inklings of wonder about starting to create again. So far I’ve just been hunkering down watching movies, reading books, excercising and trying my hardest to stay sober…. which often means going to bed early 😉 I am so greatful to have signed up for this challenge. I am learning so much about my self, my inner beliefs and the effect alcohol has on my day to day emotional stability.
Sara Dee, Congratulations on 15 days! I very much relate to what you are saying. I too am an artist with all the same wolfies you listed at different times in my life. “The inklings of wonder” as you say are coming back for me too, I honestly at times felt it was hopeless but have learned it is definitely not! I spent about the first 60 days of alcohol recovery treating myself kindly and doing activities that I don’t have a wolfie with, watching movies, walking the dogs, simple knitting, reading and not letting wolfie make me feel guilty about it! Slowly, slowly I am creating again and it is very different than it has been in a very long time. I am at 125 days today, I think what it making this time different for me is that I am not forcing progress or allowing wolfie to belittle me when it doesn’t happen quickly. I am gradually getting to know myself sober and confidence, creativity and motivation are peeking out at me!
Thank you for sharing this. It’s inspiring and a great reminder about letting the sobriety unfold in its own time. On day 25 and I have to constantly remind myself it’s one thing at a time, and right now that’s doing nice and easy, kindly things.
I think there’s a Wolfie in our mind that goes beyond alcohol. Booze makes him really loud and apparent for sure, but I find him there in lots of places.
For instance, at work my colleague and I are completing a written work assignment for a qualification we’re taking. I’ve just read his completed assignment. It’s very, very good, and as I read it I start to feel a sinking feeling, a cold sensation wash over my body and hear a voice in my head saying “you shouldn’t even bother, his is much better, your’s is rubbish, in fact, you are rubbish and stupid”.
It’s the same as Wolfie when he’s going “you should have a drink, you deserve one, otherwise you’re boring and lonely. In fact you ARE boring and lonely and rubbish so you should throw it all in and drink anyway”… urgh.
It’s all bollocks. It’s just a voice in my head. It seems really believable though, especially when combined with the physical feelings it creates, the anxiety, the nerves, the cold sensation. This is where I’m learning to say ‘Fuck you Wolfie!’, and pause and take some deep, slow breaths and remind myself of all the great and amazing things I am doing and that I actually am.
So, yes, I reckon there is an Art Wolfie. I certainly have a Work Wolfie!