It’s about time

There comes a time when you need to stop reading, reliving ‘bad’ stories, and instead pick up the pen and write your own story. The new story. The one that’s waiting inside of you. The story of you.

Sobriety is like a gift you get to open every day. Oh, look it’s you. It’s you. You again. The present is you. The gift is you.

Not sure what you’re waiting for. Stop reading the news, it’s bad for you (even the Guardian newspaper thinks so). Stop reading horror stories. Give it all the fuck up. Politely say “I’m sorry, I don’t do crappy-shitty anymore.” Say it to your sister.

As you feel yourself leaning away, distancing yourself, saying “I’m not as bad as her, I don’t really need this, I’m probably a normal drinker, I never really tried to moderate” … well, think again.

Hate to point out the obvious, but you’re reading a sober blog.

People who don’t think about booze aren’t here right now. Yeah. Look around. It’s just you and me, two people who think too much about booze. It’s our mashed potatoes. It’s our go-to-default-one-size-fits-all solution for everything. Happy, sad, mad, glad, Tuesday = booze. Bored? Don’t know what to do with my life? Booze. Snowstorm? Booze. Sunshine? Booze. Can you see how ridiculous this is? It’s clearly ridiculous. Clear.

And there’s this gift right there. It’s you. You are the gift that you get to open every day. It’s like Christmas all the time. And what are you doing? You’re looking around trying to find a way to fuck it up. Honestly.

Superman isn’t coming. It’s up to you. You get to take care of you. And it’s about time.


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, your thoughts are brilliant (again). I especially resonate with: “And what are you doing? You’re looking around trying to find a way to fuck it up. Honestly.” That’s exactly what I am constantly doing as I gain this sober momentum (day 55). Why does it never occur to me that maybe, just maybe, nothing is wrong. That maybe everything is unfolding the way it’s supposed to, and that nothing needs “fixing” (aka “fucking it up”). Thanks for turning on the lightbulb for me and helping me see that I just need to rest in this new sobriety, and not look for ways to fuck it up! Thanks for being here.

    • This is so beautiful. Why do we always seem to look for the negatives–especially since alcohol has so screwed us up–and never just “let it be”? That this is as it should be–at this time, at this space.

  • Day 1 is here and I’m honestly so relieved. I’m tired of feeling like crap! Soooo here we go!!

    • Great! We are starting at the same time. I’ve had more day 1s than I can count. This one is different. I’m fully committed!

  • The same is true of our health-if we do stuff we know will give us trouble, we don’t know if we’ll ever get back to where we were before. It took me years to learn this. Congrats to all who are hanging in there, denying Wolfie a place in their lives..

    • Ditto on cherishing our health. One day we will get to an age–which may be younger than we imagine–when our bodies say “sorry, the damage is done. No more second chances.” Sobering thought, right? (pun totally intended)

      • Belle, will you be getting in anymore sober is the new black necklaces? I need a constant reminder. I made it to day39 and drank. I’m now on day 2 .

  • The Gift
    To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety
    — in other words, to all of us —
    this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
    – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 74

    Thought to Ponder . . .
    Sobriety is a gift, the price of which is eternal vigilance.

    First sponsor told me …. Hold on to the gift, if you give it back (i.e. drink); you never know if you’ll be given the gift again.

  • Love this post. It’s exactly how I try to view my sobriety. I’m not “not drinking.” I’m “doing sobriety.” I wish I could tell all this, especially “I’m sorry, I don’t do crappy-shitty anymore,” to my sister. I could say it out loud to her, but she would not hear it. At least, not right now. I tell her how great doing sobriety is and she says: “I can’t even imagine not drinking.” CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE? In my worst days, that’s all I did: IMAGINE NOT DRINKING.

    Thanks Belle, as always.

  • I started thinking, “no, it’s not but it’ll be so when my legal woes are behind me.” REFRAME: and it’ll be even better when my legal woes are behind me.” Hard to hold that thought but….true.

  • Oh yeah. I get the “present” part…whooo hoo! It’s me showing up and I’m not hung over or lacking sleep from waking in the middle of the night with the same tape playing..”really must stop this…never again…tomorrow will be different…why?…why?…coffee will set everything right…it’ll be alright…” and repeat and repeat. Now, it is all me all the time, unvarnished, unapologetic me. And, I’m a great me. Thanks, Belle for the continued wisdom, humor, challenge and lighting the path that gets us back to our original selves.

  • absolutely brilliant thought…sobriety IS a gift every day. Don’t waste it, don’t fuck it up! thanks, Belle

  • I hear you. And I agree with everything you wrote. But I am looking at going to the vets tomorrow AM to put down my 15 year old cat. My friend. Who has been all over the world with my husband and me during my overseas assignments. And I don’t have any more tears. And my heart has cracked in two. And I would love something to numb the hurt. Joan B.

      • I am so sad to read about your cat. Our 14-year-old cat is dying too. She’s been dying all week and every day my husband and I say, “Is this the day she should get the shot to put her to sleep forever?” But we don’t have the heart to do that. Moppet has stopped eating and just drinks a little, but she sits on my lap each night and purrs while we watch TV. She goes outside everyday to nap in the sun. She still seems to be enjoying life.

        I want SO BADLY to stop drinking for good, but I don’t think I can start that process while Moppet is dying. (I’m sure many people here will shout-“There will always be a reason why today is NOT a good day to stop drinking!”

        I just don’t want to watch Moppet die without the anesthesia of wine.

        I am so sorry you lost your kitty. I am sure there is another cat out there who would be SO thankful to be adopted by you and your husband.

        God bless you.

    • Your beloved cat deserves a sober goodbye and you’ll be soooo glad you felt the pain of loss ….. pain is our touchstone to growth ….

    • I feel for you, my pets are like children. Remember numbing is only temporary. The feelings will come back. Sit with your feelings and focus on the positives. You gave her a wonderful life, be proud and thankful of that.

    • i just put my 10 year old dog and best friend down. I did it sober and honored his memory. The tears were real and painful and heartfelt and not dulled – i mourned him and can remember him with clarity not a hungover sadness.

  • I absolutely loooove this! It is, it really is, like a new gift to open every day! What a very cool way to think about sobriety. ‘Cause every day IS different, and every day brings a bit of a surprise- and something new to learn about myself.

    Happy Mothers Day to all the UK Mums!