daughter & father

From my inbox:

Julie-Joy (day 100):

“My dad and I did the challenge together. Making a promise to him meant, to me, that drinking was not an option at all … What I DID have to deal with though, were some things that came up that I would usually just use alcohol to deal with.

1. I actually have a touch of social anxiety. I am such a talkative, out-going person, if you know me, you would scoff at me saying that I have some social anxiety, but I do a little. So drinking was my social lubricant.

2. I want EVERYTHING to be FUN all the time! I have a very celebratory personality. Because of this, I think every DAY is awesome and worth celebrating! And hell, we could all die tomorrow anyway, so LET’S PARTY!! Have to do the laundry? Drink some wine! Have to clean? Drink some wine! Anyway. When I had to do things I did not want to do during this 100 days, I would just have to do them, even if it was not fun.

3. Shit storm! OK, so the hysterical thing is that this is the pledge:

“I will not drink for 100 days. No matter what. I can cry, but I will not drink. I can go to bed or go home early. I might feel distressed … but I will not drink. Bad things might happen, but I will not drink. Incredibly shitty things may happen to someone around me, or my neighbor, or my friend’s friend’s grandmother. But there will be no booze. Funerals? Weddings? Amputation? I’m not drinking for 100 days no matter what happens … No matter what.”

When I read this pledge, I was like, oh, well none of that will happen to me during this 100 days. Boy was I wrong. There was surgery, there was a premature baby. There was death. There was a visiting in-law. And there was divorce (not mine).

I didn’t drink. No checking out for me. And I got it done.

I’m kind of sad my 100 days are ending. Mostly because it was a bonding thing my dad and I did together. Every morning, as our indication of sobriety, we would text each other what day it was. Mine in regular numbers and he used roman numerals the whole way through. And we talked soooo much more. When you are neither drunk, nor hungover, you are in a much better mood to chat with your dad! … Time to open a new chapter.

Love and Gratitude, Julie-Joy ~ Happy Day 100 to me”

From Julie-Joy’s Dad (day 100):

“Alcohol was not a part of my life until I had my first beer at the age of 16, and on my first night of drinking I drank 16 beers. I didn’t feel too good the next day. But from that first day, alcohol was always a part of my life. It was a nice ice breaker when dating. Regrets? Yes.

I grew into wanting to drink. I wanted to make sure that when I got my own home that I would have this really cool bar so I could host really cool parties. This thought process happened gradually. I remember going to church and thinking during the service that I can’t wait to get home and pour my drink while I watched the football game … I really did not think I had a problem until just recently.

Julie-Joy mentioned to me about the 100 day challenge while she was visiting. I said let’s do it. We shook on it. I loved checking in my daughter. It was a wonderful drill and it was good to be accountable to someone. In fact, I probably would not have been able to go 100 days if it wasn’t for her.

And now I feel normal again. Normal is: waking up without a hangover. Although I did not realize it was a hangover each morning until I started my 100 day challenge. Thinking clearly. Wanting to exercise and actually doing it.

There have been some sad times during this challenge. Premature grandchild, my wife’s mother died, and on day 44 my oldest daughter found out that her husband wanted to divorce her. I faced these situations without alcohol.

Now I am looking into my future … I don’t want to go back to where I was. I know that if i drink again, the drinking would start out slow. Maybe a drink here and a celebration there, but my cyclical nature I could see that I could get back to that darkness.

… By the way, I don’t like the word sobriety, but I guess it describes my 99 days of not drinking. So here is what sobriety means to me: feeling great, sleeping great, losing weight, thinking clearly, being filled with the “Spirit” rather than spirits, enjoying being a man again, enjoying being positive again. I rather call sobriety … normalcy; being normal.

I am going to do the 180 challenge with Belle because I still need to be accountable to someone. And here is my pledge: “I’ve done 100 days NORMAL, and I know my life is better. It’s not always easy, but I am moving in the right direction. I’d like to continue going in that direction. And I’d like to see what happens next. I will not drink for 180 days…not even if my wife drinks, my daughter drinks, not if I need surgery, if my best friend is in jail, not if there is a blasted zombie apocalypse. No matter what because I want to see what happens next. I love being (sober) NORMAL.

Julie-Joy’s Dad (my screen name)”


Happy Day 50 to GW!

Happy Day 50 to Claire-Anne!

Happy Day 100 to Shannonluvsdean!

Happy Day 100 to LJ!

Happy Day 100 to Julie-Joy!

Happy Day 100 to Maz!

Happy Day 100 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 100 to Jessi!

Happy Day 180 to Jeannine!

Happy Day 180 to Steph!

Happy Day 180 to Joyce!

Happy Day 300 to Pam!


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

  • Loved this post. My father took his own life 14 years ago, he was unable to beat the ‘demon drink’. Apart from when I was pregnant, I have drunk wine pretty much every evening ever since . I decided to try 30 days of not drinking and when it ended I felt I needed more time to be clear-headed. I stumbled across Belle’s 100 day challenge and am on day 87. The support has been fantastic. Reading other peoples journeys has boosted my determination.
    Now I am not sure which route to take?? Do I bow out at 100 days, or, as Belle suggests keep going, use the momentum? For this father-daughter team, I have wondered how they both reached their decisions.? I have a few more days to decide. Any thoughts really appreciated.

    • if you’re unsure what to do next, you can extend to day 180 and check out the view from there 🙂 if you’re not sure what to do, it means you’ve got two voices going – one is you, one is wolfie …

  • Belle day 1 again your posts make me feel like I’m not alone in needing to start again hopefully I will sign up for a phone chat in the future Lucid living is for me

  • I love this! Would have given anything if my dad would have quit drinking, but next to my mother it was the most important thing in his life. He’s been dead four years now and I haven’t shed a tear, which is so sad.

  • THANK YOU for lighting up my sobriety “normal” buzz this morning. I will not drink THIS summer, my 6th sober summer, but the commitment must be made new each summer. Your experience, strength and hope reminds me I love my life being “normal” and I love being sober.

  • Congrats to Julie-Joy and Dad! This is so cool. Dad – I also signed up for Team 180 and I like your take on “normalcy” vs. “sobriety.” I love being normal! Best of luck to you both on your journey forward!
    Hank 🙂

  • How cool is that, doing the 100 day pledge with your dad!! Congratulations to both of you! I lost my dad 3 years ago, and it made me smile when I read this today because my dad and I always had so much fun together. Yes, we drank together, but he was always a normal drinker while I never was. He never judged me or tried to change me, but I know how proud he was of me when I got sober a couple of years before he died. We were lucky to still have some great times together after I got sober–fishing, cooking, talking–and because I wasn’t drinking, I get to remember all of them. Thank you, Belle, for being here when I needed to find my way back to “normal”, but needed a different kind of path to get here.

  • My 100 mentor, pen pal, shoulder to cry on and happily my person to celebrate with refers to sober as lucid and I like it much better. Sober is such a serious, somber word. And while abusive drinking is somber & serious, not drinking is joyous and lucid and NORMAL!!! I have been lucid for 29 days and see nothing but lucid normalcy for the rest of my life 🙂

  • What a cool, cool couple of posts.

    I like what Dad says too about the word “sobriety”. There is a little ping I get about that word that it gives the old days too much credit.

    Yes, I have been “sober” for 150-plus days, but it feels more like I have simply been normal for those days too.