From my inbox:
Balancebeam: “Yes, I have to reset my date yet again. I am not sure this abstinence / all-or-nothing thing is going to work for me, but it’s still my goal.”
me: That all or nothing thinking (i can’t do this, it’s too hard) is really wolfie in disguise. Your response can be “I know it seems kind of radical, but I’m quitting for 100 days to see if I like being sober. Question me again about all or nothing in 100 days, wolfie.”
Balancebeam: “I’m hearing your voice in these words you wrote, and you are speaking to me with such an incredible sense of peace and calm and simplicity about this “thing” that I’ve made complicated, tortuous and convoluted. Thank you, thank you, for resetting my days, Day 5 now! And I’m going to copy this magical phrase, post it everywhere, commit it to memory and make it my mantra for the next 100 days! … I hope you know you were put on this Earth to do something special and you are doing it in a BIG way, every day! I know you have MANY talents and gifts, but cheering all us struggling souls out here is making such a significant difference in our lives! You are helping us to change our lives, how incredibly awesome! I know “we are rescuing us,” but having you with us along the way is making all the difference. And I hope, in whatever way, we are helping you to stay sober too.”
me: you are so lovely, thanks for this 🙂 I’m not sure why I’m on the planet… sometimes I think it’s to do my feeding of people and then I think it might be the sober stuff. So for now, i’m doing both and it’s working out pretty well 🙂
Balancebeam: “I think you’re “feeding” people with both things.”
[and here’s the note she wrote to put up on the wall]
With all due respect, Belle, *anybody* can feed with food. I’m sure you’re a great caterer, but really. Your feeding us with companionship and wisdom and calm is the real deal.
i appreciate you saying that. i think my love of food is a balance thing, that keeps me sane 🙂 it’s my non-emotional work, if you know what i mean!
Staying Here can be the hardest part of this journey. However, as someone noted, we are not guaranteed tomorrow-ever-so being alive and present right now is all we really have. And I choose to do this moment sober; this day sober, this evening clear-headed and strong.
I like reframing the idea that I can’t drink to I don’t want to drink. That puts a positive spin on it. It’s also easier to think just about today as in,I’m not going to drink today. I’ll leave the decision about tomorrow to tomorrow. We’re only guaranteed the right here and now in any case. Stay in the moment. It’s hard and it takes loads of practice but it is possible.
Yes, I’m thinking the same way lately and pretty amazed I got through the weekend without drinking, day 15. Wolfie really was doing a job on me this weekend. It is a confusing thought process, like can’t I just try to be a normal drinker and only drink when I’m out with a friend or at an event (which really is rare anyway). But, then I think, as soon as I give myself the ‘ok’, then it is likely to turn into drinking wine from home, alone. THIS is what I was begging the universe to get me away from.
And of course, it’s summer and people are happy and out and about and doing more things, and what I would give for that cold beer sitting outside on a nice summer night with an old friend. But, for me, that beer would open the flood gates and I probably would then stop at the store on the way home to have some wine, by myself.
I will post that same note for wolfie and carry it everywhere. I’m hoping so much that I will be more SURE of my decisions after 100 days. Thank you Belle for everything you do. And thank you all for your comments, it makes me feel not so alone.
Balancebeam – I view cravings as a little red flag that I’m not taking care of myself as much as I need to be. I’m slowly learning to stop in that craving moment and figure out what in the hell is going on and how I can deal with it in a healthy way. Once I realize that I’m either exhausted, worried or lonely, I feel a sense of relief. And until you learn how to do internal assessment, tell wolfie to take his crazy suggestions and shove it.
I have a very similar frame of mind today. I made the decision to drink this weekend after having 2 weeks of sobriety. Honestly is wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It didn’t make my evening any better and I slept poorly because of it. I absolutely don’t plan on drinking again anytime soon, but it does leave me questioning the all or nothing mentality. My brain doesn’t like the absoluteness and the feeling like the choice has been removed. Changing my mind frame from “I can’t drink” to “I don’t want to drink” is really the key for me personally. It sounds crazy, but my having drank this weekend did this. I know it won’t take the cravings away, but it makes it easier to get through them.