as you can imagine, i have the pleasure of emailing lots of people. some people only email to say “sober” and others are more chatty. It’s like everybody takes whatever level of support they want/need. I get some complaining, and some temper tantrums but i know it’s wolfie and not the person speaking.
and then every so often i get a message like this that truly makes me weepy. sorry for the self-serving-ness, but i thought i’d share
from my inbox:
Lisa Alice (day 14):
“It has been a long time since I made it two whole weeks. What made the difference this time? After inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, AA meetings, untold amounts spent on therapy, an entire home library dedicated to recovery, and medications for both anxiety and cravings, you’d think I’d have this thing licked by now. It has been a year of hell and struggles to sometimes even go a day without the booze. An entire year of professional help. The rehab I went to is considered one of the *best* in the country. The IOP I attended was a think-out-of-the-box start-up that was truly amazing. I am both grateful and lucky to have the resources to take advantage of such offerings. Same goes for my (ex-)therapist and shrink.
So why now? The stars were aligned one day when I recalled that a friend in England told me about this woman named Belle, months and months ago. How much she loved your blog and podcasts and she referenced wolfie a lot. I googled you and there you were, at my desk, speaking to me. Belle, of all the help I’ve gotten, you have been the very first to tell me that I was not broken. That I had this other self (wolfie) that I needed to learn how to ignore/shut-up/render powerless/tell to fuck off. Your warmth, love, compassion, straight-forwardness, and humor have touched me in a way no other has.
In the past I have found myself all wrapped up in the mental health side of my addiction. Loving learning about the neurophysiology of our disease, cognitive dissonance, defense mechanisms, boundaries, core values… etc, etc. Granted, all important stuff, and valuable, BUT everything that I have learned in the past year speaks to my *brokenness*. In three short weeks (2 sober, 1 reading your entire blog before contacting you) my self-esteem is finding healing that I never thought it would. Belle, you offer so many gifts to us. At this moment, for me, the greatest has been you acceptance of me. Our equality. None of us boozers are better or worse than the next. You have helped me separate the *drunk* from me. It is not who I am. Truly, truly powerful. Forget about all the science and psychology, it is what it is. I have never been more excited in my life to discover and reveal to myself, and the world, what lies beneath the rubble of giving wolfie so much space in my life for so many years. Much love and a BAH, Lisa Alice”
[turns out BAH stands for Big Air Hug, but i thought it stood for Big-Ass-Hug (i perhaps have my own wide ass on my mind)]
Congratulations Lisa Alice – it just gets better with time. Belle is a treasure, nothing worked for me either until I found this blog. Who would have thought cursing at Wolfie and being kind to yourself could be so powerful and yes AM the Wolf is dead!!!!
Lisa Alice, I am so happy for you and it’s all just the beginning hon. I can relate so much to the despair, the trying everything, reading, doctors, therapists, anything that might fluke SOMETHING. But for me, nothing has been so powerful as Belle’s support and commitment, her hugs, humour and encouragement. I could hardly believe it at first to be honest, but I thank my lucky stars every day that I am here in this community. And now I believe in me. We are not defined by Wolfie, we are so much more. Ding Dong the Wolf is Dead!!
I’ve spend many drinking years comparing my drinking to others and visa versa.If I was the train,wreck I’d hide for weeks.If others were train wrecks I’d give my self permission to continue to binge because I’m not as bad as so and so.Thanks for the share I started my journal entry today about acceptance.No one can fully concide what goes on between our individual ears.This has held me back for a lot if years wondering why no one rescued me,only realizing I can only rescue myself.
True. Second that. Hang in there cause it gets more beautiful and more beautiful. And when the phone rings and it’s Wolfie…hang up.
This is absolutely beautiful, and I too got weepy. Lisa Alice speaks for me too, and I’m sure for many others. I know I wouldn’t be at 29 days without this challenge, and I would not have signed up for the challenge if I were signing up to claim myself as a diseased person that will forever be struggling with recovery. Who wants to live with that label? Belle, thank you for giving us new hope and the chance for a new and happier life:) and congrats to Lisa Alice! Your post helps me on this day, thank you.
We are NOT bad people becoming good, we are sick people becoming well…one day at a time. The drunk is not you, it is “the disease” aka “Wolfie” aka “alcoholism” … your story is powerful. Self knowledge avails us nothing, it is through the complete surrender of the drink … WE WIN. Blessings and hopes to you ….
Hi Belle – I once again can relate so directly to this email. Yes, my last drink was on June 29th and I’m feeling better than ever with my sober momentum. I keep getting over small hurdles and will face one next weekend as I’m going to a baseball game with my husband and brother-in-law. Thanks for all of your encouragement and thanks for giving us the compassion that we have such a hard time showing ourselves.Holly