dip your toe in sober waters

from my inbox:

From CEG (August 2014): 

I write to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog. I am 259 days sober, 356 days free of pills, and I’ve lurked on your site nearly all the way. You are wise and comforting and present, and there have been many, many days when that’s what I’ve needed.

I survived an abusive marriage — and found my way out before it killed me — so I figured I could do anything. But having to feel all my feelings sometimes seems too damn hard. Sober and clean now, I am realizing even more powerfully what I survived, and that makes everything harder. But when that happens I read your blog, or ride my bike really really hard, or cry, or make a pie and eat a lot of it, or drink lemonade and iced tea, and somehow find my way onward. I am truly blessed to have my own version of a Mr. Belle — the reason I finally decided I should try this journey — who supports me even when I’m a total bitch.

I created this e-mail address just to reach out and thank you. Whenever you have your own bad days, I hope you know how much you mean to all of us out here reading your blog and that helps you get through.

… then her lovely boyfriend bought a call with me to surprise her for her birthday in September…

And then i got this email (November 2014):

I have made it one whole year on my sober journey, and I want to extend my gratitude for your help along the way. It’s not a journey I’ve made alone, and I’ve been amazed and touched by the help I’ve gotten — from people like you, whom I didn’t (don’t really) even know. It’s pretty astounding to me that once a person heads onto the Sober Path, they’re very willing to help anyone else who wants to join in and walk (crawl, run, skip, stumble) along.

So thank you. It’s been a very emotional day — I think I’m a bit afraid of where I am (does having made it this far mean I actually know ANYthing about what it takes to be here? okay, maybe a little) and where I’m going (if I got this far, now what? . . . oh, yeah, just because I made it a year doesn’t mean it isn’t still one day at a time).

My brother, who has dipped his toe in sober waters but isn’t yet sure he wants to swim, gave me a pedometer to celebrate the day. I was blown away that he would acknowledge the importance of this day to me. His gift came with a card: one step at a time. Ain’t that the truth. Thanks so much for your help on the path, BIG HUGS, CEG.


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

  • Thanks for sharing this one Belle. What fantastic support CEG has! No matter who we are or how far along the journey we are – we’re one step at a time.

  • Sometimes I think what we’re doing here isn’t that big of a deal. It’s so organic. I feel like we’re all part of a collective experiment. From this end, it’s hard to quantify what the impact of Belle’s unique form of support. This just drives it home. I believe!

    100 days seemed impossible, I couldn’t go 3 days. But now, I think alcohol free as a way of life is totally within reach. Thanks Belle! I don’t have a choice, it has to be a permanent change for me, my body won’t tolerate anymore alcohol. It was a matter of live or die. The power of Belle’s podcasts! Thanks for helping me retrain my brain, and for not giving up on me. And to think, no one really knows because of the stigma. . . My hope is that someday we’ll all be able to stand up and say, look – this works.