from the train window

from my inbox:


me (to B): and how is today?

B: Just terrible. I am now consistently not drinking during the week. But that’s not the goal or what I want at all! I’m just miserable about it. Belle, I am not going to keep asking for resets – it’s too humbling and sort of silly.  I’ll continue to check in and will chime in with a HUGE e-mail when I make it to Day 10. Ugh.  Back to it.​

me: all this means is that what you’re doing now is good but it’s not quite enough. you need to add a bit more support so that you can get through the first few weekends. after you get through one or two, it’ll be much easier from there. you need some support to get some momentum. each time you restart, you have to change something. it’s not about trying ‘harder’ it’s about trying ‘different’ … I wrote about this in one of the micro-emails this week:

If you had a 5 year old girl next to you who was crying and crying, you’d try different things until she stopped crying. You’d suggest a treat, you’d suggest a bath, you’d distract her, you’d tempt her with pancakes, you’d turn on a good movie – you’d keep trying DIFFERENT things until she stopped crying.

different. not harder. is today day 1. you don’t need to wait to be on a magic day. you begin again today. wolfie says “don’t bother her”.  I haven’t said that 🙂 hugs



B: Good today. Sober. Thanks for your e-mail. I have been doing things differently, but its all been things in my head — different mental approaches. This time I am doing things physically different. Taking the train to work now instead of my car because I used to take the train many years ago when I wasn’t struggling with this, and not having my car takes away the easy diverted path home to the wine store. I am also telling people, slowly. Not about everything, just that I am taking a break for health reasons and to get fit. I feel I need some accountability and some people to talk to irl. Thanks Belle!​



me: good point. it’s not about thinking differently necessarily. it’s about doing things differently. good clarification. not taking the car is perfect. do more stuff like that!

B: I am, totally. Different schedules, different routine in evenings or mornings. It’s amazing what you notice around you when you do it. It’s like we become so desensitized with what we think is our comfy routine we miss so many things. Now that I am firm in my understanding that my routine is not comfy but destructive, it is so encouraging to change it and see things from a new perspective — even if it’s just from the train window :)​


Reminder that most of what i’m doing these days is going out by micro-email. Like my new secret writing project, the meetup in Paris, and daily photos. If you’re not on the micro-email list, you can add your name here.



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

  • I love not trying harder, but different.
    I think that is why I am much happier this time.
    Now at day 148, I went whole hog, and did things I never would have before.
    Writing a blog, Belle’s challenge, telling people, all helped.
    Wasn’t harder, just different!