stop chick squishing

We scan text looking for the bullet points. Here you go.

  • There is no weight loss in early sobriety. The goal in early sobriety is to be sober. Weight loss usually does happen, but later. Like day 120+ or later. If you focus on too many things at one time, wolfie comes in with “This is all too hard” and you should…
  • Watch out for any time you hear “this is all too hard.” It’s a sign. It indicates overwhelm. Turn down invitations, hire childcare, go to bed, cancel appointments …
  • Yes, cancel them. Imagine that you being sober is something you really want (it is). and imagine that early sobriety is fragile like a little chick (it is). if you let the chick run around in traffic, it gets squished. Stop chick squishing and …
  • Be very very nice to you. That means protecting your chick, cancelling things, getting treats and going to bed. I know that sounds easy and trivial and ridiculous. but it isn’t. You being nice to you is (maybe) the key to this thing. If you resist the whole treats idea, then I worry about you. Sober treat. You’re rolling your eyes. Do it anyway, because …
  • You’ve been trying it your way for a long time. You’ve done plenty of drinking research. You know the results. Now it’s time for some Sobriety Research. You don’t know how much you might like being sober. Hanging around day 1 is just too hard. Time to step out into the sunshine and see what all the fuss is about. Here are some ways to get started:
  • Find a cat to snuggle. Take out your camera. Change your sheets. Clean the sink. Brush your hair. Go for a walk. Feel better. And …
  • If this whole post makes you irritated, I’m ok with that. do the treats/cat snuggle/early to bed thing anyway. protect your little chick. Even if you think i’m facile, ridiculous, or being flip. Do it anyway. Feel better.


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

  • Day 5…again! Feeling stronger this time. More determined. 30 day bites for me this time. Seems easier to start this way. Focus more on treats and tackle weight loss later. J

  • This is so relevant now as it was in 2015 Belle.
    Recognising OVERWHELM is the key for me.
    Day 116 for me today and only now have I had people commenting on my weight loss! Yet I haven’t been dieting! I’ve just been kind to myself and looked after myself and most importantly stayed sober!:)
    Treats are important whether it’s a chocolate bar at the end of the day, or a new pair of socks 😉 or a new handbag (my 100 day challenge treat). Having sober tools in place to help prevent overwhelm are vital AND fun too!
    Protect your chick and f&@k wolfie 🐺
    Ali x

  • Belle I am so grateful I found you! Just finished your book and am on day 4 after many mini sober stretches. As so many others have said there is something about the way you say things as well as your voice that are particularly helpful. I have been very focused on the longed for weight loss , so many others write about the pounds melting off – urgh😒 When that didn’t happen I found it all too easy to listen to wolfie- finally your words are cutting through the bullshit and I am embracing the self care and treats- today’s were triscuits with cheese for dinner. In a few days I plan for a massage. And the next (big )one maybe on day 25 ?-will be a bracelet !
    Thanks again

  • I think the weight loss thing is sometimes one of the reasons people may try to quit drinking. It’s like “if I quit drinking I’m going to lose weight!” ~ so while this may be a drawcard for some, the reality is different for some. And what’s interesting is that when you’re sober for a longer time, you like yourself better regardless of weight. The internal put-downs go away, there’s a softening of the inner self. So yes, sober first, weight comes later.

  • I just 💕 love this post….. who would want to squish a tiny baby chick…..and if I think like this even a tiny amount towards myself then there is hope that I can learn to self soothe……I quite like my fleece blanket….and a teddy 😁😎( yes that is me with my cool shades…. who me? Cuddling a teddy ? Yep ! )

  • Absolutely agree 100 times over. Take care of you and everyone around you will benefit. It’s not being “greedy” or “selfish”. It’s showing yourself some grace. <3

  • This could not have come at a better time! I am feeling a bit overwhelmed today -day 5 and a Friday…I know some one watches over me in a mysterious way. I will treat my self and go to bed if that is what I need to do…I have a good and juicy book to read too!

  • What do you mean there is no weight loss in early sobriety? I’ve read several romance novels and seen movies about women who go to rehab, get fit and slim, and marry a handsome wealthy man…in 90 days!

  • I am in the midst of reading the comments which follow Belle’s post and can relate with what a number of you have shared.
    I am about to step out to take care of some things so will read the remaining comments, later. I simply feel like sharing ( that ) …
    For me, I chose sobriety shortly after moving ( the second major move within two years ). Well. My partner gave me an ultimatum , shortly after living with me for two months and witnessing how much I was drinking and on a daily basis, at that.
    I have moved many times in my life , while in the past – I always made new friends by joining meetup groups , etc. … where the focus was on drinking and ” making new friends ” that way ( which currently strikes me as rather dumb and ridiculous – whilst – I , digress )!
    Anyway. I guess my point is:
    I have had my moments where I have felt so alone, after moving AGAIN. What I recently did over ‘meetup’ was ask if there was anyone else interested in breakfast and / or brunch meetups. I work two jobs as well ( which by this way – I used to get fired from jobs – no doubt – my boozing played a MASSIVE role in being a shitty employee )…while just yesterday, I was praised by a supervisor for churning out the HIGHEST PRODUCTIVITY results within the lab I work at – ok. I need to brag about that for a moment. I could not have done any of this while drinking like I was.
    Back to my point?
    Even if you feel so , SO lonely – ( and I know I have)! … try and do what ever little you can to suggest or create meetups, things like this? … where it is not all about boozing.
    The moment I stopped drinking, I realized how many people frickin’DO!
    While I know there are others like us , creating new beginnings. Keep GOING. I am typing that to ya’ll and my own dang self!
    I am so grateful for Belle and our wonderful community, HERE!

  • I am starting today and bought ice cream as one of my first treats. I usually don’t do sweets….just wine….read where someone said “like wine calories don’t count”! So true. I read about Belle over the weekend….read the first round of blogs yesterday and loved them all…copied so many things down to refer to later….then proceeded to drink a bottle of Chardonnay. Ugh. Came up with a million excuses why, but they are all crap. Getting the courage to write wasn’t easy. I don’t like admitting that I am having trouble…and that I can’t solve it on my own….but I hate the guilt and hangovers way worse. So I’m doing this … Going to listen to podcasts (starting with little chick) and the bubble hour (stopped a while back probably because it hit too close to home). And I’m going to get sober treats and treat myself. So looking forward to feeling better and to really doing this. Thanks for being here!

  • sober treats…stressing about weight…here I am 80 some days sober and am already pressuring myself to take on weight loss, stop sugar, etc. etc. etc…soooo needed to hear this today. I forget I need to take care of my little chickie and that is enough for now!!!

  • This post is so right on. I am only one week into my sobriety (for who knows what time around) but everything you said resonates with me. Who cares about the weight loss when all I can think about is how overwhelmed I feel. I need to chill, be kinder to myself and cancel some of my commitments.

  • All of the above are essential to sobriety and I still need them at 10 months sober.

    Treats are the number 1 tool for me. They can be big, they can be small. The principle is that I am good and kind to myself.

    Sober research – I read sober blogs, sober books, sober audios.

    I don’t worry about eating chocolate, cake, ice-cream. It’ll sort itself out – really. Obsessing about weight doesn’t help to be sober i find.

    New tools for me at month 10.

    I’ve started running. Yikes!

    I want to go to a sober meet-up and meet Belle and others in real life.

    My chick is growing but she’s still a fragile baby. I have the tools to look after her thanks to Belle.

  • Being stuck on day one does suck….full of good intentions, them crumbling because it’s so hard feeling unbearable, , then the remorse and guilt and yuck physical state. Thanks Belle for keeping up encouraging,

  • My inbox was full and I was scrolling down to delete a bunch of stuff – and then saw your post. As usual, Belle, you are spot on! No matter how many days in sobriety we are, we need to keep protecting ourselves. Your posts are my treats! Thanks for all of your hard work and caring. 🙂

  • Thanks Belle, I needed this. I am feeling overwhelmed. Kids, dog, house, yard, bills, job, oh, yeah- an me. WTF? Today is the day my kids start doing their own laundry. Last night, Louis C.K. stand up act and Gelato- then 12 hrs sleep. Hell yeah!

  • I am at day 202 because all of this WORKS!!! I thought TREATS were so silly I did not follow you advice. Then I drank, then I cried, then I tried again. I am at Sober Day 202 because these things all work!!!!! Thank you Belle you are an angel from above!!!!!

  • Ha! count me among the readers who thought I was in some kind of blip in the matrix and reading a post by you totally customized to me. imagine sobriety is what I want, stop hanging around day 1. Do some sober research. Thanks for being so no-nonsense about it, I need that.

  • One of your best posts yet! I sometimes think because I’m 4+ months sober that I don’t need to take care of my chick. Thanks for reminding me it’s not a grown-up chicken yet, and it’s not ready to fend for itself.

    Back to bed with the cat to plan some special treats for my day 135!

  • Our cat showed up in our yard in October and adopted us. Did he know that I was trying to get sober? Is he a sign?
    I would rather be irritated by your post than hating myself for facing another day 1

  • Did plenty of cat snuggling those first few months and it works! Now the cat looks at me like “I’m here, on the bed, waiting…” But I gotta go! Go for a bike ride, to the beach, out for a sober date w/hubby! Sober life beats hangover life and “day ones” hands down. So do all of the above!! (I thought sober treats were silly too, but I did ’em anyway)

  • I almost feel like you wrote this just for me…the cat has been snuggled and now I’m stepping out into the sunshine for a walk with my camera. Time for some Sobriety Research! ST

  • Although its still early for me (Day 26), I too think that this time one of the differences for me that keeps me hopeful i will meet the 100 day challenge (to start!) is that I am not obsessing over and dreading events and meetings I don;t feel up to going to. I am learning to cancel them or to “just say no.” I have been cycling around the 3-4 week mark every couple of months for a number of years now and I am really clearly seeing that overwhelm due to trying to do too much has contributed to the relapses every time.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about not worrying about the weight loss thingy too soon. I was almost going down that path today.. and starting to get down about gaining a few pounds instead of losing them. Sobriety first!

  • Until I let myself get so entrenched in daily drinking, I had no idea just how good something simple like brushing my hair could feel.
    Just finally giving a rat’s ass about 1 little thing and then another little thing until I could finally look in the mirror again and realize I actually DO give a sh*t about myself and other people and the world in general.

  • How I wish I’d read this during the first few harrowing days of sobriety; it’s such great information! Thank you, Belle – you’re a beacon of hope and wisdom in the darkness for so many of us…. If you’re new to this journey, please hang on to her words! Print this and carry it with you – read it over and over. She speaks the truth! It IS so much better in the sunshine!

  • If only I’d known, heard, read, understood that ten years ago, I’d have saved myself a decade. Now that I’ve been sober for about ten months I can see all of it is absolutely essential – and I still stick to it. To be honest, cancelling social things that revolve around booze made such a massive improvement to my life that I still don’t bother with them although I know I could go if I wanted to and I wouldn’t drink because it no longer makes sense to do so. I’ve got my life back and it feels wonderful.