This went out yesterday as a micro-email. Posted here now with extra comments
me: i’ve been saving this email since july 2014. there’s never a good time to send it. it makes me look all self-congratulatory. but i know what it feels like to feel ‘saved’. it’s how i feel about the sober online community too. i wouldn’t have been comfortable going to AA. i needed anonymous support. I’m glad the internet exists.
from susanc (day 23):
“I drove past a rehabilitation/addiction service today, and it reminded me that I had been thinking of going to it, if my attempt to stop drinking did not work. That was before I had found out about you and your 100 day challenge.
I absolutely dreaded the idea of contacting this place, I hated the thought of attending meetings and talking to people, to counsellors or social workers, I live In a small city and you can never do anything anonymously, but I was feeling so desperate in my last holidays and I knew that I had to make changes.
But then I stumbled across your website, emailed you and here I am, not cured, not recovered yet, still having occasional fierce cravings, but at the same time so so happy to not be drinking – it’s like I am holding on to something tiny and precious and fragile, and your help and encouragement is what is making it possible for me to keep this thing safe.
On my own, I would not be relishing all the sober moments of these holidays. Thank you for saving me. Still sober, hugs susanc”
[update: she’s on day 341 today!]
Namaste (day 147): Don’t save emails like that, Belle. That’s how I feel, too. I didn’t drive past a place the way she did, but I felt trapped in a hole. And it’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s always better. And emails like that help me remember when I feel weak that it is, in fact, better.
Jock (day 109): Bless you girl! That email does not make you look self congratulatory Belle ☺. Its helpful. Anyhoos you said yourself that arrogance is a killer for us. Being an addict is a sure fire way to humility (we tend to see our own faults writ large) and AA Step One as much as tells us we totally need help. I like humility, in fact I really love it. I’m not gonna get all God-bothering on you but for instance Moses was chosen because he was the humblest person in the world. My favourite people are humble. They can still be a ton of fun BTW. I’m not speaking Uriah Heep false humility here. We’ve not met but I think you are humble. Blessings to you and yours Belle!
Summer Walking (day 167): if I hadn’t found you and your site and penpal letters and audios and shameless adverts, and most importantly the sharing of your journey. Your sharing makes this so very real – we can laugh and cry with you. We all seem to have some straits that are in common. I don’t know where I would have ended up. I am so blessed to have you.
Yogayamagirl (day 109): Add that I am a teacher and that is me. I thought maybe I can just pay out of pocket [for rehab] and go over the summer. One of the most powerful things about your blog email thingy is that people see that they are not the only ones who feel like they do. And that is a powerful gift you have given us. Be all self congratulatory. You should. You earned it and own it. As always. Thank you for all you do. I am going to give myself a treat and spend the next hour reading my book. On my porch where it is warm and sunny.
L putting down the glass (day 5): That is so true, and this 100 day challenge is good for those of us who drink too much, need to cut down or stop but are not at a point of needing rehab….Yet! We can get the help and support we need at home, without making any big declarations of being an alcoholic. No one in my family or friend circle thinks I have an alcohol problem so no one needs to know I’m getting support for it. I love your work!
L: Thanks for your efforts to help people like me. People in pain, or dysfunction, or feeling completely out of sorts with the rest of the world, and trying to blot it out.
susanc: I’m so glad the internet and anonymous support and you exist too – thanks for posting this, it has reminded me of where I was last year xxx
If it helps, I may be a case of the “what now”s after day 30…
Sending out a cry for support after a day that rapidly devolved. I am feeling very isolated, so much that I can feel it crushing my chest. I am on day 30. My hubby is supportive and I have immersed myself in sober blog world, gone to one smart meeting but suddenly feeling overwhelmingly sad and alone. I’ve made tea and popped easy chocolate chip cookies. Need help. Advice thoughts support all welcome
I look longingly at the rehabs when I drive by…wishing I could afford one. For me, leaving my husband for a few months to work on getting sober is not an option. If I could afford to leave him, at least for the summer, then I could afford to go into a 3 or 4 month rehab.
My husband is not supportive, he does not drink, never has. He does not know how hard this is nor does he seem to care. He just carries on the way he has for the last 20 years regardless of my mood swings or anything else that I may be going through. He argues and has tantrums and does not willingly pick up after himself around the house, just as he always has. This weekend he escalated an argument and refused to stop even after I asked him to stop.
On Belle’s blog, I rarely see people talking about unsupportive spouses. It seems to me that drunks like me end up marrying whoever will take us. It is no surprise that some of us have unsupportive spouses.
All the Al-anon stuff and blogs for spouses of people in recovery tell the spouse to take care of themselves. Never have I seen a blog for the spouses of those in recovery that tells the spouse to cut the other some slack, and stop with the complaints, and arguing.
He is not physically violent; he is just inconsiderate, self-absorbed, selfish, and inconsiderate….did I mention inconsiderate?
there are lots of people here with less than supportive spouses. my best advice is the podcast called “Here’s What I Need From You.” this is hard stuff. we can’t always get the support we need from others. sometimes this is up to us to do … with support from sober humans who get it.
I just calculated that I am 412 days sober!! And I know, without question, that I would not be in this state of belief now if not for the hope, and then the faith that I found through you Belle, and the 100 day challenge. I honestly never dreamed there could be another way, that I could be here.
I will be thanking you and thinking of you for the rest of my life.
Love AM xxxx
Truly Belle. You are a wonder. Thank you.