it’s time for you.

dear you. yes i can reset you. day 1 today.

there’s a ‘rapid cycling’ thing that i see that worries me. before you were sober for longer, then sober for shorter, now sober for a day or two at a time. it’s like the restarts are closer together.

i’m clearly not a doctor. and please (fucking please) ignore me. but i gotta say that the ‘rapid cycling’ is worrying.

it might be time now for you to try some new things. what you’ve been doing up to now is good, but it’s not quite enough.

i’m clearly not a doctor (i’ll say it again, it bears repeating). but i think there are probably 60+ sober tools we could use to be sober. Go to bed early is good (it’s sober tool #10). Combine it with not making dinner for a few weeks (tool #3).

Don’t forget tools #28 to #30:

28. Accept that sober motivation is like deodorant: it needs to be reapplied every day.

29. Ask for help.

30. Accept help. Let other people do things even though it won’t be done how you like it.

Here’s tool #54:

54. If you relapse (once, or more than once) or if you are sober but feeling shitty, then add more sober tools from this list. This is a tool within a tool. It is: Add more tools when you relapse. Relapse means that what you’re doing is good but it’s not quite enough.

And maybe it’s time for sober tool #17.

17. Talk to your doctor about medication, like maybe anti-booze medication (antabuse), or anti-depressants or anti-anxiety or whatever might help. If you don’t think you can honestly speak with your current doctor about your drinking, then go to a clinic and talk to someone else. If you’ve tried seeing your family doctor and you’re not happy with the medication or the dosage, then get a referral for a visit to a psychiatrist. They’re the experts when it comes to treating our brains. If you go to the doctor and you don’t mention your alcohol consumption, it’s like going to the dentist and not saying which tooth is aching. they can’t do their job if they don’t have the right info.


If there are #60 tools on the list of things that can help you be sober, each tool might only contribute 5%. So you will need more than one. If you’re hanging around day 1, then you need more. And you don’t know which tool will be the one that will finally help. So you load on a lot of them.

it’s time to stop ‘sipping from the straw of support’. this rapid cycling thing? it makes me worried about you.

belle xo

PS: i’m one of your sober tools and i’m not the whole toolbox … It’s in the reaching out that things start to change. YOU assemble your sober tool box — it doesn’t arrived fully formed on your doorstep. YOU put it together. YOU add to it when it isn’t working.

It’s time for you.


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 think it is easier for the first few weeks because you can vividly recall the hangover and may still be experiencing some hangover. Plus trying to get all the things that are screwed up back on track. It’s after that it gets hard. Then it gets hard again. But then its hard to get started and get the few weeks going. One reason Day 1 is so freaking long and horrible.

  • Thank you. I am in that uncertain first cycle probably. I know that I need to stop drinking and I made my first real effort recently but barely managed two months. It is so much more complicated than I thought. For me it was easy for the first few weeks, but the longer I got, the more I felt that I would be able to manage it. And now I am drinking knowing that I will have a hangover tomorrow morning at work, which I have not had for a long time. I will come back to this but my fear is that I delude myself into thinking that I am not an alcoholic, that I can manage it. My alcoholism is invisible to other people and therefore I tell myself that it is OK.

    Thanks for keeping this site going and for all the advice. It is amazing. We all come here with our problems, all focused on ourselves.


  • After making my own pies for Thanksgiving every year, I called and ordered them this year. I don’t even enjoy making pie. I enjoy baking lots of other things but not pie. Felt I HAD to do everything myself and completely from scratch (rolling out pie dough is not my idea of fun). And I felt so relieved after ordering them. Ordering pies is helping me keep this little sober car rolling.

  • I do not know what is wrong with me. We went to dinner at the house of my husband’s friend last night. I found out they have invited us several times but my husband has always declined, saying I am too busy. Later I realized he declined because he didn’t want me to be some place where people might drink.

    However, we went last night and no one was drinking any alcohol. People were having sodas and tea, I had coffee.

    There was half a bottle of wine in a cooler on the buffet counter, but no one touched it. I know no one touched it because I was watching it. My eyes were riveted on the bottle the whole evening. I kept wondering how in the hell someone could have a half bottle of wine in their house.

    At one point, people started talking about some TV show and I felt left out. Because I cannot watch TV sober, I don’t watch it at all now.

    Today, I am thinking…..if I want to see that great TV show they were talking about, I have to get some wine and drink it. But I’m not going to do that because getting to 100 days was so hard in the first place. I think it took me about 2 years of stops and starts to finally complete Belle’s 100-day challenge. No way I am giving that up! NOT TODAY.

    So right now I’m feeling sad because I can’t see some stupid TV show???

    WTF is wrong with me???

    I guess I’m still crazy, even with the 100-days under my belt.

    So I came here. Podcast next.


    • you will eventually begin to watch tv sober. just like you’ve slowly adjusted to doing other things sober. maybe you’ll watch tv at 8 a.m. 🙂 or in the tub. or only with a rootbeer float on hand. bit by bit. you’re going to be sober for a while. you can sort things out as they come up.

    • Yep, the TV thing was one of the absolute hardest for me. (It also took me over 2 years to finish the 100 day challenge!) Now, at 6 months sober I can watch TV & movies – Finally! Though, I do tend to stay away from ones that have too much drinking in them. Lori

  • The “I’ve got this” in Lynne’s comment resonates with me so much. I hate asking for help or admitting something might be too might for me. Like its a failure – and it causes me so much unnecessary heart ache. And I see it with all my girlfriends too – we are all so desperate to appear that we can do it all. I can do that, and that, and that, and that, and I can do it all on my own – look at me and how capable I am. Such bullshit. I’m getting better at asking for help and not taking on so much as more sober time passes. And part of that is “surrender” – it comes up in all sober worlds and for good reason. Learngin to “Let it go” and “surrender”. Helps a lot with sobriety and happiness.

  • Thanks for the email. You are 100% right. I keep toying with this sobriety thing instead of working it. You aren’t a doctor, but that is why you can help because you have experienced the sobriety thing. You are also right about the sober tools. I don’t ask for help, I try to show “I’ve got this” when I don’t. I have my in-laws coming for two weeks this week, and I will be doing cooking, cleaning, Thanksgiving, I was going to drink because I will be tense, but now have decided not to.

    Thank you!