avoidance and worth and struggle and emptiness are the same

[Late last night I sent the full book manuscript to the ‘big’ editor in the UK. Looking back on this earlier writing, i can see now that it took a LOT longer than i thought it would. and i discovered that writing is like early sobriety: shit is hard, then it gets easier, then we don’t know what we’re doing, then we figure some things out, and then we make daily, small progress.

Over the next couple of days, i’m going to post some of the writing that i did over the last year that ‘helped’ me figure out the sober writing thing. Because the parallels with sobriety are huge and many.]


June 28, 2015

you should be sober, i email to her. you should. you’ll feel so much better, you’ll sleep better, spend less, and you’re vain right? let me tell you you’ll have nicer skin. yeah, you be sober.

while I continue to NOT write anything because it’s too hard. The resistance. the voice. you won’t do a good job (you’ll fail at writing / at being sober), you suck, maybe you should stop dreaming and just settle (for being a non-writer / for being a drinker), your life is already pretty good. better than others. why be sober at all. high firm bottom means i didn’t have to quit. i don’t have to write a book either. i’ve written 847 blog posts, and sent and received a total of 138,723 emails in 3 years.

you’ll separate yourself by being different (writer, sober). you won’t fit in, too hard to explain. So what have you been up to? oh actually i’m writing a book. about what? well it’s based on my three years of being sober and being a sober penpal to 2198 people. <crickets>

This is just like that. every day i want to be someone else…

so today i put my yellow pad in a bag, put on a law of attraction audio (well, a girl’s gotta try everything), walk in the heat, the sun, the bustle, for over half an hour, just walking. arrive at restaurant. decide that writing can happen here as well as any place. it feels different here. i don’t know what i’m writing or where it’s going. i just begin (parallels to early sobriety much?). I try to remember what worked for me before. do all that i was doing before AND add different. if i have to have lunch in a different cafe everyday will it still be worth it? yes. is it like being sober? no of course not.

but avoidance and worth and struggle and emptiness are the same. is feeling resistance to writing a first-world problem? yes. and yet the sense of hopeless – where do i start, how do i keep going, can someone do this for me, i wish i could wake up in 100 days with it done – is that the same? i think it is. and it sucks rocks.


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

  • Are they going to let you publish anonymously ? Usually publishers want book tours and TV interviews, book signings and then finally the inevitable stalker news story.

  • For anyone with an AA Daily Reflections book, read the quote from TODAY 2-19, it addresses how as women and women with high bottoms, WE ARE DIFFERENT. Different is Wolfie’s way of telling me, awww, you got this, you’re not alki, that’s BS. C’mon, you’re not like “them”, let’s have a sip. If Wolfie can separate me from MY PACK OF SOBER PALS, he’s got me closer to his attack, closer to his pounce out of nowhere, he comes, he stalks, he ravages my life. FU WOLFIE, NOT TODAY.

  • This a good one, Belle. Everyday I want to be someone else, a drinker. But wait! I have 83 days, so are you kidding me??/ you are going to give that up for a lousy glass of Chardonnay. I don’t think so…too much time invested now. Gotta move forward, not backward. It will be ok. I will make it to 100 days and then, who knows?

  • Avoidance, worth, struggle and emptiness…these words feel like the interior architecture of my body…and I have been renovating myself for the past 2 and a half years…2×4 by 2×4, nail by nail.
    You have a knack for laying out a blueprint. Looking forward to reading the book.

  • So many times with life issues I find myself wondering where to begin, where to go, what to do first. How about back to bed? But eventually, minute by minute, just one foot in front of the other you can get to where you are going…it’s a wonder. And I have to keep reminding myself that this is how I’ve gotten through other challenging situations (diet, quit smoking, family stuff). Going to sleep and waking up at 100 days doesn’t teach me anything. I have to LIVE it, examine my trigger points, find ways to work around them. That’s how I am growing. I won’t grow much sleeping for 100 days; in fact I think I might shrink!