[Now that I have finished writing the sober book and it has been sent to the printers … now i’m spending time looking over earlier journals about the writing process. i can see that it took a LOT longer than i thought it would to find out HOW to write, to find a pattern, a rhythm. 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.
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.]
July 8, 2015
tuesday. (5:15 am). meditation sucked, i opened my eyes and yawned part way through. i said to myself ‘i suck at this’ right as the guided meditation audio says to be patient and non-judgmental.
i have nothing to say. that first time, with the early morning writing last week, that was luck. It was a fluke I can’t repeat. I should have kept going. I thought I could dip back into it easily enough. Momentum. Would it have been easier to keep going?
once i get started then i can just keep going. even if it isn’t always a lot of fun, because it isn’t miserable. i’m not vomiting. i’m just angst-ing. and the angst-ing is what i’m trying to ignore. for the better good.extract from today’s writing:
I didn’t meet the textbook definition of an alcoholic, and believe me, I’d done the research. I’d read the sober memoirs, done a bit of looking around online, was confronted with all of the anecdotal evidence where people with real alcohol problems lost their jobs, their marriages, and their lives to addiction.
Update from April 28, 2016.
The phrase that I wrote above, on that crappy morning in July, that phrase eventually got written into the book like this:
Source: TOTAD: Take My-100 Day Sober Challenge, page 55, section 2: Permission to Quit.
sadly that person is me and it took me far too long to face up to it. I did the dui and lost my job and still kept drinking. But I am now in control.
On day 8 today and got through 2 difficult nights where I normally may have caved in to drinking. I felt an interesting ‘shift’ by abstaining in those moments and I was mentally very kind to myself. I felt strong, peaceful and confident.
Thank goodness I am now 17 months sober. I was a 2 – 3 glasses of red wine a day drinker. I ran a business, didn’t behave too badly too often, paid all my bills, went walking daily….. but I knew life could be very much better than it was. And I didn’t want to end up a nice white middle class alcoholic like my parents had been. I love having a clear head, I love not having hangovers, I love my new found self respect. I love the feeling of being in charge of myself. Thank you Belle, for your blog and hundred day challenge have been an important part of my journey. Long may you flourish 🙂
50 days sober and starting to get uncomfortable, wanting vodka so badly. And I don’t want just one, I want to drowned myself in it.
I took those quizzes.
I never got a ticket or DUI.
I was never fired for being drunk on the job.
When I drank, it was alone and it was almost binge drinking. Falling down drunk binge drinking. Drinking until I passed out watching the BBC video ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
I am new to this–on day 11. It seems not-too-hard so far but only because of your support and remembering to remember the reality of what the drinking had become. I had an incredibly crappy day today but am greatly comforted to know it was what was coming my direction and not the product of a hungover brain.
I did the same thing–looking for normal and at the same time looking for not normal so that I could finally get comfortable with what was distinctly UNCOMFORTABLE. Such a sucky bind to be in. Deep down I knew something was terribly wrong, but wanted “legal” proof.
So true! Scary?
Did that, too. Magazine quiz…relief. Drinking every night but always (not) finding the sweet edge and pretending that I was behaving “normally’. Belle, your specific anecdotes are somehow universal or at least I find them common to my experience. And, for all the time I spent pretending I was normal and hating myself, I thought it was just me. Turns out there are a lot of us on that road.
Every day I am filled with gratitude for being off that road….for more than 1000 days (never would have thought that possible back in the days of denial)!
As always, thank you for helping me get here. Life is so much better.
Can’t wait to read this!