move the box.

(from thursday august 4)

a day of chaos. At 6 p.m. the computer crashed and it took AN HOUR to recover Outlook, all the chart updates from the morning were lost, T. seems to not know I’m away, L. from job #1 emailing @ 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Argh. Worked to 7:30 p.m. frustratedly. This is supposed to be my offline time. From now on, i have to save/close all files every time so that if it crashes, i can avoid this whole restore thing. Every time. This cannot happen again. (you have a new day 1, you review what happened, you do not do the same thing again.)

Not everyone learns from their mistakes or from their weird situations. It’s surprising, really, our capacity for not-learning. My husband does this: nearly trips over the box by the dining room table, but he doesn’t move it. I’ll just be more careful next time (try harder) he says. Really? Why? Why isn’t one time, the first time, enough. Booze in the house makes you feel weird? Remove it, ask your partner to store it where you can’t see it and if they ‘forget’ you can also forget what you’re doing and pour it out.

If you trip on a box, then you move it – you don’t ‘try harder’ to avoid it.

I’m not really talking about a paralysis of trying to prevent or foresee every eventuality. I’m talking about small, sensible, realistic adjustments. You relapsed last time when meeting your friends for dinner. This time i’ll be careful. OR you could assess, pivot five degrees, and see your friends (a) for brunch, (b) for lunch, (c) at your place for a potluck indian meal where you all make new recipes from cookbooks, (d) meet them when you’re 6+ weeks sober or beyond.

But Belle, that’s not realistic. I can’t move all the boxes that are on the floor, not even those right by my chair, not even the one i tripped on yesterday.

(Side note. Bottom drawer was pulled out, I got up, and turned forgetting the drawer was open, fell hard on concrete, knocked myself out for a few seconds, scared the clients in my office, scared myself, left the store with cash register open to go get help, got off relatively easy (bruised head to waste, chiropractic for months). Did i ever (and i mean EVER) have that bottom drawer pulled all the way open (and leave it like that) again? No. Because me, when i personally was doing my ‘best’ … i had fallen hard. That was me at my best, trying hard. and i fell hard. so do i try hard again? or do i remove the obstacle. (But it was only once, but i can’t avoid all of the triggers…) Can you move some of the boxes, close some of the open drawers?

What’s the fascination with seeing how few changes, how little support, the least amount of the time we can spend, the least a mount on money on support on treats. For what? To have a new day 1? What’s the fascination with running on such a small margin? Stop this shit. Stop it right now. Put some gas in your sober car, move the box, close the drawer; learn from errors.

AND put some other preventative things in place. Stop falling down. Just. Stop. It.



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 didn’t try different because I really didn’t want to stop drinking. I kept telling myself that the booze could stay in my house because I’ll just try harder. When in actual fact, I wasn’t truly ready to go sober. Many Day 1’s later I kicked the booze out of my house for good. I closed the drawer, moved the box, removed the hazard. Day 76 today. Thank you Belle xxx

  • Move the box? I had so many day ones..This was tough, for me it took a team of professionals to help out. Love you and still love coming by your blog. Thank you for giving me my first glimmer of hope. I could stop thinking about Drinking if you could too.

  • Belle–this is great! I have been moving boxes for 16 (?) day’s now. I am in the process of gifting a box of champagne to a friend for her birthday! Thought that was a great idea to get it out of the house. The clutter in our mind can stall us and make us feel like we are drowning in our own shit.,,,The messy desk metaphor is great! I always feel better when I clean out boxes, closets and my desk. Yesterday I sober hate cleaned. Took all that energy from trying to hid my drinking or trying to appear something I wasn’t and put it into cleaning out cabinets! LOVE!! Boxes be damned!

  • Such relief to take a good, deep sigh and say (to self) “ok, I’ve moved the damn box.” On Day 5, the path is feeling less cluttered. Thank you for the supports and reminders.

  • One of the first things a sponsor said to me was “do something different, get something different”. Not “try harder”. That doesn’t work.

    • Similar from my own sponsor…”nothing changes if nothing changes” I used to hate hearing that now I totally get it. And like it. Today is day 34. Personal best 😉

  • Yes. Move the box. Simple but not easy, right?

    Today is day eight for me. Yesterday was shit, but I’ve been moving boxes all week–it’s no wonder I’m tired! I woke feeling lighter today, relieved to have started the work of clearing myself a new path, free of clutter… and I have only just begun.

    /practice makes progress/

  • I LOVE this. It’s the realization I came to last Friday. I finally moved that fucking box out of the way. I kind of know it too because that “switch” has been flipped. The same one I finally felt when I quit smoking all those years ago.

  • I love this so much. Common sense isn’t so common, and it isn’t clearly visible to us all of the time. Having you to remind us is just what we need to stay on our sober road. Overwhelm, frustration, drawer open, all leads to that crash we don’t want to have happen but could see coming if we would just stop for a moment. You make us stop. Thank you. I know I would not be where I am today without your “move the box” posts. No way. Love to you.

  • This is practical. Try harder hasn’t worked. Tools and support remove sobriety from the realm of the mystical into everyday life!