sober jumpstart

If you have taken the sober jumpstart class and had me as your penpal, can you share a comment here to help people understand how the class might help them. you can share a bit about why you took the class, and what parts you found most useful. happy you do the jumpstart class? post a comment here.

hugs, me

 

Belle

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

  • Hi Belle
    I took your jumpstart class awhile ago. I did not get sober continuously at first. I went 8 months relapsed, 3 months relapsed. The time between AF days became shorter until I decided to listen to the class again and email several times a day. At first I thought it was silly emailing all the time…but it worked. To have someone encourage me daily made a huge difference. The changes in my life in the last 425+ have been outstanding. I have the dream job I have always wanted, (but an even bigger opportunity has presented itself), I have hobbies that I did not even know that I would enjoy, I have a family that trusts and depends on me. I am going to be a first time Grammie any day now.
    I am so grateful for the sober jumpstart. All good things have happened because I am alcohol free. Living my best life and loving it.
    I seldom think about the hard days of drinking anymore, it’s a part of who I was…not my future!

  • Just do it!

    I tried for 18 months to ‘moderate’ – no luck
    – AA – excellent to have others that understood but limited as I couldn’t commit to their programme but still gained lots
    – books , read lots – good but again limited – no feedback

    What I lacked and now realise I needed was

    ACCOUNTABILITY
    ACCOUNTABILITY
    ACCOUNTABILITY

    You get that with radio belle !

    The jumpstart class and penpal support has been a life line – I get individual support and we are all different despite having many similarities-

    Belle is knowledgeable and kind – she has practiced what she teaches and actually I think her underlying skill is that she is an excellent EDUCATOR- she has the double wammy of being an experienced adult teacher, an individual who has chosen a life without alcohol and has life experience that all contribute to her ‘package’ -: she’s honest and funny.

    I am on my second year of penpal support and have add hoc coaching calls – this has given me the skills, confidence and support I need to live a sober life !

    I didn’t hesitate to spend £££££ on expensive red wine so i’m not going to moan about paying – worth every penny

    Smile9

  • It’s important to know who you can talk to. Who you can tell without feeling embarrassed that you couldn’t control this thing ..that you need help. it’s important to have someone who really understands and someone who has boundaries
    which helped me learn how to make my own boundaries as well…. .I feel so much more confident , secure. I am no longer easily aggitated. And the truth is .. Belle is the only one that knows….and that’s enough. Changed my life

  • Before doing the jumpstart class I had only ever managed a max of 6 days sober over the previous 15 years.
    The first few weeks of audios helped my head to focus on doing things practical to deal with cravings; and it was such a relief to hear from someone who obviously understood about all the thoughts and feelings involved in stopping drinking….
    I think the focus on ‘this is something you do first’ (quit drinking) before going into any of the underlying stuff was key for me.
    The pen pal thing only started working for me after a few weeks….but once that got going it was a vital part of the support. The fact that someone was “monitoring” my progress, was helpful and especially as that someone seemed to care and really understand.
    I think what happened for me was I started to believe I could do it..and once I gained some momentum it got easier…whereas before it never felt possible. And I believe that’s because belle explains the process in such a way that it is tangible and “doable” ….
    I would highly recommend the class (and the penpal 😉 )

  • Just do it !!!
    The jumpstart program is fantastic. I looked forward to the email every day. Full of guidance, tools , compassion and humour.
    Helps so much to have this for the hardest time which is just getting started. Then of course the daily accountability and ability to ask for more help if needed. I highly recommend doing the Jumpstart program.
    😊 RGG

  • Sober jumpstart helped me get to day 100 and beyond. I was about 7 weeks booze free when I signed up and felt like I was losing momentum. The audios are great and so is the homework but the penpalling is the absolute best, for me, having someone with an interest in my sobriety, cheering me on, has been one of my biggest sober supports. I ended up getting all the archived podcasts and I still listen to something almost everyday.
    And I still email each day, it’s helped so much and now it’s just a habit I guess.
    Thanks Belle:)
    Mandini xx day 553

  • Prior to Sober Jumpstart I couldn’t imagine myself free from wine. I had tried stopping/moderating in the past but never made it beyond one week. In desperation I signed up for the class. First thing Belle had me do was sign a pledge to be sober for 100 days! I gulped when I saw that! Me, who can’t make a week, do 100 days?! Well, now I am on day 135 and I don’t think about drinking! I have my life back and it’s awesome! I highly recommend the Jump Start class!!!

  • Sober jumpstart is life changing.
    I signed up for the waitlist 2 weeks sober and received an invite to start the class around day 30. I hemmed and hawed about actually signing up, because, hell, I was already at day 30 and I did it on my own and I did it for free.
    But some nagging voice “try different, not harder” won out and I signed up for the course.
    I know with 100% confidence that I would not be 243 days sober today, without signing up for the jump start program – accountability with writing/penpal, sober coaching and cheering, sober audios, treats, learning how to do different. All of the tools I have learned to become sober have improved all aspects of my life. I have learned more from Belle than from any mental health professional.

    But I agree with Belle’s comment below – you have to want to stop drinking. Once you have that desire firmly in place, then the sober jumpstart is the way to go to cement the new changes and ensure you keep your sober car on the road.

  • Belle only sends you that email (how you doing?) when you’ve drifted and have stopped communicating 🙂 otherwise, she answers 1-2 emails a day and has an apprentice for weekends if you’d like more. but the key part of this is: you have to actually want to stop drinking. that part is totally true. having a penpal is one tool in a sober toolkit. we all need more than one tool, for sure. hugs from me

  • I can only agree with the comments so far, expressed so well by others…..I am so glad that I took the option of the sober jumpstart class and having Belle as a penpal. I had got very tired of thinking about my drinking, barely able to manage a single alcohol free day. When I found Belle’s site I lurked for a while….I could not imagine succeeding at the 100day challenge. However, I had found that in terms of making new habits I am what Gretchen Ruben describes as ‘an obliger’, better at meeting the expectations of others than in keeping promises to myself (I’ll only have one, I’ll alternate water with booze tonight, I will stop at the end of this bottle – you get the picture). Now the positive thing in recognising this was that I realised external accountability was the one thing that motivated me to make new habits. The sober jumpstart provided me with that, emailing Belle did the trick – it still does on the odd occasion that I need it. The class provided a road map, day by day audios and planning, and the support of someone who knew the deal, what goes on in our brains with us over drinkers. At the time when I could not imagine ever being able to stop, let alone work out HOW to stop, the jumpstart course gave me a plan I could follow and the personal contact provided the external accountability I needed in a motivational, coaching way. It really simplified everything. And I only needed to work out what it cost me financially to drink every day to work out that it was worth the investment. I do not believe I would have got to today – day 985 – without the jumpstart!

  • I am still going through the jumpstart class. It has helped me because I have someone to talk to who understands and because I am accountable. Before I did it I kept piling on tools, email the sober universe, signing up to daily emails, that wasn’t enough so I subscribed to the weekly podcasts . Finally I accepted I couldn’t do it on my own and signed up for the jumpstart class. I have relapsed since signing up but before I signed up the maximum number of days sober were 12. I’m on day 57 today.

  • I signed up to the sober jumpstart class 2 weeks into my sobriety. I waited because I was scared of wasting so much money on something that might not last. What got me through those first 2 weeks, and convinced me to sign up, was your free content, Belle. I devoured your blog, your one minute messages, your free podcasts including duck ponderings, and they all really spoke to me. You knew exactly what I was going through because you had been through it too and had made it out to the other side. The tools and advice made so much sense and felt for the first time ever in my life that I *could* ditch the booze and that I would feel *infinitely* better as a result. A lot of your wisdom has become my wisdom and I feel like I’ve genuinely tackled my emotional addiction to booze head on this time, unlike before when I tried and failed to quit drinking without any real reflection on why I was driven to smash my brain up with alcohol. I went for the kick ass version of sober jump start because I knew that the 100 archived podcasts would help me so much, and they have. Emailing you regularly has been an amazingly effective sobriety tool too. When I email you I’m basically figuring out how I feel and what I need to do to keep up my sober momentum. Your replies are a real treat, I feel like you’ve got my back 100%. It’s good to look back over our email exchanges too as it reminds me of how far I’ve come and confirms for me that I never want to go back to where I once was. Thank you so much, Belle, I’m so grateful for your existence!

  • It’s too long ago (over a year) since I took your jumpstart course. I just signed up for everything, the jumpstart, the year’s penpalling (which I’ve now renewed) taking your advice – try everything, see what works, don’t wait until you’re drowning, do it in advance – supports, treats, rests, eat, sleep. On the occasions when I’ve let things slide (mostly from complacency, I’m sorted, I don’t need to do this anymore) I’ve fallen over and had to restart. It’s just way easier not to fall over in the first place. So try it. See how it goes.

  • When I re-listen to the week #1 audios (I still carry them around on my phone), I’m back to the little safe space they gave me every day (and that the podcast still do).
    Belle’s secret recipe of really hearing me, mixed with a good pinch of kick-ass, based on the foundation of “I’ve been there, too” gave me some idea of hope and possibilities.
    I literally stumbled into the jumpstart class when I was lost with me alone in my head as well as sucked in different group programs, tired of searching for help in books; and sooooo tired of thinking about drinking … Turns out, help might be in me, but it’s no shame to reach out for a jumpstart to activate it. Turns out, I could actively DO something to get my sobriety started, but as there is no one-fits-all manual, having Belle as a penpal and being in actual conversation was (and still is!) priceless.
    As I was nervous about communicating in a foreign language, I remember looking up for “pen pal” and my dictionary told me something about a friend – turns out it was right 🙂

  • When I signed up for the Jump Start class, I just needed to clear my head so that I could make a decision about what I wanted drinking to look like for me. Instead of feeling out of control. I drank more that I wanted to and I just needed a break to catch my breath. The time frame was perfect, 100 days, not forever, just 100 days. I found I didn’t have to white-knuckle it or suffer through it all. Belle had solid tools I could use and did use from Day 1. She replied to my emails, really Belle did, not someone else, it was her. She was, and remains, my cheerleader and my coach. Understanding, including understanding the lies I was telling myself that I didn’t know were lies. I never felt judged. I didn’t have to wear a label. I was treated with kindness that I desperately needed because at that point I was angry at me. I am 404 days sober today. It was never my goal but I have a life now, and my sobriety is part of my foundation. This sobriety was/is that life raft that I didn’t know I needed so badly. Life is just easier now.

  • I took the jumpstart class as another attempt at getting a hold of drinking too much (not actually thinking it would work)
    I’m a year sober in 11 days ( wow!). For someone who couldn’t string even 2 days together in the last few years it is a miracle ( I think)
    There are loads of things that have helped me- the most helpful I think is being accountable and knowing that someone understands what it’s like trying to stop drinking.
    Loads of other things including humour, honesty, podcasts ( real, and things I could relate to)
    And the insistent plea that sobriety is actually easier than stop/starting. Life is actually better being sober(unbelievably)
    That’s my thoughts anyway!
    The jumpstart course is certainly worth a shot without a doubt. And the amount of money I’ve saved by not drinking and the amount I now earn in comparison makes it certainly financially worthwhile (but that is the least of the benefits)
    😊

  • 124 days sober. 40 years of booze. The jump start gave me the hand holding support I needed to make it over the fence to freedom. I was lost and couldn’t see my way out if this nightmare. But I knew I could write and listen. Write and Listen. Write and Listen. Belle was supportive and never judge-y. I needed something tangible that I was responsible for. That I am still responsible for. The jumpstart gave me structure and direction to craft my own personal sobriety. It was the thing that made the diff. I was not alone. I tethered my boat to Belle until I could see the shore. Best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

  • I started the soberjumpstart because I could not trust myself to stick to the deal without the added accountability. I thought it was quite expensive at first but then I realised that this is an investment in my future, my sanity, my family, my health and my huge well being … I’d gladly pay again.

    I could not have stuck to it without knowing 1) I’ve paid and 2) I’d let myself down … and the horrible feeling of having to tell Belle (whose opinion really counts to me) that I need a reset… definitely the best money I’ve spent in forever

  • I wanted to do the jumpstart class because i really didn’t know what i doing, i knew i didn’t feel comfortable at an AA meeting but i wanted some honest support and some good humoured company and structure to quickly get to grips with what i needed to know. What i most liked was the sense of humour that Belle uses to make dealing with something that is actually quite tough bearable – i liked knowing that i was not on my own and seeing all these other people were responding and writing in as well. I felt part of a community but not in an overwhelming way. That was really important to me at the being and made me feel i could dip in any time on my own terms.

  • Hey! I have just realised that I am doing the “is it worth it” and I’m at day 83. It gives me comfort to remember that you went through the same thing. It is 11am and I want to skull a bottle of red wine.
    BUT I WONT.

    • he does not. he quit drinking about 9 months after I quit. he’s a ‘normie’ so it’s not been a real struggle for him, so i suspect he’s quit out of support for me. he’s had 3 single drinks in the last 6 months, but prior to that none, and since then none again. how frustrating he is … what’s with these normies anyway

      • Hello Belle, I know I need to stop drinking. I rarely get drunk, but I drink pretty much every night, at least half a bottle of wine, sometimes more. And at social events I drink more. My problem is that my husband drinks and doesn’t want to stop, though he is happy to cut down, have an alcohol free night or 2 a week. That doesn’t really work well for me. He isn’t that supportive of me stopping, and drinking is something we’ve done together ever since we met, over 30 years ago! He has even joked that he considers it grounds for divorce, a change in terms and conditions etc. I am worried what me stopping will do to our relationship, which is generally quite good. Also, having booze in the house doesn’t make it any easier to stop. I know your husband was not a drinker, I.e. had a normal relationship with alcohol, so I don’t know if you have any suggestions for this situation. I am very much in the contemplation stage at the moment. I know I have to do it, but the time needs to be right, and I may be making excuses here…

      • I have a husband who drinks everynight – and on weekends he adds the afternoons – I’m a high bottomer and absolutely without the help of Belle’s jumpstart I don’t know if I would have made it … my husband still ‘cheers’ me with his alcohol glass.. I still get upset when I see movies like the incredibles 2 (!!) with lots of scenes of adults drinking…and this is the only place I can say that!! I need this support and Belle isn’t just Belle – she is a group! we see emails and posts from others like us – others with husbands who haven’t/won’t/don’t want to quit… have you ever gone on a diet without your husband? I know the fact that it is in the house is hard… the only thing I can suggest is not to face it ‘head on’ – just ignore – (just smile and wave, just smile and wave) and use excuses. Do it for yourself – I go the gym, my husband doesn’t… I make puzzles, my husband doesn’t… we don’t have to do the same things all the time.

  • I took the Sober Jumpstart Class. It opened my eyes to what my struggles with alcohol were really about. I had a hard time seeing the truth in myself, but somehow Belle was able to see it, and I’ve never even met her. The class also introduced me to the myriad ways that I could cope with the ups and downs of life, instead finding the cure in a bottle. Booze is snake oil. Belle’s class reinforces that idea. It’s a crucial part of my tool kit.

  • I agree with a lot of the above. The classes are like having a friend on hand. It’s like the name says, a real jumpstart. We all cannot be mistaken! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on! The classes are yours to keep. You own them. You can go back to them. They are gold. They offer such a depth of support.

  • from VMD Free: “About the sober jumpstart class: I would highly recommend the class. The audios lend a structure the first 7 days when you are just beginning and really boost you in the right direction. The audios really last longer than 7 days anyway because it is so helpful to re-listen. And the pen pal concept is so simple and so unique. Belle answers emails like a good friend who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. The support is much stronger and more personal than I ever expected from the Internet.”

  • from wynn: “Belle! : ) I had to tell you! feel so relieved! It was such a fight every dang day to just keep breathing and walking and living. And then on top of that the cravings and denying every single thought about drinking that would come up. I’m sure my soul was bleeding. The pain of those first few days sober was excruciating at times. And I just had to keep praying and keep fighting and keep believing other people like you in recovery who are a lot further along then me. You said it gets better. You said just hang in there. You said keep going. Thank you for being here and getting my sobriety kicked off with the sober jumpstart class! Something has definitely shifted and I love it. Day 24!!!!”

  • I’m happy to say that I’m a “graduate” of the Sober Jumpstart class. I have not drank anything alcoholic in over 3 years. I tried so many times to stop on my own but finally did it with Belle. During my weak moments and trying times she was there for me with a quick response. I looked forward to hearing from her in response to my daily “I’m sober” messages. Talking to her on the phone was like chatting with a friend about a problem you’re having. She understood me. She got it. Take the class – you will not regret it.

  • My jumpstart email arrived at 11.38 each morning and I pounced on it as soon as it arrived. It was an absolute life saver in that first week. I had something to listen to (more than once when I wanted to/needed to) and homework to do to keep me busy. The sober treats were as invaluable as the audios and I still listen to the audios now.

    The best bit was that I felt I wasn’t alone. The first couple of weeks can be a lonely place and having Belle on the other end of my email box was incredible.

    I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was, and continues to be, the best support I could have found. If you’re dithering then just go for it. You won’t regret it. And you’re not alone. We’re ALL in it with you.

    • Freedom —
      That was a very kind message. Loneliness and depression are what sabotaged me. This morning I have been trying to understand why after 6 months sober I made the decision to drink. The holidays have been wretched and lonely for me. I’m starting Day 1 again today. Drinking thru Xmas only oferred me temporary relief. I’m going to search my old computer for the JS program I bought. I think I have the 2014 JS edition.

      • Go you Wanda 🙂 You can do it! I lean heavily on Belle and SoberP (Belle’s apprentice who is also amazing) when I feel lonely, scared and down. I find emailing them and getting their replies really helps me when Wolfie gets loud and I start to feel like I’m the only one doing this. You’re not on your own. There is a whole community of us doing this and you’re part of it. xx

  • Sorry for the late response. I did not check my email over the weekend with the Christmas Holiday and family in town. All I can say is I would not be on Sober Day 800 if I had not taken the Sober Jumpstart class. It and Belle saved my life! When you first stop drinking it is all you can do to survive the day. So step one for me was telling Wolfie to F off. My witching hour/most challenging time was happy hour (4-7). I had to change the way I existed. I have 5 special needs children and they (like all children) can “suck the life out of you”. We ordered a lot of carryout because some days I just crawled into my bed early. Listening to the podcasts saved me, going to bed early saved me, emailing Belle saved me, Belle’s sober jumpstart class saved me, sober treats saved me, reading sober books saved me (Belle’s had not come out yet)… there are plenty to choose from. The one thing that helped me the most was knowing that Belle was there (via email) if I needed her. My sober car started moving VERY slowly. I can tell you if you can get through those first 2 weeks each day gets easier and easier. If you want to stop BOOZE you can do this. There is an entire sober online community here to root you on. We want to help you. We want you to feel fantastic just like we do. I remember my girlfriend from Arizona telling me that each day gets better and better. I thought she was crazy. Well she was 100% right. Thank you Belle from the bottom of my heart! YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!!!!

  • I am so grateful to you Belle and my sober pen pal. This is a place where you can be yourself and never feel alone. We even laugh sometimes??
    I think you might even consider a scholarship fund at some point and we could make little contributions to share the love?

  • The podcasts, in particular, have been a huge help. I generally listen to one (or four!) when I’m walking my dog in the mornings. Sets the tone for the day. There are some I have listened to over and over and over because what Belle has to say resonates so so much. I’ve struggled for sure, but when I climb back on that horse, those podcasts and the recorded “classes” have been and continue to be absolute lifesavers.

  • I was always going to get it under control. That’s ALWAYS the case–isn’t it? We think, God I used to be able to handle this. I used to be able to party or just “decide” to have a glass….truth is we don’t ever handle it–booze handles US. We have different life circumstances we flow up and down thru the river. BUT with us boozers, in the end it’s always grim. Doesn’t have to be the lowest low. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this class and from Belle. Don’t get me wrong—I have had some damn low,low,low’s. I’ve been to the bottom of the bottle and back. Then I thought…i kind of have this drinking thing under control. I can drink a little now and then. I can control it. I can have a binge night every so often…right? Wrong. It just snowballs. For us it’s never ever enough….we just keep going back. And when you have to plan to moderate, or have your spouse help you moderate….well it’s not really moderation. And who wants to live like that anyway? What’s the point? Is it that important to us that we have to come up with all kinds of ways to make it happen? No, it’s not. That’s the true answer. Our brain is wired unlike most folks to think that if we don’t “get” to drink we are missing something. We don’t want to be different! I’ve got a million reasons why that it’s just not the right time. Proof that I’m really not as bad as—-that person, right now. GOD!

    SO—I had a friend that told me about this website. “Tired of Thinking about Drinking” said, that it was interesting and that she thought I’d like it. I was set on continuing to moderate. I wasn’t going to have anymore binges. Plus no one really understood ME. 🙂 OMG! When I came here and started reading, when I started to “know” Belle.., it was like a light came on. These people were just like me! It was like I wrote every entry. I had the same thoughts. How was this possible?? So, I reached out to Belle…told her I wanted to do the Sober Jumpstart but, was going to wait on the 100 pledge because we had a guest coming for a week and we had a wedding also but, I was going to start right after those……BELLE emailed me back and said, well I’m pretty sure you can have a house guest without drinking and there will be tons of weddings in the future that you can drink at. Why not try this see how you feel? It’s only 100 days….
    I was like—damn it she’s right. I’m going to try it. I’m going to see what happens when I put my faith in someone and in myself. I turned it over to Belle and the SJ class. They were my lifeline. I looked forward to every lesson. I checked (and still do) my “sober” email everyday to see what words of wisdom she has sent. She was/is so kind. And I could tell her anything and she always knew/knows just what to say. So—I took the class it’s the first time I’ve ever finished anything like it–EVER! I bought her book, I am a podcast subscriber. I proudly wear my Sober is the new black necklace. AND–I don’t want to let the group or Belle down. The SJ and this site will change you for the better. It will, I promise.

  • All I can say is that Belle has worked for me! I have been to mandated AA meetings and voluntary SMART meetings, but the way I have gotten to Day 70 is the down to earth tools Belle has given me. ONE realization that has really resonated in me, is that “nobody gives a shit if I don’t drink”. I needed this for social situations. So, the advice and tools Belle “teaches” you are really things you probably know already. Belle puts these tools in very succinct audios that are sometimes better than reading. Her sweet-sounding, real world (some swearing) voice and real world, to the point, messages are what I think make the course so successful.
    Thanks Belle!
    LD4ME (who is a boy, just so you don’t think all everyone on here is a girl!)

  • I started with lovely 50, bought all the podcasts, signed-up for calls with Belle but did not make it the first time. Now, I am on day 41 and feel more confidence. I really am listening to Belle this time. Really doing what she says and using ALL the tools. I think drinking and deciding to quit are lonely experiences. So, to quit, you need company, support and above all: inspiration. I think if you want to accomplish something, you look for people that have done it succesfully and do the same. As simple as that. Do not improvise, it is a recipe for failure..follow the lead of someone that has been through it. Belle is more than 4 years sober. She has helped and guided thousands of people through this, she has written a book, she has recorded almost 200 podcasts, more than 80 one minute messages, done emergency audios for the really really hard days..and, in my case, I find her personality and style of talking and writing refreshing, hopeful, non-dramatic. Profound insights said simply and honestly. What she says about alcohol and boozers is true. Everything. You will, in fact, find that the voice in your head saying “drink,drink,drink”..DOES get less insistant as you get farther away from day 1 and you realize: yes, I am becoming a “sober rockstar” no?”..(as Belle describes us..).

  • I found the podcasts to be a huge part of my daily routine especially the first few weeks- I also read Belle’s book and the support via emails really kept me accountable and wanting to stay on the sober path- well worth it too sign up and start today!

  • Belle is the real deal folks. 100 percent worth it! I know I wouldn’t be 18 months sober without her. In class, you will learn how to navigate sobriety in a very supportive, practical way. You will learn about corn on the cob and Wolfie bullshit and keeping momentum in your sober car. You can listen to the audios and check in by email as much as you like. Don’t think twice, just do it.
    Unwinedgal

  • What makes these so unique is that they serve as a “how to”‘, a DIY to sobriety, a recipe, a project plan. It is not a bunch a pie-in-the-sky ideals….it is boots-on-the-ground stuff. (Could I use any more catch phrases?)

  • I’m still at the beginning of all of this: Day 13 of the 100-day challenge. This is my third try at going the distance, and this time, I decided I needed some support. Belle’s class has been an important part of that. Very practical advice, and she breaks a big endeavor into smaller, manageable parts. This time, it does not seem so overwhelming or isolating, and I’m actually getting a sense of momentum, which I didn’t have before. I finished the first seven lessons and ordered the podcasts, which I listen to as a drive to and from work. It has been incredibly helpful.

  • Learn from me. I started the jumpstart class. I didn’t listen well enough. Sometimes I didn’t listen at all. So I failed. I had a few painful day 1’s. I truly believe that if you faithfully listen carefully, you will succeed. I am beyond day 1 now. Go for it with true intent and vision!

  • I’m on day 87 but thought I could comment on the sober jump start class because I’m 100% sure I’ll complete the 100 days. For me, most of the value of the course was for the first 60 days. That’s because I think a lot of us in this situation live in our heads too much, so to have outside support that was focused on sobriety was key.

    Belle is great! If you’re worried about reaching out, I can assure you that Belle makes it easy. Her emails are encouraging and on point. The calls follow a sort of comforting, low-pressure script at first because she’s made many calls and she can anticipate our questions and concerns based on where we are on our number of days, but she’s also willing to let the conversation go where it’s going to go based on if you want to talk about things specific to your situation.

    The first 30 days were really intense. I limited myself to work and home for the most part and emailing Belle every day was my lifeline. Then the next 30 days (up to 60 days) were all about stepping out back into the world and I leaned on Belle and the community through Belle’s blog to help me keep my focus on my new confidence in sobriety.

    These next 30 days (up to 90 days) are all about keeping the self care I put in place of drinking on track by actively using all of the tools in my sober toolbox. The value now is that Belle and the commenters on the blog help me to remember why I started this challenge in the first place.

  • This was my introduction to signing up for the 100 day challenge.
    I was on vacation and decided not to drink for the first time on this island ever !!!! I needed inspiration so I signed up for the jump start program
    I loved it !!!!
    I highly recommend it to anyone who needs that extra support. The Audios gave so many good tools. They were comforting and entertaining and informative. I don’t think I would have been able to maintain my sobriety that first week without it.

  • For me SJ became and still is a part of my everyday life. Wake up, meditate, listen to today’s sober podcast. Write in my journal about the benefits of sobriety and think about any possible stumbling blocks during the upcoming day.

    Then get ready for the day, and during the day have a few small sober treats lined up to make me feel good if I need it (nothing huge, a nice coffee, a cuddle with the cats, 10 mins to read a book or do some crochet, just a bit of me time)

    At the end of the day I listen to the days sober podcast again, maybe catch up on the sober blogs, aways write in my journal the great (and maybe not so great) things about the day and also usually email Belle. The first 50 or so days I emailed her a lot! I’ve always been impressed with all my emails that I get a reply remarkably quickly, considering how many emails Belle must get a day 🙂

    All this has helped me to be on day 99 today despite the most dreadful stress and illness and stuff, all of which would have had me drinking again on previous attempts to be sober.

    Having Belle to email and have her reply has helped so much when things got really bad.The SJ lessons and podcasts have been so helpful as well.

    I’ve also realised in the last 100 days I’m actually lovable and not broken. Bad things were done to me in the past, which was not my fault and does not make me the bad person.

    Thanks to Belle and the SJ class this is the longest I’ve been sober for a very long time. And the best I’ve felt about myself for 40 odd years.

  • Day 110 here. A number that sounds pretty small to me now, but was HUGE to me before I began. I’d quit drinking before…many times…is that an oxymoron? I could always reduce drinking, take a few days off, even string a couple of days or weeks of non-drinking together, but something always drew me back. “Just one” glass of wine at a celebration, that special bottle that someone was saving, a personal crisis…whatever. And not long thereafter, there would be a morning of regret: “Did I really finish that whole bottle of wine myself?” The last glass on the bedside table sitting accusingly from the night before. Waking up in the middle of the night, thirsty, slightly spin-y, and stumbling to the bathroom with regrets & self loathing.
    I signed up for the 100-day challenge seemingly on a whim. A friend I hadn’t seen in years visited, and after turning down my offer of wine, said “I’m not drinking these days,” and told me about this website. Just randomly one morning, a few days after discovering the website, I emailed Belle and pronounced my own ‘Day One.’ It wasn’t quite that casual, of course. If I were honest deep inside my core, it was something I’d hoped and desired for a long long time. But I refused to think I was an ‘alcoholic,’ and to be fair, my drinking wasn’t causing anyone any problems except my inner guilt (or so I liked to believe). I would never go to an AA meeting and I didn’t think there was anything in-between.
    As casual as my start was, it got real quickly. My first ten days were a breeze…I was super-motivated, but then it got tough. That’s when the beauty of Belle shines through. She’s been there, done that…(didn’t buy the t-shirt because she just doesn’t like clutter in her house or spending money…she’s kinda frugal). 😉 She’s a character, and a real live breathing French pastry-eating, slow-running, funny Canadian woman.
    And you really really do email with her and an apprentice. And they really really do respond. Quickly, and personally. They get to know you and vice-versa. It’s anonymous, but it’s personal and real.
    And that gives you accountability. Whether you tell anyone else in your life, there is someone in the world who knows and who cares and who attends the situation. So for me at least, I dug in my heels, did ALL the things Belle suggested, and it worked. It’s working. I have never felt better. After 30 years of too-much drinking and too-much thinking about drinking, I am free.
    Freedom is exhilarating. Not only am I free of alcohol and its affects, I feel like I can do anything. I’m happier, thinner, sleep better, more productive, take better care of myself…and did I say happier? If I can do this, anyone can. Good luck to you all. It’s a great way to begin the new year. Start today.

  • The sober jump start class was like a security blanket. I had Belle at my finger tips by pressing play on the audios, but I also had homework to figure out how I would put pieces in place to support my sobriety. The sober jumpstart class face me the tools to feel solid in being in a world with alcohol, while not consuming it!

  • Do it! This class got me through the tough first week and set me up for continued success with the other tools/book/podcasts available. The pen pal emails were monumentally helpful. Just celebrated my one year anniversary and the Jumpstart Class was a great beginning for this amazing journey.

  • So you sit there night after night (day after day), thinking about drinking. Stopping drinking, how to drink more so no one notices, do I have enough to drink, I shouldn’t be drinking, only losers drink this much, why can’t you stop drinking, I am not drinking today, ok, I will only have one drink, where can I put the bottles from the wine I drink?

    In the morning, oh boy, I don’t have to describe it, you live it.

    AA??? I couldn’t even think about such a thing… so public so… out there. Besides I have a problem… I don’t think I am an alcoholic. I am drinking (of course) and trolling through Facebook and find a post from Belle’s page. And the title… “TiredofThinkingAboutDrinking” said it all… exactly…. I didn’t even know that was the problem until I read that and thought…. Yup.

    Belle does not think you are broken…. That is so important because you feel broken and bad and no one can make you feel worse about yourself than yourself. That is for sure. But Belle offers a light… a tiny little light to be sure. It’s there. You can see it…. and then she helps you find your way there. Along the way, changes happen, and you feel better. Much, much better. A little later on, you are driving to work, cooking dinner, whatever, and you feel … happy. I know it seems impossible, it really does, but it happens.

    You gather tools… your own personal tools…. In AA you must use their tools. Life is not a one size fits all type of thing. So you gather these tools, and you use them. Time just moves along…. Before you know it you are coming up on your two-year sober date.

    Instead of hating myself now… I like myself (not all the time, but most of the time). Those sober tools… they work for every part of life. My life is different. Don’t get me wrong, everyday is not sunshine and happiness, I have a real life. But now I have the tools to deal with my life in a positive and constructive way. It works. Good luck. I wish for you what I have now.

    Yogayamagirl

  • For me it was the routine I needed as much as the content. The class arrived and I had to find time out that day to listen to it. Me time (usually in bed), self-care time. I still had to do the work of turning up, of dropping all ego and truly believing that it all applied to me and I wasn’t immune, but Belle took care of everything else. I made the decision to trust everything that was said and follow all the instructions, it was my way of taking care of myself whilst feeling like someone else was taking care of me. And of course having Belle as a pen pal to email every day is the best thing of all. That and being part of this community xx

  • SJ was a guiding light.

    Provided a beacon to set my sights on everyday… something to look forward to in the beginning when I was establishing sober supports and when it could have been so easy to give in to wolfie.

    I felt supported and that I found a tribe and a voice that understood the intense thing I took on. It gave weight to the committment I made to build sober momentum.