cold, rainy, and the soup apparently will not cook itself.

from me:

this sober girl slept in this morning, it’s cold and rainy. I had a large pot of decaf. I am wearing orange Ernie socks, plaid pyjama bottoms, a Roots t-shirt, a zip up jacket. It’s colder than it should be.

I open my inbox and it looks like this: celebration of 100 days, relapse on day 49, reset after 3 years of drinking, frustration with repeated resets. (at this point i pause and finds an audio to send to the frustrated girl, an audio recorded for a different frustrated girl, but applies to this one, too, so resending.)

there are sweet and kind emails in response to yesterday’s micro-email (“yes, i feel like that too”) and there are questioning emails (“did you write that nice thing about yourself and pass it off as having been written by a penpal”) and other questioning emails (“i question your qualifications to teach a ‘worth’ class”).

I edit a podcast interview recorded a month ago, and then email the interviewee (again) to ask if she’d like me to NOT share the recording. i’ve offered before, i offer again. for reasons.

my husband comes home for lunch at noon (it’s 1:20 pm now). i suggest not terribly kindly that he shift his work project from one thing to another, and he declines, and then i feel trapped and i stop talking.

i have a new catering order for later this week which is exciting, although the one where i made the 10 cheesecakes was cancelled. so i have food in my freezer (that’ll teach me to do too much in advance!).

so really, it’s a regular day.

up and down moments. problem solving, linking, writing. working on the fiction project (can you tell how well it’s going? i’m here doing this instead).

i have someone who signed up for the jumpstart class but hasn’t downloaded the audios yet, and is having trouble getting going. i have someone who is celebrating day 156 and has been lurking the whole time.

i have 10 small cheesecakes in the freezer. no that’s true. there are 9. but i wrote 10 before and so i’m continuing with that.

and just like anyone else in the universe, i have emails that lift and some that flatten. i have moments of “oh brother” and moments of perfect alignment.

but really. i’m a girl in her pyjamas (now it’s 1:28 pm). i haven’t had lunch. my husband thinks i’m a turd (to be fair, i didn’t warm him up to my ideas, i just blurted them and he declined), and i fear that i am not going outside today because it is 16C (61F) and pouring rain.

i could make soup with the nice italian pasta that M. brought me when she went home to see her parents, but that seems unlikely. uncooked pasta from ‘rome’ is the same as any other kind of uncooked pasta. it’s the kind that isn’t in my soup. it’s not exotic. it’s uncooked pasta. that is not feeding me at this exact second.

ok fine. i’ll make the fucking soup. fine. FINE.

things i learned yesterday: not everyone loves me every day of the week. no shit. and yes, i am OK with that. i am initially flattened and then i reinflate. i think the reinflating part is the key. and how long it is between flat and reinflated. yesterday I learned that making cheesecake in advance is probably not a good idea unless you want to eat them all. I learned that my idea of writing fiction is VASTLY different from the actual writing of it.

do not say “tomorrow will be a better day.”

instead, you can say: “i have shit days too. one shit day. who cares. make the most of it. order a burger from the food delivery and be done with it. go back to bed.” or you can say “the fiction is probably better than you think it is.” or you can say “i’m one of the lurkers who never speaks up but here’s what i think…”



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 have shit days, too. Seems like shit weeks lately. I like what you said about feeling deflated for a while, but then reinflating. That helps me shift my focus about the recent shit weeks. I can recognize that I had four shit days in a row, then an actual good day, then two shit days, then an okay day, etc. It’s not 100% bad, just more challenging than I’m comfortable with lately. Your fiction IS better than you think, by the way. I really like the Valentine’s Day conversation with the therapist. Sending sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns your way. xo

  • Day 16. Woke up early 4:30. Stopped fighting it. Might be the time my body says I’m ready to get up. So I get up. Let dog out. Made cup of tea. Surfed. Found ur site. Signed up for everything. I’m like that. In for a penny in for a pound. So grateful the detoxing symptoms have subsided. No hangover. No counting hours until liquor store opens. No lying to G re: where I’m going so early in the AM. Just a day filled with opportunity. Yesterday I had to fight with all I had to not head to liquor store. Just was a bad day. The reward was my 17 year old son had dinner with us and I wasn’t drunk at the table. Will remember the conversation. Will treasure the conversation. I’m like a mummy emerging from the tomb. It’s amazing really. Life.

  • I have learned that it is very easy and tempting to turn a shit hour into a shit day or two days or a week. In the past, when something crappy occurs I could easily let that issue in that moment define the entire rest of the day. I have learned to “ride it out” – like a surfer or when you are in a boat and the water gets choppy and scary and you start to freak out and overreact but then, suddenly, it planes out – calm waters again – smooth sailing. Drinking definitely interferes w this natural process. Drinking and being hungover makes us heavy and slow and anxious and causes us to focus on the fear and the sadness and just plop down and sit in it and wallow.

  • from sober tea: I loved having a glimpse into your life and frankly I thought about it a lot this morning while I was rushing around. I was so jealous to hear of how cozy and relaxed you were and with cheesecake to boot! But I also felt bad you were having a shit day and wished I could give you a hug. How preposterous that someone thought you were making up the emails ? Well there’s your answer about the fiction writing, huh? Lol Loved how you flipped everything around and looked at it from more angles. See, you’re always guiding us ? ~ Sober Tea

  • I am one of the lurkers who never says anything. I am once again on day 3. I am the one who once had 10 years and 6 weeks and now can’t get 30 days together. I definitely don’t love you everyday but I absolutely know that the days that I don’t love you are about whats going on with me. Its me wanting to drink and not listen to your crap. On the days when I don’t want to drink, I need you and love your wisdom.

    I am also in bed today, I have a nasty cold combined with detox sickness. I feel guilty not being at work but I also know that to get through today, I need to be away from the world. So yay PJ’s ALL. DAY. LONG.

  • I’ve been having a lot of shit days since June of this year. Bad family stuff that is out of my control. The sadness has been overwhelming, but I’m realizing now that by numbing the sadness I’m missing out on the glimpses of joy around me. I’m on day 2 and I’m grateful for that. Belle, I know you to be genuine, thoughtful, kind and benevolent. I have missed you over the last few months and I enjoyed reading your email this morning. You are very real and transparent. I find that refreshing.

  • Well I will say that shit days should be worked into every busy schedule. I used to over drink after being over worked so I could slam myself into a shit day. Now thanks to you Belle I can enjoy my shit days properly. Good and sober! I can choose to not do anything I want to!! After all I’m taking care of myself now and my shitty days need to be acknowledged and expressed.
    Pjs all day, crap TV, snacking, tea, chocolate, a little crying, a little laughing, maybe some laundry( I can usually do that on my crap day).
    Now I can tell the difference between all my differing days. I can feel real life and I like it all, even the shitty ones.

    A nice big pot of soup simmering, I can smell it now. I think I may do that on my next shitty day. Sounds soothing.

  • I haven’t read others’ responses yet even though I know they’ll be strong and vivid. I just wanted to give my own, raw and tired as I am: You are speaking for me as always and I am almost all of the people you describe and yourself too. And that’s where the connection is – your empathy with how are deeply and sensitively lived our lives are and how we can turn on ourselves in self-destructive mode.

  • There are so many wonderful messages in this post. Thank you for sharing it.
    Fuck it. Have a blah day, be a sloth, and eat some cheesecake, or soup, or neither. You do you, whoever you are today. *HUGS*

  • I had a massively shit day yesterday and let someone make me feel like a tiny little turd when I voiced my opinion on something. This morning, still feeling a bit shitty, I asked a question in the Q&A we had with our new CEO. I asked her, “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?” Her answer: “Be yourself.” I felt a glow in my heart. She then added, “Other people may forget themselves, but I know myself.” I think you’re wonderful. Thanks for all that you do xx

  • I’m not a writer so I don’t know about that. I do know that in ordinary life there are shit days, blah days, good days, and amazing days. I don’t keep a tally of which is which because honestly, like you say, there is only now.

    On the orther hand, mightn’t cheesecakes in the freezer be a good potential resource for a future event or catering job?

    I am very tired- I saw an over-committed week on the horizon but did nothing except prepare for it as best as I could.

    Staying in one’s jammies sounds like bliss to me. Order food delivery and enjoy every bite.

  • I’ll join the chorus. I enjoyed this post. It was more of a diary entry then a sober blog entry. I enjoyed it because I could relate to it. Not the specifics of your day, my life is so very different. But the thought process felt familiar. Or the lack of a thought process, maybe. How one thought led to another. Everything spilling forward. It was very human. I’d vote to have this kind of post once in a while.

  • I’m sorry your having a shit day. It was nice to read this post, not because your having a shit day, it reminds me of how your blog got started. It was you posting about you. I learned a lot about sobriety from reading your first year on the blog…sometimes I wish there was more. The simplicity of knowing someone else is going through life the same as me, good times and shit Times…and learning from each other.
    I wish I could wear my pjs all day (mine are a blue and purple tie dye t-shirt and plaid bottoms of the same color, yep I have a thing for plaid and tie dye together) I also have medusa hair going on right now, which I have to go tame.
    If it were me having your day I’d find a small project…like cleaning out a kitchen drawer, while I steeped a nice pot of tea…sense of accomplishment and a reward. Something I learned from you:)

  • Love this, Belle! You have a way of offering us a glimpse into your thought process that makes me feel less alone. And then to see everyone else’s comments makes me feel like a normal part of a normal community. For various reasons, I think feeling less alone and feeling normal is so important to all of us with a Wolfie voice. Thank you!

    I’m having a week in which things are actually falling into place as opposed to a shit week in which I feel like I’m creating more problems when I try to solve problems. Sobriety is teaching me that this is the ebb and flow of life and the way we frame the week means everything. I’m framing this week as a week in which some hard work is paying off. I’ll frame my next shit week as a week in which I need to do some hard work amidst shitty conditions. And that hard work will pay off … and so it goes. Either way, I’m still the likable sohocat.

    Removing alcohol from my week helps me to see this so much more clearly.

  • Well I’m sitting here drinking coffee, wearing a crappy housecoat that I took home following my hospital stay (gasp) and I can actually SEE grey dust bunnies rolling like tumbleweeds across my floor (my cat is grey) and I’m pretty sure that six hours from now they’ll still be rolling around and I’ll still be pretending I don’t see them. You having 9 (or 10) cheesecakes in your freezer is something I’m insanely jealous of – no really – insanely. That’s a problem I’d like to have!!!! Did you write the email about yourself. Tell them to f*ck of. Geez. There’s always gotta be haters – it’s mind boggling. Maybe they need some frigging cheesecake. Or a hobby. Or a hug. I don’t know. That kinda crap really annoys me. I must drink more coffee and refrain from getting dressed a little longer while I mull this all over carefully……..

  • Well, I wish I were 58 more days sober so I could take your Worth class. (142 today!)
    The thing about learning, I think, is that how open you (the learner) are to learning determines how much you learn much, much more than any skill or qualification of the teacher.
    I’m sure you will teach a great class, Belle. But I’m also sure that the people taking that class who really want to learn and find great insights will learn and find amazing insights.

    I’m sending hugs to the relapsing, the starting over-ers, and the celebrators. You’ve got this, sober friends!

  • Hahahaha, you do make me laugh…and think and relate and expand the thought into my own head to my own life. And to empathize with others. We never know who is having what kind of day….and who is in orange Ernie socks & pm’s by 2 in the afternoon.
    I’m on Day 371 (yay me!) and practically a lurker now. But the good news is that’s because I’m so fricking busy doing all the things I love (learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, working out, playing tennis, reading, biking, living LIFE). All thanks to you. (Well and me a little bit, but mostly you….because me on my own wanted this for 40 years but I never got here until you showed up).
    So frankly, you could go back to bed with at least four of those cheesecakes and a tawdry novel and just continue to hide out from the cold rain, knowing that your life…your day….has already been SO productive!! You rock. SO grateful, so appreciative for you. Keep that conversation going. These are the important moments of life, truly. We need to think about how we are in all of these, and getting to the next rock in the stream.

  • Please hold in your heart what you have done (and continue to do) for so many. I am over 4 years sober today because of your support, your voice. And, today’s post is no exception. Spot on. Thanks, Belle.

  • Hey Belle, This is going to be a sort of stream of consciousness note:) yesterday was a shit day for me too. I just didn’t feel well physically and I couldn’t understand it because I have been taking good care of myself. I am glad you wrote this because I never stop to think what it must be like for you. All of us ‘out here’ are expecting a response back from you; yesterday I was spastically trying to access audios and I am sure I make it harder than it should be. You personally picked some for me a couple of days ago and they were perfect. You don’t really know me and you take the time to find the right audios to support my sobriety. You put bundles together for specific trouble areas. I wear my STAY HERE bracelet all the time. I only stopped wearing it this last summer when I felt like a fraud. It never crosses my mind that you have tried to pass off complimentary posts as you posing as someone else. Jesus Christ. What a bunch of ingrates people can be. Are people just perusing these blogs to undermine their validity? Back to yesterday. I just quit trying so hard and went to bed early. I have become very aware when I have unreasonable expectations for myself. And on the other hand I am trying to bravely move forward and take on challenges. but avoid overwhelm. but not take things personally. but practice self care and love myself . move forward but not push too hard. finding the balance. accepting the ups and downs of a day instead of being personally put upon when something doesn’t go they way I think it should. it’s all really about acceptance of things over which you have no control. and being brave and willing to change what we can. within reason…. at first, your blog both spoke to me and irritated me. Your insistence on ‘don’t drink’ made me want to say ‘ I am working really hard on doing this, you don’t understand?’ And today I totally get everything you are trying to say. I am listening to you. who has already been there. I know what you do keeps you sober too but I sure sure do appreciate your presence in my life. this is the most disjointed communication I have ever sent out and it has been a pleasure. I hope you get outside today:) LJC

    • I love reading your reply LJC. As an outsider I can read between the lines of what you wrote and see that your sober (real) self is making itself known and present – like a chick pecking out of an egg. Its such a weird thing to relaize we’re uncomfortable because we’ve been keeping our true selves hidden away and such a lovely surprise to figure out that you arent what you think you are. Im on day 1,228 thanks to Belle ❤️

  • I can’t wait for the worth it class to start! And a bad day is usually only a day with bad bits that we pay too much attention to… and yip – sometimes we flatten and sometimes we lift each other. I know which I prefer. I know which camp you’re in. The soup sounds good … don’t be so ungrateful for the pasta… ?… and… use the cheese cakes as a sampler… or just enjoy having a well stocked freezer for the colder nights ahead.

  • I love your ramblings! I’m kind of a lurker I guess, but I’m on day 775 and I never want a day one again. Thanks for all you do!

  • Good morning. Yep, I have shit days too. Supposed to be at the gym in 16 minutes. Instead I said, “Nope,” and put my old hoodie sweatshirt on, made my coffee, and here I am on my couch. Stay in your pjs, keep your comfy socks on, eat cheesecake (which undoubtedly is delicious), and say fuck it, this is what I’m doing. I got your back, sister.

  • I can say for sure that writing is almost always better than you think it is. Sometimes you need some distance (time) before that’s clear. But as for tomorrow being a better day… well, I’ve been having a lot of bad days lately so I can’t say anything about that. Hugs to you.