during the hurricane last week, I sent a series of small notes to subscribers – and some of these ideas, of course, apply to the world beyond the weather.
small notes about hurricanes and other things #7
(from my inbox)
CSM (in North Carolina, day 1024): “Sober & Today Would Be The Sort of Day I’d Drink. Thanks again for your ‘small notes’. Days like this (weather/cooped up inside) are certainly triggering. Luckily, I have a couple of things on my side: 1. Stores are closed, 2. I’ve grown a healthy fear of regret, 3. The knowledge that the weather/isolation will be over in 48 hours, but the disappointment of being back at Day 1 will last and last, 4. Based upon history, it will take me months if not years to get any sober momentum again.”
KeysKathy (day 116): “Thank you for the hurricane posts. They are good reminders and are help calming my PTSD-like reminders of a year ago when Hurricane Irma, a category 4 storm dumped 5.5 feet of yucky water in my one story ground house. I wasn’t drinking during the whole packing up and evacuation but drank again on Sept 21 2017, upon reentry and seeing my house up close … It took me almost 8 months to the day to quit again. Drinking made everything harder and half the time it did not even taste good. It was just what I was programmed to do when dealing with REALLY BAD weather or any other unpleasantness…”
C: “Yeah, I’ve got to start day one again. I love you are referring to hurricanes. It reminds me how I almost probably died during hurricane Harvey because I was drunk. After that experience, I swore I would never drink again, and I didn’t for a while. Now here I am again a year later drinking. I hate Wolfie, he’s going to kill me if I don’t stand up to him. I know I can do this. I have overcome so much, he’s a thorn in my side. I deserve so much better, I feel so much better. I will overcome this! Thank you for your wisdom. It really does help. I will start over on day one tomorrow, hopefully this time will be the last time.”
K: “Belle – THANK YOU for all of your hurricane emails. I’m in Raleigh, NC on day 52 and STRUGGLING against this ridiculous want / need / craving. I view your emails that the universe/God/otherworld is trying to keep me on my path – by sending these reminders through you, my messenger. Thank you for being my messenger. (On a side note: I just woke from a nap and ate an orange, which has satisfied me. For now, at least.)”
TJS (day 33): “So last night we had a cemetery service for the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When you have the Jewish New Year and ask for a good year you also want to visit the dead and make sure they know you are remembering them. So we do a prayer at each grave. The Rabbi had a little talk for everyone at the first part of the service. I love his talks and his way of thinking. He talked about how this is our chance to look forward. To see the positive in every situation. To pick up a stone and instead of throw it at someone, take it and build a bridge. That the power of positive. I get that from you. I thought of you while he was speaking. To see the good in all folks to see the good in every situation. To find the power in the positive. Happy New Year to you and Mr. B! This new year on the Jewish calendar is 5779 it’s the beginning of the end of a decade. It’s a new beginning in so many ways! And this 5779 — the double 7’s are lucky as the new year always begins on the 7th sun. So 7’s! We believe you have a clean slate on the new year. A clean beginning with G*d! L’shana Tova — may your name be inscribed in the book of life. 🙂 Hugs!”
small notes about hurricanes and other things #8
when you’re dealing with big things (hurricanes, weddings, travelling, mothers-in-law), there’s a spike of adrenaline during. we often say we’re ‘good in a crisis’.
what an over-drinker needs to watch for is what happens afterwards. the decline of adrenaline can feel so weird, that we want to medicate it with alcohol.
wolfie uses these slack, unwinding times to say “well you did the hard thing — the hurricane, the wedding catering, the complete garden overhaul — now where’s your reward?”
and the reward is — yes, you do need one — the reward is important. it’s often in the AFTER time that people crash. so you get something today, even if it’s small, even if it’s a take-out sandwich or a cup of green tea with honey in a nice mug, and you say to yourself: “this is my treat for doing hard stuff. because i’m sober, and this shit is hard, and i rock.”
This is Exit painting #65.
Exit the booze elevator. Get off and stay off.