This message was sent to subscribers by email while i was travelling, september 7th.
friday morning. heading into our last weekend of travelling. today we will move from rhode island to connecticut (hopefully). google says it’ll take an hour. i’ll allow for 4 hrs in case there are ‘events’. husband’s ability to ‘make art’ in hotel rooms isn’t quite the same as in rental apartments… my ability to watch bad tv until too late seems to be a well-established skill. we don’t have a tv at home, so it’s a novelty thing. breakfast is coffee from the dunkin’ donuts (again) and one of their egg-muffin sandwich that works as a placeholder. mr. b has just returned with clean laundry. we don’t have liquid tide at home either, so i always plunge my face into fresh laundry here… i’m ok living out of a suitcase if my clothes smell nice!
my inbox this morning:
coffeegirl (day 160): “Sober. I love how your sobriety philosophy focuses on adding more tools and more self care. I attended AA in the past and it wasn’t for me. The whole self-care emphasis was missing and that’s exactly what I needed. The longer I don’t drink, the more I see sobriety as self-care. AA’s focus on character defects was hard for me to relate to. I already felt defective because my main coping skill (drinking) had failed me. Or, really I felt that I had failed by not being able to drink like a “normal” person. I was in AA for 7 years. I was angry about not being able to drink and it all felt like punishment. Your program is different. It makes me feel like a healthy person who needs to learn new skills that no one ever taught me about self-care. So much less negative than having character defects that I need to work on. This is a program that I can do and feel good about. Thank you so much Belle. I love the down to earth, encouraging way you help us to live happier and more full lives without judgement or defects.” [she’s on day 186 today]
S: “I’m on day 5 having managed 19 days in July then relapsed because I went on holiday. When I got back, thought that what I would do was just drink on high days, on holidays, and guess what? Got absolutely wasted on Saturday night, behaved in an undignified manner, barely slept and Sunday (a beautiful day BTW) I had to white-knuckle it, barely leaving the house. Pathetic and I hate myself. I’ve definitely drunk my lifetime allowance. No-one would guess this to look at me — highly functioning etc. I feel angry that we’ve been duped. It’s poison and yet the Government (UK) talk about ‘guidelines’ which everyone translates as meaning: ‘can be ignored’. I’m scared obviously, I am addictive and impulsive by nature. But I really want to be on the other side where you are.”
Tom: “… We (your followers, lurkers, pen pals etc.) come from a wide range of backgrounds. I understand what J was saying, because at first glance your husband’s paintings may appear to be financially driven. However, having been around for a while, I very much appreciate the lack of commercially driven content. Constantly trying to sell me something (services, counseling, seminars, the perfect cure, this website, that website and the constant ads and corporate sponsorship, always trying to sell something! putting money in their pocket. making it in their best interests, not mine). Don’t take me wrong, I am all for people making an honest living. That is not Belle’s world. That is not what tired of thinking about drinking is all about. For me, when I found Belle’s Words, they spoke to me in a way nothing had before … Belle provides tools for my tool chest. Take them or leave them — they are sober tools. If they speak to you and help keep you sober, take them. If not move on, that’s fine. But her messages are simple, consistent and easy. Exit the elevator and never look back. PERIOD! Sober first! Fuck You Wolfie!
For me personally, it’s remembering where I came from and never wanting to go back there. NEVER! My painting will be professionally framed and hung at my door. It will be the last thing I see when I venture off into the world for the day and the first thing I see when returning Home Sober. My painting IS NOT a financial investment, it is an investment in my sobriety. It is a reminder. It is a gentle nudge out of the misery. It is a message to keep moving away from day 1. Plus, where else are you going to get a one of a kind piece of artwork from a French artist in the heartland of America? Don’t know, don’t care because it’s not about money. It’s about peace, tranquility and serenity for me … Belle, you and your husband keep doing what your doing and enjoy your vacation! Respectfully, Tom”
PK: “Thanks [for the welcome email] Belle. I am already all over your site as well as others. But I must admit I didn’t sign up for the pen pal. Not cuz I didn’t want to, I just HATE WAITING. hmmm. Maybe I need to practice a dose of patience? Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Will sign up.”
me: the waiting list is 3-4 weeks and then invitations to start are sent, in order, to the people on the list 🙂 I don’t often open up the class to the public, because then there are too many people at once, and I need to manage the flow and make sure I always have time for you 🙂 www.soberjumpstart.com hugs xo
Lee (the pea) (day 42): “Today was challenging but that wonderful Pledge that I made at the beginning helped me greatly. I read it on three separate (loo based) occasions throughout the day and consequently am heading to bed soberly. If in doubt… get the Pledge out!” [update, he’s on day 74 today]
original art – Exit the booze elevator – this is painting #179