This message was sent to subscribers by email september 21st.
A_Sober_Cannibal sent me a link to this, yesterday, in response to my flailing around feeling like i didn’t know what to DO about a writing problem i’m having. i know. writing problems are already first-world problems, aren’t they. “More information might be helpful, but there’s no such thing as enough—at some point, a leap is required, and afterward, you still won’t know what was best … secondly, the idea of a right choice implies that the consequences of our choices are somehow cleanly connected, and isolated from everything else. You choose option A, and get consequence X. But choices and consequences aren’t paired off one-to-one, like doors in a game show bonus round, each hiding either a prize or a punishment. Every action sets off endlessly rippling consequences, a cascade of effects that are often both beneficial and detrimental, both short-term and long-term, both intended and unintended, both known and unknown. Your choice to work from home leads to freed-up commuting time (decidedly good), more family time (good), but also more tension with your partner (bad), and a harder time getting enough exercise (bad) and who knows what else. Each of these effects influences other parts of your life, in ways seen and unseen, forever. Yet we tend to think we can look at a single dilemma in isolation, identify the right response, and execute it, as though we’re lining up a shot on a billiard table.”
this also reminds me of the decision to be sober – will it fix all things like a shot on the billiard table? no. but will it set in motion another whole set of changes, some small some large, that will give us different outcomes? decidedly yes. we’re sober, that means we can show up for the challenges. it means we can take advantage of the job advancements. it means we can spend 40 minutes a day on a hobby, passion, side-hustle. it means we can be available when the phone rings at 2 a.m. It means we can show up everyday, as the best possible version of ourself that we can muster, and do our best.
so in my case, the dilemma i was having about my writing project? being in motion is better than trying to sort it all out in advance. there are some things you can’t tell until you’re going. sounds like being sober to me. can’t tell if you’ll like it until you’re going.
and here’s my treat yesterday, thanks to the tiny gift fund (daffodil princess):
from my inbox:
grace514 (day 724): “STILL SOBER and expecting my 2nd baby in exactly one week from today. Everything I have in my life is a result of sobriety & God! Yay! I just read through all my old penpal emails to you and realized it’s critical I go back to daily emails bc last time I was postpartum my cravings got bad (I relapsed a few weeks in last time). So here we goooo again, yay! I’ll be 2 years sober on September 28 which will be the day after my daughter is born!”
happygal (day 8): “Sober. Tomorrow is the work event I’ve been worried about since July. I can’t skip it because it’s my department at work. But I can leave early. I can eat good food and drink Diet Coke and tell anyone who harps at me with their wolfie voice that I’m really just not drinking these days.”
me: you can go and play sober bingo. we can make up the game right now 🙂
sober party bingo.
you get one point for each thing.
- arrive late
- take your own replacement drink even if you think there will be some there
- count the number of people who are also not drinking
- speak to one of them
- identify one person who is over-drinking and thinks that no one is noticing
- leave early
- email before you go
- email after you get home
- plan a treat for when it’s over
- dance around the kitchen when you get home, saying ‘this shit is hard and I fucking rock’
must do all steps for a perfect 10 🙂
jacci2 (day 210): “It’s weird to me that people take offense to your husbands sober-inspired art, but not your sober-inspired jewelry/mugs/key chains/etc, I still don’t get it. Speaking of which, I bought a mini one! Super excited. I love how you mentioned that four random sober people will be sharing a bigger piece of art among us, connecting us in the universe! I wouldn’t have made that connection unless you said something, and I think it’s beautiful. I get to share a sober life with three other folks, as well as a piece of art from your family! From your sober family to ours. Awesome! 🙂 Please keep both little and big sizes coming! I think I may splurge on a big one for my one year soberversary. I also think it would be very cool to have a collection of your hubby’s sober art around the house, little reminders every day.”
J: “Dear Belle, yesterday I had my first drink in a long time after first signing up to your emails. One large wine became five in about 90 mins. I spend £125 on wine. £20 on a cab. £20 on another cab because I got on the wrong train. I argued with the man I love and our relationship is on a knife edge because of my previous outbursts. I argued with the father of my children too. I spent £20 on pizza I didn’t eat. I upset my daughter because she heard me arguing on the phone. Cancelled my manicure this morning because I felt so wretched. And am sobbing in the bath because I feel so ashamed with myself. Drinking masks so much pain but I thought I was dealing with it by not drinking. But I wonder if there is something more? Should we also make sure that we support sobriety with extra help? And am I the only one to have broken my own promise to myself to stay sober?”
if booze is an elevator that only goes down, it’s ok to step off. in fact, the earlier you get off, the better. find the exit.