This message was sent to subscribers by email september 22nd.
saturday morning. husband’s birthday. we were going to take the train an hour from here and explore some new town but it’s forecast to rain all day, tomorrow too. now we’re contemplating the unspecial events of bed-movie watching and bed-food-ordering-in. i may make him meatballs for dinner (his request) if i can manage to get out to the store (hopeful). maybe they sell birthday presents at the grocery store, too …
do you know when you come to a fork in the road (sober) and you’re tempted with the idea of giving it up for a few days off? my parallel story is with fiction writing (sober), which i’d been doing for 372 days and i’ve recently lost the plot (ha) and was gathering advice so that i could justify stopping. it’s really too much to be 100% long-term sober, isn’t it (or to write fiction continuous days)? i was on day 372 and surely that was long enough. I’ll just stop for a few weeks maybe. I’m certain it’ll be easy to start again.
then i read some stuff and decided: i’m going to stop (sober) writing fiction daily. everyone will understand.
and phew, it felt like a relief. all the noise in my head of should i, shouldn’t i, it all stopped. i had a peaceful evening last night, we did a big houseclean for the first time in two weeks and even cleared off the table of all art supplies and ate dinner, seated across from each other, like grownups.
at about 9:30 pm, mrB said, want to watch a show? and i said …
I think I’ll just write for 15 minutes first.
because when faced with stopping, i realized this: i always have the choice. i’m not forced to be sober. i’m choosing to do it. because i like the results. i’m not forced to write fiction. i’m choosing to do it. because i like the results. so i didn’t drink yesterday and i worked on my sober fiction book.
when i gave myself permission to give up… i couldn’t face doing it.
the investment to maintain the momentum is minimal compared to the regret of not keeping going.
from my inbox:
bluesparkles (day 0): “FUCK I hear you Belle. It just seems so damn boring and exhausting without the buzz of wine to keep the night going. I don’t know what to do instead. I mean, I do, and i’ve done it, but I’ve forgotten the past few weeks since i’ve been back at school and it’s ramped up the tension and need for release. I am so goddamn sick of thinking about it.
Belle, if I could tell you all the things that are running through my mind every day with school, the three kids, my job which is filled with children, colleagues, the new fire pit in our backyard so my hubby and i can enjoy a date night at home since we don’t have any damn help – well firepits don’t seem that fun with just coffee and creamer. I bought decaf coffee and creamer just for that reason, but it’s more fun with wine. and I hate that. Hate hate hate. I can do a trillion strong ass things, give birth, deal with marriage stuff, family serious health things, I don’t want to deal with one more damn thing – i.e. giving up something that relaxes me. does that make sense? I feel like your response is going to be unintentionally condescending because it’s just not that easy to find other sober supports and treats in the midst of life.”
me: I know that I will be unintentionally condescending when I say that you being sober is a big deal, for you, for the kids, and for feeling proud of yourself. if you’re missing out on a ‘buzz’ then yes, you can find it in other ways. you’re here [reading this, emailing] because on some level you know that you’re drinking more than you want to be. it’s not easy to find sober supports. but I’m here, and you can be emailing me 4 times a day. you could listen to the audios and set up calls with me. you have a voice in your head that tells you that alcohol makes things better. that’s what addiction is. it’s a head that lies to us. and on some level you know this. that’s why you’re emailing me. to ask me to say this. so I will 🙂 hugs
blue skies. i can see clearly now, the rain is gone (thanks holly cole, good nova scotian girl). original paintings by mr.Belle who does these in his spare time, evenings and weekends, with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. for you. https://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/original-art/
this is painting #223. there’s only one. nice colours, matches the sky (no filter!). here.
I remember thinking that being sober would be boring too. That’s certainly the last thing I find it to be! Hard to believe though when stuck in that place.
I think there needs to be so much more “out there” that expresses that truth.
It’s certainly one of the lies that kept me drinking for years.