blankets of support based on how chilly it is …

This message was sent to subscribers by email september 27th.

from me:

it’s cold here in the mornings. and because we live in a big shared apartment building with central heating, we don’t control when the heat comes on. who decides these things? couldn’t it be based on ‘need’ – like, i don’t know, it’s cold so we turn the heat on and in then in the afternoon it’s not cold so it turns off? ok, fine, furnaces and everything. but it does sound like sober support, right? it’s not about arbitrary rules, or ‘only on this date’ – it’s a moving, subjective, selective process of layering. if it’s cold, you add blankets. if you’re not continuously sober, you add supports. you don’t hang around feeling cold. you try adding more layers.
i’m thinking of doing series of calls especially for the truly-newly-sober and the lurker-want-to-be-sober (a lurker is someone who looks, but doesn’t engage, reads everything but doesn’t reply). if you are a lurker and not sure if sobriety is for you, just POST A COMMENT below and say ‘yes i’m a lurker, i’m not sure this is for me.’ it’ll give me a sense of numbers. perhaps i’ll plan the ‘are you a lurker’ audios to start next week. apparently the heat will be on by then. oh wait, unless we make our own heat! unless we add our own blankets of supports, based on need and chilliness!

from my inbox:

flyovergirl (day 42): “I don’t know why but I’m very afraid of fucking this sober thing up. It’s not like I’m having huge urges all the time to drink. However, the voice in my head (which I know is just wolfie) is saying you couldn’t do this last time, what makes you think this time is going to be different? I know I’m doing it differently this time — I found you and that is what is different! But I feel like I’m not doing enough, that I don’t have enough sober tools, that I’m doing this wrong, that I have this very tenuous grip on sobriety and I’m going to lose control and let go. So I’m looking for more tools, more support. I’m going to add an on-line sober class and I’ve asked my friend to tell me drinking is as good of an idea as cocaine if I ask if drinking is a good idea, I’m going to try meditation. I am also reading your blog from the beginning and I just found this gem from August 20, 2013: “Don’t just collect tools for the toolbox. Actually USE the tools.” I think I have a bit of this going on – I have tools I’m not effectively using. I feel like this is the continuation of a very similar email from last week and I’m just being ridiculously obsessive/not doing what I know I need to do. In happy news, it is Monday, I am still sober, and I enjoyed my fancy french cookie.”

me: in doing things differently, you get different results. wolfie can say all kinds of things but none of it is true. you’re here, and you’re doing it. this is you. doing it. you can email 3-4 times a day. you can set up weekly calls, you can listen to audios twice a day. but also, if you’re sober then whatever you’re doing is working. day 46 today, with no resets, that is already a big bunch of momentum right there.  don’t forget to celebrate that!


auntie briggy: “I love the paintings so much. Every time I see one for the first time — the immediately gut response is light, happy, curious — about how he got to this style and chose this medium. It’s amazing all the energy you and he are putting out to heal.”


F: “I’m tired of this constant struggle. I’m tired of going round and round in circles fucking everything up the whole time. I just want to get off. I know I’m not going to be on top form right now because I drank last night, but this has been a long time coming. I have been feeling the pressure building for a long time now. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to tell husband because I don’t want him to think I’m a failure too.”


fern: “Hello Belle, I’ve been re-listening to your podcasts … I had a thought about selling hope — one of your earlier podcasts. Isn’t everything in life based on hope? Starting from our very beginning — your parents hoped they would have a baby, they hoped you would be successful in school, you hoped you would have a boyfriend, you hoped you would pass that test. I cannot think of anything I don’t hope about. I hope people like me, I hope my daughter will get pregnant, I hope that I can be sober forever, I hope that the sun will shine. Everything you buy is based on hope. I hope this apple tastes good, I hope I like this book, I hope this exercise video works and on and on. Life is all about hope and you are not selling hope, you are selling tools (which are priceless to me) to help us reach our goals that WE hope we can reach. I am so thankful that you are here helping me hope for better days ahead. By the way — my daughter found out today that she is pregnant after trying for a very long time. Life is good!”


if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, then you get to step off. in fact, the sooner you exit, the better. and when you find an exit, you stay off. mrBelle has started painting these EXIT paintings, and each one is an original (not a print). we’re posting a new one everyday, here: > < 


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

  • Yes I’m a lurker and day 104 of NA. I read your emails and a couple of your blog posts every night. VERY insightful and helpful. I don’t really want to catch up to your present day but know I will soon enough. Please keep it up for all of us no matter what stage of envolvement/day we are on. Thank you!

  • I really like the email from fern. I think when we lose sight of hope then life is unbearable. Even when things are a struggle; it helps me to know that someone offers a sense that things will improve. Even if I don’t believe them then holding onto the fact that I’m not alone is hopeful in itself.
    I work at a place called “the hope centre “ and for me it’s the essence of what recovery from addiction seems to be about.
    Hope that there is another way to look at life; hope that there are alternative ways to deal with pain other than what I’ve always been doing.
    I guess a lot of it is believing others who have trodden the path before me.
    So yes – I’m all in with hope!!