give grumpy people something to complain about

This message was sent to subscribers by email october 21st.

long run, quiet streets until i get to the street market, filled with polish sausage, italian homemade pasta, two lines to get into the corner bakery (one line for bread, one for pastries which have to be wrapped & boxed so takes longer). there was also a ginormous line for the apple stand. they’re selling only apples, but actual fresh ones, like from a real orchard, and more than the 3 kinds typically found in the grocery. they also were selling sparkling rhubarb juice in big litre bottles, but the lineup was probably 25 minutes long. so i ran past.
i listened to podcasts, one about writing (Dabblers vs. Doers), one about justice or its reasonable facsimile (Serial). i came home to an absent husband but a clean house. he was out getting coffee cream. he had busied himself yesterday with tearing out part of a cupboard and rehanging the door. i know from past experience not to question what he’s doing, that his enthusiasm shrivels under many questions of ‘why aren’t you doing it this way’ or ‘why are you doing it at all, it was fine before’.
i also did a very tentative facebook thing yesterday and today, you know, to sort of see how many people are out there, like us, perhaps high-bottom drinkers who are ‘tired of thinking about drinking’ and the results were staggering enough that i had to turn it off. 283 new subscribers yesterday afternoon in 4 hours. but then 300 new subscribers in only 2 hours this morning. it’s a very (very) strange feeling to watch 4 people per minute sign up to get info on ‘how to get the voice in your head to stop asking for alcohol’. and then it makes me nervous. like, do i even have anything to say … i know. hilarious right? the girl who never shuts up. but there’s a sense of responsibility, you know, when a stranger shows up at the door and says “can you help?”
well, um, i shuffle my feet. maybe. i mean, i have some audios you can listen to, and some things to read. i have a book. are those things enough? not really, of course, but they’re enough in some cases for thinking to shift, for the door to sobriety to crack open a fraction, so that some light can shine in. i know in my case it was only because i found someone online who’d quit drinking who didn’t have a low bottom, that i thought it was possible for me. that the world wouldn’t end. that i’d still have ‘fun’… (as if being hungover was fun, as if going to bed with a juice glass of wine was fun, as if measuring my quantity versus my husband’s and putting our glasses together on the counter to make sure he didn’t get more than me was fun.)
i won’t say ‘greetings’ to all the new subscribers, because they won’t see this message. i leave brand new people alone for a week or so, so they can poke around, decide if it suits them, unsubscribe if they don’t think they like me. they get some simple, regular messages that aren’t filled with my navel-gazing, or telling you about paintings, or stories of my sunday long run. instead i introduce the idea of wolfie, the concept of treats, and how it’s ok to quit drinking, even if you don’t think you have ‘a problem’ like ‘those people’.
anyway. that’s my day for you. i will eat a grapefruit, drink decaf, read my book, and do a bunch of food prep. and i’ll think of 300 people signing up in 2 hrs to get advice from a random girl on the internet. every one of us with our own personal stuff, our own stories, all wanting to get the ‘drink now’ voice to stop.
i’m glad you’re here.
hugs, xo


from my inbox:

L (not yet a penpal): “I so relate to DM who feels naked and exposed with nothing to cover themselves with since getting sober. I feel things big, and realize now that drinking was a way to turn the “volume” knob on myself down to a reasonable level (when you talked about that in your book, it was so validating and helpful). I don’t know what day DM is on, but I am on day 38 (I am pretty sure; it’s gotten so much easier now that I’m barely checking my sober app to see which day I am), and I can say the first 30 days were rough in this regard. I found myself wanting to run and hide a lot. I would feel a big emotion (happiness, sadness, embarrassment) and just need to remove myself and do something else until the jittery, crazy, overstimulated feelings passed. The reason  I’m writing this, though, is to say IT GETS BETTER!!!!! IT GETS EASIER!!!! DON’T GIVE UP!!!!! I am sure I’ll have tough times again. I feel guilty offering encouragement with so little sober time under my belt. I don’t feel quite qualified. But in my experience, I am getting better at finding other ways to handle my emotions and to take care of myself that don’t involve pouring liquor down my throat. And the other ways don’t make me feel like shit. It’s a win.
Also. I do hope that you’ll find some new stuff to sell to us, Belle, just to give grumpy people something else to complain about. 😉 I am wearing my ‘Grateful/Eff You Wolfie’ necklace and ‘Stay Here’ bracelet every day. I cannot tell you how they anchor me. It’s a tangible manifestation of my inner resolve to live up to my full potential, to love big and cry big and rejoice equally in both, to think clearly, to preserve my health, and to be a light that shines for other people still on the booze elevator. Maybe they’ll see my megawatt smile through the crack in the elevator door and think: ‘I could get off of this thing’.”

sometimes the Exit is in german, and perhaps this is a subtle message to hang in the office … it’s your german grandmother? or your german girlfriend …. link.



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