from my inbox:
photos from last week’s ‘send me your seasonal pictures’ email.
hope gets sucked out of us when we drink …
email from Leener (day 480): “I’m beginning to suspect that somewhere along the way, with all of the sober reading I was doing, someone (me) sold me a lie. I keep ‘waiting’ for sober life to be ahhhmaayyyziiinng! This wonderful, beautiful, amazing thing I keep reading about and then find myself disappointed over when it eludes me.
YES, I’ve had hormone issues and mental health issues that frustrate the ‘sober life is amazing cause’. But really, have I ever been that effusive in my lifetime? Have I been that liberal with the use of superlatives? Wasn’t I raised to eschew hyperbole? Is it really a surprise that I’m not waking up every day declaring everything amazing? Now I am annoyed with myself for mentally beating myself up for being unable to embrace a descriptor that has not otherwise been on rotation as part of my vocabulary …
I’m going to stop chasing this story about someone else’s sober life that I bought into, and enjoy the one I have. My sober life. The one where I wake up in the mornings feeling good. The one where I can do hard shit. The one where I can be helpful to others and therefore feel useful. The one where I can take care of my kids, or my dog, no matter what time of day. The one where I am always able to drive. The one where I don’t (with dread) try to piece together the patchy memories from the night before. It may not be “amazing” — because I reserve that shit for unicorns — but it sure is swell. So there.”
me: happy day 480 to you. you know, life may not be AMMMAAAAZZING. but things are ‘possible’ in a way that they are not when we’re drinking. and that possibility thing, it’s a huge big difference. when drinking, I had this sense of everything being ‘so hard’ — and that feeling in itself is just too overwhelming and unsustainable. it’s better to be sober and be able to make some progress, even if it’s just in tiny little bits. at least it’s PROGRESS. compared to being stuck. or sinking.
and then when we quit drinking, it’s like ‘oh wait, you mean this isn’t inevitable? I can do something differently going forward?’ That feeling of being able to impact the future is the thing that gets sucked out of us when we drink.
Day 21 gift:
Today i have a package of homemade granola to put into the mail. I know, it sounds boring, right? but it’s made with maple syrup and dried cranberries. and you can sprinkle it on yogurt, or on top of your breakfast cereal. or eat it like a snack. I will send the granola out to the 21st person who can correctly fill in the blank:
Luckiest Jo: “I am a constant resetter a new day 1 most weeks, and I keep adding new things, I think though that there is a voice that tells me I don’t have the willpower, although sober me listens to what you say about not having the right tools and so i keep adding them, thank you for telling me i’m not crap. I get the thing about the Wolfie voice more and more … last weekend the Wolfie sounded completely logical, and ok to make the decision to drink … I try and follow your advice on being a ________ but I don’t normally manage, and feel overwhelmed pretty much all the time, but I think i’m getting that the volume of my Wolfie is at a level where I have to keep doing more sober stuff and the reading and listening this week is at least an hour and a half, but I will up that. I think I get now that it doesn’t matter what it takes to stop drinking, as long as I stay stopped.” [update: she’s on day 61 today!]
can you fill in the blank above? send me your guess, and i’ll send out a package of homemade granola!
toasted oats, rice krispies, raisins, dried cranberries, maple syrup — here served with greek yogurt and honey …