sortie is ‘exit’ in french. exit the booze elevator. new painting posted, this is #279 at the top of the page here.

from me:
i don’t do it very often, but when i share an email like the one earlier today, i get a lot of feedback like “i’m so glad you share the shitty parts” or “i’m relieved that you’re real.” i suppose i could share more stories of ass-air-conditioned pyjama bottoms, but mostly i restrain myself. this isn’t entirely a belle-blog space; this is a me-space AND you-space and sharing-space. it’s a mixture of information and support and cheerleading (and entertainment and swearing and motivation). and hope.

anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all the email responses (34 so far and counting), and at the risk of total self-indulgence, i’m going to share some of them here. (skip down to today’s give-away if you’re bored with me.)

B: “All my life I’ve tried to be the Instagram perfect life, that I had it all together and is it BS!! Chasing it for every occasion and for others. I am flawed, we all are. I’ve always felt it, but better not let anyone else know my faults or struggles. This is my second sober Christmas. There have been moments I want to go back to having that glass of wine out, or while wrapping, or whatever Wolfie throws my way, but know I would end up having three more on the couch. I now know better. I also am learning even though it’s been over a year (day 424) I am still figuring it out, figuring me out. Today’s lesson – I am flawed, I need to ask for help, and that is ok, I am ok. Merry Christmas!”

D: “This was a wonderful email that truly struck a chord with me. Not only are you showing up for “us”, you show up for yourself, bad pajamas and all. I have spent a veritable lifetime showing up for everyone else, being thoughtful, dealing with illnesses both mental and physical of my parents, children, husband. I have cooked, cleaned, worked, listened. But, sadly, not to myself. Insight is a precious gift and I received it this morning … It’s time to show up for myself. Merry Christmas.”

SoberHager (day 98): “This email made me cry tears of joy! This will be my first sober Christmas in a couple decades. And, I had an “a ha” moment. I don’t need anything else but this! Being sober has helped me appreciate how far I have come, but most importantly that I deserve every bit of goodness in my life. I realize I have stopped comparing my life to everyone else’s life. My goodness may not seem like goodness to someone else but I don’t give a shit!  Thanks for sharing about your buttless jammies!”

German Lena (day 159): “Days of thoughtfulness? I never thought I could actually crave them. I was instead trying to avoid the whole ‘being aware and open’ thing … I had similar questions in my head these days. Like when did I effectively reach out for help? What made the difference? I went through some of my – our! – first emails and there was one that still makes me want to cry, you wrote “I’m here” … I don’t think it’s easy to do what you do (find a way to reach people) with words. Because honestly, why isn’t anybody else doing it this way? Why is everybody so focused on “visibility”, easy going, comfortable social media exhibition and glamorous perfect-moment-pictures? What’s it all about to get people’s attention without sustainably touching them? I don’t know. But I know, what’s going on here: You make me laugh (about jammies and a husband with serious cardboard preferences) and cry in just one email. There is seriously heavy stuff going on, but you have a the talent to inspire to look outside the “it’s all too hard” world. You’re anonymous and you’re real. And if I didn’t know better, I would consider that’s impossible. But as it is working, it must be genius.”

give-away for today: i think tomorrow i’m going to mail some postcards from france. would you like one? i will NOT write anything ‘sober’ on the card, just a general greeting. maybe there will be an eiffel tower on it. sure, why not, should be easy enough to find some when i go for my walk tomorrow. if you’d like to receive a postcard, you can hit reply and send me your name, and mailing address. I’ll mail a card to the first 5 emails. Please be careful with spelling, and include the complete address with zip code and country. ready?

[photos submitted for my ‘send me a seasonal photo’ contest last week]


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

  • Give me a shitty sober day over a drunk day anytime. It’s just life that there are ups and downs, good days bad days. But to wake up with a clear head every day, knowing what you did said texted emailed yesterday – that peace of mind is always glorious. I think sobriety gives us all a lot of resilience to cope with the reality in front of us.

    And if things are hard then that’s why we come to read and share experiences online. Or why we call a friend who knows the situation.

    I heard the phrase “compare and despair” not long ago. Also “today’s entitlements are tomorrow’s resentments”. If we can just be ok with ourselves, our own nice little lives, then we can all build from there. I know that these days I’d give anything to just stay sober, stay stable, reliable day in day out. I know if I do that I’ll have a good life.

    All the best everyone, and thanks for the blog and all the contributions.