if you have been receiving my emails for a while, you might remember that just before Christmas I started to do some limited facebook experiments, where I offered support if you were ‘tired of thinking about drinking’ and in my first day doing it, over the span of 2 hrs I got 300 new subscribers, and then freaked out and turned it off.
300 actual people, entering real email addresses.
Then right around January 1st, as everyone was thinking of giving up drinking as a new year’s resolution OR for Dry January, i was routinely getting 1000 new subscribers A DAY.
And what do you think is the most curious part of this?
The limited Facebook test was only done with people who had tagged that they LIKED alcohol, wine, wine tasting, etc. in their facebook history.
All those pictures that we see people sharing on FB, all the wine-o’clock photos, all the ‘i’m drinking in the jaccuzi’ photos — as a sober person, you might be tempted to look at those photos and feel triggered, and yell out “fuck me, why can THEY drink and i can’t?”
when, in some cases, what is REALLY happening is that those same folks post photos like that, and THEN click on a link that says “tired of thinking about drinking.”
and they don’t just click and laugh and turn away. No. They put in their email address and say “send me stuff.”
Now that a few weeks have gone by, I’m starting to get some anonymous emails from these same Facebook folks (Hi you! Welcome!). I’m going to share a few of those emails today, not because they make me look great (i am, in fact, a genius), but perhaps as a reminder that you’re not alone with this. there’s a whole bunch of us here, doing this sober thing.
from my inbox:
S: “I have been sober for 38 days. To tell the truth when I read your book on New Years Day I wasn’t even thinking about trying to be sober, but everything I read made so much sense and I was looking for something to commit to and this has been it. You know what, it has been hard, it has required true focus and on many occasions I have heard Wolfie’s voice and had to tell it to get the F*%# out of my head. Which to date I have managed to do. I read your emails morning and night and I would say they along with a couple of self-soothing treats have kept me honest. I have been talking to someone from work about my newfound sobriety and they are now giving it a go, too, and are on day 4 … Thank you for your support, I honestly don’t think I could have done it without you. As I have tried many times before and NEVER made it this far and you are the point of difference.”
P: “I’m on day 37 and so proud of myself, there is no big story as to why I decided to give up drinking, I just got fed with thinking about it all the time and having no ‘off’ button. I was starting to feel like drinking was beginning to take over my life, when a ‘sponsored ad’, you :), popped up on my Facebook. I downloaded your book and decided the 100 day challenge was for me and I was starting on New Years Day. I’m so proud of myself, aside from being pregnant the longest I’ve ever been without a drink was 21 days, a few years ago and before then god only knows! Today was a bad day, the sort of day I’d usually ring my hubby up and say get me a bottle of wine on the way home! Wolfie started howling about midday and was getting louder all day. (I have read this before in your emails but calling the drinking voice Wolfie has helped me so much, I feel I can detach myself from it. I quite often tell him to fuck off now!!!).”
S: “I just wanted to let you know that I found your website when I googling ways to give up drinking that weren’t AA. I knew that AA wouldn’t work for me as there is no way that I could get up and speak in front of other people. In fact, my anxiety would probably stop me from even going to a meeting. I read your book in about 2 days and have now been alcohol free for 32 days. The demands of my life mean that I’m struggling to put in as many supports as I would like but I’m working on that. I’m going to start tonight by going to bed as early as I can! I especially need that today as my special needs son got into my bed at 2 last night and wanted to play from 5! Thanks Belle.”
N: “Thanks Belle for your email – I’m glad you aren’t a robot 😊 first of all, thanks for the book, I have read a lot of it so far and it is as if you are reading my drinking mind. I have been thinking, just very recently that I want to quit the booze and your book appeared on my facebook page. To me that is serendipity.”
link to click. i posted the newest little 3.5 minute video to welcome new subscribers yesterday afternoon. you don’t have to ‘like’ it, OR be signed into facebook, to watch. You’re Not the Only One > video here.
I am on day 40 thanks to your book popping unexpectedly into my life. Thank you so much. But I am finding that I seem to have a lot of pent up anger. Not sure if anyone else experiences this.
Hi Tina! Well done on your 40 days…. that’s pretty amazing.
I did find that in the early days of being sober all my feelings were magnified. And I do remember anger being one which stood out. I started running as a way of coping with what felt like overwhelming feelings which did help. For me they did level out…. but if it feels not I would suggest you seek more support- maybe a counsellor or something? Keep going!