decide from the place of sunshine

email from E: “I think my biggest fear about being long-term sober is that as long as I’m drinking, I won’t ever have the life I really want or deserve. But I’m not trying to get that life, so I don’t need to feel bad about not having it.

What if I quit drinking, and work hard, and focus and really try! What if after all that I still don’t have the life I want and deserve. Despite everything I still might not be enough. And that is the scariest, saddest thought I have ever had.

I haven’t committed to being sober yet. But I will. Soon. I love your emails, they really help me to feel less alone.”

me: And what if you quit drinking and your life is improved … You’re not obliged to live in the sunshine and roses of sobriety if you get there and decide you don’t like feeling relieved and happy. I know that the sunshine looks impossible. Instead, though, you can go to the sunshine and THEN decide if it’s worth it. Decide from the place of sunshine. hugs


disclaimer: i know jack shit. i have written a sober book which is even more hilarious because i can only write about my experience and that’s a pretty weird thing. we think our drinking stories are unique (well, i do), and then in the telling we realize that we have more the same than we do different. Quote from the book:

It starts at 3 a.m., wake up, roll over, not too quickly or the nausea will start. Try to be still, flat on your back. Hot. Thirsty. Headache. Take a small sip of water as a trial, to see how this is going to go. Not well. Shift in the bed again. Why is it so hot in here. Then cold. One foot out from under the blanket — oh it’s no use, the room has started to move.

shameless commercial link. written by SouthernMagnolia1013:
“I have been sober for 270 days. That’s 270 days of still getting excited about reading your emails that come in. In the beginning I subscribed to your sober podcast-lesson thingy. I loved the podcasts. They were my go-to for certain nights before I went to bed. It was part of my routine. Then my momentum was going so well and I  thought I would take a break from the podcasts and I unsubscribed.

You know, I ended up missing listening to those podcasts where I got to hear really encouraging words and thoughts and stories that related exactly to ME. It’s like you were making the podcast lessons just for me. So I decided to resubscribe and am so glad that I did. I am still learning new things about sobriety that I never realized before. I also like that it’s my little way of hitting up that tiny gift button. You deserve a fat paycheck for ALL of the time you spend helping others. So when that day comes when my bank account is overflowing and I am fortunate enough to give out yearly contributions to my favorite charity or organization, I am putting your name at the top of my list. In the meantime I’ll just have to thank you by subscribing to the weekly podcasts :)”

[update: she’s on day 1664]


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

  • That email from “E” struck a chord with me. I think it was the way that they were still resisting the move to sobriety for fear that it wouldn’t be perfect enough…that they wouldn’t reach the fullness of life they desired despite knowing that continued drinking would prevent it anyway.
    Not quite sure I can explain why it struck something in me…I suppose it’s because when I was stuck drinking every day (for years) , I never imagined I’d ever be able to stop , let alone feel better. I did however have this imaginary vision that if I did stop drinking that my life would somehow be “perfect”.
    When I did finally stop drinking , and get some sober days behind me , I was first of all amazed that I’d managed it…..then as the amazement wore off, I began to look at how I was feeling. This was probably when the difficult times started…I realised my life wasn’t “all better” and in typical me fashion I would stomp around in a three year old paddy “ well I might as well drink again” sort of attitude.
    I often wonder if this is where the old “12 step” approach of looking at my “ character defects” might have helped….
    Nonetheless, I now see that sobriety is just that…a quitting of something toxic which is lethal to my life…and an opportunity for me to live my life without it…it doesn’t guarantee anything really….other than a clearer head, a better nights sleep and that huge great boulder of shame that I could lay down. Put like that I think I’d choose sobriety on any rubbish day I have…..
    There’s no contest there…..
    I’m not sure whether I’ve made myself very clear, but I’m essence I’ve travelled a long way round my head and come to the conclusion that sobriety is good for me ( and I’ll probably do a few more rounds of that and eventually always come back to that same answer)
    And thankfully I have a very patient pen pal 🥰

  • Today is day 2 for me. This is the first time I have ever participated in a blog but it is already helping me to keep my mind from thinking about drinking. I have started my sobriety journey many times and failed. My longest run was 7+ years but I became miserable in my marriage and instead of getting out I started dabbling again and it eventually blew up about 2 years ago. I joined an AA group online and I know that program works for many but it just doesn’t seem to be the right fit for me. I have committed to the 100 day challenge and I am looking forward to the daily emails and participating here. For me accountability is huge as well as the compassion, encouragement and understanding of others who are walking this same path.