you tell who you want, when you want, what you want

from my inbox:

Potato Girl (day 158):

HI Belle, I have a question that I have gotten advice from out-patient recovery support groups, and my therapist, yet I a still struggling with. I am having a hard time telling friends that I have quit drinking … over the last 2 years I progressively isolated myself because of drinking. I told myself friendships change because of marriage, kids, jobs etc which is true but ultimately I know I have hurt friendships and I am scared to talk about it. I realize I am still feeling a lot of guilt and shame and to be very honest it scares me to think of never having another drink with these friends. One of my friends that I have been texting with wants me to visit next summer … she texted “we can drink A LOT of wine! I need a break!”  I know she will be supportive of me but I am really avoiding telling her. After discussing this in group therapy I learned that I have way more anxiety about this than others in the group … I feel like my recovery is going really well in most other areas, but this honesty with friends is really holding me back. Have you come across this issue with others in the challenges? Thanks for listening as always. I know I have said it before but I truly wouldn’t be over 5 months without you, your blog, emails and podcasts. THANK YOU!”

me:  I’m not a therapist or a counsellor. i’m not your sponsor, and I don’t know you IRL 🙂 but here’s what I’d say: you tell whoever you want, what you want, when you want to.  you tell any version of the story that suits you. I have long-time boozing friends that I haven’t seen since I’ve been sober.  One friend in particular that’s just like your friend saying “we’ll drink a lot!” … I haven’t told her anything yet. I’m not in her daily life and I’m not visiting tomorrow. If I was visiting tomorrow, I’d say beforehand, by email or text, “can’t wait to see you tomorrow, I can stop and pick up some some wine for you – I’m not drinking these days so I’ll bring tonic for me.” and then when I arrive, she’d ask and maybe be mock-disappointed. and I think I’ll say something like “I’m doing a 100 day leave of absence from alcohol to see how my life is different.” … And then, only if she asked how far into the 100 days I was, only then would I say “I’m on day 600 … turns out I like being sober more than I thought I would.”

that’s it. I, personally, don’t feel that telling anyone that I had a ‘problem’ is useful. instead I say things like “I found that when I drank, I slept badly. and once I quit drinking I slept through the night. my doctor had even put me on hormones to try to fix the sleep. So with all the catering I do, it just doesn’t work out even having a bit of wine.” and most people leave it at that. really.

I talk about this more in my jumpstart class (it’s audio #3) and i’ve written about having a “yeast infection” on the blog. hope that’s helpful 🙂 hugs from me

Potato Girl: “You really have helped me to realize I have the power and control to tell who I want, when I want and how I want. I was feeling a lot of anxiety and pressure from group discussions telling me differently. Telling me that I wasn’t being completely honest if I didn’t share this info, or that I was hiding it so I could drink with these people someday. Well, I know that neither of these things are true. I talked with my therapist more about it and between what she said and what you have written and your blog posts I feel much better about this. I don’t need to broadcast how many times I was hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal, or how I would take shots of vodka at 7 am, etc etc. I have different relationships with each friend and a couple close friends I can share a little more because I am closer, and I want to make some amends for my absence over the last year and a half and hopefully work towards a stronger friendship. For new and casual acquaintances I don’t want to share that I had a ‘problem’. Thank you for pointing that out and helping me see that I can trust myself and my instincts with this.”

~

update she’s on day 742 today. and i’m on day 1202 🙂

~

 

sobriety as an experiment

from my inbox:

The Face: “I’m still just treating sobriety as an experiment. When I think about it like, ‘I’m just gathering data about when it feels like not to drink’ versus ‘I AM QUITTING FOREVER’. It’s actually kind of fun. I’m still very much in the closet to pretty much everyone about it, but it’s been nice to know that no one even notices when you don’t drink, so there’s not been much need to talk about it. I luckily have a friend who recently got pregnant and have been hanging out with her a lot and we’ve been brainstorming fun things to do that don’t involve drinking.”

discount audio – today

I did an experiment with anonymous donations. And here’s what happened:

Most weekends, I have a sober support audio available and some copies are online for 10 cents each.

A couple of weeks ago, I put up two links for the weekend download (which was the fabulous audio about how early sobriety is like a little chick, and your job is to keep it from getting squished). Anyway, i put up two links – one for 10 cents for the Little Chick audio. And one link where you could purchase the Little Chick audio at a higher price and sponsor other people to have the lower cost ones.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, who experiments with optional pricing?

~

Here’s what happened:

3 people purchased the discount audio for 10 cents (the usual price for a discount weekend audio)

14 people offered somewhere between 10 cents and $3 (with $3 being the usual price for this audio without the discount)

9 people donated more than $3 (in some cases, a lot more)

~

The end result? I have enough donations leftover that I can happily offer [link removed] copies of the Little Chick audio for 10 cents.

Instructions:

  1. click here to order the discounted Little Chick audio for 10 cents [link removed]

  2. leave a comment below to say ‘thanks’ to the donors. just a few sentences is fine. If you’re shy about leaving comments, then send me an email instead.

  3. listen to the audio and follow the steps! no more chick-squishing. protect your sober chick.

~

 

 

 

 

Let there be cake.

i am well.  the 2-day irritation has passed.  seems to all be about sleep for me (no shit!).  i had a crappy night’s sleep Monday night (worrying about a big meeting on Tuesday), and then the lack of sleep snowballed as the week went on (thankfully a short week so only felt truly terrible on Wed and Thurs).  Now it’s a 4-day holiday weekend (at least for those of us following very queen-like schedules! all the colonies anyway…). I have been able to maintain running 5 days a week, even went for a run last night at 7:30 pm which, as i said to Anne, is a new thing for me… “now I do laundry after dinner!  now I sometimes work!  last night I went for a run … completely unheard of … sober girls = we get shit done :)”

and yes, it’s only early in the morning, but I’ve been waiting to say happy day 60 to Jenni, Day 19 to MysteryGirl, and Day 10 to KMCC.

There are now 20 of us on Team 100, that’s pretty wild! Welcome to newest joiner, Jen (Mommy’s Journey).

And only 2 people have emailed to ask that their counter begin again at 1.  One person, after she slipped, said she wasn’t going to count days and that she needed a little bit of time… I told her i wasn’t deleting her name from the list … and less than a week later she emailed back to say she’d been sober since the last email… so she’s on the chart again and is on day 5.

OK, so this isn’t a statistical thing, of course, but 20 out of 20 of us are sober. Two people slipped and got right back at it …

And me? I get to read the best emails every single morning.

  • “Sober.”
  • “Sober.”
  • “Sober and happy about it.”
  • “I have a cold and i’m going to bed sober.”
  • “I’m cleaning up vomit thank god i’m sober.”
  • “My crazy family makes me crazy, I will remain sober.”
  • “Your red velvet chocolate cake is nearly as good as the cheesecake.”

OK, that last one is from a catering client.  If she only knew what the rest of my inbox looked like!

CAKE 🙂  let there be cake.  Sober girls need cake. Leave it to me to devolve to cake in each and every post …