the fun is short lived, and the fun isn’t even fun

from my inbox:

yaj (day 44): “I’m keeping the reality of my drinking at the very front of my mind – the fun is short lived and the fun isn’t even fun – it’s alcohol turning me into a person that doesn’t even exist! A person I hate and that wakes up in the early hours riddled with anxiety and regret and remorse. I (the real me) wants to have fun, I want to remember it all and I want to push past my need to use alcohol to feel comfortable and chatty. People can take me as they find me and that’s fine because it is the real me and I would rather be judged on that instead of the drunken, boring, impulsive and often argumentative person that alcohol turns me into.”

Ms_Red (day 178): “had a dream last night that I drank a beer. It was so weird. Initially, I was at the bar and said that I’ll just have water. Then later in the dream, I look down and I’m drinking a beer. I was devastated – the first thought I had was Oh no, I’m going to have to tell Belle to set me back to Day 1. Maybe I should just pretend it didn’t happen.  I felt so shameful and disappointed in myself. When I woke up, I was beyond relieved that I didn’t mess up. Thanks for helping me – even in my dreams. ha ha.”

Mila2.0 (day 181): “I just have to tell you, the whole disclaimer thing made me kind of mad. If I was slowly bleeding out from a wound and someone was kind enough to offer to put pressure on it so slow the bleeding, I wouldn’t assume they were a doctor.”

MJP (day 100): “It’s Day 100, feeling good. I went to a big extended family function yesterday, and previously I would suck back a number of glasses to make it through. Not yesterday. I had a way better time, and have zero regrets today. I am so happy to be part of your community of the emailed + supported, it really helps. I just know AA is not the place for me, but it’s good to know there are people out there. I liked listening to your No More U-Turns audio yesterday. Someone commented that I looked a lot younger and I feel it’s the not drinking plus the expanse of time and opportunity it gives me. So thank you again. xo”

 

support is there, and yet …

i knew i was going to quit drinking for a while before i did it. i experimented with a few things. but not very seriously. i’d take a few days off. i watched some tv shows about addiction (mostly to justify that i wasn’t that bad). i knew that AA existed but … i wasn’t that bad. i could quit drinking for a few days but then would restart, figuring … i wasn’t that bad.

there is support available, i just don't use it

so i was telling myself a story. support for being sober was out there, but i never took advantage of it.

you are reading a sober blog. you are either sober, or you think you might like to be sober some day.

and there is sober support in the world that you’re not taking advantage of. On my site there’s stuff (like one-minute messages, longer podcasts, the sober jumpstart class, calls).

and in the big wide world there’s sober support like meetings, and therapists, and medications, and places to go.

the stories we tell

we tell ourselves lies that keep us stuck.

we’re not sober and not happy about it – but don’t want more support.

(or we are sober but not happy about it – but don’t want more support.)

i know that most of this is the drinking voice in our head. but that voice really does invent some amazing shit.

if listening to a sober audio is like having a big hug, then what is the voice in our head SAYING that prevents us from getting more sober support?

in the comments below, tell me the story you hear in your head.

Treat-erator

from my inbox:

Inky: “Belle, please consider coming up with a sober treaterator that consists of a widgit on your website – you click the link and get an idea for a sober treat!

Sober treat suggestions include bubble bath, earl grey tea and shortbread cookies (my fave), nice smelling hand lotion, amazing FU Wolfie necklace, dark chocolate, a pedicure, a delish smelling candle etc.

I say this as an ace treat giver/accepter. I have taken up choc chip cookie baking and comfy sock purchasing with gusto, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind ideas:) for example, I listened to your sober treat podcast, all in a grumpy mood cause work and I agreed at the end of your podcast that I needed a treat. But earl grey and shortbread wasn’t cutting it, neither were some of my other go-tos. For that purpose, a handy-dandy sober treaterator would be perfect!! Sort of like when you couldn’t find the “right” treat so u forced yourself to get ice cream.

I also think the more specific the better. I like the idea of trying new things and folks can always just get chocolate if “sea salted dark chocolate” doesn’t cut it:). It sounds like work, but if your sober team gets in on the act and sends you reams and reams of sober treat ideas, then hopefully we can help:)

Sober treaterator, I need you now! Actually, I think earl grey may do the trick.”

~

So here’s your job. Post in the comments below your ideas for creative sober treats.  Food or not-food. Something you can link to being sober, where you can get the treat and say to yourself “this is my treat for being sober.”


 


hope painting, done by belle, not her husband! this is hope 16. here.

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.”

an empty space

from me:

I have uninstalled the computer games. I have put pieces of paper over the clocks (including the one in the bottom right hand side of my computer screen). I’m a compulsive clock checker. This is why I don’t wear a watch except for running.

My brain wants to know the time, all the time. Because it’s trying to calculate if I have enough time to do something.

Perfectionism.

Is it 11:15 am? Don’t bother starting an audio now, husband will be home for lunch soon. Is it 4:30 pm? Catering due to be delivered at 7 pm so I have more time to sit around before I begin to pack up.

(Is it the right time to be sober? You have an event tomorrow so you want to wait until after. It’s christmas time so you want to wait. Yes, you feel terrible and want to be sober but you can’t start until you have 14 complete days of perfection, then you can be sober, not now.)

And when I remove the computer game and I remove the clock-checking, I find this: An Empty Space.

I’ve been running away from an empty space.

I’ve been boozing and running (literally) and stressing and worrying and detesting being bored MY WHOLE LIFE because of what?

Because of an empty space.

Cuz in this space, I get to create my life. My cool sober life. The one where stressing and worrying and angsting and fretting and feeling embarrassed have been just about completely removed.

There’s this cool empty space here. (It looks a lot like my living room.) I get to put in whatever I want.

Have I really been running from this? Running from the opportunity, the possibilities, of constructing a life I LOVE?