this is weird, and awkward. i’m struggling to write this. i’ve been thinking for days about how to start this post. whether to write it all. I talked to Mr. Belle and to Lawyer Anne. i can’t come up with a good solution. so i’m going to try this.
Some of the people in the Sober Challenge have said things like “how can i thank you” or “i feel like i’m a burden to you” or “i don’t want to email too often because I know you have a lot of people on your list.”
And i’ve tried before to write about how GREAT it is to be your sober penpal. But there don’t seem to be enough words, or reassurances, or hugs i can give you that convey: yes, email me, i’m glad to hear from you.
I woke this morning to a message from Colleen (day 6), she writes: “I don’t know why you are doing this amazing thing for me and others but I appreciate you so much and hope you are getting something out of all this.”
And here’s my answer to her:
“it’s hard to explain, but really, to read your email [that you’re sober and doing well], it just lights up my day. I know that drinking sucks us into a pit of despair. You can’t believe how super fabulous it is to witness people fighting their way out of the pit. It’s really truthfully impressive. I get to witness your strength and that’s just such an amazing thing to watch. Cuz this shit ain’t easy! And I get built-in-sobriety-insurance. How could I possibly drink now? You’re doing the hard shit. Me, all i have to do these days is bat away a few ideas now and then. I couldn’t give in to wolfie now when others are fighting much harder …
You inspire me. How’s that? And all you have to do is get up, run, be honest, send an email, and you’re an inspiration 🙂
… would it make you feel better if you could give me something in return? does it really feel so unbalanced? maybe I’ll go and take out an anonymous post-office box with a really glamorous address, so people can mail me chocolates… not that I need any more, I assure you. Can you mail donuts? Probably not! Too bad, I can’t get donuts here…
So after i send that email, i make a cup of tea, i go for a run in the rain, and i talk to my husband again.
please hear this. I don’t want anything in return for being your sober penpal. I really don’t. But i know that some people are feeling weird about ‘taking’ from me. and they’re not reaching out as much as they want to cuz they’re feeling guilty or ashamed or something that can’t quite be articulated.
Here’s what i’m going to do. I’ve put in a little button here that links to paypal. It’s a gift button, you fill in the amount. You don’t have to have a paypal acct to use it (link on bottom left after you click for non-paypal-users).
I will use any gift money to buy treats (i.e. I will not use it to pay the hydro bill!) i will buy cake with it. Or new oven mitts, or tea, or fuzzy socks. If you give $1 that’s fine. Please don’t give any money at all. There’s no link between you making a gift and me emailing you.
and, to be accountable and transparent, i’ll post pictures of the treats that i purchase with the gift money.
if this creates some NEW kind of weirdness where people say “i can’t afford to send money so should I stop emailing?” i’ll regret this deeply and i’ll delete this post.