In search of peace inside my own head

I got on a plane yesterday, and sitting in my row were two kids — in the 6/7-year-old range. I looked around for their adult and spotted a man across the aisle getting a couple of slightly older kids settled in their seats. Must be him. He seemed inattentive to these guys, though. I tried to catch his eye, and nothin’.

I asked the kids who they were with and they gleefully informed me that they were unaccompanied minors!!. Shit. The flight attendants were so happy to have a “mom figure” in my seat. (I’m 51 and female. But distinctly Not a Mom.) Half an hour later, aloft and heading east, as I took a can of Coke for the kids and started pouring, I have a flight attendant’s face at my ear saying, “what can I get you??” Wink wink, for free, we’re so grateful you’re watching over the munchkins while we do our jobs. I say, oh I’m fine. “No, really. Anything. What can we get you?” and names a string of alcohol options. No thanks I’m fine (and please stop sending images of Bailey’s Irish cream before my eyes). Thankfully she moved on to wheat products, which I also can’t imbibe, so I continued the no’s and eventually she hit the end of her (very sweet) list.

Happily, I’m on day 43 and this didn’t bowl me over — but the face in my face and intensity of the offer was a little unnerving. I’m wandering through yet again a number of mild firsts — airports, new cities, solitary afternoons out at my shop (woodworking shop under construction), regular afternoons at home, “out for beers” with friends. They feel easier this time. I’ve gotten pretty discouraged at all of my stumbling along that I’ve been doing, really since my first very nice go at sobriety back in the spring of 2015. Tried (fairly successfully) not to get down on myself (because just nothing good comes of that). But at the same time hated — HATED — having those single-digit retries all the time.

Very discouraging.

A couple of months ago I thought, I need a new … something. Blogger probably. Wanted a new perspective and voice that would hook me for a while. Onto which I could hook. Then somehow, before I even consciously went looking, I found myself at, where I’d been before, probably, some time in the past. I read about Belle’s 100-day challenge again. Thought that might be useful. And then proceeded a comical chain of internal events through which I tumbled straight down this rabbit hole into Belle writing and Belle audios and here I’ve stayed. First I thought, oh, I’ll do the, what does she call it?, “self-administered” version. Cuz I’m cheap and because CLEARLY I can do this on my own. Not sure how long that lasted; not cuz I drank but because I sensed more was better. Maybe a day. So I paid money and signed up for the penpal thing. That came with short audio clips, which are, if you don’t know her, her hallmark, and they are (at least for me) amazing. I was home alone for a week and spent every bedtime listening to one of the first seven audios. I was slowly wading into this sobriety thing again, with a new slant and a channel (floodgate) of new ideas and perspectives and principles and strategies. Should I choose to accept some.

As I saw the seven initial audios about to end, I wanted even more; it seemed important. Silly that something this simple could have such an impact for me, but whatever. So I upped my “plan” first to 50 audios (mentally) and then just leapfrogged to 100. I bought myself 100 opportunities to check out and plug in and listen to sobriety reflections one hundred times over the next few months. A gift to me. And there are more free ones and I can relisten and no this isn’t a panacea but it sure is right for me.

I’m highly picky when it comes to teachers. I have very few. (You didn’t know adults needed teachers? They do. Somewhere between two and six.) I have two woodworking teachers, a yoga teacher, a writing guru, and a hard-to-describe person or two. Her approach/style works for me. I thought it wouldn’t, and I’m beyond grateful that it does. I worry that typing this will jinx things.

So here I am at day 43 and wanting to write here again. I do not want that alcohol shit in my life anymore. (I never did, was just unable to stay stopped.) I do not want another day 19, ever. No. Not want. I want instead a way to keep my mental privacy with me without that very minimally useful tool, that comes with such horrid downsides, which is alcohol. I drink for mental privacy and to drive away small, intensely uncomfortable mood disruptions (more about that later). No more. Your insights are most welcome.

Happy sober Sunday.


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