big or small

planning for 2017. ideas welcome. ask for anything. What could I do this year that would make this sober thing better. anything. you can suggest anything, big or small. topic for a podcast? thing you want me to do / create / say?


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

47 thoughts on “big or small

  1. Come and have a cup of tea with me in Ottawa?!

    More call in events. That was fun!

    Write another book – how to stay sober and love it.

  2. I don’t know how practical this is, but is there a way to set up a system where people who are doing your challenge could track how many days sober they had and compare it with others in the challenge. A number of years ago I found something like this and I found it helpful to see how I was doing compared to other people.

  3. I could get off my ass and budget in a few areas so I could have some phone calls with you instead of telling myself I’m fine.

  4. Hit enter too soon. Sigh. You know what would be super cool? Some of your audio podcasts in text. Just a quick read when audio isn’t doable.

  5. I’m moving to Maryland next week (starting a new chapter of my life, turning the page from the awful chapter), come to Maryland, we can enjoy some sunshine and tea.

  6. I think more group stuff totally. I haven’t gotten to do any yet but, I want to! Also, I personally love the case studies you do. And please keep emailing. It really really makes my day and i am sure everyone else’s day’s when we hear from you our guide thru this journey!

  7. A couple of ideas.

    1. Start doing a regular podcast that users could access for free from mobile devices (such as the Podcast App available on an iPhone). You could make it as regular as you want – weekly, monthly, etc. It could include various types of content – your advice, stories from guests, a bit about resources that can be used, etc. I know advertisers can financially support these – I know you don’t love that but still an idea I wanted to throw out.
    2. Consider having additional “gifts” available on your site and maybe have some associated with milestones – almost like the “coins” you get from AA – you could purchase a bracelet as a sober treat once you hit 30 days; something else at 60 days, etc.

  8. I think it would be very helpful if you could offer advice/links/websites on how people in early recovery who are not in a twelve step program can find a temporary sponsor to unload on/contact in emergency temptation situations. Along with that you could do a podcast on how/and to what extent should you involve your partner/spouse/SO in your early recovery. What are the healthy boundaries and guidelines for sharing.

  9. I think a “Keep the momentum” (or as Belle would say: Don’t fuck with momentum) bracelet would be fun! That’s what people who are doing the 100 day challenge are gaining. I had 90 days last year and it took me over 8 months to get back on my feet. This year I don’t want to lose my momentum to cheap wine again.

    1. I too love the idea of the bracelet – the one you have is great – add your sober car, some belle”isms”, wolfie, “other shit you say” etc – maybe even get the date stamp calendar for the date you started on the journey… (personalise it of course). Love all your stuff Belle – a big thanks !!

  10. Media madness. I would love advice on dealing with encountering drinking suggested in most every magazine one reads these days. Travel – wineries, pubs, breweries, unlimited alcohol on cruises & resorts; Women’s Home magazines – menus paired with alcohol, girl get-togethers with cocktails or wine, play dates and drinking, holiday alcohol; Yoga with wine; Art with wine; Hikes and Bike trips ending at breweries or vineyards. And TV characters you admire always drinking: running the gamut from elected officials to moms and grandmoms with their children. The persistent social expectation that all normal adults drink triggers cravings even though I work through them (sober more than 20 years). Health benefits of drinking – PR BS – you get red wine benefits from eating red grapes. As you can see, I could use help and anger management on this particular challenge to alcoholics.

    1. I second this! I was looking up romantic getaways and every package incorporated alcohol … champagne, wine hour, dinner with drinks. Is this madness new or something I’m only aware of now that I’m not drinking?

  11. I loved the personal case study. It was fun to look forward to receiving “real” mail and it felt like getting to know someone else on the same road πŸ™‚

  12. This might be hard to compile but a medoly of your positive, funny and encouraging bits. An example would be on one of the jumpstarts you have a bit about running a race and you’re cheering at the finish saying “told ya”. And you were laughing. That cracks me up. Add a bunch of the other bits like that and put them in a pod. I would love that

  13. I’ve got two little ideas. It would be lovely to hear reviews about other books and resources that you and/or your readers have accessed and found useful, especially for people who do not go to AA. There is a lot on the internet and it can be a bit daunting to trawl through it. I, for example, am half way through reading “why you drink and how to stop” and I am finding it brilliantly useful and very relatable.
    It would also be nice to have a blog post with the best snippet of advice your readers have had, from people with different lengths of sobriety.

  14. Relapse and healing of the brain and continued positive attitude and how withdrawal gets harder and harder and how booze kills ur health. THXS Belle!

  15. I wild like a lot of information about the physical effects of early sobriety – acute cravings for sugar, weird dreams, etc.

  16. Maybe more ways to recognize how wolfie or stress/anxiety messes with us… sometimes I don’t realize what’s happening until I’m so white knuckled in the day.

  17. I love the one minute audios for a quick dip into during the working week and I really *love* knowing that there are other people out there making a go of this. So, I’d go for more of the ‘Jan challenge’ style of event. Maybe with a few stats along the way – how many of us are involved, how it’s going mid point and high points on completion.

  18. I’d love an emergency podcast that was intended for just before a relapse. Like a , “listen to this before you take that drink” I know you have so many great podcasts but if you don’t have one like this yet, I would love it.❀️

  19. I think that what you are doing with all your moral support and emails and bringing us all together is a lifesaver for so many of us. But, a practical fun thing could be for us to share our new special drinks. I have never been a fan of fizzy drinks, and I get a bit bored with water and tonic. So I have been experimenting and inventing drinks which are a little more sophisticated and that give you that real treat feeling.
    We could all submit ideas for a ‘Belle’s Soother’ – to be taken as and when!

  20. You do so much and help so many, me included (day 39 yay me!) The only thing missing is your own app. I would love that 😊

  21. I think a group dynamic/forum would be great…I would love to connect with others finding success with you! Small groups or a pen pal option would be cool.

  22. I know it’s probably a big reason for people to buy your book but I think adding one of the 60 sober tools to the daily one minute messages would be amazing – I have the paper copy of the book but having a wee audio reminder of these tools I think would be a great help – wat you do already is so inspirational- many thanks x

  23. I dunno, could you help me not want to be just a little bit silly buzzed tonight? 39 days and I’ve got momentum… looking for a push or something.

  24. I’d love a challenge where we agree to try something we’ve always wanted to do, but never did because we always put drinking first. It’s usually fear that stops us and the drinking is a symptom of the fear and self-loathing that keeps us stuck. In sobriety I’ve already tried new things I didn’t know interested me, but I still haven’t mustered up the courage to try some of the capital F fear ones, even writing this has my heart rate up. But, why not try??? Why NOT now???

  25. I love the case study mailings with the tea, more of those please. How about sharing some of your special recipes in a book? I wonder if others with the same or similar sober time would be willing to be introduced to one another through the blog?

  26. Another book πŸ™‚ keep up the audios, such a big connection and your voice is very soothing. And the daily emails, so integral. Maybe a podcast of combined stories from 4-5 people on day 1, then those same people on day 30, day 60, day 90, etc., similar to the case study. Thanks, Belle!

  27. Something-but-I-don’t-know-what for those of us that have been sober for a couple of years. We have been through the hardest part true, but some days are hard for us too.

  28. Because I was numbing myself to reality for so long I never lived in the present. I was always focused on the past or future because the present was too painful to cope with. Now that I’ve removed alcohol from my life the present is a hard place to actively remain in. Topics: 1.) How to stay in the moment 2.) How to rid yourself of the anger that’s bubbling up that has been drowned out after pouring booze on it for so long. Or, at least some coping strategies to manage these new realities.

  29. I’d love to hear more about living with a drinker even though they are supportive there are still challenges. The group book call was great even though I couldn’t get there live and a podcast is another idea. Thanks for everything Belle xxx

  30. Here is an idea. Before I start I want to say I am a sober penpal and have most of your products book, podcasts and YOU have been the change that has helped me stay sober. All of your help and direction is wonderful. Now, you have asked us to put our thinking caps on and suggest some other ways to get or stay in the sober car with sober suitcase in hand.
    What about a 30 day had a tiny addition to your day to help you stay sober. Tiny meaning, no stress and everyone can do it. here are some examples… go outside today and pick a leaf off a tree and study it, eat a fruit you’ve never eaten, put a bottle of water on your bedside stand and drink it before you get out of bed in the morning. You get the drift. tiny changes that will support sobriety without causing stress.

  31. 1. Second book, the sequel. Staying Sober for those people one year +. This would talk about keeping momentum, retaining supports, finding new & different supports along the way , keeping memories of how horrible drinking is, not buying in to the ‘glamourization’ of alcohol in media. Basically all the things you use now that you are four years sober.
    2. Keep up/increase the longer audios. I would listen to you talk twenty minutes every single day. That might be a burden for you…but I think there’s a market for more long audios.
    3. Putting the first year blog on audio is a terrific idea. I was negative-Nancy about audios when I started, but find I love having you in my head, and it DOES go into my brain in a different way than reading. Plus, my car radio broke! πŸ˜‰ and now I can have the Belle-channel on my phone.
    4. Keep up the ‘staying engaged’ assignments. Sprinkling little surprises throughout the website that people can find, like treasure, if they click. Homework.
    5. You must have accumulated SO much material from people in their emails back to you. Could you…or some hardy volunteer…assemble selections of emails and group according to subject? Organizing by Days (here are emails from Day 5, Day 50, etc.) or by subject: New Day One, Telling Friends, Tackling Holidays, etc.? Not sure if you have to ask people for releases, but guessing the material belongs to you now that it’s been mailed to you…and anyway, no real names are ever used. I know I like to read all the comments in a blog post and it gives me new ideas and perspectives.
    6. I wanted to suggest a cross-directory, where your acolytes could connect with each other directly (a sober-buddy system). Or we volunteer to be identified by our home cities. But I’ve come to realize that your system works because you keep it clean…all things in to you and all info out from you. It keeps the message on point and you’ve avoided the bogging down that plagues many sites. Instead, how about some new merchandise: a “Wolfie” pin…along the lines of ‘Friends of Bill’ identifier. With a few thousand of us in the world, we’re sure to bump into each other eventually.
    7. Continuing in that fashion, how about touting a Group 100 Day Challenge? It doesn’t need to be a solitary event. Families, book clubs, groups of friends could challenge each other to participate. Not that groups couldn’t be doing this already…but perhaps formalize it. ‘This are sobering times, let’s sober up’…says Grandma as she buys the family or her ladies auxiliary a Group 100 Day Challenge. πŸ˜‰
    8. Lastly Belle, you are a treasure. You should be making a million dollars if the universe were fair and rewarded people according to what good they do. So of primary importance to me is that you just keep going…and don’t exhaust yourself.

  32. #agirlnamedSam – You nailed it!! Awesome points – all of them. Well, I’m not sure about number 7 – but if it works for someone then HELL YEAH! And yes number 8 – here’s to a very, rich, happy and healthy Belle. Thank you.

    1. I would love another case study. i especially like getting it via real mail with pretty French stamps. the tea treat is great but you could leave that off to make it easier & more affordable. you could collect enough donations to pay the cost before you do it. no matter how to do it, I would love it. of course, I love a lot of the things you do. πŸ™‚

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