loneliness, depression, or boredom

from my inbox:

L: “I’m not doing well. I keep starting and failing. I keep starting out in the morning with plans for a new day 1, even get one occasionally, then feel so good, I decide to get some wine. So stupid, I know. I even thought the Solstice to Solstice would be a good marker for me, but nope. I subscribed to more audios from you, have increased treats … but still fall short in the evening with loneliness, depression, or boredom. I was even half hoping I would get my daughter’s cold, so I would quit again, got two weeks in last time, but went backwards again. My doctor prescribed meds to use to get past the cravings, but I’m always afraid to take stuff, so I haven’t tried them. That seems ridiculous too, since I have no problem poisoning myself with wine.. I don’t want to get caught in the thought of, Oh I’ll just wait until the first of the month. I want this to be my day 1 that sticks.. It will be when I get home from work today, and my brain will say, Oh it vacation time, you have a week off, or one more night, which of course there is no such thing! Heavy sigh.”

me: I know that feeling. I’d quit in the morning and then drink at 6 pm. and then repeat. someone told me they had 1000 day 1s (like 3 years worth) and I believed them. and you know what, it’s normal and totally predictable that someone with an anxiety issue would have anxiety about taking the medication 🙂 you can take it anyway, as a trial. you’ve tried other stuff, you haven’t tried this, and it might help. you don’t wait for special days. you want to feel better today so you start now. date of last drink can be today. really. and reach out for more support. if we are booked to talk once a week, you may find it easier to be more accountable and to get the courage to try the other things that will help. ~ hugs from me



shameless commercial link: 
book available in paperback, kindle & audio MP3 versions. www.100daysoberchallenge.com  Available through Gumroad, which means you can pay with a credit card, including AMEX, no paypal required. Electronic files delivered instantly. Get the bundle.

Audio: Misfit

This is a clip from Sober Podcast Episode #207 sent out yesterday to sober podcast subscribers.

~ ~

“I don’t walk in dog shit. I’m taking care of me.” (sent to me by MelMel as a possible bumper sticker)

~ ~

Yes, that’s an actual quote from the podcast. Here’s what happened.

J sent me this: “I often feel like I’m missing out when I see people (my family, etc) enjoying alcohol and having fun. It makes me feel a little sad. Will this go away? How can I change the way I think about it and my feelings around it? I feel like it’s yet another contributor to my being a misfit.”

and my answer, to address our feelings of ‘misfit’ is to engage in a bit of reframing.

You can listen to a clip from this podcast and add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments. You should leave one. Do it today 🙂

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.


If we had to make a bumper stick out of one phrase in this podcast, what would it be?



Download the entire podcast episode #207

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.


Feedback from subscriber:

Alicat (day 184): “I enjoyed this podcast immensely for a couple of reasons.  First reason:  I love hearing you talk about ‘the further you get from Day 1’ because I am now somewhere around Day 180 and nearly everything positive you have predicted has come to pass. I only very occasionally find myself in a jealous state because of the fun others appear to be having while drinking, and when it does pop up it passes very quickly. Sometimes because I leave the situation and take myself elsewhere. Sometimes because ‘fun’ drinking rather quickly becomes embarrassing or awkward drinking, and watching that reminds me how very happy I am to have left those moments behind me. Mostly I am glad to be feeling better (although I am still awfully tired sometimes, which I am attributing to emotional overwhelm) and looking better and waking up healthy. No churning stomach, no awful headache and no shame. Also, I am always keenly aware of where I have left my car. It is truly terrifying to think back on how many times I woke up wondering where it was.

The second reason I enjoyed the podcast: Your wonderful advice about when to stop fucking talking! I do tend to offer more information, or rationalization, or apology than is ever necessary when answering simple questions. I feel an overwhelming need to make others comfortable with whatever stance I happen to be taking at the moment but you are right; probably they really do not care! I know I usually don’t. OMG – so simple.  It is indeed freeing to realize that my doings and decisions really do not matter to most people.  Wheeeee!!!

The third reason I enjoyed the podcast:  Well it was your parting thought on being a misfit.  “So you’re a misfit and who gives a shit?” This has been a growing sentiment for the last few years and especially since about Day 60 of sober living. I have never fit in, and I have never been easy in the company of even the smallest crowd and y’know what? Who gives a shit? So that’s my vote for a bumper sticker: “So you’re a misfit eh? Well who gives a shit?” Good stuff as always Belle.”

Photos: Store Windows

Photography Assignment: Store Windows

The goal for this assignment was to take a photo of a store window.

Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures, this post is now closed to new submissions.



 This post is now closed to new submissions.



big chunk of yesterday’s live audio (limited time)

i don’t normally do this.
in fact, i don’t think i’ve ever done it before…

yesterday i recorded a 2.5 hr live call. it’ll eventually be chunked up and sent out to podcast subscribers.

one thing subscribers get as a bonus is the UNEDITED version of the audios.

and you.
you’ve maybe never heard the unedited version.
and there’s something about the missteps, the fumbling around, the swearing, the reading of the comments, that makes the whole recording seem much more REAL.

so today…

(and i haven’t done this before)

but today
i have posted a large hefty morsel of yesterday’s live call. and i’m going to leave it up for 24 hrs only.

that’ll mean you can listen right now, in 10 minute increments if you must.
and so if you were unable to join us live yesterday, you can get some of that ‘group’ feeling today.

and also.
it’ll give you 1.5 podcasts, live, as they were being recorded.
you can post a comment about being a snake or a starfish …


link has been removed.


out of fairness to podcast subscribers, i’ll leave this up for only 24 hrs.
le hugs from le me



Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


test message for Sunday’s live show

On Sunday, August 6th, I’m going to do a live 2-hour radio show.

In preparation, I turned on my mic and did a test message. I was trying to record a One Minute Message but things went VERY wrong.

Listen now to the little clip about Sunday’s call.


Set your timer.
Sunday August 6th, 2017






August 6th

6 a.m.
8 a.m.

9 a.m.
11 a.m.

2 p.m.
4 p.m.

3 p.m.
5 p.m.

11 p.m.
1 a.m.

When it’s show time, you can listen here > http://mixlr.com/sober-belle/

talk soon,

you’ve tried it for year. now try something else.

this is an extract from podcast SP206 being sent out to podcast subscribers today.

it’s about you wanting to be sober. During a recent live call, D asked me what she could do to be sober, since she’d been trying for a year. here’s my answer to her. This is a 3 minute extract from the podcast (and update, she’s on day 34 today, so something about this answer seems to have worked).



You want a different result. And it’s not that there isn’t support available for us, it’s that we don’t want it. If your thought process isn’t working now like it did before, then you do new things now. You’re going to need different things to get you going. you’ve changed. the elevator only goes down. The time to step off is right now.

This audio is taken from podcast SP206 (the full version of the audio is 24 minutes long).


Download the audio podcast episode 206

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Question: What phrase do you hear in this audio, perhaps as if for the first time – something that makes you think “oh yeah. that.” I’ll select a comment in the next 48 hrs and will send a present. anonymous comments are fine.


sober lunch treats (thank you)


sober lunch, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.



top: smoked fish and pickled fish from the nice Danish restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. with fancy bottled water (also danish imported) and a baby coffee. divine. did not share.


bottom: desserts were from Karamel, new place only open a year, and the dessert on the right is a baby lemon meringue pie. very sweet (literally and figuratively). shared with husband. did not eat all desserts myself.

Tuesday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to ree67!

Happy Day 50 to Fifty & Free!

Happy Day 50 to Sillymelove!

Happy Day 50 to Gracesea!

Happy Day 50 to mich2point0!

Happy Day 100 to Arya!

Happy Day 180 to Hernoodlyness!

Happy Day 180 to Jacci2!

Happy Day 180 to Honeybadger!

Happy Day 180 to Sobersparkles!

Happy Day 180 to Mrs.Wooly!

Happy Day 180 to NatureNancy!

Happy Day 180 to redredwine!

Happy Day 200 to La Sobria!

Happy Day 200 to Bridget!

Happy Day 200 to Blou!

Happy Day 200 to Jazzhands70!

Happy Day 200 to RetiringPartyGirl!

Happy Day 200 to Stefanie!

Happy Day 200 to IngridandMac!

Happy Day 200 to Peewit!

Happy Day 200 to Lavender!

Happy Day 200 to Sheree!

Happy Day 200 to Gina!

Happy Day 200 to Helen!

Happy Day 200 to LunaBlu!

Happy Day 200 to Gomez!

Happy Day 200 to Sings!

Happy Day 200 to ararebird!

Happy Day 200 to mummabear!

Happy Day 300 to Honoring Grace!

Happy Day 300 to Boozy Betty!

Happy Day 300 to A_Sober_Cannibal!

Happy Day 300 to Shannon!

Happy Day 300 to Sisty!

Happy Day 300 to Sohocat!

Happy Day 300 to Ashley!

Happy Day 300 to Grace514!

Happy Day 300 to Indy!

Happy Day 300 to Pwhims!

Happy Day 365 to Bemmy Girl!

Happy Day 365 to BattleMatt!

Happy Day 365 to Maverick!

Happy Day 365 to Molly Jones!

Happy Day 365 to April!

Happy Day 365 to Jaded!

Happy Day 365 to RachelB!

Happy Day 400 to Nomobsing!

Happy Day 400 to Sabrina!

Happy Day 500 to Patten!

Happy Day 500 to KT Web!

Happy Day 600 to ShellMN!

Happy Day 600 to SarahBee!

Happy Day 600 to NSRunner!

Happy Day 600 to mamafergs!

Happy Day 700 to Sooz!

Happy Day 700 to EMJ001!

Happy Day 700 to Lavenderzone!

Happy Day 700 to TickleMeShelmo!

Happy Day 800 to Lilac!

Happy Day 800 to ElizabethDC!

Happy Day 800 to Silver Birch!

Happy Day 800 to Mil!

Happy Day 800 to Seekingpeace!

Happy Day 800 to Yoda!

Happy Day 800 to VTgirl!

Happy Day 800 to MJP!

Happy Day 900 to Sophiesomething!

Happy Day 900 to Rache B!

Happy Day 900 to YogayamagirlJock!

Happy Day 900 to Sea Turtle!

Happy Day 1000 to Junebug!

Happy Day 1000 to Frenchie!

Happy Day 1100 to Fleur!

Happy Day 1100 to Chatsworth!

Happy Day 1100 to Cricket!

Happy Day 1100 to Shar!

Happy Day 1200 to GW!

Happy Day 1200 to JustHadToHaveIt!

Happy Day 1200 to Apprentice Annie!

Happy Day 1200 to ParisienneKnitter!

Happy Day 1200 to Run Dontwine!

Happy Day 1300 to Jacques!

Happy Day 1300 to Rose!

Happy Day 1300 to Santa Cruz!

Happy Day 1300 to Phoebe!

Happy Day 1300 to Doll Face!

Happy Day 1300 to Telling The Words!

Happy Day 1300 to Sherri!

Happy Day 1300 to Lurking with Intent!

Happy Day 1300 to Libby!

Happy Day 1300 to Traci!

Happy Day 1300 to Winkle!

Happy Day 1400 to Jeroen!

Happy Day 1400 to Lucy!

Happy Day 1400 to TipTree!

Happy Day 1400 to Cat Girl!

Happy Day 1500 to Kristi Coulter!

Happy Day 1500 to C How!

Happy Day 1500 to Sarita!

Happy Day 1500 to Ingrid!

Happy Day 1600 to Carrie!

it can’t be that important

if you work in a place with a boozy culture, it can’t be that important to ‘fit in’ that you’ll do something that isn’t what’s best for you.



It can’t be so important to fit in. It just can’t. So you have three choices: you either attend the events and don’t drink, or you don’t attend, or you work somewhere else. And a boozy cruise? I say no to that, hands-down, and here’s why.

This audio is taken from podcast SP204 (the full version of the audio is 20 minutes long).

If you’re not a podcast subscriber, you should be. do that here > http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/store/podcast.subscription.htm


thanks for the judgment [fiction]

quote from the new fiction writing project. this is fiction. this isn’t me, and it isn’t an email from a subscriber 🙂 it’s the internal dialogue of the main character as they imagine what speaking with their boss will be like …

What, quit drinking? Are you high? Drinking is the only thing that’s holding me together right now. To suggest that it’s perhaps the cause of any of this is illogical. You don’t know me. My life is a mess, OK, that’s why I drink. You’d drink too if you knew what I have to deal with. Thanks for the judgement. (No judgement.) Really, you don’t think it’s just a tad judgey to accuse someone of being an alcoholic out of nowhere? (Didn’t say that. Asked if you’d thought to perhaps take a break from the booze to see if it improved anything.)

Like if skip my one glass of wine tonight, my job will magically improve? Yeah, right, that’s logical. And if I don’t drink next Monday, my credit card will be paid off? This whole conversation is stupid. I wanted … oh forget it. I thought you were going to give me a YouTube video about stress in the workplace or something like that. Shit. Really. What I do when I’m not at work, that’s none of your business.


question: did you ever have a conversation like this? with someone else or just in your head?