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here’s what my worktable looks like this morning

update from me

so last night i had to get out of bed at 11 pm and go online and order more mints.

you see, i thought 19 packages of mints would be plenty. i had 20 to start, then gave one to a client in canada. so ok, starting with 19.

i send out the email to you about the new anti-wolfie mints at 8:45 pm my time and by 11 pm i was up and at my desk. emailing the fancy mint store’s customer service, “i know the site says you’re sold-out but can you get me more by saturday” and they said yes.

phew.

so here’s what my worktable looks like this morning.
look at all of your stuff 🙂

on the left, the big white envelopes are books for doctors
the skinny brown ones on top are orchid necklaces
and the lumpy packages on the right are tins of anti-wolfie mints
all going into the mail this morning…

I’m just resting my eyes [fiction]

quote from yesterday’s writing session [fiction]:

The teacup of brown liquid.

You break so many glasses that you have resorted to buying cheap crap now, and this pink flowered teacup came from the Salvation Army store, where you can get 10 cups for two bucks. The liquid itself is coffee liqueur that you may have borrowed from the restaurant kitchen. Perhaps it was to make the stacked-crepe-as-cake recipe. Or perhaps it was to drink. You always bring a cup of something to bed with you, so that you can sip right up until you close your eyes. For no good reason, really. It’s not like you’re going to enjoy it, it’s not like there’s any ‘fun’ to be had in bed with the lights off, the cup to your lips, your eyes closed already (I’m just resting my eyes, you say).

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

~

Question: did you drink in bed (past-tense)? did you have any idea (at the time) why you were doing it? or was it just “something you did…”

Audio: “My therapist is an ass-hat” (response)

This is Sober Podcast Episode #188 for my weekly sober podcast series.

ok, so I sent out an email recently where someone was worried about their therapist. and I said something sweet+kind, like “maybe your therapist is a nice person, but she doesn’t understand this boozing thing.”

then I got this in my inbox swiftly afterwards:  Wanda: “That therapist is a full-of-shite asshat and she DOESN’T mean well; she’s incompetent and a self-absorbed, ego-driven fuckwit with no ability to empathize who is a danger to her clients. C’mon, where’s Ranty Belle today? … There are a ton of these certified fuckwits out there therapy-ing people to death with their bull-shite theories and irresponsible advice. [Grabs virtual cardboard and felt pens, makes crude sign, runs to Courthouse to chant with other concerned netizens: We Want Ranty Belle! Show Us Your Ranty Belle! Give Us Our Ranty Belle!]”

and so after that, I had to record a full length podcast in reply … how could I not 🙂

Below i’ve posted the first 3 minutes of the podcast. if you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

HOMEWORK:
What would you say to a therapist who encouraged you to ‘keep drinking’ …

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 188

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.

Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Nixie!

Happy Day 50 to Birdsetfree!

Happy Day 50 to Mia!

Happy Day 50 to Hallacious!

Happy Day 50 to Sobriety Shingles!

Happy Day 50 to Nicola!

Happy Day 50 to MsMay!

Happy Day 50 to KittyKate!

Happy Day 50 to Oriole!

Happy Day 100 to Wafflehousemomma!

Happy Day 100 to AverageJoe!

Happy Day 100 to Bug June!

Happy Day 180 to Undrunken Dan!

Happy Day 180 to SoberinVa!

Happy Day 180 to Jaylee!

Happy Day 180 to MrsRoberts!

Happy Day 180 to Mindful Monica!

Happy Day 200 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 200 to MelMel!

Happy Day 200 to Wynn!

Happy Day 200 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 200 to Mamahope!

Happy Day 200 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 300 to Genie!

Happy Day 300 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 365 to Rasberrikiss! 

Happy Day 400 to Dry Ginger!

Happy Day 500 to Auds!

Happy Day 800 Jenuhful!

Happy Day 847 to Faye858!

Happy Day 900 to FunCar13!

Happy Day 900 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 900 to Mahatma JoJo!

Happy Day 955 to Joannie!

Happy Day 1000 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 1000 to Festie!

Happy Day 1100 to Sharlotte!

Happy Day 1100 to SanFranSober!

Happy Day 1100 to Mizgabz!

Happy Day 1200 to Jessi!

Happy Day 1300 to Denise!

Happy Day 1300 to Hazeleyes!

Happy Day 1400 to Jenisthesoberist!

Sober Photography (or Art) Project: Assignment #27

Time for a new sober photography project! to participate, you can be a photographer, or a painter or a artist of some kind … Time to dust off the camera, and get ready to photograph, draw or paint something lovely…

If you’re new to the blog, you can learn more about the idea of having a sober hobby here. See the results from previous projects here.

This is open for anybody, you don’t have to be a fancy ass photographer. No inner critic allowed. Are you ready?

Assignment #27 … Store Windows

Take a picture of a store window, any store selling anything. 

  • DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 28th @ 12 noon Eastern. Yes, a short deadline. The longer the deadline, the more likely we are to procrastinate, oui?
  • The format is open: for photos, you can use your camera phone or a nice camera. For drawings, paintings, just take a picture (or scan) and email to me.
  • The project must be original, and produced AFTER the assignment is received (like, no going through past pictures taken, it has to be new).
  • If you suck at photo adjustments or cropping, send it anyway with a note that you’d like me to adjust.
  • Send as LARGE a file size as you can manage (up to 12MB per image).  Don’t reduce for size.  the bigger the better.
  • Um, you have to be sober …
  • One entry per person per assignment (think of the size of my inbox!)

NOTE: Find something and take a picture. It’ll turn out better than you think it will. This is a fun project, you remember fun right? I learned all about fun by doing this with Christina.

THIS IS NOT A CONTEST. This is a fun thing. Just take a photo. Just have fun.

Here’s an example of a store window photo to get you started.

 

christmas store window, melbourne

hugely irritating people [fiction]

quote from saturday’s writing session [fiction]:

The manager of the restaurant is a guy named Steve with floppy blond hair, his wallet in his front pocket, and by the looks of things he doesn’t wear underwear, some long bits down one side. He also could do with a good eyebrow wax. Linda, the daytime head waitress has slept with him, apparently. Though that’s not saying much, she had also made out with the pastry chef in the walk-in cooler. Thus far, she’s not interested in you.

Steve is watching you. He is smoking at the back door.

You have the usual exchange: you’re late, sorry my alarm didn’t go off and I had my kid this morning, you don’t have a kid, I overslept, no you didn’t, it won’t happen again, it’s happening more and more.

“If anything, you’re trending downward,” he says.

Speaking of trending downward, tuck in your dick. You think this, you don’t say it. You’re not that stupid. Though to be fair, you may still be drunk. Suddenly this strikes you as hilarious, what if you DID say it. What if you spent all of today, just for one day, saying ALL of the things that you think, about all of the fucking hugely irritating people, the prep cook who drinks vodka from a plastic water bottle all day, the pastry chef with her gayness turned up to volume eleven, the hostess with her fishnet tights (in this weather?), the guy who sits at table 104 every afternoon and orders the same fucking thing every time. Jambalaya. And he wants the same waitress every time (Jessica, of the big red lips). What if you said everything. Every fucking thing. Starting with Steve: Please, do us all a favour, buy some underwear.

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

~

Question: How irritated were you when you were drinking (past-tense)… Did you have a moment (or twelve) of saying things when hungover that should have been left unsaid? Share a brief line or two. I need ideas for the story…

Audio: Take Care of You

This is Sober Podcast Episode #187 for my weekly sober podcast series.

In this audio, i try to answer the question sent to me by a penpal: “what does it mean to take good care of yourself?”

and at first i thought it was an unusual question, until i tried to really define what I mean by ‘take good care of you’.

in this podcast, I talk about food court rice and vegetables, how to ‘take the edge off,’ and seaside hotels in thailand.

When you download the full audio, you’ll also hear the unedited version, where there is a dog barking, the dinner timer goes off, hints of what i put in chili, and a side conversation about snuggles where I talk myself into a corner and then i have to back my way out … All of these things are missing from the ‘proper’ version of the audio.

Below i’ve posted the first 3 minutes of the podcast. if you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

HOMEWORK:
If you were just coming home from the hospital, what would you do to take care of you?

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 187

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.

Monday Celebration Roundup

Happy Day 50 to Frog!

Happy Day 50 to Golden Pond!

Happy Day 50 to Mack!

Happy Day 50 to SusanMarie!

Happy Day 50 to GaGalGoingDry!

Happy Day 100 to Cowboy!

Happy Day 100 to Goldie!

Happy Day 100 to TimShel!

Happy Day 100 to Julianne!

Happy Day 100 to Springer!

Happy Day 180 to Peaceable J!

Happy Day 180 to LizzyTish!

Happy Day 180 to SarahJune31!

Happy Day 200 to Gem64!

Happy Day 200 to Bruna!

Happy Day 200 to Princess Buttercup!

Happy Day 300 to TJS!

Happy Day 300 to Poppy!

Happy Day 300 to Topo Chico!

Happy Day 300 to Ruby!

Happy Day 365 to HollyKate!

Happy Day 400 to Miss Kell!

Happy Day 400 to Jessee!

Happy Day 400 to Reenie!

Happy Day 400 to Imara!

Happy Day 500 to KLC!

Happy Day 500 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 600 to JP!

Happy Day 600 to Thirsty Iris!

Happy Day 700 to Cal!

Happy Day 800 to cheaton!

Happy Day 800 to Monty!

Happy Day 800 to TK!

Happy Day 900 to MelP!

Happy Day 900 to The Solstice Guy!

Happy Day 1000 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1100 to Sarah72!

Happy Day 1200 to Julie-Joy’s Dad!

Happy Day 1200 to Isabel!

Happy Day 1300 to TheFun4!

Happy Day 1300 to Terence!

Happy Day 1300 to Clear Eyed Girl!

Happy Day 1300 to Tim!

Happy Day 1807 to me! (that’s 1,355 bottles of wine not consumed… oh my god)

lurching stomach [fiction]

quote from friday’s writing session [fiction]:

It’s snowing in a kind of February hell-weather way, that mix of rain and snow and freezing rain and misery. They always make light snow look so nice on television, flakes gently wafting, deep purple sky, Christmas lights. The reality is something else entirely. The sleigh bells and the ads and the nice lighting? They’re missing out on the stained boots, the chapped hands, the aftermath. It’s always good in a glossy magazine. It’s almost never good in real life.

You walk to work – from the apartment, to the laundry, then onward to the restaurant. It’s shorter to take the bus, but the idea of being caged in with a lurching stomach isn’t appealing. You eat some of the breakfast sandwich, to see how it goes down. Not well. Some of the coffee. Walking. You need this time to walk, to be outside, to have any possible, minor, slight hope of clearing your head before you arrive at work, arrive at the place that is loud and hot and anxious.

~

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep going; don’t discount the power of community, of reaching out, supporting and being supported*

about to give up

from my inbox:

L: “I’m seriously about to give up on trying to be sober. I have been struggling since 2009 – when I first went to rehab. Since then I got married and had a beautiful baby boy and didn’t drink for about two years. When my son was about a year and a half I started drinking again at social events and it quickly got out of hand. I snowballed fast and hit lots of rock bottoms. Last weekend was my worst – I drove after going to an event all day where I was drinking. I was blacked out. I got behind the wheel blacked out and tried to drive to my old friend’s house … all while my wonderful husband and sweet boy slept innocently in our home. I was out doing bad things. I have the worst anxiety. I thought that was my break through “aha” moment. But no. I drank yesterday at a baby shower then took an uber to a pub near my house and drank alone bc we have no booze in the house. I’ve been going to rehab after work 4 days a week. I don’t know why I can’t even get ten days recently. I’ve never been this bad. Or sad about everything. I have a great life and I’m ruining it with drinking.

Your podcasts are so inspiring and I can relate so much to you and what you say … I wish I wasn’t wired this way and/or I knew how to rewire permanently. I’m so fed up. I don’t know I am just venting but felt like I needed to actually send this to someone. You are amazing. I wish I had 1/4 if your strength and outlook. Thanks for making me feel like I am not completely alone.”

me: my lovely, don’t confuse my strength and outlook with anything other than being sober. I’m not some special creature. I’m a fucked up human like everyone else. I just happen to have quit drinking. 

and you can do that too. and you can kick some major ass once you quit (for real). 

that you don’t yet know how to get there, doesn’t mean it’s not possible – it means you don’t have the right tools and accountability (yet). 

so here’s what I’d suggest (and I’m not a counsellor, and you should ignore me):

  • 2 weeks of anti-anxiety medication + antabuse for 6-9 months
  • daily accountability to someone (me, sponsor, therapist)
  • weekly one-on-one meetings with someone who’s a booze specialist (me,
    sponsor, therapist)
  • continue with your outpatient treatment
  • sign up for my jumpstart class so that we can be daily penpals, and then
    email me 4 times a day to begin.
  • remove the booze from your home.
  • do not socialize outside the home for the first 6 weeks. going to a baby shower is asking to drink. I have a high bottom and I didn’t socialize outside the home more than 2-3 times in the first 6 weeks, I was too afraid to drink and I didn’t want a new day 1. 

if booze is an elevator that only goes down, then you stop off now. right now. whatever it takes. there is support for you. but as a group, us boozers, we suck at asking for it. support is right there. you have a brain that says it isn’t. your brain is incorrect.

if you do the jumpstart class, then we’re penpals, then  you can set up calls with me once a week for 6 weeks, that might help get you going. and a trial of antabuse + of anti-anxiety medication for the first for the first week (or too) might be really helpful, too.

I know you don’t WANT to do any of this. but you want to be sober. so you do some new things now. and get away from day one.

again. please ignore me. I don’t know you. I don’t know if your situations is truthfully expressed (or if it’s worse or better than what you describe). I can just talk about what I’ve seen in my inbox from other penpals. all i know is that you’ll need tools + support + accountability. and more of it than you think you ‘should’ need. hugs from me

L: “Belle, thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I read your email over and over and I couldn’t believe you were so responsive and real.  You gave me hope when I was seriously ready to give up on this whole sobriety thing. I emailed you 10 days ago.  I have 10 days sober today. I am so grateful for these ten days. I know I’ve had more time in the past and 10n doesn’t sound like a lot (hmm, I think that’s wolfie telling me that)  but this time around 10 days seems like a fucking long time. I am grateful for each one of them. The urges are definitely not as strong, but I need to stay on top of this and use these tools every single day. Actually every minute of the day. Because I know this shit can sneak up on me and come out of nowhere and tell me I can have one.

But screw you wolfie! Screw you alcohol! I am over you and getting stronger everyday, and quieting the voices slowly.  I am going to sign up for your jumpstart class this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. As far as your suggestions, thank you! I am on medication and I think they are starting to kick in … I’ve cancelled every commitment and social event that has been on the calendar and am ready to turn down any that come up. I simply can not even be in the room as it.  I can’t thank you enough for your support. I’ll be in touch this weekend when I sign up. Thank you, thank you!”