Emergency Message. Read When Required.

Right this minute you feel like giving up. You feel like it’s not worth it, being sober isn’t going to make you feel any better, you feel like the craving is too strong. Right now you feel like giving up. There’s a voice in your head that tells you that drinking is a good idea (which it isn’t). You have a voice in your head that lies to you and tells you that some of your life problems will be fixed with alcohol (which is not true). In fact some of your life problems will be made worse with alcohol. I wanted to make something that you could read when you are right at a place where things seem particularly difficult, so I could talk some sense into you 🙂 So that I could reach out to you directly. But of course, what I realized is that because you’re here reading this, that means that you don’t want to drink. Because you are here looking for a sober tool to convince you that drinking is not a good idea. You come to this emergency, rescue email, the one with some clever title like “I’m about to drink right now, help,” and I’m going to say that I know that you don’t want to drink because you’re reading this. Because you stopped, and you clicked this message to open it, and you’re here reading it. This is you, listening to somebody telling you, “You know what? You maybe feel like drinking. You may. You may well feel like drinking. I suggest that you wait until tomorrow and see how you feel then. You don’t relapse on a fuck-it moment. You wait and make sure that you’re going to feel like this, that you really feel that this is a real, true, real, real feeling, really, really. Will you feel this way tomorrow? Probably not. And so it would be a terrible, shitty waste to drink today if you’re not going to feel like this tomorrow. So what I suggest Is that you go to tomorrow, and see how you feel then. But I also want to remind you that you being here tells me that you don’t want to drink. And I’ll support that. [listen to this as an audio]

there is a great 1-minute video of this painting at top of the page here.

Special Edition ‘Flag’ Painting

Special edition ‘flag’ painting – Way Out

Welcome Lurkers (Part 1)

I recently received a series of emails from lurkers (silent readers, non-reacher-outers), and in a new podcast, I reply to a few of them with longer, detailed responses. 

The complete audio recording is over an hour long, and split into two parts, and was recently sent to podcast subscribers.

​In this extract from Part 1, I talk about the feeling of being determined on day 1 (or 10), and how that feeling of being determined isn’t enough to be long-term sober. You need some other things that I talk about in this audio. 

​Here's a clip where you can listen to a 3-minute extract from the podcast. ​To download the entire​ 25-minute audio from part 1, you can use the download link below.

extract from Sober Podcast 285. ​Welcome Lurkers Part 1

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine ... or send me an email.​

​Download ​SP285. Welcome Lurkers Part 1​

Sign up for the ​podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

​Step 1. Exit.
​Step 2. Stay (stay here, stay focussed, stay true to you).
​Step 3. Potential. Look around you. See the possibilities.

​This is painting #322 here.

the idea of one or two glasses is bullshit

email from P: “I have been around for a while now with the usual ups and downs. Although more recently the wolf has taken a new path. It really is like little red riding hood being fooled by a wolf in disguise. I have been convinced that if I have a drink late in the evening then I don’t have time to drink much. I take great pleasure in telling people I only have a glass or maybe two in the evening. But I don’t really. I now see the slippery slope and that i have been fooled yet again by that little old lady who smiles and says ‘just one dear’.

Why oh why did I not see the long snout and sharp teeth and ugly sneer? I have always thought little red riding hood must have been a blind idiot not to see what was going on right in front of her. But now I have more empathy.

Just like others, I have ignored advice … I just dropped all my tools and opened not one of your emails, apart from today!

I don’t feel at rock bottom like I have, I am not as far down the elevator as I have been but I can see which way I am heading.

I have suddenly noticed the wolf disguise and realised that it’s a really shit one. I am thinking about drinking, and i now know that the idea of one or two glasses is bullshit. Thanks for just having an email address that allows me to even tell this shit xx.”


Gift from me today:
listen to this short interview with Emma Barnett on BBC Radio ‘5 Live’


for the One Minute Message Cards.

there will be no late joining: 
Once I start to mail these, I am not ​​able to add new people later. I’d be too confusing. Everyone gets the same thing every month. Which means we all start together. Now. Like today.

Yoda (day 1149): “There is something about acquiring something tangible that can be accessed without any electronic intervention, or any need to go to the other room or explain why you’re putting your headphones on, just some small nearly invisible talisman that keeps you tied to your own hope perhaps? My bracelet arrived the day after I came back from crazy beach vacation. Usually I get the mail, today Mr. Yoda did. He yelled up the stairs ‘hey, who is Belle Robertson from France?’ Since he knows little to nothing about you and I happened to be awake enough to think quickly I yelled back ‘the lady I get my bracelets from.’ He said ‘well, she loves you.’ Guess he read your note on the back.”

>> cards here <<

Every month for 6 months you’ll get an envelope in the mail, and in that envelope will be two cards AND one photo. Small messages (one-minute messages actually), transcribed, printed, and laminated. Just for you. And I’ll adjust the timing each month, so you won’t know exactly when it’s coming …​ go here and get one of the last sets.

madly off in all directions

So in Canada we have an expression, it’s called being madly off in all directions. And actually it probably has a British origin, but the premise is like this: Madly off in all directions means that your brain will ask you to do 100 things at once, and will LIE to you, and tell you they all have EQUAL importance. Madly off in all directions means you run this way, and that way, and this way, and that way, and you never really get anywhere. It looks like you’re doing stuff, but really, you’re just sort of running around like a chicken with its head cut off (which is another good expression). The madly off in all directions thing, though, can wind you up and make drinking seem like a good idea, if you buy into it. So this is when I talk about you NOT stating to make applesauce at 10:30 pm … If you have a brain that suggests that you begin a bunch of things and then drop them, and then begin some more things and then drop them, and then look like you’re busy, but not really—you can remember that wolfie likes to wind you up so that drinking might seem like a good idea, and that your job is to disengage from that. And to strive for underwhelm rather than overwhelm. [listen to this as an audio]


email from happygal (day 25): “For many months, I have wanted to move our treadmill from the garage (where it rarely gets used by me- because we live in FL and it’s typically hot as monkey nuts, plus it’s a GARAGE and, like, spiders and mosquitoes). So, this past week, in an uncharacteristically Happygal way, I PUSHED. I made my case and I pushed for what I wanted.
     The treadmill now has a home in our office near a large window! I used it today 🙂 In ADDITION, the framing store called that my Exit painting is ready. I asked my husband to pick it up while he ran errands. He said he would and then asked me what the painting was and I explained that this paining was done by an incredible artist in Paris and is personally meaningful to me because it represents letting go of things that are bad for me and being personally strong in my convictions (note that I didn’t mention alcohol yet, as I’m still in early sobriety). Husband asked where I want to hang it and I said, “Not sure, I’m thinking maybe a wall in my closet … Husband then said, “Why don’t we hang it in the office, since you will be in there more and we’ve moved things around – that way we can all see it, everyday?” Wonderful idea, husband, wonderful idea 🙂 hugs xo”

new years 2019 compilation audio

new years 2019

so i have a short audio with a collection of voices for you … people from all around the world, readers of my daily emails, sober folks (and sober hopefuls), everyone coming together to make a compiled, mosaic of good feelings 🙂 I think you’ll like it. it’ll make you smile. press play. see the big blue button? you can’t miss it. free. press play. it’ll start just like that!


you can get some more support, starting today 

I have a 5-part audio series to help with the beginning part of being sober
$10 US (about £8 GBP)

In these audios, I talk about getting started, how to THINK about the idea of quitting drinking, advice on tools and supports, and we’ll talk about how to get ready to begin (and how to keep going if you’re already going).

If booze is an elevator that only goes down, it’s time to find the exit.

Exit → Exist [audios for lurkers, sober-curious, not sure sobriety is for you] > Sign up here.

huglets from me.me


you can listen to this radio interview

a few months ago I was interviewed on the radio in Australia (in Melbourne). the ‘green room’ where they make you wait before you go live, it actually had green painted walls.

we talked about sober things (of course) but also about how stories can help us feel not-so-alone. for today’s gift (day 28!), i wanted to share some of the transcript of the interview, AND I’ll put in a link below where you can PRESS PLAY and listen to the complete interview.



When I started the blog (tired of thinking about drinking) it’s because I knew that I couldn’t be sober on my own. I wanted to quit for a month — that was my original goal — and on my own, I could quit for 7 or 9 days, and then I would think: “well, drinking is everywhere, I’ll just drink, what’s the big deal.”

I started to read other sober blogs — I didn’t even know they existed  — and once I found one, I thought “this is really interesting, there are lots of other NORMAL people out there, who quit drinking, who don’t have particularly low bottoms, and they just decide that drinking doesn’t suit them …”

link to original sober art, thanks to mr.belle

this is ‘exit’ painting #286 here
that means that 285 (ish) other paintings have already been mailed out all over the world. if you don’t have one, you might need one. i’m just saying…

Christmas Audio

In this special Christmas edition of the podcast that i've just sent out to ​podcast subscribers, i talk about how to avoid getting too wound up, the things that children remember, and how to deal with attending a dinner where host is an over-drinker. 

Oh, and a good reminder, that needs to go on a t-shirt, which is: You don’t need to engage with every idiot.

I also mention Sober Party Bingo > use this link (the 10 rules for sober party bingo are about half-way down the post)

As a gift today, I am going to post the full 50 minute audio here, and leave it up until December 26th. You can begin to listen now, in 10 minute increments, even if you are not a podcast subscriber.

happy merry to you. may you have good food, good moods, and one gift that makes you smile. and a lot of sleep. and a treat for doing this sober thing. it's hard work. it's worth doing. it suits you.​

Audio will be available until December 26th. Listen now.​

[ link removed ]

​Bonus Sober Podcast C18. Christmas 2018​

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine, and tell me if there's anything that stands out for you ​​... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

​Download C18. ​Christmas 2018​

Sign up for the ​podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

​sober art thanks to mr.belle, this is painting #282 here.

is it everyone around you? or is it you?

Here’s what I know about the voice in our head that says
'Drink Now' 

It likes to make us focus on other people
And other people’s problems
Instead of ourselves
I can’t be sober because he isn’t
I can’t be sober because they aren’t


I can’t be sober because my job is too hard
Because my husband still drinks
Because I have an autistic child
I can’t be sober because of other reasons
External to me

You’ve heard thoughts like this before
What you may not know is that
It’s all Wolfie
It’s all the voice that says
'Drink Now'
Distracting you
From you taking care of you
Which is the goal

So just for today
When you find yourself focussing on what someone else is or isn’t doing
Stop for a second and wonder
Is this Wolfie, winding me up
So that drinking will seem like a good idea?

Because if it is
Then you're on to his shit ...


this is 'exit' painting #276 here in chinese (mandarin)
(yes, the tree decorated now!)

AP: "this paitning ​​hopeful. Like the calm after the storm where the sun starts to peak through the clouds. It’s very calm and serene. The mandarin reminding me that I’m entering foreign territory ie being sober."

snickerdoodle: ​"​​​This one appeals to me more for whatever reason. What I see looking at this is restoration. Scraping off decades of layers of paint to find and restore the beauty of the original wood piece."

​Inspired: "I see the sun rising on a day where the clouds are lifting and the sky is clearing to a beautiful blue hue of hope."

tierrazul: ​"​In number 276 I actually see the person leaving the elevator - pretty cool."

newme50: "​I do see a peaceful beach, but it's not an "Up North" beach like I'm used to. It's more of a Miami Beach vibe with the turquoise and coral hues. The beaches we visit in Michigan have deep blue water, dark green pine trees and gray rocks alongside the sandy beaches. It's all beautiful to me though definitely a different feel about them."

TS: "276 looks like what I see when looking out a rainy window. Beyond the blur, our exit has always been there."

C: "​I see a calm Hawaiian daybreak where the sun is rising and the ocean is still a gentle blue against an even gentler blue sky and soft sand. A new beginning. A completely new view and fresh horizon. Exit the old. Seize the new. Step out of the habits of the past. Begin again."

Alana: "276 reminds me of my childhood on a sailboat or catamaran in the gulf of mexico, no phone or technology to keep me occupied, just me daydreaming, sleepy from the sun, watching the colors of the ocean shift from the sun and the waves."


​link to original sober art, here

AA Evangelists [audio]

There is sometimes tension between people who go to AA and people who don't.

Me, i'm not fussy, if you're long-term sober, it doesn't matter what you're doing, so long as it's working. Meetings or no meetings.

But I got this email from Emsyface asking for more clarification: “​Can you could talk about the tension between people who attend AA, and other approaches to being sober. There’s always this unspoken tension between a family member and me because I don’t do AA, like I’m in disagreement or something.”

In this full-length podcast audio, I talk about how to have an open mind when considering being sober, how it feels to be sitting on this side of the microphone ... and even if you think this topic has NOTHING to do with you, you'll be glad you listened.

there's something in here for you.

​This is a brand ​​new podcast (episode 279) that is going out later this week ​to podcast subscribers.

​I'm posting a link to the entire audio, and I'll leave it up for 48 hrs so that you can listen right now. 

[ link removed ]

​Sober Podcast 279. ​AA Evangelists

​Links mentioned in the audio:

  • Micro-email sent out with the title "I wish I had gotten ​arrested" > link
  • Ranty Belle podcasts > link to part 1, link to part 2
  • Dry Drunk podcast > link
  • Original Art Page > link

You can ​​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. ​Have you been to AA? What part of it was helpful for you?

​Podcast subscribers will receive a copy of this audio #279 later this week.

Sign up for the ​podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

Update from London 2018

This is a brand new podcast (episode 273) going out today to podcast subscribers.

Recorded this ​new podcast on the train coming home from London, so the audio quality is a bit weird.

I'm also experimenting with recording and then not editing. Just letting it end up 'however' — I think this may encourage me to record more often, if i'm less worried about the right microphone or whatever.

We'll see 🙂 work in progress... everything is like everything.

I've posted the entire audio and I'll leave it up for 48 hrs. ​Listen now.

[ link removed ]

​Sober Podcast 273. ​London 2018

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. ​

Question: Would you come to a meetup if i held one in your nearest major city? Would you come and eat homemade cinnamon doughnuts and chat? ​

 To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

​Download ​SP273.  London 2018​

Sign up for the ​podcast membership
(1-2 new full-length audios each ​week, you can cancel whenever you like ... but you won't. more sober tools = good)

​This is original Exit painting #253. If booze is an elevator that only goes down, it's time to exit. here's the reminder you can hang on your wall.