murdery anger

email from APool (day 28): “Today has been a day when as soon as I woke up I knew I should just go right back to bed! I’m tired and very, very cranky with a huge side of murdery anger. It’s a great combo! PMS IS AWESOME!!!

I have feelings that are right at the front of my brain. I can’t stuff them anywhere because I can’t hide from them with booze. I’m writing this from a bathroom stall in Costco! Perfect place to come to with murdery pms. I need a garden hose and strawberries and then I’m racing home to be alone.

Had to write an email. Been meaning to do it since I woke up so bathroom stall it is haha. ❤️APool”

[update: she’s on day 48 today] 


 

this is exit painting #376 
it goes nicely with everything you own
it matches the other thing you have hanging on your wall.
yes, you’re right, i do think you should have it.

 

life is the train, not the station

email from Katana (day 11):  “I listened to all the podcasts I have on repeat today.  I’m not even sure I was listening to what you were saying.  I just associate your voice with the fact I want to be sober and go from there.
I managed to clean out my entire desk today.  I’ve decided I don’t need one.  All it does is collect shit and then it pisses me off that it is always dirty.  I’m trying to stay away from things that piss me off.  To bad the toddlers don’t get that.
Anyway I’m sober.  Because of naps, chocolate, and repeating podcasts.  Thanks Belle.”

~

email from Smile 9 (day 89): “I listened to your interview with the yoga chap – I have to say I was quite surprised  at the interview and it’s left me thinking about the ‘feeling’ it left me with – thought I would share some of it. I felt he didn’t listen to you and had his own agenda. He sounded commercial and ‘slick’ – made me realise why your message and style for me is so successful, because you are exactly not like that – he was annoying and lightweight and didn’t sound genuinely interested in you or your message – it left me feeling quite empty – and appreciate you more! Of course it could have been a different live experience for you and I may be mistaken but it was quite a strange listen. I was on a train and I was thinking life is the train and not the station. The bottom line for me with this sober lark is making a commitment – any sort of commitment – but a big commitment – ties in with accountability – not just with the sober journey but life and making changes…”

 

 

“I’ll be there”

email from C (not yet a penpal):  “Last night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. I actually slept through until morning (it’s day 55). I simply can’t remember when I had a night’s sleep where I didn’t wake during the night. Can you believe how happy that makes me? ha!! My bargaining time was also around the 3 a.m. mark. I would pray to God, please God I don’t want to drink anymore, Help me to feel better, please don’t let me die. Really, there were times when I felt I had abused my body so badly that my heart might simply give up. The anxiety of it all was desperate. A desperate plea to help me get sober. My journey, I’m sorry to say, is a near on 30 year trek and yes I’m exhausted.
However, something is different this time. It may well be due to the sad news that my husband has been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I could easily attribute my soberness to such sober news and in part I’m sure it is. However, I’m reaching a birthday milestone at the end of the year too and I wanted to do something different, something life affirming. However, my husband’s diagnosis put a hold on any adventures I had in mind, quite rightly paling them into insignificance. But, once again, it was something you said about when you stop drinking everything you do is a new experience (can’t remember your exact quote, maybe that was exact!!). It inspired me to realise that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing this year. This is my life affirming adventure. I know I probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself, and I feel a bit of a jolt and a notable cringe as I even allow myself to think it is possible for me to be free of drink, let alone say it, but there it is, I’ve just said it. And so I think the difference is you, Belle. You know, I’ve never signed up or had any support whatsoever in previous sobriety times and there’s so many bits of advice or ways of looking at things that have helped me get to this stage. I know it’s early days, but I’ve never been sober for this long with this resolve before! The payback that I’m experiencing these last 55 days of sobriety is the sheer beauty of it all. The freedom of knowing that I can say “I’ll be there” or “I’ll do that” with no fear of hangovers getting in the way, resulting in false excuses (I mean lies) because I decided to get obliterated and so now I can no longer function properly and all I want to do is sleep. I have literally been chained to the booze shackles, imprisoned by my own free will … So with all that said, I want to thank you for sending your emails, long may they continue, they give me such strength. I’m sure you know how much you are helping so many people, but I just wanted to say thank you for how much you are helping me.”

 

the business of ‘FUW’

email from Topo Chico (day 28): “Arrived at new work location today. Jet lagged and exhausted, but not hungover. Yay. After paying for dinner last night, the waiter asked me if he could invite me to enjoy a digestif. I almost said yes, not knowing what he meant, but stopped short when he explained further:  alcohol. I said no thanks telling him that I was on business. That’s a solid excuse for respectable folks. (Yeah, I’m on business, the business of Fuck You Wolfie.)”

 

The Lucas Rockwood Show (i’m a guest on his yogabody podcast! not talking about yoga, clearly).

​I was recently on the Lucas Rockwood podcast, talking about quitting drinking and about the booze elevator that only goes down.



I'm also going to send out a copy of the full interview to ​podcast subscribers so that you'll have it in your library ​(episode 298) .

And you can listen to the entire audio here.

​Sober Podcast 298. ​Lucas Rockwood Show

feedback from some of Lucas's listeners:

R: "I listened to your interview on Lucas Rockwood's podcast and a lot of what you said really resonated with me. I remember in my college days taking a women's studies class and we discussed at length the amount of time women - young and old - spend on thinking about things like beauty - how to look better, how to lose weight, etc. And about how much mind space that takes up in our day to day lives and all the things that could occupy that space instead. And so when I heard you speaking about that same situation with drinking, it really got me thinking about how much time I really do think about drinking. It's totally insane! So, I thought I'd just give this a try, test it out, see how I feel. I've done sober months for the past several years (once a year) successfully but when I drink again, I tend to drink too much then suffer from lots of self-loathing for not being able to "drink responsibly." ... Anyway, I wanted to thank you for creating this space for people and to thank you for the kind personal message!"

N: "I heard your words on the Lucas Rockwood show and was 100% inspired ... I’ve been thinking of ‘cutting back’ and have been mentally preparing myself for the journey. Then I saw the email from Lucas about this podcast, thinking of quitting drinking. And you know, everything you said I could relate to. So before it was even done I was on your page! I listened to it yesterday (my time) and haven’t had a drop ... I look forward to your encouragement and honesty. You are a true inspiration, as you don’t sound like one of those fake people (!) who belittle others, which inevitably makes you want to drink! Thank you for sharing your story and experience with the world. I am on my way to a better life all together. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!"

L: "Hi Belle, I purchased your audio book yesterday and listened to the whole thing straight [6 hrs!]. It was just what I needed. Finally made sense that I actually was paying a price for my over drinking. I’m Day 2 and ready to feel healthy again. I heard you on the Yoga Body podcast and was so impressed with your story. Then a week later I really over drank and knew it was time to visit your website and get help. I never realized before how much I was discounting my habit because it wasn’t the "low bottom” story. But when you talk about the elevator of alcohol is always heading down it just clicked. Thank you, Thank you for sharing!"

Download the entire podcast episode here

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)

​if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you can get off and stay off. original sober art thanks to mr.belle. this is Exit #360.

[Audio] Rowing

Ever want to quit something really badly, like soccer or piano or rowing, and have a coach/teacher reach out, pluck you from the darkness, and say “you’ll be fine”?

This is the subject of a brand new podcast (episode 295) sent to ​​podcast subscribers.

​In this audio, you'll hear me talk about ​​learning to row when I was 27 years old and how that relates to being sober. 

Which is to say, it’s about anxiety, the power of having someone tell you that you’re fine, and what good coaching can do for us.

​Here's a clip of the podcast.

Extract from ​Sober Podcast 295. ​Rowing

You can ​leave a comment below, ​and tell me: Do you have an experience with coaching in your life that was helpful? Or a time when someone could have done something to smoothen things out for you, but didn’t? 

​Download the ​podcast SP295 - Rowing

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)

​If alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, then you can exit. Get off and stay off. Sober art thanks to my lovely husband, Mr.Belle 🙂

​This is painting #348.
more here > www.artsober.com

reckless. unconscious. unproductive. easily agitated.

 E-Z (day 10) : “Hey Belle, really enjoyed the audio lesson i listened to today. Your voice is really comforting and relatable, which is really nice considering quitting drinking is usually a touchy matter!

Anyways, I realized that I don’t like the person I am when I drink. I’m reckless, unconscious, unproductive, and easily agitated. I’ll also ramble on until the cows come home if you let me. The thing I think I hate most, though, is the guilty feeling that creeps into the backdrop whenever alcohol is in one’s system. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

So, I think the version of the story I’ll tell people is that I am making my health more of a priority in my life, and right now that doesn’t involve alcohol. After a while if they ask if I’m still not drinking I’ll just say alcohol was never really for me. Because, really, who is it for?

Best, E-Z”

 


Exit 349

sometimes the sign doesn’t say exit, it says “way out” – find your way out of the booze elevator. it’s time.
ORIGINAL PAINTING #349
http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/original-art/

who says productive is the goal?

email from Little Miss M (day 81): “I’m sick – yuck. I hadn’t been feeling well the past week but it finally knocked me out where I spent most of yesterday and today in bed. I hate spending days sick in bed because I feel like I’m wasting time when I should be doing something productive. But I know I have to take care of myself by taking the downtime for my body to fight whatever it is I’ve got. But anyway. Another sober weekend in the books!! Hoping to feel better tomorrow.”

me: haha. thanks wolfie for giving you a hard time that even when sick you can’t rest because it’s not productive 😉 who said productive was the goal? if you’re not feeling great, you take care of you. it’s a forced situation. I think the universe is telling you something 🙂

Little Miss M: “Belle I love your comment *who said productive was the goal?* I guess I never thought of that. In my mind productive is always the goal because if you’re not being productive, then you get nowhere and going nowhere is definitely not the goal. When I was drinking and hungover and I felt too awful to be productive, I used that as an excuse to give myself “downtime”. Now that I’m no longer drinking and hungover, I need to find other healthy reasons to allow myself to have downtime because a run down, sick person also goes nowhere. Just something I need to work on…” [update : she’s on day 89 today]

 


Exit 348

this is from the original set of paintings Mr.Belle did back in August 2018, from the folder that i went into, and pulled out a painting and posted it… This is one of the ones that he never thought anyone would see…  (also with multiple exits on it). if you’re a true collector, you’ll need one of these ‘early’ ones. hahaha. ok, that sounds cheesy even to me …
ORIGINAL PAINTING #348
http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/original-art/

boundaries & control

Didi (day 46) says: “One thing I really battle with is worrying about what is my stuff and what is not – I spend my time worrying about trying to control, hold, sort out other people’s shit … Are we boozers just control freaks? … I remember hearing something you said – you’re right audio has a wonderful way of getting in our heads the way reading doesn’t! Thanks Belle.”

And so i’ve put together the “worry about your own shit” sober podcast bundle with 4 full audios and 2 tiny audios:

SP081 Control: relationship between drinking and control issues and anxiety; what are the things you can control, and the things that you can’

SP103 Boundaries: i’m doing this to take care of ME, you say. i’m learning how to say no

SP141 Can I drink again later? What to tell yourself when your brain acts up with ideas of future drinking

RA003 Who’s Going to Help Me? You know this feeling, it’s the parent who flaps around the house saying, I have to do everything myself. Why doesn’t anybody help me. And it’s the person who wants to make something for Christmas for her kids, but she starts it Christmas Eve, and she’s saying why isn’t anybody helping me, when everyone else has gone to bed.

~

OMM020 Boundaries: there are toxic people around you, there is shit-pouring. you need an umbrella. how do you get one? [clearly this one needs a language warning]

and a 2-minute clip from SP187 – Take Care of You (this is not the whole podcast, just an extract) – what does it mean to ‘take care of yourself’?

 


 

if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you can get off and stay off. artsober.com

how being sober is like making rhubarb muffins …

from me
yesterday i made rhubarb muffins that didn’t come out as i’d expected. I had a perfect vision in my mind: good texture sort of like a cupcake but loose like a muffin, sweet but not too sweet, tangy rhubarb, streusel topping.
i had a perfect vision in my mind of quitting drinking: i’d put the cork in the bottle, fill my days with knitting and triathlons and i’d finally defrost my freezer.
i was sort of winging the recipe for the muffins, i took my favourite way to do something that i already know (blueberry muffins) and thought i’ll just stick some rhubarb compote in the middle of the batter. you know, raw dough, rhubarb jammy stuff, more raw dough, then bake. that’ll work, right?
i was sort of winging my quitting drinking. i didn’t read up on it, i just tried to give it up. didn’t ask for help, didn’t see what anyone else had done. didn’t think about how quitting drinking without ACCOUNTABILITY was going to leave me alone in my head.
so i bake the muffins, they swell up in the pan (ok, that’s easy, i can put in less batter next time). and then the rhubarb starts to leak out. (ok, i can deal with that.)
so i tried to quit drinking, alone in my head, i got 5-7-9 days and then fell over. i was certain i wasn’t ‘addicted’ so why was it so hard to quit? oh you mean i have to ask someone for support and accountability. no thanks. i’d rather fall over again. really? no. but really?
the muffins come out of the oven. smell good. a bit leaky. fine. then i go to take one out of the pan.
and the top comes off.
the top of the muffin separates from the base.
why?
because there’s a layer of wet jam there, too thick, created layers, the top never stuck down.
does it sound like quitting drinking? are you tired of having your head come off?
are you tired of thinking about drinking?
get a cookbook, watch a video.
then check with an actual someone who’s done it before, see what they think will work.
then try that. [listen to this message as an audio]

 


 

Where are they now?

this painting available
{sold}
Paris
{sold} 
England
{sold}
New York
{sold} 
Ontario
{sold}
Iowa

click to see more sober / recovery art