this is for you (re: anthony bourdain)

the truth is
i've been feeling off all week. this thing with anthony bourdain has occupied my thoughts quite a bit. what a fucking tragedy this is.
and i've been waiting, as i often do, to know what i think before i speak.

i know this.

we have a head that lies to us and feeds us misinformation.
we often aren't aware of that, and think that the voice is 'true' or 'real'.
we add alcohol to that and then voice is very loud, dark and insistent.

His gilfriend's friend, Rose McGowan, wrote:
Bourdain reached out for help before his death, “yet he did not take the doctor’s advice.”

this is the part that flattened me, i think.

that for whatever reason, he couldn't hear the thing:

you have a voice in your head that lies to you. it tells you to drink. it tells you it won't get better.

you could remove the alcohol and see what happens to that voice.
and if you can't remove the alcohol easily, or on your own (i couldn't) then reach out for help and open the top of your head and let the advice in, even when it sounds ridiculous to your wolfie voice.
remember that your wolfie voice is lying to you.

any voice you hear that ISN'T saying "take good care of you" is wolfie.

i feel like i could say this every day, forever, and it wouldn't be enough. and it'll be just the right thing at the right time for someone else.

It'll be both. not enough.
and enough.

this is for you.

hugs

Ready to quit?

from my inbox:

Rambling Rose (penpal #2512): 

"So something has been bothering me for a few weeks on the issue of readiness when it comes to being sober. I've heard on a number of occasions "in the rooms" that you just have to be really ready to quit drinking before you stay with recovery. I have heard it mostly in the context of people relapsing. It almost comes off as an accusation that he/she just didn't want it enough (recovery). Another thing I hear often is, "In your heart of hearts, do you want to quit?" UGH. YES.

There's something very flippant to me about this. I know people, myself included, who have wanted to quit for years - sincerely, in our heart of hearts - and hate being in addiction/excessive drinking limbo. It hurts. It isn't even enjoyable. It's not to "feel better" - for me, it was to feel less bad. But, of course that less-bad feeling starts to turn into a consistent and repetitive horror.

Drinking is the worst kind of hell, and it isn't that I (the true me) wanted to keep drinking, not when it got bad. I just didn't know how to stop it. I think that's why we surrender or reach out, because of course our brains will want booze.

I've brought it up to people (sponsors, sober women, etc.) before, and I usually get the same answers about not wanting it bad enough or not having some God moment where all of my sins, er, sorry, cravings (hah) were magically lifted.

It scares me when people say things like this, because I do want to stay sober, with all of my heart. But there hasn't been some God moment or change in my thinking. Not yet. Isn't that where the work and the supports come in?

Anyway. What made you know that you were totally done for good?

Do you think it is different for everyone?

Thanks. Whew, good to get that out of my head. It was upsetting me today, and kind of freaking me out."


me: I think that the idea of readiness is sort of like the idea of willpower. it’s assuming that the tool is in us. I think that the tools are outside us and that if someone is relapsing, they don’t have enough tools/supports/accountability. Us alone in our heads has us all drinking, me included.

but with the right amount of supports (different for each person) we can do this sober thing.

the challenge is getting people to try different supports when the original ones aren’t (or have stopped) working. we’re so stubborn and wolfie wants to keep us stuck, so that’s the hardest part of this. it’s not that rehab doesn’t work, it’s that no one wants to go. it’s not that antabuse doesn’t work, it’s that it’s hard to convince someone to take it because if they take it they can’t relapse and wolfie hates that. wolfie will argue against most supports.

wolfie wants you alone at home with a bottle. that’s the challenge as far as I can see: helping people to see that wolfie is bullshit and that there’s sunshine OUT HERE.

​~

​You might not agree with my advice to Rambling Rose. How do you feel about being 'ready'? Post a comment below.


Feedback from the new (free) meditation audio series:

Auntie Briggy: “Love this! Meditation is one thing for me that needs to be non-negotiable part of my tool box! You did a great job - meditation is just like sobriety - some days are shit and you don't pay attention for 2 seconds - some days you feel refreshed after but you keep staying with it. It was great to hear you doing something outside your comfort zone and trying a new tool! It teaches us courage to do things like this - try things - and keep trying them and adding things in.” Listen here.

New Podcast Series… “Duck Ponderings: Behind the Scenes with a Sober Girl”

New Podcast Series
Starting Tuesday April 3rd

Introducing a new 10-part podcast, “Duck Ponderings – Behind the Scenes” with fascinating (!) behind the scenes stories from this sober girl. honest, unedited, rambling. recorded at the duck pond. complete with a badly dressed dog, a man who looks like a priest/jester, and a story about why my jewelry designer mails the bracelets to me in france only for me to turn around and re-mail them back to the US.

This new 10-part podcast will be free, hosted on gumroad and itunes. supported only by donations. (or use this link for paypal / no VAT). it works out every time. no sponsorship. just you pitching in where you can.

Stay tuned. The first three episodes will be released all at once on Tuesday, April 3rd.

i will never get it ‘right’, but i know my intent :)

this is my personal stop-drinking blog, which means sometimes i write stuff – about quitting drinking, about being sober – and sometimes i share stuff – positive stories from penpals, struggles, adventures and tragedies.

and if i was you, if i read something on a personal blog that rubbed me the wrong way, then i’d maybe brush it off as a misunderstanding. but if a second and third time i found it irritating, i might unsubscribe and move on 🙂 the world is full of humans. we don’t all click.

i started this blog as a way to document wanting to be sober, and it has grown into something else that was not my intention at all. i figured i’d keep doing this sober thing (audios, penpals, jewelry) so long as people liked it. i mean, if i had an idea for a bracelet, and nobody wanted one, then i’d have moved on to other things.

i am utterly without a marketing plan. i’m not trying to find a niche. there is no master plan of any kind at all 🙂 there’s the lovely randomness of being in contact with so many people, and trying to find the common threads, to weave some of them together, to create a hammock (see what i did there?) where you can rest for a bit.

sometimes i get really lovely supportive emails, and sometimes i get unhappy ones. i know i’m neither end – i’m not as great as the lovely ones and i’m not as shitty as the shitty ones. i’m somewhere in between.

well, the only way i know that, is i know my intent.

my intent is to follow (not lead) and to create community without hierarchy. my intent is to share, encourage, empathize. i didn’t want to ‘model’ anything, but i was told that’s what i do. i didn’t wake up one day and think – hey let me model problem solving once sober. i just wrote about my stuff.

if you read one of those older emails, i don’t even remember one specifically, maybe when my husband was looking for an office and i talked about how we found him one – or maybe if you are folloowing along with my sober fiction project, and you read some of the prewrites about how writing is like being sober, but if you read stuff like this about problem-solving, and it’s helpful, then i take those comments and do a bit more of it.

when i get “you’re selling too much” then i try to weigh that against “i wore my not today bracelet every day for 1000 days and never took it off even to sleep.”

i will never get it ‘right’.

and i guess it’ll never be perfect because i’m a human and not a brand. i don’t have a team of people saying “research shows that when you weigh more, people like you more.” i don;t have anyone measuring if my swearing turns off more than it attracts.

i’m just being me.

i’m not a brand. i’m not even a business. i mean, this sober coaching thing makes money but that’s not why i do it. (you can’t fake empathy and connection, and you can’t fake giving a shit, not even when paid. nobody would be penpals encouraging people to be sober only for the money. and if they did, it’d be super transparent and you can smell that kind of shit a mile away.)

i also am not building an empire, i mean i didn’t get sober, start to sell a class, quit my day job and tell you-all that i’m focussing on taking your money from now on. i’m sober, yes, in addition to my regular work. i’m not sober so that i can be a sober coach and take your money. i’m sober because it’s the foundation for everything else i have in my life, including catering, bread baking, and being up at 5:40 a.m.

there is no plan here 🙂 there is only intent. my idea to write sober fiction? came from a penpal. in fact, came from two different penpals – one who suggested fiction, the other who suggested serialized fiction.

behind the scenes, i’m a caterer and a text designer. i’m working offsite for 3 months and getting up at 5:40 a.m. which i loathe. i’ve been getting myself treats staring this week, finally, to help with the early mornings. i counted out how many days i would be at the new thing (48) and i’ve done 15 of them already. i also know that when it’s over, i’ll miss it, but right now i’m regretting the commitment (sounds familiar  – starting a new offsite job is just like early sobriety – want to quit, sure it’s a mistake, want to finish the goal and then never do it again, expect i’ll get to the end and want to keep going, etc.).

anyway 🙂 this is a long pre-amble before i share what’s in my inbox today. i am a real human, imperfect. doing some sober support stuff that suits some people and doesn’t suit others. i’m not trying to find more customers.  i’m not trying to get media, or be on panels, or get a tattoo, or go to a march. i’m not talking about yoga or green juice. i talk about being sober. how to do it, how i did it, how penpals do it. sometimes i talk about cake, but hey, who doesn’t like cake? #theworldneedsmorecake

my inbox today:

spring rabbit: “You post SO many notes in which people praise you. It makes your whole system feel cultish, like: if I want to have my email posted by Belle, I just have to go on and on about how amazing Belle is. It turns my stomach—you have people PAYING you to read other people’s adulation of you. How is that ethical? How is that about helping any of us? And now you’re posting people’s photographs of YOUR book? And getting free feedback on your book from people who’ve turned to you for help? It feels as if you’re using all of us for your own personal ego trip and benefit. I realize that many of these customers/clients/whatever you call them also offer words of support, which you share, and much of that is valuable to the rest of us. But I urge you to stop including the “Belle is so amazing” “Belle is a godsend” “Belle is my hero” stuff that you tack onto these shares. And stop forcing vulnerable people to shill your book for you. Among other things, it’s quite tacky.”

jacci2: “Yes, you’re right! I’ve definitely noticed some [cognitive behaviour] type stuff in your podcasts, OMMs, emails, and blog this time around! That’s probably why I turned to you for additional support when I relapsed, right after I enlisted the help of my therapist and my boyfriend. I feel like you get it, you get me, you get the process, and you speak my language. You know that shame doesn’t work. in my personal experience, AA is terribly shame based (I went for about a year in the past and never felt quite right about it), and I feel there is a sad desperation about living your life just trying to be sober each day. I feel there is more to life. I’d rather let drinking go, and focus on all I get to do, see, experience, and feel now that I’m NOT drinking! I know AA works for a lot of people and that’s grand, it’s just not for me.”

~

and i know i’m somewhere in between. i know my intent. do i have ego moments? sure. do i need to be called out on them? of course. do people pay me to read my emails? no. do i know what it’s like to have a voice in your head that thinks that drinking is a good idea? i do i do i do.

i know how i got the voice to stop. that’s what i hope to share.

huglets, me

tuesday update: the future of the One Minute Messages

Here’s the link to today’s Tuesday Update message. This is omm260, and it’s a recap of the distribution of these one minute messages, how to send them out the best way.

To hear this tuesday message, play below. nothing to download. just press play.

 

 

links mentioned in the audio:

  • Gumroad: Sign up for these one minute messages on Gumroad to get access to ALL 200+ episodes & the occasional video from paris. there’s a video about a poop truck:  https://gum.co/belle-omm/itunes
  • iTunes (apple podcast) > link
  • Get the daily email messages > link
  • Longer podcast subscription > link

 

And here’s the photo of my lunch, funded by the tiny gift fund.

never mind. look away. eyes on your own paper.

from me:

this sober girl got up at 6:15 and wrote some on the new sober fiction writing project. it’s day 6 of 100 days in a row. remember when i said it was 100 days until christmas? yeah, that.

there are so many ways that writing is like being sober.

you show up and you don’t know what to expect. you’ve heard other people’s stories but you don’t know if they will apply to you. you are sure you’re a special snowflake and that “what works for others won’t work for you.” You get advice from people who don’t get it. You get cheerleading in unusual places.

In my case, i writing to be so close to early sobriety that some days, it’s all i can do to just keep going. i’m on day 6. don’t want to break the streak. don’t want to have to start over.

if you’re like me, you do better with accountability and support. and when i say “if you’re like me” and you think you aren’t, you probably are. You do better with support. You do better when someone you respect, who loves you, who has your best interests at heart says something encouraging. Imagine the storybook version of a grandmother. that kind of support. (if you have a grandmother like mine, whenever i’d complain about a perceived slight or a sister squabble, she’d say “Never Mind,” as if to say: look away. eyes on your own paper. keep your eyes on the road. don’t let your sober car run out of gas.)

and like writing, it’s not enough to feel like you have the ABILITY to do it, you also need the right combination of motivation and spark and timing and momentum. And when you get momentum? well i’m not dumb, i know that momentum is hard to get, and even 6 days is hard to get, so i’m keeping going.

i also set up some external accountability by posting the book, in order, a bit at a time, as it’s written. It’s officially called ‘serializing’ your book, when you print it bit by bit. And if the experiment of posting day by day continues to work well, i’ll share it here too. for now i’m being a bit careful of who/how i share (sounds like sobriety?).

mood-wise i’m doing ok this week. I mean, i’m as sloth-y as ever. I’d LIKE to: clean the house, run a 10K, get my eyebrows done, empty the freezer, read a book about Hope, make 4 new recipes, and go to IKEA.

instead of that list of things i’d LIKE to do, instead i’m doing this: emailing sober penpals, hosting a class about worth (which is turning out to be super fascinating, as we discuss in more depth how the “THING is not in the THING”), writing every day, and going to physio twice a week for a sore shoulder (just tendonitis, nothing exciting). that’s it. i’m not cooking meals, i’m not running much (more walking), i’m not making new recipes. in fact, if you must know, i had canned beans for lunch today (3:02 pm) for the first time in 8 years and they were delish. that’s it.

and like when we make any large changes (writing fiction – which really is just like being sober – it’s creating a new something where there was nothing before), i’m being kind to myself to remember that 6 days is a big deal. that writing daily and doing the rest of my life is enough for now. and any ideas of nice eyebrows will have to wait. the freezer will wait. the new recipes can wait. IKEA will still be there on the weekend.

striving for underwhelm so that the magnitude of what i’m doing doesn’t make my head fly off.

 

cold, rainy, and the soup apparently will not cook itself.

from me:

this sober girl slept in this morning, it’s cold and rainy. I had a large pot of decaf. I am wearing orange Ernie socks, plaid pyjama bottoms, a Roots t-shirt, a zip up jacket. It’s colder than it should be.

I open my inbox and it looks like this: celebration of 100 days, relapse on day 49, reset after 3 years of drinking, frustration with repeated resets. (at this point i pause and finds an audio to send to the frustrated girl, an audio recorded for a different frustrated girl, but applies to this one, too, so resending.)

there are sweet and kind emails in response to yesterday’s micro-email (“yes, i feel like that too”) and there are questioning emails (“did you write that nice thing about yourself and pass it off as having been written by a penpal”) and other questioning emails (“i question your qualifications to teach a ‘worth’ class”).

I edit a podcast interview recorded a month ago, and then email the interviewee (again) to ask if she’d like me to NOT share the recording. i’ve offered before, i offer again. for reasons.

my husband comes home for lunch at noon (it’s 1:20 pm now). i suggest not terribly kindly that he shift his work project from one thing to another, and he declines, and then i feel trapped and i stop talking.

i have a new catering order for later this week which is exciting, although the one where i made the 10 cheesecakes was cancelled. so i have food in my freezer (that’ll teach me to do too much in advance!).

so really, it’s a regular day.

up and down moments. problem solving, linking, writing. working on the fiction project (can you tell how well it’s going? i’m here doing this instead).

i have someone who signed up for the jumpstart class but hasn’t downloaded the audios yet, and is having trouble getting going. i have someone who is celebrating day 156 and has been lurking the whole time.

i have 10 small cheesecakes in the freezer. no that’s true. there are 9. but i wrote 10 before and so i’m continuing with that.

and just like anyone else in the universe, i have emails that lift and some that flatten. i have moments of “oh brother” and moments of perfect alignment.

but really. i’m a girl in her pyjamas (now it’s 1:28 pm). i haven’t had lunch. my husband thinks i’m a turd (to be fair, i didn’t warm him up to my ideas, i just blurted them and he declined), and i fear that i am not going outside today because it is 16C (61F) and pouring rain.

i could make soup with the nice italian pasta that M. brought me when she went home to see her parents, but that seems unlikely. uncooked pasta from ‘rome’ is the same as any other kind of uncooked pasta. it’s the kind that isn’t in my soup. it’s not exotic. it’s uncooked pasta. that is not feeding me at this exact second.

ok fine. i’ll make the fucking soup. fine. FINE.

things i learned yesterday: not everyone loves me every day of the week. no shit. and yes, i am OK with that. i am initially flattened and then i reinflate. i think the reinflating part is the key. and how long it is between flat and reinflated. yesterday I learned that making cheesecake in advance is probably not a good idea unless you want to eat them all. I learned that my idea of writing fiction is VASTLY different from the actual writing of it.

do not say “tomorrow will be a better day.”

instead, you can say: “i have shit days too. one shit day. who cares. make the most of it. order a burger from the food delivery and be done with it. go back to bed.” or you can say “the fiction is probably better than you think it is.” or you can say “i’m one of the lurkers who never speaks up but here’s what i think…”

 

regular. normal. predictable. 

omm256.monday.regular.normal.predictable

I have a new Monday update message ready for you. This is omm256. This message summarizes what’s coming up this week including the photography project.

To hear this Monday message, play below. nothing to download. just press play.

 

 

 

 

links mentioned in the audio:

and in case you hate listening to audios, here’s the transcript:

This is a slightly longer One Minute Message because it’s Monday and I want to give you a little overview of what this week might look like.

I have been away for the weekend and so I am coming back to a full Inbox of which I have done about 2/3rds today. So, if you’re waiting on an email from me, you may have already heard from me today, you may hear from me tomorrow. We did have crappy weather, thank you for asking. It rained all one day and then the second day it was grey but didn’t pour rain so we could do a lot of walking and not that you care, but thank you for your well wishes.

We did also spend a fair amount of time, as I’m sure you did, following what was happening with the hurricane in Florida. I’ve been getting email updates from my pen pals yesterday and today, letting me know that they’re safe. And so, if you fall into that category, you can also send me an email and let me know that you are well and that your parents got moved and that your dog got moved and that all of the other variables that needed to happen did happen.

If you’re also like me, you probably reached a point where you couldn’t watch the coverage anymore because it was making you feel wound up or that there was a sense of something catastrophic that then, thankfully, eased up in terms of the predictions and then there was this gigantic sigh of relief I’m sure for everybody, not just for me following this.

But, we’ll use this as a preface then to say that this week you will be extra specially kind to yourself because these sorts of things going on in the world, whether you live in Florida or not, there are things that are stressful and have every potential capacity to wind you up. You will watch how much TV you watch. You will read rather than watch videos because they’ll wind you up more. You will turn off the television. You will turn away from things that make you feel wacky. And you will drop your shoulders and breathe a bit and relax a bit and remember to be kinder to yourself, no matter where you are in the world, no matter what’s happening around you. (You could listen to this message any day and it would be the same thing. I might say it every Monday. Should I say it? Every Monday, I’ll turn on the microphone and I’ll say, ‘Please be nice to you today. OK. Goodbye.’)

Coming up this week, there will be 2 new One Minutes Messages in addition to this one, so a total of 3 out of 5 days. There will be at least one new email every day, sometimes two. The new class that I am starting for people who are 200+ days sober about worth has started its registration today. The class begins next Monday. Topics include: different ways that we determine worth, messages that we get from family, how do we construct our own ideas of worth and going forward how do we protect our ideas, how do we make these ideas concrete in our own heads. So, if you’re interested in that, you go to: http://www.soberlinks.me/worth and you can have a look at that for anybody who is 200 days or more.

Otherwise, this week is a relatively regular week I think. You’ll notice that everything that I do seems relatively predictable. Maybe that’s a good thing. I mean launching a new class is not really predictable, but One Minute Messages, you’ll hear my voice as many times as you want to this week. I’ll be sending out 2 podcasts as well to podcast members. So if you want to hear longer things, you want to hear my voice more often, you can do that.

You can read the blog. That’s always free. You can read it online. Oh, and I put up a link to a new photography project, which is a free, fun thing that we do where everybody sends in a photo on a certain theme and then we just post them. It’s not a contest. A contest would imply that there’s a winner. It’s a project. It’s an opportunity to look at our world differently with new eyes. I think I posted it on Friday of last week. You have a 10 day deadline to submit your photo. Anybody can submit a photo. You don’t have to be photographer. You don’t have to be especially talented. It’s more just a … it’s more just a project. It’s not, like I said, it’s not a competition and if you procrastinate too long and you think, ‘oh, I  need to wait for the perfect timing’, it won’t happen. So just look at the assignment and go do it and then you’re done. And you’ll see that it’s funner than you think it is. Especially if you don’t fret too much about it.

OK, well that’s it. Anything else you’d like? Any suggestions for what you might like this week? I think the first 3 suggestions I get, I will seriously consider. Send me an email. Talk to you soon. OK, good byyyyeeeee!  Happy Monday

monday update: from your point of view

Here’s the link to today’s Monday Update message. This is omm253. This message summarizes what’s coming up this week, and i wanted to share an idea with you about Point of View: “what does it MEAN when they say this or that…”

To hear this Monday message, play below. nothing to download. just press play.

 

 

links mentioned in the audio (in order):

and in case you hate listening to audios, here’s the transcript:

 

(I took the liberty of adding a ‘u’ to Labour Day Weekend.  Is that Canadian?  Did I get it right?  Do I get a cookie? J)

Good Morning. I had an idea to do these Monday morning updates, sort of to set the pace and tone for the week, but also to let you know what happened last week and what’s happening this week. Last week on Friday, I opened a new session of the Sober Jumpstart Class with 25 new spots and I think as of today, Monday morning, there are 9 left (or 8). So if you are interested in doing that, you might want to leap on it now.

The other thing I announced last week was a new class/workshop for anybody who is more than 200 days sober. We’re calling it Sober Seniors, but really it’s more like Sober Champion or Sober Veteran or Sober something. I want you to know also that, this week — and this doesn’t happen all the time, but it definitely happened this week, especially with the message that I sent this Monday, where I said: here’s the thing for people who are new and here’s the thing for people who are 200+ days. Guess what happens? — And the reason I’m sharing this with you is so that you can see the parallel with your life. Guess what happens when you share that you’re going to do this and this? The people who are on Day 1 say “there was too much about the 200 day people.” And the people who are on 200 days say “there’s not enough for me these days, there should be more for senior people.”

Both of those opinions are true. I’m sharing this with you not because you should feel sorry for me, because I don’t feel sorry for me. Because I already know something that I want you to know which is: both of those opinions are true from the point of view of the person speaking. So there’s really no argument, there’s no: ‘No, no you’re wrong’. There’s no: ‘Let me explain’. We try to explain things to people that are TRUE from their point of view.

So you might be one of the people who emailed me and said, “Gee I wish there was more stuff for beginners”. And I’m like, everything’s for beginners. And then you might be someone who says, “I wish there was more stuff for people who are further along”. And I say, all of the early stuff is also applicable to you, just change some of the words. I set myself up that I will be a lighthouse and I will say and do the same thing all the time and that will either appeal to you or it won’t. I’m sharing this with you, not because I think it’s a really interesting story, but because I think it’s a model of something that is happening to you right now in your own life, which is where you feel like (please, I don’t feel like this) — where you feel like, “no matter what I do, somebody’s going to complain.” I don’t feel like that because I actually know what the perspective is. I know that I do the next right thing as far as I can see and that will either resonate with people or it won’t. But from my point of view, this is the right thing to do going forward, which is to have things for both ends of the sober continuum.

In your life, there are some things that you decide to do where some people are supportive and some people aren’t. Some people get it and some people don’t. Perhaps I’m modelling this for you. (You’ll remember that modelling has 2 L’s the same way that travelling last week had 2 L’s. This is Canadian spelling, I’m slowly going to inform you, word by word.) I’m modelling the fact that it doesn’t bother me. In fact, it makes me feel happy because it means that if you’re on Day 1 it’s like: ‘there’s too much about the old people’. And I’m like, OK you know, they’re really getting value out of the stuff I provide especially when it’s tailored right to them. And then if somebody says the same thing: ‘why isn’t there anything more for those…it seems like all you do is for beginning people, don’t you have anything for me’. And I’m thinking, OK what they’re saying is, I don’t want to go away, I want to stay here, can you entice me to stay. Can you provide some content that could be useful for me.

Can you hear the message that is behind the thing that the person is saying? Because our gut reflex is to be defensive to the words. You can’t be defensive to somebody’s words unless you know what the emotion driving it is. What’s behind it? Why are they saying those words? To respond to the words is to misunderstand completely what’s happening. Because there’s always a thing behind the words. Why would they say that? What would they have to be feeling to say that? So, let me tell you about this week. And if you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea, I’m OK with both of them. That’s what I mean when I say I’m okay with you not agreeing with me. I’m okay with it because I know that from your point of view, everything, of course, makes 100% total sense to you from your point of view. Of course it does. As it does from mine.

Here’s my week coming up: I have been working this past weekend which I don’t normally do. I’m not usually online on the weekends, but I have been. Because if you signed up for the Sober Jumpstart Class on Friday, it would be rude if you’re first interaction with me was then an out of the office for a long weekend, 3 days because it’s Labour Day Weekend. So I decided I would work through the weened and that I would take this coming weekend off. So I share that with you in advance so that you know that Friday, Saturday, Sunday I’ll be off line this coming weekend as opposed to having taken Labour Day weekend off. We’re going to the beach, and you will cross your fingers that we get like, I don’t know, one sunny day out of those 3 days because it seems to have turned to be September weather here abruptly. I’m not thrilled with it. Like I have to wear socks again which I’m against. I’m against socks all the time. I’m one of those ‘wear your tags inside out, don’t like stuff to scratch me’…I don’t like socks either.

Also coming up this week, there will be, in addition to this, 2 other One Minute Messages for a total of 3. I will, not everyday, but in some of the days where I don’t put up a new one, I will put up an archived one. Like you might have noticed on the weekend there was one for Julie from the cruse director at The Love Boat. She made a guest appearance/reappearance.

I sent out a new podcast to podcast subscribers about compliance on the weekend, that was on Saturday, and a new one will go out Tuesday or Wednesday, but I am definitely doing 2 new podcasts a week now for people who have the membership for…to get the new podcasts every week as they’re released. It is cheaper to do the membership than it is to buy them individually. But of course you may still choose to pick and choose. You can do that. I did get an email though from somebody who said: “I used to pick and choose the audios until I realized there was something in every audio and that I couldn’t base it on the title,” so I’ll just (it sounds so self-serving) I’ll just share that with you in case that’s helpful.

I will also share with you a little story from my weekend which will be illustrative and will sound like sobriety. Are you ready? I did a month without television, for the month of August. It’s something that I do each year. I don’t suggest this. I’m not recommending this. I’m not saying this is good for early sobriety. I’m simply telling you something that I did. Like quitting drinking, the period of time was short, and so it meant that I watched for the end of it the whole time. Which is why I actually think it’s easier to quit drinking for longer than it is to quit for shorter and there is a One Minute Message about this called Long Haul. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. But I quit for a month which meant that probably only 3 times or 4 times in the month did I really think, “Fuck I really wish I could just like, zone out and watch a show.” It’s not that I don’t have other ways to zone out, I do. I was just doing an exclusion with the television thing. And then, when it got to the end of the month, of course I got to make a decision about whether or not I continued. I thought, “well I only said I was doing it for a month so.” I still haven’t watched television, yet. So now it’s what day (I don’t even know what the day is) the 4th? But what I did do was I played a video game which was part of the thing that I gave up. I gave up TV and video games for a month.

What I did do on Saturday – this is going to sound familiar – is I said to myself, I’ll just play one game. I’ll just play 2 games. (I’ll just have one drink.) I’ll just do a little bit. I’ve had some time off, I’m sure now I won’t get sucked right back into it.

I loaded the game on my phone, snuggled into bed and thought, “oh this is the thing I’ve been looking for all month. This is the thing I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been yearning for something. So I snuggled into bed on Saturday and I got my phone and I turned on the game and 4½ hours went by. It went from light to dark. I didn’t eat. It’s not even that I really felt like playing the game. It’s that once I started to play the game, I didn’t feel like stopping. It’s not that I was particularly excited to be playing the game. It’s that once I began, I was disinclined to stop. So at the end of that experiment, I uninstalled it from my phone.

I’m sharing it with you as a way of accountability to say the following: the thing that is setting off that part of my brain doesn’t go away by me not doing it for a month. The only way to get that to stop… like I said it came up 3 times in the month where I really thought – yeah, yeah, yeah I want this … if I quit for longer, that 3 times would become 2 and then it would become 1 and then it would stop. I know this is the same for quitting drinking. I share this as a story because if you are near Day 1, you can see directly how this applies to being sober. But if you’re on Day 200, you can see directly how this applies to quitting smoking. You think about it a lot at the beginning and then less and less and then it stops. If we quit for a day, then we’re just waiting to drink again. It’s easier to quit for longer. I suggest quitting for longer only if what you’ve been trying has been working and you’d like to try a new strategy and so, it’s sometimes easier to say 100 days than a week. It’s easier to say a year than 100 days. Because then your brain goes, “OK, well I’m just not going to think about it then, I’m not going to negotiate.” The answer is no. The answer is just no, I’m not going to keep revisiting it going, how about now, what about now, can I do it now. No.”

OK, well this is long for a Monday update, so stuff coming up:

  • 2 x podcasts a week
  • 3 x One Minute Messages this week
  • Daily emails, sometimes twice a day. Definitely one a day, sometimes two
  • I’m doing coaching calls this week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • I’ll be away Friday, Saturday, Sunday offline. Not travelling with my laptop. I’ll have my phone for emergencies but I’m offline. And I will be at the beach. Theoretically, not sitting under an umbrella. Well, if it’s umbrella, it better be a sun umbrella.

That’s all I have to say. Happy Monday. Talk to you soon. OK Good Byyyyyeeee.