anonymous confession booth: sex

step right up. for two days only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth about SEX. Yes, i’ve got something running through my head and i thought, OK, let’s blog about it. and really, it’s amazingly hard to talk about sex even when we’re quasi-anonymous online. And so then i thought, OK, let’s make it 100% anonymous, me included.

So here’s the deal.

  1. Post a comment below.
  2. For this to work you MUST type Anonymous as your name and put in a fake email (fakeemail123@gmail.com) in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous. one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.
  3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what.
  4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something about sex that you think is ONLY your problem and that probably no one else has the same problem as you do. For example, i’ll make one up: “I can’t initiate sex when sober but i used to be able to when drinking” … OR … “i worry that i’m the only person who has x problem now that i’m sober.”
  5. Then post ONE anonymous ‘reply’ to one of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind. In fact, it would simply help if you said “i have this problem, too.”

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have sex shit that we can’t talk about.

PS. if your name/email automatically shows up when you start to enter a comment, you can manually delete them OR you can ‘log out’ of your blogging profile.

 


 

this special edition painting #344, there is only one available. potential. your potential changes when you’re sober. link here > https://gumroad.com/l/Exit-344

I fully recognize that I cannot go on like this

email from MDC (day 17): “Yup, things crashing down around me but the sober momentum has me in a good place and able to handle – that’s the good news. Bad news, Im having a real bad time with eating well i know, i guess i let it ride for 30 days and not worry about that. Big Holiday weekend coming up … I will stay busy!! Thanks Belle!”

me checking in 3 weeks later: just wondering how you’re doing.

MDC: “So nice to see your email today … I did not want to email while i was struggling. I’d be good for a week or more, then horrible..Now I feel beaten down. I fully recognize that I cannot go on like this, but I still do not know how to maintain a good solid period of time. I know i have to get some therapy, but this task alone is incredibly daunting. How am i going to find a perfect stranger, who is the right fit, who can help? How will i afford that? I know i can’t go on like this though. I can drink normally for some time and then comes the binge, the panic attack, racing heart and 3 of 7 nights a week of complete + utterly horrific insomnia. Why would i do something that i know causes that condition??? When i get to that point, then i get scared, like oooh maybe this is a very serious problem. I wish i could do this with your program. If i sign up for more, what would that look like? Am i too far gone because I’ve done this sooo many times??? Does that automatically qualify me for “lost cause” 🙁 well probably a lot of questions here that you cannot answer. But today im thinking that it is day 1. Thanks for reaching out Belle. Hugs!”

me: sweet pea, sober support isn’t something you earn by being sober. you don’t have to be on a certain day to email. perhaps sober support is something that helps you to BE sober. if you’re able to go for a week, that’s good, you can build on that. you add in some more supports and tools. what you’re doing now is good but it’s not quite enough. you can set up some calls with me until you get a counsellor you like. you can see your doctor about a short trial of medication. you can email 4 times a day for the first 2 weeks. you can get away from day 1 and feel better.
you’re not a lost cause if you restart, and add new things each time you restart. but you can’t just declare a day 1 and have that be enough. the noise in our head is too loud. you have to declare day 1 AND add new things/change what you’re doing.
so maybe if what you’ve been doing isn’t quite enough yet, then you can do more things. that might mean meetings. medication. calls. audios. reading. writing. treats. sleep. and a lot more accountability. if you had calls set up with me once a week for 6 weeks, that might help get you going … 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. hugs


below this line you will find shameless commercial links which you should completely ignore 🙂


A: “Here’s the thing. my “stay here” bracelet  keeps me going. May 2nd will be one year. I know it’s not the bracelet itself, but the visual reminder, or visual cheerleader, is what helps.” [in gold] [in brass]


video:
 there’s a nice 3-minute video here about global magnets.
https://www.facebook.com/tiredofdrinking/videos/1124757534394128/

 

kids screaming and yelling about needing breakfast

from Kelley (day 15):

“Hey Belle. So, it’s Saturday morning and I REALLY wish I would have drank last night. I so wish I would have gotten that half hour of a buzz that I think is the holy grail, followed by hours of empty calorie consumption, getting to the point that I don’t really care what I say or do (or text or Facebook), then getting into a fight with my husband because it’s 1 a.m. and I want to stay up and watch another movie and drink more. I sure wish I would have woken up on the couch with all my clothes on at 5 a.m. because my husband gave up trying to get me to come upstairs. I really missed out on that middle of the night parched mouth so I claw my way to the kitchen to gulp down 3 glasses of water like I will die if I don’t. Man, I wish I would have gotten to experience that shameful moment when I remember that I drank way too much even though I hadn’t planned on it. And oh, boy. This morning? I sure missed my kids coming in and screaming and yelling about needing breakfast, with a pounding head and an inability to get up, so I tell them to just scrounge up some cereal for themselves while I go back to “sleep,” which is really just closing my eyes for another hour while I wince in pain and berate myself for WHY I drank that much for the millionth time. I’m really going to be sad the rest of today that I’m not simultaneously feeling all physically horrible and mentally tortured by what a terrible mother I am, all the while wanting it to be 5:00 so I can do it again! WTF? It IS insanity. Note to self: Sober is better. Now if I can just get that tattooed onto my crazy brain, that would be awesome…Day 15.”

~

shameless commercial link. i have hand-selected a collection of audios to help you specifically with the idea of “why is this hard, why am i thinking about FOREVER, i don’t trust myself, I feel nervous, but I want to keep going.”  link here

 

 

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.

the drinking itself was making life hard

from me: i recently sent out a survey with a few questions; here are some of the replies.

from anonymous:

What’s the biggest reason for being sober? Drinking prevented me from growing into someone who could thrive without drinking.  I wanted to know what life was like on the other side. I didn’t want to die having never given myself that experience.

What’s the one biggest thing you’ve learned from me? The idea of the sober toolbox that you just keep adding and adding to, even when (especially when!) things are going well. The concept that the drinking itself was what was making life hard — I’ll be honest I didn’t believe that at first, and even after I started to feel better, didn’t really viscerally “get” that until about 6-8 months in. That 100 days is greater than the sum of its months, in terms of the changes one experiences.

from anonymous:

What’s the biggest reason for being sober? I had read a lot of articles and books such as Catherine Gray in the hope that I would learn how to drink and feel good about myself: buck the trend, be the exception. I came to realise, however, that no matter how clever I am (!) it’s really not possible. I can see and feel that my mood was affected more by alcohol than other people. I felt like I was on a downward spiral of depression and self-loathing and had to stop denying that alcohol was the problem not the solution to me feeling better about almost everything. So my one reason was mental health as you expected many people to say, I just hadn’t thought about it that way until now.

What’s the one biggest thing you’ve learned from me? Acknowledge how hard this is and give yourself credit for every step along the road to sobriety. If I’m feeling a bit wobbly I think of my worst drinking experiences and question whether I’d want to be there again.

 


quote from the Exit the Booze Elevator writing project (written this morning!)
   It all starts with an argument. The best kind of marital argument where I’m SURE I’m right and he’s wrong. We’d just returned from a particularly distressing visa meeting with the French government, you know, the kind where they’re saying ‘you can’t do this, you must do that’. And there was much finger-wagging in Mr.Belle’s direction.
I had warned him for months beforehand. They’re going to give you shit for this, I said. No, they won’t, they don’t care, he replied. They are going to send us home to Canada, I whined. No, they won’t, it’ll be fine, he repeated.
Well, it wasn’t fine. Before the agent could approve us for the next level of our resident visa, she apparently had to do a careful review of his file.
And then she said what I knew she would (I knew it! I was right!): “Monsieur, you cannot have this visa renewed in this situation.”
She said it with a nice French accent. But still.
Three days later, in a fit of frustration, I went into my husband’s things while he was at work, pulled out one of his ‘for fun’ paintings, and stuck it up on the website.

This is Exit painting #1, and it went to Indy in California 🙂
more here

 

my name is F and I am a lurker

email from F: “Hello. My name is F and I’m a lurker. I signed up for the 100 day challenge and made it to day 35. No I’m no longer sober. Maybe this is more than you wanted to hear but I’m on a roll…
I’m in law enforcement. I can’t deal with my job, it’s so hard seeing the way we as a society treat each other, especially those we claim to love. I’m too afraid of the repercussions of admitting I have a drinking problem and asking for help from my agency … I’m a binge drinker. I’m fine all week dealing with the everyday duties of my job but come the weekend I’m pretty much drunk until Monday morning…
Your emails and audios that I sign up for are so inspirational. I look forward to seeing them in my inbox, it gives my comfort during the week. I even bought your “Stay Here” bracelet to help me cope. I touch it and think I need to stop when I’m on a weekend bender.  Sometimes it helps and I won’t drink but more often these days with all the job negativity, I continue to drink.
I love my job — I started in law enforcement thinking I could make a difference … now I lie and make up some bs job when someone asks what I do for a living …
But, you are a godsend. You keep my sane during the week when I work. I’m glad I stumbled across your website, you give me hope. I just need to get right in my head and get some self-esteem. The weekends are hard, I don’t know how to deal with myself and the negative thoughts that invade my mind in the quiet times.
So there you have it. My name is F and I’m a lurker.”

Question: What would you say to F about wanting to get her head right before she quits?  Post a comment below …


stay here, stay focussed. stay sober. stay true to you. stay here.
new painting added today, this is #372
sober art thanks to mr.belle