If we are sober penpals, then we email all the time and I keep track of your dates. Then i can celebrate you online (here) when you hit the big milestones. like these ones:
One new audio each day for 5 days in a row.
Each audio will be 3-5 minutes long. Perfect for a reset, when your brain is running all over the place.
Topics: alternative drinks, how to deal with a fuck-it moment, ‘my sober summer is awesome because …’, dealing with cravings that come out of nowhere triggered by a song/situation/memory, and dealing with triggers books and TV where people are drinking a lot…
Hugs, Belle xo
P.S. If you’re a monthly podcast subscriber,you’ll get a copy of these audios automatically. Not a podcast subscriber? You can do that here if you like. Or just take this one week of audios as a stand-alone thingy.
Sober Summer Rescue Audios … go here 🙂
from AnnaD (day 86):
“Heavy drinking is like time travel. Each year of drinking is five years of actual life. It’s why relapses are time-sucking vortices, into which whole decades can be devoured like so many Cool Ranch Doritos. This makes falling off the wagon a much longer trip than the cute aphorism suggests. The wagon is much higher up off the ground than you’d think — if you dismount, you will fall a long, long time before you hit even a high bottom. Claw your way back on. It’s worth it. Because, like quitting smoking, almost everything is easier than the first part of quitting. Once you’ve done it, protect that shit like it’s sacred, because it fucking is.”
from my inbox
P: “I’ve had some moments the past couple days but I’m determined to make it through … I’m still angry at my friends [about my birthday] and the world. I’m still hurt about their thoughtlessness. Oh and another thing that’s bugging me – I sent out like 50+ Xmas cards in the mail. I love getting some back in the mail and guess how many I got in return? Like 8. People just don’t care. Not like I care it seems. Makes me want to hate everyone right now. That’s how I feel.”
me: the thing about holding resentments (birthday/ Christmas cards) is that it’s wolfie winding you up so that drinking will seem like a good idea. as if hoiday cards mean anything. they don’t. you send them because you like sending them. you don’t send them so that you’ll get some in return. if you want a lovely birthday, you do it for yourself. that’s why being sober is about learning self-care.
when you outsource your self-care and count on other people to make things good for you, you will always be ‘disappointed’ and that’s wolfie territory right there. you’re learning now how to do this for yourself. that’s what being sober IS. it’s self-care. and it’s new. and it’s hard. and if you don’t like sending out cards, then don’t send them. but to drink because people like me get cards but don’t send them, is outsourcing your well-being to people like me who just don’t’ think about cards. 🙂 and don’t let wolfie tell you otherwise.
P: “Omg, I never thought of it that way?! Like ever! Holy shit, this reasoning could change my whole perspective on things! YES! Now I feel sheepishly stupid about how I felt about my birthday and Christmas cards. Cause yes, I DO send them out expecting them in return (which never happens and then I feel shitty) and I DO expect others to make my birthday memorable (which is illogical thinking cause they have their own life and problems, they needn’t be responsible for my happiness). My husband has truthfully told me before (in exasperation I’m sure) that it’s so hard to make me happy, that I’m usually never happy, or that nothing anyone does ever lives up to my expectations. WOW truth!!!! OK, my mind is blown here. Thank you Belle for your honesty 🙂 I needed to hear that.”
How do you stay sober when you're dealing with family, extra people, chaos, lack of sleep, and travel.
The advice I have for sober travelling will apply to you whether you are travelling or not, because you always have to be creating a space where you’re safe to be sober.
And you know what? You need a lot more alone time than you think, so build it in. More in the full audio that is going out today to podcast subscribers.
Here's a clip where you can listen to a bit of the audio.
extract from Sober Podcast 254. How to Travel (You need more alone time than you think)
You can leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. Tell me the part that seems true for your experience ... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.
New Podcast Series (FREE! FREE!)
umr004.gratitude > i know that the idea of gratitude is talked about a lot. but what does it mean, in a practical sense. like HOW can you have an attitude of gratitude? i think i stumbled on an idea that works for me when I was doing a catering job this past weekend.
Get these messages on iTunes (apple podcast) > link
Get them on Stitcher > link
Get them on Gumroad > link
Music: “Ibiza Dream,” thanks to Chris Haugen
Feedback from the meditation audio series:
enroute: “Thank you for that Belle, this meditation worked for me, and I have listened to a lot of teachers, a lot of silence, a lot of endless thoughts in my head, a lot of perspectives on meditation. For me, I know that whatever practice suits you, it lights the path to consciousness which lights the path to sobriety, creativity and more and more...” Subscribe here.
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.
Today begins a new 10-part audio series called Urban Meditations (Regret)
Recorded in different urban environments, this series of mindfulness exercises will tie in with meditation, being still, and sobriety -- with a focus on the theme of regret. Yes, I'll be talking, but there is also quiet time for reflection too.
This 10-part podcast is free, hosted on gumroad and itunes. supported only by donations. it works out every time. no sponsorship. just you pitching in where you can.
And as promised, I have the preliminary 'intro' audio and episode 1 ready today.
umr000.intro > This is the first official audio in the new 10-part Urban Meditation series focussing on regret. Today I am recording in a park, complete with a visit from two dogs, and a rat. Never a dull moment. Time for a pause, are you ready?
umr001.cute > You are as cute as you’re ever going to be. Today. Right now. OK, if not, you’re definitely as YOUNG as you’re going to be.
What happens when we try to fix everything at once? I talk about how I use this in other parts of life (sober + writing + running very slowly). And about how I’m bad with endings, and so this won’t be the last episode. I probably have one or two more to go…
Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu
Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios