omm268.wrong.place

In this audio, I call bullshit on a bunch of excuses. I can’t be sober in this way, my support must look like ‘this’, I can’t practise my skating routine on the path at the park. All not true.

[be sure to scroll down for photos]

  • Get these audios on iTunes (apple podcast) > link

 

Transcript.

OK, I get this kind of thing in my Inbox all the time. This will sound familiar to you:

“Dear Belle, I wish there was an AA meeting close to me that had people that were my age. I wish I could go to an AA meeting where there were hot men. I wish there was an AA meeting where they were 35-41 years old. I wish I could find a place to practice my skating routine, but I can only do it at the rink.”

What do you hear there when I say that? You hear wolfie, right?

“I can’t get it that way. Those people can’t help me. This is the wrong place. This is the wrong time. I can’t start until everything lines up. I can’t do it this way.”

You have a voice in your head that wants you to keep drinking, so it will manufacture reasons why the support is wrong for you. “I can’t have a phone call with a sober coach because of 1300 imaginary reasons. I can’t practice my skating routine unless I’m at the rink.”

You’ve thought that. Perfectionism.

“If I can’t get it to all line up then I don’t want to do it.”

And I want you to know that today when I was at the duck pond, when I was doing my run, I saw a woman practicing her skating routine on the pathway. She wasn’t in the water, she was on the track where I was running around the pond, she was off to one side doing her skating routine.

And I looked at her and I thought: Fuck, that’s genius. You don’t wait for winter. You don’t wait for ice. You can practise it right here. Of course you can. Stop with all of this, ‘It’s not lined up properly’. Stop with all of this, “I need the right room at the right time with the right person’. It’s all bullshit.

Your brain is manufacturing reasons why this won’t work for you.

It’s all not true.

I took a picture of the woman with the skating thing [below] …

And I thought, if that’s not a sober metaphor I don’t know what is. And then this morning, I get an email that says: “I really wish I could find an AA meeting where people were 26-31 or 35-42.”

No.

I call bullshit.

I call bullshit.

And you can stop that shit right now.

 

Audio: Incongruent

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #215 sent to sober podcast members.

I did a personalized audio for a subscriber about fear, defensiveness, rationalizations.

And it’s also about the incongruent idea of drinking — how having alcohol in your life wouldn’t match up with what you say, and who you say you are.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from the audio, and then you can add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments.

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

Question:
In what way is drinking incongruent with who you say you are?

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #215

Sign up for the monthly podcast membership
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: Compliance

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #213 sent to sober podcast members.

There are tools available for us, to help us to be sober, it’s just that we don’t like them, and we don’t want to use them.

I’d have to say that a good indicator of the probability of success that you will be long-term sober, is an openness to try things that are against what your brain thinks is a good idea.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from the audio, and then you can add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments.

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

HOMEWORK:
If I were to suggest to you that you email me 3-4 times a day, what would wolfie say to you to explain why you CAN’T do it?

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #213

Sign up for the monthly podcast membership
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

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.

 

chocolate with cranberries from Frankfurt, Germany

last year we did some fundraising for a homeless shelter that accepts men and women, couples, and dogs.

When my step-father was sick (he’s the one i call Mr. Cinnamon Toast in podcasts), he asked that his clothes be donated to a few charities, and this special homeless shelter was one.

he also had a lot of hand-wrapped stones, which i brought back to france so that we could do the stone fundraiser. there are more of those stones available, too, and some new ones this year from my most recent trip (my mom keeps finding more hidden in the house).

and this year i want to ADD to the stones, and introduce …
a blind auction. 

what’s that?

I show you some cool treats, you EMAIL me with your highest bid that you’d be willing to pay to sponsor the homeless shelter and receive the specific treat being auctioned.

The email with the highest donation after 24 hrs wins the treat.

It’s called a ‘blind’ auction because you don’t know what the high bid is, you just have to submit an email with what you’d like to donate.

Here’s the first treat, this is bittersweet artisanal chocolate + cranberries that i got when i was in Frankfurt, Germany.

Would you like to ‘win’ this chocolate bar and make a donation to the homeless shelter at the same time?

send me an email with “chocolate from germany” in the subject line, and tell me your bid. You can use any currency you like (then i’ll convert to USD to compare to the other bids). Maybe the high bid will be $8 or maybe it’ll be $18. or higher. i literally have no idea! that’s the fun of it 😉

 

send me an email with “chocolate from germany” in the subject line, and tell me your bid.

hugs from me
belle xo

… Deadline is Wednesday September 20th @ 4 pm Eastern …

Audio: Snake or Starfish

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #212 sent to sober podcast members.

Are you a snake or a starfish? A snake presents only part of their story. You might talk about your husband, but not about over-drinking. You maybe tell your doctor about menopause and not the two bottles of wine.

Whereas really, you’re a starfish. There are multiple things happening. and if you don’t present all of them, then the person listening can’t always help you as well as they could.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from the beginning of the audio, and then you can add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments.

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

HOMEWORK:
Fill in the blanks: I told ______ about _____ but i never mentioned _______ or _________.

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #212

Sign up for the monthly podcast membership
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

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…”

 

Audio: Behind the Scenes with the BBC

Below i’ve uploaded a clip from Sober Podcast #216 that will go out to sober podcast members.

This is a special behind-the-scenes audio recorded February 2017. I was contacted by Hannah Smith, freelance journalist with the BBC and she wanted some background information before I did some live, on-air interviews for the BBC in May.

She also asks me about being the poster-child for sobriety, and my answer may surprise you.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from the beginning of the audio, and then you can add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments.

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

HOMEWORK:
Do you think that sobriety has an ‘image problem’? Tell me your thoughts.

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #216

Sign up for the monthly podcast membership
(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)


(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Sober Photography (or Art) Project: Assignment #28

Time for a new sober photography project! to participate, you can be a photographer, or a painter or a artist of some kind … Time to dust off the camera, and get ready to photograph, draw or paint something lovely…

If you’re new to the blog, you can learn more about the idea of having a sober hobby here. See the results from previous projects here.

This is open for anybody, you don’t have to be a fancy ass photographer. No inner critic allowed. Are you ready?

Assignment #28 … Sober Breakfast

Take a picture of your breakfast. It can be fancy or not. I can be take-out or homemade.  

  • DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 20th @ 12 noon Eastern. Yes, a short deadline. The longer the deadline, the more likely we are to procrastinate, oui?
  • The format is open: for photos, you can use your camera phone or a nice camera. For drawings, paintings, just take a picture (or scan) and email to me.
  • The project must be original, and produced AFTER the assignment is received (like, no going through past pictures taken, it has to be new).
  • If you suck at photo adjustments or cropping, send it anyway with a note that you’d like me to adjust.
  • Send as LARGE a file size as you can manage (up to 12MB per image).  Don’t reduce for size.  the bigger the better.
  • Um, you have to be sober …
  • One entry per person per assignment (think of the size of my inbox!)

NOTE: Find something and take a picture. It’ll turn out better than you think it will. This is a fun project, you remember fun right? I learned all about fun by doing this with Christina.

THIS IS NOT A CONTEST. This is a fun thing. Just take a photo. Just have fun.

Here’s an example of breakfast to get you started.