Tomorrow I am recording a sober podcast at the duck pond with a LIVE AUDIENCE.

This event will also be live-streamed in real time.

(If you’re not available during the broadcast to hear it live, then the audio will be recorded and will be sent out to podcast subscribers as part of their subscription.)

Date: Sunday March 24th
Time: 3:00 pm Paris time (see chart below to calculate your time)

Pacific Eastern UK Paris Sydney
March 24th
7 am 10 am  2 pm 3 pm 1 am  Monday


This will be a live radio show. I’ll be talking, you’ll be listening.

Check the schedule above, and when it’s Sober Show Time, then you can use one of the two links below:

1. Radio (no video)
All you need is an internet connection. This is 100% anonymous. You don’t have to create a username on Mixlr, but if you do, then use a screen name.

2. Live on Facebook video
If you are logged into Facebook, other people can see your activity. But if you’d rather watch anonymously, then log out of facebook first before you click the link above.

many hugs from me,
look forward to speaking to you tomorrow!
(oh and i’ll have some prizes to give away, too.)




we’ve sent out over 350 of these paintings, all over the world.
if booze is an elevator that only goes down, then you get off and you stay off. you find the exit. and you keep this visual to remind you.
this is painting #360


do less. let people help.

email from carly: “Last night I hosted a dinner party, and here’s how smartly sober it was. 🙂
1. It was for a group of colleagues and we were all signed up to chaperone the high school dance starting at 7:45. So there was a scheduled end and of course no drinking. Sweet! (Honestly, I wish there were a 7:30 end time on all dinner parties — this introvert needs wind down time!)
2. Drinking me would have gone all out — fanciest dishes and silverware, elaborate meal, way over stressed me who then demanded to get wasted at the end of the very taxing night. Sober me bought paper plates and plastic cutlery, served simple, easy food (literally the frozen leftovers of a yummy vegetable curry and some easy rice and store bought naan). One of the guests asked how she could help and I suggested she bring mocktails. She did and they were fabulous. Me accepting help? Whole new world.
3. I knew the night would be taxing (up til past midnight, which is not my usual), so I planned a quiet, calm weekend otherwise … I’m taking things easy today too, not doing much work and planning another early bedtime.
I’m tired and have a taxing week ahead with some stressful work events, so I’m using today to make my meals for the week and to plan out a schedule of tasks so I don’t get overwhelmed. Feeling wise. :p”

me: the best part of this is #2 🙂 do less. let people help. if that’s not the recipe for sobriety, I don’t know what is!

[she’s on day 344 today]


new s’élever painting

​s’élever is french for ‘to go up’ or to rise up. going up. pick yourself up. rise YOURSELF up. (i do like how the root of the word elevator is in here.)

This is painting #369 at the top of the page here.


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you felt like drinking? That’s the way we think about making changes in our life, isn’t it? We think in terms of a stick. We think in terms of a threat of pain. In my mind, the problem with the idea of having an elastic that you snap every time you have a craving or you think about drinking, is that it waits for the thought of drinking to come up before you implement the strategy. And what I would suggest, instead, is something a bit more preventative, which would be reaching out, finding sober supports, listening to a podcast, listening to an audio. So that the cravings don’t come up as often. So you don’t have to pull back from it. If you surround yourself with the right kind of supports and tools, and you use them often enough, and you use them before you need them, then you create a new path in your head. You’re less likely to go down the wrong path. You’re less likely to have to snap the elastic.


new STAY painting

And once you’re out of the booze elevator, you learn to rest and be present. Stay here. Stay focussed. Stay in the present. Stay sober. Stay true to you. 

This is painting #367 at the top of the page here.

run or lasagne sauce?

from me: saturday is the one day i can sleep until i wake, which today meant 7:50 a.m. Then i’m lounging in bed, taking pictures of the blankets (!), planning to get up or have one more cup of decaf. I have catering groceries to do (or husband will), and then prep today for tomorrow. None of this is possible with a hangover. be awake after 9 hrs of solid sleep? not possible. lounge in bed planning to do this or that? not possible. cook for other people without heaving? not possible. write a sober email to you? wouldn’t be possible if i was still drinking. it’s like a door opens up, in my head, when i’m sober. a door to the REST OF MY LIFE. when we’re drinking, we’re stuck in one room, instead of living in the WHOLE HOUSE. nomsain?

so while it’s now 10:17 a.m. and i’m not dressed, and husband is playing the SAME riff on the guitar, i know he’s learning, but the repetition is going to kill me, and while i’m contemplating going for a RUN or going back to bed with the ipad, let it be said that i am NOT contemplating when is a good time to start drinking. i’m not trying to figure out should i make the lasagne sauce first and drink later? when is it too early to drink, noon?

when the booze is removed, that noise stops. now it’s … coffee or lasagne sauce? run or lasange sauce? poke my husband with a sharp skewer to make him switch songs or lasagne sauce? I pick the latter.


new STAY painting

And once you’re out of the booze elevator, you learn to rest and be present. Stay here. Stay focussed. Stay in the present. Stay sober. Stay true to you.
Art thanks to Mr.Belle, paintings done when he’s not torturing me with the guitar-playing.

This is painting #365 at the top of the page here.


reaching out is an act of bravery (… and fish with baked pasta)

from me: i crossed the street to the deli to pick up a take-out lunch today. they serve fish on fridays. i’d forgotten that, was hoping for roast chicken and got salmon with pesto sauce and baked pasta that had the nice crunchy corner bits from being overcooked.

i was ‘celebrating’ doing a hard thing. catering yesterday, more catering on sunday. i’m not so good at cooking for myself BUT i’m master at sloth, at not going outside when i don’t have to. i’m master at declaring it’s bedtime even when it’s 8:30 pm, to much eye-rolling of mr.belle.

the large thing i did this morning was i got over the mental hurdle required, when a doctor messaged and asked if this was the place she could get confidential support to quit drinking.
i told mr.belle on his way out the door this morning that i was nervous to answer her. he says “but you work one-on-one with doctors and therapists all the time.” and i’m like, yes, but this feels different. i recognize now that lots of people are reluctant to go to AA (for whatever reason), as I would have been. and what if someone finds out. and what if i have to tell my boss and then they tell someone else.

well ok, sure. it sometimes is required for us to speak with our HR person about quitting-drinking resources. of course, it happens. But as a tentative, nervous reaching out online, i just felt the weight of her question.

I could feel it in my stomach.

And then i had to honestly ask myself: Would I be sober today without anonymous support online? i don’t think so. if it was just me alone in my head? i just don’t think so.

because me and my ‘big brain’ didn’t keep me from drinking. my three university degrees weren’t an inoculation from over-drinking.

so i wrote and edited and wrote and edited and sent off the email to the doctor (therapist, counsellor, social worker, nurse, psychiatrist) and i have to acknowledge, again, how hard it is to reach out for help, of any kind — private / anonymous / confidential / intelligent — or not.

after, i recorded a facebook video about it, and took some live questions (about whether you should drink at the end of your 100 day sober trial, and do i feel pressure to stay sober since i’m penpals with you).  you can watch that video here.

so i celebrate hard things with friday fish and pasta. and i’ll ask my husband to get the groceries i need for catering on his way home for work. and we’ll have baked sausages and roast potatoes for dinner. and maybe green beans for good measure. and that’ll be enough for today.

i’m in awe of us. of you and me. we’re braver than we think. we’re reaching out for support. that is such a large and worthwhile thing.

love, me

the thing


the thing you’re looking for isn’t IN the thing you’re craving. the thing you want to come FROM alcohol isn’t IN alcohol.

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

After you listen to this clip, you’ll want to go immediately to the podcast subscription page, look at the BONUS PHOTO I’m sending to new subscribers, and be sure to sign today Friday March 15, 2019 … the link is here >

the thing isn’t in the thing


the thing you’re looking for isn’t IN the thing you’re craving. the thing you want to come FROM alcohol isn’t IN alcohol.

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


After you listen to this clip, you’ll want to go immediately to the podcast subscription page, look at the BONUS PHOTO I’m sending to new subscribers, and be sure to sign up before Friday March 15, 2019 … the link is here >


After you listen to the audio, you can tell me: have you ever had a similar feeling of ‘i want it. i want it’ like i talk about in this episode?

view from the dining room window monday afternoon … no leaves on the trees yet

fit in

from me:  Sometimes these little One Minute Messages are not as meditative as they should be. And sometimes they’re a rant. Today’s is a rant. It’s a one minute rant. Are you really so worried about fitting in, that you’re going to give up what’s best for you? Which is not drinking? Are you really so worried about fitting in with a group of over-drinkers, that you’re going to pour alcohol on your head even though you know it doesn’t suit you? You know it doesn’t give you a better life. You know it doesn’t make you feel better. You cannot be that desperate to fit in with people who don’t get it, who don’t get what it’s like to be you, who don’t know that you are a better person without booze. You do lots of things in your life that other people don’t do. Some people eat ice cream, some people don’t. Some people run marathons, some people don’t. Some people do archery, some people don’t. Some people drink, we don’t. You don’t. You don’t drink. [listen to this as an audio]

this is special edition painting
#362 “free” > link
free from the booze elevator. free from the noise in your head. a painting celebrating you.

painting 362
at the top of the page here > link



Where are they now?

British Columbia

lent is a good cover


Lent is the perfect cover to quit drinking. In this audio, I share some ways to work ‘i’m not drinking these days’ into the conversation.

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

If we had to make a bumper sticker out of ONE phrase in this audio, what would it be? I’ll pick the 11th new comment and you’ll get an audio bonus gift.



shameless commercial link.
french mints.
you need two packages,
one for home
and one for your bag.

if I drink alcohol, my world will get smaller

email from Eleutheria (day 8): ” … At one point this weekend, I sat and looked at my dad in his hospital bed and said, “You know, if you ever want to walk again, it’s on you. You have to decide you are willing to go to physical therapy …” I continue, “And, when you get home, you are going to want to drink. You can’t.  You can’t drink. You can’t have just one. I can’t have just one. Aunt E, your sister, can’t have just one. Your brother T can’t have just one …”

He replied, “I know. It’s genetic … I can’t help it.”

To which I responded, “Yes, it’s genetic [maybe it’s genetic], but so is my nearsightedness. And, you know what I do every day? I wear glasses. I put them on every day to prevent developing headaches. You wanna also know what is genetic? Depression. I take one little pill each day, and it keeps me from experiencing emotional hell. That’s it. There are answers to these problems. And you know what else, there are things you can do about alcohol, too. I write an email – or actually a bunch of emails to a sober coach who doesn’t even live in the United States. I am actually WANTING to go to AA when I get back home … Do I want to go through the 12 steps? Nope! But I DO want to be around other people who “get this” and are in the same boat. It feels good not to be alone.”

My dad replied, “I don’t even want to drink right now.”

“Yeah, you don’t want to right now because you are in the hospital. But when are home and you get bored, lonely, stressed — any emotion, especially any negative emotion — you will want to fall back on what you know you can do. You are going to want to drink. It happens to ALL of us. But you can’t. If you don’t want to end up back here, you can’t.”

Deep down I know in my heart of hearts that my dad doesn’t want to change. At the same time, I am not trying to be a hypocrite. I have had so many Day 1s, I feel like I have broken a record for Day 1s. At the same time, it felt good to tell my family, “I can’t drink because I can’t drink like a normal person.” I told my mom and my sister. I don’t think my mom will EVER get alcoholism. She tells me, “But you aren’t like him. You have sense. You have control.” Ummmmm, no I don’t. I just haven’t told her all the horror stories that have accompanied my overdrinking. She has no clue about how much I have disrespected my body, my self esteem, my waistline, and bank account. She also hasn’t been in my head to replay all the embarrassing shit I have said — the conversations I have forgotten, the nights I don’t remember. I don’t need her to get it, though. I just need her to respect it.

I look at my dad’s life and how alcohol ruined it. He was this super good-looking medical professional with a smokin’ hot wife and two daughters who grew up to be pretty great people… he went scuba diving and snorkeling; he had a cool life … [over time] he ballooned into a morbidly obese man. He spends more time comatose drunk than he does sober … his world is this tiny, sad, dark place. I know that if I drink alcohol, my world will get smaller, more predictable, sadder, and darker, too.
I’m going to bed wayyyy early tonight – and am happy about that. I think I just completed Day 8 (?). Yep – Day 8 complete.”

[update: she’s on day 404 today]

this is painting 350 here.
if booze is an elevator that only goes down, you can get off. and when you’re off you stay off. look for the exit. and sometimes the exit is in FRENCH.

link here.