broken mirror, bent golf club, two bullet holes [Julie-Joy’s Dad Part 1]

from me:

i received a long email from Julie-Joy’s Dad about his new sober life. it’s so fascinating that i want to share it all with you, but it’s long (i said that already) and so i’m going to split it into parts. Here’s Part 1:

===

[May 2016]
email from Julie-Joy’s Dad (day 822): “Hi Belle, I wanted some insight with my drinking problem, which I thought really wasn’t that bad. So I sent my “girls” (girls includes my wife) an email and asked them to tell me about the before and after. I was surprised. Actually I was a little shocked! You will like the response from my wife. Enjoy.  This is my original email:  I need your help! I like to read the blogs of “Belle’s” website and I find them encouraging and in some cases sad. I am looking at my own journey and how content and happy I am right now and I would like to add a perspective to the blog (or whatever) from my family. Could you write a paragraph or two about the DAD (& husband) before the 100 day sober challenge, and the DAD after taking the challenge? Thanks and I love you. DAD (and your Mom’s hubby).”

1. Response From My Wife

I really think you were on a course of self-destruction that was going to end tragically … There were a couple of times that I was probably more frightened, and mad, than I’d ever been in my life. There was one night that I was so concerned about you that I left work in the middle of the night to come home and check on you. I had talked with you on the phone and you weren’t making much sense. By the time I got home you were in bed asleep.

There was also an instance with a patient in the ER one night that I thought to myself, “this could be Jeff.” He had a seizure related to alcohol withdrawal. He was right around the same age as you and a daily drinker. Not a homeless alcoholic guy off the streets, just your average every-day worker, wife at bedside. He was obviously altered, couldn’t talk or make any sense, going to be admitted to ICU (withdrawal can kill), didn’t know if he was going to make it and if he did, what would his quality of life be like. That really frightened me. I remember talking to you about it and you blew it off. At least that was my perception.

Then Julie-Joy came along with an initial 30 day sober challenge, I thought to myself “he’ll do it for Julie, she always had a way with her dad.”

Let me back up a bit and give you my example of “frightening moments”: broken mirror (floor length), bent golf club, and also two bullet holes in our house and you not remembering what happened! My heart is racing right now just recounting this…

There was also the way you tried to hide how much you were drinking. I felt God was whispering in my ear: “look here, look there,” and sure enough there’d be a bottle. … Belle entered our lives through Julie. I cannot begin to thank you enough for your gift of reaching people, Belle. It was the absolute perfect time. Jeff took on the challenge in the typical fashion “all-in”! He did 30 days, and then 60 days, and then 100 days. He is now at 822 days and counting. He is amazing and a joy to be around. He’s “fired-up” on a daily basis, and is hard to keep up with. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m much younger than him, six years? A bit of a private joke 🙂 I’m so thankful he’s alive (I don’t think he would’ve at the rate he was going). I get to enjoy his company for the rest of our years together (38 years and counting).

I love you Jeff and I love that you took on this challenge with gust! You have been a huge inspiration not only to me, but your daughters and those around you, and those you don’t even know you. I’ve shared with friends, patients and acquaintances about the change in you, the website, and the person that Belle is and has been to our family. Thank you Belle for bringing this inspiration to us. Thank you for your own 30, 60, 100+ day challenge and inspiring others to “stop thinking about drinking.” You have a gift, thanks for sharing with others and this family in particular. You’re a life saver.

[end part 1]

loneliness, depression, or boredom

from my inbox:

L: “I’m not doing well. I keep starting and failing. I keep starting out in the morning with plans for a new day 1, even get one occasionally, then feel so good, I decide to get some wine. So stupid, I know. I even thought the Solstice to Solstice would be a good marker for me, but nope. I subscribed to more audios from you, have increased treats … but still fall short in the evening with loneliness, depression, or boredom. I was even half hoping I would get my daughter’s cold, so I would quit again, got two weeks in last time, but went backwards again. My doctor prescribed meds to use to get past the cravings, but I’m always afraid to take stuff, so I haven’t tried them. That seems ridiculous too, since I have no problem poisoning myself with wine.. I don’t want to get caught in the thought of, Oh I’ll just wait until the first of the month. I want this to be my day 1 that sticks.. It will be when I get home from work today, and my brain will say, Oh it vacation time, you have a week off, or one more night, which of course there is no such thing! Heavy sigh.”

me: I know that feeling. I’d quit in the morning and then drink at 6 pm. and then repeat. someone told me they had 1000 day 1s (like 3 years worth) and I believed them. and you know what, it’s normal and totally predictable that someone with an anxiety issue would have anxiety about taking the medication 🙂 you can take it anyway, as a trial. you’ve tried other stuff, you haven’t tried this, and it might help. you don’t wait for special days. you want to feel better today so you start now. date of last drink can be today. really. and reach out for more support. if we are booked to talk once a week, you may find it easier to be more accountable and to get the courage to try the other things that will help. ~ hugs from me

 

 

shameless commercial link: book available in paperback, kindle & audio MP3 versions. www.100daysoberchallenge.com  Available through Gumroad, which means you can pay with a credit card, including AMEX, no paypal required. Electronic files delivered instantly. Get the bundle.

test message for Sunday’s live show


On Sunday, August 6th, I’m going to do a live 2-hour radio show.

In preparation, I turned on my mic and did a test message. I was trying to record a One Minute Message but things went VERY wrong.

Listen now to the little clip about Sunday’s call.

 

Set your timer.
Sunday August 6th, 2017

Pacific

Eastern

UK

Paris

Sydney

Sunday
August 6th

6 a.m.
to
8 a.m.

9 a.m.
to
11 a.m.

2 p.m.
to
4 p.m.

3 p.m.
to
5 p.m.

11 p.m.
to
1 a.m.

When it’s show time, you can listen here > http://mixlr.com/sober-belle/

talk soon,
love
me

you’ve tried it for year. now try something else.

this is an extract from podcast SP206 being sent out to podcast subscribers today.

it’s about you wanting to be sober. During a recent live call, D asked me what she could do to be sober, since she’d been trying for a year. here’s my answer to her. This is a 3 minute extract from the podcast (and update, she’s on day 34 today, so something about this answer seems to have worked).

 

 

You want a different result. And it’s not that there isn’t support available for us, it’s that we don’t want it. If your thought process isn’t working now like it did before, then you do new things now. You’re going to need different things to get you going. you’ve changed. the elevator only goes down. The time to step off is right now.

This audio is taken from podcast SP206 (the full version of the audio is 24 minutes long).

 

Download the audio podcast episode 206

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(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).

Question: What phrase do you hear in this audio, perhaps as if for the first time – something that makes you think “oh yeah. that.” I’ll select a comment in the next 48 hrs and will send a present. anonymous comments are fine.

 

sober lunch treats (thank you)

   

sober lunch, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.

 

 

top: smoked fish and pickled fish from the nice Danish restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. with fancy bottled water (also danish imported) and a baby coffee. divine. did not share.

 

bottom: desserts were from Karamel, new place only open a year, and the dessert on the right is a baby lemon meringue pie. very sweet (literally and figuratively). shared with husband. did not eat all desserts myself.

it can’t be that important

if you work in a place with a boozy culture, it can’t be that important to ‘fit in’ that you’ll do something that isn’t what’s best for you.

 

 

It can’t be so important to fit in. It just can’t. So you have three choices: you either attend the events and don’t drink, or you don’t attend, or you work somewhere else. And a boozy cruise? I say no to that, hands-down, and here’s why.

This audio is taken from podcast SP204 (the full version of the audio is 20 minutes long).

If you’re not a podcast subscriber, you should be. do that here > http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/store/podcast.subscription.htm

 

thanks for the judgment [fiction]

quote from the new fiction writing project. this is fiction. this isn’t me, and it isn’t an email from a subscriber 🙂 it’s the internal dialogue of the main character as they imagine what speaking with their boss will be like …

What, quit drinking? Are you high? Drinking is the only thing that’s holding me together right now. To suggest that it’s perhaps the cause of any of this is illogical. You don’t know me. My life is a mess, OK, that’s why I drink. You’d drink too if you knew what I have to deal with. Thanks for the judgement. (No judgement.) Really, you don’t think it’s just a tad judgey to accuse someone of being an alcoholic out of nowhere? (Didn’t say that. Asked if you’d thought to perhaps take a break from the booze to see if it improved anything.)

Like if skip my one glass of wine tonight, my job will magically improve? Yeah, right, that’s logical. And if I don’t drink next Monday, my credit card will be paid off? This whole conversation is stupid. I wanted … oh forget it. I thought you were going to give me a YouTube video about stress in the workplace or something like that. Shit. Really. What I do when I’m not at work, that’s none of your business.

~

question: did you ever have a conversation like this? with someone else or just in your head?

the boozing you is a liar

if you drink, it creates a whole, different version of you, and it’s not the real you.

 

 

If you drink, you change the trajectory of your life in a large way. So when we stop drinking, it’s like there’s two people – the old us (the boozer) and the new us (the sober us). Which one is the real one?

This audio is taken from podcast SP203 (the full version of the audio is 30 minutes long).

 

Download the audio podcast episode 203

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(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).

 

Your favourite summer drinks

you are already familiar with my lemonade with rosemary recipe.

here’s another idea from Resiliensea (day 257):  “The ‘fancy drinks’ I concoct follow a simple recipe: ice, tonic water and whatever appropriate ingredients I can find in the fridge/ garden. Things that work: Cantaloupe / Basil / Limeade / Cucumber / Raspberries / Lemon juice / Seltzer water / Orange juice. I don’t measure anything because if a craving hits, I need something fast that does not require thought.  Then I have to slow down and actually taste the drink to decide if it’s good or sucky.  Usually it calls for a second serving. Then I’m full, and much of the craving goes away.”

Doesn’t tonic + cucumber juice sound good? I have to admit that i drink a fair amount of tonic + apple vinegar (just one tablespoon added to a big glass of tonic).

ideas?

test message for tomorrow’s live show


To celebrate my soberversary, I’m going to do a live 2-hour radio show on Saturday, July 1.

In preparation, I turned on my mic and did a test message, a small clip about the call format, the length, and about the prizes.

Listen now to the little clip explaining tomorrow’s call.

 

Set your timer.
Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pacific Eastern UK Paris Sydney
Saturday
July 1st
6:30 a.m.
to
8:30 a.m. 
9:30 a.m.
to
11:30 a.m.
2:30 p.m.
to
4:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
to
5:30 p.m.
11:30 p.m.
to
1:30 a.m.

When it’s show time, you can listen here > http://mixlr.com/sober-belle/

talk soon,
love
me