this is for you (re: anthony bourdain)

the truth is
i've been feeling off all week. this thing with anthony bourdain has occupied my thoughts quite a bit. what a fucking tragedy this is.
and i've been waiting, as i often do, to know what i think before i speak.

i know this.

we have a head that lies to us and feeds us misinformation.
we often aren't aware of that, and think that the voice is 'true' or 'real'.
we add alcohol to that and then voice is very loud, dark and insistent.

His gilfriend's friend, Rose McGowan, wrote:
Bourdain reached out for help before his death, “yet he did not take the doctor’s advice.”

this is the part that flattened me, i think.

that for whatever reason, he couldn't hear the thing:

you have a voice in your head that lies to you. it tells you to drink. it tells you it won't get better.

you could remove the alcohol and see what happens to that voice.
and if you can't remove the alcohol easily, or on your own (i couldn't) then reach out for help and open the top of your head and let the advice in, even when it sounds ridiculous to your wolfie voice.
remember that your wolfie voice is lying to you.

any voice you hear that ISN'T saying "take good care of you" is wolfie.

i feel like i could say this every day, forever, and it wouldn't be enough. and it'll be just the right thing at the right time for someone else.

It'll be both. not enough.
and enough.

this is for you.

hugs

Let’s see how this goes

from me: do you quit drinking 'forever' or is it an experiment? what are the advantages of framing it as an experiment? I asked, you answered:

J: "If you can say ‘I choose not to drink’ it’s easier than saying ‘I can’t drink’ which can then start feelings of deprivation and the Wolfie voice. Framing it as an experiment should make it more achievable mentally than forever, your explanation of running as an example made sense, if you said that you were going to run x amount every day for the rest of your life ... what would happen? :)"

Flo (Day 47): "Hi Belle. I think framing it as an experiment an making it a choice. 'I'm choosing to go 100 days sober' is a whole lot less confronting than 'I'm going to give up alcohol forever', which frankly seems kind of unreal. I think if I say i'm giving up forever, i feel a fear in my solar plexus area and sick or maybe that's the hole i think needs filling up with something (alcohol). Saying that i'm choosing to do this for 100 days feels like i'm easing myself into this whole concept of finding out how my life will be sober, and will it be better? Let's just see how this goes and make a decision later. So less confronting."

~
Question: what do you think about quitting drinking as a choice ... you know, a choice that supports you to be your best you (this is a trick question)​.


New Podcast Series (FREE! FREE!)

Need to catch up on episodes 1-3? Click Here

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. 

Show Notes:

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

Donations to support these audios and keep them free.
On Gumroad > link
By Paypal (no VAT) >
link

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.

Ready to quit?

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.

Duck Ponderings 010 – Small Goals

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

Are you looking for longer sober podcasts?

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)

inside your head [one minute message #300]

inside your head

omm300.inside.your.head

when people give you advice, it’s often not helpful. mostly, that’s because the person offering the opinion doesn’t know the WHOLE story. if you walk around asking everyone what to do, if you solicit the opinions from 60 people on whether you should quit drinking, you’ll hear a variety of things. none of them have to do with the truth, which is that you know it’s the right thing to do. you don’t need anyone to agree. 

happy sober friday. if you’ve been trying to get people to agree with you, that you need to quit drinking, you can stop that poll-taking now. I agree with you 🙂 I have a list of ideas that I can send you, with 20 things you can do, read, and listen to, to get your sobriety going (and to keep it going). send me an email and ask for the 20 things list. i sent some out yesterday, but if you didn’t get one yet, you can ask now… le hugs from me. xo

  • Get these free one-minute messages on iTunes (apple podcast) > link 
  • Get them on Stitcher > link
  • or search for 'Belle Sober Message' on whatever podcast platform you use

  • Are you looking for longer sober podcasts?

    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)

    Duck Ponderings 009 – Vision

    In this Duck Ponderings episode I talk about my ‘vision’. ha. as if i have one. Mostly i talk about logistics: how I track penpals, my excel spreadsheet, screen names, marketing, and a (not so) funny story about advertising on Facebook. During this audio, I also record a video which is below. This is literally the busiest day at the park I have ever seen. Ever.

    .

    .

    I also recorded a video near the beginning, just to show the numbers of people at the park … video here [click to begin!]:

     

    Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu

    Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios

    Duck Ponderings 007 – The Bracelets

    Duck Ponderings 007 – The Bracelets. It started with me wanting a bracelet that I could wear (and that I did wear), and the second one came about because I heard a voice while flying (no shit). And there’s a video I filmed at the end, with the man and his yellow bucket, bailing out the boats.

     

    .

    .

    video here [click to begin!]:

     

     

    Links mentioned:

    • Elle Schoenberger podcast episodes 71-74 and 96-99 > link
    • All bracelets — Fuck You Wolfie in both aluminium and silver, the Stay Here bracelet in brass and silver, and the Not Today bracelet with the good capital “O” > link
    • The Stay Here original story which WAS just after my one year soberversary > link
    • Stones fundraising page (with all proceeds going to a homeless shelter that accepts, men, women, gay, straight, transgender, and their dogs  > link

    Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu

    Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios

    Duck Ponderings 005 – The Husband

    In this Duck Ponderings episode I talk about husbands. Why don’t i talk about the contents of my marriage, does he resent how much time i spend on the sober things, does he read my sober writing every day as i complete it … and what happens when you don’t have children in terms of the ‘projects’ you create to fill the space.

    .

    .

    I also mention a video that i filmed on sunday morning… video here [click to begin!]:

     

    To see the fiction project that I talk about in this episode, go here: bit.ly/sober-fiction

    Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu

    Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios

    Duck Ponderings 004 – The Book

    catch up on episodes 1-3

    duck-ponderings.dp04.book

    Duck Ponderings 004 – The Book. The first book was an ‘accident’, the second book was more intentional. My 80% free model. The idea of being led by subscribers. How I’ve ‘stopped pushing’.  Oh, and there are horses at the duck pond today! And I tried really hard to get a photo …

    dp4 IMG_8201

    dp4 IMG_8203

     

    Links mentioned:

    ”See the peacocks from here” (one minute message 284) >  http://traffic.libsyn.com/oneminutemessage/omm284.when.you.get.here.youll.see.this.mp3

    200+ free One Minute Messages > https://gumroad.com/l/belle-omm/100dscb

    Longer Podcasts Archives > http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/store/archivedaudios.htm

    The blog online > http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/blog/

    The blog collection of Year 1 in a PDF file (“Keeping the Wolf from the Door”) > https://gumroad.com/l/Year1-Blog/

    The actual how-to-quit-drinking book (“Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge”) > http://www.100daysoberchallenge.com

    Bundle of Top 10 Podcasts > https://gumroad.com/l/BellesTop10Podcasts/highjump084

    Article on Medium about pushing > https://medium.com/@SoberBelle/ive-stopped-pushing-this-is-living-sober-fe0e09b95b46

    Music: “Acoustic Blues,” thanks to Jason Shaw, https://bit.ly/2pZvbyu

    ~

    Donations to support these audios and keep them free 🙂 https://gum.co/DuckPonderingsaudios

     

    feedback

    when i first quit drinking, i wrote on this blog every day. i needed to get the noise in my head out into the world, and i have always used writing as a way of figuring out what i think. I know that last sentence doesn’t make much sense, but only when i try to write something down, and have to organize my thoughts, do i even see that THIS goes with THIS. i often say that in writing TO YOU (as a penpal or whatever) that i’m really writing TO ME.

    i also used to make lists of ‘here’s what i learned this week in terms of being sober’ – and so today i’m doing to do the same thing. about my sober life this week.

    1. i do better with a goal: When i started the new work thing at the beginning of the month, i counted out how many days i had to go onsite (48) and so by the end of the first week i’d done 5. like quitting drinking, when you’re close to day 1, the time elapsed seems small and ‘not worth it’. and then we keep going. as of today i’ve done 19 of 48 days. perhaps at some point i’ll stop counting, or i’ll miscount, or i’ll forget about counting. just like when i quit drinking.
    2. progress isn’t always sunshine and roses: I do fine so long as the comments at my new job are encouraging. yesterday I had a very good shift, turned out a great product, got good feedback, and then checked the online notes when i got home and the boss had written something unfavourable that wasn’t said to me directly. This was a different from the guy who loved me the day before. my lesson: I need to stop looking at my daily evaluations. There is no daily improvement 🙂 there’s a slow and steady improvement, but one individual day might suck, or a series of days might suck, and that doesn’t mean it’s not improving globally.
    3. I care about likes, just like you do. i care about hearts and likes and thumbs up and comments. and i realize now – just this week – that it’s distracting. i could write a sober post for Medium, or record a sober audio for the podcast, or record a live show, or do a Production week with 5 live shows. OR I can spend time moderating, replying, editing comments on the blog. i’ve watched other bloggers turn off the comments on certain posts, and i’ve never thought i’d try it, but now i’m gonna try it 🙂 In terms of feedback, i get lots of it by email, so i won’t be missing out on ideas. I share lots of emails in my daily micro-emails from other subscribers, so you won’t miss hearing from others. When I was getting 10 comments a day, i could keep up, but as the site is larger, the demands of moderating comments is surprisingly time-consuming. And then i care about not being liked (as would anyone), and then i end up focussing on the two people who think i’m an anus. which, as we know, isn’t terribly productive either. Here’s what i’ve learned: Since i’m not a girl who can just shrug and say “oh well” … I am going to proactively remove the feedback loop on blog posts as a trial for a few weeks, to see how things shift.
    4. it all shifts: this week i learned that if i make a pork jus, reduced forever, my husband will pour it out thinking that it’s the dirty water in the bottom of a pot. then i’ll cry and plan divorce in my head. then he’ll say “how could i have known?” and i’ll say “you could have asked.” then he’ll come to me with a cup that has a smidge of a drip of milk in the bottom, and he’ll say “can i throw this out, or are you saving it,” and then i’ll hate him. and then he’ll say something hilarious. and then i’ll laugh. and then it’ll stop. note to self. it all shifts. [as in, we don’t drink on a fuck-it moment, because the next minute we could be laughing, and then we’d have ruined our sobriety for ‘no reason’].

    In yesterday’s micro-email about why i share things in the daily emails, i got a bunch of replies. here’s a sample of what’s in my inbox today.

    H: “My life is full of people but I’m lonely. And almost no-one in my real life knows the horrible truth about my struggles with alcohol. This loneliness would lead me to drink again if it wasn’t for you – simple as that. Getting emails from you every day is absolutely key in my recovery, I wouldn’t have got this far without you.”

    Sargent (day 34): “The best idea I see here is to turn off the comments! Post what you think is valuable with CONFIDENCE and let people take it or leave it. You don’t need to hear what they think about it … There are a lot of great things about the internet but “comments” are one of worst. They’re repetitive and boring and rarely contain anything valuable. They will exhaust you and you have better things to do with your energy.  And I think it’s the same with the “commerce” part of this. You have every right to charge for the services you provide and to sell products that you think are helpful. Your time is worth something. You don’t have to apologize for that. Just put it out there with confidence. People can take it or leave it and keep their opinions to themselves!”

    B: “Hello, I have been reading your blog for years. This is the first time I have emailed you. I’m sorry you are going through a tough time. Continuing to help others is the cornerstone of my sobriety. I am 17.5 years sober as of Feb. 1 … I would hate to see you quit anything that you are doing because it may be your own sobriety that you impact. Stand strong. The work you are doing is helping thousands of people and also helping you in the process.”

    ~

    this last comment really struck me. i love having feedback from people who are WAY further along than i am 🙂

    hugs, me