[Audio] Sober Tools

A couple of days ago I recorded a new podcast about sober tools ... what helps and what doesn’t. 

You know, how we try to take vitamins to help us be sober, and French classes, and sign up for marathons — hoping they’ll provide the accountability we need to quit drinking.

This new podcast (episode 267) went out to podcast subscribers.

Here's a 7-minute clip where you can listen to a bit of the audio. This begins at about the 17 minute mark in the full-length 30 minute podcast.

extract from Sober Podcast 267. Sober Tools

You can leave a comment below, anonymous is fine ... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP267. Sober Tools

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)


if booze is an elevator that only goes down, you can exit the elevator. when the door opens, be sure to get off. and stay off.

original Exit art > here

[Audio] Interview with Kristi Coulter 2018

It's been 2 years since I spoke with sober penpal #128, Kristi Coulter. She has a new book coming out on Tuesday, August 7th called Nothing Good Can Come From This. 

But the story of how she got here has a lot to teach us sober folks.

Like, how do you deal with people telling you that you just don't get it, or that you're shit?

I sent out this audio today (episode SP260) to podcast subscribers ... 

BUT I am going to make this full podcast available for 48 hours, even if you are not a podcast subscriber.

You'll want to hear this. Start now, just for a few minutes. 

Sober Podcast 260. Kristi Coulter (2018)

If you could leave a comment after you listen, that'd be great. Anonymous is fine. To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

Download SP260. Kristi Coulter (2018)

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)

Feedback from listeners:

Lena: Love that part about it not being about willpower. Because I guess, that’s what works ... slowly getting to know a perspective of things to be great and even greater! And particularly inspiring awesome to getting to know real people who are showing up, and what is possible if you just go through that tough stuff. 'cause grass IS greener on the other (sober) side! Love for that <3"

Emsyface: "I found this a really useful and there were some parts that stuck out:

Before she quit she felt like she was just fulfilling everyone else’s needs and that her writing/pure creativity was “not essential”. This I think is important because it shows how alcohol makes us just focus on getting through and we deny ourselves any sense of pleasure or frivolity.

The part when she got negative feedback for expressing anger and that meant she was a “dry drunk” and would relapse...

The part where she talks about reading your blog and you “liking” being sober. Catherine Gray in her book talks about sobriety having such a negative image whereas the reality is anything but. That was so worth hearing again.

I found it affirming to hear from someone who didn’t have underlying mental health issues that if one did, one might need more support.

Other little nuggets were “drinking doesn’t change reality” (but changes how you process it); and that feelings don’t kill you. ... Thanks for this- one of the best I’ve heard in a while."


wolfie is a cockroach

From my inbox, this message from L:

“I woke up feeling MUCH better after emailing you. is there a connection? probably so. and also i had a bit of a revelation.

remember my email where i talked about feeling like wolfie was behind me, and i was scared to turn around to check to see if he was getting smaller, blah blah blah? …

i realized something. i didn’t feel like i was doing the sober thing properly, not because i was stuffing my mouth with cake, but because i wasn’t getting “better.” i wasn’t being cured of my wino-ism. at the end of the 100 day challenge i wanted to keep going because i still didn’t know what i thought about it all. but that was probably code for, “i’m not cured yet, so i need to keep going.”

THERE’S NO FUCKING CURE!!

and its taken me this long to accept that. wolfie wasn’t going away because he’s a fucking cockroach, and those motherfuckers do not die. they would survive a nuclear war, and so would wolfie. fuuuuuuuuck wolfie.

cockroaches are fucking disgusting creatures and i fucking hate them (can you tell)? but i’ve also over time accepted that they are here to stay. and so what do i do? i make sure that an exterminator comes regularly to spray. and as soon as i see one around, if maybe i’ve forgotten to call the bug man, i sure as hell call the bug man then. i don’t let them infiltrate and set up shop. first sign of them and i take action. because i fucking hate cockroaches.

and i hate wolfie too.

now my next bit of work is to really truly accept that wolfie is here to stay. and get to work on keeping him away.”

how to travel (audio)

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.

Download SP254. How to Travel

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)

dry july (happy soberversary)

today is canada day. first day of july. it’s moving day in Quebec. it’s a day for fireworks and corn on the cob and watermelon (let me know if you’re having all three). you will have strawberries still in canada, in france we’re into peaches now. today is also my soberversary, not because i wanted my day 1 to coincide with canada day (though i like it!), but because of something called Dry July, a cancer fundraiser based in australia. technically you’re supposed to sign up on their site, let your friends and family know so they can sponsor you, and you give up drinking for a month to raise money. i didn’t do that part. to be fair, i didn’t do any of it except the sober part. I didn’t tell friends, i didn’t even tell my husband. I was too terrified, because my previous longest was 9 days, so going for a whole month seemed impossible. sure, i could have raised a few bucks from my facebook friends, and my generous uncle if i had shared what i was doing … but you know what? i couldn’t share. I couldn’t fundraise. i couldn’t deal with any questions, because i was barely holding on — going to work, not getting fired. that’s it. that’s all i could do to begin. any mild joking on my FB page? i wouldn’t have been able to handle it. i did ask for support online but only from other sober people, and before that moment where i reached out for support i had no faith that it’d even work. i just knew i was stuck. It was day 9 of dry july, when i realized i was going to fail if i didn’t try something else. so here’s my message for today. try different. if today is your day 1, and maybe you’d like to do dry july and we can be soberversary twins, then try different. if what you’ve been trying ins’t working, try something else. if you’ve been ‘waiting for a few clear days on my schedule’ you can try something else. if you’ve been ‘waiting until the vacation and the funeral are over’ then try some else. if you’ve been waiting (for anything), then you begin now and add in new supports. new things. try different. oh and p.s., it’s entirely possible to quit drinking, tell no one, say ‘no thanks it was giving me headaches,’ and go on your way without large declarations. sometimes people like announcements — and you should do you. but me, i liked doing it under the radar. I still do. #dryjuly – that means today is day 1 if you’re not already underway. you’re ready. today’s the same as any other day. it’s a day you don’t drink. hugs xo

send me a picture of your summer fruit – whatever you’re eating today. strawberries, peaches, watermelon? if you’re in tasmania, send me a picture of your lovely root vegetables 🙂 I’ll share some of your photos in my long-weekend emails, today and tomorrow.

 


my favourite canadian breakfast, photo taken last year when i was in canada having cheerios and fruit from the market. today i’ll be having french granola and peaches 🙂 well, as soon as i drag my lardy ass out to get some peaches! my husband just left for a walk, i gave him cow eyes, but i don’t think he’s buying any for me…

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

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.

anonymous confession booth: sex

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth about SEX. Yes, i’ve got something running through my head and i thought, OK, let’s blog about it. and really, it’s amazingly hard to talk about sex even when we’re quasi-anonymous online. And so then i thought, OK, let’s make it 100% anonymous, me included.

So here’s the deal.

  1. Post a comment below.
  2. For this to work you MUST leave your name and your email and your website address BLANK in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous. one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.
  3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what.
  4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something about sex that you think is ONLY your problem and that probably no one else has the same problem as you do. For example, i’ll make one up: “I can’t initiate sex when sober but i used to be able to when drinking” … OR … “i worry that i’m the only person who has x problem now that i’m sober.”
  5. Then post ONE anonymous ‘reply’ to one of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind. In fact, it would simply help if you said “i have this problem, too.”

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have sex shit that we can’t talk about.

PS. if your name/email automatically shows up when you start to enter a comment, you can manually delete them OR you can ‘log out’ of your blogging profile.

 

Audio: My Situation is Different

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #228 sent to sober podcast members.

This audio is a personalized response to someone who asked me “but what about these circumstances, my life is hard, these things and these things.”

And no matter what day you’re on today, there’s a message in here for you.

I received this from J: after she heard my personalized reply:

“It’s really interesting to me that you said (and of course this is true) that I would have ended up overdrinking whether I married my widower or not … I see that you are of course right – I’d be an overdrinker with an overdrinker’s brain whether I had this particular job or these particular kids as my responsibility or not. So. That’s the truth. Wolfie will tell my very receptive brain that drinking anaesthetic would be a good idea. NO MATTER WHAT”

==

Question: How tempting is it to think that our situation is different? (this is a trick question; wolfie is an anus).

==

hugs, me

below i’ve posted a 3 minute clip from the longer audio, all i ask is that you leave a message in the comments. If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #228

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).

 

Audio: All The Stuff

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #222 sent to sober podcast members.

When J sent me an email that said this: “I use all the supports, I do it all. But then a switch flips and I’m drinking…” I just had to reply.

The difference between what our brain says we’re doing, versus what we’re doing… that’s what I talk about here.

Can you see how this audio applies to something in your life? lemme know.

P.S., here’s the response from J after she listened: “Thank you. Wow. Awesome. I listened once and will listen again and take notes and email you and make lists. You are right on all accounts … My head is spinning now. I’m going to work up a plan and I will email it to you. Thank you so much for this. I needed to hear it.”

 

below i’ve posted a 3 minute clip from the longer audio, all i ask is that you leave a message in the comments. If you’d like to listen to the whole thing, you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #222

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).