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.

 

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.

Audio: Sprinkler

This is a clip from Sober Podcast Episode #211 that i sent to sober podcast members.

~~

“Feeling very grateful I listened to this podcast this evening. I’m permanently soaking wet cos of all the bloody sprinklers I walk into. I think I shall wear my raincoat always around my children :-)” ~ Hidcote
~~

In this podcast i talk about how to avoid dealing with someone (or some situation) that is making you feel nutty, and I frame it in terms of thinking about a sprinkler. To avoid getting wet, you do both of these things: you walk around the sprinkler, AND you put on a raincoat. We tend to get stuck staring at the shitty boss, the irritating husband, the bratty child (the sprinkler) – and we wonder “why are they doing this TO ME.”

That’s what boozers do. We look around, find existing problems, and drink AT them. “Fuck you, I’ll show, I’ll drink at you.” Especially in the first 200 days.

so here’s an audio on how to identify (and avoid) the sprinklers in your life.

You can listen to a 2-minute clip from this podcast and add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments. You should leave one. Do it today 🙂

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

 

HOMEWORK:
Sometime in the last 48 hrs, something like this happened to you. did you walk into the sprinkler, walk around it, or put on a raincoat?

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #211

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: Misfit

This is a clip from Sober Podcast Episode #207 sent out yesterday to sober podcast subscribers.

~ ~

“I don’t walk in dog shit. I’m taking care of me.” (sent to me by MelMel as a possible bumper sticker)

~ ~

Yes, that’s an actual quote from the podcast. Here’s what happened.

J sent me this: “I often feel like I’m missing out when I see people (my family, etc) enjoying alcohol and having fun. It makes me feel a little sad. Will this go away? How can I change the way I think about it and my feelings around it? I feel like it’s yet another contributor to my being a misfit.”

and my answer, to address our feelings of ‘misfit’ is to engage in a bit of reframing.

You can listen to a clip from this podcast and add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments. You should leave one. Do it today 🙂

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

 

Question:
If we had to make a bumper stick out of one phrase in this podcast, what would it be?

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #207

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).

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.

 

Feedback from subscriber:

Alicat (day 184): “I enjoyed this podcast immensely for a couple of reasons.  First reason:  I love hearing you talk about ‘the further you get from Day 1’ because I am now somewhere around Day 180 and nearly everything positive you have predicted has come to pass. I only very occasionally find myself in a jealous state because of the fun others appear to be having while drinking, and when it does pop up it passes very quickly. Sometimes because I leave the situation and take myself elsewhere. Sometimes because ‘fun’ drinking rather quickly becomes embarrassing or awkward drinking, and watching that reminds me how very happy I am to have left those moments behind me. Mostly I am glad to be feeling better (although I am still awfully tired sometimes, which I am attributing to emotional overwhelm) and looking better and waking up healthy. No churning stomach, no awful headache and no shame. Also, I am always keenly aware of where I have left my car. It is truly terrifying to think back on how many times I woke up wondering where it was.

The second reason I enjoyed the podcast: Your wonderful advice about when to stop fucking talking! I do tend to offer more information, or rationalization, or apology than is ever necessary when answering simple questions. I feel an overwhelming need to make others comfortable with whatever stance I happen to be taking at the moment but you are right; probably they really do not care! I know I usually don’t. OMG – so simple.  It is indeed freeing to realize that my doings and decisions really do not matter to most people.  Wheeeee!!!

The third reason I enjoyed the podcast:  Well it was your parting thought on being a misfit.  “So you’re a misfit and who gives a shit?” This has been a growing sentiment for the last few years and especially since about Day 60 of sober living. I have never fit in, and I have never been easy in the company of even the smallest crowd and y’know what? Who gives a shit? So that’s my vote for a bumper sticker: “So you’re a misfit eh? Well who gives a shit?” Good stuff as always Belle.”

big chunk of yesterday’s live audio (limited time)

i don’t normally do this.
in fact, i don’t think i’ve ever done it before…

yesterday i recorded a 2.5 hr live call. it’ll eventually be chunked up and sent out to podcast subscribers.

one thing subscribers get as a bonus is the UNEDITED version of the audios.

and you.
you’ve maybe never heard the unedited version.
and there’s something about the missteps, the fumbling around, the swearing, the reading of the comments, that makes the whole recording seem much more REAL.

so today…

(and i haven’t done this before)

but today
i have posted a large hefty morsel of yesterday’s live call. and i’m going to leave it up for 24 hrs only.

that’ll mean you can listen right now, in 10 minute increments if you must.
and so if you were unable to join us live yesterday, you can get some of that ‘group’ feeling today.

and also.
it’ll give you 1.5 podcasts, live, as they were being recorded.
you can post a comment about being a snake or a starfish …

 

link has been removed.

 

out of fairness to podcast subscribers, i’ll leave this up for only 24 hrs.
le hugs from le me

 

 

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)

 

Audio: BBC Interview “Is Drinking Required?”

On May 4th, i was interviewed by BBC Three Counties Radio, on the JVS Show (with Jonathan Vernon-Smith).

I had no idea who the presenter was, had no time to do research, and was pretty surprised at how this went.

when i listen back to this now, i feel tense! like i can’t tell how ‘she’ is going to respond. there is a lot of good-natured laughing (thank god) but it was by far, this is the most stressful audio i’ve ever done.

your thoughts welcome 🙂

==

Dancing Rabbit: “This audio made me squirm. He was such a boozer and so sure of his rightness. You did great. Gracious and sane (is that the best compliment I can come up with?).”

Sober Sparkles: “Well, isn’t he just a shining example of exactly WHY we don’t bother getting into these types conversations with people. When I start getting push back from people like that, I tend to ignore them (but if they do decide to take me on they get shock, just like he did. You are much better versed on the subject and can counter all their objections and it makes them sound really dumb).  And I’m sure he is only joking about dinner, he knows you would be a fun dinner guest. He seemed to like you 🙂 I got what you mean about “tense”. I didn’t mind him so much, but it is that “attitude” that bothers me, they are so blind and I wish I could make them see.”

Case Study Michelle: “Wow, the end part where you explained what it’s like to be the sober person at a dinner party and how the drinkers repeat themselves and are annoying. His reaction sounded like you could have blown him over with a feather. His reaction could be the dictionary definition of a ‘light bulb moment’.”

 

 

Usually i only put up an extract of the podcast and then tell you to go buy the whole thing and/or to sign up for the monthly podcast subscription.

But today I’d like you to listen to this audio in its entirety.

i am posting the whole audio and I’ll leave it here for 48 hrs so that you can hear the entire thing even if you’re not a podcast subscriber. So please listen now. right now. My only request is that you leave a comment. Feedback is crucial 🙂

 

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)