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: 
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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.


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)


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






August 6th

6 a.m.
8 a.m.

9 a.m.
11 a.m.

2 p.m.
4 p.m.

3 p.m.
5 p.m.

11 p.m.
1 a.m.

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

talk soon,

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.


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?

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)


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).