Tired of Thinking About Drinking

Archive for the tag “habits”

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

 

 

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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.

 

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)

 

Audio: I’ll Have to Apologize

When I sent out Sober Podcast Episode #194 to sober podcast subscribers,  i asked listeners to tell me the ONE phrase that stood out for them.

Before I even tell you what the podcast is about, here’s some of the responses I got.

 

Dancing Rabbit: “I assume neglect, she assumes politeness”

~ ~

Max1165: “I didn’t pour alcohol on a sadness and make it worse…and then make today a misery.” I poured alcohol on sadness and made it worse for about 4 years. Then couldn’t seem to find a way out of the misery, long after the original sadness was over. Now I see things with new eyes as well.  All I had to do was remove the alcohol.”

~ ~

Sandal: “I didn’t add a problem to a problem.”

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G: My sentence is: “alcohol gloomifies everything” – which it does. I also liked when you said ‘je voudrais un cafe avec beacoup du creme’. For some reason that made me smile and think you were on the right path.”

~ ~

BG: “I did not pour booze on my head to make the situation worse.” So often that’s what I did. Too often to count. Thank you for your honesty and humour. I could listen to you all day 😊 There was something very cool about being in the cafe with you. Listening to you order in French. I felt like I was at the table with you. Also dispelling the myth that sobriety makes everything perfect. Like as if the same shit was not going to bother you. The point you make so well is drinking when bothered will only make it worse plus you never get any good solutions or acceptance under the booze cloud.

~ ~

OK, what is the podcast about?
It is about apologizing. Or rather, it is about ME realizing that it’s not all about me.

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.

 

HOMEWORK:
Have you had a situation recently where you have WAY over-reacted and realized that you probably didn’t understand the other person’s behaviour properly?

 

 

Download the entire podcast episode #194

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.

Audio: “The 5% that is me”

On July 1st, I recorded an epic 3-hour live radio show to celebrate my soberversary. Yes, i literally talked for 3 hrs, and recorded 6 separate podcasts for sober podcast subscribers.

What I’m posting below is some of that brand new content, and this is an extract from Sober Podcast #205!

 

 

 

if you sign up to be a podcast subscriber today (tuesday august 1st), you’ll get the full-length version of this audio automatically as your first in the subscription. do that now.
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. 

Question: What’s one phrase or idea that seems new or like an a-ha moment from this audio clip?

not everything that is helpful is useful

this is an extract from an email sent to the Everything List (which is the place where i share ‘everything’ including behind the scenes reporting on writing, pictures of my lunch, how writing is like sobriety, and samples of the new fiction project).

from me: i’ve written myself into a corner with the fiction. i’ve closed  the open loops and don’t know what happens next. (this happens.)

but that has led me to “what’s the point in writing fiction anyway,” – and i don’t mean the thing i’m writing, i mean fiction in general. what’s the point of fiction? …

i’m temporarily stuck. i feel like non-fiction is more direct. “how do i deal with a husband who drinks now that i’m sober” versus “here’s a story about a woman with a husband.” maybe the lessons are still there, but maybe the vehicle of delivery is all that changes.

but if the lessons are the same, then why fiction?

i’m sure i’ll be able to write myself back to an answer to this, but today, right here and right now, i’ve lost the plot (hahahahaha). [and if writing is like being sober, then even when you lose the plot, you keep going, because – even as i say it here – i’m sure i’ll be able to find the way if i keep going.]

Quote from this week’s fiction writing:

OK, you’re up. The room – you can’t even look at the room. The hallway – you can’t even look at the hallway, the bookshelf contents on the floor, now walked through repeatedly, how long has it been. Into the kitchen, can’t really look in here, either, something in the pan on the stove, it could have been risotto (really?). You pick up and hold the takeout container close to your face, smell it, afraid, but seems fresh enough, so it probably was dinner last night after all.

It’s weird day when I wake up and it feels like I’m on an archaeological exploration in my own home. What did I do? What did I eat?

You check your phone for sent messages. Scroll …


comments:

Mich2point0 sent me this: “That’s just wolfie’S cousin- self doubt creeping in.  She’s a c-nt… kick her ass to the curb Xxoo.”

me: haha. maybe it is!  it’s just that after doing a big live call yesterday, THAT seems more ‘useful’ than fiction…

Mich2: “Lmfao!!!!! Not everything that is helpful is useful. Sometimes. I get fucking tired of self help and all that jazz. Sometimes. I want to disappear into a good book or listen to something fun or funny. Relatable.  You don’t determine what’s useful. That’s a high powers job. You. Just do what you’ve been called to do…”


*your comments make the world go round. add in your thoughts.*


french anti-wolfie mints

email from Dr. Anon (Day 313):

“I have been thinking about the power of what you do. In many ways it’s the opposite paradigm of AA (no disrespect to AA, whatever model works for the person and I know it’s an organization that has saved millions in terms of mortality and morbidity). Having said that, most modern mainstream hospitals aren’t big fans.

The crux is in the loss of power idea. This flies in the face of everything we learn in medicine and psychological thinking. Personally, the idea of having no power is repellent to me. I never ever want to surrender and I am always in the driver’s seat.

Well, just imagine in your little shop of treats along with the jewelry and mugs, you sold a little box of French mints (fancy ones) but you had a word like “lupine” (is that the French word for wolf?). They would be totally placebo and totally legal. They would work, you know. Fuck, people spend gazillions on sugar tabs or vitamins. These anti-wolfie-mints could be kept in your handbag for when you need “strength to fight the wolf.”

I’d buy these.

Every time I put one of your fancy French anti-wolf white tablets under my tongue I’d be pissing myself laughing so hard I would feel so happy and ridiculous that I’d be in total control if my life and out of any destructive thinking spiral. Seriously, Belle. Can you think a bit outside the box in your sober store? I’d buy a carton of these mints. They sell these French mints in a tin box with a beautiful painting on the box, don’t they?

It just gave me the idea of taking more power, and how no matter what we do, we are doing an action that helps us. That’s the key. Doesn’t really matter what the action is. If our mind thinks it’s anti-wolfie, that’s enough. It can be a sugar mint with special Belle powers (you can bless them or sprinkle Belle holy water like the pope!).

I am not nuts. Go on Belle star! It was the photo of the French market that gave me this idea for some reason.

~ love, Dr. Anon”


French Anti-Wolfie Mints.

Dissolve one pill under your tongue as required. There’s something really special and medicinal about getting a tin from France. It’s exotic. You love stuff with “made in France” written on it. There’s some weird snob factor and caché… it’s extra-special because it’s from France. Anti-lupine tablets (French mints). One tin for the car, one for your bedside table.

Audio: “My therapist is an ass-hat” (response)

This is Sober Podcast Episode #188 for my weekly sober podcast series.

ok, so I sent out an email recently where someone was worried about their therapist. and I said something sweet+kind, like “maybe your therapist is a nice person, but she doesn’t understand this boozing thing.”

then I got this in my inbox swiftly afterwards:  Wanda: “That therapist is a full-of-shite asshat and she DOESN’T mean well; she’s incompetent and a self-absorbed, ego-driven fuckwit with no ability to empathize who is a danger to her clients. C’mon, where’s Ranty Belle today? … There are a ton of these certified fuckwits out there therapy-ing people to death with their bull-shite theories and irresponsible advice. [Grabs virtual cardboard and felt pens, makes crude sign, runs to Courthouse to chant with other concerned netizens: We Want Ranty Belle! Show Us Your Ranty Belle! Give Us Our Ranty Belle!]”

and so after that, I had to record a full length podcast in reply … how could I not 🙂

Below i’ve posted the first 3 minutes of the podcast. if you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.

HOMEWORK:
What would you say to a therapist who encouraged you to ‘keep drinking’ …

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 188

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.

Audio: Take Care of You

This is Sober Podcast Episode #187 for my weekly sober podcast series.

In this audio, i try to answer the question sent to me by a penpal: “what does it mean to take good care of yourself?”

and at first i thought it was an unusual question, until i tried to really define what I mean by ‘take good care of you’.

in this podcast, I talk about food court rice and vegetables, how to ‘take the edge off,’ and seaside hotels in thailand.

When you download the full audio, you’ll also hear the unedited version, where there is a dog barking, the dinner timer goes off, hints of what i put in chili, and a side conversation about snuggles where I talk myself into a corner and then i have to back my way out … All of these things are missing from the ‘proper’ version of the audio.

Below i’ve posted the first 3 minutes of the podcast. 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 you were just coming home from the hospital, what would you do to take care of you?

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 187

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.

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