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.

about to give up

from my inbox:

L: “I’m seriously about to give up on trying to be sober. I have been struggling since 2009 – when I first went to rehab. Since then I got married and had a beautiful baby boy and didn’t drink for about two years. When my son was about a year and a half I started drinking again at social events and it quickly got out of hand. I snowballed fast and hit lots of rock bottoms. Last weekend was my worst – I drove after going to an event all day where I was drinking. I was blacked out. I got behind the wheel blacked out and tried to drive to my old friend’s house … all while my wonderful husband and sweet boy slept innocently in our home. I was out doing bad things. I have the worst anxiety. I thought that was my break through “aha” moment. But no. I drank yesterday at a baby shower then took an uber to a pub near my house and drank alone bc we have no booze in the house. I’ve been going to rehab after work 4 days a week. I don’t know why I can’t even get ten days recently. I’ve never been this bad. Or sad about everything. I have a great life and I’m ruining it with drinking.

Your podcasts are so inspiring and I can relate so much to you and what you say … I wish I wasn’t wired this way and/or I knew how to rewire permanently. I’m so fed up. I don’t know I am just venting but felt like I needed to actually send this to someone. You are amazing. I wish I had 1/4 if your strength and outlook. Thanks for making me feel like I am not completely alone.”

me: my lovely, don’t confuse my strength and outlook with anything other than being sober. I’m not some special creature. I’m a fucked up human like everyone else. I just happen to have quit drinking. 

and you can do that too. and you can kick some major ass once you quit (for real). 

that you don’t yet know how to get there, doesn’t mean it’s not possible – it means you don’t have the right tools and accountability (yet). 

so here’s what I’d suggest (and I’m not a counsellor, and you should ignore me):

  • 2 weeks of anti-anxiety medication + antabuse for 6-9 months
  • daily accountability to someone (me, sponsor, therapist)
  • weekly one-on-one meetings with someone who’s a booze specialist (me,
    sponsor, therapist)
  • continue with your outpatient treatment
  • sign up for my jumpstart class so that we can be daily penpals, and then
    email me 4 times a day to begin.
  • remove the booze from your home.
  • do not socialize outside the home for the first 6 weeks. going to a baby shower is asking to drink. I have a high bottom and I didn’t socialize outside the home more than 2-3 times in the first 6 weeks, I was too afraid to drink and I didn’t want a new day 1. 

if booze is an elevator that only goes down, then you stop off now. right now. whatever it takes. there is support for you. but as a group, us boozers, we suck at asking for it. support is right there. you have a brain that says it isn’t. your brain is incorrect.

if you do the jumpstart class, then we’re penpals, then  you can set up calls with me once a week for 6 weeks, that might help get you going. and a trial of antabuse + of anti-anxiety medication for the first for the first week (or too) might be really helpful, too.

I know you don’t WANT to do any of this. but you want to be sober. so you do some new things now. and get away from day one.

again. please ignore me. I don’t know you. I don’t know if your situations is truthfully expressed (or if it’s worse or better than what you describe). I can just talk about what I’ve seen in my inbox from other penpals. all i know is that you’ll need tools + support + accountability. and more of it than you think you ‘should’ need. hugs from me

L: “Belle, thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. I read your email over and over and I couldn’t believe you were so responsive and real.  You gave me hope when I was seriously ready to give up on this whole sobriety thing. I emailed you 10 days ago.  I have 10 days sober today. I am so grateful for these ten days. I know I’ve had more time in the past and 10n doesn’t sound like a lot (hmm, I think that’s wolfie telling me that)  but this time around 10 days seems like a fucking long time. I am grateful for each one of them. The urges are definitely not as strong, but I need to stay on top of this and use these tools every single day. Actually every minute of the day. Because I know this shit can sneak up on me and come out of nowhere and tell me I can have one.

But screw you wolfie! Screw you alcohol! I am over you and getting stronger everyday, and quieting the voices slowly.  I am going to sign up for your jumpstart class this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. As far as your suggestions, thank you! I am on medication and I think they are starting to kick in … I’ve cancelled every commitment and social event that has been on the calendar and am ready to turn down any that come up. I simply can not even be in the room as it.  I can’t thank you enough for your support. I’ll be in touch this weekend when I sign up. Thank you, thank you!”

Audio: I Want to be on the Rich Roll Podcast

This is Sober Podcast Episode #196 for my weekly sober podcast series.

I want to be on the Rich Roll podcast.

If you don’t know who he is, he’s an ultra-endurance runner, previous over-drinker. He’s a vegan athlete now and he has a podcast that is very popular. He talks to people about health and wellness, not just about recovery (although when the person he is speaking to has an over-drinking history, that will often become at least the subtext of their conversation).

I figured someone in my group probably knows who he is. Either you live in LA, or you know him, or you know his wife, Julie Piatt, or you know his cafe (Joi Cafe).

I’d like to be on his show because I think that I have an interesting perspective to offer, particularly as I just listened one of his recent episodes, where at the end, he and the guest — and the guest was another over-drinker, marathon ultra-endurance runner — were discussing how do you reply to people who email and say, “you’ve inspired me, I want to quit drinking, what’s your advice?”

The two of them come to it with different approaches, of course. As I’m listening I think, “gee I would say a totally different thing that will reach a whole other group of people that these two responses don’t reach.”

Below i’ve posted a 3 minute extract from near the beginning of the podcast, recorded while i was out walking to breakfast.

HOMEWORK
Do you know Rich Roll or Julie Piatt or Joi Cafe? Short of irritating him with multiple emails, do you have an idea how I can get on his show? Do you know someone who knows someone? I think the idea of a sober trial needs to be shared more, and we need to spotlight the newly emerging internet-based, anonymous, private, AND portable supports for sobriety.

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 196

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).

 

Comment:

BG: “I don’t know this guy but I hope you get on his podcast. You have a lot of important information to get out there in the big boozy world.  My favourite part of the podcast was being in the cafe with you (at the very end). Loved that you read the menu to us. It’s that Harriet The Spy feeling. Do you know that book? It was one of my favourite’s when I was a kid. The fly on the wall. Being able to observe without being observed … Love listening to you Belle.”

MJP: “What I heard in this podcast is: you don’t have to wait for a lower bottom. A lower bottom for me could’ve been death or disability.”

===

small print.
read this FAQ on how to leave a comment on the blog.

Audio: “Keep It Exciting”

This is Sober Podcast Episode #186 for my weekly sober podcast series.

So, what does it mean if you have a boring stretch of time in your sobriety?

Well, the answer depends on if you’re on day 7 or 77 or 700.

Below i’ve posted a 3.5 minute extract from near the beginning of the podcast. the full thing is 28 minutes long, but this chunk here stands alone. 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 ‘my sobriety lacks sparkle’ time? Did you hear anything in this podcast that would help you if it happens again?

 

 

 

Download the audio podcast episode 186

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 48 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: BBC Radio 5 Live with Emma Barnett (May 3, 2017)

This is Sober Podcast Episode #192 for my longer sober podcast series.

This was my first experience ‘explaining’ sober coaching and quitting drinking to someone in the media who doesn’t know anything about it, is perhaps skeptical, and wonders why we quit. I didn’t realize, of course, that asking provocative and slightly confrontational questions makes for better radio. I think I was expecting something more touchy-lovely 🙂

i have to say thanks (again!) to Bemmy Girl and Sarah for coming on the show with me. brave souls you are. braver than i would have been if the roles were reversed.

Below i’ve posted the entire 17 minute podcast. usually i just post a clip but today, thanks to some really lovely donations to the Sober Good Works fund (thanks!), i’m posting this audio for everyone to listen to – even if you’re not a paying podcast subscriber.

HOMEWORK:

after you listen, post a comment and tell me how you would have addressed Emma’s concern about whether it’s ‘ethical or not’ to be a sober coach for people who could be ‘in denial’ (her words) and who should see ‘a professional’ … so tell me, what would you like Emma to know?
after 48 hrs, I’ll pick one comment and that person will get a present. 

 

 

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 48 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: “I’ll Take the Stairs”

This is Sober Podcast Episode #185 for my weekly sober podcast series.

What do you say to someone, who believes that while the booze elevator may only go down, “if it does reach bottom and the elevator door won’t open, and I’m stuck there – then I’ll take the stairs.” What do you say to that? Are there stairs?

Why does wolfie think that going down further before we quit is a ‘good idea’? I talk about bravado, not using your supports, and the voice that is (always) trying to convince us “to keep on drinking, it’ll be fine,” no matter what.  and really, if it’s hard to quit now, what’ll it be like to quit later?

Below i’ve posted the entire 21 minute podcast. usually i just post a clip but today, thanks to some really lovely donations to the Sober Good Works fund (thanks!), i’m posting this audio for everyone to listen to – even if you’re not a paying podcast subscriber. I’ll leave this link up for 48 hrs, so have a listen now.

HOMEWORK:

after you listen, post a comment and tell me how long did you know you were over-drinking to the point where you knew you were going to need to do something about it, and then how much longer AFTER that point did you keep on drinking, cuz wolfie said “quit later…”
Yeah, me too.
after 48 hrs, I’ll pick one comment and that person will get a present. 

[ link has been removed ]

 

Download the audio podcast episode 185

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 48 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: Empathy for Addiction

This is Sober Podcast Episode #184 for my weekly sober podcast series.

TrixeeK sent me an audio question … what do you say to friends who want to quit drinking but don’t listen to your advice? How do you deal with frustration when people relapse? What do you do when you’re tempted to say “try harder”?

Recorded with a live audience, this longer podcast (28 mins) talks about empathy, how to be helpful, and the tricky question of boundaries.

Below i’ve posted a 6 minute extract from this longer audio, and this clip starts at the very beginning of the podcast.

You can listen to this extract now 🙂 And leave a comment  … have you had an experience like TrixeeK explains in her audio question? what would you do differently now that you know what being sober is like?

 

Download the audio podcast episode 184

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 Sterling Silver “Stay Here” Bracelet (value $52), funded by the Sober Good Works donations.

Audio: Magic Potion (part 1)

This is Sober Podcast Episode #182 for my weekly sober podcast series.

There is no magic potion. you can spend $100 on vitamins if you like. You can read one book and then be disappointed that it doesn’t solve all of your problems.

To be sober, we need to apply an attitude of ‘layers of support’ … adding in things, to find the right combination that works. And to learn to resist the “this program solves all problems,” and to do more than one thing at a time, because perhaps it’s the overlapping combination of things that works.

This was recorded as a live broadcast, and so it was long enough to split into two parts and make two separate podcasts.

Below i’ve posted a short extract from Part 1 of this longer audio.

You can listen to this extract now 🙂 And leave a comment – what do you hear in this audio? Can you rephrase it in your own words? hugs from me

 

Download the audio podcast episode 182

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 copy of month #1 of my blog, read by me, for free (audio is 2.5 hrs long; value $39).

Audio: Irritation

Sometime in the next 24 hours you’re going to feel frustrated or irritated. It’s right then that i want you to come and listen to this message. This is an emergency audio to help when when you’re irritated or annoyed.

It’s a 2-minute timeout, to help you refocus, to remind you that wolfie is an anus.

So here’s the homework: sometime in the next 24 hrs, you experience irritation or frustration with someone or something (construction noise, windshield wipers that don’t work, a zipper that separates, an egg that isn’t fully cooked). and right at that second, i want you to listen to this audio. Right when you’re agitated. In fact, you can go around all day WAITING to be frustrated or irritated, just so you can come and listen to this audio.

Then you listen.

Then you post a comment below.

And then i pick one comment and that person will receive a brass Stay Here bracelet (value $33, donated thanks to the Sober Good Works fund).

 

(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 brass Stay Here bracelet for free (value $33).