[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."


Wednesday Celebration Roundup

If we are sober penpals, then we email all the time and I keep track of your dates. Then i can celebrate you online (here) when you hit the big milestones. like these ones:

Happy Day 50 to Lheras!

Happy Day 50 to Scrappy!

Happy Day 50 to Wave-Spirit!

Happy Day 50 to Jennifer 2.0!

Happy Day 50 to Hat Trick!

Happy Day 50 to Da!

Happy Day 50 to Allison!

Happy Day 100 to Jane Marie!

Happy Day 100 to Reenster!

Happy Day 100 to Carly!

Happy Day 100 to Alligen!

Happy Day 180 to Mary Elizabeth!

Happy Day 200 to SerenityNow!

Happy Day 200 to Ana Maria!

Happy Day 200 to Prissy!

Happy Day 200 to Lhaschnoodle!

Happy Day 200 to Happy Day 200 to unpuzzlingpatti!

Happy Day 200 to wildflower!

Happy Day 200 to emsyface!

Happy Day 200 to jenwithoutwine!

Happy Day 400 to Dry Ace!

Happy Day 400 to Leila!

Happy Day 500 to Karebear!

Happy Day 500 to RRH!

Happy Day 500 to Goldie!

Happy Day 600 to Lime Tree!

Happy Day 600 to Sophiestar!

Happy Day 600 to Jazzie!

Happy Day 700 to Gene!

Happy Day 700 to Lola4126!

Happy Day 700 to TJS!

Happy Day 700 to RubyHarper!

Happy Day 700 to Poppy!

Happy Day 900 to Auds!

Happy Day 900 to Kaffy B!

Happy Day 900 to Debbie!

Happy Day 900 to KLC!

Happy Day 900 to Country Pat!

Happy Day 1000 to Hughie!

Happy Day 1200 to Grateful Girl!

Happy Day 1200 to Jenuful!

Happy Day 1300 to Sean!

Happy Day 1300 to Indian Lake!

Happy Day 1300 to Mel P!

Happy Day 1400 to Canadian Girl!

Happy Day 1400 to Festie!

Happy Day 1400 to Graceb!

Happy Day 1500 to Sanfransober!

Happy Day 1500 to Lara!

Happy Day 1600 to RunnerMom!

Happy Day 1700 to Janet!

Happy Day 1700 to Denise!

Summer Rescue Audios

One new audio each day for 5 days in a row.

Each audio will be 3-5 minutes long. Perfect for a reset, when your brain is running all over the place.

Topics: alternative drinks, how to deal with a fuck-it moment, ‘my sober summer is awesome because …’, dealing with cravings that come out of nowhere triggered by a song/situation/memory, and dealing with triggers books and TV where people are drinking a lot…

Hugs, Belle xo

P.S. If you’re a monthly podcast subscriber,you’ll get a copy of these audios automatically. Not a podcast subscriber? You can do that here if you like. Or just take this one week of audios as a stand-alone thingy.

Sober Summer Rescue Audios … go here 🙂
https://gum.co/SP-Summer-1

protect that shit

from AnnaD (day 86):

“Heavy drinking is like time travel. Each year of drinking is five years of actual life. It’s why relapses are time-sucking vortices, into which whole decades can be devoured like so many Cool Ranch Doritos. This makes falling off the wagon a much longer trip than the cute aphorism suggests. The wagon is much higher up off the ground than you’d think — if you dismount, you will fall a long, long time before you hit even a high bottom. Claw your way back on. It’s worth it. Because, like quitting smoking, almost everything is easier than the first part of quitting. Once you’ve done it, protect that shit like it’s sacred, because it fucking is.”

 

Senior Sober Workshop: Worth
(and senior just means you’re 200+ days sober)
registration begins Tuesday, July 17th
small group, live calls, homework, treat box in the mail
www.soberlinks.me/worth

Resentment

from my inbox

P:  “I’ve had some moments the past couple days but I’m determined to make it through … I’m still angry at my friends [about my birthday] and the world. I’m still hurt about their thoughtlessness. Oh and another thing that’s bugging me – I sent out like 50+ Xmas cards in the mail. I love getting some back in the mail and guess how many I got in return? Like 8. People just don’t care. Not like I care it seems. Makes me want to hate everyone right now. That’s how I feel.”

me: the thing about holding resentments (birthday/ Christmas cards) is that it’s wolfie winding you up so that drinking will seem like a good idea. as if hoiday cards mean anything. they don’t. you send them because you like sending them. you don’t send them so that you’ll get some in return. if you want a lovely birthday, you do it for yourself. that’s why being sober is about learning self-care.
when you outsource your self-care and count on other people to make things good for you, you will always be ‘disappointed’ and that’s wolfie territory right there. you’re learning now how to do this for yourself. that’s what being sober IS. it’s self-care. and it’s new. and it’s hard. and if you don’t like sending out cards, then don’t send them. but to drink because people like me get cards but don’t send them, is outsourcing your well-being to people like me who just don’t’ think about cards. 🙂 and don’t let wolfie tell you otherwise.

P:  “Omg, I never thought of it that way?! Like ever! Holy shit, this reasoning could change my whole perspective on things! YES! Now I feel sheepishly stupid about how I felt about my birthday and Christmas cards. Cause yes, I DO send them out expecting them in return (which never happens and then I feel shitty) and I DO expect others to make my birthday memorable (which is illogical thinking cause they have their own life and problems, they needn’t be responsible for my happiness). My husband has truthfully told me before (in exasperation I’m sure) that it’s so hard to make me happy, that I’m usually never happy, or that nothing anyone does ever lives up to my expectations. WOW truth!!!! OK, my mind is blown here. Thank you Belle for your honesty 🙂 I needed to hear that.”

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…

Solstice to Solstice 2018

From Sober in Richmond (The Solstice Guy): “I started my 100 Day challenge on the Solstice [and am celebrating 3.5 years sober tomorrow] … If there is anyone out there who needs some motivation to start – perhaps they can do the Solstice to Solstice. It really helped me to have the power of the whole darn earth behind me rather than a day or date on a calendar … It’s an incredibly magical thing, the Solstice to Solstice!”

Imagine it’s the longest day of the year (tomorrow in the northern hemisphere). Imagine you’re sober starting tomorrow, June 21st. It can be your Day 1 or maybe it’s your Day 50. Or 400. Doesn’t matter. Can you see yourself sober on December 21st? Winter Solstice. Stand here. Look ahead 180 days. Because if you think the view from day 100 is great, wait until you see 180 days.

  • If you’d like to be sober from Solstice to Solstice, you can put a comment below.
  • Audios to listen to for Solstice to Solstice? Receive one archived podcast every 2 days for 180 days. That’s 90 audios in total, starting with SP001 Accepting Help all the way to SP090 Magical Time. Audios discounted 40%

I like the idea of having the ‘whole darn earth behind me’ – how about you?

​Alcohol is addictive, liquid poo (AUDIO)

Drinking is like pouring liquid shit into your life. It flows over everything. It affects every aspect of your life.

And to make things worse? This liquid poo (alcohol) is addictive. If you have some liquid poo, it makes you want MORE of it.

If that doesn’t sound like a nightmare, then I don’t know what does.

This is the subject of a brand new podcast (episode 252) going out today to podcast subscribers.

​Here's a clip where you can listen to a bit of the audio.

extract from Sober Podcast 252. Addictive Liquid Poo

You can ​leave a comment below, anonymous is fine. If you've heard the entire audio, you can tell me if you heard anything new ​... To download the entire audio, you can use the link below.

​Download ​SP252. ​Addictive Liquid Poo

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)

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.