murdery anger

email from APool (day 28): “Today has been a day when as soon as I woke up I knew I should just go right back to bed! I’m tired and very, very cranky with a huge side of murdery anger. It’s a great combo! PMS IS AWESOME!!!

I have feelings that are right at the front of my brain. I can’t stuff them anywhere because I can’t hide from them with booze. I’m writing this from a bathroom stall in Costco! Perfect place to come to with murdery pms. I need a garden hose and strawberries and then I’m racing home to be alone.

Had to write an email. Been meaning to do it since I woke up so bathroom stall it is haha. ❤️APool”

[update: she’s on day 48 today] 


 

this is exit painting #376 
it goes nicely with everything you own
it matches the other thing you have hanging on your wall.
yes, you’re right, i do think you should have it.

 

life is the train, not the station

email from Katana (day 11):  “I listened to all the podcasts I have on repeat today.  I’m not even sure I was listening to what you were saying.  I just associate your voice with the fact I want to be sober and go from there.
I managed to clean out my entire desk today.  I’ve decided I don’t need one.  All it does is collect shit and then it pisses me off that it is always dirty.  I’m trying to stay away from things that piss me off.  To bad the toddlers don’t get that.
Anyway I’m sober.  Because of naps, chocolate, and repeating podcasts.  Thanks Belle.”

~

email from Smile 9 (day 89): “I listened to your interview with the yoga chap – I have to say I was quite surprised  at the interview and it’s left me thinking about the ‘feeling’ it left me with – thought I would share some of it. I felt he didn’t listen to you and had his own agenda. He sounded commercial and ‘slick’ – made me realise why your message and style for me is so successful, because you are exactly not like that – he was annoying and lightweight and didn’t sound genuinely interested in you or your message – it left me feeling quite empty – and appreciate you more! Of course it could have been a different live experience for you and I may be mistaken but it was quite a strange listen. I was on a train and I was thinking life is the train and not the station. The bottom line for me with this sober lark is making a commitment – any sort of commitment – but a big commitment – ties in with accountability – not just with the sober journey but life and making changes…”

 

 

“I’ll be there”

email from C (not yet a penpal):  “Last night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night. I actually slept through until morning (it’s day 55). I simply can’t remember when I had a night’s sleep where I didn’t wake during the night. Can you believe how happy that makes me? ha!! My bargaining time was also around the 3 a.m. mark. I would pray to God, please God I don’t want to drink anymore, Help me to feel better, please don’t let me die. Really, there were times when I felt I had abused my body so badly that my heart might simply give up. The anxiety of it all was desperate. A desperate plea to help me get sober. My journey, I’m sorry to say, is a near on 30 year trek and yes I’m exhausted.
However, something is different this time. It may well be due to the sad news that my husband has been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I could easily attribute my soberness to such sober news and in part I’m sure it is. However, I’m reaching a birthday milestone at the end of the year too and I wanted to do something different, something life affirming. However, my husband’s diagnosis put a hold on any adventures I had in mind, quite rightly paling them into insignificance. But, once again, it was something you said about when you stop drinking everything you do is a new experience (can’t remember your exact quote, maybe that was exact!!). It inspired me to realise that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing this year. This is my life affirming adventure. I know I probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself, and I feel a bit of a jolt and a notable cringe as I even allow myself to think it is possible for me to be free of drink, let alone say it, but there it is, I’ve just said it. And so I think the difference is you, Belle. You know, I’ve never signed up or had any support whatsoever in previous sobriety times and there’s so many bits of advice or ways of looking at things that have helped me get to this stage. I know it’s early days, but I’ve never been sober for this long with this resolve before! The payback that I’m experiencing these last 55 days of sobriety is the sheer beauty of it all. The freedom of knowing that I can say “I’ll be there” or “I’ll do that” with no fear of hangovers getting in the way, resulting in false excuses (I mean lies) because I decided to get obliterated and so now I can no longer function properly and all I want to do is sleep. I have literally been chained to the booze shackles, imprisoned by my own free will … So with all that said, I want to thank you for sending your emails, long may they continue, they give me such strength. I’m sure you know how much you are helping so many people, but I just wanted to say thank you for how much you are helping me.”

 

the business of ‘FUW’

email from Topo Chico (day 28): “Arrived at new work location today. Jet lagged and exhausted, but not hungover. Yay. After paying for dinner last night, the waiter asked me if he could invite me to enjoy a digestif. I almost said yes, not knowing what he meant, but stopped short when he explained further:  alcohol. I said no thanks telling him that I was on business. That’s a solid excuse for respectable folks. (Yeah, I’m on business, the business of Fuck You Wolfie.)”

 

The Lucas Rockwood Show (i’m a guest on his yogabody podcast! not talking about yoga, clearly).

​I was recently on the Lucas Rockwood podcast, talking about quitting drinking and about the booze elevator that only goes down.



I'm also going to send out a copy of the full interview to ​podcast subscribers so that you'll have it in your library ​(episode 298) .

And you can listen to the entire audio here.

​Sober Podcast 298. ​Lucas Rockwood Show

feedback from some of Lucas's listeners:

R: "I listened to your interview on Lucas Rockwood's podcast and a lot of what you said really resonated with me. I remember in my college days taking a women's studies class and we discussed at length the amount of time women - young and old - spend on thinking about things like beauty - how to look better, how to lose weight, etc. And about how much mind space that takes up in our day to day lives and all the things that could occupy that space instead. And so when I heard you speaking about that same situation with drinking, it really got me thinking about how much time I really do think about drinking. It's totally insane! So, I thought I'd just give this a try, test it out, see how I feel. I've done sober months for the past several years (once a year) successfully but when I drink again, I tend to drink too much then suffer from lots of self-loathing for not being able to "drink responsibly." ... Anyway, I wanted to thank you for creating this space for people and to thank you for the kind personal message!"

N: "I heard your words on the Lucas Rockwood show and was 100% inspired ... I’ve been thinking of ‘cutting back’ and have been mentally preparing myself for the journey. Then I saw the email from Lucas about this podcast, thinking of quitting drinking. And you know, everything you said I could relate to. So before it was even done I was on your page! I listened to it yesterday (my time) and haven’t had a drop ... I look forward to your encouragement and honesty. You are a true inspiration, as you don’t sound like one of those fake people (!) who belittle others, which inevitably makes you want to drink! Thank you for sharing your story and experience with the world. I am on my way to a better life all together. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!"

L: "Hi Belle, I purchased your audio book yesterday and listened to the whole thing straight [6 hrs!]. It was just what I needed. Finally made sense that I actually was paying a price for my over drinking. I’m Day 2 and ready to feel healthy again. I heard you on the Yoga Body podcast and was so impressed with your story. Then a week later I really over drank and knew it was time to visit your website and get help. I never realized before how much I was discounting my habit because it wasn’t the "low bottom” story. But when you talk about the elevator of alcohol is always heading down it just clicked. Thank you, Thank you for sharing!"

Download the entire podcast episode here

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)

​if alcohol is an elevator that only goes down, you can get off and stay off. original sober art thanks to mr.belle. this is Exit #360.

the drinking itself was making life hard

from me: i recently sent out a survey with a few questions; here are some of the replies.

from anonymous:

What’s the biggest reason for being sober? Drinking prevented me from growing into someone who could thrive without drinking.  I wanted to know what life was like on the other side. I didn’t want to die having never given myself that experience.

What’s the one biggest thing you’ve learned from me? The idea of the sober toolbox that you just keep adding and adding to, even when (especially when!) things are going well. The concept that the drinking itself was what was making life hard — I’ll be honest I didn’t believe that at first, and even after I started to feel better, didn’t really viscerally “get” that until about 6-8 months in. That 100 days is greater than the sum of its months, in terms of the changes one experiences.

from anonymous:

What’s the biggest reason for being sober? I had read a lot of articles and books such as Catherine Gray in the hope that I would learn how to drink and feel good about myself: buck the trend, be the exception. I came to realise, however, that no matter how clever I am (!) it’s really not possible. I can see and feel that my mood was affected more by alcohol than other people. I felt like I was on a downward spiral of depression and self-loathing and had to stop denying that alcohol was the problem not the solution to me feeling better about almost everything. So my one reason was mental health as you expected many people to say, I just hadn’t thought about it that way until now.

What’s the one biggest thing you’ve learned from me? Acknowledge how hard this is and give yourself credit for every step along the road to sobriety. If I’m feeling a bit wobbly I think of my worst drinking experiences and question whether I’d want to be there again.

 


quote from the Exit the Booze Elevator writing project (written this morning!)
   It all starts with an argument. The best kind of marital argument where I’m SURE I’m right and he’s wrong. We’d just returned from a particularly distressing visa meeting with the French government, you know, the kind where they’re saying ‘you can’t do this, you must do that’. And there was much finger-wagging in Mr.Belle’s direction.
I had warned him for months beforehand. They’re going to give you shit for this, I said. No, they won’t, they don’t care, he replied. They are going to send us home to Canada, I whined. No, they won’t, it’ll be fine, he repeated.
Well, it wasn’t fine. Before the agent could approve us for the next level of our resident visa, she apparently had to do a careful review of his file.
And then she said what I knew she would (I knew it! I was right!): “Monsieur, you cannot have this visa renewed in this situation.”
She said it with a nice French accent. But still.
Three days later, in a fit of frustration, I went into my husband’s things while he was at work, pulled out one of his ‘for fun’ paintings, and stuck it up on the website.

This is Exit painting #1, and it went to Indy in California 🙂
more here

 

my name is F and I am a lurker

email from F: “Hello. My name is F and I’m a lurker. I signed up for the 100 day challenge and made it to day 35. No I’m no longer sober. Maybe this is more than you wanted to hear but I’m on a roll…
I’m in law enforcement. I can’t deal with my job, it’s so hard seeing the way we as a society treat each other, especially those we claim to love. I’m too afraid of the repercussions of admitting I have a drinking problem and asking for help from my agency … I’m a binge drinker. I’m fine all week dealing with the everyday duties of my job but come the weekend I’m pretty much drunk until Monday morning…
Your emails and audios that I sign up for are so inspirational. I look forward to seeing them in my inbox, it gives my comfort during the week. I even bought your “Stay Here” bracelet to help me cope. I touch it and think I need to stop when I’m on a weekend bender.  Sometimes it helps and I won’t drink but more often these days with all the job negativity, I continue to drink.
I love my job — I started in law enforcement thinking I could make a difference … now I lie and make up some bs job when someone asks what I do for a living …
But, you are a godsend. You keep my sane during the week when I work. I’m glad I stumbled across your website, you give me hope. I just need to get right in my head and get some self-esteem. The weekends are hard, I don’t know how to deal with myself and the negative thoughts that invade my mind in the quiet times.
So there you have it. My name is F and I’m a lurker.”

Question: What would you say to F about wanting to get her head right before she quits?  Post a comment below …


stay here, stay focussed. stay sober. stay true to you. stay here.
new painting added today, this is #372
sober art thanks to mr.belle

health? or MENTAL health?

omm338.health.or.mental.health

This short message is extracted from a facebook live video, and i’m standing on the balcony outside my office, looking around. i talk about quitting drinking to feel better – and challenging the idea of whether we do it for our ‘health’, or for our ‘mental health’. if you’d like to see the full video, you can go here.

To listen to this short audio message, play below. nothing to download. just press play.

After you listen to this clip, you’ll want to go immediately to the podcast subscription page, look at the BONUS PHOTO I’m sending to new subscribers. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THIS BONUS PHOTO 🙂  the link is here > http://www.audiosober.com

 


this is painting #373 – Stay
Stay here, stay sober, stay focussed.
Stay true to you.
… sober art thanks to mr.belle

the hard parts of being sober, and the good parts … (part 1)

this message was sent to subscribers on Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Hard:

D: The hardest part of quitting drinking for me was the mood swings during the first few weeks of sobriety.

newme50: The hardest part of quitting drinking for me has been quelling the “anticipation” of a drink. Reminding myself that after the anticipation and the first 20 minutes I’m just chasing the scream of excitement and I can’t find it again.

C: The social barrage of ‘why aren’t you drinking’ bullshit.

S: For me(day 90) the hardest part of being sober is remembering that Wolfie lies!  Memories fade, and I have a hard time remembering the guilt, anxiety and depression that comes w drinking.  “It can’t be that bad! Just have a couple”!

E (day 75): The hardest part of deciding not to drink again is the fear that I’ll never enjoy holidays and going out as much as I did when I drank.

L: Hardest part is socialising with drinkers.

E (day 201): The hardest part was saying to myself “enough, I’m done” and then actually sticking to it.

The Good:

A: The best part of being sober. Can I have two things please? The happiness and the clarity. I am on an emotional high (when the ex husband doesn’t flatten me). I have regained my joy in life, I do things, I am not in a constant fug and I smile a lot and my skin glows despite being an old trout! Thank you Belle. I am proudly and happily on day 87.

B: That I can feel good today, jut today, on my own, and not need to numb anything.

Faith2019: The best is having my kids being proud of me and kissing me goodnight because I don’t smell like wine.

Emsyface (day 456): Best bit about being sober? Gosh there are so many things, but I think the biggest thing that springs to mind is the absence of shame; having no sense of guilt and remorse and a clear conscience. That in itself feels like huge great boulder gone right from the depths of my soul!

F: Best part- feeling in control of my life and no longer feeling anxious

K: The best: Waking up not feeling guilty, if u laugh it’s real. Having a good idea(and then not forgetting it five minutes later), having more energy, having pride in yourself, your skin getting clearer, your eyes getting brighter, your relationships getting stronger.

And this email, in closing:

C: Hardest part? Feeling lonely and not running to the bar to drink with the bar “friends.” You can always find a bar buddy if you’re buying the drinks. Best part?  Being alone and away from all of the toxic bar “friends.” People I don’t have anything in common with besides drinking and who I wouldn’t even hang out with sober.

 


I’ll be giving away a $150 podcast bundle on Monday to
ONE random person
who has completed this little 5-question form.
Can you help?
https://form.jotformeu.com/90864716729369

stay here, stay focussed. stay sober. stay true to you. stay here.
new painting added today, this is #372
sober art thanks to mr.belle

you can wait and see, or you can fuck it up

this message was sent to subscribers on Thursday, March 28, 2019

from me: on this day, which is thursday, it is 11:40 a.m. and I haven’t gotten dressed yet. that’s not really news. I have physio this afternoon for my nearly-all-better-sore-back and so i’ll get dressed for that! husband is working from the home studio today and tomorrow, making some new Exit paintings, so that’s nice. at least he can make me coffee, in between interrupting me a zillion times.

there is nothing remarkable about this day.

it’s not warm. it’s not big blue skies. it’s a very middle-kind-of-day. it is absent of a headache, void of regret, and completely lacking in a hangover. i got my inbox to zero yesterday (something i do about once every 3 weeks), and i mailed out every bracelet order i have, including all the Not Today bracelets that were ordered yesterday & earlier this morning. done. all done.

i resist the idea of looking around for a PROJECT to fill the time. i resist the temptation to fill in all buffer spaces, all remnant edges, with SOMETHING PRESSING AND URGENT.

to feel caught up and even on a thursday morning? never happens.

you probably do this, too. reflexively, we do the equivalent of pouring paint on the floor (creating a chaotic must-do event) when things are quiet. we’re unused to calm. we’re used to feeling crummy, spinning too many plates. we think that we’re bored, when really, it’s just the absence of chaos.

i can sit with calm. i remember something i heard in university from my dorm roommate:  You can wait and see, or you can fuck it up. This seems like the perfect time to absorb the calm, and wait and see …

 


I’ll be giving away a $150 podcast bundle on Monday to
ONE random person
who has completed this little 5-question form.
Can you help?
https://form.jotformeu.com/90864716729369

new painting added today, this is #372
stay here, stay focussed. stay sober. stay true to you. stay here.
sober art thanks to mr.belle