weekend audio: There is no magical time

I often send out an audio with a discount on the weekends, but this weekend since I’m offline and not sitting here to distribute audios manually, I thought I’d put up a complete audio that everyone can hear. This will be the newest podcast for my audio podcast subscription thingy once i’m back online for real.

[ this link has been removed ]

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I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • One of my favorite quotes in alignment with this wondeful audio treat is, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”, by Winston Churchill. Serves to reason that when we are in bad shape, blue, despondent or whatever might be in the way of our putting down the booze; it is only in that dark moment when you don’t wait for some magic that the light gets through. Isn’t ironic. And, yes, it gets uncomfortable, yet one can be with that. Thanks again for a great reminder, Belle! x

  • Tree: Loved the audio. I have always been an all or nothing person. Everything had to line up. Everything would be conquered at once. Booze, sugar, coffee, cigarettes, excercising. Everything all at once. But I’ll wait until…..Monday, start of the month, start of the year etc, ad nauseum. This time I just needed to start, and just with booze. It was a Tuesday even. The 3rd of the month. And I just did it. For the 100th time probably. But the 1st time I just did one thing. Just this thing. Just start. Other things came but it didn’t have to be perfect. Go for a walk because if feels good. Same with yoga. Work on sugar later. Losing weight too. Just this for now.

  • JohnK: Belle, loved your audio! there is no magical time-the time is now. I used to put off day one saying “there are 6 beers left so that will get me through Monday so I will quit on Tuesday” — and the circle would repeat. Also i believe there is a correlation between quitting/moderating other vices and changing your thinking (re-conditioning your mind). Bottom line is it takes work and dedication. Not easy, but sooo worth it! BTW most frozen pizza sucks.

  • I had a shitty day yesterday, but I didn’t drink.

    I listened to audios, I cried, I listened to more audios, I cried a bit more, I wrote about it, then I went back to bed.

    Day 37 today. 🙂

    I woke up to a much better day today, and I headed out for a walk in the sunshine.

    On my walk, I found a new footpath (I live in the countryside).

    This path is literally just around the corner from where I live, but I’ve never seen the signpost before, despite having passed right by it on many occasions.

    The path took me into this field, and it was a lovely field (as fields go) – it wasn’t muddy, there was a lovely view across the valley, there was no one else around, and it felt like a new special secret place – and then I came across a beautiful Red Admiral butterfly sunbathing on a rock. And I found myself smiling and laughing and thinking ‘ I FOUND A NEW PATH …’ – and I nearly cried again, but not with sadness, not today … 🙂

    Everything is indeed everything Belle, and I could never thank you enough for what you have done for me.

  • My first day sober was kinda forced on me, an intervention style “go to AA before you come back home”, that was 542 days ago and Im much happier now, sober, but…am still taunted by wolfie. I was drawn to your site as I want to go a day without thinking about drinking. I know I cant drink, I know its not worth it, just wish the obsession would go away. I am working a programme, maybe not as hard as I need to….

  • Thank You for this Belle! This was just what I needed to hear on day 6… “…who cares if it’s missing a few pieces…” there is no magical time, so just do it.

  • Thanks for the audio.
    I had a friend who would finish a puzzle even though it had a piece missing and then painstakingly construct a substitute piece (an amazingly good one, btw) rather than look at the puzzle with a missing piece.
    I’m sure there’s some analytical thought behind why someone would do that versus not finishing the puzzle and putting it back in the box versus throwing the entire puzzle away, but it does point out rather nicely that we all approach the puzzle differently.

  • I so love your accent Belle!

    It’s always (still) a shock to me that I’m allowed to do something just because it makes me feel better. Just that. No deeper reason, no benefit to anyone else, no complex analysis. Just because it makes ME feel better. No drinking, less Internet, walks at sunset, blogging… Just because it makes me feel better. And I’m allowed to feel better. It’s hard for me to believe but what a relief it is.

  • Hi Belle! Thanks for posting the audio. It’s true – there is no right time, we just delay and delay until we realise that anything else is better than what we’re currently doing. happy easter x

  • So(ber) be it! Thanks for your wise words Belle. Just what I needed to hear. I am here waiting for a friend to come and visit who is one of those that says “Can’t you just do moderation” with a wicked wolfie glint in her eye. Well hell NO!

  • I cannot find a link for the audio…It is only 4 am eastern time. I am in California. Am I missing something? I clicked on the link from your email.

  • thank you soo much for this! Day 3 for me (again) and I am just obsessed with the fact that I’m drinking! Can’t even stop thinking about nothing else! I’m glad to know someone else went through this too! Bless you… Needed this!

  • Great ‘pizza disaster…everything is like everything…so be it’ podcast. And I absolutely love your musical “okay, bye!” closing. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and thank you for sharing your truth.

  • Belle, first time for me to hear your voice. Beautiful! Great podcast! Great info
    I also love how we need to be honest with ourselves
    85 days

  • Day 88 today. Hearing your voice for the first time was nice. I can see how your audio podcast can be a very useful tool. Reaching for a goal thru self control and discipline seems to be the only way for me…. Making changes, small or big, is necessary. How else can habits be modified? Thank you Belle for what you do!

  • Thank You Belle for this audio. I, like you, am trying to rein in my internet usage.
    But I have not done like you are limiting it to one hour a day. I am sure that was hard this weekend. Today is day 73 for me…almost drank but hubby reminded me about the 100 day challenge so I ate a banana instead. We were at a friends house and he set some apple ciders on the table for me….wow the power to drink just hit me….wolfie said you can drink today its easter!
    anyway I did not and thanks again for you audio, always enjoy hearing from you.

  • Thanks for the podcast thoughtful gift. Hmmm. So many things here. Agree to many of key points and analogies. One thing I want to emphasize, learned from you, is that the number one thing is the sobriety, the rest of the stuff falls in place. Give yourself permission to be flexible and think of options and be good and kind to yourself for all those things other than your.sobriety, meaning in practice, for me, sobriety is non negotiable: it is and must be. The vacay from technology may be healthy and important and good to set limits but at the same time why not give yourself permission to be flexible. Why so rigid? Aren’t we setting ourselves up for failure if we try to extrapolate sobriety type guidelines to too many other areas of life? Too soon? The trick is to get sobriety to stick and embed and let that be the change and the rest follows. For me I got to day 100 humbly with no restarts and between day 100 and day 200 I had life events that would have thrown me off if I hadn’t learned to take care of my sobriety number one … Had I not been sober to deal with these things I would have spun out of control and likely different outcomes in these situations. . But I did let myself eat cake and cookies even though I know I could and should cut back. But at the end the of the day the sober card trumps all,others. Now I am tackling the healthier diet but let me tell you food will be my back up plan just as I think you can give yourself permission to not be perfect in the technology withdrawal. Am I making sense. You are doing a great thing here.

    • i agree with flexibility 🙂 remember that i’m nearly 3 years sober, so i’m working on other goals using what i continue to learn from being sober. my ‘rigid’ internet schedule was just for the long weekend. hugs, belle xo

  • Thank you for this gift. I love being reminded that perfectionism sucks. I bought a puzzle (I think you inspired that purchase) and when I was getting the pieces out I realized a corner broke off one of them. I almost quit before I got started! Then I told myself it will still be fine without that tiny piece. (But I was pissed, lol!) It is a bit of a bummer to hear that I will still struggle with other aspects of self discipline in life. I was hoping once I had sobriety mastered everything else I need to do/not do would be simple. Well, such is life. Thank you for pouring yourself out for us. It’s making a difference!! My magical time: now. Now. I’m so glad I didn’t wait. (This last time I thought about putting day one off until the first of april.) but I didn’t wait. And I’m so thankful.

  • Thanks for the audio- uplift! I never forget the journey, and I love your stories that help us not only problem solve for sobriety but for life… perfect gifts!
    Adjustments are totally awkward ! But who cares except us- no one else is looking at us- but we think they are! But our goal is to get momentum .. I want to be proud of me too! HEY, I DID IT! I made my goal! I actually DID IT!!!
    Thanks Belle-

  • Thank you for posting this! I am on Day 59 and feeling better. I can’t tell you how much I relate to the disordered thinking of waiting until the “right” day to do something…there is always some magical day in the future where things (and right now for me it’s getting back in shape) will always be so much easier. But if I can just get started…thanks again…this was a good treat.

  • Yes, everything is connected. One of the things I am able to do, since I’m not drinking, is meditate. I have enough peace of mind and patience to sit with myself and I am looking at the world differently. We are all connected and everything is a lesson to be learned. When I’m not fighting life I am able to see all those moments of grace. I don’t listen to the audios usually and this was wonderful, thank you.

  • I woke up so many mornings swearing that today would be the day but couldn’t seem to make the changes to make it happen. I’ve made some changes, started the 100 day challenge and am seeking out help to get me through the rough days. I want NOW to be the right time. Day 5 and counting! Happy Easter, Belle…keep doing what you do cause you’re awesome!

  • So much of that clicked with me . Perfectionist much ? Yep that’s me . Missing pieces of a puzzle … So therefore I can’t do it ! That’s me 🙂
    Plus I want to be in control of everything …how do I go on without everything perfect ?! Lol . Where’s my escape ? That’s partially why I was drinking . Now I’m not drinking and still learning . Thanks for the podcast . It was a great start to today . And if I don’t get through my to do list and walk in the beach instead … Then maybe that’s ok !!

  • My first day sober was a freind’s wedding day, and if anyone had asked me what ducks needed to be lined up before I stopped, I wouldn’t have said ‘A friend’s wedding.’ In fact, it was exactly the kind of thing that stopped me from stopping. But in the end, the right day was the day I made the decision to stop. I just knew I had to stop that day, and that was that.

    I have to sort out a filing cabinet which is bulging at the seams. In the old days it would have been a ‘thing’ because it’s a huge task, and it has to be perfect afterwards, otherwise, what’s the point? Now, I do a bit when I have time. Working my way through I’ve already come across two files that were just too big to do when I had a few minutes, so I made a note of them and will come back and do the first of them when I have an hour, and in the meantime when I have a few minutes, I’ll work my way through the rest of the cabinet. It may take a month, and in the meantime it won’t be ‘perfect’ but it is already better than it was. That’s all I need it to be, a work in progress. Like me. Like my life.

    I’ve been trying to make the perfect pizza for 20 years. I’ve got the pizza sauce nailed, I’ve got the dough nailed, now all I have to do is get the ratio with the topping right, but it really, really helps knowing that other people make pizza so bad it has to be thrown out, too! There have been a few of them along the way but as Churchill said, ‘Never, never, never give up!’

    Happy Easter!

  • Very true we need support, and yet it has to be because we want to feel proud of ourselves that we do it. I was never able to get sober, even for a day before this. It really is in the DOING…not in the thinking…Wofie has out maneuvered me every time when I just argued in my head should I or shouldn’t I??? Of course, I should drink today, right now(!!!!) there’s always tomorrow to quit. But there really isn’t always tomorrow as days becomes weeks, become years. There’s really only now and what we do, not what we think about doing (or not doing).

  • Thank you for the audio Belle. Tonight will be the third night with our new mattress. The last one we bought was 25 years ago. Even though this new one is so much better, I am having a hard time adjusting. Just need to go through it until it feels right.

  • I would agree there is no magical time to start HOWEVER there are times that are better than others. For example if you have a relatively free week ahead of you with maybe one thing on socially that you can get out of, then this would be a much kinder Week 1 than, say, starting one day before you go on holiday or a long weekend at a friends wedding. Momentum certainly helps and the first week is certainly a battle so aiming for a relatively ‘quiet’ week can give a much-needed helping hand…

    Also, the bit about cheating yourself rings true – intrinsic praise (from within) is SO much more powerful than extrinsic praise (from others), so even if others tell you you’re doing well because they dont know about your secret relapse, you will still feel like a shitty failure. Have to be true to yourself and do it for you.

    • i hear you 🙂 the only thing i say is that if you want to feel better, then today’s as good a day as any. imagine how empowering it will be to quit drinking WHILE on vacation, like mid-way, just decide that today’s the day. waiting for a perfect week is hard. yes, it’s easier if you have nothing to do. but even if you DO have tons to do, being sober is still better … hugs from me

  • I love that you laugh and don’t take things too serious. Very, VERY relatable! Thanks. My journey begins Tuesday, the quitting my wineing. I look forward to reading/hearing more from you!

  • Dégueulasse…mon dieu you made me laugh about your crappy pizza lol…thank you for this audio. I needed to hear this today. ST

    • I know! Right?!
      C’est dégueulasse AND d’ennui in they SAME audio. Mon freakin’ dieu! Belle is taking us uptown this weekend.

  • Thanks for the audio. No magical time translates to “it’s all about the journey” for me.When I was drinking my fuzzy brain would tell me, ” if only you had x you could [ be, do, have, obtain, acheive] insert one or all. My sober brain tells me the magic is now. My discomfort in things teaches me to grow; even if that means to go to bed for a while to get the strength to move on. Thank God for clear thinking, it’s the journey, not the destination. The magic is here and now, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can control the future. If you wait for the magic time you won’t get there. I waited for 42 years for the “right time.” Hugs to you for reminding us the discipline is here in the moment. Phoebe

  • Yes. You’ve nailed it again. (Still). When first getting sober, it was a full-time job. It consumed me, I focused on little else that first week. I had my replacement drink, my sober podcast each day, listening to them more than once & my early bedtime.
    Now I’m somewhere around day 166ish as I met my 100 day sober challenge & immediately signed up for 180. And a few weeks ago I decided to attempt weight loss… applying what I’d learned about getting sober to weight loss. It’s working. My whole life has changed since I’ve stopped drinking wine. I like myself. I am really proud of what I’ve done and what I’m going to do- because I know I can. I’ve proved it.

  • Thanks for this Belle. I’ve been waiting for the pieces to magically line up and no, it hasn’t happened. Such a good analogy. I’m hopeless at remembering what name you have for me. Suffice to say I’m still lurking and hope to ask you to reset me to day 1 very, very soon xx

  • I’m missing puzzle pieces, too. At Day 92, I’ve found a couple. But there are still a bunch missing. Even so, a few found pieces are better than no found pieces. Better than losing more pieces. And so I continue moving forward without the booze. I’m feeling fairly optimistic I’ll find more puzzle pieces along the way.

    I want to buy a puzzle and do a technology-free weekend. Also, an adult coloring book.

  • I’ve been wanting to pull back from my time-wasting online stuff. I work remotely, so I can’t quit the internet, but I need to stop the useless loop of repeatedly checking certain sites for updates. Anyway, this is timely and good enough that I paused it at 11ish minutes to go outside. 🙂 I just came back to the rest of the audio now and to leave a comment. Thanks for sharing this and hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

  • Oh yeah, you need to eat that shitty pizza if you paid more than $4 for it! This happened to me so many times when I was drinking. I would think well, I still have three-quarters of a bottle left over from last night so that means I better drink it tonight because I cannot possibly just let it go to waste. Turns out three-quarters of a bottle was never quite enough because when the wine level in the bottle got too low I would send the husband to the store for another bottle. It was an endless loop of wine I already paid for so better drink.

    Ennuyée? … Not a problem for me. When I am sober, as I am now, I feel more panicky than anything else. Thinking about all the things I did not do in my life because I was drinking. Those times (years) that I told myself I was relaxing with a glass (bottles) of wine. Nope, no ennuyée here, Belle.

    Thank you for the audio, ma chère sober coach. 🙂
    Happy Easter.

  • This is the first time I have heard your voice. Actually, this is the first time I am posting a comment. I have been reading your blog off and on for several months.

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you Belle.

    You say the right shit at the right time.

    Everything is everything indeed. 🙂


  • you know, I was wondering why there was this half assed puzzle attached to this. you’re better than me– I would have thrown that thing out right on top of the crappy pizza. (sheds some light on the repeated day ones….) you need a NY pizza, no dominoes or Pizza Hut.
    I must admit I have a little smile on my face knowing that you are “struggling” with being offline.
    great audio. I actually laughed out loud a few times.
    I keep telling you that you should charge for your “services”– but only after I have achieved sustained sobriety 😉

  • Just do it and get through it. Great reminder. Thanks Belle! Happy long weekend! And thanks for today’s micro email. I’m on vacation and Wolfie popped up briefly telling me maybe I could just taste my husband’s fancy beer. Haven’t heard from him in a while. I told him to quit being stupid and go back to sleep. I sometimes forget just how much self-loathing I felt toward the end of my drinking days. My very worst sober days don’t even come close. xoxo

  • Thanks for the audio! I should have written down that phrase you said twice, I think it was ‘when we find something that works for us, we need to do it.’ That’s the idea anyway. I’m going to try to apply that one!

    • Just the title told me to listen. I think of countless times when I would be buying wine/vodka, and think..’wow, it will be so great when I don’t do this’, not realizing that there is no magical time. The only way is through. Thank you.

    • This is a pretty brilliant little audio. It’s wrapped up like a casual ramble but in fact it contains some deep truths about human nature and especially, about the nature of alcoholics. After only 13 short (actually, long) days of sobriety, I relapsed at the beginning of a Cuban vacation. “Of course I relapsed” I said to myself. “This is no time to take on sobriety! I’m on holiday!” And then the universe sent me a “gift” (your expression Belle). I seem to have developed some kind of sensitive to sun and ALCOHOL skin condition. My face has broken into a tomato red rash. Even the smallest sip makes my face flame up in a firey itchy rage. Hmmmm…use whatever works, right?