weekend audio: No More U-Turns

I often send out an audio with a discount on the weekends, but this weekend since I’m mostly offline and not sitting here to distribute audios manually, I thought I’d put up a complete audio that everyone can hear.

This audio is about doing a u-turn: we go out into the sober world, and then if we have a drink, we go back and have to begin again. This audio is recorded outside at the park on my hand-held device (offline) so there’s park noise and stuff.

Mallards4us says: “I so needed this today. Listened with a lump in my throat. Especially liked the ending. I think I’m going to go look for some kids playing and watch them too… Thank you!”

This audio will be available until Monday at about 9 a.m. Eastern. The only thing I ask is that you leave a comment below after you listen.

[ link removed ]

You can find this audio HERE and it’s #56.



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

  • That Smell…this podcast reminds me of the Lynard Skynard song:

    Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
    Oak tree you’re in my way
    There’s too much coke and too much smoke
    Look what’s going on inside you

    Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell
    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of death surrounds you

    Angel of darkness is upon you
    Stuck a needle in your arm
    So take another toke, have a blow for your nose
    And one more drink fool, will drown you

  • I am finally “getting” this. I am in the sunshine, fresh air, and adventure. I don’t want to spend another second in the sewer. It’s true, I didn’t realize how much it smelled rotten until I am no longer in it. Now the I’ve breathed some fresh air, i love it too much to want to go back. (As I say that my brain is begging please, don’t go back, please don’t go back!) nah, I got places to go and people to see:) no u-turns allowed!

  • MsM: This audio reminded me of how stinky the sewer really is – especially when I keep on romanticizing that dark and doom-filled place. Wasn’t that always how my sewer story went? I romanticized the adventure of the sewer, that somehow the story would turn out well, but I ended up crying and desperate to find a way out EACH AND EVERY TIME. I need to stop making U Turns.
    Please tell us more about what you have experienced being long-term sober. It really helps me to remind myself about the exciting life I’m building, instead of focusing on the stinky (romantic) sewer I left behind! x

  • I also needed to hear Belle’s podcast during the precise moment in which I did.
    Over the course of this last week , especially … I started having those ” feelings ” again … that a ” couple ” of drinks might not matter.
    After all.
    I recently completed my THIRD 100 Day Challenge ( since first signing on in January of 2014 ). It is amazing how your mind will rationalize things and begin trying to trick itself. I guess that is sicko Wolfie rearing his / her / its deceptive head again, eh?
    Anyway. I am SO GRATEFUL that something out there ( and / or ) within me … led me to check my e-mail after a few days and after a week of feeling ” wobbly ” and doubting this journey , the third time around.
    I guess I feel a sense of awe.
    Awe that I have made it this far. Awe that this very community exists. Awe that somehow , we each have gravitated ” here ” – to this space – to the support provided by Belle and one another.
    Belle. You mentioned not being that great at meditating?
    Well. I respectfully disagree with you. Listening to the podcast, I was struck by how in the moment you were ( and not in any sort of ‘hey! Look at me-I’m a yogi on a mountaintop’ – uh. Sort of way…
    I loved the fact that you recorded this at a playground. Kids ARE so in the moment. And we were all kids at one time. Not worrying about not being ” good enough ” and the rest of it. I could go on and on but will end this, here. I just wanted to say ” thank you ” along with the rest of you. Yes. I , too – want so badly to see what is NEXT. Lots of love. To a buncha strangers who strike me as being quite courageous and beautiful, really!

  • I was really glad to hear this, especially today! It’s been pouring rain and the thought of spending time, sober, in a sunny park is extra enticing! I had so many u-turns in my sobriety before I’d had enough – for more than a year, I’d count the days, never hitting double digits and feeling awful about myself each time. Now I’m here on day 44, though, and I couldn’t agree more – drinking led me down the same road every time, and I want to see what’s next.

  • I needed that, perfect timing! I’m 421 days sober and have never been so gratful. The Journey is amazing and to feel everything again is priceless . I will say that with the sun shinning and the back yard BBQ’s flowing I must stay present to what is true. I never want to go back to the pitiful state I was in for 25 years. Thank you Belle for all that you do!

  • Keep moving forward and having adventures. I like that! I like the ambient audio in the park, too. Very colorful. Day 437 for me, and you’re not exaggerating — it does keep getting better. 🙂

  • Thank you Belle.. perfect timing for me as well to really hear this one! as a seasoned U-turner- 3 weeks here, then 66 days, then 3 weeks, etc..here’s to getting out of the sewer for enough time to really be able to see that what’s ahead could be awesome IF I just give it enough time.

  • No U-Turns. So why I have done an about-face in the past? Why, indeed, especially when a U-Turn at an intersection is especially dangerous. Fear I think. Probably other things. Disappointment. Pain. Sometimes my life seems very hard; the constant criticism at work wears on me daily. Sure, that criticism is from 18-year olds who don’t want to do their homework. There is something about negativity that catches my attention more forcefully than a positive result or comment. It’s not the majority of students who are doing well or at least passing who I think about all night. It’s that 3% who are flunking and complaining vociferously who keep me mesmerized.
    Maybe it’s the shadows of my very negative childhood and past that draw me to negativity today. Maybe it’s because the complainers are so much louder and more forceful than the students who study and get good grades. Maybe if I did not assign homework and gave everyone an ‘A’ or ‘B’ my life would be easier—it’s a little late to change careers after all. Maybe…maybe….maybe…..I hope this 100-day challenge keeps me facing forward. I hope that, even though I may look back, I do not turn back, ever again.

  • Perfect to hear this audio on the weekend. Unstructured time can be a time when wolfie tries to get my attention. I had dinner with friends the past two nights alcohol free for me. I was aware of a tiny anxiety that I was not a very fun person. If I was drinking I would not have been any more fun but the tiny voice would have been gagged by the alcohol. Thank you Belle!

  • That was perfect. I loved the background noise and your descriptions. I’ve u-turned so many times and yes it’s my happiness in the balance but it’s also the life and death that scares me. Truly. I don’t need a tragedy to appreciate my life. Thanks. Enjoy your weekend off. I’m going to go watch a boy, my boy, play tomorrow. Sober.

  • 60 Days sober and feeling great! No U turns ahead. Wolfie can sound like my GPS when it doesn’t like the direction I go,” Please make a U Turn when possible”. No Wolfie and NO GPS I know where I’m going and I am not making a U Turn ahead!

  • I have been in the u-turn sewer off and on for much too long. I’ve heard this podcast before but really took it in today and it is perfect timing. Only Day 6 for me but here’s to consciously committing to trusting that the best is yet to come. Hope..yes and faith too

  • Even though I own this through the Jumpstart, it is such a treat to have this podcast here! A fresh listen. The sewer reference is great. Though my sewer was pretty. Pretty wine in pretty glasses, comfy jammies, just like on tv & romanticized in books & movies. So many u-turns back to that pretty sewer. As my time sober grows I am able to see the pretty wrappings are just a lure back to the sewer. Recognizing the trap is getting easier with more sober days.

  • This was a very timely audio. Love your audios, it feels like you are in the room talking – even though you were in the park. I have stayed sober before but didn’t develop strategies to stay sober and enjoy being sober and this is so much a part of my journey this time so there are no more u turns. The thought of having to start over and go through that again is not appealing. Today has been very tough going – so this has been like a stitch in time; an audio in time. Thanks for making this available Belle.

  • Thank you for this, Belle, it helps me (day 10) to stay focused – to keep looking ahead – because you do have the feeling of MISSING something at the beginning of getting sober. It just got more obvious what/why it is I miss actually. So I miss it (its more the habit that gave me “safety” I miss actually) and say goodbye once more, but I can already feel the new good stuff coming. Gonna hang in there. I’m getting more and more curious. I feel STRONGER. And I like that.

    * Really loved the background noises!

  • It makes perfect sense to not go back to the place I was. It is a challenge to build new pathways when your only tool has been trying to find oblivion. But there really isn’t another choice – it’s like in Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Thanks for sharing this, Belle 🙂

  • Love how you found a sign in the little boy at play…just being in the present which is not possible when you have been drinking…there are hard days even long term sober but nothing compares with the clarity and ability to see the sun, the sense of possibilities, the poetry of a quiet sign delivered from the cosmos. Sometimes I’ve got to fight for my sobriety but when I do I ultimately win. I will never win if I retreat to the bottle.

  • Relapse smells worse everytime! I wish it was as easy to stay sober as it sounds but it just is a total struggle .i am the one who gets a few days and turns around like its going to be different and it never is! Day one again and it’s not fun or funny!

    • Though I started out with the plan to not drink, and making a pledge for 100 Days seemed doable, the better plan is to get sober and stay sober. At day 93 Wolfie keeps whispering that I’m almost done. FUW! NO U-TURNS. I’m not interested in going back to where I was. Despite not yet experiencing great big, numerous changes, there have been a few big deals, like better sleeping, and getting my taxes done on time this year. So indeed I want to keep going forward to see what good things are in store. I’m grateful to you Belle for so much great support – its kept me on the path. So onward and upward, sober, that is the plan!!!

      • For me, this time around I was ready. My mind has been strong. There have been moments of wanting a drink but they are mostly brief romantic notions of the good feeling of having a drink. I can be stronger than a romantic notion. You can be too! Stay true to what you desire – living a sober life and the better life that will create.

  • Lovely thoughts, thank you for recording. Apropos the no U-turn “sign” you had in the park. I think I had a sign of my own today. I (very early sober) was on my walk beside a local marshy wetland area, thinking how everyone in my world drank wine and cocktails and beer, with seemingly no ill effect. Not me. I was the black sheep. Why me? In the water beside the path I saw a large and black and very beautiful bird. Black swan? Not a black sheep. Maybe a black swan? . . . No U-turn for me today Belle. I want to see what happens next.

  • Thanks Belle for making this available. Just what I needed to hear today and it helped me reflect on what failure really smelled like when I was drinking. Definitely don’t what to go back there.

  • This is a great audio. Reminds me of the man who falls Into the hole and slowly but surely finely misses it. I agree relapse=smells bad.

  • Great podcast Belle….first post, but I’ve been reading. I found you and your posts around day 8 sober, after yet another U Turn. Today marks day 154 sober 🙂 no more U Turns for me!!! I’m on a much better path and loving everyday….even the hard, terrible, rotten days are 110% better sober . Thank you!