Audio: Interview Practise Part 2

So i’ve been working on a longer audio, and I have finished recording Sober Podcast Episode #170 for my weekly sober podcast series. You’re familiar with the one-minute audios. These are longer, meatier.

This part 2 of the “me pretending i’m being interviewed” podcast. I’m obviously very bad at condensed answers. at one point in this one, i basically have to go ‘offline’ to tell you stuff that didn’t fit into the prepared response. you can let me know which bits in this are necessary to keep in, and which parts i can ditch.

Usually i only put up an extract of the podcast and then tell you to go buy the whole thing and/or to sign up for the monthly podcast subscription.

But today I’d like you to listen to this audio in its entirety.

i am posting the whole audio (30+ minutes long) and i’m going to leave it up for 48 hrs so that you can hear the entire audio even if you’re not a podcast subscriber. So please listen now. right now. My only request is that you leave a comment. Feedback is crucial 🙂


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Download the audio podcast episode 170

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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

  • I love the term “self help live” and you do it so real. You are very authentic and vulnerable in sharing your experiences and you insights.

    That you are non-judgmental is great for creating rapport and that does come across in your voice.

    I can very much relate to you and feel that we would be friends if we lived near to each other. And you are wise to realize that you are relatable to some but not likely to all.

    I think it’s great that you are honing your interviewing skills. That is good business. And I think it’s fabulous that you live buy your own business model. As someone that grew up in a working poor family I appreciate all the options that you offer.

    Keep up the great work, living in the moment, creating as you go.

    My only suggestion would be to do more practicing but also listen to your practice replies. In doing so you will come to your settling in space.


  • Sober voice,
    Everyone does what they want to do.
    You help people because you like how it makes you feel.
    I drank because I liked the way it made me feel. Until it didn’t. And it took along time for me to figure out it felt better not to drink. Thanks for the help.
    I’m not a fan of sophomoric language, but that’s just me.
    Pithiness takes practice, but it is worth it.
    “If you were assassinated?” It is OK to say, “Next question.”
    Well I listened to the whole thing and I wouldn’t change a thing.
    You are you and not appealing to everyone.
    That’s their problem, not yours.
    It’s kind of like quitting drinking. One does it and fails and does it again and again and finally does it. One never does it if they wait to do it perfectly or if they stop trying.

  • Like the other comments here, I do love the sound of your voice. It is tender and tenacious in just the right ways. I enjoyed your “stream of consciousness” thinking out loud. It affirms that to me that my decisions and actions are best as a process. And I appreciate that you can laugh at yourself…I think that is something I don’t do very well. I take myself way too seriously. But I am learning.

  • Wonderful and thank you! You’re a natural at this and your genuine commitment to sobriety is incredibly moving. The last question did take more time than needed but it was still interesting and moving. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this cause!

  • As always your voice is so wonderful to listen to. When you (Belle) listen to the replay choose the key messages/answers to the questions – they are there like golden nuggets in the river – and shorten your answers accordingly. You don’t have to give complete answers and if he/she wants more info they’ll ask you to elaborate!

  • I like your voice. I know this sounds strange but what I mean is this…
    You answer clearly, honestly, and give hope. Your voice is as soothing and nonjudgmental as your emails.
    Thank you Belle.

  • I really enjoyed your podcast. I like how real you are and not rehearsed; feels more personable. You are going to do great!!

  • Day 86 AF!! And you were the first voice that I found when I decided to flip the switch to off. xo

    I really do love you and your heart. Love the way you think, the sound of your voice. Like a sister, which I never growing up but I am gathering sisters as I go. I hope one day that I can meet you so that I can thank you in person. And just look at you and grin. A big happy grin. I really enjoyed the podcast. Yeah you rambled but I followed and it was comforting. Thank you. And happy Thursday!!

  • I get your emails but this is the first podcast I’ve listened to. I found it easy to listen to, and enjoyed the humaness of the rambling answer.

  • I enjoyed listening to these practice sessions, Belle! Had so many of my own questions about your approach answered and I appreciate you even more.

    What I’ve learned from public speaking is that rehearsals go a looooong way. When you actually sit down to do the interview, your thoughts WILL be coherent. More coherent than you think! Don’t apologize for any answer. The people listening to the interview are just like your sober challenge participants. We all digest what you put out there and what resonates just resonates.

    When you’re trying to describe the group, the words living and organic might serve best to illustrate why you go don’t plan too too much. You sounded apologetic but there’s no need to be. That flexibility + your clear boundaries are indeed a rare strength.

    That’s just my two cents. Nice job!!

  • The last question and answer is really about how good you (Belle) are at what you do. Pen pals is a long tradition. Email pen pals were a part of the book “Staying Sober: Tips for Working a Twelve Step Program of Recovery” published by
    Meredith Gould in 1999. She recommended cyber-pen pals for people in recovery who wanted to keep their recovery program secret. So really it is about you (Belle) excelling at being an email pen pal —especially for people trying to get past the first 100 days. I know you helped me a lot during that difficult time. I dont think Rob Lowe (or Oprah or Lindsay or any other celebrity) is the next step in sober pen pals. That service is more likely to spring up en masse from India in my opinion.

  • A couple of thoughts that occurred to me as I listened. 1) ‘What you do’ seems to have arisen organically; as you say, you did not plan it to become so large, nor do you have a specific blueprint for its future. The unique aspect is that you allow others inside your head as you discover what works and what doesn’t. There’s a LOT of scientific research about addiction and changing patterns, and you seem to have ‘stumbled’ onto some mechanisms that really and truly work. Or at least they work for you and people like you. 2) Your penpals found you because they were looking for you, ie, most of us googled something like ‘anonymous sober penpal’ or literally, ‘I’m so tired of drinking,’ and happened to find exactly what we were looking for. The beauty of google. 3) Your suggestions to help stop drinking are all on point and are scattershot: there are a lot of ideas and something is bound to work for everyone. I’ve never been in AA, but it seems to walk a narrow path with specific rules…and if those don’t resonate with the drinker, then it fails. 4) Something completely different in your program, that I’ve never heard before, is the idea of ‘sober treats.’ It’s a pattern that can work for losing weight, stopping smoking, changing any behaviors that you want to modify.
    Can you tell I’m reading the book “The Power of Habit?” The sequence is ‘cue, behavior, reward.’ To change any habit/behavior, you have to modify both cue and reward. Maybe you’re a marketing genius or a psychiatrist doing evolved research….or maybe you just stumbled upon what Madison Avenue advertising executives have known for years: change the cue, give a reward, and you can create new behaviors. It even builds new pathways within the brain on a molecular level.
    You also feed into some personality issues that are consistent among those who want to stop drinking; I’m not sure those issues are truly the same in ALL drinkers, but I think they are the same in people in your program (overly-sensitive, low self-esteem, etc.)
    Giving accountability (“email me every day, several times a day, I really do read everything”) and a sense that someone, somewhere in the universe, really and truly cares….genius and invaluable.
    And I think very wise to NOT have an open chatroom. You keep the message on point and specific. And in that way it stays personal between you and each person….no competing ideas get in the way of the conversation.
    No one asked you, in the interview practice, the percentage of your penpals who are men vs women…something I’d be interested in hearing. But I think the behavior modification program truly works for both sexes.
    And also, just side note. Don’t apologize for long audios. I love listening for a half hour or more. Perfect for an early morning cup of coffee or a long drive and getting lost in my head. Things you say stir up related and complex ideas in my own life and reality…and you never know which acorns will fall on soft ground. 😉