Audio: Christmas 2016

This is a longer Sober Podcast Episode C16 for my weekly sober podcast series about how to deal with this time of year.

you know, what to consider, what to do, how to ‘check out’ without alcohol, and support looks like.

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 (36 minutes). I’ll leave this up for 48 hrs. You can listen in sections if you’re pressed for time. But make time to listen. There’s something for you in here.

My only request is that you leave a comment. Feedback is crucial 🙂 What did you hear in this audio that you haven’t heard before, or what’s the one big take-away for you that you can carry around with you for the next few days?

hugs from me

[ audio link has been removed ]


Download the audio podcast episode C16

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(1-2 new audios per week, you can cancel whenever you like … but you won’t. more sober tools = good)



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

  • Poppy: “Thanks for this. Lots of messages in this audio. My main one that I’m taking away is that support in this community is the thing that makes the difference. Alone in your head doesn’t work.
    I loved the bit about saying it’s fine to check out. Just in a different way. Yes!”

  • You’re right about the kids. Back before I was so obsessed with drinking, I used to be the fun aunt. I would like to do that again. Thanks, Belle.

  • from turtle: I love this podcast, thank you Belle.

    Love the three meatball mother. Something else you said really struck me. I have been expecting MY kids to fill my deficits. So much to work on, but TODAY, sober Christmas. First one ever. Thank you for all you insight and support. Much love and appreciation. Wishing you a wonderful rest of your trip and safe travels home.

  • “You are in charge of you” is what I got out of this podcast. “Reasons” are just excuses to drink. Thank you for sharing this podcast Belle!

  • Christmas was always a day that I would get stressed out preparing for, only to spend the day itself grabbing a drink as early as would seem acceptable and then drinking alone in the basement because I didn’t want my family to see me drunk. No one made me over prepare for Christmas; it was something I did to myself. Your podcast reminded me that I have control over what I let get under my skin, or what I let throw me off balance, and trying to right myself by drinking is like throwing gasoline on a burning house. It definitely won’t make me feel better, and will almost certainly make things worse.

  • Thanks Belle — Your message was much appreciated after being triggered by a facetime call with relatives back in NYC tonight. They are 3 hours ahead and already blasted. Last year I was part of that party — toasting, sneaking off to smoke — eating too much lasagna a chocolate pie to absorb the booze. I could taste it all again tonight but really know it wasn not worth it at all. I love my sober life more than ever — every day it’s a new revelation. Three weeks away from one year! It’s just a craving and it has passed. It’s so wonderful knowing you and so many others are there and understanding. Hold steady and happy holidays!

  • Lots of ways to check out – I love that. My ideal Christmas would be a remote snowy cottage, where we go for a walk or ski all day, then have a warming slow cooker meal plus a variety of treats that everyone has brought their favourites, no-one stuck in the kitchen getting stressed for hours, no TV, relaxing. But I can get that other holidays. I will be tempted to get wound up by the whole ‘it’s Christmas so it’s got to be special, tacky presents, martyrdom, ‘have a drink or it’s not a party’ … but instead I can focus on time to chat to old and young, have a cup of tea, go out into the garden, appreciate the food, find ways to be mindful and grateful. Thanks Belle for the permission to stop seeing it all as an unwanted drama

  • I loved this! You are a wonderful blend of wisdom and humor. Laughing through the season sober and telling myself it’s time for an afternoon nap. Such a gift. Thanks Belle!

  • I listened to this in the bathroom too. Who knew toilet time would be the perfect escape to listen to a podcast? It sounds like you know my brother! Lord, give me strength to get through the next few days. Sipping on sober eggnog, walking the dogs, sitting on the floor playing Balderdash, and finding sober tools to make it through the season. Happy Days to you all xoxo

  • The thing that really hit home for me is that every Christmas (except last year) of my 15 year old nephew’s life I’ve been drunk. I’m going to hang out with him this year and something tells me this is going to be one of the best Christmases I’ve had. I’ve been applying tools n treats and asking for help, and I’m really looking forward to taking on the day. Bring it! Awesome reminders here Belle.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this!!
    As always you a bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.
    This will be my first sober X-mas and ironically I am looking forward to it and feel relieved to be in my sober car driving down the road. I have done the maintenance and this car is running fucking awesome!!
    Thanks ??

  • 2 things really resonated with me and helped my mood today. The 3 meatball mother analogy is good. I have a 3 meatball husband. He has access to money, but not to his emotions. He doesn’t get it that handing me $100 instead of his time and honest emotions doesn’t make me feel happy or cause me to appreciate him. I still need to figure out if that is enough obviously. Thanks Belle

  • The “three meatball mother” is genius! And to carry the metaphor further, I can say no thank you to the liver pate and politely excuse myself before the fruit cake is served. Thank you and happy summer Christmas to you! ?

  • Thank you Belle, I needed this. So funny because I plan on sitting in the bathroom a lot. I want my xmas present to be me present! And I will be reaching out for more tools. I was making my yogi tea and the tag on it says. When the dawn of simplicity comes in life, complications leave. I will be carrying that tag in my pocket.

  • When I chose to quit drinking, I didn’t know…couldn’t know…what it would look & feel like to be sober. So many things, so many nights would be re-structured and I couldn’t imagine how. You give us the reassurance that our lives are existing, almost in a parallel reality, at all times WITHOUT alcohol. If we choose to not drink, we’ll see those pathways. Play with the children! Have a real honest conversation! Dance sober! It’s like returning to childhood ourselves, where we can take joy in the simple pleasures of life. Walk the dog! Play with sticks! Make memories! I feel like it entitles me to BE ME again. Thank you for this.

  • Thank you to all the generous people including Belle ?Who made the free podcast available.
    Takeaway keep my sober car on the road…no matter what. Last night made dinner for 6, the 5 guest all drank, I did not. Still had fun playing games…cleaned the kitchen up and slept all night. I know I feel so good this morning and am so thankful I had my soda water with lime. And now I am off to practice yoga with the sunrise.

  • Thanks for sharing this Belle! I just ‘discovered’ you yesterday after trying to find some resources to get through the Christmas period sober..smashed through your book already and loved listening to this podcast (my first podcast ever!) Christmas Eve family lunch done and dusted no problems, and day 124 is now complete! Enjoy your holiday in our beautiful country! Louise (Brisbane, Australia) xoxo

  • This sober podcast is so appreciated. Christmas Eve and my addict brain is in full throttle…where is the bloody champagne?? But you are so right–staying locked in the pattern of drinking puts our goals, dreams, our very life on permanent hold. Until it eventually ruins it. Merry sober Christmas Eve, I’m in it to win it, so no bloody champagne for this newly sober chick!

  • Just finished my day 8 and I feel fine…didn’t think that would be possible at this time of year (with the Holidaze and all). But I’ve really been working on simplifying and self care and it works!

  • Reminds me it’s not worth the hangover to have even one glass of wine because it could very likely turn into a bottle or two.

  • Wow! Some of this really resonated with me. I really appreciate this podcast and will remember it tomorrow if drama breaks out for our Christmas Eve celebration. Thank you so much! By the way, I live in S. CA and have never had a white Christmas (only because when I lived back east, I always came home for Christmas.) At least it is not 80 degrees this year. Have fun in the Southern Hemisphere!

  • Merry, happy, happy! I’m so glad I listened to this! My take/always:

    It’s an intense time of year for everyone in some way. Pouring alcohol on it doesn’t work. Listen to my sober voice not fuck face wolfie who will make excuses that are just lies. Fuck ‘um.

    “It” could be possible if I’m sober. Not a chance when I’m drinking.

    Alcohol adds something shitty to something shitty to make it even shittier.

    Yes, I did want something better. A better me.

    Think of positive outcomes don’t jump to negative ones (like we all do).

    The only thing that works is not drinking. And the most effective thing to insure I don’t drink is support. All the tools in my toolbox. I am going to sign up for the monthly audio. It’s the price of a bottle of wine. Once a month! (We can all do the math).

    Check out when you need to… talk to the kids, elders, walk the dog, do the dishes. Be compassionate- listen and love. Everyone can use it.

    The self help idea of 2017 is “Don’t Drink”.

    Love, merry, happy

  • I struggle with truly accepting I cannot do this on my own. What i heard the most in this podcast is that I won’t stop slamming my hand in the car door until I accept more support. And that I can’t really trust my perception of things because I’ve been buying my own bullshit for so long. Wolfie loves when I’m in my head all alone because I’m easily persuaded there and I’ll believe I can drink like it won’t mess everything up for days and weeks and maybe longer… Who knows? because it’s really hard to get the sober car back on the road. The sparkle of the desire to stop dulls and you quit following it and end up in the ditch.

  • Exactly what I needed to hear as I worry about how clean my house is before company comes.
    What came up for me is that once again Wolfe talk in my head gets to me. Don’t drink even if something good or bad happens.
    Thank you

  • “It adds something sh#tty to something sh#tty.” That quote is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given for a holiday. Obvious and simple but never occurred to me….

  • Thank you for bringing some balance to the noise in my head and reminding me that one drink is never enough, nor will it solve anything.