Audio: Sprinkler

This is a clip from Sober Podcast Episode #211 that i sent to sober podcast members.


“Feeling very grateful I listened to this podcast this evening. I’m permanently soaking wet cos of all the bloody sprinklers I walk into. I think I shall wear my raincoat always around my children :-)” ~ Hidcote

In this podcast i talk about how to avoid dealing with someone (or some situation) that is making you feel nutty, and I frame it in terms of thinking about a sprinkler. To avoid getting wet, you do both of these things: you walk around the sprinkler, AND you put on a raincoat. We tend to get stuck staring at the shitty boss, the irritating husband, the bratty child (the sprinkler) – and we wonder “why are they doing this TO ME.”

That’s what boozers do. We look around, find existing problems, and drink AT them. “Fuck you, I’ll show, I’ll drink at you.” Especially in the first 200 days.

so here’s an audio on how to identify (and avoid) the sprinklers in your life.

You can listen to a 2-minute clip from this podcast and add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments. You should leave one. Do it today 🙂

If you’d like to listen to the whole thing you can use the link to download at the bottom of the post.


Sometime in the last 48 hrs, something like this happened to you. did you walk into the sprinkler, walk around it, or put on a raincoat?



Download the entire podcast episode #211

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

(ps, my blog allows for anonymous comments – so you don’t have to fill in a name or an email address to post your comment below).

Over the next 24 hrs, I’ll select a blog comment and that person will receive a present funded by the Sober Good Works donations.


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

  • Sober for a year now, big lightbulb moment recently! When a persons self esteem is less than it deserves to be, the person tends to take everything personally. That translates into a need for self soothing. When the person uses booze to soothe, everything everywhere that happens can be processed as a need to drink.

  • This is so true it’s not to me it’s around me, I need to avoid situations like that and walk away – I also think that this is true when people want to go out and tie one on – I need to avoid those people and those situations as I get soaked. I also need to turn my sprinkles off sometimes to help those around me if I’m (unintentionally)spewing water.

  • You walk around the sprinkler!
    It sounds so simple when you break it down, but being there and in the moment it’s difficult to not be affected by people like this. Extra self care and putting up a shield, or raincoat, is necessary. It isn’t me, it’s them. They can spew toxic shit if they want, but I’m going to be over here covering myself up (self care) and not walking through their shit (avoiding). You can do your thing, and I’m going to do mine.

  • Mostly for me it’s a raincoat AND walking right through the sprinkler to prove that my raincoat (and umbrella haha) are working. And I keep the raincoat on even when there isn’t a sprinkler nearby. It’s hard to let anyone else in that way but I am “protected”. There is such a difficult balance of keeping out of peoples’ shit raining down on you — and then letting in the important ones – the ones you like and love and who are good for and with you.

  • I used to not only run into the sprinkler but try and find a way to shut them off so everyone was dry and happy. Because I when I was drinking the world revolved around me and could not survive without my help, right? Now that I’ve got 100 plus days, so much can change in such a short amount of time with clarity, I see that obviously the world does not revolve around me and I’m very relieved to find that I’m not responsible for other people’s shit sprinklers. I recognize that I’m a co-dependent little twit who was suffering from a terminal case of uniqueness and grandiose ideas. I’m working very hard to not only avoid the sprinklers now but any puddles they might leave around there. If its not my problem than its not my problem. They can even talk to me about their problem and it’s still not my problem to solve. I put on my rain coat and keep on trucking to sunny weather. A good part of that is thanks to you Belle:)

  • Absolutely spot on timing for me to hear this today. The longer I’m sober the more easily I notice ‘the sprinklers’ spewing toxic shit and that’s been a good thing ..but I needed reminding not to take this personally… I’d drifted back into a ‘it’s not fair’ that my manager/ so called friend/ colleague is giving me a hard time, instead of remembering that’s just them and I can move around them rather than stand and stare and get covered in their stuff. In these situations it’s always because actually I want something from them, I need to remember I won’t get it, there’s no point in me wishing the sprinklers were different, I refocus on getting my needs met elsewhere, and it always involves some extra self care xxx

  • Wow…I couldn’t have gotten a better fitting message today. I did literally sit at work and stare at a coworker thinking, “he is such a shitty human”. But this is absolutely right on. He’s shitty when I’m not there, he gossips when I’m not around to hear it and he is just generally a fake person. I am getting better at avoiding the sprinklers but sometimes you do have to listen to them talk. I’m pretty good at walking away whenever possible.
    I practice my interested face while secretly making a grocery list in my head 🙂
    I type emails to you behind a laptop all while nodding at his stupid comments and ideas.

    The thing about a raincoat that JUST struck me while listening was that when you are out of the rain…you can take it off. And then you don’t think about it dripping wet. You are just you under there. That’s the part I need to work on a bit more. I think sometimes I get home and don’t take off the raincoat when the sprinklers are unavoidable. But why am I wearing that in my safe and comfy home?? That doesn’t make sense. So if you can’t avoid, remember to take that soppy mess off as soon as possible.

  • One of the sprinkliest sprinklers in my life is my 4 year old son, god bless him. He is wonderful but also infuriating and when he doesn’t get his own way, he explodes. And then I explode. And then we glare at each other exploding at each other. And he doesn’t back down. And I don’t back down. But what he doesn’t do is reach for alcohol. If my four year old son is mature/innocent enough to realize that alcohol doesn’t solve his problems then his mother sure as hell should be able to come to the same conclusion.

  • This hit home so much. I am having trouble with a co-worker and what I realized and you reiterated was that I am not responsible for their behavior. I don’t have to fix anything. I can watch you spew shit and I don’t have to get hit with it. I have started calling it passive engagement. I can be engaged in the conversation without owning anyone else’s behavior. I am free to only worry about myself; I forget this sometimes, its good to be reminded. Thanks Belle!

  • I’ve quoted this to a friend with a shitty boss, kids with annoying playmates and sister with intrusive MIL. not just boozers need Belle’s advice. But we need it most.

  • I’ve gotten really good at just letting things roll right off me, so I guess that’s wearing my raincoat. If I can see it coming I walk around it. I had my raincoat on last night, husband was extremely irritated and freaking out about little shit, but I know his backs been bothering him, so I just let it roll right off me. It was really about his back, not me.

  • Sometimes sprinklers are people close to us and people we care a whole lot about–that makes it hard to not take the spewage personally. I know this is my case. But you’re right…we can let them spew and continue onward. It helps when I can validate my perception/feelings with someone else before I can process the hurt feelings/distress. For example, “am I crazy for feeling like that person is mean to me?”…sometimes the answer is “yes, that is an irrational perception” or “no, you’re not crazy for feeling that way; but that person does that to everyone–you’re not special”. Thanks for pushing me to write down this thought in words. Sometimes I need these opportunities to sort out all of the revelations/thoughts I have in my head. <3