Audio: Snake or Starfish

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #212 a while ago as part of my podcast subscription.

Are you a snake or a starfish? A snake presents only part of their story. You might talk about your husband, but not about over-drinking. You maybe tell your doctor about menopause and not the two bottles of wine.

Whereas really, you’re a starfish. There are multiple things happening. and if you don’t present all of them, then the person listening can’t always help you as well as they could.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from the beginning of the audio, and then you can add your comments below. My blog allows anonymous comments.

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


Fill in the blanks: I told ______ about _____ but i never mentioned _______ or _________.



Download the entire podcast episode #212

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(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

  • I told my doctor about my concerns over my high cholesterol and inability to lose weight but i never mentioned how much wine I drank, (definitely snake behavior). However, over two weeks ago I went to her with symptoms of a UTI. I broke down and I was honest with her and begged her to prescribe me ozempic because I heard it helped you not feel like drinking alcohol. She said that wouldn’t solve my problem and to try AA. She was proud of me for being honest and I cried in the office like a baby which was a huge sense of relief. I didn’t want to go to AA and joined Belle’s 100 day challenge. I’m on day 17!

  • I told my doctors about my heart rhythm issues and sleep problems and joint pain, but i never mentioned overdrinking. So I was a acting like a snake at that time, only presenting part of the story. Now after several rounds of being alcohol free and thankfully losing all my excess weight, I’m more honest with myself, my doctors, and a few close friends. I hope that qualifies me as a cute starfish instead. Being honest is so freeing. There’s nothing sweeter than waking up sober.

  • I told the family about lacing the wine with vodka but I never told them about the bottle in my bedside drawer or filling the empty vodka bottle with water till I could replace it .

  • I told my therapist about my anxiety, issues with my husband and so many sleepless nights, but I never told him I was (over) drinking nearly every night. I talked about my struggles with food, problems with my Mother and frustration with my flailing career, but not about the binges or my ever-growing preoccupation with alcohol. Definitely a starfish here 😆!

  • I told my doctor about my anxiety/depression and sleeplessness but didn’t mention that I spend a lot of time and energy sneaking alcohol into my house and my body so my husband won’t know.

  • I told my Doctor that I had pains in my stomach that made it hard to move. I did not mention that I drank most nights to excess.

  • I’m a skeptic and wonder whether “full” disclosure to a given professional about drinking or addiction would necessarily make a difference. What if you disclosed alcohol but not other addictions or possible contributors? Maybe one true disclosure is enough. Maybe the important thing is to disclose the thing you most want to keep secret. I am both a snake and a starfish. Sometimes my starfish distracts, deflects and dilutes the key issue (over-drinking) by waving around all those arms (life issues). Sometimes the snake is the thing; the only thing.

    I told my acupuncturist that I drank too much and wanted help with addictive behavior but didn’t tell her about anxiety or depression or stress or triggers or conflict or difficult family relationships or the many other tiny and large things that coelesce as my reality. She said she couldn’t help if I was not at a place blah blah energetic willingness blah blah blah make a difference blah blah childhood wounds etc. I gave her the snake: the one over-riding thing. She wanted ten starfish.

    Now I penpal with Belle. 🙂

  • I’ve many people ( more lately) I’ve told part of the story to. It’s sorta like I just can’t lose any weight so I’m thinking about trying to quit drinking for 6 months to see if that makes a difference but I don’t tell them …ive been wanting to quit drinking for years and the talking in my head prevents that:(

    • This was the same story I told myself and it finally worked. I quit for 100 days, took a week off (not recommended) and signed up for more 100 days. Now on day 505 (not counting the first 100 days). I’ve lost 40 lbs, feel amazing and now tell people I don’t drink since I want to maintain my good health and not risk gaining the weight back. It’s the truth but not the whole truth. But it’s worked for me so give it a try. Took me 8 years of wanting to stop before I did it–gained 50 lbs thanks to wine and worries. Most of the worries even disappeared when I finally stopped drinking the wine–not all at once of course but eventually my moods equalized and all the compliments on my lost weight sure help! I think I’m a starfish–not everyone needs to know my business as long as I’m honest with myself.

  • I told the dr about my falling down and shattering my face and thought I might have a concussion but not that I had consumed a large bottle of vanilla vodka before I fell. 🙁

  • I am drug addict (drugs are just one of my addictions). I was so ashamed because of it so : I told my mom about my alcohol problem but i never mentioned my drug addiction.
    Also I was in psychiatric hospital and I told about my anxiety, sadness and fears but I never mentioned drugs and alcohol…

  • I told my therapist I thought I drank too much, but I never mentioned I wanted him to agree with me and help me stop; rather, I accepted his interpretation that it didn’t sound like i drank too much.

  • Before I quit drinking I told my sober friend I had moderated my drinking, by only drinking on weekends, but I never mentioned that every time I drank I blacked out or how my whole weekend revolved around drinking

      • Yup, that was me! I could help but smile and shake my head in that weird sort of nodding head way (😂🥴🤔). 100% agree. It’s very clever the way you always hit the nail on the head. Thank you for calling it just as it is. Ali (day 250)