Audio: Incongruent

This is an audio clip from Sober Podcast #215 sent to sober podcast members.

I did a personalized audio for a subscriber about fear, defensiveness, rationalizations.

And it’s also about the incongruent idea of drinking — how having alcohol in your life wouldn’t match up with what you say, and who you say you are.

To get you started, you can listen to this clip from 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.


In what way is drinking incongruent with who you say you are?



Download the entire podcast episode #215

Sign up for the monthly podcast membership
(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

  • It’s not incongruous at all. Most people who study psychology in college do so because they have some underlying (or right up from) mental health issues that they are trying to deal with via education.

    I’d been to many therapists, AA, Smart Recovery, and regular MDs before I found Belle. Belle cured me when no once else could because she didn’t try to analyze me. She just flat out told me what to do (and not to do).

    My emails were non-stop cries for help during the first 100 days.
    “Belle. Help me. Tell me what to do Belle!”

    And her answers would come:
    Eat cake.
    Take a bath.
    Get take away meals.
    Go outside.
    Change your sheets.
    Listen to podcasts.
    Reread the pdfs.
    Don’t drink.
    Stay here.

  • Yeah, I totally TOTALLY get her concern as well as your response. I am a health professional One of the MANY topics I discuss with my “clients” is addiction and substance use disorders. Woo-wee – talk about feeling like a total hypocrite – especially when that topic is addressed while I am hungover. That is a terrible feeling – that whole feeling like a hypocrite.

    I am not that far into my non-drinking journey, but I am far enough to know that not drinking is SO MUCH BETTER. I am a little bit nervous that I have a brain that tries to (and is good at) justifying drinking. I even had a damn DREAM last night that I was going to a party and I was having that “should I/shouldn’t I” internal debate about drinking at this party that, in my dream, was thrown in my honor. I woke up pretty happy that this was just a dream – but also realized that it is time to listen to more sober podcasts, write to my amazing sober penpal – Coach Belle, and get on with my day.

    You are your best self when you are not drinking. I hope that knowing that helps you to silence that voice (or at least reduce its volume) when it is sneaking up on you. You are better than a life filled with hangovers. Drinking is totally incongruent with your life.

  • While my drinking wasn’t really incongruent with my work. It was with the healthy lifestyle that I portrayed. I work out, eat healthy, grow my own vegetables, etc, people ask me for advice in these areas. I could put it off though because wine is healthy, right? I just never told how much I really drank.

  • Day 59 today Belle, and my Wolfie voice is screaming at me tonight. My daughter asked me to help her study for a big history test tomorrow, my husband is wanting me to complete a bunch of office work for our business before tomorrow, and I am in the middle of cooking supper (the dreaded witching hours ). I get what you are talking about…the incongruent. My Wolfie voice is screaming at me that they all expect too much. I can’t do it all…I need a treat…how about some wine. That will make me feel better. The real me is taking a step back to write this. To gain healthy perspective. What my family really wants is me to be good!! To be happy and healthy. Drinking me is the opposite of that!! Healthy me will finish supper and study with my daughter and prioritize my other stuff so that when I wake up tomorrow, I will NOT be hung over and full of shame! Instead, I will feel good about what i DID manage to get accomplished tonight, and know that tomorrow is another opportunity to be there for my peeps and to stay healthy and to keep being sober and clear and focused. Kinda rambly, but I feel better now! Thanks Belle, Springer.

  • When drinking, there was only glimmer of who I am still left. I still listened to music almost nonstop, I still read, I still contacted my friends, even made it out to see friends from time to time, but I was miserable and only pretending. I was mean, selfish, and unpredictable, like a ticking bomb that could explode at any moment, in any direction. I stopped doing what I love, and if I did things that I enjoy I wouldn’t be able to remember them. I lost conviction that was so important to me once upon a time. I lost myself. Even my boss reminds me from time to time about how I used to be, “do you remember when we used to fight all the time?” It was memorable for a lot of people, and though most of them stuck by me, it still breaks my heart to realize just how sick I was, and how far I strayed from who I am. Knowing this, there’s no way that I will choose to be that person again, and I know that drinking will lead me there. That small voice we call intuition told me as soon as I began drinking around 19 that alcohol wasn’t good for me, but I didn’t listen, but I hear it loud and clear now! I also like who I am now. I feel joy, and it’s hard to argue against that.

  • In some ways, I used to believe drinking was an essential part of me. The woman who drank. A lot. I thought that made me fun. I even kind of related to funny characters on tv like Karen Walker on Will and Grace. Everywhere I looked provided evidence that alcohol was important and character building.

    But then came that gnawing anxiety and fear… which I thought was a part of me too… until the shakiness, weight gain, hair curling bad breath and terrible bloated, gassy belly (just even thinking about that brings back phantom pain) made me take notice.

    I am so surprised, now in sobriety, how much drinking took me away from exactly the opposite of who I am: sensitive, caring, creative and curious. I even feel pretty now, not like a ruddy bloated toad. I think I was drinking to mask how sensitive I was – which I know is quite common – but now I can manage it and finally see that it is now a strength. Like genuinely see and feel how important it is (I rationally always knew this could be true – totally different to feel it to be true in my bones).

    So all this to say, yes, drinking was totally incongruent to who I said I was. And without it, I marvel at how awesome I actually am. For the first time ever!

  • I too have a social sciences PhD. And in fact, this incongruence between my professional self and personal life (read: drinking too much) is one of the nagging, and very logical reasons, for me to quit. I hate that something I am so passionate about and have worked so hard to achieve is at risk of being diminished because drinking is a priority. not too mention that it is a priority that cannot be contained and eats up gobs of wasted time. i’m choosing the “real me” and not the “wolfie version”. this morning at 4am, i noticed and discerned wolfie’s voice for the first time. it kind of scared me–but i know that i have accumulated so much more momentum because of this change in my perspective…

    i’ve been lurking around here for a couple of years now–but i have been taking notes 🙂

  • Incongruence = alcohol is addictive period. Add that fact to a brain that tells you to drink. Any rational or logical thought processes are dashed away by the poison of alcohol while it’s in your system. In between drinks is when we attempt to be the person we truly are amidst the shame of our actions. Day 232.

  • After 13 years of trying to make wine my best friend (unsuccessfully, and slowly to the exclusion of all others) I have finally come to the full realization that it is THE thing that keeps me from being the person I was meant to be and live a life that is congruent with who I am/who I was meant to be. Bit by bit, it has taken so much from me. Yet it seems so hard to break the vicious cycle of (1) knowing how much damage it brings to my life and yet (2) having it be the one thing I had to look forward to every night! But isn’t that the very definition of addiction/incongruence??.

  • for many years I thought of this other as Gollum, who hid in the dark, didn’t like talking to people, was small, and ugly and unhappy. Meanwhile I was meditating, actively involved in a meditation community, engaged with my village (driving the community bus, helping out at the church). So Gollum liked to keep our drinking a secret, that no-one else knew about (ha ha), and I went around in the world, running my business, being a pillar of the community, going schizo. Finally my partner threw me out and I just let rip, stopped pretending, stopped hiding, still meditating, writing, painting, walking and cycling. I even started going to AA meetings again, but carried on drinking. That didn’t work. I refused to be two people. And I didn’t control or moderate my drinking. I just said sod it, I’ll drink when, where and as much as I want (I had a job so there were limitations and I lived a 40 minute round trip from the nearest shop, so weekends were often dryish, because I’m lazy). Then I got sacked for drinking and being drunk on the job (I’m practically retired, so apart from the humiliation I didn’t really mind). Carried on drinking. Blackouts, accidents and just feeling worse and worse. A couple of weeks ago, the penny finally dropped. I am not enjoying this. I really do not want to drink anymore. And I bumped into tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking (as you do). This is my 5th day sober. 1st milestone – 7 days. Then 30. Then, maybe, the big 100. The really big change (I have been here several times in the last 17 years) is I think I really have let go of ever having another drink. We’ll see. I’ll keep coming here.

  • Alcohol is everywhere. We feel weak because we can`t really tolerate the effect…we are the ones who get too drunk and loose control. We think that it shouldn`t really be this way…we should be able to “control” our friends do. But to control it the way we have to, is no fun. To party is to let go of the control, is it not? When I was younger, I used to argue with all my friends when I was drunk. I told them lots of stupid things – that were true – but my filter was missing. I told them they ought to stand up for me and for eachother – and that spending time together was the most important thing in life..But of course – i came off as a crybaby who demanded that everyone spent time with me at all times…and I got pissed..a-lot. Angry at myself, at society, and especially at friends and family. I damaged relationships, myself and property. This is what happens when I let go…I ruin things.

    Now I still do not tolerate the effect of alcohol. I want more-more-more, there is no off-switch like you said in this clip. But I manage to keep it under control. I don`t buy enough to get really drunk , and I don`t do booze – even though we have plenty. Still – at parties, I am no longer able to have fun. To have fun is to let go, but for me to let go, is to loose control over how much I have been drinking…and then the possibility for awakening “the Hulk” arises. It scares me so much the things I have done while drunk during the last 25 years, that I am always alert..never relaxed. Always nervous that I will loose control and…off we go. So I do drink, and I do get intoxicated – and it has been years since I totally lost control, but it is no fun. It is useless. I sit there with my beer, only thinking about the next – and wether or not the next is the one that will get the unstoppable ball being present and in tune with people around me, is impossible for me while drinking.

    So…”tired of thinking about drinking” fits so well with me, it is hard to explain.

    Sorry – English is not my first language. It is so much more I want to express, but I am not able to. Thank you for all your e-mails Belle – they still inspire, and I am on my day three now – really considering to burst the bubble and go all in with this “no alcohol”-shit.


  • How do you stop or rewire your brain when having thoughts about going back to drinking? (hardwired for alcohol) When ‘unsupervised’ or alone when no one is around, my desire to drink is so much greater. When around family or friends it is easy to not drink. (accountability) I’m single and live alone.

  • I see the irony of being an overdrinker AND a mental health professional. I am professional in very different industry and know the many emotions (quilt, fear, disappointment…) and the rotten hangovers I balanced while attempting to be functional on a daily basis. SO much wasted energy / brain cells. To add on having the expertise and responsibility of helping others with all sorts of problems which likely includes over drinking takes it to a whole other level. Still, the bottom line is you need to do this non-drinking thing for yourself first and foremost! I am on day 42 (multiple attempts and never much past 7 – 10 days) and the view from here is awesome. Clear head, way more time (for hobbies, exercise, family time…) and being present in the evening (drinking 1 to 2 bottles of red) and in the morning (vs hangover). If this encourages even one of Belle’s subscribers to start the journey or continue I would be thrilled.