Audio: Hope

Super special, I want to share with you this full-length episode from my sober podcast series. It’s called “Hope” (SP224) and it’s about 30 minutes long.

It might be one of the most important audios I’ve recorded (maybe ever). Yes, it’s a big deal. I learned something this week and I want to share it with you.

Below i’ve posted the entire 30 minute podcast. usually i just post a clip but today, thanks to some really lovely donations to the Sober Good Works fund (thanks!), i’m posting this audio for everyone to listen to – even if you’re not a paying podcast subscriber.

It will be available for 48 hrs only. So listen now. 


after you listen, post a comment and tell me what phrase from this audio could be  put on a bumper sticker. something that I actually say. I’ll pick one comment and that person will receive a brass Stay Here bracelet (value $33, donated thanks to the Sober Good Works fund).

Download the HOPE podcast here

Sign up for the monthly podcast subscription
(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 48 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

  • ckelly: Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this podcast available in it’s entirety! I just finished listening to it and took a full page of notes. Here’s my bumper sticker: It’s always all mental.

    My favorite idea from this podcast is that hope can be taught.


    (mic drop)

    I’m one of those people, who’s always asking or wondering, how did do so-and-so do it? How did he or she make it to day XXX. Now I know! By problem solving day by day.


    Be stubborn on the goal and flexible on the approach. Adapting when things don’t go the way the should. Come up with other ideas.

    Keep selling hope, Belle!

  • Ok, for a concise quote: Hope is the combination of the ability to begin and having some confidence in your ability to find a path. This particular audio is PACKED with good stuff. I know i need external accountability to get this done. I also know at least one person who can show me the path and help me around the obstacles. That gives me a lot of HOPE. Beyond this though, is that in the doing of this thing, (that I apparently suck at) I will gain the tools i need to succeed in other areas of my life. That is life changing. Well done. Thank you Belle.

  • What stuck out to me was when you said you’re really good at typing but you suck at running. So you want to stay and get better.

  • I like “you can have the experience of succeeding at something you sucked at” but if you put that on a bumper sticker they’d only be able to read it if they rear ended you.

  • “Do you suck at it because you actually suck at it, or do you suck at it because you decided ahead of time that you suck at it?”

    Yep. This.

  • My bumper sticker might say ….Try Something Else……..this podcast is really me …..cant see the path yet …..but i have the goal …..just when will i get serious and make the committment to myself ….do the work …..ask for help ….just frgnn start . . And see what happens ….i really want / need all the good that will come from it ….go forward when you can’t see the path….accountability is how to do it

  • I used to look at getting sober as being on a ledge of a very tall skyscraper afraid to look down, let alone jump off. But now I see it as being on the edge of a jungle that I need to travel through to get to the other side. You can invest in a pair of good hiking boots (sober coach) so your feet stay dry. And then you find out that using a machete (sober tools) like others that have travelled this jungle before you will help you create own path. And don’t forget the bug spray to keep the mosquitoes (other drinkers) at bay!

  • “Sobriety is a self-improvement tool.” I love this! With 2 years, 4 months sobriety, I know it to be true. I have made such strides in my personal growth and feel stronger overall in my resolve—to be sober and to live a meaningful life! Thanks Belle, for helping me with my “cow path” and giving me hope :-).

  • Something was bugging me about the word hope so I looked up the definition which clarified it for me. There are two definitions which to me are opposing.

    One is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a thing to happen”, the other is “want something to happen or be the case.”

    The synonyms for the first are positive: aspiration, desire, ambition, goal, etc.
    The synonyms for the second are negative (to me): expect, anticipate.

    The whole podcast to me seemed to be about persistence, and to keep trying even when you didn’t believe in the thing you were doing. As if that, by itself, is hope. That’s dogged persistence and/or stubbornness like you said.

    Doesn’t real hope underly that persistence? Isn’t real hope about faith in yourself, confidence, believing that you can achieve your goal?

    Maybe i missed it earlier in the podcast, but it wasn’t summed up that way until around they 27 minute mark when you said something about having the confidence in your ability to find a path that works.

    Just my 4 cents with a big IMHO disclaimer.

  • Just finished listening, firstly I love the way you say ‘ok, byee!’ It makes me smile. It reminds me that you’re sober and joyous. I am on day 10 and using all the tools in my belt to stay on this path, and now I have the belief that hope can be learned and I will continue knowing that I can ask people like you that have been there and done that for advice, support, suggestions or just stories to help get me through. ?

  • “Problem solve everyday” and “You have to do the work” … both communicate a similar message. I think the second resonates with me most because I like things to be easy. In life things have generally come easy to me, so when something (like being sober) is hard, my first reaction is to think, meh. You have to do the work!!

  • Having learned to run myself a few years ago, I’m going to run with this analogy and teach myself ‘sober’. This has given me new hope, thank you!

    • get a coach, get momentum, keep going, however slowly. just go. no stopping. no u-turns. any shitty day sober is better than a new day 1. ~ hugs from me

  • Have to listen to it again. Too distracted by my party planning to give it my full and undivided attention. Loved the French siren at the end (now I know you really are in France).

  • Thank you for this crescent of hope this morning! For me, the words, “I needed to be okay with the fact that I didn’t know it” resonated with me the most. I’ve been “good” at things my whole life. I was a great student, an excellent cellist, a wonderful daughter and friend – over time, drink has drained these skills from me and left me so vulnerable. I have little confidence in myself at work, none as a Mother and a measly slice as a wife – I am weak and have allowed alcohol to sweep in and take advantage of my lowly self-esteem.

    When I emailed you that night, the night I joined the class, I surrendered to knowing that I didn’t know how to do this on my own. I felt terrified and so exposed. Your guidance has allowed me to start finding my own little way – experimenting with treats and allowing myself to say, “I need a hand here.” It’s been so empowering. Thank you 🙂

  • Everything is like everything. Don’t stand there with your foot nailed to the floor. Find pliers, a crowbar, something!

  • “It’s all mental”
    This is along the lines of what I’ve been thinking about lately. Mainly noticing how my moods/ attitude changes how I perceive my surroundings, and how my mood affects others. I never cared before, I was either drinking/ hungover.
    I also liked “hope is combination of an ability to begin and having some confidence in your ability to find a path”. I’m going to keep these two quotes in mind when I finally quit smoking, I haven’t seemed to find the ability to start, but I know I can find the path once I do.

  • Thanks Belle. I WILL LEARN HOPE BECAUSE I NOW KNOW I AM NOT ALONE ON THE PATH. Looking towards 100. Bumper sticker- ‘we are not alone’ . Sounds a little familiar???

  • “Hope is the combination of the ability to begin and having some confidence in your ability to find a path.”

  • I thought about “if you can’t find the path, ask for directions” but I really like “Learn Hope.” It’s obscure yet vaguely familiar to every human being. It also will make people ask what it means!

  • I don’t think it was part of the podcast (your email from Canada) but this worked with what I also heard:

    Reset the password… Sometimes we go on our own and the password to our life expires. We get stuck, we know where we want to go and how we want to be our life to be, but can’t get started until we reset the password. We may try and be able to reset it ourselves, but sometimes we need to ask for help to get us back in and back on track with life.

  • “Don’t want to, can’t make me.” Sums me up perfectly! That phrase used to apply to my attitude about stopping drinking but now it applies to my attitude about drinking. This total turnaround is thanks to you Belle, and on day 68 I’m feeling more hopeful than I’ve ever felt in my life.

  • “As long as you’re moving forward, you’re getting there!” So often I get discouraged because I forget to be proud of my success along the way. It reminds me that it’s not the destination that’s always the most important, sometimes it’s the journey. This never really occurred to me before getting sober. NOW, was always my way of thinking. Getting sober has been all about the journey, the accumulation of days and the self esteem that comes from knowing I EARNED this, it wasn’t given to me because I wanted it so badly, I earned it myself. Sure, I had to ask for help and I had to make the commitment, and I had to be accountable. With your help, I found what worked for me. It was a part of my personality that had never occurred to me. I had no idea I possessed it, how it worked, or how powerful the confidence in myself would affect other aspects of my life and the different things I want to accomplish.

  • Awesome…!!! Thank you! Wont forget your words: “If you don’t know how to do it, then ask somebody” Yes, that’s thwe way, I will, I am going to! Because I am going to make it this time! Thank you